Monday, June 13, 2011

Seeking Strength

I have always been aware that love is equal to pain, one is not necessarily greater than the other. That is not to say that I don't believe that love has brought me much more comfort then pain. While neither love or pain is a stranger in my life, I am shyly realizing that I am unable to withdraw myself without much anxiety, at the possibility to not protect and keep safe the ones I love.

Protecting and caring for those I love the most is a most crucial and worthwhile of importance to me in my life. I could say that mothering is a very natural instinct to my Cancer nature, and the inability to guarantee sustaining safety for my children frightens me. I can imagine this is a natural occurrence of emotion in many parents.

The last weeks have been tough for me. For those who have previously read my blog, my one-year old cat Kali has been exhibiting shaking back legs that are weak. She has always shown some shaking in her legs. I have been to two different vets seeking hope to find out what is wrong (the first experience which was one of my most traumatic life experiences, and I wrote about on the blog on June 2nd). No one has been able to give me an answer, so now I have a appointment with a neurologist to examine Kali. I am trying to remain hopeful.

What can I say - I have been a straight out mess. Crying, afraid and not very much like a woman who believes that strength is a way to influence the present situation. For the first time in my life I am afraid to loose something that mean so much to me, and I am not sure how to be strong. Regular pep talks from my partner, my sister and my Mom keep me rebounding, but I still fear loss.

So I guess I ask this - why am I so afraid and how do I make myself stronger in this situation? A conversation I keep feeling in waves mentally and physically, over and over.

I guess for once I wish that I had a way to be offered a wisdom that would help me to grow in this situation. I guess I never thought that I could love another creature so much. For all the innate wisdom that I know I have, I suppose I also have so much to learn.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Fight Against Bad Toronto Vets!

I have been having a few crappy days. Mainly because of a vet visit I had a few short days ago. My baby Kali, (seen doing a mean meercat in the picture) was taken in for her 1 year exam, and to ask about her shaky legs. Kali has really long hindlegs, and most her life her back legs shake when she is on them upright. For example, when she is standing. Other than that, Kali has not signs of bad health.

Armed with that information but suspecting it was something neurological with Kali, I did my own research and found cat ataxia. Kali looks like a minor case of that maybe, but she shakes so of course to be safe I booked a vet. I booked at Queen West Animal Hospital . This is not the usual vet for my girls, Kali and Neefah, 7, but as my partner and I moved to Trinity Bellwoods and I have found it convenient to be able to walk there.

The experience I had was cold. It was not my first experience at Queen West, which was also cold with Neefah just 2 months ago, for her annual.  I thought to myself, maybe it was just that experience. I was wrong.

So sweet Kali-ma was nervous as a mouse at Queen West. The appointment was 13 minutes late. As I waited in the room I had the preliminary discussion with the tech and mentioned her overall health, shaking legs, healthy lifestyle and that I had done my own reading and seen antaxia, and wondered if that was a consideration. Then the doctor came in. She took little interest in Kali who was shaking more than usual (not helping her own case with her nervousness). She looked at really her legs a little, watched her walk. No eye check (can show discoloration as a symptom of FIP), no check for fluid (associated with a wet form of FIP) and no ear checks (jut cause I am paying!). No checking really at all.

She proceeded to explain my cat might likely have  Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). I was stunned. I cried a few tears after she explained FIP as fatal. My legs shook.

As a result of this news I pulled myself together the best that I could, in shock and shattered and asked the questions I could think of it that state. The exam was complete, we discussed next steps when she gave me a sheet with reading on FIP. We agreed to on having all her bloodwork to look at her initial health. I learned certain reads of bloodwork can show abnormal counts as signs of FIP when I got home later, so as sad as I was, I was doing what I thought was the first step towards diagnosing Kali.

I have been a mess and so has my partner in her own moments. You can imagine the feeling of being a feline parent and hearing that.

I got the results of the in-depth bloodtests I had agreed to yesterday, that is after I had to call Queen West and ask if they were in. They were and no one had called me. All the levels in Kali's blood have come back normal from what I have been told.

Luckily enough I have a kind colleague who has been been involved with working with animals and she spoke to her vet friend out of kindness after hearing my situation. Her vet friend asked if an FIP blood test had been done, which can act as a pretty accurate tool to sweep for signs of FIP initially. The consulted vet also indicated that shaking legs could be a number of different things, not only FIP.

I called Queen West to ask about the FIP bloodtest, was put on hold then told NO it had not been done. According to the doctor there the FIP test is too vague and often inconclusive. At this point I became full of anger.

If your vet says your cat has sign of FIP have a look here. Cats are often misdiagnosed with FIP. Why would the vet not of run an FIP test if she thought it was FIP?

What a waste of my money and good health, what panic was caused. No person who is in charge of health should not do a detailed analysis before giving a fatal diagnosis.

I am now taking my cats back to where they belong, and where Kali got her 2nd and 3rd kitten shoots, The Danforth Vet Clinic. Kali loves the vet and the techs are warm and very helpful and kind, they even heard me babble on about my terrible experience on the phone. If you are looking for a vet in Toronto, I highly reccomend Danforth.

So at least now I am hopeful. Kali also peed herself on the case on the way home. Poor baby, no wonder she shook more!