my cat has hyperthyroidism

September 3, 2014 | Comments Off

Lulu goes where her chair goes

I think we’re now taking the mini-me to an extreme! My little Lulu now has her own thyroid issues to contend with, just like her mama. Ugh. I’m pretty sure this was a possibility before and then it was ruled out, but this time the test came back positive – she has hyperthyroidism. In the next couple of days she’s getting enough meds to last her two weeks (she’ll take them twice a day), and these meds will end up determining if she’s a contender for the Radioiodine treatment. Most cats respond well to them, and her blood, urine, and such will show if she has too. I am crossing my fingers that she will because my vet said this can be quite problematic if not. If so, and this is the sad part, she has to go away for three days to get the treatment and can’t come home until her urine tests clean. I remember all this from my own treatment and from having to keep myself isolated away from Mark and the pets for like two weeks. I’m worried she won’t eat or drink if she’s not near me because of the fact that we are so close, and that scares me. I’m going to have my pet psychic/communicator talk to her before she goes and each day she’s away and hope that helps comfort her. I’m told the setting she’s going to is pretty awesome, and I’ll be able to send comforts of home with her (they just won’t be able to come back which is no big deal). I can’t even imagine being without her for three days after all this loss I’ve already gone through these past two years, but I absolutely want her to be healthy longer, so it’s definitely just a small price to pay. So step one: I’m going to cross my fingers that her sweet little body responds well to the next two weeks of medicine!

daddy and daughter

September 2, 2014 | Comments Off

Basia hangs out with us (well, Mark) tonight

Basia doesn’t spend that much time upstairs at all, let alone in the master bedroom. We’d love for her to, of course, but it’s just not her thing. She’s gotten chased away one too many times, so she has trouble relaxing in it. She can sleep with Mark overnight just fine in the guest room next door, so I guess it’s just one of those things. Anyway, the other night when we shut the door and kept the boys out, she calmed down and enjoyed herself – and we got to enjoy her too!

new discovery

August 31, 2014 | Comments Off

So while Mark was figuring out which places he wanted to donate to in Spenser’s memory, he came across The Beagle Freedom Project. Their mission is to rescue and to find homes for beagles who were once used in laboratory research.

While we always sadly knew that beagles are tested on the most in labs because they are so sweet, trusting, forgiving, docile, and friendly, we didn’t know just how appallingly high those numbers really are. NEARLY 70,000 DOGS WERE USED IN US LABS IN 2012, and 96% OF THOSE DOGS WERE BEAGLES. You would think as a beagle lover that I would already know these types of facts, but there are some things I’d just rather keep my head in the sand about. I don’t purposefully want to make myself sad or disgusted.

Truth be told, we are ones who usually just donate money to causes here and there, but with these guys there’s even more we can do! On their site, Mark found an image (it is too large for me to embed here, but please click this link to view it) that lists companies that test on animals. Our goal is to become cruelty-free shoppers and to stop buying products that have been tested on animals. Such companies include Ivory, Mr. Clean, Dove, Downy, Tide, Pampers, Raid, and Windex, but there are unfortunately so many more.

To help with that, there’s also an app that can be used while we’re out shopping that will help us find out the animal testing status of products. CRUELTY-CUTTER is cruelty-free shopping made simple. This app will scan an item and give an immediate response about its animal-testing status. It is the most up-to-date and vigilant cruelty-free list on the market. And, yes, of course, we have obviously downloaded it!

Thus, we are going to be getting a whole bunch of new grocery items and such around here, and I feel badly that we are just now learning about all of this and all of them. But I suppose it’s never too late to get behind a good cause. Won’t you do the same? I’m sure that Becca and Spenser will send you some happy woofs from Furbaby Heaven! Please check out The Beagle Freedom Project to learn more.

a kitty ceasefire

August 27, 2014 | Comments Off

Sam & Basia hanging out together?! WTF?!

Imagine our surprise when we found Sam and Basia napping on the back of the couch together – at the same time! Sadly, he isn’t very nice to her, even though I remind him often that she’s old enough to be his grandmother and he should respect her, and she usually responds to his presence by scurrying away. Thus, this was a nice sight to behold!

hunting for treats

August 24, 2014 | Comments Off

Lulu plays with an interactive treat dispensing toy!

As sad as it is that the beagle is no longer around, it does mean that we can leave toys like these out and about for the kitties and not have to worry about picking them up before he comes around anymore. He would tear something like this up in thirty seconds flat so he could inhale the kitty treats inside of it. Ha! Honestly, because of that, I can’t tell you the last time I actually put this one out. But now it’s nice to have the kitties playing with these things again because they look so cute and get so invested in them that it’s just beyond adorable!

fruitloop

August 21, 2014 | Comments Off

For quite a few weeks I’ve been mourning like crazy, for Spenser, of course, and for all the other ones all over again. It’s been madness. My brain went absolutely haywire, and I got so caught up in missing passed pets that I was finding it hard to enjoy the remaining four cats who are still here. I guess I’m coming out of that fog now, and I absolutely know I need to do so. I also, though, am very scared for them. They are all different ages, and two have kidney concerns that are being treated, but age doesn’t even mean anything. I unfortunately saw that firsthand when Eva died so young. At least I’ve stopped crying into their fur over their known and unknown health issues, which is a plus for my crazy ass.

Going from a dog and cat family to just a cat family is very sad and strange. Dog food commercials make me cry. Seeing dog products like toys and treats make me feel odd and incomplete. I’ve started seeing a commercial for a product that Spenser and I ran out of time to do a product review on, and there are just no words for that. Mark says skipping dog aisles at PetSmart doesn’t feel right. We took our gates down which even upset our cleaner. I can put food in the upstairs trash now without having to worry about the dog picking it out, but it feels weird, sad, and wrong to do so. We had shark costumes for shark week and planned to dress up the pets for it, but I just didn’t feel like it without him here. I’ll hold onto them or maybe I’ll end up donating them too with some of his other things. Mark is definitely a dog person and has mentioned getting another beagle after we move, but I’ll veto that as long as my veto power holds. He’d been looking at rescue sites, but thankfully that was only to find ones that he wanted to donate to in Spenser’s name. He is gone from the house for eleven hours a day, so who would be responsible for that dog really? Me, with my bad back. I’m sorry, but Mark’s back pain isn’t going to stay away forever. I’m glad it went away for now, but he has a serious condition too, and he just isn’t thinking that putting a dog out, scooping its poop, taking it for walks, and so on could be incredibly painful one day. I know we’d rescue an older one or another older abused one like our Becca, but I just don’t know if it would be in our best interests. I realize that sounds selfish, but I’ve also realized that sadly I can’t save them all. And that also brings me to a confession that we may actually end up getting a kitten sooner rather than later. Yes, you read that right: a kitten. As much as I want to rescue an older cat or a billion older cats, doing that before has caused various problems in our house, and I think the best bet would be to bring in something younger. I think Lulu really misses having a little sister to play with, something that she had in Eva. I also think that Sam could use someone to chase around since his current siblings don’t appreciate that one tiny bit.

As for my chronic pain, well, holy hell. My back pain has been so outrageously tough. I’ve been a bitch to deal with as a result. At my last pain management appointment, she increased my long-acting medicine to the highest this particular drug can go to safely, and, again, it’s like I feel nothing while on it. How is this even possible? I’ve tried countless long-acting drugs, and I feel nothing time and again. Sometimes initially I may and sometimes after an increase I may – for a day or two only. Then unfortunately it’s back to me feeling nothing and relying on my oxycodones to work, if they’re going to work for the moment. And my doctor again talked about moving me down from five of those a day to four a day, and that makes me panic. Nothing works for me but those when they do, and she still wants to take them from me too? So I found another pain management doctor to send my files to to see if they will accept me into their practice, and then I’ll find out if they give five to six pills a day (six would be in a perfect world). When I tried to find that out over the phone without submitting anything, under the notion that I’d rather not waste their time if they didn’t prescribe six pills to patients, the nurse I spoke with who was going to look into it for me didn’t call me back. Ack. I’m hoping that doesn’t mean I’m blacklisted if I do end up sending my files to them. That would suck because I don’t want to have to start my search all over again.

Speaking of my pain, I found this post written by someone on a forum we both frequent who deals with pain too, as it turns out. I’d like to share parts of it because I relate to it so, so much.

Car accident years ago left me in chronic pain and unable to work. I was medically retired from my job and increasingly unable to do anything.

And I’m so very, very bored. Don’t mean to whine, but I only have a few good moments throughout the day. The rest is sleeping/trying to sleep/drugged out/coping with pain etc..

OMG. That right there made me cry when I read it aloud to Mark yet also made me feel a little less alone. I wonder what the doctor is going to suggest we try next. I’m not even sure what long-acting medications are left to try. That brings me to an annoying email exchange I had with my insurance patient advocate. I was sort of asking about fentanyl lollipops again, and my doctor made it sound like it’d be difficult for me to get them. My advocate said there’s a form my doctor would have to fill out and a number she’d have to call. My advocate works with a pharmacist who informed her that these are also short-acting (duh), and he recommended that I ask my doctor to increase my long-acting medications first. Well, no shit there, Captain Obvious. I had to reply that “obviously” for the past seven years we’ve been trying to find a long-acting medication that I can actually feel. I know that they meant well, but when I’m laying here in pain and someone says something stupid like that to me like I have no brains, I just want to scream my face off.

Speaking of wanting to scream my face off, I’ve been working with a construction company to fix a few things around here, and they are just impossible. First off, when they came to the house to give us estimates on a partial roof repair and front door replacement, they were so slow. One guy said that he’d be right in and ten minutes later I had to go to his truck to get him. I had already alerted them to the fact that I had chronic pain and asked them not to leave if I didn’t get to the door quick enough to let them in, so I thought they’d be a tiny bit courteous. I was wrong. One of the guys was here for over an hour and a half about the front door. And, to this day, I don’t have the estimate in writing that we verbally confirmed. I’ve called and emailed about it at least ten times and have been told that it’s coming each time I’ve phoned. My emails about it have gone unreturned. If there’s no interest in doing the project, they could at least say so. At this point we’re going with someone else and then bringing in a painter to paint the new front door and the sunroom where the water damage from the roof occurred. Of course, Mark initially rejected my idea for the new person to do the front door that was suggested to us by the cleaner, saying he didn’t want to hear what anyone else had to say. Then two days later he texts me and says he’s calling them, all the while making it sound like it was his idea to begin with. Anyway, that being said, this first place did do our roof, but it got done late. There was a 7:00am start time, but they didn’t show up until 4:15pm. I actually had to call there five times, and nobody in the office had the courtesy to call me once to let me know they’d be starting late or coming late. One time I was told that they’d be here at noon, but nobody had the decency to let me know that they were running late yet again. It was just total nonsense. I’ll never use them again unless this roof they fixed that’s under warranty needs repaired while we are still here. At least they also removed our picnic table that we wanted to get rid of.

Mark has been talking about going away this fall. Whenever he brings this sort of thing up, I always say that I want to put the money away for the move – but now I see the value emotionally in a quick trip for us. The thing is, I’m having trouble even with thinking I’ll be able to make it to get my hair dyed because of my physical limitations. Thus, going away seems so daunting. I did bookmark a couple of things I thought we could do that aren’t too far from something we still need to do, so I think it may happen. What I still obviously really want to happen is a move. Mark is aggressively paying down our second mortgage and thinks that will be done and we will be able to move in less than two years. I keep hoping for one year. I was wishing and dreaming for this Christmas, but I only hurt myself with thinking those kind of thoughts. But it brings me back to my furbabies, honestly. I want them to have a screened-in porch again, and I just don’t know who will still be around when, sadly enough. Actually, they will probably miss these stairs. At times they fly all over them like crazy, and it never fails to make me laugh. Anyway, we are revisiting the topic next Spring. Then I suppose when things happen that we are going through a company that will find a renter to do all that stuff if the housing market doesn’t turn around by then. Until then, we will continue to pay and save, where appropriate. Even if it’s a brand new bombshell of a one-story, I’ll still need to redo the laundry room and bathroom right away for my back. I’d like to get those cool kitchen drawers and such that I saw that’d be perfect for my back pain needs, and I’d also like to get the dishwasher and other things raised in the kitchen too, but I think that’s a secondary wish. I will admit that I’m not a dumbass, but I am selfish. I know others have it worse than I do, but I can’t help but wallow and be sick to death of my own situation. I’m so freaking tired of my back pain and how horrible it is, and I’m so freaking frustrated that nobody can take it away for longer than an hour at a time. I also sit here while crying in pain and constantly think about how I hate this house so much. I sit here and stare at these same walls, and I just want to move and be around nice, new things now. I’ve never ever been good at waiting or at not being self-sufficient. I’m dependent on others now which is depressing and makes me even more depressed than I already used to be. I don’t know. I feel like moving and redecorating would be fun and would give my mind something to do. I’d like new things to look at and new surroundings to enjoy. It’ll happen, just not at the pace I want it to. Mark just doesn’t want to put things on credit cards like we used to do, and I get that, especially since we don’t have any credit card debt now. If I were still working, I’d feel better for a lot of reasons. I’d be contributing, he’d take me more seriously again, and we’d probably have been out of here long ago or at least be even closer to doing so.

I’ve been watching tons of silly tv with and without Mark when I haven’t been sleeping. We’ve watched frozen and sharknado 1 and sharknado 2. I’ve still been keeping a close eye on big brother which frankly is a disabled person’s viewing dream. I’ve been giving my Hulu and xfinity players a good workout, that’s for sure. Also, I’ve been buying some stuff from iTunes too that I can’t find OnDemand. Those things have somewhat helped keep my mind from sadness, depression, boredom, and self-hate. An idle mind and a bad back? Hear that? That’s me going splat after jumping off the roof.

now on my nightstand

August 19, 2014 | Comments Off

memory photos on a frame with a stand for by my bed

Mark had this made for me for my nightstand, and I think it’s beautiful, sad, and perfect. It has my favorite photos of my four furbabies who have ventured to Furbaby Heaven over the years.

another sad goodbye

August 16, 2014 | Comments Off

I am swimming in sadness and loss, and it’s not getting any easier, not that I really expect it to. People never really get over losing their children, do they? And my furbabies are my children, so I am just lost whenever one of them gets sick and dies. It’s as if my heart has been ripped from my body, and I know I’ll never feel whole again. There was spacing between Becca’s death and Kip’s death, but I’ve been hit with three losses in just two years now, and it is so hard to understand why these little babies have to even ever get sick to begin with. It just doesn’t make sense. I feel Becca’s spirit now like a big arched rainbow with Kip, Eva, and now Spenser tucked under her.

So to pick up where I had left off which I’d rather not go back and reread, I think I had said that we were going to wait until the next day to take Spenser to the emergency vet if he hadn’t started eating or keeping water down regularly. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the option of waiting until the next day because he started breathing very heavily. The moment that happened, we immediately put him into Mark’s Xterra, and I sat with him in the back as Mark drove. Then Spenser periodically would scream out as if he were in pain, and it was the most frightening thing ever. Mark became a very distracted driver because he was just so very scared at the sounds. Spenser was very uncomfortable and kept falling down. He didn’t want to lay down. I kept pulling him to me which seemed to be okay to him. Once we got to the emergency vet, they grabbed him out of Mark’s arms to examine him and take scans.

I was continually super annoyed at how slow-moving everyone there seemed to be. The waiting was painful. We were finally told he was in bad shape. His lungs once again had filled up with fluid. Over the years he had two hospital stays for this issue, and that’s why he had been taking Viagra. The vet was also throwing around terms like cancer, heart failure, stroke, and poor prognosis. She also believed he had experienced a stroke on our trip there by the way he was acting, which I believe I know exactly when it happened. Our once-vibrant dog didn’t seem to know who we were or where he was, plus he was very distressed. Initially Mark wanted to hospitalize him again. Something seemed very different about this to me, since he was screaming in pain and didn’t know who we were. In the end, we both agreed that it wasn’t fair to hospitalize him again at his age (16.5 years-old), so we put him to sleep. And, of course, because I beat myself up regarding every pet decision I make, I don’t know if it was the right one. When they brought him out to us so we could say goodbye to him, he was so, so distressed and uncomfortable. He was still crying in pain periodically as well. It was heartbreaking, and I still don’t understand why they only put him in oxygen and didn’t give him anything for that. I’m hoping that when he was in the tank that he was better. When they put him to sleep, he curled right up into a little ball, and he looked just like he was sleeping, like how he usually slept at home, like he was peaceful and comfortable once again.

I thought I had been preparing myself a bit for Spenser’s death because his old age was easier to see than the cats, but you can never really prepare for something like this. I mean, he needed help going up and down the stairs and then finally he needed carried up and down them, so things like that weighed on my brain. But he always seemed invincible too. He was so tough. He beat so many illnesses and hospital stays. We joked he was the cat of the family with his nine lives. Mark and I moved in together in December and we got Spenser that March, so he was a part of our entire marriage. Though he may have changed a bit as he grew older, like when the brown in his cheeks grew white, he always, always was the best beagle boy! He was always stubborn, always cute, and always kind to his siblings. Not hearing his nails on the hardwoods now is so strange. I’m going to miss how excited he was to go for walks (so much so that we’d have to spell out the word if we were planning to take him for one later in a day), how he’d groan during massages, how he’d inhale everything but pretzels, how he knew his billions of nicknames, how he’d really prefer women over men, and how he just loved his interactive treat dispensing toys in his older years. He took a lot of medicine twice a day, would bark at us for food since we never properly trained him, and never let us sit through a movie without wanting or needing something. Was he sometimes a pain in the butt? Sure, but I’d do it all over again for him in a heartbeat! The last few months one of my favorite parts of the day was when Mark would lift Spenser onto the bed so we could both cuddle with him right before I’d fall asleep. Every single day without fail we’d both agree that he was getting cuter and cuter with each passing day. One look into those brown eyes, and I’d give him whatever he wanted. Mark would always yell at me to not give him so many biscuits, but come on! How could I say no to him? One of my favorite memories of him was when he was getting discharged after his first hospital stay. He came around the corner with a vet tech. Once he saw me, he started moving faster and his tail started wagging. We were both so happy to see each other. I really wish we could have had that kind of experience this time around, and the “what if” guilt of it all eats away at me. I hope now that he’s at peace again that he knows how much I loved and adored him and that I cherished all the years we got to spend together. I really regret how later in life my back pain prevented me from picking him up often and rough housing with him as much as I once did, and I hope he forgives me for that. I’m glad he’s with Becca, Kip, and Eva now. He will have so much fun with them.

We’ll miss you always, puppy. Always.

Valentine's Day 2014

a quick, sad note

July 29, 2014 | Comments Off

I probably won’t be around as much for awhile because we had Spenser put to sleep late Saturday night, and things are quite emotional around here. I’ll write more about it all later at some point. Unfortunately, he got worse as the day went on, so we took him to the emergency vet sooner than we expected to for reasons we hadn’t expected.

Now we’ve lost two furbabies in just under four months and three furbabies in just under two years. It’s devastating. The four kitties we have left better not plan on going anywhere anytime soon. Oh my god. Our hearts are so broken.

suddenly stopped eating

July 26, 2014 | Comments Off

Spenser getting emergency fluids

I had just posted about Spenser playing nightly with his interactive treat toys when he suddenly stopped eating. The last time he ate was Wednesday morning. And he hasn’t eaten since.

This is his third time since May that he’s had tummy troubles, and it’s his second roughest bout. We’ve tried everything imaginable to get him to eat and have tried to entice him with not only his favorites but also all the things the vets recommend during these times.

We took him to our mobile vet’s office yesterday, and we saw a different vet this time. This one is convinced that it is acid in his tummy that is causing all this drama. So he gave him a shot of Pepcid and gave him fluids. They also did his anal glands to get that out of the way. Mark and I thought he seemed to have a little pep in his step afterwards, but he’s still not eating a thing.

We’re giving him Pepcid twice a day throughout this weekend as directed. When he didn’t eat this morning, I called the vet again, and they suggested forcing baby food into him. So that’s what we’ve been doing every couple of hours. Unfortunately, it hasn’t sparked any interest in him to eat on his own. And adding to that, he’s thrown up water right after drinking it every now and again which can cause dehydration, so that’s something we are also worried to death about. He’s restless and not happy, obviously. If after having food in his belly for a day doesn’t get him to eat on his own by tomorrow, we are heading off to the emergency vet to get X-rays, bloodwork, and so on. He’s 16.5 years-old, so one of these times he’s not going to bounce back. We are very scared and worried for him, of course. It’s like we are staring at him while sitting on pins and needles. One night he was just fine and the next morning he eats his breakfast and then some grass, vomits the grass, and hasn’t been the same since. My poor old man. Please send him some good wishes.


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