Friday, November 30, 2012

Feeding tube in, Emmi Sue getting nourishment, Mommy relieved!

After a very emotional, difficult, gut-wrenching week, today's events have calmed me to such an extent that I almost want to scream with relief.  In the end, Emmi Sue did, indeed, get her feeding tube, and this life-saving procedure was done this afternoon.  The type of tube she has is called an Esophagostomy tube, better known as an E-Tube.  I will try to take some pictures of her but this has been a trying day for her, so she is mostly resting and I do not wish to disturb her.
A kitty named Newton, being syringe fed through the E-Tube.
I really wasn't sure how her first "tube-feeding" would go, but was very satisfied with the outcome.  Knowing how my Emmi Sue is, she wouldn't sit nor lie still, so it definitely could have been easier, but I still managed to feed her 20 cc's of food, some of her medications (the rest will be given later this evening) and a 5 cc's water flush to finish the process.  I will be feeding Emmi Sue this way every 4 - 6 hours, so we will be quite busy every single day.  I'm overjoyed at knowing that every cc of food which goes into her is saving her life that much more.  We are on the right track, hoping her life will continue on for more than just a few more months.
Aside from the robe and slippers, this is what I looked like at the vet today!
It's almost time for Emmi Sue's second feeding and as I'm still unsure of my "skills" at this, I'm going to stop this post rather abruptly.  It seems my blog has turned from MS to the life of my dear little kitty-child, but this is how life goes sometimes.  My priority is most definitely my sick baby girl, as I'm sure all of you can understand.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

From confusion to clarity.. answers spoken in her purrs.

Today's vet appointment did not go as I had foreseen.  I was ready to talk with Dr. Ecker about how Emmi Sue had fallen over and a million other things I had written on the paper I took with me, but nothing went as planned.  As soon as we were in the examination room, Dr. Ecker put Emmi Sue on the scale and she had lost a half pound in one week.   The look on our vet's face almost mirrored the devastation I felt, but I reminded myself that I had chosen not to give Emmi Sue her subcutaneous fluids before going to the vet, so as to get a more accurate reading in her lab tests, and this contributed to her lesser weight.
For "cat people," I believe #7 could be changed to "Remember before you  hit me:  I have claws that could easily scratch your eyes out, but I choose not to blind you."
When I first read this post almost a year ago, I hoped I wouldn't need to utilize it for quite some time, but here I am, using it on my blog.  I am being faced with some terribly difficult decisions and not quite sure which way to turn, yet my heart is telling me what to do, and that is to keep fighting.  I'm just no longer sure that is what my baby girl wants anymore.  How can I know?  Why am I having so much trouble reading her?  Will I ever be sure of anything anymore?

Dr. Ecker has recommended putting in a feeding tube, which requires surgery, and I'm not sure how I feel about this yet.  I won't make a decision on this until we receive the results from her lab work tomorrow and I'm not even sure which way I'm leaning just yet.
As I was writing this entry, Emmi Sue jumped on my lap twice and has convinced me that, no matter what, she is not ready to leave me, and I am utterly relieved.  I am in no position to let my baby go just yet!  I am well aware that the time will come far too soon, but seeing her eating, hearing her purr each and every time I pick her up and feeling her sleep on top of me, all tell me that her time is not now, not yet!  Thank you, Emmi Sue, for telling your mommy what to do.  Your life, our story together, is not going to end until you say it is time.  I love you with all my heart forever and always. ♥

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.