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?


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Tilly Wins the Day

Just a brief note, here, as life moves on. Tilly brightened the day of all around her. Our attending veterinarians were thrilled by her X-rays showing little fluid in her lungs. The biggest concern was an ear infection. We've dealt with that before, she and I, so we will continue taking things day by day.

She takes her multiple pills and ear drops well, considering. We love this old girl and hope to give her weeks or months more of contentment. Since she is doing so well, we plant to meet family at a festival for an upcoming day. Best wishes to all, and thank you for the ongoing well wishes.

Do you have any big late summer plans?


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Another Day in the Life

"Hi! What's up, Mom?"
Last week, our eldest cat Tilly started breathing heavy. We have spent a good thousand dollars on the two cats so far this year. ~sigh~ But we knew something wasn’t right and just couldn’t let this continue.

Besides, Tilly is doing so much better after her E. coli infection was finally cleared up. She jumps in laps, beds, wherever she wants. Her old mysterious warts have even disappeared, we think due to that last successful antibiotic.

Her pattern baldness is a lot like a hyena pelt with that long ridge along her spine.
So, I called the clinic yesterday and (as often happens) they saw her the same day. Upon evaluation of her breathing rate, the veterinarian recommended X-rays. Sounded good to us.

Not so good, I heard doctors convene by the monitor right outside the closed exam room door and someone speaking the word ‘heart’. My husband and I half expected that. Not surprising, the images showed fluid built up around her lungs.

At that news the vet gave us options.

We ruled out seeing a specialist after the fruitless efforts to cure Luna’s cancer in 2014. Younger than Tilly, she lasted three months at the cost of thousands of dollars and a traumatic surgery that almost took her life. I would never again subject an animal to a radical mastectomy.  ~shakes head~ She sure did fight to the end, though, my little sweetheart.

At any rate, darling Tilly’s third option involved discussing euthanasia. Ugh… Not yet.

We opted for the second suggestion, having the doctor attempt a thoracic tap to remove excess fluid. Depending upon the outcome, she suggested administering heart medication and a diuretic. Sounded like a plan.

Our cooperative kitty ended up having around 238 mL total removed from her chest! Unfortunately the fluid was chylous, or milky, not indicative of heart failure. Cancer being one of the main suspects decided us not to have the $120 test done on the fluids. There seemed little point.

Prepared to take it day by day, we brought her home where she is comfortable and content this morning. She and I snuggled on the bed for a while. After meowing at my husband for attention, Tilly is now sound asleep in a favorite cat bed by his desk.

We shall see what her checkup shows in a week. Meanwhile I’ll give her a daily diuretic and a supplement to reduce effusion in her chest. And we’ll pay close attention to signs of failing health and/or poor quality of life. I would consider other fluid taps down the road, but not to excess. We don’t want to be selfish and put her through unnecessary stress and misery.

Have you heard of the supplement called rutin?


Friday, August 9, 2019

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

This year has been strange, for sure. I (mostly) recovered from loss of my cherished fish, though dealing with the burgeoning snail population without clown loaches to control them with diet is another matter.


And I refuse to purchase more such long-lived, expensive, and delicate freshwater creatures at this stage in my life. To date, on the bad front my best friend’s father had a minor stroke a few months ago. I'm happy to report he’s recovering with the wife whose healthcare he’s managed for decades.

But ‘Dad’ is on a growing list of concerns, as is his spouse. Thank heaven, ‘Mom and Dad R’ have lots of nearby family to aid the care of both. But my same longtime pal’s father-in-law, who is very elderly, requires quintuple heart surgery. We keep praying. What else can you do? Sometimes, I feel it’s more like one step forward and two steps back

I will share a more mixed update soon. Blessed be, all.

How fare thee?


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Finding Balance in a Crazy World

It’s no secret my life has been tumultuous these many last months. I am happy to report continuing improvement in my little corner of the world.

It’s a shame much of the globe seems to have gone insane. In fact, we live several miles from one of the latest US mass murders.

While I refuse to let hatred snuff my daily gratitude and consider our peaceful neighbors another blessing, it’s tempting to just lock myself away in an ivory tower of escapism.

But my husband deserves a partner with whom to share the burden of harsh reality, especially considering his support through all my worst anxiety. For days on end I spent hours upon hours hiding within my fictional characters’ lives.

I decided to take it a step beyond following current events and engage in his activities. Thus, teamwork has become this summer’s motto.

He appreciates my gardening assistance, handling hoses while he controls the faucets, picking any ripe vegetables while he holds open a bag for me. And I have helped him preserve cucumbers like never before. He marvels at how many spears I can squeak into a jar and praises me over what he calls a string of very clever ideas.

For example, weeds in the strawberry patch grew out of control while high temperatures, blazing sunshine, and miserable humidity kept us indoors. But the plot is in plain view to the public, so I grabbed my beach umbrella and went to work. Twenty minutes later I had cleared out the invasive plants, moving my bit of shade as I went.

Another day we took our car to the car wash and, instead of stepping out of the way as he sprayed soapy water, I grabbed the brush attachment. Following behind him scrubbing where he’d soaped the vehicle sped the process and saved us a few quarters. We only paused once or twice to untangle hoses.

To end on a still lighter note, do you have any time saving tips?