Friday, July 29, 2011

Septimana Horribilis

15 Nov 1995 - 23 July 2011
Well Queen Elizabeth had an ‘Annus Horribilis’ and I’ve had a week that can ascribe to the same.

I put my beautiful Missey to sleep on Saturday and it just about broke my heart.  She had been losing weight and was drinking a lot so I took her to the vet about a month ago for a ‘top to tail’.  The weight loss was put down to her age (nearly 16) and unfortunately I did not take it any further with blood tests.  She went into a steady decline daily from then until Saturday when she walked into the door as I called her in for breakfast.  I noticed her pupils were fully dilated in the bright sunshine and alarms bells rang.

To cut a long story short she had hyperthyroidism and must have had this for quite some time.  The classic symptoms were pretty much overlooked by the vet the month before.  Missey’s blood pressure was so high that her retinas detached and she literally went blind overnight.  Now, cats can manage without their sight quite well, but the treatment for the disease at her age could have caused renal failure and the treatment for the renal failure could cause liver failure and after all of this she may have only survived another uncomfortable six months.  I couldn’t do that to her, and we agreed it would be doing her a kindness to put her to sleep.  I can rationalise it now, but I felt intensely guilty that I chose the day of her death, and the fact that the food I had been feeding her probably contributed to her illness.  After reading up about it, it seems that it is common in female cats over 13 years of age who eat the fish variety of canned food.  How can a pet food manufacturer happily promote ‘oh so fishy’ on a can of poison?  Tenshi my 10 year old cat will no longer be ‘enjoying’ this junk and I’ll be sticking to Science Diet and fresh meat for the future.

So, that was bad enough.  But on Wednesday my 3 year old grandson was rushed to his local hospital with suspected appendicitis.  The hospital then sent him to the Children’s Hospital in Perth where he spent some time on a drip; it was decided that he didn’t have appendicitis and he was sent home (in pain – what the ?)

Yesterday still in a lot of discomfort he was taken back to his local hospital but was again sent home.  Today after an uncomfortable night he has again been taken to the Children’s Hospital and lo and behold his appendix had perforated.  As I write this he has just come out of surgery and is in recovery.  Living in Queensland I feel totally helpless and unable to support my daughter, it’s horrible.  Honestly, you begin to lose faith in the medical system, especially as it’s not that long ago that he was misdiagnosed with a ‘bad cold’ when in fact he had pneumonia!

My only escape is in reading, but this week it’s been hard to concentrate on anything much.  I have been listening to David Copperfield in the car and when I can get my mind onto a happier track I will write some thoughts on it.  I can say that it is the best Dickens I have read to date.

Before I go, I’d just like to mention that we had local author J R Sanders speak at Caffeine and Chapters Book Club yesterday evening and we will theme Keep it in Yor Knickers as a group read for September.  We wish Ms Sanders all the best with this and future work (I always enjoy meeting someone who is living my dream).

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