This weekend was horrible. Thursday into Friday the cold I had had for three weeks and had thought was gone returned with vengeance. At that point though, I refused to call it a cold because all it was (and still is) is congestion, snot, and a cough because of the snot. I had no other symptoms. But boy was that enough to not let me get ANY sleep that night. It was worse that I had to work 5.75 hours Friday.
Anyways, the time passes that night. Restless. Coughing. And of course having to constantly pee. About 5:20am I get this call from work. I didn’t notice it so it was actually through the voice mail I learn that a co-worker is sick and they want me to come in early. Fuck that! I was about to call in sick myself. Now my hands are tied. Because I don’t feel like its really a cold I feel guilty about calling in. The time for work rolls around. I feel like crap, among other adjectives.
Long story short, I had to work alone and it so happened to be one of those random busy days. By the end my throat hurt. I also realized I couldn’t keep it up so I called in the night worker early to get an 1hr 30min of sick leave. Which worked out well because I decided to get a doctors appointment. Maybe, just maybe they could give me codeine, or something to knock me out.
Of course they didn’t! While Codeine may not be bad for fetus, they simply don’t know the effects on fetus either. Not to mention trying to get Codeine out of the place I go to is like pulling teeth. They point you in so many other directions. Are you sure you tried this? How about this? Fuck you, I’ve tried EVERYTHING!
Finally get home. Take my usual Benadryl (which by this point I’ve basically become immune to…) and manage to get a restless 2 to 3 hours of sleep before I’m away again and unable to sleep.
Friday night into Saturday. Another restless night. I’m able to sleep in 15 to 45min segments. Once or twice do I get about an hour or so. Definitely no real sleep. More like a half-way state. It was about 8am when I feel my little Stella girl acting weird around my legs. I thought she was playing. Which is weird, but she likes to curl up on my legs/hips or next to them, so I pet her and fall back into my half-way state. Then around 9am my hubby comes to me, frantic and says, “Wake up! Stella had a stroke!” He doesn’t tell me if she’s alive or dead. Just leaves that hanging for a minutes as I stumble awake. Then as I come out he realizes what he said and says, she’s alive but not good.
Turns out she has paralysis in both her front arms. I find her crawling around and meowing frantically, her arms are bent at her wrists and it looks as if she’s doing some horribly pathetic t-rex impression as she slides around on her stomach on the floor. Okay… The normal vet we take her to is closed on weekends. In the past we had to go to one in a town that’s only 7miles away. I call them. They have no openings. I sit there for a minute, my head throbbing, trying to fix this. There is the major vet teaching school in our town, but they too are closed on weekends, they still see people though for emergencies except its like 100 bucks on top of everything else. Not to mention they like to look for things to charge you more.
It was around that time my hubby said he was willing to call in sick for me. This is MY CAT. I don’t see her as a pet. I see her as my shadow. My familiar. Honestly I wanted to cry, but because of the cold I refused to call a cold, I would not let myself cry. When I cry, snot is produced. I had more than enough snot already.
We were already planning to go up to see my parents. We had plans to go to a Baby Fair. I wondered if maybe the Vet my parents used was open. So I googled it. Behold! It was and they had an opening, however, they were only open until noon. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to drive up there. We had only 15min to pack our backs, get my cat and be on the road. It was frantic. My head hurt. But we managed to get out on time with Stella.
Finally, at the vet. Stella has not improved, though she has stopped meowing. Vet checks her over and then says, “Well, this is all rather puzzling. I don’t know what’s wrong with her.” This is not what someone wants to hear when a loved one is in trouble. My cat is no different. In the end he got blood for bloodwork and gave her a shot to hopefully help. $172 dollars later… I got a cripple cat and no idea what in the hell is wrong with her.
On my way to my parents house my hubby cries. Really startles me, and doesn’t help me keep my own calm, but I manage. We get to my parents house and I take a nap with her for about 3 hours. I wouldn’t really call this sleep either, I woke up like five times. Still don’t see much of any improvement. My hubby also points out how her paws are super cold, it doesn’t seem blood is circulating properly. He has also been searching the internet for a solution while I napped. He lists off things it could be. Blood Clot. A really horrible virus that there is no cure for. Heart disease. Etc. I look up how to help get circulation back into her paws if it is a stroke, while noting his research. I don’t really pick anything or allow myself to think on it. What I focus on is messaging her limps and keeping her joints limber and help her eat and go to the bathroom. Both of which are wonderful signs!
Sunday. After another restless night. I woke up a total of 13 times. 4 to go pee. That was at about 2 to 3 hour segments. The rest were due to my cold, which I still wasn’t calling a cold. It was only slightly better than the night before. I woke up with Stella falling out of the bed butt first. I’m instantly awake, I pick her up and take her to the food and water dish. Nope. Then the cat litter box. Bingo! She was very embarrassed and depressed once she was done and I got her back onto the bed. She just sort of ‘flumped’ down on her side and blankly stared at the wall.
It’s kind of amazing. I am usually able to connect with her anyways, but this last weekend was on a whole new level. All she had to do was meow and look and I knew instantly what she wanted. She’s a smart cat. The smartest one I’ve ever had, but it still amazes me at times. That connection still remains even now.
Anyways, I fall back asleep for about an hour and 30 minutes. This time actually getting real sleep with a dream. When I get up I try to take her to the food dish again. I notice some movement in her left paw, but she still can really use it. I have to hold the food in my palm while she’s sitting in my lap.
At this point I was torn. I really don’t want to leave her, but the Baby Fair is what we originally planned to do. Not to mention, by this point, both my hubby and myself need the emotional break. So we go. Only takes about an 1hr or so. We also have places we need to go to. Like Babies R Us. Where we decide to get a baby gate. We have to get one anyway, but now we will be using it to keep Stella up stairs. We also got some baby clothes for little Dean. While we ate out we also looked into cat booties to help with her legs. That was 74.77 dollars. We may or may not be returning these depending on how she does.
In all we were gone about 4/5 hours. This whole time Stella refused to sleep in the bed we made her and hid partly under the bed. Her ass was hanging out, it was all she could do just to crawl her way in partially. I go upstairs to check on her. She ate more food, no water again. No bathroom. I take another nap with her on the bed.
At a quarter to 9pm I wake up. My parents are getting ready for bed, but I’m wide awake and bored. I decide to use the new cat bed I got Stella and my blanket to wrap her up and take her down stairs. Alone I watch the TV with her on my lap. It’s at this point I’ve noticed she’s able to put some weight on her left food with it only, sometimes collapsing. My hubby returns from his dad’s, he is ecstatic. There is hope! She eats. She shits. And now her left limb is slowly starting to work. Both of us agree that we will get to the bottom of this. If she is fighting, we will fight with her.
We don’t go to bed until 3am. By this point Stella is putting more and more weight on her left foot. In the morning, we notice some movement in her right limb. Other than my back hurting like no other and having to sleep propped up on a million pillows, I actually slept longer than the 15 to 45 minutes segments. Stella also ate dry food and went to the bathroom. She was able to use her left foot, though awkwardly, 100% without it collapsing and her right about 60%. The Vet called around 9am, told us the bloodwork was normal. The next step would be an X-ray and maybe ultrasound (if, you know, money wasn’t an issue). I told him that we were actually trying to get back home and if we could just get all his notes and another shot for her, that would be great. So another 35 bucks.
Today at 9am we saw the normal Vet. With everything the Vet is leaning towards either a stroke with unknown cause, or toxoplasmosis. If you don’t know that is a disease caused by an infection from that Toxoplasma gondii parasite that lives in cats poop. Of course I’ve heard of it. I’m preggo and the first thing the OB asks is if you have cats and that I better not to the litter box. I also knew about it from my parasitology class and vet shadowing I’ve done. Apparently when it they get into a cat (the parasites main host) it can cause neurological issues. The damage for the morning vet visit was $233.16 and then another $170 for the new Toxoplasmosis test and antibiotics to treat it.
Grand Total: $ 684.88 This is, of course, if she has Toxoplasmosis. If it comes back negative the next step is to get that ultrasound which will be around $350 and we will have to go back up to my parents vet for that. -.- I will also have to get tested for toxoplasmosis. I got two things going for me and one thing against me on this. The first is that I’ve spent my whole life around cats, and a big portion of that around outside cats. The likelihood of me having already having Toxoplasmosis and gaining an immunity against them is very high. Another thing is that I never scoop the cat litter box. The only thing against me is that I have a cold which lowers said immunity and this week end I helped her go to the bathroom. While I didn’t scoop said litter, I still handled her after she messily used the litter box. All in all, it’s better to be safer than sorry and thankfully my 24th week check up is on Thursday, I’ll just inform the OB then of the issue (among all the others I have) and probably will need to have more needles shoved into me. Which, by the way, I have a very huge fear of needles. -.-
But Stella is so worth it! If I had to I would take out a new credit card for her. I really just want my prissy, stuck-up cat back to her old self.