thyroid medication side effects

July 14, 2013 update: Shayna’s continuing recovery from heart surgery

July 14, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

Continued from June 4, 2013 update: Shayna’s emergency heart surgery

Dr. Paling with Shayna, at our June 20 discharge appt.

Dr. Paling with Shayna, at our June 20 discharge appt.

Recap: On May 29, Shayna underwent emergency heart surgery, to remove the sack that contains her heart (periocardium), so that the fluid that leaks from a nearby tumor cannot collect in it, thus making it difficult for her heart to properly function.  Thanks to the expert care of our cardiologist, Dr. Anna Paling, and our surgeon, Dr. Kevin Stiffler, both of Virginia Veterinary Specialists, Shayna made a quick recovery from this surgery.

Thanks to our holistic veterinarian, Dr. Janice Raab of Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital, she continues to heal.  A special thanks goes out to those who donated to Shayna’s Health Fund, particularly Fetch-A-Cure and those listed on her Heroes page, and those around the world who pray for Shayna’s wellness.

In my upcoming book, I discuss why, since adopting Shayna in April 2002, and particularly since she was diagnosed with this terrible illness in October 2012 (and given one day to four months to live), I’ve felt like the luckiest guy in the world.  The rest of this post details some of the reasons why I have every reason to still feel this way.

Below are (1) Some pictures from over the past five weeks (see more on Shayna’s Facebook page), followed by (2) Some fun videos — of Shayna doing her toy-retrieval training, a long walk around the beautiful University of Virginia campus near the Rotunda, and more, and (3) A chart documenting Shayna’s dramatic weight loss over the past 15 months.

Thanks again to everyone to helped make this post possible.  And as always, if you know anyone who might be interested in donating to Shayna’s Health Fund, please forward that link!  Thanks!

June 19, 2013: Love, love, love.

June 19, 2013: Love, love, love.

 

20June13 Shayna in truck

June 20: Shayna on the way to the river, to do her first swimming since last summer. This was taken just after we left the vet’s office, where her left rear foot was deemed to be healed sufficiently for her to go swimming again – something I never thought I’d see again, after we’d been given her terrible diagnosis on October 30, 2012.

 

After a swim: "Yay, wow did that feel gooooooodddd!!!!"

After a swim: “Yay, wow did that feel gooooooodddd!!!!”  This is a scene I never thought I’d see again.

 

June 20: Hug after Shayna's first swim of 2013; can you tell we are happy?

June 20: Hug after Shayna’s first swim of 2013. Can you tell we are happy?

 

June 30: A walk through the woods, with Shayna saying, "C'mon, Dad, I think there's something interesting up ahead!"

June 30: A walk through the woods, with Shayna saying, “C’mon, Dad, I think there’s something interesting up ahead!”

 

June 21, 2013: I shared with the KONG Company how helpful its products have been in enabling Shayna's dramatic weight loss.  They sent her this big gift basket of more KONGS and toys to help keep facilitating her good health, and training pleasure.

June 21, 2013: I shared with The KONG Company how helpful its products have been in enabling Shayna’s dramatic weight loss (see video below). They sent her this big gift basket of more KONGS and toys to help keep facilitating her good health, and training pleasure.

 

June 25: Toy training

As you can see, Shayna is elated, and runs up and pounces on her toys, like she did when she was a puppy. How can I not call her a “miracle” dog, and be so profoundly grateful to our amazing medical team, to see her doing this at 11 1/2 years old?
 

 

June 25: Shayna swimming at river

I never thought I would ever see this again. Although she’s not nearly as enthusiastic of a swimmer as she used to be, on this scalding summer day, it was a nice reprieve.
 

 

June 14: Our visit to UVa

Shayna still had the bandage (and protective, thick-plastic bag) on her left rear foot, but that didn’t stop her from really enjoying this walk at one of our very favorite places – UVa, and particularly, the Rotunda. I watch her jump into and out of the truck, with such a smile on her face, and reflect on how lucky I am that at 11 1/2 years old, Shayna still does this – actually, with much less effort, since she lost the 18 lbs. that Dr. Raab has been wanting her to shed.
 

 

June 14: Toy training on our lawn, and a shout-out to the KONG Company

It was a really warm day, but after lunch I decided to see if Shayna wanted to do her toy-retrieval training outside, on our front lawn. She did, but the heat catches up with us fast. Then at about the 6:55 mark, we came inside and she got a KONG filled with chilled watermelon… this is one of the ways that I’ve gotten her away from packaged (junk) treats, and as a result, helped her to lose so much excess weight. I give a shout-out to the KONG people, thanking them for how much their products have helped us in this effort.
 

 

June 20: Toy training, and Shayna showing off her “One ball, two ball” retrieval skill

We went to Albemarle High School on this warm summer evening, and aside from our usual toy-retrieval training (albeit with a few new toys!), Shayna demonstrated how she can distinguish between one tennis ball and two, and bring back the number I tell her to.
 

 

Addendum: Shayna’s dramatic weight loss

People have noted how much slimmer and healthier Shayna has looked over the past 15 months or so.  Their observations are correct; for it was about that time that I began to discover (in large part thanks to the expert counsel of Dr. Janice Raab) how overweight Shayna was, and how it was having, and would continue to have a very bad impact on her health, and her ability to engage in exercise.  Thanks to a radical change in Shayna’s diet and portioning, she lost the extra 18 lbs. that I learned she was carrying.  Here’s a preview of a graphic I created for my upcoming book about Shayna, which shows the dramatic before-and-after pictures and a chart of her weight loss over time:

Shayna-weight-loss-chart

 
 
 
 

Filed in: Shayna's medical condition

Leave a Reply

Trackback URL | RSS Feed for This Entry