The eye emergency: part 2

It was a long, way too quiet (no seriously, Jake snores so loudly that now I can’t sleep without his fog horn) night without Jake. It made me additionally miss Melvin. The ophthalmologist came in early Monday, just to see Jake and she and I talked around 8am.  Even though it was a phone call, I immediately loved her and felt at ease that she’d be doing the surgery. There are a few surgeries to fix ulcer issues but Jake required the most extensive one.  While other surgeries had a 50% success rate, his had a 95% success rate (that they’d repair the ulcer and repair and fill the hole in the center of his eye before rupture).  While he was under, she was also going to remove a growth from his other eye via laser.

The surgery went well and I went to pick Jake up around 4pm.  DUDE WAS HIGH.  He couldn’t walk (worse than usual) and his eye was really freaky.  So freaky it gave me chills. We headed home with instructions for all (so, so many) eye drops, that had to be given all day long, 5 min apart (I had to do a spreadsheet) and pain meds. I also found out that a compounding pharmacy in NJ was making ‘Jake tears’.  Not only did they make them the day of his surgery, they arrived at my door (in VA) the next morning.

Giving Jake eye drops is excruciating. He wiggles and locks his eyelids shut and when you have a bionic eye surgery underneath the lid, you cannot put much pressure.  The amount of trepidation I have when it’s time to give drops is rivaled only by the frustration I feel as he tries to flail his body off the cliff (the couch). There may or may not have been moments I’ve had to walk outside and scream so that I don’t implode in front of him.

The day we had our first follow-up appointment, Jake’s eye started bleeding.  Just like in True Blood.  The bad news is, it’s as terrible as it sounds.  The good news is that, it’s good news.  Jake had tissue transplanted into his eye – to fill the hole and stitched (yes, there are stitches in his eyeball) across his eye.  The tissue was connected to blood vessels.  The bleeding means the tissue is alive and there is blood flow. Everyday I have a hard time convincing myself it’s good.  Up to now, bleeding has always been bad.  So eyeball blood being good…so strange!

I’m amazed that animal ophthalmology is so cutting edge and so grateful that they saved his eye.  We are so blessed.

Here are some photos of the patient and his eye (look away if you get grossed out easy). Also, a few days into eye-magedon, Jake got an ear infection that caused him to howl in agony.  My response was to scream ‘ENOUGH’ at the universe.  Enough.  So far, the universe seems to have heard me.

Sometimes when I talk to him he is not even looking in my direction.  Also, he can barely walk cause the cone is too heavy for his back legs to balance out.  IMG_5273 IMG_5285 IMG_5294

He flops over his bed very dramatically every night.  I put blankets up so that all the walls are soft and he moves them open (like curtains) with his cone head. Jake sleeps in the jail so he can be diaper free at night (junks gotta air out) and because pain-meds-Jake wanders. IMG_5261 IMG_5308

And here is his eye.  That dot in the middle is where the hole was (that is now filled up with tissue).  The flap that goes across is connected to the white part of his eye. In the second photo, you can see the active bleeding.  (go ahead and gag, i do). IMG_5282 IMG_5318

15 thoughts on “The eye emergency: part 2

  1. Oh wow – it looks like Jake’s procedure was very similar to Boca’s – her eye didn’t have as deep an ulcer, but it was larger (almost over her whole iris) so her graft was bigger. It was so hard to find anything besides technical information on the surgery and process, and the photos can be terrifying. Boca’s graft exceeded my expectations and healed beautifully! I thought she would look like a zombie-dog forever, but instead it’s thinned and smoothed to just a bluish haze with teensy blood vessels running through it. You can’t even tell unless you’re up close to her, and honestly, it looks kind of cool. I call it her “supernatural eye.” Several people asked me why I didn’t just have the eye removed and I was like “um…because it’s her EYE and she will still have vision!” She’s developed a corneal opacity in the opposite eye now that we’re watching carefully, so I’m especially glad she is not already down an eye. We are thinking of you and know just how scary this whole experience can be.

    • I love hearing positive stories! And I agree, saving the eye is important, some sight is better than no sight. I’m glad to hear the graft starts to look more ‘supernatural’!

  2. I know that Jake couldn’t be in better hands, but damn, I agree. What the hell Universe, leave this family alone! My thoughts are with you. Hopefully this nonsense is over.

  3. Poor Jake!! Your eye looks scary but I’m glad they fixed things, you are as always in my thoughts and prayers daily! I hope things heal quickly! Love you Jake! Xoxox

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