I came home from Colorado sick.  Even though I was sick for the week between Christmas and the New Year.  I don’t know why I was surprised.  I always come home from Colorado sick.  I was hoping to get an exemption this year because of the Christmas sickness.  Although I was sick, I came home refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things with Addie.  I also wanted to spend a few good days with my Mom before she had to return to New England.  And then I was going to blog.  I was going to sit down and write all about my trip.  I was going to tell you how brilliant the snow was. I was going to explain what a great feeling it is to be so far from home sharing music with others who love it.  I was going to link to some posts about the trip. I was going to write about how much I missed Addie Baby and  how every time I called home, I would get a lump in my throat when I heard her voice.  I was going to do all of that over a cup of coffee just as soon as I returned from dropping Mom at the airport.  I was also going to clean my house.

And then Oliver collapsed in front of my eyes exactly 24 hours ago and those 24 hours feel like some of the longest of my life.  I realize that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.  Part of me wants to rewind to moment before I played fetch with him yesterday morning.  I’m convinced if I didn’t go out there and throw his ball, this never would have happened.  But somewhere in my head I know that if it wasn’t then, it would have happened after one of the other 4 times I would have played fetch with him yesterday.  Because that’s what we do.  It’s all Oliver ever wants to do; chase his ball and follow us around the house.  The life of my dog is pretty simple.  Part of me also wants to fast forward through the next few weeks (months?) and see the new Oliver.   See whether or not he’ll have full use of his limbs.  See if he’ll ever get to chase his ball again.

When we heard from the hospital last night Oliver was still under anesthesia so we don’t know if the function loss has spread to any of his other limbs or even his whole body.  The tests that were run yesterday all showed nothing wrong with his spine but they did see a small mass so they threw in a CT for good measure (put it on our tab!) and it ended up being nothing.  Because they found nothing through these tests, by default, they’re saying Oliver had a stroke by (or a Fibrocartilaginous Embolization or FCE for short, but we can just say a stroke because that’s what it is.  And we’re still all on the same page even without big words.).  I’m not entirely sure what the next step will be.  They’re doing a therapy consult today.   He will definitely need physical therapy.

From whast we’ve read, dogs make the most improvement in the first two weeks after this kind of stroke.  Meaning Oliver will recover as much as he is going to in the next two weeks.  That’s why we want to start therapy and start it early.  Depending on the severity of his injury, he may not recover the use of his legs at all and would remain paralyzed.  That’s the scenario I’m trying not to let myself think about because I can’t imagine that Oliver would deal very well with being a parapeligic.   I’m going to try to set up a visit with him today.  We only get 5-10 minutes, but I want to see him and reassure him that we’re still here and he hasn’t been abandoned.  Again.