Sunday, February 17, 2008

quick update (because i promised)

hello all ... and i'm realizing there are more and more people out there reading this (a bit scary, and cool!)

i was at work today (like most days) and i had no less than 5 lovely, concerned people ask how Duncan is. and i promised i would update:


he has been quite stable for a couple of weeks, since the last post, really, and we went back to the vet, checked his weight (which is remaining the same), and re-checked his blood.

his total Biliruben (which is a measure of liver enzymes) was, when i first took him in, 19.3. that was 65 times normal. VERY VERY SCARY. as of last week, his Biliruben is only twice normal. YES. that is outstanding. his yellowness has gone away, and his hair is just starting to grow back.

and he is also eating on his own - at least sometimes. he is back to demanding turkey nearly every time i open (or go near) the refrigerator, and i am slowly weaning off feeding him through his tube. as long as his weight remains stable, i know that he is eating enough and hopefully within the next couple of months, i'll be able to get this tube taken out.

thank you again, everyone, for your concerns and nice thoughts.

i'm going to make my next post NOT be about a sick (or recovering) cat.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

update from the State of Exhaustion


he has been through hell and he's not done yet. they still cannot tell me why he's sick and at this point i kind of don't care. i just want him to get better. what i know is that at some point, for some unknown reason, he stopped eating. this has caused his body to begin to shut down, and take body fat to sustain itself. the liver processes this fat, and cannot do it for long before it becomes angry. this is commonly known as "fatty liver disease" and don't ask me the scientific term. the problem is that now duncan has no appetite. the only way he will get nutrition (and therefore, live) is if i feed him.

this is how his life looked at the time of my last post:

he had a feeding tube in his nose and had to wear this unfortunate collar so he didn't pull out the feeding tube. he was miserable, but at least getting some nutrition. the scary bit was, i had to slowly build up his calorie intake, because his intake had been exactly zero, and to all of a sudden give him a ton of calories would have sent him into insulin shock.

i took him in to the ER on saturday night. i had given him his pain meds (orally) and his breathing became shallow and fast and i thought he looked pretty miserable. i called and they suggested bringing him in. i took him in and he was running a fever. they were wanting me to leave him overnight, but money is just not allowing for that. the vet (a very nice guy) was doing his best to convince me, but also to stay within his range of what he's allowed to say. over the course of our conversation and exam, duncan's fever went down and breathing returned to normal. i could tell then that the vet was comfortable letting me take duncan home.

again on monday night, his breathing became very fast and he looked even worse. i called again, and brought him in again, with the company of my dear friend liz. same vet (still a nice guy). i took him back in. when i put duncan in his kennel to go, he was just limp and so miserable. the vet took a look and said that duncan's breathing had stabilized and he thought it would be okay to take him home - and i had hit a point that i thought i was doing him more harm than good. to me, he had gotten worse, not better. i couldn't help him. i couldn't afford to leave him in the hospital for days on end. he was miserable and i decided (with many tears and much discussion) that it was time for him to go. i just couldn't put him through this anymore.

i signed the papers (the worst signature ever, so far in my life). the vet went to get duncan. he brought duncan to me, now without his feeding tube and collar. he left duncan with me and said take as much time as i need and let him know when i was ready. i looked down at my cat ... he was like a new cat! his eyes were bright! he was looking around the room! he jumped down off the table! sniffing around! i said to liz "if i do this now i'll regret it. he's better now than 3 days ago!"

liz went to get the vet and we discussed some more. they gave duncan some fliuds under the skin to get him through the night. i made an appointment to see the regular vet the next day. she and i then discussed options. now duncan has a feeding tube that goes in the side of his belly and directly to the stomach. he even has a cute t-shirt to wear (haha!) over the tube site so he doesn't bother it.

it is very slow going. we are now 8 days into this new tube. i still cannot get his full calories into him. he vomits usually once a day. the vet assures me i am doing everything right. i was afraid i was feeding too fast. he is on 3 different medicines to help him not be nauseous and/or vomit. he is also on antibiotics (just in case) and i have pain meds i can give if i think he's in pain. his nose is snuffly (partly because of the irritation from the other tube). his eyes are a bit runny. the poor thing is almost more bald than he has hair - he has shaved spots on 3 of 4 legs (from IV's), his whole stomach (from getting an ultrasound of his abdomen), and now his side (for the feeding tube).

we are hanging in there. it is disheartening when he throws up. it's never fun to see/hear a cat throw up, but i feel pressure to not let him get sick, because if i can't keep food in him, he'll get sicker. i keep giving him his medicines and doing the best i can at feeding him. oh yeah, we are on a different food now, hoping it will agree with his poor stomach a little better.

i wish i had the money to just let the vets handle it. let him be on an IV 24 hours a day and get all the nutrition and liquids and medicines he needs. but i can't. there is just no way to do it. i mean, that would mean potentially 8-9-10 days or more in the hospital. and i can't even think how expensive that would be.

so big sister madison is helping me blog tonight. she has become very needy and clingy. i know she is scared, too, though mostly she hisses at duncan. i think it's the little blue shirt and he probably smells funny (to her). but otherwise she is still fine. eating and all.

that's life here in cold st. paul. pretty much that and work for me. and trying to get some sleep and trying not to under-nutrify myself. that's how stressed i am!! i am usually a stress-eater, but right now i really do have to make myself eat. that has never happened in my entire life. (although i'm maintaining caffeine levels in the body as i've become dependent on!) i'm not even knitting, you guys. i mean THAT'S serious stress.

though i did finally get a haircut tonight! i had to, it had been WAY too long. i mean over 2 months. that's crazy talk.
so that's the update. THANKS, you guys, for your good thoughts. i can only hope all of this is worth it. my little duncan.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

just when you think things are getting "normal"

so my cat, Duncan, is sick. really sick. i won't go into details right now ... but his liver is angry and nobody's quite sure why. i am trying to take care of him at home, which is hard, but i just cannot afford to leave him at the vet for an indefinite time, which is what it would take otherwise. it looks like a long road ahead of us, but we are hopeful. his big sister Madison is freaked out but so far doing okay ... so please say a little kitty prayer for my duncan-bo-buncan-duncan-mccloud-of-the-clan-mccloud. thanks :)

p.s. i changed the look of my blog for the new year. pretty in pink, you might say. needed a change of scenery.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

this is a post for you lurkers ...

... inspired by a visit from a long-lost person. (you know who you are, and now you better at least comment occasionally)

i know i'm terrible about posting. i realized some time ago that having a full time job where i'm not stuck in a cube, at a desk, is a good thing ... except when it comes to blogging. i used to write and read blogs pretty much all day at the old job. it made me look busy (except when i got caught).

now i have no time to sit and blog. i only recently got internet at home, and even that isn't quite up to par yet, so that hasn't been very helpful. sometimes i have a great connection and sometimes it just sucks.

so even though it's not technically 2008 yet, i'm making a new year's resolution to at least blog once a month. that sounds really sad but hey, it'll be a lot better than twice a year.

i will do that in exchange for: all you lurkers (especially the ones who track me down from my past, and you know who you are) comment now and then, would ya? my surprize visitor today didn't think i'd want a comment from the past. well of course i would. and this same visitor needs to email me, because i was an idiot and forgot to ask something very important. so this is now also a test, to see if you look again at my blog. ha ha.

and THANK YOU again for the visit, it was nice to see you, and meet your lady, and get a present delivered all in one day.

and to everyone else: find a moment to relax this holiday season. even though i've done a minimum of shopping, i feel totally worn out. i am exhausted. granted, i work retail 6 days a week, that could have something to do with it.

anyway, please take a moment to reflect on your year, things that have been good, even things that have been bad. i'm learning life is f***in short. it's important to keep perspective.

and i wish everything good for 2008. may it only get better!

p.s. for my cousin ryan, who i don't even think knows i have a blog, happy end-of-two-thousand-"sebn". it was a blast, my friend.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

why i haven't been blogging.

so all that crap i said last week about how busy i am ... well really the reason i haven't been blogging is this:

this is kris. kris, meet everybody.

enough said? thanks. i thought so.

(okay seriously, i am giddy happy right now. i can't even explain it. it was an accident and predestined from the fates or something, because there's pretty much zero reason we would have met otherwise. okay now that's really enough said!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

still taking in air

so can we just not mention how long it's been since i posted? because truly, i don't know how long.

let's just move on. things are insane, but when are they not? i have a new job as of may 1. yes, a full time gig at a place i love ... 3 Kittens Needle Arts ... i left the bank FINALLY and even though i've had to be a bit more careful about my budget, it's been so worth it!!

i did the avon breast cancer 2-day walk on may 4th and 5th with my aunt and 2 cousins. it was fantastic, and i still don't have any pictures, or i'd have those up already.

mostly i've been working a lot. a LOT. knitting a LOT. even crocheting a LOT.

several other things to post about ... pictures to come ... i want to get back in this habit (such as it was)

Friday, April 06, 2007

friday quickie

one of my favorite comedians is Mitch Hedberg. i caught this blurb listening to my ipod at random today ... and i love it:

"I went to the Home Depot the other day, which was unnecessary. I need to go to the Apartment Depot. Which is just a big warehouse with people standing around saying, 'Hey, we ain’t gotta fix shit!' ”

Happy Friday!