Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Awfulness, Part II

My cat died this morning. And it was an accident, and I probably could have prevented it, one way or another, and I am heartbroken.

This morning, early, I heard barking in my backyard, and cat noises, too, but I was so exhausted that I didn't go check it out. I didn't even think that much about it, because (1) there's a dog that barks a lot a couple of yards over, and (2) there's a cat that likes to come by and scrap with my cats fairly often.

A couple of hours later, I woke up and found an actual dog barking and growling in my yard. I was a little scared to get close, so I called the police guy. When he came, he chased the dog farther back in the yard and found the dog... and another dog in my pool... and my beloved Crispin, dead, in the pool.

The gate to the yard was open last night... I didn't think twice about it because there are (before now) no stray dogs in the neighborhood, no small children, it's hard to get to the pool, and my own dog was away with my son, so I wasn't worried about him getting out. The cats never stray beyond the driveway, so I never worried about letting them out. But what must have happened is that the two stray dogs chased the cat and ran into the pool... the dog and poor Crispin couldn't get out.

I could have stopped this. I could have shut the gate. I could have checked out the noises when I first heard them. I could have left the big pool steps in... we took them out because they were causing problems with the liner and Michael was unable to get into the pool anyway. I could have prevented this. Yeah, I had no way of knowing. But I could have prevented it.

I loved that cat like no other. I used to think, I love you so much, something will happen to you.

Something did.

Goodbye, Crispin. I loved you the best and the most from the moment you came to me as a starving kitten. No other cat will ever be like you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Awfulness, Part I

So... when last I posted, we were in the midst of trying to figure out why Michael was getting these spells of feeling terrible, plus trying to get him well enough for the hernia/stomach surgery that was scheduled for the end of July.

Leaving out a good part of the middle bit... two weeks ago, he went in for his annual echocardiogram, and they discovered that his heart was pumping at 15% of capacity (normal, FYI, is about 60%). They immediately put him in the hospital and diagnosed congestive heart failure. And we've spent the last two weeks in the hospital... I say, "we" because I stayed with him the whole time.

The good news... I guess, if there is really any great news here... is that they put him on a whole lot of drugs, which he seems to be relatively ok with, and that the prognosis seems... well, ok I guess. He is relatively young. He's lost a lot of weight (and they said, for whatever it's worth, that if he had not, he would probably be dead by now). CHF is rarely completely reversable, but it can get a lot, lot better. And this explains a lot of the weird symptoms that he's had for so long, although no one has at all explained why it has been so cyclical. There's a lot of hope that maybe he'll really start feeling better.

The not-so-good-news... well, the condition in general. And of course, the surgery has to be postponed for some time until cardio clears him. And he's on a ton of medications which slow his heart rate (good) but lower his blood pressure (bad, because it wasn't high to begin with, and very low blood pressure makes you dizzy and confused). I don't know... it's hard to get any perspective about this right now.

I am worried and scared and overloaded and exhausted... so is he. But his weight is the lowest ever (378), and we are home, and we can rebuild.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


It's another about-the-same day here, but I'm trying to make it different. I'm trying not to get upset. Im trying not to cry. I am trying to take care of myself.

Part of the problem with this cycle of awful stuff that happens is that Michael is so miserable; he says nothing at all (and those things that he says are mostly disturbing, like "where are all the painkillers") and most of the time, he sleeps. I feel desperately isolated and alone; I lose my best friend and confidante as well as everything else. When he's well, he's everything I need... and so, when things are like this, there's nowhere to turn.

We see the doctor on Tuesday.

And in the meantime, I will do what I can. And I will try to focus a little harder on taking some kind of care of me, too.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm Back. Sort of.

I'm sorry for just vanishing... and not checking email and not updating and not responding to anything and all the other things that I should be sorry about.

It's been rough. And I get tired of posting things that say, my life right now is rough, and I am trying not to be discouraged. But it's all been stacking up, and I don't know how to make it better, and I don't know what to do to get my head above water, and I feel so desperately alone.

But you know, that makes for pretty tedious reading.

Michael is going through another spell of this mysterious crap that no one can figure out, and this time, it's hit him so hard that he can barely stand up. He sleeps all the time. Two weeks ago, we we thinking that he would be finally able to have surgery for his hernia (which is constant pain these days) and to have the skin on his stomach removed, and that's all actually scheduled for the end of July, but unless things get a lot better, I can't see it happening.

He's been having iron IVs to help with the anemia... one reason I haven't been on the computer at all; it's been so much time seeing various doctors and in transfusion centers and so on... two series so far, and whether it's doing any good or not, it certainly isn't stopping this mysterious weakness and associated symptoms.

We see the doctor on Tuesday. And I will say, it has been more than a year, and this is not better. Send us to someone who can diagnose this. Or figure out how we can go somewhere like the Mayo Clinic. This has to stop. We are exhausted and discouraged, and we cannot live like this.

It's almost a year since my mother died. She would have known how to approach this. As it is... Michael can't make decisions; he mostly can't even stay awake. And so it's me. Just me. And I will have to figure this out somehow, alone.