Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gloom, French, Gatorade and a Winner!

I am so sick of the gloom! And the cold! It's snowing out. April 6 -- it is snowing. It's getting old -- photographing flowers inside instead of out.

This week's featured selection -- snapdragons!

I wonder how "snapdragons" is pronounced in French? I'm taking French -- an Evening College class once a week! I have to confess, I am loving the class.

This week is my presentation -- we all do a short presentation on something related to France/French/places that speak French. It can be food, wine, books, places, sites. Mine is on shopping in Paris on a budget.

So, part of today is pulling together the last of my presentation.

I'm not loving this past week. Been sick -- nothing wretched, tie-you-to-the-bed sick, but enough that there is no energy or motivation. Three people I know died, another is in ICU in a coma from an asthma/heart attack (you have no idea how freaked I get when I hear of asthma-related issues); a good friend is preparing for significant surgery in the coming weeks and I worry about that, and my boy Gyp is having some medical challenges, too.

Remember when Dr. Anne, the Visiting Vet came? She recommended a blood test, so not long after her visit, we trundled off to a vet clinic that did that work (she doesn't).

On the way, Gypsy was howling -- I'm sure because it was the first trip in the car since last October and also because I couldn't find his "Anxiety" flower essence which was the magic charm. (Longtime "Gypsy" readers might remember that Dr. Anne is a holistic vet, and really -- she has been amazing, her recommendations spot-on.)

On the way, I'm zipping along a little quickly and I'm stopped by the police. (I knew as soon as I saw him turn around in my rearview mirror who he was following... the flashing lights sealed the deal.)

I explained I was on the way to the vet with my very sick cat. OK, I shouldn't lie to the police. But he was sick. Just not very.

Meanwhile Gypsy, who had been acting as though he was in great pain (he wasn't) became quiet once the car stopped. From the caged box, he looked pleadingly as though to say, "Please, Mr. Officer. I am being kidnapped. Soon you'll see me on a milk carton. Amber alert! (And I am amber, by the way.)

The nice guy gave me a pass this time and off we went.

Long story short, Gypsy has kidney disease. For those who know cats, 1.8 is the high end of normal and he is a 3. Which is better than a 4, 5, 6, or 10. But not good.

So, another element of my Sunday afternoon will be giving him an IV of electrolytes, which I call his Gatorade.

This juicing takes about 20 minutes or so. Or it did when Dr. Anne was helping me. On my own -- my very first time on my own -- we'll see. (And, presumably this doesn't hurt the cat at all, except for the moment when the fluid begins.)

The hardest part will be this -- turning on the fluid while I hold the needle in Gypsy, who will be on the bathroom counter (door closed, to prevent an easy exit).

Well, no -- that's the second hardest part. The hardest part is actually sticking a needle into the cat.

Now, I should say so far, Gypsy doesn't seem to mind. But on my own... we'll see.

The bad news is that you can't cure feline renal issues. But the good news, I guess, is that between this and his meds and his juicing, just maybe we can reverse things a little bit and prolong a life with good quality.

Meanwhile, as cats live moment to moment, I'm doing my best to do that with Gypsy, and so is Rick.

More than once over the past two weeks, I break down into tears, thinking what my world will be like with my own special chat orange. But that's not living now.

So, I go pick up the Gyp, give him a cuddle, toss a toy and practice my French on him.

It's working for us.

And now -- the winner! It's Bella Rum of Cul-de-Sac Chronicles! The winner was picked randomly from all the entries -- Bella defined "therstes" as "Members of a group who suffer from dehydration."

I had tons of fun with that contest! A package of notecards of photos from Paris is coming your way!

And, for you readers out there, a very good book recommendation at Chopsticks and String, if Brit mysteries are your thing!


Annie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Annie said...
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Ragamuffin Gal said...

I am sending you a bouquet of beautiful Spring Wishes. I love my two cats so much and can feel your sadness. Much love to you Jeanie.
Spring will come, eventually it will come again. ~ Katie

Becca said...

I know how it feels when one of our fur babies is not up to par. I'm holding both of you close in my heart :)

Good news is I've heard feline kidney disease can be managed very well for quite some time, and especially since you've caught this early on and are starting treatment.

Love and "ooties" (that's my verification word on this comment!) of hugs...

~*~Patty S said...

oh dear Jeanie
my thoughts are with you
I can only imagine how heavy your heart is with all of the sickness of friends and your precious Gypsy...
no words really...
life reminding us all that each moment is a treasure...

BIG hugs to you
take care my friend

Retired English Teacher said...

Goodness, you have been through a lot in the past week. My heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry to hear about Gypsy. I'm sure the treatments must be really hard to do because it means sticking a needle in a cat. Those of us who are not in the medical field are not in that field for a reason. We hate needles!

Gypsy reminds me of my cat that I had when I was a child. Her name was Penny. I loved that cat. In fact, I never had another cat after Penny. I switched to golden retriever dogs. I wonder if it the color that wins my heart over.

Best wishes to you and to your dear Gypsy.

anno said...

dear Jeanie, my heart goes out to you. This has been a rough winter, and spring has been slow in coming. When it is as cold and grim as it has been these past few weeks, it's hard to remember how important it is to really live each day, to appreciate the treasure we have -- thanks for sharing so much of yours.
~Anne (with many hugs to you & the Gypsy)

Jeanie said...

You really have had a rough week, Jeanie. I hope you have caught things soon enough with Gypsy that he can be managed well for a good long time. Here's hoping the coming week brings good things for you.

Linda said...

Saying a prayer for Gypsy and you. I can't imagine how hard it must be to do the IV on your own. Just love him a bunch....I know you will. I love the snapdragon pics and can't believe you are taking a French class. I know your presentation will be the best in class. I'm sorry for your recent losses....spring will be there soon.

Anonymous said...

Jeanie, what a hard week! I am so sorry. Love and positive thoughts whirling your way.
And the Gyps.... you are very brave to be sticking needles and all. Oh my goodness.
Good luck with the presentation, too. I can't even imagine trying to learn a language at this point, with my calcified brain!!
Hope the coming week is a lot nicer to you, as well as Mother Nature being more kind!!

Deb said...

You and I are walking this path together with our cats. My Ginny also has kidney failure but she is now in her 20's so I am just keeping her comfortable. She is eating, drinking, using her box, sleeping normal and still wants to be held while she purrs. I just enjoy every bit of time I have with her. My vet told me that a cat can live a long time with kidney failure. I wish you all the best with little Gypsy. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x5

Barb said...

Sending you and Family healing thoughts, Jeanie. Poor Gypsy - I don't like the sound of what he must endure. But - I think my D-i-L did that successfully with her cat. Good luck on your presentation. My Grandson (age 8) speaks fluent French. maybe he could help you...

Pat K. said...

Tried to post a comment a minute ago, but lost it somehow. . . Jeanie, I'm so sorry about Gypsy's illness. He's fortunate to have such a terrific mom/nurse/friend to take good care of him and entertain him.

Mae Travels said...

You are brave to study a new language.

Good luck to Gypsy!

Bella Rum said...

I'm so sorry about Gypsy. I don't know if I ever told you that we had a cat named Gypsy. She was a stray and in pitiful condition when she came to us. She was so great. She would sing "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" with me. Sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and sing right along. So funny. I hope your Gypsy is feeling better soon.

Glad the officer gave you a pass. :)

I'm loving the flower pics. Still waiting for a little more spring here. It just can't quite get to it.

I can't believe I won. How cool is that? Thank you so much. That was fun. I guess I should send my address? Thank you, thank you.

Joanne Huffman said...

So sorry to hear about Gypsy; the feeling of helplessness over our loved pets' health problems is daunting. Your presentation looks intriguing; I bet the class loves it. I hope you feel better soon.

jet1960 said...

Oh, Jeanie, so sorry to hear that the Gypsy is not doing well! I know how much you love him and how hard it is when our furry family members are sick. He is a good kitty to let you start the IV without much fuss. Makes me want to give him a hug!

You, too, for that matter! Sounds like some stressful times and then not to be feeling well yourself makes it harder. I've had my second cold of the year. Used to have great immunity, but old age is getting to me, I guess.

Take care! Hope you get to feeling better!

Crazy weather! You have snow and we have tornado watches!

Vagabonde said...

We had a cat who had kidney disease. We found out that we could buy the liquid from the drugstore instead of the vet and it was a lot cheaper. It is so hard on us when our pets are sick.
Snapdragon in French is “muflier” or commonly gueule-de-loup or gueule-de-lion. I wish I had some in my garden.

Annie said...

What a week, Jeanie. No wonder there was the "goof". Thanks for the deletes. "Deleted by Administrator". LOL Very dramatic.

I'm sorry for the Gyp's health issues, Jeanie. As the mum of several cats (in the past), I know how fragile these furry but much beloved tyrants can be. We hover and care and love them up with good juju. Amazing what good medicine that is.


Anonymous said...

sending love ♥

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh my. You have had quite the tough week. I am so sorry to hear that. :( I hope that Gypsy continues to do ok with these treatments... How scary...

I am so glad your french class is going well! I would love to take one some day.

Marilyn said...

Oh no! I was just thinking of Gypsy today and wondering how he was doing. So sorry he has kidney disease. Give him lots of love and cuddles and take care of yourself.

Oh said...

Your pictures are gorgeous, regardless of being taken indoors. (hope you're feeling better. Snarl came home for spring break and was sick for four days. Sheesh. What a long "season" of snow and cold and nonsense.)
And your pictures of Gyp, so wonderful, nearly had me in tears along with the update on his med condition. If love keeps him alive, he'll live forever - was a cat ever better loved? We are cheering for him...and for you as caregiver! (honestly, that treatment sounds difficult, but surely Gyp will hold still, eh?)

Sorry I've been so "quiet" - it's about work and when things settle down there, I'll open up a bit about it though it's not at all compelling.

I lvoe espsecially the picture of Rick and Gyp in the chair.

And now, to go see what you've been reading on "chopsticks."

big hugs, dear friend, also for the Gypsy.
more later!

Karen Owen said...

This was another of those posts that I read before it was published, and then it went "poof"! I feel like a time traveler. The end result is that I thought I commented, but I had not. I am so sorry to hear about Gypsy. I know all too well how our fur babies' illnesses can affect us. I am glad that you are treating him, and I'm impressed that you can stick a needle into him. Hopefully, this will abate his illness for a long time. Also, I'm sorry to hear about your recent losses, but I do hope you are feeling better now.

Dogwood said...

Poor Gypsy. I hope he is feeling better every day. He is so handsome and both Rocky and I are sending lots of loving and positive thoughts.
Hugs, Cory and Rocky

shoreacres said...

Oh, dear. I just can hardly bear it, to hear about Gypsy. Thank goodness you have a kitty who will accept your intervention. When I think about Dixie being ill, it's part sadness and part sheer terror. That cat doesn't like her feet touched, for heaven's sake.

It does sound as though things are better now. I do hope so, and I hope you have a long, long time to hone your kitty-vet skills!

Ruth said...

That was not a good week for you, and I can't believe it's been so long since I have been here to read. Thankfully now the weather has much improved. Yesterday was gorgeous! I hope you are feeling in toptop shape, and that the Gypsy is being a good patient and that Jeanie Nurse is right in the swing of injections. It would be fun to see what you did for French class, and how wonderful! I have long wanted to take at least more than FRN 101 which I took one summer. Maybe one day. Lesley (daughter) and I talked for a minute about going to Paris this summer. She has not been, and her French is gorgeous (East Lansing HS), AND she turns 30 in a couple of weeks. But there is too much going on in their lives with her husband applying for teaching jobs. SO, it will have to remain "one day."

Rosa said...

Say it isn't so. Our Gyp is sick? Breaks my heart. Bella is sending her well wishes. sniffle.

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