Results as I know it-

Last night, quite late, a doctor  called about the electrocardiogram study done today. She was NOT one of the doctors present during the exam. She is the cover doctor and she was interpreting the results for me. (I had called the hospital several times asking for information). She said the notes show that it was a technically difficult study to do because of several issues- #1 being his weight (316 pds according to the chart) and the fatty tissue between the heart blocking the view.  and #2 the heart was apparently beating with more beats then it actually should.( She said this is called an arrhythmia)The function of his heart is at 40-45% when it should be about 70% when you look at his age, lifestyle, weight etc.,  The right side of his heart was hard to view but the pericardium appeared to be normal.

 

She said in layman’s terms the notes indicate the heart does not look completely normal- the heart’s function is “mildly decreased.” There will be other specialists looking at the images she said in a day or two and the data and I might get more definitive information from them. The notes did say that this is something they believe he has had for quite awhile and it just didn’t get noticed or show itself until now. I wonder if the stress of losing his leg triggered it? I asked her, but she said that is something you need to ask the day team about because they are familiar with the case and she is not.

 

That’s all I know for now- one more thing- the nature of this disease is that sometimes when the lungs are full and the heart is struggling to keep up- there is some carbon monoxide that gets released into the brain. This can cause the person to become somewhat in a fugue state of mind. Saying things that are happening (that really are not) but because they fully believe that it is happening, they are unwilling to accept the fact that it hasn’t or didn’t happen. Not like a hallucination I was told, more like just a trick of the mind. The gas has to go somewhere and the only path open for it is into the brain. So I guess he’s a huffer now without wanting to be. :)

On the cat front- Slater the little grey boy that was living under my kitchen cupboards is going to a new home this weekend! He has turned out to be a delightful, funny little boy and his favorite trick is to climb up on the top of the refrigerator and try to swipe at me when I go in to the fridge for something. He doesn’t have his claws out- I think he is playing with my hair.

Gidget is the new kit on the block and I wish I could post pictures of her. She is beautiful a long hair-dilute calico who appeared out of nowhere, let me scoop her up and take her in to be evaluated. She does not appear to like to be in any of the enclosures or the house. She is about 2 years old and she has taken up residence in the barn. Since her arrival there has been a line of rodents deposited on the back steps nightly. She is a mighty huntress and until our riding lawnmower gets fixed (needs a fuel pump) I fear that line will get longer daily as long grasses attract rodents, bugs and birds. If it was left up to me, I would just let the grasses grow, especially in the back pasture where deer (in the past) have left their nesting patterns when they settle for a sleep. But my neighbors complain that the grasses need to be mowed and kept looking nice.

Mike’s oldest boy and one of his sons (Ben) who is 16 will be coming in on Friday. I told him I don’t know at this point where his father will be- but they are coming anyway. Unfortunately they can’t stay here. Both of them are allergic to cats!  I think the other kids are like me, in a holding pattern waiting to hear from some more doctors before deciding what is best to do.

And as far as how I am doing. I do appreciate the private emails sent from some of you. They help me stay grounded. I am sad but try not to show it. I am scared and give my fears to the Lord. I’ve been praying a lot but it seems I just can’t sit still for long periods of time. My foot has been completely healed! YAY I can walk without a limp now. They pulled 4 pieces of plastic out of my foot over a period of two weeks. My finger is quite numb- my nail on that finger is very colorful and it is no longer painful unless I bump it, but I still can’t make a fist.

Today I go meet a friend for coffee. Then I will go to the humane society and return their crap traps! Other traps have been secured to use for the colony and the trapping will begin in a few weeks. I just can’t focus on that right at the moment to much else going on. Then I will call the hospital and see what is scheduled for Mike and make a determination from there. The doctor did say last night that a possible discharge may be happening because this was there most expensive machine they used on him- and the results were pretty inconclusive. She said they can manage the disease by drugs and diet as long as the patient cooperates. Since his foot is still harboring that open ulcer, I can’t imagine them sending him home? I would think he’ll just have to go back to the rehab center at least till the wound completely heals- but at this point that is only my guess.

On an OMG note, I stopped by to check on my donation box yesterday at a local restaurant. Inside, was a check for $200.00! Turns out the owner of the restaurant donated it- she’s a cat lover! The money is very much needed to knock down the ever-present vet debt. :)

Well you know what they say- When God gives you a blessing, the devil gets jealous! Just went to the last spot where I have a donation box only to find out someone stole it. :( Makes me sad- guess they needed it more than the cats.

 

Mike update

Just got back from the hospital. Did not see or talk to any of the doctors, no tests were done on him on Sunday. They only do emergency cases on Sunday,  but he looks SO much better! He is not ghostly white, he knew who I was immediately. He isn’t coughing very much and he was sitting up on the side of the bed when I went in. I was so relieved because yesterday, he looked pretty grim.

I did talk to the head nurse and told her everything the ER doctor told me about his prognosis. she was pretty upset that the ER doc had told me all the worst case scenario stuff and said he really had no right, because he was not a cardiac doctor. She said she was so sorry he had got me all worked up without really knowing much other than Mike has congestive heart failure. As for the open heart surgery, that depends on how much damage is done to the heart and that scan won’t take place until Monday.

What she did tell me and what I learned is from here on in, he will be on a heart-healthy diet. This means NO salt  (or limited amounts) NO FAST FOODS- NO DIET COKES- NO HOT DOGS-CHEESE-NO BOXED BAGGED OR FROZEN FOOD and only 2Liters of fluid daily, any more than that amount of fluid and he will become short of breath because his heart isn’t working right in order to pass fluids through his body and he will start backing fluids into his lungs again. What he does have is not curable, but it is treatable with diet, medicine and they are going to have to figure out an exercise program he will be able to do on a daily basis.

These last three weeks since he has fallen ill has been stressful and frustrating. I wasn’t sure what to expect this morning when I finally arrived at the hospital. It was so nice to see Mike back again.

They are supposed to do tests on him tomorrow. I am not sure I will be there on Monday, but I will be there on Tuesday because by then they might have more results about the shape of his heart. It’s such a long drive up there.

This was only funny later on after I saw Mike, but when I got there and got off the elevator, there were two wards one on each side, both labled “B” I wasn’t sure where he was, so I went to the left. I went over to the nurse’s station and this nurse asked if she could help me? I told her that I was looking for Mike Miller and could she tell me how he was doing? She said, “Mike Miller is stable”. I said I was glad to hear that and asked where he was? She leaned over the desk and whispered “Are you the wife? Or are you the girlfriend?”

I was stunned and I asked her to repeat what she said to me. She did and she said that she wasn’t sure who could see him and his wife’s name was written on the board of his room. Was that my name? Gloria?

I told her no, that’s not my name, I am mike’s wife my name is Mary Anne and I bloody don’t know what she is talking about! I walked over to room 13 and saw the name plate- Mike Miller and peeked in- wasn’t Mike, some dude in his 30”s lying in the bed! LOL   The nurse about stepped on her tongue telling me over and over how sorry she was. I told her I’d give her a tip, when the  real wife comes in, she best not divulge the existence of a girlfriend or Mr. Miller’s condition may not stay stable!

Then I went to the other side of the building and found Mike. He was alert and chipper and when I left he was complaining about not being able to order what HE wants from the dinner menu! J

 

Giving the Doctors the Finger

The above line is my way of trying to find humor in a bad situation. I just got back from the ER. My finger grew much worse during the day. I had taken a marker to keep track of the redness and swelling and both were expanding I decided that waiting until tomorrow for my scheduled appointment (regarding a recheck of the foot) wasn’t going to work so off I went.

They ended up lancing the tip, draining and flushing it. Put me on antibiotics and pain killers and told me if I had hesitated longer my finger would have been lost! They did say that all the preventative measures I took stalled the process and didn’t make things worse. I am supposed to elevate my hand-and rest as much as possible for a few days. The darn thing is telling me I am still alive by throbbing to the beat of my heart.

So after much prayer and consideration, I have cancelled the neuter trip. I have to be at the top of my game working with these cats and right now, I’m not there. I let the coalition know of my decision and I have been told that more clinics are coming in a few weeks time so I will take advantage of that and get this colony in to be spayed unless the kitten comes back positive for rabies and again- I don’t think that is what was wrong with this baby. But I still haven’t heard back. I’ll call the vet in the morning and see if OSU has the results.

When I look back at the last few days and list everything that went wrong for this anticipated trapping- the list is impressive and daunting. For whatever reason this trip is not supposed to happen on my time schedule. I was told that if the kitten (who I named Weebles) is positive- the fate of the colony will no longer be my decision. The proper authorities will step in to make a determination at that time. Again- I think Weebles had nasty bacteria in her mouth- but I would think if this is rabies the other cats would be showing signs of it? They are sick with URI, oily coats, parasites but other then two kittens of the same age as weebles who had the same symptoms and have died- no one else is showing high aggression or other signs of furious rabies. So here I sit, typing with one finger and wait…and wait…and wait.

 

The Kitten

Last night, the kitten started snapping at the air around her. She’s been in the trap since she nailed me and I feel bad for her, but putting such an aggressive kitten into a carrier is not an option. The symptoms she is and has displayed MIGHT be rabies. The uncoordinated gait, the falling over, the twirling eyes. So now, instead of this kitten being given a fighting chance at another life, I have to have her put down and tested for rabies.

I highly doubt this is rabies. There hasn’t been a case of rabies in our area for over ten years, but it would be irresponsible of me (since she bit me) for me to dismiss the idea of rabies -not to mention fatal to both of us.

So this is my quandary this morning. I have to put this beautiful kitten down and wait to hear that she is negative and then deal with all the guilt that will follow. I wish there existed another way to test for rabies besides testing the brain.

My finger is red this morning and slightly numb. I go to see the doctor tomorrow morning about my foot. I’ll ask him to look at it then. One thing about being bitten- it’s made me forget my foot hurts! :)

I can’t even conceive that this is rabies though. And if it is, this means all the cats in the colony will be destroyed- not just trapped-neutered and released.

If Possible, I need your help

Hey guys-

This might get long and if it does, I hope you will forgive me. I went this morning to pick up the traps. I shouldn’t have bothered, Can you say circa 1945? These traps are crap (sorry but they are) It looks like once the cat gets inside of them, they can get right back out! I still haven’t figured it out and neither did the humane society who had them. Just said they were the only traps donated to them. George is going to look at them tonight to see if he can make them safe.

There are 8 good traps available in Salem- but only enough gas money to get up to salem and back one time (which would be the trapping day). Plus the cats have multiplied or more have arrived and many look pregnant so leaving them behind isn’t even an option.

I don’t know what I was thinking that 18 traps would fit in my truck. It isn’t going to happen- so I am going to have to make multiple trips on delivery and pickup days and again gas is an issue.

I went to see Mike today. I can finally walk on my foot. He looks so bad guys, it just broke my heart. His lungs are so congested that when he breathes, he rattles like a skeleton hanging in the wind. They have him on oxygen and it doesn’t give him much relief. He was pale, he’s lost a lot of weight and he wasn’t making much sense when he did talk to me. I left wondering if he was ever going to come home again it was that bad, Please, please please keep him in your prayers.

I know it’s tax time but if you have any spare change lying around would you toss it this way? I can then fill up the truck, run up to salem pick up the good traps and still have enough monies left to do multiple trips on trapping and pick-up day. I deliver the cats on the 28th and pick them up on the 29. There is one kitten who has stolen my heart. She is black and white and her head tilts to the left and she circles to the right. I suspect she either got hit by a car or she is a survivor of distemper.

At any rate- that’s what lies ahead for CATS right now. If you can help- thank you- if you can’t that’s fine too. I just don’t know who else to ask.

7:12 update- stopped at the storage place to drop off my good traps. While I was there I noticed one of the kittens “stumble drunk” weaving side to side, wobbling, falling down. It went under the motor home and Chris was able to slide underneath and grab the kitten who was snarling and biting-but Chris had her gloves on and stayed safe. We popped the baby into one of my traps and I took it home.

This litten might not walk good but she can bite. She just nailed me with her canines and she went deep. She bit through all the protective gear I had on. The gloves are so bulk, I couldn’t scruff her tight enough and she turned her head and gave me all she had. I have done all the preventive measures I know and the tip of my finger is going numb. I’ll watch it carefully and I have started antibiotics just in case. It’s been a long time since I’ve been bitten.

Following orders

Trying to stay off my foot has proved challenging when so many depend on my being healthy. But I have done my best to rest my foot and come this Weds when I go back to the doctors office, I will find out if I have done enough. They did pull three pieces of plastic out of my foot on my follow-up visit but the doctor fears there is more inside. I was not brave getting shots in my foot-and they went as far as they could go before I begged them to stop. I was a real wuss.

On Tuesday, we start laying traps for the feral cat colony and Saturday is transport day so I am hoping all the cats will be captured so the colony stops multiplying. Every time I visit there, I see more cats. It’s pretty disheartening to say the least. I’ve only managed to raise a few hundred dollars towards the spays/neuters and I hope it is enough to get the job done.

My mother has been calling me daily, and telling me she wants to die. It’s hard to hear a parent that is so miserable in her life that she wants to end it. She wants me to research the Oregon Right to Die law and if she qualifies, she wants to move here to end her life. The law is written to provide the end of life to terminally ill people, not just people who want to die because they are so unhappy.

She doesn’t tell my other two sisters all this sad stuff- just me. I know she is getting older- she just turned 90. She said she just wants dignity to die and life for her isn’t worth living anymore. She is slowly losing her grip on sanity- she keeps saying people are robbing her of her checkbook, purse, ss card etc…Then it turns out she has everything she reported stolen still in her room. It’s hard to know what to do. I know she misses Dad and wants to join him- but really she is pretty good health for her age My older sister will go and see her next month and I hope she can figure out what to do. Mother lives in an independent living quarters at the moment.

Mike is still in the hospital- it is going on three months now He got a cold which morphed into pneumonia. He can’t move around to much so he is pretty miserable as well. Seems to be a theme among those I love lately. I miss him a lot and only manage to see him once a week.

The Three Little Kittens-

From last year’s rescue found their way into an amazing home. I received a progress report on them this morning along with photos of them in her new, loving home. London, Paris and Glacie have all been renamed, which is fine. As I told the adopted family- because of how thick my vet chart is, I have to come up with unusual names for cats so I  don’t duplicate names of cats I have had in the past.

This type of email and photos makes it worthwhile all the blood, sweat, tears and prayers shed over the welfare of these little ones. Please re-meet Furrgie- Aggie and Bella

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My “mini” vacation

They did a procedure on my left foot yesterday. Can someone say OUCH! I am supposed to stay off the foot completely for 10 days (sorry that can’t happen) but I will do my best not to put weight on it. Three years ago in the middle of the night, I stepped on a plastic cat toy and it shattered into my foot. I chased pieces for two weeks, then went to the doctor’s because of the pain factor. He put a needle into my foot and I kicked him square in the face and I am NOT a violent person! He dug around and couldn’t find the one piece he found with the ultra sound so I just couldn’t take the pain anymore and told him to quit. I’ve been living with it since.

Lately, I think it has come close to the surface because now you can see it under the skin. It’s been extremely painful especially at the end of the day. So off I went to a new doctor who froze the area (twice) YIKES! It hurt like the dickens, but it wasn’t a needle in the foot. The premise is the skin will blister and when the blister pops, the item will come out along with all the other stuff. The pain has gone from unbearable to uncomfortable and the timing couldn’t be worse because we start trapping this colony in 11 days. I told a friend of mine, I have no right to complain because of what Mike is dealing with now. But doggone it- my foot hurts right now. If it turns red, I am supposed to go back ASAP. The doctor was a bit concerned because when the procedure was over and I was trying to put my shoe on, I was in a lot of pain. According to him, at that time, the area should have been numb by then and something else might be going on, because as he put it “Mary Anne, this is not normal!” I laughed and looked up at him and said “Doc, when am I ever normal?”

Also fighting with the DMV they have disputed my doctor’s claims that I don’t have a medical condition which caused me to fall asleep at the wheel and get into that wreck- so  I have to go back to the doctor, have a second exam within 90 days or they will suspend my license for a year. First, they were going to suspend my license because I wasn’t covered in insurance (I was covered and the company has paid off the car) and I didn’t report the accident to the DMV. Now there is a second threat of suspension- I guess it is our tax dollars at work!

On a good note, MIke’s second ulcer on his good foot is healing slowly- YAY! And they are starting his new prosthesis this week. He may get his new leg on his 75th birthday!

All’s quiet on the cat front right now. I am not able to take on any more cats at the moment- the little gray boy who was living under my kitchen cupboard is now the first kitty to jump on my lap at night! The new calico has made herself right at home in the barn (she is so nervous in the house) and the tortie who was self-mutilating herself by over-grooming is finally getting some hair coming back in. She is such a sweet, mellow kitty not like any tortie I have ever had before.

Life goes on- money trickles in and I do what I can to make a small difference-

God Bless You All~