Saturday, July 23, 2011


So, I had a little breakdown yesterday as the weight of 2011 descended on me full force prior to work. Looking back over the year, I realize that it hasn't really been a very good one in many ways.

My aunt found out about her cancer and underwent chemotherapy and shortly radiation therapy. My mother sufferd severe blood loss and was hospitalized for blood transfusions, followed by a hysterectomy. My grandmother has been hospitalized twice for either minor strokes or complex migraines (or both). My father underwent invasive cardiac surgery for his angina, and my cat was euthanized unexpectedly for cancer at the age of 3, while we were away.

Thursday night, after working a relief shift at the local 24 hour clinic, I got home to find my latest foster kitten vomiting and acting strange. We'd been calling him Grub. Someone found him by the side of the wound and brought him to work. He had a huge, infected wound on the side of his neck, and living in it was a Cuterebra ("wolf worm"). He was a terrified little thing. Every time you approached him, he hissed and spit. He was also adorable. He looked heavily Maine Coon cat - with tufted ears, giant paws, and incredibly soft fur. I took to him immediately.

He's been at our house for the last couple of weeks, and I had grown quite attached to him. He turned into the friendliest kitten. On Thursday night, he vomited twice and acted very disoriented. Over that night, he became more and more ataxic. He woke me up around 10am the next morning, staggering. I planned on taking him to work with me Friday night, so I tuckd him into our bed and went back to sleep. He woke me again at noon, this time totally blind, frantic, running into walls, and mewing.

Due to his incredibly quick decline, I euthanized him at home. It felt terrible, and I just laid in bed and cried and petted him while the Euthasol did its work (since I had no technician to hold off a vein, I injected it into his peritoneal space, which is painless but slow).

The worst of it is that I don't know what the wound on the side of his neck was. It could have been a bite from another animal. Last week, while playing roughly, he bit me on the finger and broke the skin the smallest amount (enough to draw blood but not enough to really hurt). Thus, I was forced to submit his head for rabies testing. It's not a great likelihood...but it exists, and I have to be safe.

Lately, I feel like I've been working so much. The pace at work has picked up steadily, as it does every summer. I am worn out most days, my ankles are swollen, and I have more trouble sleeping then I once did. I also picked up a relief shift at the 24 hour place this week on one of my two nights off. It was a mistake, as I am about worn to a fray.

It's just been a crappy year in so many ways. And yet, this is the year my daughter will be born. It won't be all bad.

I am working on being thankful for the things that are going well - the fact that my father is recovering very well from his CABG surgery, my mother did NOT have cancer and had everything taken care of in time, my aunt has come through chemo and is cancer free at this point, and my grandmother is still doing well. It could have been much, much worse. I need to focus on that. I also need to get some rest. Next weekend, my husband and I, as well as my best friend and Jim's brother, are going to stay in a B&B for some much needed relaxation. My BF/SIL is 8 weeks pregnant - so we're taking advantage of this and pampering ourselves. I cannot wait.


Iowa said...

It has been a crazy year for you. Yet you've came through mostly unscathed, and you're going to meet your daughter in a few months. :) It's so easy to dwell on the negatives, and so hard to focus yourself to dwell on the positives - least for me, anyways (I just recently started a new job and am paranoid of losing it).

I think the pampering will help - take a couple deep breaths. Eventually things will turn out allright, I think - I do try and think everything happens for a reason, pointless as it seems. I was abused as a kiddo and sometimes it helps me get through when the memories are particularly bad. I don't exactly know what the reasons are, but I hope there are some. It makes things seem less pointless, I guess, when they suck.

Wow, I ramble. I think one thing you haven't thought too much about is how much this year has made you stronger. :) You're exhausted, but you're surviving. :)

Allright, I'll shush. ;) Take care of yourself - enjoy your pampering! You can do it!

Holly said...

I am so sorry this all heaped up on you at once.

I hope that things look up for you soon.

haldol said...

The truth is that you have a heart-wrenching line of work, and it won't get less depressing any time soon. I admire you so much, out of all the vets I read you're my favorite. Be kind to yourself or you won't be able to care for anyone else.