Friday, November 16, 2012

A hard choice

Been thinking about doing this post for 24 hours now. But maybe it would help someone.

Arno sorting out my meds for 10 days
I've started the new protocol of meds a few days ago. Adding the Tinidazole three or four days ago. The second day I felt very funny - the nausea, headachy, just not right feeling.  Tried to rest on Wednesday and felt better in the evening.

Then came Thursday (yesterday), which was an especially difficult day. As all Lymies know, we have to make choices all the time: Go out or rest? Do the laundry or cook a meal? Visit with friends or rest up in order to go grocery shopping?

Then there are the harder choices. Stay on in a job that has become too taxing because you need the money to help pay for meds or resign so you can have more rest?
Pay for treatment or take a vacation with your spouse?

Yesterday I had to make that choice about a pet. I know in the scope of losing a house, a car, a job, or other things that's only small potatoes, but pets have always been part of our lives.

I had to take one of our three cats, Essie, to the vet. She has had a sort of coughing or wheezing for a while, but didn't seem to be in discomfort. Eating, playing, jumping and doing everything she always did, despite being 9 years old already. She is the one who has adopted me fully and thinks she owns me.

The picture to the right is of her grabbing my finger to try and convince me to put down the laptop so she can sleep on my legs!

The vet has known us for years and I trust him. While he was talking, I felt the nausea rising. Looking around in the small room, I noticed a sink in the corner and thought if I can't control it, I'll push the vet out of the way and storm to the corner. As a vet, he's used to all sorts of things, I'm sure! He must have noticed me feeling weird, though. When I said I might have to storm past him because I'm on treatment for Lyme disease, he said there's a washroom just around the corner.

I barely made it. Yuck. You know, the whole thing. Heaving way past the point when the stomach contents have emptied completely, the sweaty, shaky, dishrag-pale image of self that's left.

Back in the office, it was explained that it could be a number of things - asthma, worms (they are all indoor cats), kennel cough and more. X-rays and bloodwork required. Cost of over $750 (over R5,000 in South African money). That's all diagnostic, then we haven't yet started on the meds.

I was honest and said we can't afford it. It is a choice between my treatment and a pet's. Essie is not in discomfort. The vet was very sympathetic. He agreed that she's not in discomfort and that she was in good health otherwise. He told me what to watch out for - one of the first would be when the other cats start picking on her instead of her being the queen of the household. He said there's no reason why she couldn't live to be 16 even with this condition, unless of course it becomes obvious that she's in pain.

Then he launched into the fact that the Lyme screening is such a simple test for dogs, that vets are aware and how can it be that human doctors just ignore it? He said he has been toying with the idea to give a talk to his clients and I said he must just say the word; I'd help him out if he needs the human aspect.

Last night I didn't want to take my meds. Lived on dry crackers and apples all day. Oh yes and some ginger cookies just to get something in (yes I know I'm supposed to avoid gluten).

This morning after taking the meds I drove to work with double plastic bags on the seat next to me. The queasy feeling is till there, but I haven't gotten sick yet. But then - the levels of whatever of the cocktail that caused the nausea is lower in my blood than it was yesterday morning. Will see how it goes the rest of the day and tomorrow morning. I have a women's breakfast in the morning, but they're all aware and there's a washroom nearby, haha!

Essie has forgiven me for bundling her in the carry cage. When it came time for bed last night, she cuddled right up to my side, exposing her tummy to be rubbed.  Ah! A purring cat! Nothing beats that.
Last year, with the severe hip and back pain, my sweet husband bought us a new pillow-top bed. He said I tossed and turned all night. The new bed is so high that I need a step stool to get on it. 
With the hurting hips I can't just get on the bed. So one Saturday night I was totally exhausted after a day in the sun with taking pictures of our friendly church baseball games and woke up during the night again with  throbbing pain in the left thigh, deep in the bone. Felt a weight on me and Essie was right there, purring loudly. That while Dusty was on the step stool in front of the bed, looking right at me. She has never done that. Essie especially seems to know when I'm in pain and then comes very close to me to snuggle and purr. Cats know!

Adventures in Lymeland continues, indeed.

Here are more pictures of our pet collection if you want to see.


chillin with Quillin said...

so sorry that your having such a horriable time, my prayers are with you!!!
Glad your cat id doing fine, take care and dont over due things!!!

Nina said...

sorry to hear that you are in so much pain and physical distress. i can relate to the choices you have to make... it is a painful reminder to hear about having to choose between how to spend what little there is left on the necessities of life, whether it be your pet's health, their food or your own groceries, medication for the month or car insurance. thank you for your blog, for providing a voice for survivors of lyme. take care, nina in niagara on the lake.

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