May 3, 2011
Stop the ride, I want to get off!!
This weekend was my long-awaited baby shower (that will be getting its own post, don’t worry!) which was wonderful, but unfortunately got a bit overshadowed by some major drama.
On Friday night, I started having pain in my sides and lower back, that got intense enough that I actually called the doctor. A doctor from another practice was covering that night, and after asking all sorts of questions and making me feel super stupid for calling, told me just to take some Tylenol and use a heating pad. Gee, thanks.
I woke up Saturday still really sore, and begged out of a work conference that would have been a four-hour round trip drive plus four hours on my feet in the middle…and instead just hung around the house alternating between doing little bits of housework and laying down with the heating pad. I felt better by Sunday, but by the end of my shower was super sore again.
Then on Sunday afternoon…all hell broke loose.
My immediate family had come back to our house for a little get together with the men in the family, and we were all just hanging out, having a few drinks, etc. My youngest brother came downstairs and told S and I that Killian (our cat) had gotten sick in the baby’s room. I went up to check on him while S cleaned up a few spots along the way, and found him with vomit all over his mouth, heaving, shaking, his eyes completely unfocused. That was officially the scariest moment of my life.
I screamed for S and went running to find his crate and a towel. In the time it took us to get things together (with everybody trying to get me to relax and stop running around and tell them what I needed), Killian had thrown up four more times. I literally yelled at S to just get in whatever car was last out and GO! Luckily it was my Dad and the two of them went off to the emergency vet (15 minutes away).
It absolutely killed me not to be going with them, but at almost 8-months pregnant and with a house full of people, I knew it wasn’t a good idea. Thank god it was all family and close family friends who had to witness my meltdown, and they actually remarked that I had held it together pretty well. (Good thing they didn’t see me right after when I locked myself in my bedroom with Bailey and sat on the floor holding her, crying and shaking.)
We still aren’t sure whether he ate something or was bitten, but when he arrived at the vet, his tongue and muzzle were swollen and he was having trouble breathing, so he got a steroid and antihistamine and was put in an oxygen cage. And yes, that’s as expensive as it sounds. They got him stabilized and did blood work to try and figure out what was going on, and sent S home to wait for the results. When we called back that night to check on him we were told that he was exhibiting some head shaking which could indicate a potential neurological issue, but that it hadn’t really been long enough to know and we just had to wait and see. Needless to say, there was not much sleeping to be had on Sunday night.
I called them at quarter of 7 in the morning and all we were told was that he was using his litter box which was a good sign and that they wouldn’t know more until rounds later that morning. I asked to come see him before rounds and they hemmed and hawed and then put me on hold. S got on the phone and was like “my wife is pregnant and very upset and she’s coming to see her cat”…and they said NO. Poor guy, stuck between a rock and a pregnant wife. ;-)
At this point, we were so worried and fed up with the lack of communication, that as soon as our vet opened, I called them and begged for some help and advice. I literally have never loved someone more. While waiting for the vet to be available, they requested the report from the emergency clinic, and called me to tell me that the vet would call as soon as they got the report. She called and explained what was going on, but didn’t feel comfortable with the amount of information in the report, so actually hung up with me and got on the phone with the clinic to talk to them directly. Then she called me back and helped me to understand what had happened, and what she would suggest for next steps.
Luckily, Killian was doing much better – at about 90% - but they said that he was acting really aggressive (which is the complete opposite of his personality). So between that and the drastic difference in care and communication between the two vet offices, S and I made the decision to pull him out of the emergency clinic and bring him to our vet (even though we were told that he probably would be discharged later that afternoon anyways).
We arrived at 11am to pick him up, and miraculously, the vet on the morning shift was actually very helpful and friendly, and explained to us what had been done, her best guess as to what had happened, and what needed to happen next. (Killian’s blood work still wasn’t back to normal, so he needed to be rechecked before going home.) After the second traumatizing moment in 24 hours – listening to Killian scream as they got him disconnected from the IV and discharged – we were on our way.
He looked much better to us, just exhausted (and unhappy with the IV still in his arm and a collar on his head), but after 5 minutes in the car he calmed down and just kept rubbing his face against the door to be petted. Our vet didn’t think he needed any more fluids so she just kept an eye on him for the afternoon and then rechecked his blood work.
We got a call at 4 o’clock that he was doing much better, that he had been a sweetheart to them all afternoon, and that we could go get him. His blood work still wasn’t 100% normal, so I have to bring him back in today, but he was good enough to go home, and the scary neurological symptoms had disappeared. We were as happy to have him home as he was to be home…even Bailey knew that something was going on and was super sweet and gentle with him all night.
As I write this post, both animals are curled up asleep nearby and all is right in the world. But for a 24-hour time span, we got a taste of some majorly scary drama. All I could picture was my little not even 2-year-old kitty with brain damage, and it was enough to send this hormonal woman over the edge. S was wonderful, putting up with rude doctors and a hysterical wife…and once again, I’m reminded of what a great partnership we have.
I was hesitant to pull Killian out of the emergency clinic, not wanting to disrupt his care, but S insisted and it was the best thing we could have done. Whatever had been going on in the clinic overnight (dogs barking, cats hissing), Killian had gotten himself so worked up that he was actually falsely inflating some of the levels in his body. But after just a few quiet hours with our vet, and probably a good nap, he was almost completely back to himself. It was amazing to realize how much the environment had been affecting his recovery, and definitely something that we made a mental note of for the future (with both our furbabies and our human baby).
Needless to say, it has been an emotionally exhausting few days, but we’re all on the road to a full recovery.