Tuesday through Thursday were very trying days last week. Jeffrey was so sad, he just hid. And when he did come out, he gingerly felt his way around to his water dishes and kept his tail between his legs. Wednesday morning was the last time I saw Jeffrey eat his dry food, which I attributed to his depression. Wednesday night I noticed Jeffrey's eyes started responding to light by his pupils getting slightly smaller when I shined a flashlight on them, followed by him squinting a bit. Thursday morning I found him sitting in his usual spot under my file cart with his tongue sticking out slightly, which scared the hell out of me. Thankfully he had his follow up appointment with Dr. White that morning.
When I brought Jeffrey in Dr. White had mentioned she'd received paperwork from both Dr. Rovan and the attending vet at Tufts from the Christmas emergency visit.
"You guys have had a tough week, huh?" she asked.
"Yeah," I sighed. "We also had an especially tough morning." I explained about Jeffrey's not eating and his tongue sticking out.
"Hmm," Dr. White frowned and pried open Jeffrey's mouth. "Oh, see that?"
I looked closer. Jeffrey had a couple of white bumps under his tongue. Dr. White didn't even have to tell me what they were; I'd remembered reading about this on the CRF Info. site: Mouth and tongue ulcers, common in CRF cats, can cause discomfort and may prevent a cat from eating, thus causing substantial weight loss. In some cases, ulcers may extend into the esophagus. There may be an indicative odor from the cat's mouth. The mouth should be checked frequently by you and your veterinarian. Antibiotics and human ulcer medications (compounded to cat-size dosage) are available to heal mouth ulcers.
No wonder Jeffrey wasn't eating. Thankfully I already knew how to syringe feed cats and was prepared to do so.
The rest of Jeffrey's appointment went okay, though Dr. White felt Jeffrey's blood pressure was getting a little too low with the Norvasc and suggested I take Jeffrey off of it until his appointment with the opthamologist the next day. Also, Jeffrey's already poor kidney values elevated slightly higher, which really didn't surprise me. He was extremely stressed out and that can have a major affect.
Friday morning was a lot better. Jeffrey and I set out for Tufts bright and early and enjoyed a traffic-free ride due to the holidays and arrived 5 minutes early for our 9:00 a.m. appointment.
Dr. Jurk's vet staff were able to take us right away and began Jeffrey's preliminary exams and reviewed his history. 15 minutes later Dr. Jurk arrived and she instantly reminded me of several German members of my family. I almost half expected her to offer me a plate of spätzles.
Long story short, Jeffrey's retinas had just about completely reattached. "You should see dramatic improvements in his vision within the next two days," Dr. Jurk explained. "Because you addressed his hypertension very quickly, he should have very little to no long term damage. This is great!"
I closed my eyes briefly and sighed, hugging Jeffrey close. The doctor had a lot of concern over Jeffrey comiing off of Norvasc altogether, so we ended up contacting a compounding pharmacist to specially create a tiny dosage of Norvasc for Jeffrey.
Jeffrey and I left Tufts about a half hour later and I noticed his little head moving all around as he tried to see everything outside of his carrier. I can only imagine how good it felt for him to be able to see again.
When I started the car, the Sirius receiver automatically flashed on and I paused when I heard the song that was playing. It was the same song that was on everytime Jeffrey and I had a good vet visit, Goldfrapp's "Fly Me Away". This was literally the fourth time it's happened.
Fly me away on an Aeroplane
High in the sky
Wanna see you again
Wanna know this time,
Gonna tell you what I'm feeling
Gonna know this time,
Gonna get it back that feeling
I looked over at Jeffrey who was peering back at me from his little blanket nest in the passenger seat. "See that, Jeffrey?" I asked him. "It's a sign, you're on the right track to getting better again."
Jeffrey's answer was a stretch and a yawn.
When we got home Jeffrey headed for his little camp under the filing cart. I felt bad because ever since he went blind the other cats have stayed away from him. It's almost as though they know he's sick and don't want to bother him, but Jeffrey's definitely lonely as a result. He now rests his head on the rolled up blanket I put inside to keep his area warm the way he would on Cora when they would cuddle up together:
And that's pretty much where we're at. My daily routine since this all started involves my giving Jeffrey combinations of regular and holistic meds, plus Thursday vet follow-ups and Saturday acupuncture. The blindness setback aside, I think Jeffrey's hanging in there and moving forward again. Since regaining his sight he's been very social and explores all over the house, which makes me very happy. He's even resumed his "office manager's" position on the chair behind me as of yesterday afternoon.
Marie Cargill has been really great with helping Jeffrey. We had Jeffrey's acupuncture on Saturday morning and she gave me Watermelon Frozt to help with Jeffrey's mouth ulcers.
Sunday morning my office line rang and I was surprised to see Marie's name of the caller ID.
"Hi Marie," I said.
"Hi Liz," she said. "Listen, are you home today?"
"Yes," I replied. "Why, what's up?"
"Well, I was really reflecting on Jeffrey's situation and I want to try something new that I received," she explained. "I have a new Kidney Liquescence and I also mixed up a powder remedy special for Jeffrey that's stronger than the Marrow Plus. We really have to get his red blood cells up and get those kidneys reignited. I'm going to be in your area at 3:00, so I thought you could meet me then so I can give everything to you with instructions."
"That's so sweet of you!" I exclaimed. "I'll definitely see you at 3:00."
At 3:00 I met up with Marie and she handed over the two new bottles and explained how to give them to Jeffrey. I then asked her how much I owe her.
Marie shook her head and smiled. "Don't worry about it. You've poured your heart and soul into Jeffrey and I want to do what I can to help. Happy new year!"
I smiled back at her. "Thank you," I said. "This means a lot to us."
And here we are. It's Wednesday, January 3rd and Jeffrey's already more than beaten the initial odds. We're just going to keep on working at it!