Friday, February 26, 2010

today I was ‘that’ parent

You know the one, the one that is over the top protective, disagrees with the doctor and refuses treatment

::hangs head in shame::

Yesterday Guinness was prescribed two new meds, Antepsin and Zantac, both in liquid form. These are meant to prevent stomach ulcers from the high dose of steroids he’s been getting. He takes medicine easily, for a cat, and the Antepsin went down with little fuss. The Zantac was a disaster. It smells bad, foamed, he clenched his teeth, shook his head, spit, and cried. I got .3 of the .8ml dose down his throat, threw the syringe back into the bottle and declared defeat. I’m not going to torture him. Sure enough, that amount of stress was enough to cause an episode with his legs (we’ve always suspected that it’s partially stress induced). Today I informed his vet that we would not be continuing with the Zantac. It turns out that it didn’t matter because they are discontinuing his steroids; they aren’t working :(

This afternoon Guinness had his appointment with the opthamologist. I was asked to accompany him back for the exam. The opthamologist took a complete history, asked a lot of questions, and did a VERY thorough exam (45 minutes), which was actually quite interesting. He found a few minor differences between Guinness and a healthy cat, but nothing major. Strike 20.

Toward the end of the exam, his treating veterinarian came in. I had told her that I would do Guinness’ vitamin B injections this weekend, as to avoid more trips to the university/ more stress on him. She agreed, had brought the supplies in for me and was going to do today’s injection. She and the veterinary student with her had warned me that the injection stings. NOTHING could have prepared me for what came next. The student and I held him down, his vet drew up the meds, started to inject, and he lost it. Scratching, clawing, biting, and making the most unnatural noises I’ve ever heard. I did not see a patient; I saw my helpless, scared, precious baby boy. She finished, I grabbed him, and said, "that’s it, we’re done." Tears in my eyes, blood on my hand, and my baby boy screaming. She said that he always cries during the injection, but must have been “putting on a special performance for his mother.” We discussed it and I have agreed that he can have the injections through Monday. By then we will know whether it’s working on not (I vote not). She offered to come to the house to do the injections which I said wasn’t necessary, but she insisted. I feel like such a failure. With all of my training, all of the injections I’ve given, and I can’t even give my cat an injection. Ugh, failure.

Guinness calmed down, I calmed down, and everyone left the room except the opthamologist. I was getting Guinness ready to leave when the opthamologist struck up a conversation. He mentioned something that was in the news today, which led to him talking about the building in which my husband works, which led to him figuring out why we are in Ireland, which led to him telling me about traveling all over Africa practicing veterinary medicine, which led to an interesting conversation about human medicine, and an hour later he walked Guinness and me out to the waiting area.

We are home now and both exhausted. Hopefully tomorrow’s injection will go better than today’s. Eek.


  1. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. You are an amazing cat mommy. It's not your job to be his doctor. It's your job to be his advocate and companion.
    There are LOTS of things I have done to myself that I can't do to Robbie. It's just not the same.
    You are doing more than 99% of people would do. Don't you feel bad about a bit of it.

  2. Oh, you poor, poor babies! Yes, both you and Guinness! How traumatic the injections must be. And I'd hate to see your vet bill. I know, I know, we in IF land all know. Doctors are expensive and our babies (fur and other) are worth it.

    All the best, Jem

  3. Oh sweetie I feel so much for you and Guinness.I don't know what to say, but you both are in my thoughts. Fran

  4. Oh baby Guinness, such a good boy. I am so sad for him, for you and hope all this over soon and they figure out something. Thinking of you and your baby boy. We took our Charlie to the vet today, I could not watch as my husband held while he got an injection. He's fine, got a cut on his lower lip from something and he should be fine. Thinking of you.

  5. I agree with Jem. You are an excellent cat mommy and you are protecting your baby. I'm so sorry you're going through this.