not ready to be weaned off meds

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It has been a week since we started cutting back a bit on Jersey’s pain meds, and at this point it’s safe to conclude that he is NOT ready.

He went from having no neck spasms at all over two weeks, and being in great spirits, to having two of them in the last couple of days. The first spasm (two days ago) was quite small… and the second (this morning) was bigger and longer. He’s also lost the ‘pep in this step’ that he had regained, and is back to seeming sore and unhappy. This is super discouraging, and definitely breaks my heart.

Over all, he’s shown us that he’s still quite dependent on the medication (Gabapentin and Methocarbamol) for relief and stability and obviously isn’t ready for them to be cut back.

The recovery from this surgery has been significantly harder than I anticipated. With his incision all healed up, and the weight that he’d lost gained back, in many ways he looks like a totally normal dog. And when he’s feeling good, he seems normal too! But then he has bad days where he’s just so obviously not himself, and it’s a terrible reality check that we still have a  long way to go. In dark moments, I worry that we will never get back to normal and this will be the rest of his whole life…. but that is too awful to think about.

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2 thoughts on “not ready to be weaned off meds

  1. I feel your fear…Giz is on crate confinement right now for a flair up with his back and on two pain meds and a muscle relaxer. This has happened periodically since his surgeries two years ago and, so far, he has not had to be medicated for more than 10 days at a time, thank goodness. But it is heartbreaking how he can be completely fine one minute, yelling at the squirrels in the yard and in agony the next. There is never any precipitating action (slip, stumble) to warn us it is coming. We watch him like hawks to make sure he never engages in risky behaviors (jumping, stairs, too rough play) but it seems that nothing overt causes the flairs…they just happen.

    I live in constant terror of a third surgery and fear that he will be on a constant cycle of medication and confinement for the rest of his life. The last two confinements were less than 90 days apart. My vets worry that since he did not regain full function from the last surgery, he would not tolerate nor recover well from a third so avoiding it is the goal.

    I am coming to accept that this is our new normal. It is not a normal I like, but one I am going to have to live with. I try to be grateful that Giz still thinks he is “superdog” and is as happy as a clam (except when he has to be in the box, lol). It is hard…I want my old Giz back. I worry that I am not making the right choices. That risking the surgery would be better that spending 30 days at a stretch in the crate two or three times a year.

    Many *hugs* and *snorts* to you and Jersey and Oslo (our hero). I am completely confident in Jersey’s recovery and your ability to adapt to whatever ends up being your “normal” in the future. Whatever happens, you got this!

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