Laryngeal paralysis

Herman 2013.05.16I’m not doing any writing here, and I have no plan to start anew, but I feel like writing a few words tonight. As I’ve said before, most of what I have to say goes into Facebook, so you’ve really been missing the boat if you’re just following me here. But I’m unlikely to write more than three lines in Facebook. And perhaps that’s on purpose. I just haven’t had it in me to spill any significant thoughts.

I thought Herman might be dying tonight. Past tense. I think he’ll survive another day, maybe a few hundred more days if we’re lucky. But his laryngeal paralysis is really taking a toll on him. A quick search of the blog seems to indicate that I haven’t written about this at all, which surprises me. Not going to explain it now; that’s what the hyperlink is for. I’ve been thinking of finally doing the tieback surgery, figuring it will be worth the enormous expense if Herman could get 1-2 good years where he could breathe easily, since he hasn’t breathed easily for years.

Anyway, tonight his ongoing panting and wheezing seemed…well, not worse than usual, because the usual has been pretty severe of late. But tonight I had this sense that even the preliminary lung x-ray he is scheduled to get on Wednesday might be too little, too late…or, rather, just irrelevant. Herman has always looked like he’s at death’s door when he’s out of it, but tonight he truly seemed like he could go at any time.

He had his head next to my arm while I sat on the couch to watch Mad Men, and his breathing was labored. Many nights before, I’ve wondered if that night would be the night I’d be taking him to the emergency vet, and he’d have to be intubated or put to sleep. Tonight, I wondered if he would just as well decide to skip that part. Actually, initially, I did just think he was having a bad night, but it was unusual in that he had had no exertion during the day and little reason to get excited about anything. With the rain coming down hard, he didn’t even get a second walk. I got him a double dose of pain meds in Pill Pockets, hoping that would at least ease some of the burden on his old body. He did get off the couch to follow me to eat the treats.

And then he lied down on the living room rug. He fails to jump back onto the couch only when he is especially exhausted. I had a compulsion to lie down next to him, something he typically doesn’t allow. Or, at least, he usually turns away from me. But he seemed to want me there, and he rested his paws on my arms and seemed to keep eye contact with me with his hazy squinting eyes…

And I’d go on and try to describe this in more poetic detail, and it did go on for about an hour, but, in the end, there’s not much of a story. He’s still here. It was just a dress rehearsal. “You’re not going to die tonight, are you? Well, good, I have things to do,” I said to him before I got up to do the nightly routine.

We’re back on the couch now. He’s an inch from my elbow. He’s taking deep, wheezy breaths. He’ll get his chest x-ray on Wednesday. My vet thinks it’s best to make sure he doesn’t have something else going on before referring me onto the surgeon who does the tieback procedure.

So what was the point of my writing this? Not quite sure.


One thought on “Laryngeal paralysis

  1. Pingback: Laryngeal Paralysis Surgery | Toastiest

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