Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Black Cloud Returns (Updated)(Updated again)

Bad news. I frigging HATE bad news. HATE IT.

Last night the Worthless Pet would not come in. I was up almost all night calling him, trying to entice him with food and treats. He never does this. Never.

This morning the Girl found him under our front porch. He would not move. He wouldn't come to her. She got me up and we tried shoving him with a broom handle but he still didn't move. So we got out the snow shovel and tried to shovel him up. That got him out from under the porch, but he went under the very thick bushes and hid. We tried to get him out, but all he would do was stare at us. He didn't even meow. Not a good sign. He was breathing really fast, too.

The Girl crawled under about 8' of wet bushes and grabbed him. We brought him inside and he walked by his food without even a glance. REALLY not good. This is a cat that lives to eat.

He went upstairs and lay down on my bed. We snuggled with him, but his breathing was fast, shallow, and sort of croaky. So we got dressed and took him to the free Vet. The vet examined him and said we needed to take him right away to the animal hospital, as he had internal bleeding.

Back in the car we went. We stopped at his old vet, but the doctor wasn't in, so off to Angell Memorial we sped. All the time I'm feeling more and more frantic because Angell is not cheap. They're the best. No doubt about it. They're the Mass Gen of the pet world. But you pay for really excellent care. You pay out the wazoo.

We hit the emergency room and the triage nurse listened to his belly and called up a vet right away. They did a cursory exam and then talked to us. He has either pus, fluid, or blood pressing against his lungs, which can't expand. They put him on oxygen right away, and put in an IV to ensure that he didn't dehydrate any further.

Then they talked finances. They do not have a payment plan. They DO have financial aid, but it only covers up to 50% of the cost. I have the application, which I will fill out tonight. In the meantime, the cost was $1200 just for diagnostics. They have to do an X-ray and an ultrasound to determine where and what the fluid is about. He has to stay overnight. As soon as they get the results they'll call us and we'll have to decide what to do. Any more than 24 hours at the hospital doubles the cost.

He's very very sick. It is most likely that we'll have to put him to sleep. The Girl is terribly unhappy and she's very quiet, which isn't a good sign either. I'm so concerned about her. She doesn't handle stuff like this very well at all.

I'm terribly sad, too. Despite his nickname, we love Ringo very much. He's no lap cat, and he's not particularly demonstrative, but we adore him and we don't want to lose him. When we adopted him, he was 8 years old and it was apparent that he had been abused in one of his many former homes. I think we were the 4th or 5th home he'd be in. From a skittish cat that hid all the time, he warmed up to us and even began snuggling with us on a chair or the sofa. And he started sleeping with me. He was never going to be a lovey dovey cat. It isn't in his nature. But he really came out of his shell and began to be the best kitty. We adore him.

We're horribly sad.

Update: The vet just called back and said that the X-ray showed he didn't have any fluid in his abdomen, so they think he is having a severe asthma attack. Making him the 4th family member to have asthma. This kinda fits with his medical profile as he has a very dry cough. They're going to do an albuteral treatment and keep him overnight to hydrate him and keep him on the nebulizer. Then hopefully he gets to go home tomorrow morning.

Phew. So only $1200 instead of $5000. Lucky me!

Update 2: Vet called back. She saw something on his X-Ray that bothered her, so she showed it to several internists. They saw it but didn't know exactly what it was and showed it to some cardiologists. They didn't know either, so his X-ray will be presented at Grand Rounds tomorrow. It's that unusual. She said that it looked like a bunch of white spots inside his lungs. The air shows as black, but there a lot of small white spots that they are guessing are calcium deposits.

Anyhow, with that she changed her prognosis, and it's back to bleak. The plan for tonight is to keep him on the oxygen and see how comfortable he is. They'll do a bronchodialator treatment tonight (Albuteral) and give him a cortosteroid (Prednisone). They'll do it again early tomorrow morning and then around 10, I'll call in to see how he's doing. They will then decide that afternoon whether he can handle being outside of the O2 tent, and if he can, we'll take him home to see if he can handle it. But if he's not stabelized, we'll have to put him to sleep. We can't afford a lung biopsy that might be something really bad, and then there is the question of the quality of life.

Pray for him, please.

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Blogger queerpoet said...

I am so sorry that you are facing this loss and on top of all your other worries. I hope things look up for you soon.


6/8/08 3:20 PM  
Blogger Storm said...

Oh no, I'm so very sorry, my heart is breaking with you :(

6/8/08 4:58 PM  
Blogger thecatsmeow said...

So sorry to hear about your poor kitty. Having faced this sort of situation myself when we had to put a cat down from terminal cancer, I can completely empathize with you. It stinks...but I'm sure the new kitten will help, even if only somewhat. The thoughts of a fellow cat lover are with you all.

6/8/08 5:29 PM  
Blogger bethany actually said...

Oh! When I read that update I actually put my hand on my chest and said out loud, "Thank goodness!" I hope he will be okay!

6/8/08 6:04 PM  
Blogger Adorable Girlfriend said...

Wow. It's been quite a roller coaster. I hope he will be OK.

6/8/08 6:10 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

My heart is breaking. We lost a sweet bunny a year ago after a decision not to follow through with the emergency overnight weekend vet. We knew our little Bort was dying, and we wanted him to be with us when he did.
Hugs to Ringo, the wonder pet. I mean worthwhile pet.

6/8/08 6:11 PM  
Blogger thecatsmeow said...

Thanks for the update...when I came earlier it wasn't looking so good for your kitty. Hopefully this means he's turned a corner & is on his way to recovery. Give Ringo a hug for me...

6/8/08 7:00 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Big cat lover here, so obviously sorry to hear your news. An asthmatic cat! I have asthma and know it is no joke, but I never knew a cat could be afflicted. Poor thing!

6/8/08 7:28 PM  
Blogger Rhiannon said...

Oh! poor baby - prayers for kitty. It's times like these I wish we could just say, tell me where you hurt! and they could tell us!

Poor kitty!

6/8/08 10:02 PM  
Blogger Karen Sugarpants said...

I'm so sorry M. I hope everything turns out for the better. Your poor babies.

6/8/08 10:44 PM  
Blogger Dave2 said...

I always have huge empathy for young kids and animals who are sick, because they just don't understand it all. Hoping Worthless Pet feels better soon!

6/8/08 11:37 PM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

EEEk. So sorry about the kitty. I know about the mega super huge vet bills... when my hubby and I first got together I had a 6 toed kitten named Emmy that was mangled at the vet that was supposed to 'fix' him... they dislocated his jaw while neutering him. We didn't find out until 72 hours later when he wouldn't eat or drink and was getting severely dehydrated.

I ended up taking him to KState where he was observed overnight, rehydrated, his jaw wired, and a PEG tube placed so I could do tube feedings on him until his jaw healed. Unfortunately he ended up with a severe infection and we lost him. But the $2400 vet bill remained.

Prayers going up for you, your family, and the fuzzball.

6/8/08 11:58 PM  
Blogger Fox In Detox said...

I'm sorry you are facing such difficult times. I'll be sending good energy your way. I hope your situation improves very soon.

7/8/08 7:09 AM  
Blogger Rhea said...

OH, I am hoping for the best for little Worthless!

7/8/08 8:32 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

oh...no...I just checked in, i am so sorry!

7/8/08 8:53 AM  

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