4/19 -- April Is The Cruelest Month, Indeed.
Last year at this time, I was the one developing sudden bizarre symptoms needing drastic treatments. (If you weren't around last year, you can check my MS page for links to most of the relevant entries. It's quite the epic saga.) This year, I think the cats got sick of me getting all the attention and decided to follow my lead.
If you didn't already see the news in my blog, Rascal is diabetic. I cried over the news a little at first, but I'm relieved that if it isn't something curable, it's at least something treatable. The cost of his treatment won't be as outrageous as I might have feared (and we'd find a way to pay for it even if it was), but I suspect that my tales of giddy madcap spending sprees at Sephora, MAC, and Target will be coming to an end for a while.
And the treatment? Daily shots of insulin. This makes two creatures in the Willson-Murphy household getting nightly shots, something I find utterly weird. For the last couple of months my poor little buddy has been coming into the kitchen at night and stretching out by my feet while I give myself my Copaxone injections. I guess he decided it looked like fun.
The vets returned last night to show us how to give him the shot. I never anticipated that my nightly Copaxone injections would be good training for anything else, but damned if they didn't make the demonstration a little easier. The vet talked about the importance of tapping air bubbles out of the syringe and I sat on the floor thinking "Yeah, yeah -- bubbles, shmubbles. I've been Buffy the Bubble Slayer for months, lady." And we already have a container set up for my used needles, solving the disposal issue for Rascal's syringes.
Giving him the first shot on our own tonight was nerve-wracking, though. We took the vet's advice and gave Rascal a bowl of canned food just before sticking him with the needle, and he didn't miss a bite or even look to see what we were doing while we gave him the shot. I felt a little woozy and sick afterwards, however. Sticking myself doesn't bother me at all, but the sensation of punching the needle into my cat's skin made me queasy as hell. I'm hoping that that too will get easier with time.
It's a little early to tell how the insulin will affect him and the vet started us off with a very small amount in the expectation that we'll have to up his dosage before long. But he already seems like a completely different animal. We've been feeding him whopping portions of canned food on her advice, and he's much more energetic and sociable. His coat looks glossier and softer, and I'm pretty sure he's regained a little weight. And he's no longer drinking all the water bowls in the place dry or knocking me down to get into the bathroom sink and drink from the tap when I'm trying to brush my teeth, which has to be a good sign.
Our other two cats, Mindy and Cleo, are insanely jealous of the attention and the food Rascal's been getting, and on Monday night Cleo decided to even the score a little. She apparently hurt her leg while jumping up on the back of our recliner to greet Bill. She spent Monday night growling in pain with every step and scaring us half to death before she finally started to recover and behave normally. I didn't sleep at all Monday night. On Tuesday, I walked into Z's office, told him everything that had been happening over the last few days, and asked him if I could take today off as a combination "watch the cats" and "mental health" day. He very graciously said yes.
Aaaaah. I slept too much, ate too much, spent too much time on the Web, and watched too much TV. I didn't do one damned productive thing, and it was wonderfully restorative.
(Nine out of ten doctors recommend Clixing once a day for optimum results. The tenth doctor is a quack.)