Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A cold and windy day

the rain splatters against you like little pellets of ice. It's a momentary glimpse of a less severe form of weather that will undoubtedly be here before too long. The pressure of the cold outside must be getting to my sinuses. I'm having a doozy of a headache and feeling quite sorry for myself today.
Today is Bella Mae's vet appointment, and I'm feeling emotional. I'm not sure what to expect, and I'm not sure what will happen. I will say the worst fear I have is a vet talking me down-making me feel like what I'm doing is not enough. The last 'diagnosis' was a tentative one. IVDD-but if you want an honest opinion, I don't think that's the whole thing.
The other thing is I'm afraid that the vet (if it's the vet who 'diagnosed' Bella) will be upset that I didn't spend 50+ dollars on pain medication, let alone, alter the dosage because it made her act stoned.
Frankly, the last time I gave her pain medication I don't think it did anything.
Bella Mae is going though personality changes, changes of habit, and other things. The other thing I'm worried about somewhat and feel terrible about is that Cordelia seems to be picking on her more. I think it's all part of the fact Bella Mae is not well. So, Cordelia is doing what tends to happen with multiple cat house holds with an unwell cat-pick.
The other thing that will prove to be frustrating is if her blood work turns out normalish-then I will not get anywhere at all.
I don't know what to do. The pressure I'm putting on myself is terrible. The feeling of sadness, worry, and frustration combined makes me want to cry. Because there is something amiss; this isn't normal cat behavior, this isn't normal for good health. I lie in bed and automatically pick up the sounds of Bella throwing up partially digested food-some bile mixed in, and dry-heaving at the end. You can tell she's unhappy, uncomfortable, and maybe even embarrassed for the fact she is now throwing up on the couch regularly.
She's lying in front of the litter box on a regular basis-periodically throwing up all over the litter mat. I'm at a loss as to what to do. I research and read so many things, but then, too, you end up worrying over 'what ifs' and trying to solve mysteries on your own with only half the clues. The other thing I fear is 'what if' it's something very extensive, expensive, and would ultimately create more discomfort for Bella Mae than what I'd want to give. But the scenario would also include that whatever treatments and availabilities there were, it would lengthen her life. I worry that even if it would elongate her life-if it caused her more stress than needed...would it be worth it? I worry that there would be people who would be offended if I chose not to go tedious lengths in preserving a life that would eventually go into a decline for the worst. Would that make me a bad person?
Honestly, I've never been in a position with a pet where I had to make decisions such as that. My first cat I watched die a little every day until I came home from school one afternoon and she had passed. It was a terrible experience for me, and I never got an answer. My family wasn't one to take cats in for check-ups. You took them in, got them fixed, and brought them home. That's it.
I consider my cats like children, and as do others. Then that brings about difficulties. How much do you 'humanize' a companion animal?
I do not want to do something out of selfish reasons simply to keep a beloved animal alive longer-if it affects their overall, quality of life.
I do not want to invade Bella's system with copious amounts of pain-killers or drugs that would essentially cause more issues or mask symptoms that would be helpful in determining what is wrong. Unfortunately a holistic vet in the area is non-existent.

I know I'm jumping the gun with this troublesome topic for myself; but I know someday it will not be a 'topic' and will actually be reality-one of which I will have to make decisions and face consequences of people on either side being upset with me over one thing or another. Why can't I seem to ever be faced with a decision that wouldn't be so difficult?


  1. We're sending you both lots of purrs and healing Light, for this vet visit. It could be so many things...we hope it's not dire, not life-threatening, is something that can be treated easily enough.

    BTW, our mom doesn't have a lot of faith in vets or in human doctors. To a point, yes. But she's learned she has to research for us and for herself and advocate for us and for herself. But vets (and doctors) are not the be-all and end-all. She shudders at the number of cats that are given antibiotics for viruses, for instance. Antibiotics aren't going to "cure" a kitty cold, they are for secondary bacterial infections. Humans can give their cats things like Lysine for kitty colds. Just one example of the human having to learn for his or herself and not take the word of a vet as gospel.

    As for quality of life, end of life, etc.: Those are sticky issues. Our mom lost Chumley very unexpectedly one night. He had NOT been sick, but he had a blood clot that let go. Mom can't write about it, it's too awful. The point is that she hasn't had to make life and death decisions for us, and dreads the time that she will. She knows that Annie would be a very bad patient were she to require a slew of meds, IV fluids, etc. Bad enough (in Annie's view) that she has to have transdermal meds for her hyper-thyroidism, twice a day. So with Annie, our mom thinks that she will have to let her go if/when she becomes sick enough to require serious ongoing care.

    Perhaps it's a decision to be made on a cat-by-cat basis, as each is different, as each human is different.

    Our mom just remembers a UK cat breeder saying (in a group she used to belong to), better a day too soon (to euthanize) than a day too late. And that when the bad days outnumber the good, it's time.

    However, we are working on the assumption that Bella Mae is a LONG way from that right now!

    Paws crossed!

  2. Thank you Kea *hugs* I'll be updating in a moment about the vet visit. Thankfully there have been some improvements blood-work wise, but the 'tentative diagnosis' is one that will always be a work in progress.
    When I was younger (when Cutsie passed) there wasn't any way I could've taken her to the vet. I was a kid...so the choice was essentially made for me. I questioned, I cried, but the decision wasn't 'mine' to make. It's hard to have the idea of the decision being 'mine'. I am an adult, I assume the responsibility...but when you're dealing with a living creature that cannot vocally say 'hey, this sucks'...and I know everyone has their opinion...but it scares me to be deemed 'unworthy' because I didn't do something another person thought I should. I know I worry too much...such is my life!