Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April-Patient of the Month- Qi Mei [Chee May]

Qi Mei [Chee My], meaning life/beautiful, is a 10+ year old female Shar Pei, that has been a patient of the HAH since she was 2months old. She is the oldest of three puppies that along with her mom, share in the credit for this success story.

Over the years, Qi Mei has seen many doctors for well health visit and routine procedures as well as a series of close encounters with foreign objects like a tasty corn cob or rock but her heart belongs to Dr. Herrington who her mother would call -her savior.

Last month, Qi Mei came to see Dr. H. Her mom, who is very in tuned to the nuances of all her girls, noticed Qi Mei not eating and experiencing episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. Her feces were tested and parasites were present. A treatment of antibiotics was prescribed but when the following day her behavior was still not quite right, blood work and x-rays were done as well. Another foreign body was suspected.

The x-rays showed not only a possible foreign object in Qi Mei but also revealed a mass on her liver. Ultra-sound confirmed this mass and surgery was scheduled. Dr.Bibevski and Dr. Sessa performed the surgery and did in fact find foreign material (a tasty plastic toy and rocks) along with a mass on Qi Mei’s liver.  Both the foreign material and mass were removed and Qi Mei recovered from anesthesia normally.

However, all procedures come with a risk of complications and even a well executed surgery without abnormalities can go wrong. Five days after Qi Mei’s surgery her behavior was noticeable changed and her mom returned her to the hospital. The tissues in Qi Mei’s intestines were not healing as they should and Dr. Herrington and Dr. Bibevski returned her to surgery. This time what they found was a very sick tummy and in order to help they needed to flush it out and leave it “open” to drain. This procedure sounds radical but is necessary to allow the bad bacteria to leave the body and not fester. After just a few days the doc’s went back in and cleaned her up again. This time they closed her abdomen.

For the next 7 days, she continued to receive intensive care to monitor her healing. She had drains and tubes in her as you might see in a human ICU and our 24 hour attention was essential to her progress.

 “The staff went above and beyond for her while in the hospital and Dr. H kept me positive throughout the whole ordeal.” said Qi Mei’s mom

What was unique though, and perhaps as important to her recovery as her surgical and hospital care, was Qi Mei herself. Qi Mei was patient. She was willing. She was loving. Never once did she shy away from going outside or hesitate when yet another treatment needed to be completed. She plugged along and soon was starting to act like herself again.

Twenty days after her initial visit, she was heading home with strict instructions for careful monitoring and care. Her mom and three sisters, Jasmine and Cha Siu Bau [Cha Su Bow] would need to temper there tremendous enthusiasm to have her home and help her rest and relax. Quite a task for the close knit group!!!
At her recheck, Qi Mei was definitely on the mend. Her blood work was improving and Dr. Herrington continues to closely monitor every change.  Qi Mei is a wonderful example of the teamwork it takes to care for patients and we are happy to recognize her as our patient of the month!!

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