I spent the entire ride back from Cornell trying to figure out how to put into words what is now going on in my head after his consult. The Doctors were amazing, and all of them are on board with our fight, but they are all extremely concerned with the severity of little Lentil's deformities. Somehow I was lucky enough (or probably bc it's that I don't take my eyes off of him), but I was able to get a very clear photo of a yawn (below). This photo was able to give the doctors a better idea of what is going on.
The main concern, at this point, is getting Lentil to the age where surgery is even an option. (9-11months). I'm still waiting for the time line they are going to send, but basically his game plan is at 6-8wks he will go in for an esophagostomy tube which will allow me to feed without going through his mouth. This is step one. As he grows more and more, he will have to go for a CT scan- which is when they will be able to see just how bad the soft palate really is. The first, of probably multiple surgeries, will be between 9-11 months. With any bulldog, the risk of aspiration is high, but with Lentil, it's a constant fear. He has zero protection to his trachea. So every feeding has to be perfect. One cough, one sneeze, one wrong move on either of our parts can be detrimental. I feel as though I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. He has so many people following him, rooting for him, and loving him...and we are so grateful. I refuse to give up. I told him when we met that I would take him as far as he is willing/able to go, and I meant it. Even the best Doctors and medical treatment can't predict the future and they can't underestimate the spirit and drive that this little boy (and his foster mom) have. For those of you that know me, you know how afraid of pneumonia I am...but you also know my dedication. Twelve years ago, my Madison Rose, an English bulldog, spent 3 wks at UPENN in an oxygen cage with pneumonia. Each day was a battle, and there were times that the Doctors didn't think she would pull through...but no one on her team gave up...and eventually she did come home to me. Madison gave me an amazing 6 years of her life. We lived every day in fear of her aspirating, but we enjoyed each day and cherished the time we had together. Sadly, she passed away, unexpectedly after 6 years...because she vomited and aspirated. I miss her every day, but my experience with her taught me to always keep going- and that is what we are doing. I enjoy Lentil so much, so I refuse to let this news make me sad in any way. It's just making us stronger. Thankfully, we have a huge support group of doctors who are always available to us, and who will be ready to go if a situation ever arises. We have the backing by all of you, his followers and donors, who are allowing us to continue this fight. I promise all of you that I will do everything I can, every day, to get this bean to where he needs to be. I know every noise he makes, every breathe he takes, and I will be on top of any sign of something changing for the worse. I hope you are all comfortable in knowing that I will truly do anything for this pup...he has taken my heart. Each day has been, and will be- a new challenge, but we will continue to update all of you and celebrate the good things that come our way! Today, Lentil is a pound! (1.1lbs) to be exact! :)