One Week Later….

In my last post, I signed off quickly because Zack was headed to the OR for his colonoscopy, biopsies, and manometry catheter placement. The rest of his hospitalization was not fun for him (was any of it fun?). Zack required a lot more mom and dad love and encouragement than he typically does in the hospital. By the time he was discharged on Friday and we made it home, it was time for dinner and we all just crashed.

Let me take you back to last week. Zack woke up in the PACU and he was NOT amused. He was in pain and needed to have a bit of Fentanyl to help calm him down. Even then, he just kept crying about how much his belly hurt. While that is very typical for Zack and his colon, it is still hard to know he is hurting and there is little we can do to help him.

We spoke with his doctor about Zack’s procedure, and he told us that it was pretty tough. He was unable to get his scope past Zack’s descending colon because it was filled with white globules that were like cement. Even with irrigation, he could not get them to move. He said his colon did not look normal (shocker), and there were many areas that bled very easily that he did not expect to see. Those are not his exact words, but my version. He said that given that Zack’s colon had been resting for a number of years now, he would have expected it to look much healthier. Nothing really surprises us when it comes to Zack’s intestines anymore.

After the PACU controlled his pain, he made it back up to the floor. This particular testing protocol called for Zack to eat and drink soon after he returned to his room. Yeah. When your belly hurts, eating is not high on your fun things to do list. We finally got him to drink some juice, and the team called it good. Luckily, he was able to finally settle with Tylenol and didn’t need any other pain meds. Zack told me that he did not want me to take any more pictures of his face because his belly was hurting and he felt crabby. I believed him.


We will follow up with Zack’s doctor on October 5 to get the results of his testing. I have no idea what to expect. To my untrained eyes, it looked like there were some contractions happening in his colon. Unofficially, I heard that there was some motility, but ineffective and not through all areas. I guess we will find out soon.

There are two other things that I want to document here so that I do not forget them. First, when the OR weighed Zack the first day, he had lost almost 4 pounds since his last weight check on August 10th – and he was wearing shoes in the OR. He was weighed at 29.3 kg (64.46 lbs) in the OR and had been 31.3 kg (68.86 lbs) at his well-visit. That was very disappointing because we are working so hard to get Zack to 70 pounds! Second, as I type this a week after discharge, Zack still has some impressive bruising from 2 of his 4 IV placements. I’m surprised how badly he bruised. Since I look back on this blog to help me get procedures, surgeries, and hospitalizations in order, I appreciate you indulging me this extra paragraph.

While all of that was happening, we were also juggling getting our pup, Captain Awesome, to different doctors in both Maryland and Virginia. Cap’s red blood cell count, platelets, and liver values were very concerning. He had an abdominal ultrasound, liver aspirates, and tons of blood work. All of the vets were shocked that they did not see cancer….in our newly turned 3 Golden Retriever. Even though they did not find cancer, we were being prepared to lose our pup. Zack knew Cap was sick, but not how bad things were.

I am happy to report that Cap’s blood work is starting to improve. His platelets are still very out-of-whack, so we have to be gentle with him and try not to let him get hurt. His ears have gone from yellow to almost pinkish again and he is eating. You know a Golden is sick when they do not want to eat. He still has a way to go before we feel confident in his recovery, but we have hope!!

To make life more interesting, three days after we got home, Zack started 7th grade -virtually. Thanks, COVID. Zack loves routine, so getting back into the school groove has been good for him. In true Dawn fashion, I finished painting the new school room/office and putting furniture back into it the night before school started. To be fair, August was a crazy month. I’m glad I did it at all!


I will leave you with some pictures of Zack enjoying his new hobby. One of our good friends introduced Z to fishing during quarantine and he loves it. It is the perfect hobby for this time of isolation. He appears to be quite the fisherman. He has caught (and released) at least one fish each time he has been fishing. Jim and I are just grateful that he wants to be outside.

Until next time….

Hug your babies!

~ Dawn

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