At The End of The Day

Feeling tired and sad tonight, as I sit and think about what’s coming on Monday. This will be the third kitty I have had to put down.

Smokie has kidney disease, just as the first two did. Kidney disease does awful things to kitties. They start losing weight and then have ferocious appetites. It’s the body’s way of maintaining the rapidly decreasing body weight. They urinate often and in very large quantities. They drink a LOT of water.

Since cats have their own distinct personalities, this disease causes their behavior to change in different ways. Fuzzy used to splash water out of the water dishes all the time and was very vocal (extremely loud) about being hungry. Korn stopped grooming himself and was a big matted mess that I couldn’t keep up with. He also stepped in his own pee clumps and got litter on his feet, which hardened later. He was a mess. About a year ago, Smokie decided she wasn’t going to pee in the litter box anymore. She would go outside the box; I mean right outside the box! She pooped in the box just fine. She also started using various places in the house to pee. We have had to put puppy pads in those places and around the litter box.

She is 15 1/2 years old. She’s not had the best life, but she was loved. I called her my “Franken Kitty” for a long time because of her accident. She was just a couple years old when it happened, but she either got hit by a car or kicked by a cow (or horse) but her jaw had been broken and had to be wired for a short time. The trauma to her head messed up her eyesight. She hasn’t been able to see much except shadows ever since. I guess I should have just put her down then… I couldn’t bear it then any more than I can now, but it has to be done. She’s not going to get better and I won’t watch her suffer.

She was the favorite of the litter when she was born. Her coloring was unique (I thought at the time but have seen many cats with that coloring since) and she was a sweetheart. She would catch mice and throw them around in the snow, which was a hilarious sight! She loved the snow. Even after her accident, she wanted to go outside, but she could only go out with supervision and sometimes she’d follow me on my walks. I remember one time, her momma brought her a mouse. I think momma knew there was something wrong with her.

A couple of years ago, we were able to build an enclosure for the cats. I call it the “catio.” The cats, including Smokie, can come and go as they please through the cat door. She loves that freedom. They all do. They spend more time out there than they do in the house. I love that they can go out and be safe.

Smokie will be missed, just as Fuzz and Korn are. I will be left with 4 kitties; Alice, Jack, Honey, & Kitty. Kitty is 12 this year and I hope she has at least 3 or 4 good years left. My heart needs time to heal. I will be taking a few days off from blogging, Facebooking, etc., to grieve. I hope to be back mid-week.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your support and understanding.

The Withdrawal, Oops.

I’ve had some sleep problems this past couple of months. It became evident to me just 2 days ago (because apparently, I’m a bit slow) that my sleeplessness was a result of medication withdrawal. I had been taking a medication for nerve pain twice a day and decided that I would go off of it because I really didn’t think it was helping much. I didn’t just stop cold turkey. I knew to reduce slowly. I Started taking it once a day instead of twice and did that for about 2 months. Had some restlessness at night. Had a bit of itchiness. It never occurred to me that it was the medication, or rather the lack of…

Then Tuesday night before bed, I was lazy and didn’t take one at all. I figured what the heck. It’s just one night and I want to stop taking it anyway.

That night I was awake all night. I itched all night long. I felt like I had bugs. I never fell asleep at all! I was up at 5am. At this point, I had been awake since Monday morning. I tried to take a nap. Nothing happened. I was tired and I needed to sleep but something was preventing me from sleeping.

Late Wednesday night, before bed, I remembered I hadn’t taken that medication Tuesday night. I looked up the symptoms of withdrawal. Bingo. Duh me.

Sleep disturbances and frantic itching. (Among other very serious symptoms, so I was lucky.)

I made sure to take the medication when I went to bed Wednesday night. I slept well, with no itching. I took it again in the morning. Back to twice a day now, and I think I’ll stay ON the medication because my pain level has improved a bit already. I guess it WAS helping after all.

Slept like a baby last night….without the bedwetting, of course!

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Sleep Eludes Me

5am. I’m up. I can’t say that I’ve awakened because I never went to sleep.

It’s bad enough I have chronic pain that keeps me from doing the things I have enjoyed all of my life. To grieve that loss is depressing but to now have restful slumber taken away is almost unbearable. My only solace is that I can take a 2 or 3-hour nap this afternoon.

It’s getting old. Night after night. I go to bed when I’m sleepy. Some nights I’m sleepy at midnight, some nights it doesn’t come until 1 or 2am. I STILL toss and turn (not really, mobility issues and all) until nearly 5am before I fall asleep. Not this morning. I was so sick and tired of lying there, not sleeping… I just threw the covers back and got out of bed.

I have tried over-the-counter sleep aids, teas specifically for sleep, breathing exercises and meditation, and multiple other little things to help me get my restful night. Nothing seems to freakin’ help. My body and mind alike need to rest!

My therapist says that during our lifetime, our sleep patterns change and perhaps we won’t always need 8 hours of sleep each night. I can accept that. I would be happy with just 5 hours of restful and restorative sleep, but to not have any sleep at all? It’s just nuts.

My days are long and boring the way it is since I can’t do the things I’d really like to do. I’m in pain and pain is exhausting! Sleep has always been my refuge. When asleep, I didn’t have to think about the pain. There was no depression. Sleep was an escape from the reality of my life.

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What do you do when you can’t sleep?

 

The Hag

Wow. I am finding some of my old writings and it’s a sorrowful glimpse into the past. My sisters, my Dad, and I had been through all kinds of hell with my mother and this particular piece I found really brought those memories to the surface. I wrote this about the time my parents finally got divorced andMom had left the state; she actually left when my youngest sister was still in high school. My poor Dad had been put through the wringer for so many years! I remember being fearful that I was going to be just like my mother and I didn’t want my kids to know that person.

~~~

The Hag

I can’t think of a hug or a kiss that I care to remember from my dear, ‘sweet’ mother.

I remember the pain of feeling about one inch high because I didn’t do something exactly right.

I remember the pain when my mother left, but I never felt better when she had finally gone.

We all found peace of some kind, especially Dad, who is finally free.

I don’t think I can ever be free because I fear that I am her and she is me.

I want my kids to remember a loving mother, and not the hag I will turn out to be.

~~~

Mom passed away after an auto accident about a year or so after she left. She was the type of person who defied anyone who told her what she could or couldn’t do and that included laws. She refused to wear a seatbelt because she said she shouldn’t have to if she didn’t want to. She said it was no one else’s business.

Tragically, she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when she fell asleep at the wheel. (Mixing alcohol and medication will do that to a person, as well as impair your ability to make sound decisions…she wasn’t good at that in the first place.) She was thrown from her truck and died instantly.

Such a very sad time, but in my heart, I knew something was going to happen because of the way she had chosen to live her life.

Ickie: A Random Memory

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My son, who is 28 years old, was born in 1990. He was long and skinny at birth, so my Dad stuck the nickname of Ichabod (as in Ichabod Crane) on him, which was later changed to the shorter version of “Ickie.” It was cute when he was a little guy, but when he started school we stopped calling him that. My daughter was asked to stop calling him that as well, and I explained why it would be better to call him by his real name, especially at school. She understood and was very good about it, believe it or not. No one ever knew what his nickname was until he was grown.

School was about to start and I was excited to have quiet time during the days now that both kids were going to be in school. The first week is usually a bit hectic, but we always survived. Thankfully, we had a competent bus driver who was always on time with pick-ups and drop-offs. That made things so much easier, not just for me but for the kids, too.

It was a quiet 2nd day of school. My sister, Sheryl had come for a visit so we were just lounging around, talking and just enjoying the day. We decided to sit outside for a bit and greet the kids as they got off the bus.

It wasn’t too long before I could hear the bus coming up our road. I told my sister, “You watch. Ickie isn’t just going to GET off the bus. He’s going to FALL off the bus.” He was the type of kid who was all-in. He did everything fast and with excitement! He was always on the go! Where my daughter was more laid back, he was busy, busy, busy!

Turns out I knew my kid better than I thought I did.

The bus stopped in front of the driveway. My daughter got off the bus first. Then Ickie, just as I told my sister, took a step or 2 down the steps of the bus and then FELL the rest of the way OFF! We laughed so hard — but not because he fell and could have hurt himself! We were laughing because I KNEW MY KID SO WELL!! He got up and dusted himself off, but he was crying. He had scraped his knee.

I gave him a hug and told him, “You really know how to get off the bus there kiddo!” He grinned and went inside. I felt bad for laughing but as I said, it was not AT him. I was laughing because just seconds before the bus stopped I had predicted exactly what was going to happen.

Don’t worry. If you think I should be ashamed of myself, rest assured my dear son has never let me forget that day! He will continue to make me feel bad for the rest of my life! Oh, I felt bad. I felt like a terrible mom at that moment. The thing is, I’m not perfect. No parent is. On the bright side, Ickie will have that memory of simpler times, when I could make him smile after a rough day. He’ll remember brushing himself off, getting back up and mom putting a band-aid on his knee just before his afternoon snack.

Oh, and he’ll have a story to tell his own kids someday.