December 12, 2021

A Downer of a Post

I don't have a new picture for this post, so here is another from the webcam on Friday when I was writing my blog post. When I don't pay enough attention to Duck (like when I'm trying to type) he pushes his paws on my face until I pet him and look at him.

I've been feeling like a wreck for 10 days now. Just when I thought all was going to get back to normal and Duck was healing from his surgery, I woke up at 3:30 AM today when Duck sneezed in my face. He never sneezes, and I thought it was weird. Then he started sneezing several more times.

In between sneezes, he was making an odd sound--not a cough, really, but almost like clearing his throat. And he would partially open his mouth, like you do when you're waiting to sneeze. The noise sounded almost like something was irritating his nose or throat, making him sneeze. He seemed fine, otherwise, but I was getting pretty worried about the noises.

I called the vet (and of course, it's Sunday! They are closed.) I wasn't sure it warranted a trip to the emergency vet hospital in Toledo (if he was struggling to breathe, I would have gone in an instant), so I thought hard about what it could be.

The only thing that came to mind was that maybe it's a hairball. Remember how he wormed his way out of this recovery garment a couple of days ago and had totally groomed himself spotless? Since he hadn't groomed himself in a week, I'm sure there was a lot of fur that he swallowed.

I went to PetSmart to buy a product for hairballs (it's a gel that you squeeze a little onto their paw and then they lick it off (because apparently, chicken-flavored gel tastes good to cats). It kind of lubricates the hairball to get it moving.

I had another mini-breakdown today. All of this has been too much to deal with over the past 10 days. (And I know that there are people who have it MUCH worse than a sick cat; I just mean that relative to my own regular stressors, this has been at the top.)

I just feel so SAD. I hate to use the word 'depressed', because I don't know if this is an actual bipolar episode or not--maybe I'll feel completely better once Duck is better. But I am definitely feeling depressed right now. I've tried making myself go do other things to take my mind off of Duck for a little while, but I can't get him off my mind and I hate to leave his side. He needs help getting up and down because he's still having a problem with his incision and I want it to totally heal.

Today, I asked Eli to come sit with him for a little bit so that I could go start some laundry, clean out the litter boxes, start the dishwasher, and stuff like that. I even tried to go work on a project in the garage, but I just couldn't get excited about it. Usually my little workshop in the garage is my happy place!

I know that a huge part of the problem is that I don't get any sleep. I've had insomnia for as long as I can remember and nothing helps--and I've tried it all. I think I would just feel so much better if I could manage to get more than 3-4 hours of sleep (and my 3-4 hours is always interrupted at least a few times). When my rheumatologist said to me that the best thing I can do for fibromyalgia is to get a good eight-hours sleep at night, I literally laughed and then burst into tears in a matter of seconds, haha. If she only knew what I wouldn't give for a good night's sleep. 

I'm also really upset with myself about totally slacking on my recent weight loss. I was doing SO good for months and I felt like nothing could stop me--but right now, it's just so hard to even care. I feel like it's super trivial to think about when I would give anything for Duck to get better and be back to his normal self. He used to be super vocal, chatting with me all day long; other than in the car on the way home from the vet, he hasn't meowed at all.

Sorry this is such a downer of a post. I just need one really GOOD day where nothing seems to go wrong so I can recharge. Jerry has a week and a half off of work over Christmas, which should be something to look forward to, but after the past 10 days, the holidays just seem more stressful than anything else. It bothers me because Jerry LOVES Christmas and I have been the biggest downer ever so far this month.

I wish that "snapping out of it" was something that people could actually do! I need some Grinch pajamas--a onesie. That would totally fit my mood AND make me appear to be in the Christmas spirit, haha.

Anyway, I'm going cuddle with Duck and watch Wentworth (a show on Netflix I recently became addicted to). I *really* hope he's doing better tomorrow; if not, it's another trip to the vet.

EDIT: Almost immediately after I wrote this, Duck's breathing was really scaring me. I noticed that every time I petted him by his ribs, he would open his mouth a bit like he was waiting to sneeze. And then if I didn't stop petting, he actually did sneeze.

Then, of course, I do some googling and I'm convinced he's dying of edema of some sort. So, I once again packed him up in the car and we went to MedVet in Toledo (an emergency hospital for animal$). I was amazed at the care there. When they sent an intern out to get Duck from the car, she actually said I could go inside and stay with him if I'd like, but the appointment was going to be 4-5 hours long(!!).

I hesitated, wondering what to do (was this really an emergency?) and she said she'd be happy to check him out in the car and see if she thinks we should stay. I showed her the papers from the other vet and she examined him. She said she definitely does not feel like it's an emergency--his heart and lungs sound clear, everything looks good, he's eating and all that. So she said she felt 100% confident that we could wait and just call the other vet in the morning (if he's still having the problem).

I was so relieved to hear this. She was exactly the kind of reassuring person I needed to talk to tonight. (And funnily enough, she actually has two cats named after Friends characters too! She loved the Duck and Chick names.) AND, the best part? I wasn't even charged for the exam! I was dreading the bill from this visit (if I'd ended up staying) because the emergency room status makes the price much higher. 

Okay, so I'll at least feel better about this until morning. I was just terrified that if I didn't take him in, something horrible would happen during the night and I would really regret not going.

(I've been taking anxiety meds every single day this week and I'm still this much of a mess.)

EDIT Monday morning: Duck was NOT doing well this morning. Hiding, no interest in food or water, just not being even close to himself. I took him to the vet (again) and his temp was 105.9!! That is super high. Now he will be spending the next two nights in the hospital.


  1. Bless your heart! Of course you are consumed with worry about Duck which is affecting all parts of your life right now. That intern at the emergency vet sounds like an angel; taking him there was just what you needed for a bit of reassurance. Be gentle with yourself as you focus on duck’s care.

  2. I just want to give you a big hug! Also..When I am feeling down I immediately call a friend to just talk. It helps so much to get out of my own headspace and listen to someone else. ❤️

  3. You have every right to be consumed with your worry with Duck right now! Do whatever you need to do; whether it's taking a step back from the scale or counting calories or even taking a break from writing on your blog. Reach out to friends to talk, especially ones that have animals and get it! Duck will be okay, that emergency vet sounds amazing! I'm glad you took him, it is always worth it for the peace of mind. Duck is getting there, it definitely still sounds like positive progress all around! Sending so much love your way, things are going to get better! <3

  4. I wish so bad that you could sleep 8 hours straight and Duck would get back to normal. I don't know him at all, but I truely love him and want him to pull through this. Christmas is such a special time and I want to see Duck up in that Christmas tree with those huge eyes having fun. We love you!

  5. Aww Katie. My heart goes out to you. I really hope that Duck is on the mend by the time you read this. Just remember, animals are far more resilient than we give them credit for. And don't worry about your weight. You will get right back on track now that you've found your motivation again. Hug Duck for me.

  6. Please stop worrying. It doesn't do anyone any good. Have faith. Duck will get well. You worried he wouldn't come home. He did. You worried you & his bond would never be the same. It is even stronger. I think Duck is one tough cookie and he will get better. I think you need to take care of you since Duck can't right now.

  7. My heart hurts for you and Duck. I hope he gets better soon!

  8. Of course you are sad! All cats are beautiful, but not every cat is a Fur Person. Duck totally is! You cannot get happy because someone you love is sick. And wishing can't make him better, so what else can you do but worry? When we let Fur People into our hearts, we give them the power over us that few humans even have. Duck has tamed you. My absolute favorite section of THE LITTLE PRINCE says, "One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets oneself be tamed." But what is the alternative? To never love a Fur Person? Well, that's a sure way to avoid the fear of losing them, but it seems to me a hollow way to live.

    The worry is a sign that this Fur Person has a human who needs him. I think the universe pays attention to love like that. Heal quickly, Duck!


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