Mommy went home the same day, and I had to leave her post-op care to Daddy and my two sisters This was the first time in almost 20 years that she had a surgery and I was not there to take care of her. This concerned me more than her surgery.
I thought about the first time I took care of Mommy. It was January 2002. She had got her first knee replacement surgery. I was a young pup but also the senior dog in the pack. My big sister Blake had gone to the Bridge the previous October, and I was trying to teach Jax, an overeager male Papillon puppy how to be a good dog. It was a lot of work.
Mommy left on a Monday morning. Jax and I went six days without seeing her. He was panicked that she was not coming home, but I could smell her when Daddy came home at night, so I knew he had seen her. In bed, I slept on the nightshirt she had worn before going to the hospital. It gave me comfort. I hoped she had something of mine to comfort her too.
She came home on a Saturday. I danced with excitement when I saw her outside. It took several minutes for Daddy to help her and the big metal walker she had to use to get in the house. Daddy guided her over to her recliner. I jumped on her lap, and that is where I would stay until she was recovered.
For the first two weeks, Mommy slept there, with me on her lap. Daddy put a mattress on the floor and slept on it with Jax’s crate next to him. We ate there too. The only time Mommy got up was when she had to pee, and I trailed right behind her.
Soon a stream of people came to visit her. There were physical therapists, nurses, and phlebotomists. During their appointments, I either sat on Mommy’s shoulder or her chest and supervised everything they did. Of course, I got a lot of attention too, but for the first time in my life, I was not interested in being patted, scratched or getting treats. I wanted these people to make Mommy better so by springtime we could walk.
The next year my Mommy had her other knee done. The pain was still high, and the recovery difficult, but by then I was well trained in how to make her better. All the medical people remembered me and the best ones wanted to come see me because they wanted to bask in my infectious personality.
Those were the only serious operations with long recoveries that Mommy and I battled through but she also got sick several times, and Nurse Foley was on duty.
I know there is not a lot of recovery time with this surgery but I still wish I was there.
A nurse like me only comes along once in a lifetime.