Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tilly on Tap – a Bittersweet Update

Her breathing once more labored, our loveable silly cat returned to the veterinary clinic yesterday. Before our appointment I lay across the mattress by her and Tilly gave up the heating pad to crawl onto my arms. She didn’t seem to mind the tears dripped onto her fur as a result.

When the appointment time neared my considerate husband offered to drive. But I preferred my usual role behind the wheel; that sort of focus helps keep my emotions under better control. Meanwhile, not expecting to bring her home, we agreed to hear out the doctor’s opinion and try another thoracic tap if the attempt seemed worthwhile.

Well, as you’ve no doubt guessed, she survived the procedure. Despite successful removal of a lot more fluid, however, today each inhalation appears a strain. There is no way to guess if she will last a day or a week. We do not want her to suffocate to death and hope her arrhythmic little heart will give out in her sleep as opposed to euthanasia.

It is rewarding to see her go into a deep dreaming state, muscles twitching nose to toes. Sometimes she appears to be playing pinball. Watching her reminds me of this short video clip of an adorable kitten.

Don’t you wish you could sleep that well?


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Health, Humor, & Hoaxes

Laughter, so the old saying goes, is the best medicine. In this current first world climate of trigger warnings and safe spaces, I cling to my juvenile sense of humor like a life raft. During Tuesday’s brief hospital stay I made a point of engaging with anyone around me in (usually) the most irreverent manner possible.

Warning: My mind tends to work like that of a seventeen year old boy. Heh…

Take the ER nurse and her efforts to enter an expiration date off a plasma unit into the computer. Nobody knew how to help her, she just fiddled with the touch screen until something worked, and said, “You just have to massage it until something happens.”

“I’ve heard that before,” I said to her bark of amusement and my husband’s feigned disgust.


So-called gallows humor can also help keep one sane in grim situations. I’ve heard that over and over again including from the EMT who attended my 4am ambulance ride. He offered to share what he considers his funniest job related incident with the advisory warning it was “inappropriate”.

“I’m all ears,” I replied.

Warning: the following anecdote is both bawdy and a bit gory (NSFW)

Called to the aid of a middle aged woman who fell and cut the back of her head on a concrete step, EMT Matthew found her blood covered and inebriated to the point she felt no pain. Of course, she also refused to cooperate.

“Please don’t take me to the hospital,” she implored several times. “I don’t want to go with you.”

“Fine with me,” he replied, “but you’re going one way or the other. If not with me, then the men with the steel bracelets.”

“But I’ll give you a [use your imagination] if you let me go.”

“Nah… I’m good,” he answered, eyebrows no doubt shooting toward his hairline.


Considering our senses of humor imperative to a strong bond, my husband and I appreciate whatever amuses us be it a spontaneous quip, unique circumstance, or a contrived marketing campaign. A recent late night prank involved a bit of all three.

With apologies, I need to share some back story. The long past incident inspiring my latest hoax involved a short trip and an archaic GPS device. We expected directions to our hotel. Instead the Magellan model announced, “You have reached your destination” – outside an open cemetery gate.

In an instant my witty husband observed, “Yeah. Our final destination.”

And we crack up over the Allstate Insurance ‘mayhem’ commercials, especially when the actor portrays a global positioning device that causes an accident and announces, “Recalculating” with a mischievous grin. You can see I incorporated these elements in setting up this campy, Halloween themed scene.
That's 'Mayhem' Escaping
~shakes head~
I'm Silly
Can You See the Zombie Rising from my Miniature Cemetery?
And here is that inspirational, hilarious commercial:

Do you enjoy the occasional prank?


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Another First, Room Service, & a Room With a View

I experienced quite an adventure half of Tuesday. It began around 2am yesterday, a rude wakeup in the form of peculiar oral swelling. At first I thought to go back to sleep and call my dentist come daylight. Perhaps an irregular canker sore formed on the right underside of my tongue, so I took my daily supplement that suppresses and helps heal them.

The lump didn’t hurt, though, and seemed to be expanding.

Soon awakened, my groggy husband made the wise suggestion I take a Benadryl allergy pill and proceeded to research possible causes on the Internet. None fit my situation, which worsened to the point I developed a colossal stifled lisp. Since my coping mechanism of choice is to joke, I made light of the fact my voice sounded like that of facially deformed character Eugene cast in the black comedy series “Preacher”. I will spare you the image of his disturbing visage.


Within minutes we decided to visit the nearby Emergency Hospital. In a shocking development, the receptionist guessed my diagnosis with two simple questions.

Did I take blood pressure medication? “Yeth...” (muffled) Was it Lisinopril? “Yeth...”

A rare 0.01% to 0.1% of prescribed patients develop angioneurotic edema in one body part or another.

Where My Adventure Began
I expected a steroid shot and to be back home in a few hours. Staff soon made clear the unlikelihood. As it happens, regardless of their charge’s irreverent banter, medical professionals take throat blockage very serious.

Who knew?

Blood tested and steroids injected on the spot, my doctor ordered intravenous blood plasma. The nurse, registered for ten years now, never before saw this condition yet warned these treatments might not work.

Fortunate for me, I soon felt quite normal. Could I be released?

No. I could neither stay there nor go home. Hospital admittance was non-negotiable.

Only two facilities, one located in an unfamiliar city (?!), could spare a bed (!) despite there being no major public health concerns. Once my ambulance arrived I sent my sleepy husband home.

My slumber did not resume. Night nurses stationed across the hall laughed and chatted their shift away. My music left at home, television didn’t interest me in the slightest. At least I had my Kindle Fire, those ER stepdown room accommodations were comfortable, and a nice ceiling fan kept me cool.

Come sunrise I enjoyed a partially blocked but colorful spectacle. Full daylight revealed verdant woods hiding the nearby Little Miami River. Flocking birds exposed the waterway’s course.

Around 7:30 I set aside my now abandoned first draft of this sketched on the back of a redundant medical form, ordered breakfast, and called my husband.

That facility’s food, by the way, is quite good. I knew this from my husband’s 2011 heart surgery. A fruity yogurt parfait with granola and two strips of turkey bacon satisfied my hunger until lunchtime.

Apprised of my uncertain status, he agreed to stay home. Within hours I would either need a ride or more personal items for comfort and mental distraction.

Near noon Nurse Reba gave her disappointing opinion my incarceration stay would continue. In an ironic twist, my blood pressure concerned them. A later evaluation by the floor’s head daytime physician made my day. He agreed lack of rest compounded by emotional distress heightened my hypertension. He prescribed a different pill and registered me for discharge.


Delighted professionals of every ilk expressed their fondness wishing me well. Apparently my irreverent sense of humor amused them. I’ll share more on that later (including anecdotes from my attending EMT in the ambulance) as this is getting wordy.

~shakes head~

Meanwhile, you might find funny the fact I spotted our Blue Meanie pulling into the parking lot from the building’s fifth floor about a city block away. The 2017 Volt’s distinctive laser blue color, shape, and of course my colorful “Yellow Submarine” stickers depicted my husband’s arrival, confirmed by his departure from the vehicle.

Is there any place you would rather be than (healthy) at home?


Friday, September 6, 2019

Checked Out, Not Checking Out

One Cozy Cat

I meant for days to give an update on geriatric Tilly the cat. So here it is – good news (!) – she acts comfortable and happy. We have a checklist to monitor her quality of life.

Items include:
bright eyes
perky ears
consistent and healthy looking litter box use
interest in food
drinking plenty of water
moving well
actively engaged in her surroundings
smooth, even breathing

That last pleases us no end considering the veterinarian’s assessment that she retains some fluid beneath her lungs. We declined more X-rays for now. There seemed little point stressing her.

She’s quite the sweetheart about taking her thyroid pill, vitamin C supplement (both twice daily), and noontime diuretic. I know Tilly would be happy to know tonight is her final round of chilly medicated ear drops to clear up a simple yeast infection. It’s too bad the liquid needs refrigeration.

Yesterday my wise husband surmised why she demands desires near constant physical contact – extra warmth. Nearing twenty (we’re guessing close to nineteen now if not already), the old gal is almost certain to suffer arthritis.

However precious, hours lying prostrate on the bed with Tilly tucked on, against, or under my arm(s) began taking a toll on my neck, shoulders, and especially lumbar region. My husband’s clever follow-on suggestion to turn on his heating pad didn’t work. She sat up and pawed my face when unsuccessful in getting me prone. This afternoon she cried for me from the bedroom and I found her seated on the heating pad as if within a box.


Turning on the heater’s lowest setting, I let it heat a few moments before sitting beside her. Sure enough, she settled down and slept for over an hour. Now she is begging for food.

Would you buy a heated bed for an aging pet?

I should join lovely Sandee and friends for the Feline Friday blog hop, but alas lack time to reciprocate visiting other participants
blogs. Have a great weekend, my dears!


Thursday, August 29, 2019

A Novel Suggestion

While nitpicking editing today, I discovered I’d overused forms of the word ‘amused’ in this particular short story. So I accessed the Microsoft Word thesaurus.

Midway through the listed options, one phrase baffled me. Detective novel? Seriously? I saved visual proof.

Meanwhile, Tilly the cat is breathing easy and demanding snuggle time. Right now the old gal is against my knee. She returns to the veterinary clinic tomorrow. I hope the doctor(s) will be pleasantly shocked.

Can you imagine how someone might have come up with detective novel?


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hour by Hour, Day By Day, Month by Month, Year by Year

I have intended to post an update regarding the recent ‘excitement’ in our household, especially the wellbeing of our geriatric cat, Miss Silly Tilly Willy. I am ecstatic to report that she rebounded from lung congestion better than we dared hope.
Snuggly Kitty
Of course cats can be deceptive, perhaps hiding illness (and vulnerability) because they are both predator and prey in the wild. So, she returns to the veterinarian on Friday. For now we’re keeping a close eye on her as the first half of the blog post title indicates.

She’s currently tucked against my thigh, having accepted the fact I’m not going to lie across the bed again for more snuggles. The old gal’s increased neediness is putting kinks in my neck and shoulders. Who am I to complain? Her ‘daddy’ accepts lap duty every afternoon for hours.

Meanwhile, I am expected to undergo follow-up health screenings sooner than usual. A benign cyst will be monitored six months after its springtime discovery and four removed polyps (also likely noncancerous) suggest a revisit to the gastroenterologist in three years rather than a decade. Ugh… Fingers crossed, our current blessings of excellent healthcare provision and insurance will continue throughout.

Considering how this year has gone, I nicknamed my new nemeses the Four Polyps of the Apocalypse before leaving the Digestive Health clinic. Thus my increased dietary fiber is meant to stave off said ‘Polypacolypse’. My husband just shakes his head.


Can you say polypacolypse five times fast?


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Change in Plans – Precious Time with Tilly – & – My Latest Little Adventure

Yesterday we decided to stay home from the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival. A great family friend met up with my middle brother, his wife, their eldest granddaughter, and their youngest adult offspring along with her husband. Sorry we missed the old hometown family fun but enjoyed time with Tilly (and the more elusive Jezebel) in our air conditioned environment.

The guys sent some fun pictures, at least. And my husband suggested we take a trip farther north to see family/friends sometime this autumn, which we rather doubt our old kitty will survive. While looking good on the outside Tilly has some sort of mass on or near her heart, which has an irregular beat, so she might go at anytime.

We’ll keep her as long as she wants to stick around and remains comfortable. Thank heaven she’s such a sweet girl because I’m administering seven medicinal doses daily (!) including the ear drops, felimazole, and now rutin morning and night, plus her diuretic around mid afternoon. She continues acting spry and has an excellent appetite.

As for me, I turned fifty years old last February, meaning a particular health screening is advised. Everyone tells me the preparation will be worse than the scope, which I don’t doubt. It’s been a bit tricky figuring out what’s best to eat this weekend before my clear liquid diet starts on Monday.


But I’ve got it handled. And I am so blessed to have access to excellent healthcare. In addition, our health insurance will cover everything as long as the procedure doesn’t go beyond diagnostic. With fingers crossed I expect a positive outcome.

Oddly, the administrator gave me a precise dollar figure down to the penny if something irregular does need treated/removed.

Has anyone, medical practitioner or not, ever given you more than a cost estimate, let alone stuck to it?