You know how I wrote last week about how life happens and you just have to roll with the punches and do the best you can? Well, life has REALLY happened this past week and I am getting a big dose of my own advice and trying my best to roll with it.
For those of you who don’t know, or haven’t seen one of my numerous cat pictures, we have three cats. As much as I get annoyed by the people who treat their pets like babies and dress them up and prance them around, our cats really are members of our family. Dot, our first and oldest kitty, has been in the animal hospital since Friday and it’s been a roller coaster ride.
Last Tuesday, Dot started vomiting after breakfast and continued to do so throughout the day/evening. I also noticed she didn’t come running when I put down her dinner dish which is HIGHLY unusual. Dot loves food and her generous frame can attest to that. The next day she still wasn’t eating and I made an appointment to see the vet that day. The vet couldn’t find anything physically wrong with her and most things checked out, so he sent her home with subcutaneous fluids to keep her hydrated and a shot of anti-nausea meds.
Thursday morning came and she STILL wouldn’t eat and we were getting really concerned because cats can’t go for longer than a few days without food. So I called the vet again and they prescribed an appetite stimulant to try and encourage her to eat. We gave it to her that night and…. nada. Still wanted nothing to do with food. I should also mention she was fairly lethargic and just looked downright miserable most of the time. I called to get her into the vet again Friday morning and the sweet/wonderful vet tech there called me back when she saw Dot on the schedule and told me to go straight to the ER. She didn’t want me wasting any more time and said the ER could do more for her than they could in-office.
So off to the ER we went and Dot ended up getting admitted Friday night. They did bloodwork on her that evening and noticed her creatinine (waste in the blood that usually gets filtered out by the kidneys) was higher than they wanted and they scheduled her for an ultrasound the next morning. After her ultrasound, it was determined that she was in kidney failure and she also had a UTI. Do you know how much your stomach drops and your heart races when you hear the word failure? A lot.
The vet that was taking care of her at this point was absolutely wonderful and did his best to talk us through everything and describe what they were going to do at that point to try and help her out. Needless to say, Saturday evening was a rough one for Adam and I trying to digest everything we just heard.
Sunday morning we FINALLY got some good news. Dot’s creatinine levels had dropped from 5.5 to 2.8 which was almost a 50% drop. Her vet was very happy with this and when we visited her that afternoon, she was so much more energetic and happy to see us. The vet wanted to keep her one more day and see if we could get her levels to drop even further and just give her a little more time to heal. If everything goes well, I get to pick her up this afternoon and bring her home.
So, that was the whirlwind of the past few days for the Dawsons. Dot isn’t totally out of the woods yet because she still isn’t eating, but the doctor hopes that once she gets home and out of a strange environment she will be more willing to eat. We’ll also have to constantly monitor her condition because her kidney levels could go back up. It will be a few weeks of adjustment trying to make sure she is healthy and comfortable, but we’re just glad we get to have her back home with us.
The things of advice I can give you when you’re going through a stressful time?
- Don’t expect to keep up with your normal routine when you have a crazy variable thrown at you. It’s ok to go into survival mode for a bit and focus on the important things.
- Talk. Talk to a friend, a partner, your spouse, family members, a professional, anyone who can help you work through what’s happening at that moment. I don’t think Adam and I would have done as well (and there were some rough moments) if we hadn’t talked with each other. Also, shout out to my Mom who is amazing and STILL knows exactly what to say to calm her anxious daughter when she is near panic.
- Don’t focus on the negative. There was A LOT that went wrong this week. There was a lot that was bad and not what we wanted and we almost let it drag us down at some points. But when we made the conscious decision to look at the good things that had happened, it made us feel so much better and able to handle what we had been dealt. Don’t let doom and gloom overtake everything.
- Take it one day at a time. I know that is a cliche saying but it is so true. Whenever I start to get overwhelmed with everything we still have to do and caring for a sick cat and the future, I stop. Take a few deep breaths. And tell myself, “I just need to get through this day. When tomorrow comes, I will handle what that day has but now, I’m dealing with today.”
Ok. I’m going to stop talking your ear off about my cat and my week/weekend. Just know if you’re going through something difficult right now, you can get through it. It might be tough, it might hurt, and it might go on for longer than you would like, but you can get through it.
P.S. Please forgive me if these next two weeks are a little wonky on the blog. I’m cutting myself a lot of slack and giving myself grace so I can help Dot as much as possible before finding our new normal. I’ll still post when I can, but they might be shorter and new recipes might have to wait. Thank you for understanding!