The thing about recovery is that it’s not always a linear process. Sometimes you get better, only to get a bit worse. Only to get a bit better. Only to get a lot worse. Only to eventually get much better. I know this intellectually, but emotionally it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
The day we brought Jersey home (Day 9) he did quite well. He rested comfortably. Ate his boiled chicken and potatoes happily, and generally seemed at ease. Day 10 was ok. But Day 11 (5 days post-op) he did not do great. He started having really scary bouts of pain (despite us following his medication schedule exactly as prescribed) and nausea. His neck seemed more tender than ever, he was refusing to drink water, and would only eat small nibbles of even the most high-value food I was offering (bland pork stew, chicken & rice, steak & potatoes, etc).
It was a Sunday, so the vet was closed… but they have a 24 hour emergency line. I called them twice on Day 11 to get advice on what we should do. Part of me felt like maybe this was all just a normal part of the healing process, but another part was terrified that sometimes was terribly wrong. They gave me some advice, but agreed that if I felt sometimes was very off I should bring him in the next morning when the Neuro team would be in house and able to examine him. So that’s what we did.