Friday, July 24, 2009

Fluids, needles and more…

Did I say giving sub-q treatments was easy? Where the heck was the real me? OK, I'm pretty squeamish about intentionally hurting my friends, family, pets, whatever. Plus, that needle is frickin' huge!

First round by myself went OK, but Ash jumped into my lap and pulled her needle out. D'oh! I decided to give her a rest and try again later this evening with L's help. It went smoother and she got the necessary fluids.

Cats, Bikes and More…

So with Ashley's new medical care, trading to a scooter is now out of the question. The bike will be up for sale today through Motorcycle Traders Magazine. Also, no vacations for a while as Ashley adjusts to her daily regiments of Sub-Q treatments and feeding her as much as she wants. It's official though. I have a dromedary for a cat. When you give the fluids it creates a weird little bubble on her back until the fluids are absorbed into the body. It looks a little bit like a dromedary's hump when it is low on water. Weird! Her little foot was swollen yesterday until I was able to take off the bandage for her IV.

By the way, I'll have to hook up her fluids at home; not nearly as ooky and difficult as you'd think. I feel I could now give a shot to a person. Maybe someday I'll post a pic for the non-squeamish.

I now have two very spoiled cats. I can no longer leave the dry food out for them because they don't want Ash eating any of the higher protein food. So now, whenever Moses is hungry he comes to me where I keep his food in a closed container. This is going to get busy!

Oh, and now she's sleeping under the covers. That's new. I thought I was going to totally squish her last night.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Vet Hospital…

A quick note; Ashley is staying one more day in the hospital hooked up to IV to get her numbers in as normal range as possible. She comes home tomorrow as long as everything goes well.

Thank You Cards…

Here are two of my latest Thank You cards. I made these using images cut out of an old botanical calendar that I have. My biggest weakness is my lettering, which I am working on the most. My favorite thing to do is add dimension with foam sticky pads. Here, I have elevated the illustration for added impact.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ashley’s Journey…

One of the few decent pictures I've gotten of her. I played around making the image
sepia toned, then brought back the color in the eyes. Soft blur on edges
for a vignette look. If I use flash, she blinks,
if I don't she usually moves so much it's just a blur. Like the next picture!

I just got back from the Vet Hospital to see Ashley and she looks a ton better. She's been on IV fluids for two days now to get her toxin (everything the kidneys do) levels to normal. Yesterday her numbers for her BUN values were in the 80s, where normal values are 14-36. Today she is only slightly above 40. She'll be in the hospital at least one more day, if not two.

The biggest problem is that once she gets home, she is in for lifetime treatment to minimize the kidney usage. She looks good today but could be in terrible shape once I bring her home. Essentially, I am prolonging her ability to live. There's a lot of guilt that goes along with this, especially considering that I don't like the idea of euthanasia. I don't even like the concept of capital punishment either. I don't agree with it. So I help her live comfortably by modern medicine, but I don't want to prolong her beyond her ability to choose to die. Like I said, guilt. Lot's and lot's of it.

This is actually a happy Ashley. L was scratching her ears last night
and she is sort of tucked in here enjoying the moment.

She likes gripping my hand with her wee paws. She's very judicial with the claws too!

Again, I come with the disclaimer: she is part of my family. I've always had a strong connection with my pets and animals and treat them as I would humans. I fully believe the afterlife is not based solely on how we treat our own kind but how we treat the world in total. Many people may not agree with what I am doing, but that is their decision to make.

PS: If anyone else has pets going through something like this, this site HERE has been quite helpful.

New Look…

How do you like the new look?

  • Good
  • Bad
  • Indifferent
I decided to revamp the blog a little bit to make navigation easier. I get a lot of requests for the few recipes I have on here, so it's all easy to find now. The navigation was very simple to add, just in case anyone is interested!

I took the photograph with my little point and shoot last summer during our Monsoons. We were out driving and I thought the clouds on the mountains were amazing. This year, I have a new SLR camera and plan on doing the same. I've been trying to take it everywhere with me just in case I get that magical shot.

Healthcare Costs…

So, moving forward with Ashley's health care I'm at a small dilemma. We have officially canceled our 11th Anniversary trip to the coast of California. I'm also spending a bit of money on the whole thing, so I'm toying with the idea of finding a part-time job to pay for the costs of medication. I know most people think, "it's just a cat." But she is a member of my family and since she is not in pain, I don't see how I could simply end her life for my convenience. I'm also putting the Ducati up for sale—if anything, money that I make from that can re-pad my savings account. The third thing I've done is opted to be incredibly frugal.

Here's my dilemma. I have recently started to get into sewing, but can no longer put money towards that hobby. If anyone has any ideas on how to be a frugal seamstress please present them. And if anyone has any leftover fabric that's just laying about the house unused, unwanted, I'd gladly take it off your hands. I'm certainly not looking for handouts, but I know I have a lot of scrapbooking supplies and would be interested in an exchange. Seriously, a lot of supplies—the puzzle place I worked at owned a scrapbooking company for a while and I got lots of freebies.

By the way, this all just sucks. I know animals get old and die, like everything else in this world. But knowing that in the future I will likely have to choose for euthanasia is heartbreaking to me. There's a saying the pets give you unconditional love because they have to break your hearts when they die. I totally agree.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Numbers are coming down = good
Phosphate in normal range = great
Now, because of all the hydration we have to look for anemia and possible shots to help with red blood cell production.

Luckily I get to visit her anytime between 8 am. and 10 pm. I'm going back tonight to visit and spend a little time with her.

Ashley’s Story…

“You can't own a cat. The best you can do is be partners.”
—Sir Harry Swanson

Yesterday I had to take Ashley, my cat of over 17 years to the vet for what I thought would be a mild case of constipation. Turns out, her kidneys are in the early stages of failure. It is impossible to say how sad it feels to watch a beloved pet struggling with their health. I have opted to try a regiment of clearing the kidneys of toxins by way of intravenous fluids. I'll know more later this afternoon what her vitals are at. Assuming that she can come home at all, I will be into full care-giver status. She wll be on a low protein diet, extra water and weekly subcutaneous hydration. Travel for me will surely be minimized.

She's none too happy this morning after spending a night in the Animal Hospital. Apparenlty, while I was in with the doctor Scooter said a woman with a dog who'd been hit by a car came by and the dog sadly did no make it.

This is her from the first morning I saw her. She had just been hooked up to IV,
had an enema (yeah, I'd be uncomfortable too) and all sorts of other tests.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Trading (Up?)…

So, I've just not had the desire to ride in like, oh, the last 6 months or so. Bicycles yes, but motorcycles, not so much. There's no one reason for it but a number of lesser reasons. I'm busy with work, I don't commute anymore so there is no daily drive, my sinuses are buggin' me and leave me a little intimidated, it's hot as heck right now mixed with thunder and lightening. I've been looking at either selling the Ducati or trading it and came across this little beauty this weekend.

Single sided front and rear wheels, included luggage rack, 70-80 mpg and in the most beautiful green with brown seat ever. Squee!

The idea of riding a scooter has never really interested me until this year. I'm not a scooter rider. I'm a motorcycle enthusiast! In this world, that's a big difference. But, I'm changing and my ways are changing. They had this exact model in the local Italian bike shop; unfortunately they also already had two of my motorcycles in there as well, so would likely not be looking to trade. It's a small shop, nothing like a big car dealer.

I'm looking forward to this change in my life and learning yet another life skill. And here are some quick little illos of scooters I drew many months ago.

New Athletic (?) Shoes…

I've needed new running/walking shoes for a long time now. Like, a year maybe. So I've been shopping for quite some time now. After reading about a number of different options out there, I decided to go with the Vibram FiveFingers shoe. What? What is it? Well, it's the closest thing you can come to walking barefoot. There is a lot of evidence supporting the idea that we are designed to walk barefoot and our shoes are actually impeding us in developing strong leg and foot muscles. I'm a big fan of barefoot anyway and rarely go with shoes around the house—even when walking to the mailbox at times.

I've been walking in these shoes for a few days now and found only a slight irritation on my heal as it gets used to a new shoe there. Some people have complained about heel pain and bruising when walking on cement, but I have not noticed any of that. I think all my marching band years have taught me to walk well too. I've noticed that I get less fatigue in my calk with these shoes, and don't get the foot cramps I used to at times. I've also been a lot more conscious of using my toes to propel me forward, thus increasing my use of calf-muscles.

The weirdest part about these shoes is the “between the toes” feel. However after a few minutes of that, it's actually quite nice to be able to wiggle your toes while walking and grip with your toes while crossing terrain. These would be great martial arts, yoga and general shoes. You do get a lot of weird looks too. I call them my gecko toes. And yes, I got the purple. Scooter (new name for my husband—just don't tell him :P ) convinced me that was the best color.

A Week in the Mile High State…Part IV


The plane trip home.

Oh yeah. I forgot to finish my trip. I flew home. THE END!