Just a quick post to record the results of Tasha’s exam and blood test from last Friday. The test was the final post-procedure followup for Tasha regarding her Iodine-131 treatment for hyperthyroidism. Our cat weighed in at a healthy 8.4 pounds, her longstanding tummy troubles (once diagnosed as inflammatory bowel disease) seem to have ended, her oral health appears better, and her coat is full and thick as it once was. Her thyroid hormone level tested at 2.7 with the normal range being 1.9 to 4.8 — excellent! Dr. B., phoning us with the blood results, said “Tasha’s hunky-dory!” We agree.
Tasha visited Dr. B today for her 30-day, post Iodine-131 exam and blood test. She weighed in at a healthy 7.4 pounds (just before treatment she’d dipped to a scary 5.8 lbs.) and her “Doctor’s Office” heart rate was about 120 which was way down for the 200+ BPM prior to her thyroid treatment. She’s eating well and much calmer these days. In fact, we may need to start watching her food intake since she could be in danger of becoming fat! It will be a few days before all of the blood work is back but it looks like kitty has a new lease on life and we’re glad to have her with us, “Hyper Cat” no longer.
UPDATE: Blood work came in and Tasha’s thyroid level is 1.7 (normal is 1.9 to 4.8). Her white cell count is a bit low but likely to rebound, says Dr. B. — Aug. 1.
Tasha appears to be feeling better. The skin problem that caused her to suffer mightily has abated and she is healing. She visits the vet in another week for a second antibiotic injection to help assure the infection is gone. Her sneezing continues but the nasal congestion and resulting sneezing also seem to be diminishing, albeit not as quickly as we'd prefer. She is still hidden away most of the day, however, telling us something's bothering her. These are likely but the latest results of her living with FIV for many years, an infection she had when we adopted her. With FIV, as with HIV (the Human version), the immune system may slowly weaken making it easier for common ailments to take hold. Many cats live normal lives and pass away of causes unrelated to FIV but if they live long enough, opportunistic infections can become a danger. Tasha's about 11 years old.
We're still worried about Tasha's appetite but Dr. B. suggested and we've observed that the upper respiratory problem is likely the main issue there affecting her senses of taste and smell. The low point seemed to come this week when Tasha essentially stopped eating for about 48 hours. Her usual diet is dry food pellets which she seemed to hardly notice. So Thursday evening I bought some canned food and offered her a small dish of it when I got home. She eagerly attacked it. Overnight she ate some more of the wet food and a bit of the dry. Very encouraging.
This morning I was doing some paperwork at the dining room table when the cat came up to see what I was about. She started eating the centerpiece –a wreath of artificial leaves– so I moved that and put her food dish in its place; that was even tastier. All the while I was working and making a scheduled phone report to Dr. B., Tasha stayed on the tabletop purring, bird and chipmunk watching, eating, and socializing. A good 45 minutes to an hour of activity. Not bad. I'm cautiously optimistic she'll pull out of this one. She's feeling better.
This was a week of pushing to finally (really) finish the publishing project and to help Tasha cat feel better; those things, along with doing work they pay me to do, made for a full week indeed.
The document and image files finally got off to the printers. There was discovery of an omission –one of the worst two kinds of errors one can make in an annual guide– and a couple of last-minute corrections. Overall, though, when the account rep showed me the full-color proofs, I'm pretty happy with it and think the thing will look great in print! He said we may have the finished product by March 19. This year's project has been so cranky, though, I won't be surprised if we hit another bump in the road before publication. You can see what the project actually looks like if you click here!
Tasha was our other big focus. The regular bathing was giving her relief from a nasty skin problem but the relief was temporary and, it seemed, was needed more frequently to achieve results. So, with Dr. B. back in the office, we set an appointment for Thursday afternoon and took the cat in. Dr. B. had thought, despite lack of direct evidence, that the problem with kitty's skin might be mites. His opinion changed, however, when the Revolution anti-parasite medication didn't help while an antibiotic administered in January did. So Tasha got two injections on this visit: Dexamethasone (a potent, long-acting antihistamine) and Convenia (a long-acting antibiotic). The antihistamine produced relief almost immediately and Tasha was obviously more comfortable by Friday morning. The antibiotic is intended to help cure the presumed bacterial infection that was causing the extreme itching. Today, Saturday, Tasha is behaving more like the cat we know: bird watching, moving around the house, etc. She still has the odd skritch or two but it isn't the compulsive licking, scratching, and biting that produced raw, bare patches in her coat. I think we're on the right track now and that Tasha's going to be alright. It's good to have our cat back.
We hoped and believed today's visit to the veterinarian for teeth cleaning would be easy for Tasha. No, it wasn't simple or easy for poor Tasha! Dr. B. called in the early afternoon to tell me that our cat had 14 tooth/root extractions — all of the teeth from her upper jaw not including the "canines." Tooth after tooth was found to be diseased —neck lesions— and in need of removal, surprising even Dr. B.The procedure took an hour and a half. I picked up our poor kitty several hours later and received a take-home bag full of pain killers and antibiotics. Tasha seemed alert and eager to get home when I picked her up but, once home, she calmed down and was obviously under the influence of the anesthetics. She'll be on a follow-up course of pain medication for several days along with the antibiotic to mop up the nasty tooth-killing bacteria; also a soft-food diet. This one really sneaked up on all of us and I feel bad about the whole thing, though it's not like we don't give Tasha good medical care. Dr. B. says with that much previously wrong in Tasha's mouth, it's likely she was fairly sore there and, once healed, she should feel better than she did before the extractions. At this hour the cat continues to recover even running up the stairs to our second floor. She has also had a small meal. She's looking more like our little gray friend and we're glad of that.
I had the day off because I get to work tomorrow. Whoopee! So took Tasha for routine innoculations. She hated the trip. After all, Tasha's visits to the vet have generally been when she needed immediate attention and lots of needles, etc. Can't really blame her for her aversion to seeing Dr. B. She got through the visit just fine though crying more than usual on the trip out and back.
I'd been considering purchase of a Canon "L" series lens –their best quality– for a while but they're just so darned expensive! I've noticed some shortcomings in the Tamron lens we bought for the Canon and, with some tax "rebate" money burning a hole in my pocket, decided to take the plunge and buy Canon's most reasonably priced "L" zoom telephoto, the f/4 70 – 200mm. To help offset the expense, I'm offering the Tamron lens for sale through Amazon.com. I hope that works out 'cause there are several other things I'd like to sell and somehow I trust Amazon more than eBay.
Finally, I canceled my EarthLink account today. I'd been with them since November 1999 from dial-up to DSL and back again (as we phased them out). AT&T's U-Verse service was just too reasonably priced to pass up and has been too good to quit! I actually feel a little sorry about leaving EarthLink but I guess that's competition for you. Bye-bye!
The weather's looking stormy overnight and tomorrow, possibly clearing up a bit Sunday. Again, I work Saturday so the weather doesn't matter too much to me! We'll see if we wind up cycling Sunday.
Have a good weekend!
I'd noticed a brief phone outage on our line earlier today (no dial tone) and wondered if the the phone guys had pulled the final plugs on our old DSL service or were checking the line. To also get a better understanding of just why we couldn't get U-verse and its supposed non-DSL broadband Internet access installed while DSL was "officially" still connected, I called AT&T again this afternoon. I am so glad I did! Speaking with a very pleasant and helpful woman named "Kimberly," I learned that yes, indeed, the DSL was "clearing" today and that we could re-order our service! We went through all of the ordering steps (after Kimberly spoke with her manager to make absolutely sure it would stick this time) and we should be getting our service installed Friday, January 25… just a few days later than our initial order had promised. Whoo-hooo! Oh, and Sweet Kimberly told me it wasn't for technical reasons that our DSL connection had to be completely cleared, it was to meet regulatory requirements. Right or not, I'm glad it's done. When She Who Must Be Obeyed arrived home we had a simple evening out with dinner at The Olive Garden, not fully in celebration but it was on our minds.
Missy, our old cat, visited the vet today for blood sugar tests. Dr. B. also ordered follow-up tests to check her hyperthyroid condition. He noticed that, even though her weight was up a smidge more, she was a bit dehydrated again. While we were there, they pumped a bunch of saline under her skin. She came home looking like a strange little cat hunchback –leaking a little– but otherwise bright-eyed and happy to be here. We're supposed to get the full test results Monday but blood glucose –tested at 171– looked to be under control.
So with the end of the big communications crisis apparently in sight, my publishing project up-to-date, a clear sky (by day), a cat still hangin' in there, a beautiful sunset, and a nice evening meal with my sweetie, it turned out to be a fairly fine day off for me.