There isn't a lot happening. I got the official notification of food assistance today and was credited for February and March, which is very helpful. I'm hoping to use the Febrary money to stock up at Sam's club with help from my mom. I also got a very comprehensive form from SSDI to fill out regarding my ability to do about everything in the world. It is hard to be honest about how bad things are. I am feeling a bit better but what I am told is about a full year of serious depression will not resolve rapidly and much of my feeling better is really feeling mania.
Dr. Mind's arts and crafts project continues to keep me interested in something different and busy. I am not really explaining it because the truth is he didn't write it down and I am not completely sure I am doing what he said to do. But I am making a rather specific, detailed collage and while I have done collages with most or all my hospitalizations to defeat boredom I always felt rather peaceful doing it and I think that it is more than just feeling better because I wasn't in my hospital room and wasn't bored, which is what I've always attributed it to. But this is exactly the level I am operating at. I am mostly done with the cutting out part and then the part that will be much harder comes, sorting out all the things into categories and then making them fit. I figure I'll glue the excess to paper since it can't hurt to do extra.
The horrible illness seems to be receding. My lungs are doing well and the breathing treatments finally loosened everything up. I'm still tired and achy with a sore throat and possibly feverish tonight; that comes and goes.
I never told about my cat. I actually got very good news. I can't remember what I've shared so basically cat is old, in renal failure, being treated for arthritis with glucosamine and started pulling hair out and licking until she was mostly bald on her belly. I took her into the vet in early January and was told it was anxiety and given an antidepressant gel that goes in her ear to manage it. This does help her stay calmer and there is less confusion in the night turning into behavior problems; she generally sleeps all night now. But the areas got bigger. So when we went to the vet this time I requested the owner and the one I had seen does not make me feel confident in her. I was prepared to find out her arthritis was so bad that we'd have to treat it more aggressively and that pain could become the cause of death for her. He said that it wasn't anxiety, it wasn't arthritis, it was her kidney failure. I knew people become unbearably itchy with renal failure. I did not know that cats feeling itching as pain because of the way their nerve receptors work. We talked a bit about renal diet and I continued to refuse this (she would not be happy) and decided that we'd try steroids. He cautioned me that it was possible/likely her renal function wasn't very good and if it wasn't we'd have to decide between steroids which hurt the kidneys and her discomfort. He also told me that one of the blistered areas was bad enough it could open and cause a wound that he implied would be fatal. Needless to say I wasn't really happy about the 6 weeks my cat suffered because the other vet never considered this. I should have said something but was too upset and so I'll just request him from now on. There's a 3rd vet I saw once who is good and my mom really likes her but at this point it is one vet time.
So the next day I got a surprise. After being prepared that her kidneys might really be failing and thinking more about what I'm willing to let her go through, what signs of suffering would be for her, and dreading the phone call (I'd even asked to be given little specific information because I just don't want to do this by lab values), the vet called to tell me her labs were "surprisingly really good". By that time the steroids had kicked in and she was clearly feeling better. In 2 weeks she has been more active, more comfortable, more able to curl into a ball or climb up and cuddle in my bed with me for prolonged periods of time. I can't explain the changes but she's been herself again. She's eaten like a horse since kidney failure=starving sensation + steroids= REALLY starving sensation. That we can deal with though. She was getting close to healed and the shot wore off. We'll be starting oral steroids which I am not looking forward to but I am not going to drive 90 minutes every 2 weeks for a shot with gas at these prices. I suppose I can give the shots at home if needed but although I know how to give a shot and am not afraid holding the cat while injecting turns out to be tricky when I've tried this.
But the point is, Anna is not acutely dying. I do not think I'll have her for as long as I'd hoped, but she was diagnosed with this close to 2 years ago and since I chose not to treat she has really lived a very long time. She doesn't look fragile (except her poor belly) and between the 3 meds she's on now she is so much more comfortable. I don't fool myself; there's an odor to kidney failure and she has it. She still is going to turn 17 in a few months. And she needs 3 medications and incredibly huge amounts of food to make it. On the other hand, she is able to get in and out of my bed (she couldn't for a long time). She even jumps down albeit carefully. She still plays, every day for a while. She seeks out attention and love from me (the last 2 paragraphs were written with her help). I have to tell her and bring her to the kitchen if there's a special treat between meals (tuna juice) instead of her seeking it out. Used to be I'd touch a can of tuna and she'd be right there. I don't care though because she's here and she's happy and we can prevent her pain.
I prayed so hard that if I had to make a decision to keep her comfortable that I would know and be able to resolutely do so but that it please, please not be now. There is such a thing as too much. Losing Anna, especially while she really looks healthy minus the bald belly, is not something I would know how to handle. Because I moved around so much and was sick I lost touch with many people and aside from family and one person Anna has been part of my life longer than anyone.
I'm still working my way through all this mentally. Obviously. Sorry. I hate the awareness that someday euthenasia is going to come up and not be hypothetical. And yet I struggle to pray that she goes naturally because I just want her forever.
Anyway, time for bed. Or pretending. I think that's the news up to date and I will be posting now. I'm still spending time trying to track down other victims but what I'm learning is that they started their blog and mainly copied from me, an independent blogger. They got bolder with time, copying from about.com, then hospital sites, a famous news organization, TV stations, local news, professional education blogs. I had to put a limit on who I am contacting. Larger organizations ignore my messages and really should be checking things for themselves. I try to contact them but if it is tricky or involves signing up for something I don't. I'm mostly interested in actual people. Strangely although i'm a little blurry about all the contacting I've done I can only think of one other individual victim. I'm just mad the thing is still up. I can't imagine NOBODY has filed a complaint, although one person affiliated with a hospital is checking into legal avenues. From what I was told I need one more owner to file a complaint. We'll see.
Remind me to tell you about my hair. Too much for tonight.
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