Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Monday, March 30, 2015

At last, a Band-aid

Please note that this blog will be going password-protected on May 1, 2015.  Please watch this space for updates.  You may also email me at masterofirony@gmail.com and I will contact you with the password when I have set things up.

So finally last night after 3 hours of fighting and the maximum dose of valium I am allowed to take I got some sleep.  I think I slept about 12-13 hours, was awake a few and slept another 2-3.  Now it is 2:15 and I'm wide awake because I slept all day but at least I got enough sleep to stop feeling sick and that I can continue to live a few more days. 

Tomorrow I see Dr. Mind and intend to call Dr. Brain's office to try to get in there earlier.  I don't think another 2 weeks of waiting is going to do any good and I can't take this a lot longer.  The amount of valium I took last night does get me some sleep but it has such a huge cost that I'm not sure it is worth it and it is definitely not sustainable; I can't sleep all the time and be too sedated to move when I am awake.  And for whatever reason I am not adjusting this time around to the valium.  Last year it was such a blessing because I could take it and sleep and after I was used to it there weren't hangovers or over-sedation or anything, just a good night of sleep.  This time that's not happening and it is not good.

But at least I'm not still operating on a few hours of sleep in 3 days.  That was awful.  Now I'm just very tired, awake and still very sad that I'm not on vacation.  I know all the reasons I'm not but I just wish that my timing were different.  The pictures of everyone in the hottub looking over the ocean today looked amazing.

But this is just how it is.  Life goes on.



Copyright 2006-2015 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 29, 2015

For Pete's Sake


I waited all evening to take the bigger dose of valium I'm planning to use to knock myself out until hopefully tomorrow afternoon.  I was so tired but not that sleepy and I thought it best to be sleepy before taking something that is capable of making sleepy but not falling asleep torment (I've done this before after all).  So I waited until my meds were in my system and working.  And my body decided to get less sleepy.  I'm taking the valium in 40 minutes no matter what and if I suffer I suffer (I'm also open to taking more valium and some klonopin if I have to) but this is ridiculous.  I know it happens and I've survived before and will again but wow.  It would help if I weren't hungry but nothing seems to be what I want to eat.  This is a reminder of why I don't work.  And I didn't really need one.

Copyright 2006-2015 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Serious

Thursday night I slept 4 hours straight.  This was good.  Then I woke up, took Vicodin for my migraine from not sleeping enough and drove to my sister's.  She was getting ready for vacation while my brother-in-law was at a conference and this morning my sister had to go in to work for a while before my brother-in-law was back.  When I was going on the trip this was all worked out but there wasn't a solution when I realized I couldn't go so I went and stayed.  And so I had the kids all afternoon and evening and while I had a good time (the baby has preferred my mom over me for a long time and this was the first time I'd seen her without my mom and it was so sweet for her to snuggle in, say "nap", cuddle her 2 babies and drift off to sleep in my arms.) it was a lot of energy.  Then I was up until 2 something, heard the baby cry a couple times and was up for real at 4:45.  I had the kids until about 10 and then drove them to my sister's work and then home.  I slept 3 hours when I got here.  I was so cold when I got here that nothing warmed me up, not a ton of blankets or fleece pajamas or wool socks.  I woke up hot and sweaty and then have proceeded to be very, very cold all evening.  I finally looked it up and when you are really sleep deprived your body gets cold to make you fall asleep.  Not working.......I also just feel sick.

So I've made some decisions.  Pretty soon I'm taking more valium than I have been taking.  I may sleep way too long and pay for it tomorrow night but I have to have more than 4 hours of sleep.  I also am going to beg to see Dr Brain this week if at all possible.  I know this means I probably will have to go on another, older anti-psychotic this week and that sucks but I have to sleep and for whatever reason valium is more making me lay around and drool.  Klonopin helps me sleep a little better although not for long times but I am hesitant to use my PRN dose at bedtime without approval because it means I'm taking a lot pretty close together.

I can't even begin to describe how tired I am.  Nor does anyone really want to hear it.  And to make it even harder to sleep I got home tonight get my national board certification retired certificate which just sucked and a packet from Medicaid that was dated 3/10 that should have been returned by 3/20 that was for renewing my status and I didn't get it until 3/28.  Which makes it a bit hard to get it in by the 20th. 

Anyway, this is past the point of playing around.  I am so glad I'm not on the trip, all the while wanting desperately to be on the trip.  But I'm better to be here where I am not sharing my misery with anyone trapped in one house with a lot of other people besides me. 

I hate when my body forgets about sleep and that this is a required part of life.  It seems so simple......need sleep so sleep.  Why on earth would a body give up on something it needs?  It's bad enough to have a crappy mood so my body enhances that with not sleeping.  But tonight, no matter what drugs it takes, I'm sleeping.  I hope.  Just waiting to get to the point I'm sure I'll fall asleep because nothing is worse than drugging yourself heavily and then not sleeping.


Copyright 2006-2015 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Awake

Dr Mind was concerned enough to contact Dr. Brain.  He said that was the worst I've been in about 2 years.  I can't tell because I remember last spring as being horrible but it was the reaction to things with my brother, not an episode but it makes it hard to remember when I felt bad and it wasn't for a reason.  Regardless, it's not good.

I just can't get enough rest.  Valium makes me groggy and I get some rest but the sleep is very broken and not sound.  And I don't take it until I am getting sleepy (if I took more it would have me out until evening and then I wouldn't sleep the next night so I'm choosing the lower dose that is harder to fall asleep with but which lets me function in about 12 hours).  So mostly it just makes me feel lousy.  I kept my patch off a couple of days which was good for decreasing the agitation but I have enough depression that I can't do that long or decrease the dose much. I'm hoping for some guidance from Dr. Brain on that one.  It can be cut in half but I'm not sure that's enough medication.  But it is stimulating and that's not so good right now.

Today we cleaned my house heavily for several hours and I went on a walk with my  mom and the dog.  I should be exhausted.  But it's 2:35 and I'm still wide awake and so agitated I'm shaky. 

I am going Friday to my sister's to help her with the kids so she can load their car to be ready to go for vacation and then to watch the girls on Saturday morning while she goes to work and their Daddy gets home from a conference.  I dread this because I have a feeling I'm going to be watching 2 little girls who need to be very active in the morning before a long car trip while I've had about 2 hours of sleep if that.  I just couldn't stand not doing this because my not doing it would have left her in a bad place.  Dr Mind would be very unhappy with me about this; I'm supposed to be learning to just say no.  But I've just said no about so much this week and  I don't want to feel guilty because I messed up my sister's career or something. 

Anyway, time to try to drug myself into semi-sleep.  Blech.



Copyright 2006-2015 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ongoing

Please note that this blog will be going private May 1, 2015.  Please watch this space for instructions on getting the password.  You can also email me at masterofirony@gmail.com and I will follow up when I have figured out how this works.  Don't worry if I don't respond immediately; I will make sure I do in time.

I've had 2 nights of valium induced coma.  It doesn't feel like sleep, it feels like being sedated.  And it's not even close to getting me on track with a sleep cycle; I'm too manic for that so I take it when I'm calm enough for it to work.  I can take more but it would knock me out for so many hours that I'd still be messed up.  Figuring out the hours I'm sleeping can happen when I'm not so mixed.

It feels like everything is far too overwhelming right now.  I am so tired and when I'm awake I'm still groggy and stupid from the valium.  I'm taking such a tiny amount, just 1.25 mg (I'm allowed 5 mg), but it kicks my butt.  I feel restless and too tired to do anything.   I over-exercised my ankle tonight because I'm too manic to know when to stop.  On the other hand I can do one legged squats on a wobble board.  Not big squats but this is still impressive control. 

My Noah cat is much, much better although he is currently furious with me for putting flea medication on him.  He won't even cuddle with me.  Too bad, he's allergic and the only way to treat the fleas is to treat him for 6 months solid to be sure they are all dead in all stages.  And since I bought 6 months of meds and he already had another month he still has 6 months to go.  But at least his butt isn't bald anymore.

The Anna cat decided she hadn't had enough attention and got a UTI so we went back to the vet.  She seems better although she kept waking me up last night every hour.   But she's not peeing on the bathmat which is a good sign.   It was funny, her being alive and thriving is so counter to common sense that when the vet saw she gained 2 pounds she checked her for a tumor very carefully before admitting it was real weight.  I've done everything wrong according to traditional veterinary medicine and Anna's thriving.  But I've also read a lot of recent research supporting what I'm doing and one article that was kind of way out there alternative stuff that made a lot of sense that said cats can have inflammatory kidney disease with grain allergies and you take away the grain and the kidneys function again.  They may have chronic kidney disease from the damage caused by grain or they may be fine on grain-free.  This is unproven and esoteric but I truly think it is what happened with my girl.  Nobody can explain why she is alive, much less thriving and looking so healthy, just a few months from turning 20 when a year ago they were sure she only had a few months of kidney function left and when I've been feeding her exactly the opposite of the diet they'd normally recommend.  We agreed that hospice care was appropriate and with that I'd feed her what she'd eat and that led to the discovery of her current diet and that couldn't be better for her.  The vet didn't even say what she wanted to about my use of egg yolks which are controversial as well; some vets say great and mine had a display up listing the reasons not to give them.  But Anna eats them so they are fine with me.

So the feline members of the house are doing better and I'm really struggling.  I feel bad about not going on vacation.  I love the beach and I know I'd have fun with my nieces.  But there are so many reasons not to go that outweigh the reasons to go.  I'm just not well enough and that's the final answer.  Noah needs me is secondary.  And all my symptoms are also a big deal.  I just wish that it had worked out.  Yet from the beginning I've felt iffy about this as Dr. Mind has reminded me several times.  Mostly I'm unhappy about it because I hate when bipolar takes things from me.  But the beach will be there another time and I'll be better then.  Right now I do not need anything introducing more stress.  

And that's about it.  Hopefully I'll get sleepy enough to take valium soon.  What a mess that I'm not taking it until 2 AM or so.....But whatever it takes.  First thing is to get rest.  Next is to fix when I rest.  I have to feel a little more together before that matters so much.





Copyright 2006-2015 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Overload

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS BLOG WILL BE GOING PRIVATE MAY 1, 2015.  SEE THIS SPACE FOR DETAILS AS I FIGURE THEM OUT.

I can't stop crying tonight.  I'm just so tired.  I sleep but it is manic sleep and it doesn't do much.  I think I'm waking up a lot and not getting any rest out of it.  I'm exhausted and it doesn't matter.  I want to take valium but I need to take the other cat to the vet for a UTI (of course, she made it since October but everyone wants to go to the vet this week) and that means being able to wake up.  I tried to nap this afternoon but all I did was lie there. 

I am no longer used to having these things hit so hard; it's been a while.  It's not a surprise, I was going to have one happen eventually and the retirement thing has been tough, but I just am always surprised how off-kilter things feel.  A teacher/coach from my high school died suddenly 2 days ago and I've cried several times about that.  He was just one of the nicest people you could ever know and he was young and it's just sad.  He'd had some kind of brain surgery in the last few years and just didn't wake up Monday so presumably he had a major stroke in his sleep but it's so weird that he was commenting on facebook just days ago and we were talking about him then because of something he posted and then he was gone.

Even reading the news makes me cry.  I don't think it matters if it is good or bad, I'm crying. 

I am having a lot of memory issues and that always makes me mad.  I hate when I can't remember to do something just from the time I think of it and then do it. 

There's not much to say.  I need sleep and probably more time with Dr Mind and a med change that probably doesn't really exist.  I think I'm sad about the beach and yet I know it's the right decision.  My sister said today that the family we're going with would be so understanding and at first I thought she was right and maybe I should re-consider again but the truth is that I've not been involved with them for 20 years for a reason and that reason is they weren't good at handling this stuff.  They are nice people but this is just different than they are used to.  It will be ok.

But this will end eventually.  I just realized I can have my mom call and make an appt for the cat to be seen later in the day for me and then I can sleep a bit later if my body allows that.  That would be good.

Anyway, not much of interest here.  Just having a rough time.

Copyright 2006-2015 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Decision Made


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So the vet said the cat really shouldn't be boarded right now because it is so stressful.  And so I am staying home.  My mom pushed me really hard to admit that I don't feel up to going which she says is absolutely fine and she agrees with much of my logic.  She does feel bad that I could feel better and regret not going but with Noah we'd have to find someone to come and check on him daily.  The person who used to do that never saw him because he hides, so the person would have to search for him and then search for vomits and try to guess who vomited since both cats do often and they would also have the risk of coming in and finding him in shock or dead. And I can't imagine doing that to a pet sitter.  Nor is it what I want; I do not want to be 10 hours away from home and get a call that he is dying.  The vet today told me he very nearly died last week.  He is doing very well now; the jaundice I saw the other day is gone and he appears healthy although not happy to be at the vet's. 

We had this happen a few years ago.  We were on vacation and had one day left and planned to go to the beach and souvenir shopping.  The petsitter called to say that she was taking the dog in for an emergency visit and that he was very ill.  I think he'd had a prior episode of the same thing because we knew it was probable he was dying.  We managed to pack everything and clean the rental house in 2 hours and get onto the ferry boat back to the mainland and just took off and drove.  We got here and brought the dog home after the vet said that he would breathe heavily but not suffer and he'd just drift off.  Instead I had to go get pain meds for him because he was uncomfortable and couldn't rest and then he had to be euthanized the next morning.  If we'd been home I think he would have been saved 3 days of suffering.  I don't want that for Noah nor do I want to make a decision about ending his life when I can't say good-bye.  It looks good right now that he'll be fine although he'll probably have episodes of this throughout his life (not that severe though).  But for a few weeks he needs to rest and have things calm and just recover.

And I'm truly not in the right place to go somewhere with people who don't know what this illness is like for me and who will be living on a schedule that would leave me out of everything anyway.   My sister's family and cousin's family both have small children who nap so they'll want to do things in in the morning.  I currently am not functional in the morning.  I'm often awake but not functional.   It will be loud and I am needing a lot of quiet.  I just can't explain exactly how I feel right now but it is not good.  I contacted Dr Brain about a med change but I don't know that there are any options unless things are worse than they are now.  I just don't feel like this is the best time for me.  This sucks, I would love to be able to go but right now I need to take care of my bipolar and myself and that means staying home and trying to control this episode. Another thing is that going out with a bunch of people not used to me can mean that all kinds of things get messed up.  My sister and her husband try to make foods I can eat but at one of the girls' birthdays I had American cheese on a hotdog bun because they made something MAOI unfriendly.  Usually at the beach our family eats a lot of seafood, which is generally pretty safe anyway and people make sure to at the very least set aside things to have portions I can eat.  But for this trip my cousin is "planning menus" and that means that it is likely that a decent number of meals would be things I can't eat.  She has no idea what all you have to avoid when cooking for me.   And since some of it is migraine restrictions as well as the MAOI you can't even look it up if you think that far which is asking people to do more than is reasonable anyway.  Plus why go to the beach and not eat seafood?

There are just a lot of reasons I don't think this is a good idea and then this episode is the last straw.  It theoretically could be fine in a week but it has been building for months and I tend to doubt we'll get it controlled that quickly.  It's been a year since I had a bad one so I'm also just due.  I wish it didn't work that way but it does; there is not at this point in my life going to be a continual period with no episodes and the bad ones are going to come sometimes.  It's funny, I can almost diagnose a bad one now because when they get bad I immediately have dreams about the hospital.  Last night I dreamed about the nurse I (and every patient I've known but one) dislike (last time she was my nurse for nearly 2 weeks and had a maximum of 5 patients.  On the 12th night or so she asked "Lisa" to do something.  When I didn't respond she kept staring at me and I was looking behind me for "lisa" until I finally realized she'd never learned my name.  3 hospitalizations, 2 times she was my 2nd shift nurse throughout and she didn't learn my name.  Plus she pulled me aside to grill me on suicidal stuff one night, implying she cared but if she cared she'd have learned my name.  Anyway, the first time I was in there they had a 8 pm group that she usually led that was deadly boring.  She'd hand out 10 page handouts and read them to us.  And they were not ever that helpful and were often kind of condescending.  One night I was anxious at 7 pm so she gave me my Seroquel.  Like I've been trained to do I took it and then went to bed because if I missed it working I wouldn't sleep.  She woke me up and forced me to come to group then tried to force me to say why I was crying.  I was humiliated is why.  The next day I told the dr about it and at first he said that I should know I was required to go to group but when I pointed out that I've been strictly taught Seroquel means bedtime, that I had said "well that will make me sleep anyway" and that I was not informed that my choice was to take it and stay awake for group or not take it and suffer anxiety for another couple of hours he changed his mind and she got really snotty with PRNs after that for everyone because he said something to her.  So she mostly hates me.  So I was dreaming about all that and that I was in the hospital again and that she was insisting that she have that awful 8 pm group because "everyone used to benefit so much from it".  Which is a huge lie, we all made fun of it.  Truly terrible group.  One night she was off and someone else ran it and just asked everyone to say something about their day and that was good but oh those handouts....awful.  I'm not headed there but I think it's always lurking when things get bad mostly because of that time when I was on the edge of landing there pretty much every day for about 9 months. 

I'm so anxious about telling my sister I'm not going. I was supposed to ride with them to be an extra adult.  They'll manage without me but she also needed me to watch the kids in the morning while she went to work and my BIL got home from a conference in another state.   I'm going to offer to spend the night, keep the kids in the morning and then come home.  It means a night of little to no sleep but at least it doesn't screw everything up.  my mom texted her to call me and she never did so I've had an anxious evening waiting for her to get around to me and she didn't.  She gets mad about such weird things that I have no idea what her reaction will be.  I wish that part were over.  My mom was surprisingly supportive and ok with it; I think she saw it coming because I look like I have been beaten up I'm so tired.  But my sister is a whole other entity.

Oh well, time to work on sleep for tonight.

Goodnight



Copyright 2006-2015 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Better and worse

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 I wrote most of this the other night and then my computer wouldn't let me finish. So I'm going to leave it as is but edit in some changes.

My Noah cat is home and doing very well.  He's eating, managed to poop (the last thing I really had to watch for) and is getting a lot of rest.  He's playful, eating well, and spending lots of time wanting to be cuddled.  I think he knows how sick he was.  But he clearly feels better and so hopefully this is over.  We go in 2 weeks for more labs. (Edit:  On Sunday he threw up several times and I noticed his gums are jaundiced.  So we're going to the vet tomorrow.  She said he may be anemic from being sick.  He won't let me look today but when he meows it doesn't appear that the jaundice is still there.  But it will take 4 people to hold him down to look to know for sure.  I'm going to talk to her about my trip; I think I should stay home because if anything happened while I was away I would feel awful.  Boarding is SOOOOO stressful for him, more than the average cat which is pretty bad and I don't want to maximize his chances for getting sick.  There are other reasons which I'll discuss below).

I am struggling.  I know anniversaries are essentially meaningless.  However they are still hard.  Tomorrow will be a year since my final large ankle injury which means a year that I've been restricted in movements.  The snow and ice are finally gone so I'm walking without a brace and it's hard. My ankle swells up pretty big and hurts and I'm limping again.  I may have to go back to PT.  But since we're going on vacation (I'm planning on it but won't be sure until I know Noah's test results and if the vet thinks he can handle the stress) in 2 weeks I'm not dealing with PT now. It's hard because I thought I was done with this kind of thing and finding out I still have to go through the same process is frustrating.  I'm feeling extreme anxiety and am being extremely hard on myself.  I know I'm doing it but I still can't stop it. I am being absolutely mean to myself over the smallest mistakes and it's not good.  I'm feeling like I'm causing all these problems that are not my fault and then it snowballs into this anxiety that is beyond severe.  Plus I've not been sleeping normally at all; I missed most of 2 nights worrying and then last night slept 12 hours and still was exhausted but can't get to sleep tonight.  So it's just that everything is out of sync.  This doesn't seem an ideal time to go on a trip with family who haven't been around me since before I got sick.  I want to go to the beach.  I want the time with my nieces.  I do not want not to be politely social right now and I don't want to throw my sleep issues into a social situation.  Honestly I fear I'd go there and not see the ocean much because I'd sleep through half the day.  But it's hard to say no to a memorial trip.  So the cat is hopefully going to be a good excuse.  I have other reasons including my vet bill is pretty big and I hate to spend a lot of money on a trip with that hanging over me and I have to buy a new dawn/dusk simulator and those things are expensive.  I've had 3 break in the last 6 months.  One was very old and worn out and that was fair.  The 2nd absolutely shouldn't have broken and was a piece of crap.  The 3rd was a re-furb and I guess it wasn't re-furbished well.  And I sleep so much better with a dusk simulator.  But they cost a lot so I'd feel better buying it with my gift cards combined with saved money.  I want to go on the trip and something deep inside says "bad idea".  But I don't know if I should trust this negativity because I am feeling so down.  But I think probably it is right and this isn't the time to get acquainted with family again.  It will mess up my sister's plans badly and I hate that.  But that's the guilt thing again and she'll deal or I'll find a way to help her deal or something.

Along with all that it's that this is the last little bit of time before my brother's arrest last year changed everything.  I remember  saying over and over that I just wanted to go back to April 3, the day before I knew.  I still feel that way.  And I won't even go into what it is like to wait for a year to even be charged for real.  I know that doesn't make a ton of sense but it will once this is private and I can be more specific.  As it is we just keep waiting.  And if nothing else if I don't go away and he is arrested I can pick up his pets.  His cats have to go to the vet before they can come home; they have to have shots, feline leukemia test and be thoroughly de-flea'd since the boy who is already so sick is very allergic to fleas.  I have to find out if I can do his monthly flea med tomorrow when it is due in fact.  I really hope so, he is just getting his hair back from the last episode.  He is so allergic that one bite is all it takes to make him pull out half his hair and he is miserable.

Otherwise I think Dr Mind and I are ok again.  I think the test comes when I'm less of a mess than the last few weeks but I think we're on the same page again.  I think his health issues have made him just be ready to retire and he is stuck for a few more years while he has a kid in college.  I hate that thought but I think he is ready for life to be easier. I don't know if that's what will happen since he'd be retiring before social security eligibility but I think he'll want to be done as soon as he can find a way to do that.   It's just hard for me to know that half the time he feels as bad as I do.  I hope that they figure out what is going on for him but until they do he just doesn't feel good and it is hard to do that kind of work not feeling well. 

Anyway, I think I'm getting sort of sleepy.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll both know more about what my cat is going through and the prognosis and about my trip.  I know that I'm going to not be happy about deciding either way so I hope the vet makes the decision easy.

Night.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Brief Update

The Noah cat is improved.  He needs to eat but they aren't sure he'll do that with a cone on to keep him from removing a 2nd IV (the first he removed within minutes of insertion despite how sick he was) and with the stress of being there.  So tomorrow they'll keep trying and I think they'll send him home Friday whether or not he is eating.  He had a syring feeding today which didn't go very well (he hates this kind of thing more than most cats) so hopefully they don't have to do it again and I REALLY hope I don't have to try.  I've done it before and it's awful.  If they go in tomorrow and he's eaten a bunch I think maybe he'd come home then but I'm not sure since his vet is off tomorrow. He is no longer seeming to be in pain, not vomiting and he finally peed so he is getting past the dehydration.  I saw him for a bit and he moved around and was glad to be petted although not so glad I wasn't removing the cone.  He had a test specific for pancreatitis and it showed it had a pretty bad case which was pretty clear but this confirmed and lets us re-test to know things are settling down.

So things look promising.  I am not sure that he's entirely out of the woods until he's not symptomatic and is eating again but it's much better than yesterday.  I am exhausted; I didn't really sleep last night and have had some naps today but am really groggy and out of it yet not quite sleepy enough yet.

I'll update again soon.


Shocky

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So today was mostly really groggy.  I started what was supposed to be a well-planned program of using Valium to get my sleep on track and hopefully more normal by my vacation.  The first dose knocked me out and I was drowsy all day.  I intended to just take meds early and go to bed about 9.  Thank God things happened when they did.

My Noah cat was normal all day.  He was in the bed with me and clawing at me to pet him (he tries to pat but forgets about the claws) at 5:30 and still there and getting petted at 6:30 or a little later.  About 7 he threw up a little (happens frequently b/c of hairballs) and headed for the basement. He was down there half and hour and came back up crying.  That was weird so I checked him and he was not wanting me to touch him, was breathing a little heavy and had some foam at his mouth.  I honestly thought he'd somehow gotten into detergent so I checked the basement; all of it would require pressing a button.  There was nothing unsafe for him.  So I then came back up and he threw up foam that looked so much like soap that I got down and smelled it. No soapy smell.  He seemed a little better.  He moved to a towel I'd put down in the kitchen a little earlier when I spilled water.  He was ok there and let me sit with him until I offered water.  At that point I called my mom and by the time she got here he was hiding in the litter pan, a very pathetic thing to see.

We packed him up to go to the emergency vet clinic an hour from here.  While she got the car I remembered that my vet has emergency call and so I called them.  Which was good; it was so foggy driving was dangerous.  So she was going to be half an hour but when I described the symptoms to her and said he seemed "shocky" she agreed.  She thought he probably had an obstructed urethra, common in older male cats.  She actually had a tech who was still working come to the car and bring us in and got him under a heating pad with gloves of hot water around him and my arms around all of that to add my body temperature.  His temperature was 96.4; normal for a cat is 100.5.  That is mild hypothermia associated with mild shock.  There is little doubt that had he not gotten sick until I was asleep he would have died and if we hadn't gotten to the vets he would have died soon.

So the vet got there and he had a low heartrate, arrhythmia, the low temperature, lethargy and little urine in his bladder so it wasn't a blockage.  So she did a bunch of bloodwork and that came back showing pancreatitis was probable. He was dehydrated as well.  He'd lost weight but it's impossible to know how much was from the change to healthy food (he did lose weight then) and what was acute. They did Xrays as well to be sure he hadn't swallowed something and while it can't be ruled out neither can the area being a hairball and his symptoms just weren't very consistent with ingesting something.  Plus there just isn't a lot of things to ingest around here that I wouldn't have known about.  And to do anything more about a blockage would have meant driving to another facility, probably a couple hours away, and with the weather that wasn't a great idea.

And so it's now 5:30 and I can't sleep.  I almost fell asleep once but it didn't work.  I can call at 9 when she's had time to examine him for an update.  It is possible that he won't be here when they get in.  I don't think she felt that was a big risk since she didn't send him to somewhere with 24 hour care but it could happen if the shock took a turn from being "shocky" to "in shock" and nobody was there.

At this point I think I'm "shocky".  I knew the right words to use on the phone, including "shocky" and after I said "pancreatitis" to her "elevated lipase" she said "are you a healthcare provider?" and took me back to show me xrays.  I'm just so afraid.  This kills cats.  It is often fatal.  Caught soon enough and treated aggressively it is survivable.  I just don't know if we caught it soon enough.  I haven't seen signs of distress or anything unusual from him; last night he was chasing a fly and my toes.  He doesn't act remotely 13 years old which is why it is very hard to remember he is a senior cat (plus compared to Miss almost 20 he's a baby).  Earlier in the day I scolded him for bugging me.  It was a normal day until it was dangerous. 

This is his 2nd brush with death.  The first time he was only 11 weeks old and had a nasty respiratory virus.  I got home from work to find a listless, limp kitten.  I threw him in a carrier and ran to the car and to emergency vet where they took the carrier and ran back to triage him.  Eventually they returned him and we waited a long time but he had pneumonia and spent 3 days in an oxygen tent with a IV.  He had hated the vet, car, and carrier since that and he didn't even complain tonight no matter what they did.  He cried when they did a rectal temp and maybe with the blood draw; I left the room because I didn't want to see him not fight. 

For me it may be changing some things.  I am a lot less sure about going on vacation.  It will depend how he is doing.  He can be boarded still sick but we'll see how I feel about this.  It makes some financial decisions for me. 

I'm terrified, horrified and scared.  3 hours and 15 minutes until I can call.  Then hopefully I can sleep for a while.  I'm so afraid and have this deep feeling that he'll be gone when they get there.  But after losing a cat to something slightly similar several years ago I read a lot into this that is not there.  Nonetheless nobody promises a cat will recover from this.  If it isn't bad it is likely but I don't know how bad it was aside from "shocky" (which means signs of shock but not IN shock) and that shocky is just above where you absolutely don't want to be.  Yet he was stable enough that aside from getting him warmed up there wasn't any rush to do anything.  No emergency meds, we didn't start the IV until the testing was done, no oxygen, no great rush.  That says he was ok, just sick and probably in a great deal of pain.  

To make it worse they found that he had a claw that grew into the pad of his foot and was infected.  I had no idea.  He hadn't been favoring it or showing any signs that it wasn't fine.  And it looked icky although certainly not icky enough to cause any of what was happening.

Time to see if I can sleep a little again.  I know not sleeping isn't helping him, my brain won't shut off. Dr Mind and I discussed and worked on helping some of my "very severe" anxiety yesterday and that was when I didn't have anything good to be anxious about.  This is even worse.  Incredible anxiety.


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