feren: Feren smoking (atomicfiction_ferensmoking)
  • When I laid down for a depression-fueled nap at 5:40 tonight, there was no Jazz jumping up onto the bed and making a run for my lap. This makes the house feel empty because I'm waiting for something that won't happen now.
  • I had a dream with a cat like Jazz in it; the cat jumping at ghosts above a mantleplace. Symbolism. Or Jazz telling me she's on the other side. Something like that.
  • When I woke up from the nap, there was the echo of Jazz's meow... the rusty-sounding one she made when she pushed her head into your hand, insisting on more petting... that was bouncing around in my head from the tail end of a different dream.
  • feren: Feren smoking (atomicfiction_ferensmoking)
    I don't have it within me to write about today's events or the week that has lead up to them. You may see something written in [personal profile] lady_curmudgeon's journal. All that matters is that today our sweet Jazz has gone across the Rainbow Bridge to join her sisters Smudge and Diva.


    Jazz Kersting, December 2nd 2013

    Photo December 5, 2007


    There are so many things about you that we miss already, beautiful.
    feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
    We fell asleep around 2 this morning, with lots of waking up throughout the night. And, this morning, Jazz is still here with us. [personal profile] lady_curmudgeon and I couldn't be more glad - even if it sometimes feels as if we've exchanged another day of having her with us for another day of dread about when she'll be taken from us. Her eating and bathroom habits, paired with rapid breathing, continue to show that things are very much not right. But there's not really anything we can do but keep watching for signs of distress or pain. Other than those three things she seems alert today, and has already given us loving time in bed, and is moving a bit from place to place in the house.

    I can't help but feel like we're prolonging the inevitable, but that's a rather silly belief a we aren't taking extraordinary measures such as force-feeding. It's only her normal schedule of meds and us offering food to her in an attempt to get her to eat. So I think as long as she wants to stay with us, she will. I'm still hoping she'll improve and gain back a bit more of her old self. I miss her carrying her sparkle balls into the hallway, the office or onto the bed. I miss her "Singing the Song of Her People" when she is carrying sparkle balls around. I miss the way she pushes her nose insistently into my hand for petting... so if I saw any of those behaviors come back, I'd be most relieved.

    Thank you for all the good wishes and prayers to those who may have seen this last night. We continue to appreciate them as we look forward with worry and a spark of hope to the rest of the week.
    feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
    Jazz has not been right since Thursday, August 29th (read more here and in subsequent posts). Both [personal profile] lady_curmudgeon and I have had a feeling that she's declining significantly. Today Jazz went to the emergency vet because of her lack of appetite or elimination.

    Things were looking as if they might be reversing for the better this evening, but just as quickly that took a turn downward. Food remained uneaten and after Jazz laid down in her bed next to the office door, 'mudge noticed that she was breathing very hard and very fast. I did a quick respiration count and came back with 96, more than double the normal respiratory rate for a cat. Classic distress, but for good reason.

    Since they are shallow, fast breaths I worry she's struggling for oxygen and that this may be the indication of a final decline. We discussed a return trip to the emergency vet but, given that she's as old as she is and her bloodwork was clean on Friday... we don't think there's any sense in subjecting her to that much more stress. I'm praying very, very hard that this is not the final night we have her sleeping with us on the bed.

    Any good wishes you can send are much appreciated.
    feren: I AM THE MAN (atomicfiction-feren_smoking)
    Tonight I got home late from work, and [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon is off at bowling league. I decided to try an experiment and see how things worked out: can I actually give Jazz her full regimen without the assistance of another person?

    The answer is yes, yes I can.

    Getting Jazz to take pills is not very easy... her head is small, so it's difficult to get the pill far enough back on her tongue to make it easy to swallow. This meant it took me about 5 tries to get this pill to go down (one time it was caught between her gums, another time it was caught in her fur on her throat, that sort of thing). Eventually I did win, however! So, given the number of tries, I give myself half a point and Jazz half a point.

    After pills comes the thing that we've never been able to do with just one person - put in the IV needle and administer the subcutaneous fluids. I was surprised to find that I was able to get Jazz to stand still long enough for me to prep her and set the needle. From that point on it was merely a task of keeping her in place while I adjusted the line clamp to get the treatment running. We encountered some difficulties because I couldn't reassure her, hold her in place and hold the needle in such a way that the line ran as fast as I wanted... but really all that amounted to was that the treatment went a bit more slowly than I'd have liked.

    Overall I will mark tonight a success! I'm reassured by this outcome because it means if worst case scenario should unfold I can, with a bit of frustration and effort, handle Jazz's medication by myself. I'll do my best to try and avoid that becoming a necessity, but it's nice to know I've got that option as a backup.

    Sigh, why can't all the kids be as easy to medicate as [livejournal.com profile] ra_kitty?
    feren: I AM THE MAN (atomicfiction-feren_smoking)
    So [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon recaps it up pretty well in her entry over here, but I'll summarize:

    After 30+ straight days of daily needle-sticks to give Jazz her sub-q IV fluids, we had epic failure tonight. Not just once, but twice she managed to get the needle to slip out. The first time was really my fault (I was adjusting the needle's depth for flow) but the second time she shrugged just the right way and out came the needle! Of course this was a brand new, full IV bag and I had the roller clamp set to full blast, so when the needle popped out it was blowing Ringer's solution (plus potassium) all over the place! Both times it hit Curmudgeon in the face first before going on to soak the kitchen table and whatever was sitting on it.

    We got about 1/2 to 2/3 of her regular dosage in before we called it a night because after two sticks and getting bathed in Ringer's Jazz was just too agitated to stay in one place. I don't blame her a lick.

    Honestly in retrospect this is funny, but while it's happening to you some of the humor vanishes. Mostly I worry because I know she didn't get her full dose.
    feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-lurve)
    We're back from the emergency vet visit this morning. Curmudgeon summed up everything for the most part with this afternoon's post. Jazz has been diagnosed with CRF (Chronic Renal Failure) and, consequently, anemia as well. There's an astoundingly complete website on feline CRF that I did a lot of reading from yesterday as I built up my list of questions to ask the vet. If you're curious what all this means and how cat kidneys work, go read that.

    Jazz's BUN and creatinine levels are dangerously high, and her hematocrit levels are low. This indicates her kidneys are functioning poorly and she's going anemic, a symptom common with CRF. The vet's approach at this time, since we don't know what caused her kidneys to suddenly start failing after a perfectly OK blood work up in August, is three-pronged. 1) In case something bacterial is causing her kidneys to fail, we're giving her 1 mL of antibiotic orally per day for the next two weeks. 2) We're hydrating in an attempt to stabilize her and ease her kidney's load. To that end we're administering 175-220mL of potassium-supplemented Lactated Ringer's solution subcutaneously every day for the next two weeks. 3) We're changing her diet, putting her on Hill's Prescription Diet "k/d." Fortunately she's shown signs of loving the wet food, which will make things easier.

    While at the vet's office getting her first subQ treatment, Jazz also received three shots: a shot of potassium, a shot of antibiotic and a shot of vitamin B12 as well. This will hopefully aid in stabilizing her.

    The goal is two weeks of the subQ and antibiotics, then go in for another blood work up and see how her levels have adjusted. We may be able to go some time without additional subQ fluids if she responds well, maintaining things with the diet change until she gets older. Or this may become part of my daily routine. Time will tell. I'm not intimidated by this, Ra was taking daily meds for a very long time and Diva will be taking daily medication for the rest of her life, so special-needs cats don't worry me at all. In fact, as of today, we're a 100% special need household as far as our cats are concerned.

    I know this condition is, ultimately, terminal. How long she has left with us is a function of how she responds to protocol and how closely we monitor her. Right now I just want to get her better for the moment and we'll figure out everything else going forward.
    feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-blue-contemplative)
    Our 14 year old kitty, Jazz, is sick. [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon got a voicemail from the vet today after yesterday's visit to the cat clinic. She sums up pretty much everything in her post over here. The short story is that Jazz's blood work, paired with her symptoms, indicates she has a severe kidney disease. I don't know what the blood workup says as I haven't seen it yet, but she's shown increased drinking, increased urination and loss of body weight (She's lost 4 pounds, over 30% of her body weight, in the last few months).

    She's so damn sweet and fun. This is scary. I don't want to lose her yet.

    All thoughts greatly appreciated.

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