Saturday, October 13, 2012

On the road again.. anything for my girls!

I could not have foreseen the day I had, no matter how far I would have stretched my imagination!  As I mentioned last night, my Jinger has been throwing up quite a bit lately but when it happened again earlier today (four times in less than 10 minutes), I began to panic.  With Jinger already dealing with hyperthyroidism for a few years now, the last thing we need is for it to get worse or for another condition to arise.  I think I hesitated for all of 2 seconds before calling the new veterinary clinic to ask if they had received the fax from my current vet.  I figured that if they had, maybe they could squeeze us in today or, perhaps, tomorrow.  Even though they had not gotten the fax yet, this didn't stop the lady on the phone from asking if I could bring both Jinger and Emmi Sue in by 4pm (it was already 3:00).  I had not expected her to say this, but without hesitation I said yes, we'd be there!  This meant I would drive them myself, but I was ready to tackle the road as it was a kitty emergency and I felt my legs were strong enough to handle the task.
After meeting her and some of her staff, I'm positive my girls have a new veterinarian in Dr. Ecker.  She seems quite young but very knowledgeable and complimented me on the care I've given my girls.

With Jinger, Dr. Ecker was concerned as many times hyperthyroidism can lead to even bigger problems, such as kidney disease.  What?  Her, too???  Because of this and her needing to check Jinger's thyroid function, she did a full blood panel and the results will be in next Tuesday.
My beautiful, sweet baby Jinger
Then there's my Emmi Sue.  Dr. Ecker and I spoke for some time about this baby of mine as she looked over the full lab results I took with me from September 5, and the partial labs from September 25 and October 9.  As she took in the information on the papers in front of her and listened to what I told her, she agreed that Emmi Sue was in need of potassium supplements, something the previous vet felt was unnecessary.  She was also very concerned at how high my baby's creatinine, calcium and PCV have remained, even with treatment.  I am confident that with Dr. Ecker's help, we'll bring Emmi Sue's numbers closer to normal in no time, as she seems very proactive, understanding and wanting to face her illness head-on in a far more aggressive manner than the other vet had been.  As with Jinger, our new vet did a full blood panel on Emmi Sue and those results will also be ready on Tuesday.

As I was leaving the office, the fax came through from the other vet, so Dr. Ecker will have time to look over Jinger and Emmi Sue's medical history before their follow up appointment next Friday.  Luckily, my parents will be home from their vacation in Mexico next Thursday, so they should be able to drive us to the appointment, otherwise I guess I can do it on my own.  The truth is that I enjoyed being on the road again, but it was also a bit much as I was driving during one of the busiest times of the day and since I took two of my girls, I was forced to put them in the large kennel.  I much prefer the individual carrier since it is safer for them, not to mention easier for me to carry, but being that I only have one such carrier, I had no choice today.  Perhaps when my parents arrive home we can go to Petco and purchase another individual carrier so I will be able to seat belt both girls in the back seat next time I need to take both in at the same time.

Even without knowing the results of their blood work and not having gained any instant knowledge from the vet appointment, I felt such relief and a sense of calming wash over me almost immediately.  I know I took a step in the right direction in taking Emmi Sue and Jinger to this new clinic today.
♥Allie, Jinger and Emmi Sue-- you are my life and my heart and I love you more than you will ever know♥
~~ Your Mommy ~~
By the time I arrived home, ugh, I cannot even put into words how exhausted I was, both physically and mentally.  I'm always amazed at how forgiving pet-children are after they are somewhat traumatized at the veterinarian's office.  My girls know I'm the one who took them there, I'm sure they're know I'm aware of the tests they had done to them, yet they still leap back into my arms as soon as they can.  How is that they can be so perfectly forgiving and also understand that I would never mean them any harm, even though they are subjected to poking and prodding during examinations?  Sure, Jinger tends to fight back much less than Emmi Sue while at the vet's office but honestly, I think I'd be more like Emmi Sue if I didn't understand what was happening to me!  Oh, how I love my girls and their undying love and trust they have in me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hoping for less stress.. new vet, here we come!

My life has been anything but stress-free lately, especially on days I take Emmi Sue to the veterinarian.  When I took her in on Tuesday for the vet to teach me how to syringe feed her, the vet was surprised as she had no idea she was supposed to show me how to do this.  What?!  But we had discussed this on the phone!  I have watched a few videos online on how to do this, but I was hoping for firsthand instruction since my little girl can be a bit difficult when doing such things to her.  I was extremely upset and horribly frustrated.
Even when the vet first approached me in the waiting room, she thought I had only brought Emmi Sue in to be weighed, and nothing could be further from the truth.  I needed some blood work done to see how well (or not) she was doing since beginning her medications.  She seemed quite adamant about doing this but finally did so after much insistence from me, but I shouldn't have to demand care for my cat each time I take her in.  I also had a few questions written down and was not satisfied with her answers.  As I'm sure most of you have realized by now, if I don't know something, I take it upon myself to do some research and find the answers.  Of course, I've done this with Emmi Sue's chronic kidney disease (CKD), too.

I recently joined a sort of online support group for CKD and other cat illnesses.  I've been amazed with the knowledge these members (especially the leaders) have!  When I mentioned the amount of subcutaneous fluids (150 cc's) I give Emmi Sue and the high dosage of aluminum hydroxide she was prescribed, most of the members of this group were shocked beyond belief, causing me to wonder if our vet has any idea what she is doing.  My baby barely weighs 7 lbs. and perhaps these amounts are fine for a larger kitty, but my baby is tiny!  This got me wondering about many things and inspired me to search online for other local animal clinics and have found one that is a fully equipped clinic/hospital only 20-some minutes from me and have an appointment for both Emmi Sue and Jinger next Friday.  I would take them in sooner but my parents will not arrive home from Mexico until next Thursday, so this is the soonest I'm able to get them in.  Jinger began vomiting excessively a couple days ago (four times in one day), so I would like her looked at also.  She has had hyperthyroidism for a few years and it's time for her check-up anyway.
 This is why I do what I do.  I am my girls' voice!  If I don't speak up for them, who will?
What sold me on this clinic was how upset the lady from the clinic became when I was explaining to her (on the phone) the way my current vet has been treating me and my Emmi Sue.  I explained how our vet seems to believe my little girl is (gulp) already dead and is not going out of her way to do much for her.  This is NOT acceptable!  I can't believe it took me so long to react but after what happened this past Tuesday (and how depressed I became AGAIN because of her behavior), I could no longer sit idly by and allow this to continue.  My children deserve a doctor who will value their lives and work to save them!  This lady on the phone informed me that they have treated many cats with CKD and they've lived for many years.  THAT IS WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR!  CKD is not an instant death sentence, but our current vet made me feel as if we're fighting against death from the day we came home that first day.  Well, no more of this negative crap!  Yes, I know Emmi Sue is 15½ years old so in all reality, she probably won't live another 10 years, but she WILL live at least a few more years and they will be happy ones.  You can be sure of that.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Being alone can be frightening at times

For the first time in a long time, I'm a little intimidated at living on my own.  It isn't anyone's fault that things have gone the way they have, as they just happened this way by coincidence.  My parents decided, a few weeks ago, to take a trip with some very close friends to Mexico City for a week and a half.  They left yesterday and will not be home until Thursday, October 18.  My brother left for Mexico a few weeks ago so they will all meet up and spend time together, which should be a lot of fun for them.
The part that has me freaking out a bit is that since my wonderful friend Dorraine was in the hospital last week, she is in no condition to help me out any time soon.  In an emergency, I can't call her to come over and this has me somewhat frightened.

The agency Dorraine works for is sending a new person to help me out throughout the week, but it's not a daily thing and it is nothing like having a close friend over every day.  I'm not complaining that the homemakers, as they are called, have not been helpful, but I miss my friend!

I am also concerned about something.  The lady who's coming out to my home Tuesday and Thursday lives near me but I need her to go to my pharmacy to pick some medications up.  Will this be an extra trip for her or will it be alright?  Dorraine never minded as she had a client in the same city as my pharmacy is located before coming to my home, but what if it's an issue with this other lady?  I'm sure it won't be a problem but I really hate asking anyone for favors such as this, even if it is considered part of their job.  Ugh, I'm sure I'm making far too much of an issue of this but when you can't rely on yourself to do things outside of your own home, you feel at the mercy of pretty much everyone.

I'm sure, after I call the agency tomorrow, I'll learn that there is no problem in this new lady picking up my prescriptions so I have no reason to stress over this, but hey, this is how I am.  I worry over small things until I know it can be resolved.

OK, so the good news is that my Emmi Sue continues to do well with her medications and the subcutaneous sodium chloride infusions I give her twice daily.  Tuesday is her next vet appointment so her labs will give me the full story on her true condition.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my baby!