This evening, my husband stood up from the dining room table and decreed, “No more bad things are allowed this month!” I don’t know if the universe was paying attention, and our 10 year old worriedly said that he didn’t know, it seemed like some more bad things could happen (way to be an optimist, kiddo!), but I am going to take this as an official edict. I am ready to be done with bad things.
For those who have not read my slices from the tiny number of days that I have actually posted this month, it has been a whirlwind of awfulness. First, my son collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital with what appeared to be a seizure. Then, a day and a half later, I succumbed to pneumonia, complicating access to follow-up care for my son and nearly impossible to get diagnosed and treated during a pandemic. (Of all the horrible things that happened across the world this year, hearing “No, you cannot come to the doctor for treatment. You have symptoms,” was one of the weirder ones.) Then our ancient kitty suddenly started staggering and limping and began to refuse food and water, resulting in a rush off to the pet emergency hospital last night.
This is another thing that I do not recommend during a pandemic. Due to many animal hospitals and veterinary practices cutting hours or closing due to COVID-19 restrictions, combined with people under financial pressure delaying treatment of their own – and their pets’ – needs, the primary 24/7 animal hospital is slammed. People must wait in their cars and call in to be triaged. When your pet’s needs are top of the list, they collect the animal from you, and you continue to wait in the parking lot. We thought she would not make it through the night, so all of us had come along, and we spent a few long hours, sitting in the car in the parking lot, eating take out food, and not really knowing what would happen next. Ultimately, we got permission to leave the parking lot briefly, to take the overtired 10 year old home to bed (a couple of hours past bedtime) as long as one of us came immediately back, because the cat was under observation and examination and they needed regular communication with us to make decisions.
This particular cat is my husband’s baby, and she thinks he is God. He could not handle the decision making and so, unusually for us, he stayed to comfort the distraught cat-loving child and I went back to the hospital and settled in. I would like to say that I had many profound thoughts and insights, but mainly I stared at the sky, drank tea, played endless amounts of addictive but utterly mindless LEGO Tower, listened to audiobooks and read, and decided not to sleep, because, well, creepy. People could see in the car windows.
Ultimately, after many tests and hours, the vets were able to determine that she had likely thrown a clot, but that her body was breaking it down and reabsorbing it. Some possible triggers were eliminated via testing, but the potential for heart issues had not been examined. The vet recommended that, given the hospital setting was stressing the cat out enormously and she was responding to palliative care, that we should adjust her medication and add pain medicine to keep her comfortable, and then I could take her home. So, after liberal dosing with methadone, oxygen, subcutaneous and intravenous hydration, and anti-nausea medicine, and bolstered with a fistful of doses of kitty morphine for later, a grumpy, but significantly more alert, cat was returned to me. Twelve hours after arriving at the hospital, I brought her home and let her out of the carrier. Making an assortment of strange grumbling noises that I would expect more from a 90 year old man, she marched directly to her water and food and ate and drank for the first time in more than a day. Relieved and exhausted, I tumbled into bed, 24 hours after I had gotten up in the morning.
After a refreshing two hours and forty-five minutes of sleep, I was awake again, and attempting to function. I had to go to the doctor for a follow-up on my pneumonia. Looking and feeling my absolute best, I staggered off to the doctor’s office and received a clean bill of health. No more pneumonia in my lungs, no fever, asthma, which had veered toward acute while I was sick, settling back down. More important, as far as the HR department of my school district is concerned, the official paperwork was completed. I am now NOT in trouble for taking two weeks off of work all at once, AND I am cleared to return to work after Spring Break. Check, and check.
While I was at the doctor, my husband finally heard the results from my son’s EEG, which had been conducted last Friday. Despite the best efforts of the technicians to trigger seizure behavior, his brain activity was 100% normal. While we still do not know what triggered his apparent seizure or if it will happen again, he has been 100% happy, healthy, and normal over the last two weeks and the tests do not show any problems. This, also, is good news.
So all the news today has turned out good. I am well, my son is well, and the cat, while they cannot cure her from being 17 and 1/2 years old, is being treated for pain and is able to eat, drink, move, investigate her surroundings and stake a claim for the best warm and/or sunny spots lest that young whippersnapper cat think they all belong to her. She even got a bath and climbed up on the bed to groom and snuggle and PURR, all activities which we have not seen in a while. Things are right with the world again. My husband has spoken. No more bad things in March.
Let’s just not think about the March 29-31 in person training days for transition to in person hybrid teaching, okay?