Doctor, Doctor

Jacob’s sore toe needed medical attention. It’s not the first time we’ve been through this but it had been years.  I started ‘treating’ it with a prescription ointment that didn’t help.  Then switched to an over-the-counter, again, to no results.

I had noticed some redness around the nail and then a couple of days later, he was bruised and had a cut. Obviously had dropped something on his toe. That is one of the hard parts, not knowing what happened. But knowing enough to know it hurt. After several days, I realized, we needed his doctor to take a look.

Going to the doctor with Jacob is always a hassle.  It. Just. Is.  His long-time family physician is accommodating, kind, and does all the right things.  But, Jacob would rather not be there.   Fortunately for us, depending on the case, there have been times where a reply to a simple portal question we submitted was sufficient. 

Covid has brought some changes that have sure helped us.  One of those, that we took advantage of recently, was a video appointment. 

None of, getting Jacob ready and into the van.  Then convincing him to sit in his wheelchair to go into waiting area.  Standing on the scale for his weight is always hit or miss.  Taking blood pressure works sometimes.  It required both of us to be present which makes for a crowded exam room when it is the three of us and his doctor, plus sometimes the nurse and/or a resident shadowing. 

Instead of going through all of the above, Mike got a text when it was time to connect.  We Facetimed with Jacob’s doctor and he got a good look at Jacob’s toe.  He made a diagnosis and gave us instructions along with a prescription med to start. 

1) Daily, soak Jacob’s foot in a bucket of Epsom salt water for at least 10 minutes a day.  I smiled as the doctor was saying that because I knew there was about a 0% chance of accomplishing that simple task.  So we went with the nice soak in bathtub approach instead.

Then this happened:  I was running water in the tub and calling Jacob to come get in.  Our male golden heard the water running and hurried to the bathroom to join the party.  Before I could stop him, Lucas stepped right over into the Epsom salt bath.  Yes. He. Did.  Silly boy.  He didn’t want to get out but finally did with clean paws. 

You would have thought it was torture for Jacob to soak in the tub. Rather than relax and enjoy – some soaks he would just stand the entire time. Fine with us, mission accomplished with the toe. Other times, he’d decide to sit and enjoy. We’d have a timer to be sure we got at least ten minutes in. One evening, I texted his dad, ‘thirty minutes in tub and still chilling’. By then, he probably was as the water sure wasn’t warm anymore!

2) Continue to apply over-the-counter ointment I had already started.  Cover with band-aid.  Jacob wasn’t going to leave a band-aid on so we could either try to keep socks on him (which was unlikely) or take a chance that ointment would get on things around the house.  We took that chance and reapplied frequently.

I had to work fast to get medicine on the toe.  He would willingly put his foot in my lap but as soon as I’d move toward the toe, he would jerk it away.  Over and over and over.  I know he was afraid of pain. 

And, 3) Start on a 7-day round of an antibiotic.  A capsule big enough for a horse.  Jacob cannot swallow a capsule.  So, I emptied the contents into a spoonful of applesauce.  First dose, he took it pretty well with his regular cup of apple juice washing it down.  Second dose, he remembered how unpleasant the first one was so he ran from me.  And tried hiding in the pantry. I switched to sprinkling in a small amount of juice.  Cooperated but not well and worse the next time. 

Then it dawned on me that he LOVES chocolate milk but we do not have it often.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Trip to the store and we were good to go!  Next dose came in the form of antibiotic sprinkled on applesauce with the promise of chocolate milk and it was the winning combination.  We completed the medication with total compliance! 

After 7 days, there was definite improvement. 

So thankful for technology and a willing physician that made this much, much easier for us. 

And for chocolate milk.