Friday, March 05, 2010

Can the "Crisis" Come to an End?

We'll be seeing our new vet at 4:30 pm today and we have many questions for him. The most important of these is: how much can we relax?

Yesterday when I spoke to him, I asked the new vet if it was a good idea to switch doctors in the middle of "a crisis" like this. He said "what crisis? He's on a feeding tube. You know what to do. This is not a crisis."

"It is for us," I corrected him.

For the past 10 days, Liz and I have been in "crisis mode" 24-7 with Arthur. If it wasn't rushing him to the vet and hospital for tests and then worrying about him when he was at both of those places overnight, it has been monitoring and caring for him at home.

After he got home from the hospital last Thursday, we spent hours every day and night watching him to see if he ate and then cajoling him to eat and sometimes spending hours sitting on the kitchen floor with him, petting him, and begging him to have a few more licks from the bowl.

Now that we have the feeding tube inserted, we have more concerns. Will the tube pop out when we're not looking? Will he got caught on something he tried to rub against? Will his brother, who has been very sweet, decide he's ready for a play fight? Since he came home with the tube, Liz has stayed up all night every night watching him to make sure nothing happened to the tube. During the day, she has caught a few naps between feedings during the day, when both Arthur and Beowulf seem more sedate. The lack of sleep, food, and leaving the house is taking a MAJOR toll on her health. It's no picnic for me either.

In the mornings and at night, we try to feed him regular food and then hang our hopes on his every lick and bite or lack thereof. We watch his mood and behavior as we're watching him. Is he looking better or worse? Could he be getting worse, despite our best efforts? Does he need a biopsy? What would that mean?

I would love for the new vet to tell us "listen, you really can relax. I'd like to see him reposition the feeding tube so it doesn't seem like it's about to get caught on something, to give us some reassurance about Arthur's progress, and to give us some advice we can use. We're willing to stay up all night monitoring him every night, but it is taking its toll on us in a huge way.


TrinsMom said...

I've so been in your shoes. The anxiety is a killer.

The only thing I've noticed is his tube seems long. Can the new vet shorten it?

Ask the new vet for some anti nausea meds. A nauseous kitty will not eat. You have to remember that Arthur has been through a lot and it will take time for him to feel better. It took my Kita weeks to get over the tube placement alone. So, try not to panic. I know its hard not to. If he doesnt eat on his own, dont freak out, he doesnt feel good and you have the tube. He needs time, food and love. The only thing you cant control is time. You're doing everything right!

Anti nausea meds are huge, it could possibly help him feel so much better, so make sure to ask the new vet for some. Reglan, Zofran & Cerenia are all great.

If you are SUPER worried about the tube coming out, check out the collars I mentioned. My Kita rubs, plays, runs, shakes her head and this thing keeps everything safe and secure and she is much more comfortable without all the layers of bandages.

If they suggest a liver biopsy, they can do an aspirate (Kita had this done as well), it's less invasive and less expensive.

I'm keeping an eye out and will offer all the support I can! You are doing great! Arthur is a lucky kid to have such loving parents.

Anonymous said...

Again, Avram and Liz, so very glad to hear you've made the big move to a new (and presumably much better) vet. Getting all these tests done in the same place is reassuring to you and of course to Arthur too. A full-service vet with many docs, all of whom are presumably competent, is the best! I will stay tuned to hear updates every day. Much kitty-love and human-love to all of you (from socidoc)

Minemine et coe said...

So glad for you and Arthur that you change vet. I wish you the best. Arthur seems a strong cat, with your love and a good and caryng vet, he got a chance of recoverying well.

Minemine et coe.
(I'm french, sorry for the english).

Elvin said...

Glad to hear that you are going to a vet that you are more comfortable with. That is so important. What you wrote about your previous vet had me very worried. I think many of us learn to place "blind" faith in medical professionals and we can feel bad for asking too many questions. But a serious part of medical care (for humans and pets)should also include mental well-being. A good doctor will do his/her best to make the patient and family as comfortable and empowered as possible. Even if your old vet was providing appropriate care for Arthur's illness, this vet wasn't providing the other essential part of care. After having my own battles with doctors for a long-term condition, I've learned what a HUGE difference a doctor with good communication skills and simple kindness can make. Best wishes for Arthur.

meredithp said...

I'll be interested in what the new vet says, but it sounds like this person will be able to explain and answer all your questions. Questions I totally understand. Over a generation or two of cats, we've had our share of the anxiety of feline illness. With my own vet, I would be shocked if he (or she if working with his partners) wouldn't answer all my detailed questions. Yes, I too have gone in or been on the phone with a written list. I've done that with my own doctors too. Most providers appreciate your thoroughness and it helps them help you. If they don't look at it that way, well...

Look forward to hearing an update.

ABBY said...

I am looking forward to your comments after you meet with the new Vet and I hope that he is able to help ease your mind and spirit over Arthur's care. I know you and Liz are doing everything humanely possible to care for him and I can understand your feelings of being at the end of your rope.

The Island Cats said...

We think you are doing the right thing in seeing a new vet. Even if this vet confirms some of the things your first vet did, at least you know you're on the right track. What's important is that Arthur gets well and you have some peace of mind. And we're purring very hard that Arthur gets well soon!

Karen Jo said...

I really hope that your new vet can put your minds at ease and relieve some of the anxiety you are feeling over Arthur's condition.