Thursday, March 7, 2013

Goodbye to our sweet kitty

A lot has happened since my "Tera birthday post" and I don't really want to rehash it all again in detail so here are the highlights:

1.  Tera's two year check up went well and she's now finally in the 28th percentile for weight and height (I'm a little doubtful on height just because her endocrinologist does a more exact job and it was lower when he did it).
2.  Her orthotic check also went well and he says she's doing great with them.
3.  Thursday night my sister and her boyfriend flew in for the first time in a year for Tera's birthday party and stayed with us.  They were a huge help and I miss having them around :(
4.  Saturday was Tera's second birthday party and we had about 60 people, good food, and a great time.  It's always a bit incredible to me to see how many people support her and love her.  We are so grateful to everyone who was able to come and share her special day with her and us.
5.  Sunday we spent some more time with Tom's parents who were also in from out of town and also a huge help with everything and then with my sisters and their significant others.
6.  Then came Monday.  

I had scheduled Tera's swallow study for Monday morning at ten and we had to go to Evanston Hospital for it.  It didn't take us too long to get there, but then we had to walk across most of the hospital to get from the garage to Radiology.  If you're not familiar with a swallow study, here's what it entails: they put Tera in what basically looks like a car seat and try to get her to drink from various cups with various types of liquids all containing barium and as she drinks a radiologist takes a video of her and you can see on a monitor where the liquid is going when she's drinking.  As you might imagine, getting a two year old to cooperate with this type of activity can pose a challenge.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, but it wasn't easy to get her to drink when we wanted her to and they didn't get as many shots of the thicker liquids as they wanted to, but there was enough to make a determination.  It turns out that while she's not aspirating every time she drinks (which is good), she is aspirating some times (which is bad).  She did the worst with straws so we need to eliminate using straws and go to just using sippy cups.  We don't have to thicken all her liquids, but when she gets sick and it's harder for her to control things, we need to do it.  Her biggest problem seemed to be residue sitting in her lungs that she just doesn't realize she should clear out by coughing.  As time goes on, the residue collects bacteria and causes pneumonia.  We'll eliminate the straws and try to slow down her eating and drinking and also keep giving her the Pulmicort (nebulizer treatment) twice a day until we see the pulmonologist again at the beginning of April.  

But that wasn't the worst part of our day; that would come when we got home from the test and grocery shopping to what we thought was our cat having died.  We had already made the decision that morning to bring her in that afternoon and have her put to sleep because she had taken such a turn for the worse over the weekend.  Tom made the arrangements to drop Tera off at daycare for an hour and we were going to take her in, but she didn't make it that long.  Tom went up to check on her and thought she had already died, when in fact it just that she was very close.  We agreed he had to take her in immediately and after a lot of tears and my final goodbye to her, he took her in.  When he got there, he pet her for a few minutes and she ended up dying a few minutes later with no intervention.  It was a shitty day from start to finish.  

Tuesday I ended up having a snow day and dropped Tera off at daycare for the morning (until they closed) and while I was able to get some things done, I just couldn't get over how empty our house felt and by the afternoon I had fallen into a funk.  I was adjusting to my sister having to leave again, all the excitement and craziness of the weekend, and mostly to both our pets being gone.  Tom and I have been together for almost 16 years and we've had Feyla for 14 of those years and Jaina for nine of them.  Before I moved out of my mom's house, our family had a dog also so I haven't been without a dog or cat for over twenty years and it just feels so empty to me.  I keep thinking I'm hearing her meow or that I see her out of the corner of my eye.  I know it will get better, but it's still pretty sad for me.  If I had to describe both Monday and Tuesday, and really even Wednesday, it would be sad.  

This would again be one of those times when I think to myself, things have to get better soon don't they?
On the plus side, Tera seems to be healthy, she just finished her last dose of her antibiotic, I have coworkers that never fail to make me laugh and smile, good friends to be sad with me, and a family to support us and help us.  

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