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

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Please, please, please NO

Yesterday was my 2nd day using the nebuliser.  With the medication that I knew going in could cause agitation, but only rarely (yet I'd still be high risk because even a tiny amount of caffeine agitates me).  I've only used it at night, although I should have used it yesterday morning.  Last night I fell asleep without taking meds, just because I got distracted and missed them.  Not ideal, not recommended, but something that can be good because it's normal.  It also signals I'm not being all that agitated.

Well, today has been emotional.  One night of missed meds shouldn't cause that.  The weather changed and my ankle is hurting pretty badly and that is contributing.  My cat in renal failure has been waking me for a feeding in the middle of the night lately, which also isn't helping a lot.  That led to part of my little breakdown; I started trying to find information about this hunger thing and all I could find was all the things I "should want" to do for my cat rather than let her peacefully go through the natural process of dying at an old age, and it was the first time I'd read much about feline renal failure, mainly because I felt my vet gave me enough information, but I forgot that and wound up crying.  I cannot and will not do what I consider extreme treatments for an elderly cat. As things progress I will keep her comfortable, but I will choose euthanasia over injecting fluids into her or doing forced or tube feedings.  I've done the forced and tube feedings when there was hope the cat would come out of the disease process and was young.  It was terrible for him and for me.  I will not do that to my girl.  I will not put her on a restrictive diet because she loves to eat.  I read I should not give her treats as they hurt her kidneys.  Being alive hurts her kidneys.  Yes, I could slow the damage.  But the reality is that even though her lab values aren't wonderful she acts healthy and happy and has regained weight she lost prior to diagnosis.  She is back now to her healthy weight of a year ago before there were any symptoms.  Well, that's not true, she started stealing my water and benefitting from a water fountain about 2 years ago I think so that's when it started, but I wasn't worried about her weight until she'd lost 2 lbs and now those are back.  I do feed her (and my other cat who eats maybe 1/4-1/3 of it) 4 cans of food a day and he eats dry food which I think she's given up on, but the that's part of the comfort care and the vet said to let her eat what she wants and keep her weight up as long as I can.  Weight gain means more time with her.  But now I'm struggling with questioning if I've totally made the right decisions.  I have, I just feel criticized by the websites I read where it is assumed you're going to do everything because you love your pet.  I'm letting Anna die slowly and with monitoring and intervention as I feel warranted (ie I'll treat pain or the like) but I'm not disrupting everything she loves along with my life and that of my other cat when she is old enough that she could die of anything anyday regardless.  She's almost 16, as I said is a very health 10 lbs now that I feed on demand, and she enjoys her life.  Her only symptoms are constant hunger and occasional vomiting.  She'll go through a phase where she vomits and doesn't eat well, then turn around and be starving for a while.  It all seemed like everyone thinks if you really love your pet you try EVERYTHING before you even have the euthanasia discussion.  I've certainly not committed to this, but I know it is likely and I wanted to know about what I was preparing for.  So anyway, even though I'm still doing this my way I've now cried about her illness a lot for the first time and not because of anything that is even relevant to her.  Nobody can tell me how long Anna will live with this disease.  But even if I did everything that would remain true.  My vet told me that he would do the same thing in this situation; she is not a young cat and being happy is most important.  When she isn't happy then we'll make that horrible trip to the vet's.

I also have been doing something I've never done before:  I'm reading a whole year of my blog.  This has been quite a year and I want to see that.  But in the first 4 or 5 months all I can see now is how much I hated nursing home work by the end.  I had no idea, and the reasons I hated it were so political that I never realized that it was the entire process I hated, not just the politics and how I was being treated.  Now that I work in a totally different environment I see how much my beliefs about being a therapist were being compromised.

But I've wound up enormously upset and unable to sleep, which is where the concerns about the nebuliser come in.  I took a big dose of Klonopin and that's got me to stop crying at least and I'll take more meds to sleep soon if I have to.

If this med can't be used, if it's going to cause anxiety like this or mood swings, then my life is about to get tough.  I've already missed 2 months of life with this entire process.  Moving into fighting with meds is terrifying to me.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

I think what you are doing for your kitty is exactly what I did for my 19 yo kitten. I supported her, bought special food, made sure she had no pain, and one day she went to sleep and didnt' wake up. No euthanasia, no pain, was able to eat up to the last. I still cry, and I cried when I knew she wasn't going to make it. But I still feel what I did was right for both my kitten and myself!!!

Jean Grey said...

Losing a pet is very difficult- even the anticipation of it. And "end of life decisions"- human or otherwise, are among the most difficult. I think you are doing the right thing. But it is one of those areas where, whatever you do, there is always someone out there who would have done things differently.

Michal Ann said...

Good comments from the ladies. I certainly feel like you're doing the right things for Anna from the correct motivation and perspective. I hope you feel better and don't try to handle so many things at one time. Peace!