Monday, January 24, 2011

Groundhog Poosday

Holy crap people. Last week was a shit-storm and Tuesday was just the beginning. I had so much to write about all week, but was so busy and exhausted and headachy that I couldn't form the words in my head, let alone stare at my computer screen long enough to type them.

Two important things happened: the first is awesome, the second is utter crap. Let's start with the awesome....

I had a migraine for 3 days straight last week (yes, this IS the awesome part. I told you it was a shitty week). The first day I thought it was menstrual. I took a migraine pill, got my ass drugged up, felt better and fell asleep. In the morning, my head felt slightly achy and by the end of the day, I had another rager. Ok, I thought, maybe the headache isn't menstrual, maybe its stress (and there was plenty of that to go around), so I repeated the process. Pill, drugged up, better, sleep. And then, I woke up with an ache. I'd had enough and called my chiropractor for an emergency appointment.

And she fixed me. My neck was out of alignment, she pushed me back into place and within six hours, I was feeling great without the aid of drugs that do god knows what to my central nervous system. Score.

I'm still trying to figure out what the difference is between my headaches that are caused by stress, and those that are caused by my period and those that are caused when I'm out of alignment. But, I'm getting there. Moving forward and finding new ways to deal with the head. Progress is good.

Now the bad. Oh so bad.

Leroy the cat, the poosday shitter, was diagnosed with diabetes. Kitty Diabetes! He's five! Kitty diabetes is a disease that old cats get. Old and fat cats. Leroy is young and fat. Its not fair.

Prof went to the vet with me on Thursday when we took him in for the initial visit, and I was so thankful that he was there. When the vet came back with the test results, I just shut down. I couldn't focus, I couldn't ask insightful scientific questions. I could just nod and say "uh-huh." Prof asked great questions, remembered what the vet said (I didn't), and helped me get over my initial shock.

My house has become a kitty infirmary. Arlo takes a variety of pills a day, and to add another sick cat to the load... well, it made me unhappy. And, diabetes hits pretty close to home. I know he's only a cat, but the whole thing is just so familiar. Cat diabetes is pretty much the same deal as human diabetes, and I know exactly what happens when a human has diabetes. Its not been that long since I haven't had to care for a diabetic human, now I have to care for a diabetic cat. Diet, exercise, glucose levels... its all there, just in a smaller, furrier package, with sharp nails.

I wanted to think about treatment for a while. Was I really ready to give insulin injections two times a day? EVERY DAY?

Selfishly, I immediately started thinking about what that means for us. Shots every 12 hours is no big deal monday through friday, but what about on the weekends? What about when we want to pick up and go to the beach, or go to Maine, or Europe? Throwing some food and water in a bowl and letting them go at it for 3 days isn't an option anymore. Especially with a diabetic around the house.

And, I didn't want to burden Prof with cat care. Arlo and Leroy are my problem, not his. But, they are in the house with us, so its hard for it to not be his problem. He initiated the conversation; as I was struggling with what to do, he told me what he would do. Insulin injections. He said that the cats were his cats now too, and that he was there to help me. I couldn't ever have done this on my own, but together, we made the decision to give the insulin a try.

We started this weekend. The vet showed us how to do the shots, we bought our (very expensive) supplies and tried to figure out where in my tiny house we could put the sharps container. He's really taken the initiative, giving 3 of the 5 shots we've given so far.

Leroy hardly notices the shot; but it will be difficult to try to arrange our lives so that we can get the shots in him on a routine basis. I think I'm going to have to get out of bed earlier in the morning to make it happen. And I'm not getting enough sleep as it is.

I never thought I would go to such extreme measures to keep an animal alive. Particularly one that bites and scratches and chews up my important paperwork. But, he is occasionally cute. And he's got too much life in him to not give this a try. And I have Prof to help me. And I found a cat-sitter well versed in diabetic cats.

Its all just more proof that life never gets easier. The challenges just change.

Thank god I have a new strategy for getting rid of migraines. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more of them coming up.


erin said...

Two+ years ago, a friend of mine went through the same thing. Her cat was middle aged (for a cat) and very, very fat. Obese, really. (But very lovable, what a doll he is.) He was diagnosed with diabetes and she had to give him insulin shots. I was under the impression that once your pancreas goes, that's it, but after about six months, he'd lost a lot of weight and the vet took him off the insulin shots. He's fine. I still do not understand it, but I know it's true: he's fine. And so I offer this story in the hopes that your kitty will lose weight be fine, too. My every finger and toe is crossed that he'll be insulin-free sometime in the near future! Hang in there.

(P.S. This is totally not an urban legend or a friend of a friend. I listened to and offered sympathy to my friend about the awfulness of giving her cat the shots - which he didn't mind that much, it just freaked her out - day after day. I swear, I about fell out of my chair when she said he was done with insulin.)

Susan said...

Thanks Erin. I'm secretly hoping for the same type of outcome. There are lots of internet stories about weight loss and species appropriate food (e.g. no corn, wheat or soy!) leading to a cure. The shots are becoming a drag, and its only day four, so leroy's pancreas better man up and start working.