Samba went to visit Dr B today. It's been four weeks since she started treatment for MMM. She's had a few side effects from the high doses of steroids, but nothing we can't live with. She's lost six pounds so she's going to get her wish and get bigger servings at meal time. Her voice has gotten higher, she has a slight tremor and her hair is getting thin on her tail and legs.
The good news is that she can open her mouth more than two thirds of the way. We demonstrated this by feeding her some yogurt in the examining room. The doctor watched how she moved her mouth and how aggressively she grabbed the spoon. He was very pleased with her progress.
The part that bothers me the most is the muscle loss. Her head feels like a skeleton with hair. The area marked temporalis muscle is gone. There's a deep hole there. Her whole muzzle feels thinner. The muscle that has been lost is gone forever. The muscles around it will get stronger and take over the job of the ones that are missing, but she'll never have a nice smooth, rounded head again. Dr B says that most people won't notice because of all her hair, but it feels so strange to me, and it makes me so very sad.
So tomorrow we'll cut her Prednisone from 40 mg daily to 30 mg. With luck some of the side effects will go away as the dosage drops. She'll stay at this level for a month as long as she continues as she is. We'll also do some mild physical therapy with her ball and a soft toy. We're using the ball to judge what level she's at. If she continues to carry the ball, we're Ok, if she won't carry the ball, she's in trouble and we have to see the doctor immediately.
Here is Noah kissing his Mom and telling her how glad he is that she's feeling better.