Monday, November 26, 2012

Emmi Sue's life never gets any easier

So Emmi Sue and I had another one of "those" weekends.  I had been at the kitchen sink when I turned around and she was half fallen over between the wet and dry food dishes belonging to Jinger and Allie.  I immediately picked her up and set her back on her feet, but she fell back down onto her left side.  Her left hind leg didn't have the strength to hold her up and from the look on her face, this frightened her as much as it did me.  I carried Emmi Sue to one of our carpeted rooms, so it would not hurt her as much, but she still could not stand on her own.  Her entire body was twisted to the left, even when I held her in my arms.
I called the animal hospital and they couldn't tell me anything over the phone except to take her in and they would run some tests to determine what the problem was, so this was my plan.  A few minutes later, Emmi Sue jumped from my arms and raced across the room as if nothing had happened.  I decided to keep my eye on her the rest of the evening to see if this happened again, which it did not, but her behavior hasn't exactly been the same as usual either.  She seems terribly depressed and has been hiding from me, twitching more than usual when she's in my arms (she's probably doing so when not in my arms, too), eating less and fighting me every single time I need to pill her.  I'm still succeeding in giving her all of her medicine, but she's making it far more difficult than ever.

I joined an online feline Chronic Kidney Disease (also known as Chronic Renal Failure) support group (Tanya's CRF support) via the phenomenal website a few weeks after Emmi Sue's diagnosis and they have literally been my life saver's.  Not only have the moderators and members provided me with exceptional advice and questions to ask our veterinarian, but simply through sharing our stories, I've become friends with at least one very kind, sweet, supportive woman.  Honestly, much of my newly acquired knowledge of CKD comes from the information I have gotten from the members of this support group.

What I have learned through Tanya's support group is that there is a very distinct possibility that Emmi Sue could have metabolic acidosis, which, although this sounds like something having to do with stomach acidity, it's actually something far more serious.  Metabolic acidosis goes along with the anion gap being too high, and on October 16, Emmi Sue's results came back as 32 while the average is 13-27 mEq/L.  Symptoms ( include weight loss, lean muscle loss, a bony spine, weakness, vomiting, twitching, mouth ulcers and breathlessness.  Emmi Sue has been displaying a bony spine, weakness and twitching, although today I've noticed her somewhat breathless after medicating her, but it could simply be from trying to fight me off so valiantly.

I hope I'm not becoming as one of those first-time parents who stresses over every little thing with Emmi Sue, but I don't think I am.  She's not an infant, but a very sick "old lady."  In cat years, she is nearly 78 years old.  Her body is no longer responding as it should and since cats age 1 human year every 3 months, I have to keep on top of every little change I see in her like never before.

I will admit that I'm about as tired as I'm sure Emmi Sue is that we've had to visit her doctor so often.  I also do not wish to prolong her life if there is no quality left in it, but the way she clings to my arms when I'm holding her tells me that she isn't done living yet.  She has so much fight in her and far too much love left to give to even consider not giving her every chance in the world to continue on.  And I, for one, will never back down.

**I called Dr. Ecker's office first thing this morning and she won't be in until tomorrow, although there is a different veterinarian in today.  I've chosen to wait until tomorrow afternoon to take Emmi Sue in for an examination as I know how calm she (usually!) feels with our vet, and taking her to see someone new would only bring her added stress.

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