Author Topic: Rough Couple of Weeks  (Read 260 times)

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Offline TempusVox

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Rough Couple of Weeks
« on: October 29, 2018, 11:01:39 AM »
Been rough to say the least for a couple of weeks now. We lost our beloved cat, George; and according to my team of doctors, I nearly shuffled off the mortal coil.

The cat was my best friend. Okay, companion if you will. He adopted me nearly 17 years ago at an animal shelter in Alexandria, Virginia. I walked past his cage, and he reached out and grabbed me, and bawled. He was desperate to get out of that cage, and was frantically trying to get me to help him.

So, I did.

 He rewarded me with a lifetime of loyalty. For nearly every night that I was home, for that entire time, sometime in the night he would jump up on the bed, and sleep on my hip, or right next to me. He was always eager to greet me when I'd been out of town. And loved to sit on my lap, or next to my monitor when I would write. In the winter, I'd often pour some Macallan (or something else out of my scotch collection) and sit by the fire; and as soon as I got down the whisky glass, he'd run over to the chair and wait for me; then sleep on my lap while I sipped my drink. He was a Turkish Van (aka swimming cat), and he loved to swim. He'd also play fetch for hours with paper wads, foam balls, etc, or for as long as you'd let him. He also thought he was one of our huskies, and was always playing with them. They were his "pack".

He was loved by everyone in our family, and stole the hearts of many of our friends; but he was really my cat.

About a year ago he developed pancreatitis, so his diet and appetite changed, and he started losing weight. Then shortly afterwards he developed heart, and then kidney disease. A couple of times he developed fluid in his lungs, and we had to have it drained. We gave him about 6 different meds every day.

Otherwise he was a very happy cat. He still loved to play and cuddle, and wanted to be with us. Our vet speculated he maybe had 2-3 years, max left. But only because of our care. When trips to the vet started to become more frequent, we started to prepare ourselves for the inevitable.

About a month ago, he developed a kidney infection. Antibiotics weren't working. I cancelled my commitments, and cleared my calendar. Two weeks ago, we found out that he had a collapsed uretuer, and was in kidney failure, which had started to accelerate his heart failure. He would require a very risky surgery, which would give us a few months at best. The vet surgical team was ready to go.

 Instead, we brought him home. Our family vet came to our house, we said our goodbyes, and he fell asleep for the last time, in my arms. The family was devastated.

Two days later, on Friday afternoon, I told my wife I felt I was getting a sore throat. By Friday evening it hurt to swallow. I took some cold meds and popped some vitamin C and went to bed. I was sure I was just tired and stressed. Saturday morning the pain was much worse, and my face was starting to swell. We have a concierge medical service, so my doc came out, did a strep test; said my throat just looked a bit red, but started me on an antibiotic. Sunday, it hurt to swallow. It felt like a small airplane was stuck sideways in my throat, with the wingtip buried deeply on the left side. I pushed the fluids, but couldn't eat.

Monday was even worse. The docs office called to tell me the strep test was negative, and I was to keep pushing fluids, and finish the antibiotics.  I was eating pain pills like candy, and for the first time actually started getting scared. I've spoken to doctors and experts while doing book research who've shared with me the phenomenon of people who know they're going to die. They feel so sick, that letting go seems like a good idea. I was watching tv, trying anything to take my mind off of how sick I felt, and for some reason, I thought of Jim Henson from the Muppets. Apparently, he died of the flu in a matter of days from first feeling sick. I started wondering if that was going to happen to me.

 It hurt so much to swallow Monday evening that I started drooling. I hadn't eaten anything since Saturday. My jaw was so offset, I couldn't close my mouth properly. The pain was so intense, that I couldn't even spit. I actually was thinking I might die. It hurt unbearably to speak, and my voice was just a croak by late evening. But if I had been able to speak, I'm not sure I would have told my wife that I'd not had anything to drink for several hours. So, I sat up all night in the other room. I was miserable. But I was convinced the antibiotics just needed another day, and not wanting to panic my family, I didn't wake my wife. My litmus test to pull the cord on an emergency was how my breathing was being affected. My breathing was fine. No issues. Monday, I didn't sleep at all.

Tuesday morning, I had a fever of 103. Unable to speak at all now, I texted my doctor. I had two choices. Get to the ER immediately, or to his office. If he didn't hear my answer in 5 minutes, he was sending an ambulance to my house. I texted I was on my way to see him; and I was met by a team of doctors who were amazed I was still conscious, let alone upright. I was told I had a massive abscessed infection in my throat. I was immediately given iv fluids, steroids, and antibiotics. And after about an hour, and several calls, arrangements were made for me to meet a surgical ENT team to get a CT scan, and drain the abscess at the local hospital.

About 5 minutes after leaving the office, and on my way to my surgery, it burst in my throat; filling my mouth with warm, thick pus and blood. My wife pulled over on the road, and I spent the next ten minutes hacking out the poison. Almost immediately, my voice returned to a croak, and I could swallow again.

Upon arrival at hospital, we were met by the team, and I was told surgery wasn't necessary now. But, I was immediately admitted for three days. Given fluids and iv antibiotics, and am presently now at home, on three very powerful antibiotics at the same time, and a high dose oral steroid. Yesterday, my jaw finally settled back into place.

My follow-up to the ENT was this morning where he told me that had the abscess erupted internally, he would have been talking to my family about what options they had to try and keep me alive. Now, I'm feeling stronger everyday. Especially with these steroids kicking in now.

I'm still sick, but healing. At least my body. I think my heart is going to take much, much longer. I have a feeling that despite sitting by the fire,with a glass of scotch in my hand, it's still going to be a long, cold winter.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 08:39:59 AM by TempusVox »
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Online kingshmegland

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 11:13:04 AM »
I'm glad you are ok Temp.  Just thinking if you hesitated going to the ER it could have been devastating.    I'm so sorry for your loss.  My wife and I couldn't have children and our cats are our children.  I know the pain.
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Offline Podaar

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 11:30:59 AM »
I thought, for sure, this thread was going to be about the Dawg's sliding out of the top 25.

I'm so sorry about your kitten, man! I'm very afraid I'll be feeling your pain soon.

Glad to hear you're on the mend (physically). Put on one of your t-shirts with the weird sayings and pour a couple drams of Lagavulin. My treat!

Offline Evermind

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2018, 11:41:59 AM »
Losing your beloved pets always hurts so much. They bring you joy all the years they've by your side, but as their lifespan is shorter than ours, one day you inevitably see them go. As far as I know, a lot of cats, when they feel they're on their last legs, they try to run away from the house and die alone somewhere. The best you could've given your buddy is to hold him during his very last moments. I mean, who am I to give advice here, but grieve, yet remember all the years you spend with him with fondness. That being said, I nearly teared up reading your post, to be honest.

Also glad you're alright. Rough couple of few weeks indeed.

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 12:11:23 PM »
Wow that's a scare and probably super painful and disgusting to have that in your throat.  Glad you are OK now.  Also super sorry about the cat, that is really difficult.

Offline Indiscipline

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 12:11:55 PM »
As a someone who has never spent a cat-less second in his life, I would like to extend you my most sincere condolences.

Pets are owned, cats are deserved.

Offline TempusVox

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 12:26:04 PM »
Thanks. He was an old dude. The animal shelter said he was two when we brought him home. A vet later said he may have been 3 or 4. So that puts him at anywhere from 18-20. That's quite a while for a cat. Still doesn't reduce the pain. It's somewhat surreal now that he's gone.

Besides, I was so sick last week I feel like my grieving was sort of put on hold in a way. So, I'm feeling like it's still pretty fresh if I'm honest. I appreciate your condolences.  Thanks.
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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 12:52:18 PM »
It's as if the cat took one for you.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline vtgrad

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2018, 03:21:50 PM »
I was just about the write the same thing Tac!  I think if we could see in their hearts (pets I mean) we would see love so unconditional that tears would come to even the hardest of human hearts.  They would do anything for us.

I'm sorry to hear about you losing your friend and drinking buddy (for that's what he was when you were by the firelight) and I'm sure your huskies will feel the loss in their Ka-Tet too... might I suggest using your huskies to help you cope with that loss, they will ease your pain and you will ease their pain.  My husky helped me through the realization of the coming passing of my father (that realization being the worst part) in a way that's hard to explain... but this isn't about me.

Glad you're on the mend physically as well, sounds as if The Lord spared you and just in time at that!  As horrible as that hacking out was, I'm sure that you (and your family) prefer it to the alternative.  I'm sure your primary physician will watch you for the time being and likely watch your esophagus as well.  Take care of yourself... and let others take care of you as well.

Lift a glass to George and think of him how he was for so many years beside you... try not to think of him as he was when he was sickening.  Let those memories become a warm blanket for you on those cold nights ahead.
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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2018, 03:40:24 PM »
I am glad you are on the mend. So sorry about the loss of your cat. We have three of them at home, an old dude, and two spry younglings. So I know what you mean. Will be thinking of you Tempus.

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2018, 03:48:47 PM »
I had a cat drop dead in front of me way back when. It was very sad.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2018, 04:22:22 PM »
That was some read man, somewhat compelling really!  So glad you are okay, that sounded like something out of a horror movie dude, you must have been freaking out while hacking out puss and blood, fuck me.  Did they say what causes something like that?

Also, losing a pet is as hard as anything in life.  Cats particularly, I love cats and have lost two in my time and both were very hard to deal with.  Stay stong mate, think of the good times and time will heal your pain.

Tuesday morning, I had a fever of 103.

Jeez, you were hot blooded that morning mate.

EDIT:  Sorry, probably not appropriate.



Offline wolfking

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 04:27:34 PM »
I had a cat drop dead in front of me way back when. It was very sad.

I was once driving between work places and saw the car infront of me hit a cat running across the road.  The asshole didn't even try and stop.  I saw the car struggle away on the footpath, his whole back legs and lower half of his body were paralyzed.  I saw him crying and couldn't believe it, it was a terrible thing to witness.  One of my workplaces was only a few hundred metres from there so I raced there and got a box as I knew this cat was just going to die.  I raced back and he was struggling with his front legs and crying with blood coming from his mouth, I will never forget it.  I got him in the box and put him in the car and raced him to the vet.  By the time I got there his crying was getting softer and raced him inside.  I told the vet he isn't good but wanted him to be put out of his misery, they took him out the back and I left.  Never knew what happened, but he was gone.  Was one of the most gut wrenching things I've ever come across, but I had to do something.

Cats are an amazing animal, so smart and amazing.

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2018, 04:53:21 PM »
Brohug for you TV... and glad you're still here to receive it.  We lost our 19.5 year old just about a year ago.  Real hard on the entire jingle.family as I'm sure it is for the Vox's.  I'll tip a couple fingers of Macallan next time I open a bottle - they're all packed up at the moment ... moving and all.
I didn't know I could handle another 10 inches and it was rough but in the end I'm glad I did it.
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2018, 05:15:44 PM »
Brohug for you TV... and glad you're still here to receive it.  We lost our 19.5 year old just about a year ago.  Real hard on the entire jingle.family as I'm sure it is for the Vox's.  I'll tip a couple fingers of Macallan next time I open a bottle - they're all packed up at the moment ... moving and all.

Wow, 19 and a half!!  :o

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2018, 07:17:20 PM »
I'm sorry for your loss TVox.  Pets are family.  I hope you continue to recover.  :heart
     

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2018, 08:46:48 PM »
Sorry about your loss bro....take it easy and recover please...
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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2018, 01:46:20 AM »
Best wishes, TV! As a fellow cat person, I'm feeling your pain for losing your buddy.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2018, 07:52:56 AM »
Sorry to be that guy, but all I can really focus on is that abscess bursting in his mouth.  I can only imagine how foul that was...


(But in all seriousness, I had a cat from when  I was 1 to about when I was 21 and losing her was as hard as anything I've had to endure.  I'm so sorry for your loss.)

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Re: Rough Couple of Weeks
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2018, 12:56:09 PM »
Really sorry for the loss of your 'buddy' TV. It's incredible the emotions and bonds that we form with our pets. All of us who have had or have cats or dogs or whatever animal know that they become more than pets.....the ARE family. I hope you now find a more peaceful and less painful time to grieve.

And, as far as your health scare. That is quite an ordeal!! I can't imagine the pain and uncertainty. SO glad that you came out on top and are recovering!!!
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