Healing Brad, heeling Felix

Today Brad saw his ME specialist. We see him in person once a year, and talk with him by phone in between. Today was the in-person appointment.

It was a really early appointment for Brad, at 11AM. So Brad got up almost as early as I normally do! He was not doing well getting up so early.

I brought Felix, and I decided not to bring my wheelchair to work on Felix’s behaviors with me walking, since that’s less typical.

He was pulling some on the way from the car to the building, so we had to stop twice to refocus. He entered the building beautifully! He walked on the shiny black floors that sometimes scare dogs without a problem, and heeled beautifully once he got inside the building.

We stopped in the restroom, and I don’t think I’ve used many if any restrooms with Felix while I’m walking. When I’m using my wheelchair, he sits on my chair while I use the restroom. This time he had to hang out on the floor and not go visiting in other stalls. He did perfectly! I was so proud!

Then we had to take the elevator up to Dr. Lapp’s office. Felix walked in the elevator without any hesitation, even though the last elevator he’s walked in was during the convention in April (and that was his first ever elevator that he walked in). He had zero issue in the elevator…well except for wanting to be the first one out and not wait for Brad! But he did wait when reminded to.

The office was very busy, with a couple there at the desk when we walked in, and later a woman coming and sitting next to me. I had Felix on the ground. We’re trying to work on a nice settle with him, as he gets bored easily and wants to explore. He was doing OK settling until the woman came to sit next to me. Then Felix wanted to say hi to her. She asked if she could say hi, and I told her to wait a few minutes until he calmed down. When he was back to focusing on me without needing a verbal reminder, I released him to say hi and he did a beautiful job. He then returned to me immediately when I said working.

He did keep inching closer to the woman and wanting to interact with her the rest of the time we sat there, but not too much.

Next we went back to the room to wait for the doctor. I kept Felix on the floor and he did a great job settling! I think there were fewer interesting things to investigate in the doctor’s office LOL. But he laid on the ground without moving for probably 10 minutes while we were waiting. Then Brad left to go to the bathroom, and Felix enjoyed lying in the open doorway (my chair was right next to the doorway) watching people walk past and waiting for Brad to return.

Shortly after Brad returned, and we got a few photos, Dr. Lapp came in. We had a very long appointment with him, where we talked about all aspects of Brad’s health. For the first part of the appointment, Felix was still on the ground and he did a wonderful job of lying there being bored. Then he wanted to get up in my lap, so I picked him up and he stayed in my lap for the rest of the appointment. At one point he even dozed off, which is the first time he’s dozed off in my lap (usually he insists on standing up the whole time).

Dr. Lapp needed to do a physical examination of Brad, and asked if Brad could get on the exam table for it. Poor Brad. Doctors don’t tend to remember how extremely exhausted this sort of thing makes him. The doctor examined him for probably 8 minutes, and by the end of that time Brad’s whole body was spasming. We almost couldn’t get him off the exam table and back into his chair! I think he would have liked to examine Brad more, but it was clear Brad’s body couldn’t take it.

I had to be the one talking for most of the rest of the appointment as Brad was too exhausted to speak.

Unfortunately there are no new treatments out there since last time we talked with Dr. Lapp, just a really expensive one it seems like no one can afford. So we will continue with what we are doing, and hope that in a year’s time something new will have come out that Brad can try. Dr. Lapp was excited to hear about Brad’s vagal nerve stimulation adventures, and I think he’ll be passing that information on to other patients, which is great news.

We had to use the restroom again before we left, and Felix did wonderfully again. He also did wonderfully in the elevator down! But as soon as we got off the elevator, something startled him and he started barking! I was so embarrassed that I picked him up right away, so he stopped barking. I couldn’t figure out what he was barking at. Brad thinks maybe it was his reflection in the shiny black floors, but I really have no idea.

I had to drive us home since Brad was so exhausted from his appointment. Poor Brad, I know he hates it when I drive! He took a nap when we got home, thank goodness.

We got a few pictures while we were there. Two of them show Felix, a sable and white Japanese Chin wearing a green harness, lying frog-legged on the floor in the exam room. In the second picture you can see my pink and green plaid dress and neon green shoes. We got two pictures of Brad in his fantastic green mirrored blazer. And one picture of me holding Felix. That one was taken quickly because the doctor knocked on the door right as Brad was about to snap the photo!

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