Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am exhausted. I feel like there’s too much going on, and I just can’t keep up.

There was frost on the ground when I went for a run this morning!

Woke up at 3:30 with full-blown anxiety, which is very unusual for me. Couldn’t get back to sleep. Got up when the alarm went off at 4:45, did my yoga, was out the door for the run by 5:15. Did okay on my double circuit. Feel like I’m making a little progress. Great time to run on Wednesdays — very few people out.

Had to make a detour on the way home. A mallard drake was lost, and I was worried he’d get hit by a car, so I shooed him carefully across the road and through someone’s backyard back to the brook. If the people who live in the house woke up and saw me herding a duck before they had their first cup of coffee — poor things! But at least the duck is safe.

Didn’t get as much writing done as I wanted/needed to yesterday, which was very frustrating. Got the grocery shopping. Ran around to health food stores, trying to find the stuff I need for Elsa — ended up having to order it online.

The vet thinks Elsa’s blood work indicates a pretty serious infection. What we don’t know is the cause, which affects how it’s treated. I’m to stop the antibiotics and wean her off the steriod over the next couple of weeks, adding in a supplement. The antibiotics are treating the symptoms but not the cause and weakening her overall system, so when they’re stopped, she gets sicker faster and doesn’t respond to the next round of treatment. It still could be cancer — or it could be other things. But the steriod is buying her time, not solving the problem, and we need to root out the cause. She is a very sick little cat, in spite of seeming improvement.

On better health news, my mom is doing pretty well. Her bloodwork came back in good shape, and her doctor said I’m doing well feeding her with organic, healthy, whole foods, etc., and she’s in great shape for someone who’s 86. (I do all the cooking for her, and, when I’m not around, prepare meals she can just heat up). My cousin in Maine finished his chemo treatments last week. He’s tired, but he’s hanging in here. Hopefully, Elsa will be well enough soon so I can get up there for a few days. I’d take her with me, but the trip would be too much for her.

Today and tomorrow are do-it-or-lose-it days for the novella. Either I get it done and polished and out the door on Friday, or I lose this opportunity, and it will weigh me down as an unfinished project draining creativity. I really want to get back to ANGEL HUNT and CRAVE THE HUNT next week, so I better get in gear.

I got Elsa to sneeze on one swab, and will keep trying this morning, and then run the swabs up to the vet, and take care of paying for that, yesterday’s phone consult, and the radiology consult that still needs to happen with Cornell. While I certainly feel better about Smith Ridge than many of the other vet establishments around here, there’s still an emphasis on money that turns me off. Yes, they deserve to be paid, but I’m getting a little sick and tired of health care in this country, being people or pets, only going to those who have a lot of cash.

Since so many of our heath problems are caused by the actions of corporations who’ve created environmental and other health risks that make it necessary for so much health care in the first place, those corporations need to kick in.

Speaking of corrupt corporations, while I appreciate Congress posturing and scolding Goldman Sachs yesterday, unless there are actual consequences for the actions of these executives, and they are made an example of what will no longer be tolerated by either Congress or the public on any level, it’s all a lot of hot air. Executives who are found guilty of these frauds (no matter what the company) need to be incarcerated for a looooong time, banned from working in the financial industry ever again, and the profits they made stripped from them and put back into the budget deficits caused by their corruption. Anything less makes the Congressional hearings a joke. A slap on the wrist instead of strong action gives Wall Street the permission to do the same thing again. And they can’t be dealt with as entities. Individuals made these decisions and those INDIVIDUALS must be held responsible, and must make amends for the lives they destroyed.

This evening, I attend the 50th Anniversary celebration for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Stephen Colbert will read, and there will be a discussion. I think it will be wonderful.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 5:16 am  Comments (5)  
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Saturday, April 24, 2010


Elsa and Iris

Saturday, April 24, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday was an adventure, but, ultimately, a good one. Got Elsa packed up early to the vet, had a nice drive up there. The facility is gorgeous, and everyone is very, very nice. When the animals come in, they’re happy to see their friends. There are treats and big play spaces and everything for them. Elsa made friends quickly, as she always does, and everyone fell in love with her. She was really well-behaved through the whole two hours and change of the visit.

The doctor is great. He’s the son of an acupuncturist/homeopath, so we’re on the same page as far as exploring non-invasive options first. Elsa really liked him, which helped, too. She was very cooperative in the exam. The doctor went over the blood tests that were done in January and showed me where red flags were raised — and, of course, not followed up. He thinks cancer is a possibility, but not a probability. He’s leaning more towards an infection that was triggered perhaps by environmental factors (such as the materials the scumbag landlords are using in construction, since the problems originate with their take-over of the building and “improvements” they’ve done), and then the infection worsened by overuse of antibiotics over the past year and change only covered the symptoms, not the cause, and weakened Elsa’s overall system. The same way humans shouldn’t take more than two cycles of antibiotics in a calendar year because it depresses the immune system and you get sick more and more often, with antibiotics doing less and less– works similarly in cats. Only because they’re smaller and their systems are different, the results show up more quickly.

First, we have to isolate the CAUSE. Then, we have to treat the cause, not just the symptoms. Then, we have to rebuild her system so it doesn’t recur. She had to have more bloodwork run, and a couple of X-rays. The doctor apologized for the X-rays — he hates using them, but he felt it was the next logical step. She behaved beautifully through all of it, and the roomful of technicians just fell in love with her, too.

Elsa’s been around theatre her whole life — I used to take her in and leave her in the wardrobe room — she knows how to play to an audience!

The X-ray showed there’s some swelling in the nasal cavity and what looks like a bone abnormality, but he didn’t see a tumor. He’s sending it to a top radiographer at Cornell for a second opinion, just to make sure. Not quite a giant sinus headache, but definitely causing a problem.

We needed to get a mucous culture, but, of course, she didn’t sneeze. Can you imagine five people sitting around trying to get a cat to sneeze? It was pretty funny. And she just purred and played and didn’t. So I took a swab kit with me, and, if she starts the wet sneezes again, I’ll take a culture (they taught me how), seal it, and drive it back up.

Yes, it was a big chunk of change to drop. Still, it was one-fourth of what the first visit to the center recommended by the other vet was, and it was less invasive. Elsa actually had fun instead of being scared and hurt. AND I have a vet who believes in setting out all the options and supports my views on non-invasive treatment. He was concerned — as i was — at a cancer diagnosis without any cultures or X-rays. And he felt jumping to radical treatment was missing a few steps. Kind of like shooting a bug with an elephant gun.

Is it possible it’s something terminal? Of course. But there are other possibilities.

We’re going to talk on Tuesday, when he’ll have results back from the blood work. For the moment, I’m keeping Elsa on the medications given thus far, since she’s improved so much, and then we’ll change treatment once we have the cause.

Elsa and I both took a nap when we got home.

Hauled a carload of stuff to storage in the afternoon. Had to give Iris and Violet a lot of extra attention, because they’re feeling left out. Caught up on some business.

A line I read in a book sounded like a wonderful title of a play, and I wound up outlining a new play.

A friend of mine has tickets on Wednesday to the 50th anniversary celebration of Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Stephen Colbert (whose work I adore — he’s one of the most brilliant satirists of our generation) will do a reading, and then there will be a discussion. It sounds fantastic, and I can’t wait. I’m so pleased to be invited!

And this morning, another friend called and coaxed me to pack up my computer and come write at his place — everything’s blooming. So I’m about to do that. I’ve got a short story and a novella to get out this week, and Colin just sent me a great call of submissions for an anthology. I immediately knew what I’m going to write!

Elsa’s got a long road ahead, but at least we’ve found a place that treats her as an individual and wants to treat the whole cat, not just one symptom — and isn’t just trying to get as much money out of me as possible.

I’m going to try to enjoy the day.

And maybe tonight, Elsa will sneeze. 😉

Devon

Published in: on April 24, 2010 at 7:16 am  Comments (6)  
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