Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A sad day yesterday

We had to take Slick to the vet yesterday to find out why he was peeing everywhere but the litterbox (this is not usual for him) and why he was drinking so much water (the cats have a 2 quart self-waterer and it would have to be filled every day/day and a half here lately).
When I called the vet, the receptionist said to bring him in to be checked, it sounded like diabetes to her (she had had a diabetic cat). When I told DH that, he said that if Slick was diabetic (at 11 years old), we would probably have him euthanized. NOT something we really wanted to do, but this is a cat that fights oral medications and will run and hide from you when he knows you're going to give them to him (and he's nearly impossible to find, too, even in our small house). Not to mention that we're gone on the weekends when DH isn't working so no one would be here to give him his shots (we don't have anyone who can/will come in and take care of the cats while we're gone, we just leave plenty of food and water and a spare clean litter box for them, it all lasts the 2 1/2 days we're usually gone).
So we took Slick in to the vet, she checked him over, drew his blood, and everything was good except his blood sugar. That was 594, and just like humans, cats should have a blood sugar of 71 to 150. Slick was his usual affectionate self, but he was so passive, laying there on the exam table while the vet explained what would have to be done to get his blood sugar under control (diet, medication, more testing, maybe oral meds later on, different food than what Fat Cat eats). DH said we knew about all of that, since he had type 2 diabetes and we had to go through all of that for him. He told her that with us being gone on weekends, the expense, the fact that Slick won't eat any food but the kind he eats now (DH has tried to change their food in the past, doesn't work, they pick out the new food pieces and leave them, and just eat the old ones when you mix the two together), trying to feed two cats separately when they're used to eating whenever they want to (and have been for the last 10 years), and then fighting to get meds in Slick, it's just not fair to the cat, he doesn't understand that we're doing it for his health, he just knows that we're holding him down and sticking him (or giving him oral meds) and limiting his food and when he can eat.
So DH made the decision to euthanize Slick (and then he had to leave, he couldn't stand to stay and have Slick looking at him with those big green eyes of his). I took care of all the paperwork and wrote the check, but I couldn't stay to be with him as he passed either, I was crying as I filled out everything as it was. I don't know how DH even managed to make the decision, Slick was the cat who greeted him at the door every night when he got home from work, was the cat who laid on his computer desk begging to be petted when DH was playing games on the computer, was the cat who drank his diet Coke, lemonade, or whatever else he happened to be drinking, and was the cat that DH would look at and go "What?" and Slick would make this tiny, almost noiseless meow back at him (and do that as many times as DH would say "What?"). Slick and Fat Cat are what got DH through the times when his ex-wife left him.
We spent a lot of time last night talking about Slick, the good times with him, and how he could be a pain in the ass, and I imagine we'll be talking about him for quite a while, until the pain of losing him finally lessens.

DH and Slick

Slick RIP

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another found gem

This was originally titled "The 230 Pound Psalm", but I think a more appropriate title for it is:

Author Unknown

Strict is my diet, I must not want.
It maketh me to lie down hungry at night.
It leadeth me past Baskin Robbins, it trieth my will power.
It leadeth me in the path of starvation for my figure's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the aisles of the pastry department,
I will buy no sweets, for they are fattening.
The cakes and the pies, they tempt me,
My day's quota runneth over.
Surely calories and weight charts
shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in fear of the scales forever.

Been there done that, it sucks, and I refuse to do it ever again.

Amazing what you find when you go thru stuff that's been packed away for years

I found this poem today when I was going through a bunch of my old crafting books, trying to decide what I want to keep and what I want to get rid of. It's very apropos for FA.

By: Maggie Coffin

I am what I am
My bulk does not open doors
It should not close them

My size is my only difference
Why cannot others see that
My beauty comes from within and without
Just like everyone else

I breathe, love, laugh, and feel pain
The same as others
Do people think my stature protects me
From ordinary feelings

My sense of self-worth should not
Depend on my dress size

I accept myself - gladly - proudly!

If others cannot
It is THEIR problem

I had forgotten I had this, and I've had it so long that the paper I typed it on (yes, it's typed on a typewriter, not done from a computer and printed) is yellowed with age.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another example of hidden rising prices

This may seem like a small thing, but add up enough of these small things and it's no wonder people can't afford groceries and household supplies anymore.
I noticed when I changed the toilet tissue roll the other day (opened a new package of tissue to do it) that the roll seemed narrower. I thought I was imagining it until I compared the old, empty roll to the new, full roll. The old roll measured 4 1/2" wide and the new one measures 4 1/8" wide. That's 3/8" that the manufacturer has cut off the roll while not lowering the price (so you're paying the same price for less toilet tissue). Just like cereal producers have created smaller boxes of cereal and kept the same price (10 oz where it used to be 12, or 12 when it was 14, etc).
I've been noticing this a lot at the grocery store lately. A lot of items are getting downsized in quantity but not in price (and a lot of the time, the packaging isn't getting downsized to reflect the lesser quantity inside). You don't realize until you open the new package and see how little is really inside that you've bought a downsized product at the old price (and compare the new box to the old box and see that the quantity has changed while the size of the box and the price hasn't).
I consider this a most dishonest way of increasing prices for products. Manufacturers know consumers watch prices closely, and complain about rising prices, so in order to sneak in a price increase, they think, "Let's not actually raise the price where they can see that it's gone up, we'll just put less product in the same size box, charge them the same amount, and we'll get our price increase without them noticing it quite it as soon. And by the time they do notice it, they'll be so used to paying that same price for less product that they'll keep on doing it." When all the manufacturers do it, comparison shopping for the best price doesn't do much good (but I still do it as much as possible, because every penny, nickel, dime, and quarter I save on groceries can be saved for other things we want or need).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Saw both doctors today

Saw Dr W today for my yearly check-up. Cholesterol is good, BP is good, thyroid is normal, everything checked out ok with her. I do have to go in for a mammogram next week (I hate those), and a colonoscopy on the 24th (not looking forward to that either, but once that's done, I'm good for 10 years). It had been quite a while since I'd had a tetanus shot, so I got the Tdap shot (they've had some cases of whooping cough in our area this past winter).
I also saw Dr D today. Since I'm doing well on the minimal dosage of Topamax, she's not going to up it. She also ordered an EMG to see why I have the numbness in my arm (ruling out carpal tunnel), and is sending me to physical therapy for the pain in my neck when I have to drive long distances (or when I spend too much time sitting at the computer). I get to go back and see her again in a couple of months, and I guess we'll be doing another brain MRI next summer (something about keeping an eye on the lesions in my brain, making sure they don't get larger or I don't get more of them, and something else about MS not being much of a possibility after menopause, whatever that means). She also asked me if the Topamax was affecting my appetite in any way. I told her that in the 6 weeks I'd been taking it, I'd lost 6 lbs, and didn't seem to be hungry for snacks between meals like I was before. She said that was good, that Topamax seems to curb a desire for greasy foods (haven't noticed that, I don't usually eat greasy foods anyway, don't agree with me since I had my gallbladder out), and that some people have a problem with how carbonated beverages taste (I noticed that at first, but don't seem to have a problem with it now). She thinks it's a good idea if I keep losing weight, and that's not a battle I'm going to fight with her.
Losing weight is not why I'm taking the Topamax, I'm taking it to keep from getting migraines, and let me tell you, if I miss a dose a couple of days in a row, I'll get a migraine (thank Maude she also gave me a prescription for fiorinal, that will get rid of one if I do get it). If I lose weight, well, so be it; if I don't, that's ok too.
I'm done worrying about my weight, and after looking at the pictures of the women on my dad's side of the family (and these are pictures of my grandmother and her sisters and other female relatives, born between 1900 and 1920), I'm doomed to be fat. Considering when these women were born, and what the life expectancy was back then (and how tall women usually were), these women were exceptionally tall, fat, and long-lived (most were over 5' 5", weighed over 200 lbs, and lived well into their mid-70s-80s). So I don't think I have to worry about my fat killing me any time soon (in fact, that fat is probably what will help me survive any heart attack, stroke, or cancer I may happen to get).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Finally heard from neurologist (and other news)

Well, I finally heard from my neurologist about the numbness in my head/neck/shoulder (which has now spread to my arm and hand). When did she call me back? Friday morning (the 28th, when I called her on the 24th) as I was on my way to Faribault to pick up my son and daughter-in-law so we could go to Illinois to my mother's memorial service. So anyway, Dr D doesn't think it was a mini-stroke or side effects from the Topamax, she thinks it's probably a pinched nerve (and since I was driving on the freeway - well, I had pulled off to the shoulder to talk to her on my cell phone), I told her we would have to talk about it at our appointment on the 11th of September, since I was on my way out of state. At least a pinched nerve is better than a stroke, I guess, but I don't know what the hell they're going to do to get rid of the pinched nerve (or how they're going to find where it is).
I had the ultrasound on my carotid arteries and my thyroid. Carotid arteries are clear, no plaque, so my cholesterol is good (when I told my family members in Illinois that, they all wanted to know how I managed it, told them I didn't have a clue, just lucky, I guess). My thyroid is enlarged and has nodules, but Dr W doesn't seem worried about it, she says my TSH level is normal. I wonder what she'll have to say when I tell her my paternal grandfather had thyroid cancer and my mother had thyroid problems. I think maybe I need to ask her to do some more testing, maybe on the T3-T4 conversion, the TRH, and antibodies. With a family history of thyroid problems, it's not something I want to mess around with.
I found out what my mother passed away from. She had had ovarian cancer several years ago, and the tumors came back with a vengeance. Eventually, she had to have her bladder removed. And the last time the tumors came back, they strangled her small intestine and she couldn't eat or drink anything (this started back in April, from what I understand). In early July, the surgeon went in and closed off her stomach and put in a drain (anything that she drank went into her stomach and out the drain). He called everyone in and told them that there was nothing else that could be done for her. My aunt asked him if, basically, my mother was going to starve to death. He said yes. She hung on until August 20th, and my aunt said it was not an easy time for her at all.
I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to see her before she died, but I'm not sure if it would have done any good for me to have been there. She was a very stubborn woman (and that's one way in which I take after her). All I can say is that I hope she's in a better place now.
The memorial service was nice, and I got to see quite a few family members I haven't seen in more years than I care to think about. DH got to meet my dad (and they like each other, which is great), and he met my brother and likes him too. He also got to meet my aunt and the rest of the family (and he likes them all). He's even said that we'll be going back to visit, maybe this year before the snow flies. If not, definitely next spring, which makes me very happy (I finally feel like I fit into the family, which I never have before). And it's not that expensive for gas to get there, it cost us less than $175 for gas there and back (and that was almost 1400 miles in my 2001 Windstar).
A lot has been going on, it seems like I just get one dilemma solved and something else happens. I know life can be interesting, but I'm about ready for some dull and boring for a while.