Monday, May 16, 2011

Week 1 Photos

Living Large in the Exercise Pen
Taj's new lifestyle consists of living in exercise pens for most of the day 24/7. He can come out for restroom breaks only (~5-10 minutes) for about 4x day. Taj has an exercise pen downstairs in the Rec Room (day pen) and upstairs in my bedroom (night pen). He also has a padded crate that I can move around the house (in the kitchen while I cook). I have to carry him up and down the stairs every night until he can use the leg better. The first week I have been carrying him outside and then letting him roam around and carrying him back inside (we have a small door step which I don't want him navigating quite yet). The leg seems quite tender at this phase.

Taj Sleeps most of the Day
I placed Taj's day pen beside the lowest window in the house so that when Taj feels better he can look outside and watch the neighborhood wildlife (birds, squirrels, etc) and look up at the blue sky and clouds. It also allows him to sunbathe and have fresh air, smells, noises. Taj has adapted fairly quickly to his new immobile lifestyle and is taking it 'in stride.'

 Research in humans has actually shown that if patients are given a room with a view of nature (a positive distraction) that they actually heal faster and require less pain medication (Science - Ulrich, 1984; Journal of Health Care Interior Designs - Ulrich, 1991). Viewing photos or painting of nature or being in a virtual nature environment can make a patient feel less anxious and distressed (Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation - Miller et al., 2002; Oncology Nursing Forum - Schneider et al., 2004; Journal of Clinical Nursing - Tse et al., 2002). For more information see Ester Sternberg's book.

However, for now, Taj sleeps most of the day. He sleeps mostly on his "good side" but I've noticed at the end of Week 1 he has also started sleeping on his "bad side" as in the photo. The vet said that this is alright and that in some animals this is instinctual to protect the injured leg. Occasionally, the first week especially, I would have to get up and help Taj reorient during the night because he would get himself in awkward positions. During the first week, I would take time to help him orient into a "sphinx" sitting pose to give his "bad side" a rest and massage it. I can't imagine laying on the same side for 24 hours a day would be comfortable.

Taj humors me by sitting up for his Week 1 photo.
In this photo you can see the bright green padding on the top of the fixator. I used foam and vet wrap to cover the top-most screw/bolt so that it would not rub up against and be abrasive to Taj's skin. You can also see how the leg is healing during Week 1 - still a bunch of swelling, but compared to Day 1, it is starting to go down!

Taj was not too hard to entertain this week. The combination of the trauma, drugs, and pain management kept him pretty quiet.

In a rare moment of awakening, Taj masters one-legged chewing

No comments:

Post a Comment