Monday, April 13, 2009

Emotional Rollercoaster

Just to let everyone know, there's been some good news on the Emily front, but it took a while to get there. The day started off with a serious flaw in our plan. I took the kids to school and once there I (and one other parent that was there with their kids) realized the school is apparently closed today. Not sure how we missed that. One would think with Ginger being the co-president of the parent committee we would know these things, but you would be wrong. So I ended up taking the kids home. We still had a vet appointment scheduled because Emily hadn't gotten any better and if anything was showing signs of being even more lethargic than she was yesterday if that's even possible. We had wanted to have the kids avoid that, but no such luck.

Even though I knew what we were going to do was the right thing if Emily wasn't eating or drinking, it was still emotionally tough to deal with and I apparently wasn't up to the task of being the strong and stoic throughout this process. Making the decision is excruciatingly tough, but can at least be viewed and decided upon rationally. That actual acting on that decision is simply emotionally brutal. The amusing thing about it is the kids seemed to be just fine, and it was only me and Ginger (and mostly me) that we having trouble dealing with it. I think a large part of this is because the kids simply believe the vet will be able to fix whatever is wrong, so in their mind there's nothing to be concerned about.

Anyway, as we were having the doc (same one as from Sat) look over Emily even she was concerned about the fact that Emily was just lying there. She wasn't trying to get away or move or anything really. And they suggested running a lot more tests, but I had decided at that point I didn't want to put Emily through that anymore. Luckily we decided to at least run a blood test. The blood test came back and showed an extreme potassium deficiency. Normal potassium levels for cats are suppose to be between 3.5 and 5.1, Emily was showing 2.1. Apparently it had been on the low side on Saturday, but had only been 3.4 at that time so they had discounted it since it was so close to being within the norm.

The medical term for it is Hypokalemia. The symptoms match exactly what we're seeing in Emily. So they suggested we inject fluids into her again and try to add some potassium to her diet by giving her a supplement for the next couple of days. There's still the matter of whatever is causing the potassium deficiency is still there, but it didn't feel right not to give this a chance. So we brought her home again and started making her take some of the supplement (no easy task).

The good news is even though all the texts I've read on the subject say it can take weeks before you see an improvement from the supplement we actually saw some improvement by the end of the night. She was standing and walking a bit (just a couple steps here and there, but that's light years better than she was just this morning). She also started to eat some. Now admittedly I have to hold the food in my hand and up to her mouth so she doesn't have to bend over and try and hold herself up, but again, that's the first thing I know of that's she eaten since at least Saturday if not before. So for now, we're cautiously optimistic. We had yet another vet appointment scheduled for Wednesday in case there was no signs of improvement, but for now things seem to be good. And as I said earlier, whatever it is that suddenly caused this potassium imbalance is still there, so realistically she probably doesn't have a lot of time left (she is 17 years old after all). And in case anyone is wondering, I took the picture above on Saturday before we went to the vet (since at that point I wasn't sure I was going to be able to take anymore pictures at all).

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