These first few days, you're right, have been a NIGHTMARE. I didn't know how emotionally difficult it would be, although I certainly wasn't expecting it to be a breeze. However...I feel there have been drastic changes on Bones' part in the last day to day and a half.
I have cut back his Tramadol significantly, and am NOT using Metacam every night (it's doing weird stuff to him digestively; he has been actively pooping but afterwards he "leaks" a little bit, which I think may be from all the drugs, so I'm giving him lower doses of everything, and so far so good)---I tried the Ace one night, and cut the dose in half, and he SEEMED to be okay but he did act a little strange. Then, after reading what everyone else said I decided it's best to just not go with it at all. It's just not worth the risk with everything else he has going on.
And you're completely right---he is scared of the ramp, so why use it when I can towel-lift him? I use it on my two biggest steps because he doesn't mind walking down it there, but he hates walking up it so I just lift him and he seems happy the whole time---lots of wagging;) He's VERY happy when he gets to go outside even momentarily, so my plan for today is to get a clean sheet, put it on the grass in my front yard, and just sit outside together for a half hour or hour or so. I think it will emotionally help him, and since I'll be right there, his movement will be 100% limited but at least he'll feel the nice, new cooler weather we're having:)
I'm feeling much better today because he let me sleep last night, I think he's feeling much better today....and my second dog is taking to all of it fairly well. She's being very sweet and calm around him (which she never is since she's an insane, hyper ball of energy 24/7) and that seems to help him as well. Last night they "played" (I lose that term loosely since my dog sat in one spot....) tug of war THROUGH his crate with his brand new 16-squeaker Dragon toy. Seeing the little things like that makes me feel like my dog is going to fair well through this. Also, when we go out for him to pee he lifts his left leg, putting all of his weight on his right, newly operated on leg. I think that's a good sign, because he could very obviously choose which way to go and seems quite steady. All of these are good signs!
All the comments help. This is hard! And it's really great to hear from people who have been through it and can help lead me on my way a bit. So thank you!