I think about my blog sometimes and my thoughts are usually something like: I wish I could think of something to write in my blog.
This weekend has already come and gone. It’s already 10:18 PM on Sunday night and I look back and feel like only an hour ago I was leaving work on Friday.
We did have a beautiful day on Saturday though, that day felt like it was around for 24 hours. Every other day though was pretty well blurry.
I brought Marscapone home Thursday right after work after his 48 hour stay at the clinic. I had visited with him Wednesday night where he basically held me tight for 45 minutes straight while he fell asleep on my shoulder.
The vet techs told me Marshall was such a nice boy. They taught me how to administer Subcutaneous Fluid Therapy (aka, sub-Q) to Marshall as well. We even did a trial injection. This is something that is going to become a part of our lives until the end.
At the clinic, during our trial injection, it was the three of us. At home, it’s just me. Me and a 1000 mL bag of Lactated Ringer’s Solution, an IV line, and a needle, plus Marshall, of course. Otis doesn’t really care to help but I don’t really blame him.
Our first attempt was in my bed. I figure the more comfortable he is, the better. At the clinic the needle slid right in so in my over confidence I was expecting the same ease. Poor Marshall turned into my feline pin cushion. So much for this comfortable position he was in. I felt like the biggest asshole finally getting my third poke into his scruff properly. He was semi-okay shortly after it was in although clearly not entirely at peace.
The techs had told me to hold the needle in place with my left hand while holding the bag with my right and at the same time squeezing it so the fluid gets into his skin faster vs the drip method like an IV. I remember the very moment Marshall noticed something strange was occurring in the subcutaneous layers of his neck and he jolted upward and attempted to walk away while he was still connected to the IV line. So I’m stretching across my bed trying to prevent him from jumping off thus risking sending the streaming needle in who knows what direction while at the same time trying to keep a steady flow through the bag.
The prescribed amount was 150 mL, I got in about half that before giving up because it just got so clumsy and precarious that if I had continued that process any longer one of us would have ended up tumbling off my bed.
Note to self: Don’t perform sub-Q on bed.
Today was our scheduled 2nd therapy treatment. This time he was passed out against the arm of my sofa. I tested his scruff accessibility in the position he was in and it was decent. So I practiced forming the tent of scruff that the techs had showed me. Marshall started purring – poor thing had no idea what I was about to do to him. This time, the needle went in all the way but he shifted his shoulder and it went on this weird angle and in realising this happened I attempted to squeeze the bag double hard to get as much in as possible before he knew its positioning was weird which then surprised him and up he shot again and froze for about 5 seconds while he tried to make sense of what the hell was going on then proceeded to jump off the sofa. I had to let him go that time.
We took about a 4 hour break when I realised that it was imperative that we make today’s therapy flawless because he only had half of what he was supposed to have two days ago.
Back on the sofa my Marshall was again and this time I decided I was going to do this procedure my own way. I looped the bag around the hook of a hanger and hung the bag from my floor lamp – just like my very own IV stand. Marshall let me massage and knead his scruff again only this time he was doing this kind of corner-of-the-eye staring game with me and began to purr with hesitation. I told him I was sorry and with one swift poke in the needle went. This time I kind of lay lightly on top of him and immediately started scratching his chin and forehead with both my hands while the bag dripped on its own time.
This was a MUCH more relaxing way to administer the sub-Qs for both of us. I don’t care if it took 5 minutes, I was able to get all 150 mL in and Marshall only tried to wriggle away once and I think it’s because his back paw was a little twisted under my weight.
It’s really interesting looking at a cat with sub-Q under its skin. He looked like Quasimodo a bit. He had this huge pouch of fluid sitting above his shoulder blades that felt as soft and squishy as what I imagine a saline breast implant would feel like, only covered with cat fur. Pretty, eh?
Apparently as the cat moves around so will the water under their skin and because gravity pulls things down then I am to expect that at least once the water will travel down his legs and he’ll look like he has elephant legs, only covered with … cat fur.
I swear, this cat will survive based on my neuroses alone.
I don’t care though, I’d do anything for my boys.
This has been a difficult journey that began only 6 days ago. Part of me hopes it never ends.
Marshall’s life will be forever changed. Chronic Renal Failure will be terminal. The when is the missing piece now that I’m not going to focus on. Just my Marshy and the pure happiness he brings me.
We’ve got the Queen of Soul here. Aretha Franklin. Now, tell me this song doesn’t send shivers down your spine. That’s Whitney’s ma in the background, too. Ain’t No Way. I just find her so fantastic.
Some photos for reflection:
Marshall was admitted with his kidneys functioning at 5-7%. They had lost over 90% of their functioning. As a result of this, toxins were building up in his body which resulted in the ulceration of the inside of his poor, kitty mouth.
Looking at these again makes me feel like crying. He was so sick. My heart was in such agony for the first three days, it actually shocked me.
Home again. Phew.