Five weeks, and Dizzy ate on his own for the first time. When he continued to do so for a few days, it was time to pull the feeding tube.
I've unwrapped the bandage (we've changed it weekly) and you can see the tube going into the side of his neck, into his esophagus, and going almost down to his stomach. The hole where it was sutured in looks great — no evidence of infection. These usually do okay, though a patient with other disease processes affecting their healing can have a disaster here. I once lost a patient and a client because of that. The cat was doomed from the start, but that didn't make it look any better when his neck disintegrated.
We clipped a couple of stitches and slid it right out. The tube doesn't go all the way into the stomach, as that would cause gastric reflux. You have to measure carefully when you insert it and sew it in place.
Our only problem now is the partial facial paralysis. When the left side of his skull was gull-winged away from the rest of it, it did some considerable nerve damage. His left upper lip is paralyzed and his left eyelids don't work so well, and his eye looks a little funky.
And this is where Dizzy's story came in on the KVC Facebook page. Dr. Carol is still working with acupuncture and electro-acupuncture to try to rehabilitate some of that nerve function.
When she feels like Dizzy has come as far as he can, he'll be heading home. I'm not too sure how long that will be, so the next installment of Dizzy's story will be in the indefinite future.
He feels good, he eats well, he has eight lives left… seven, anyway.