Thursday, August 28, 2008

day by day

It's getting easier. Thankfully the vivid thought of Zoey when she collapsed (she refused to lay down) and fell asleep for the last time is starting to fade a bit. It's no longer the first thing I think about whenever I think about her being gone. The other memories, the ones I'll treasure forever, are more prominent. While I miss her, and I catch myself calling the other cat Zoey, and I swear I've felt her crawl on the bed in the middle of the night and lay on my feet, she isn't here anymore, and she's in a much better place.

And because nothing can ever be simple over here, Seth has developed a nasty stomach virus. One that involves him spitting up a bit, but the fun part is the diarrhea. It's poisonous! It stinks, and it's gross, and it's everywhere. It started Wednesday around 3AM (when I noticed it for the first time), when he puked on me, then continued to poop all over me and pee on me when I was cleaning up the poop. He's definitely a boy, because he looked SO proud of himself after that. It was so cute it was funny. I would have been really upset had he not smiled at me with that big toothless grin just seconds after it happened. That "I love you mommy, I feel so much better now" look. Let's just say that it was NOT fun. And I"ve been home with him since taking care of the poop and the spit up, and the crying cranky baby. He did go to the Doc yesterday just to check on him. I was a little over protective to take him, but with his asthma and he had been pretty snotty for a few days, and had a mild fever, I just wanted to make sure nothing else was going on (which nothing else is for once). The fun thing we learned is that Seth has a bump on his gum where his next tooth will be coming in. He also has something called a Geographical tongue. Like splotches on his tongue in the back, almost like a map. I guess it's common in kids with asthma/allergies, and gets more pronounced when they're sick. Interesting. At least it's absolutely nothing to be concerned about, just something to note.

And I've been getting things ready for my fall craft shows too! I've got a table at the Artway in Damascus next Saturday (Sept 6th) where I'll be selling my yarn and other knitting accessories. I've got tons of stock dyed up, which has been fun. AND, I decided to open up a yarn club! It's all about Harry Potter, has 7 shipments, and is one skein dyed from inspiration from each of the 7 books, either a character or a place, or a thing that was important to the plot. I'm really excited about it. If you're interested, check it out in my shop here. Should be a lot of fun!! is awake again. I wish he'd sleep so I can get some work done. And so he can kick this virus!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The only way I can describe how I feel right now is broken. I have a huge hole in my heart. It kind of surprises me, how hard I'm taking the passing of my Zoey. I love(d) this cat more than anything. She was my "furbaby" for 6 plus years, almost her whole life. Yet I'm surprised that my heart is crushed. That I feel nauseous. That I just want her back.

I know we did the right thing in letting her go. She was not in her prime. The end was inevitable. We knew it was coming, and that it was unfair to keep her alive just for us, when she wasn't well. But it hurts like hell having her gone.

Last night before bed, I was laying there, under the covers. And I swear that I felt her jump on the bed and lay on my feet. But when I looked over, no one was there. It was all in my imagination. Same thing happened this morning. I was taking my shower this morning, and our other cat (Trinity), walked in and sat on the toilet and watched me. Then she looked back towards the door, expecting Zoey to come in and bang on the shower door (she liked to jump in and get wet whenever anyone took a shower). She looked confused when she wasn't coming. And it broke my heart.

Celia is doing OK with it all. We've told her that Zoey is in Heaven. Not that I'm sure that I really believe in Heaven, but it's at least a way to explain it to a 4 and a half year old. She's in a place where she can run around outside, lay in the sun, chase butterflies, eat and drink as much as she wants, and jump in the shower whenever she feels like it. She's not sick anymore. She's healthy, and happy, and having fun. I really miss my little Zoey. Her sweet head, I loved to kiss her head. I think the thing that hurts the most is that I was the one who had to make the call. I was the one who told the vet that it was time to let her go. And I am the one who originally kept forgetting to call and take her in to get checked. We could have caught it earlier, treated it sooner, and probably had her around for much, much longer. And even though looking at the "what if's" is not exactly the best thing, I can't help it and I do blame myself somewhat. I should have called the vet sooner. But I didn't. And she got really sick, and she's gone, and I have to live with that.

I just really miss her. And I know the pain will fade eventually, but for now it is raw. And real. And I do feel broken.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Good bye Zoey

She's gone. Over the weekend, she threw up all over the house...which was a sign we were supposed to look for. This morning, I took her to the vet with the intention of having her put down. I had her checked out, the vomiting was either a sign of her advanced kidney disease, or of her being scared that we were gone for a few days (our neighbor came to feed/medicate her while were away playing). No way of knowing which. They offered to try a few things to see if they helped, and I asked about having her put down. They can't really push you in either direction, but they talked me through it, and said that if it was what I wanted than they'd support it. If I didn't have kids to worry about, I would have done whatever possible to keep her around. But with a 4 and a half year old who remembers everything, it made sense to let her go before she got really sick. I want Celia to have fond memories of Zoey. Not sad ones. And I didn't want to get to the point where Zoey was suffering.

I held pet her and kissed her head as they injected her. I watched her fall asleep for the last time. And then I spent about 10 minutes with her to say goodbye and be with her. And I cried the whole time. I cried the whole way home. And the whole way in the house to get to my other cat, Trinity. Who hissed at me. Typical Trin. At least she let me pet her a little while I cried some more. Now I feel like I'm all cried out, but I know that when I tell Celia that zoey is gone, that I'll be in tears again.

Talk about a shitty couple of weeks. Enough death, thank you very much.

Zoey Bidwell, March 20, 2002-August 25, 2008
We will miss you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


There were a few things I wanted to post about from my trip to Buffalo, but I can't seem to remember what they were when I'm posting, so I'm doing it now. In one post, so I don't forget again. They are quite random, but I'll separate them as I go.

First-------Adoption and subsequent pregnancies. I have two cousins. Neither of which are blood related, but are cousins none the less. T and his wife E live in Florida, and had tried to have a baby for years. Including doing IVF which was unsuccessful. They finally went and adopted a little boy from Kazakhstan. After a year, they weren't even trying, just not preventing, and they got pregnant. They just had their little boy about a month ago. Then my other cousin E (who is a nephew of my uncle's wife), and his wife had trouble getting pregnant, and were doing IVF last summer. They had no luck. Then they stopped trying, and I'm not sure if they adopted or just stopped trying (that story was muddled and I was pretty drunk so I can't remember), and then she got pregnant. So it's happened twice in my family. Plus another cousin (my dad's cousin's daughter) did IVF twice, and ended up with a set of twins and a son. So clearly infertility is all over my family. Just thought it was interesting. Of course, the one cousin who was up and I saw, I really didn't get to talk to about the infertility stuff because it was his step mom that had just passed.

Secondly----The same evening I found out about the adoptions/pregnancies, one of my cousins asks me about IVF. She's in vet school now, and not ready to start a family until she's done, and is worried that it may be an issue. Partially due to her age, her fiance's age (he's about 10 years older than her I think), and maybe because of something she wasn't saying. At any rate, she asked about it. So we chatted. And as we're talking, a woman (who is married to one of my dad's cousin's kids), turns around and says that she's actually an Embryologist at a clinic in Buffalo. So she was able to help me describe everything for my cousin (did I say I had a few shots of scotch that night?). And my cousin was grateful to have me as a resource in case she does need help. The one thing I did tell her was considering she was worried (and I firmly believe that sometimes we can be worried because there is an underlying reason to worry), that if after 6 months nothing has happened, to insist on being tested. Obviously this is still a ways away (considering she just got engaged). But it was really nice to talk to her about it. I just hope she doesn't need the assistance.

Thirdly-----The baby doll. My mom wanted to take Celia to a place that is like a doll nursery. You go in, pick out a baby doll, and then "adopt" it. The dolls are "lifelike" in that they weigh 8 pounds, and you can even get ones that breathe. Too cool. So my mom wanted to get Celia a baby of her own, so after lunch on Saturday, they took her over to this store. Celia picked a little girl with light reddish brown hair and brown eyes right away. And when asked what to name her, she chose the name "Alligator Seth". My mom convinced her to change the name to "Ally", which I'm glad of. She also promised not to tell me what she wanted to name the baby (yeah, right). At any rate, she has a birth certificate, left the store with pink bracelets around their wrists with names, a reminder slip for her 8 week "appointment for a check-up", and a baby bottle. It was adorable. Celia had carried her around everywhere, and absolutely loves it. What a fun concept. As an interesting aside, my mom told my step brother (who has 2 younger brothers and 1 older brother) what Celia had originally picked for the name, and he laughed and said that he "completely understood".

Of course, that's all I can remember at the moment. I'll post the others later.

way too fast

In the last 2 days, we've had 2 pretty huge steps in Seth's development. First, he's thinking about crawling. He kind of scoots around a little, in order to get where he wants to be. Not quite crawling, but if a toy is on the floor a few feet away that he wants, he somehow makes it there. Yesterday it was a book. He moved about 3 feet to get it. And he started off facing the opposite direction. Needless to say, he'll be moving quickly. Which means the hubby doesn't have much time left to get the carpet pulled up down stairs and replaced before I go ahead and have it done by a flooring company.

Then, there's the sounds. He's been saying "Aaaah" for about 2 months or so...maybe longer. And "Gaaaa". But in the last 2 days, he's added L sounds, M sounds and D sounds to his vocabulary. And sometimes he puts them all together to sound more like "alooaaa" or "gooloo" or "maallaaah". It's really funny to listen to him babble away. I love it!!

Celia also started Pre-K this week. Tuesday was her first day (she missed monday from being sick), and she's loving it! She came home saying how much she loved her new classroom. I was so glad to hear it, considering she really loved her last teacher. By some crazy miracle, she's also managed to stay dry the last few days. No idea why, but I'll take it!!

I've noticed a lot of disappointment when Seth hits these new milestones. I love them, don't get me wrong. And I'm so proud of him. BUT, I am really going to miss his infancy. He's my last baby. I am trying to really treasure all of the moments we have together, and just savor the cuteness. And every new milestone makes another step towards him growing up. While it's fun to see him do new things, I'm really going to miss having an infant in the house. Even when he wakes up at 4 and won't fall asleep until 5:30, only to be woken by Celia 45 minutes later. Yeah, we had a not so fun night last night.

On the plus side, tomorrow afternoon, we leave for Hershey!! My SIL has lived in Harrisburg for 5 years now, and we're finally going to go to Hershey! Celia is so excited, as am I. I went there for a band trip in 10th grade, but that was my only time up there. This should be a lot of fun. I am looking forward to riding some coasters, seeing Celia enjoy the rides she's big enough for, and eating some massive amounts of chocolate. Oh yeah!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Learning experience

My aunt's funeral was quite the learning experience. I hadn't been to a Jewish funeral since my uncle JuJu died when I was 13, and I hardly remember anything from that. Most of the service was in hebrew, which I don't understand at all. The problem with stopping hebrew school when you hit age 10 is that you don't learn much of anything. I felt a bit stupid, but got over it pretty quickly. Thankfully the cantor did explain a lot to us (like the fact that we did stop in the procession 7 times), and then we had the opportunity to participate in the actual burial. The shovel was in the mound of dirt, and we had to do it twice, once with the shovel upside down (so you get little dirt- showing hesitance), and then once the right way. After the funeral on Friday, there was a brunch- which was alcohol free- a first for the Jay family. In the evening, we went over to my cousins house (her mom is the one who passed), and had a huge dinner. We lit a candle that will burn for 7 days, did shots of scotch, and then continued to eat and drink heavily for the remainder of the evening.

I did get to spend a lot of time with my dad, grandmother, cousins, and aunt/uncles. My brother and I spend tons of time together too, which was awesome because we've always had an odd relationship. He even took me out for a drink one afternoon while my mom watched the kids. It was really great to just sit and chat. He and my dad haven't spoken since my wedding (over 6 years ago), and he actually spent a good amount of time with all of us as well. Everyone was really great.

It was all heartbreaking though. Seeing my cousin, her dad, and my grandmother filled with grief. Relieved that my aunt isn't suffering anymore, but missing her. I cannot imagine how hard it is to have to bury your child/mother/spouse. I hope I don't have to do any of those ever (or at the very least for a very long time).

Here's a picture of my aunt that was taken last January when we went to Las Vegas. From left to right, we have Ari, Hope, Lauren, my Aunt Debbie, Melissa and me. What a fun trip, and I'm now even more glad that I was able to go. All I have now are fantastic memories of the time we all spent as family, both then, and when I was younger. I'll never forget sitting on the toilet, watching her put her makeup on in the mornings while she got ready. And the times I flew down to Florida when I was on spring break to visit her. The shopping we did together, the great meals we shared. How she got me hooked on scotch sours as an 18 year old at my cousin Melissa's wedding. And how, even when she was very ill, she still managed to send me a birthday card this year, and a gift for Seth when he was born. I'll miss her.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

And I'm back

I'll post more when I'm more coherent, but the kids and I are back from Buffalo, safe and sound. I am so glad I was able to go. It was hard, sad, and a long 5 days, but so worth it.

And I will never drive 2 kids myself on an 8 hour trip again. I was tired.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Death SUCKS. My aunt Debbie, who has been battling cancer for over 11 years, passed away last night. She's in a much better place, with no more pain and suffering. I'm really going to miss her. I love you Aunt Debbie.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

not herself

Well, after 2 days home, she's still not herself. I have to force her to eat, and she's basically taking up house in the newly-remodeled bathroom, where she's not able to pee all over the house. Her first evening, she peed all over our bed, and the following morning all over Celia's closet and Winnie the Pooh chair. The vet said to put her in one room (bathroom) where she can't ruin anything, and see how a few days of fluids and force feeding goes. She was not happy to hear that she wouldn't eat on her own. I have to take the gerber baby chicken food, and force her mouth open to get her to lick it off.

I am afraid to admit that it is likely the end for my Zoey. If her blood levels aren't doing any better this week, and she's not more herself, we are going to let her go. I will be there with her, and be able to hug and kiss her as she goes to sleep for the last time. I'm devastated and heartbroken.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

she's home...

I picked Zoey up tonight, and had a nice chat with the vet. Apparently, after I spoke with her on Tuesday (she was off yesterday and another vet covered her cases), Zoey was doing pretty well. She was perkier, happier, and eating. Wednesday was a different story. It was not great. Her hematocrit levels were low, and are even lower today. She's not eating well again. And, she's been pretty tired. Needless to say, the vet said that she's likely been going down hill for a long time, and we just didn't notice it. I feel horrible for not being proactive when I noticed she was drinking more. And losing weight. It breaks my heart that we could have gotten it earlier, and given her a chance at a longer life. Now, the vet said she's got less than 25% kidney function, which means she has chronic renal failure. That with her anemia, and her loss of appetite, that it's really not a good sign. That maybe we have a few months. I specifically asked if we were talking weeks, months or years, and she said maybe months. I'm going to enjoy every single day I have with her. She's my first baby, and she needs me. I really hope she turns around, and that all the meds help (between the subQ fluids, an appetite stimulant, pep.cid, a supplement paste, something for her anemia, and two other drugs that I can't remember the name of). She's got a little pharmacy.

At least my IVF experience is coming into use. I've got one subQ shot (the one for her hematocrit/anemia), and the subQ fluids that involve needles. They showed me how to do them, and I was able to do her subQ fluids for today. I just went for it, and was comfortable doing it. I then said that I'd had some experience with needles (with IVF), so I know the drill. She asked if I wanted to practice the subQ shot (with an insulin needle), and I said there was no need. Why torture her any more?

Of course, poor kitty peed herself in the cat carrier on the way home. So Nathan had to give her a bath. She really hated that, and has been mad at us all night. Hard to tell if it was her being mad, or just feeling lousy. At least she did eat a tiny bit- it was baby food chicken with one of her drugs mixed into it. I just wish she was herself again. I have a feeling we wont' ever see "Zoey" again like that. Breaks my heart.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Good news and bad news.

Yesterday, I spoke with the vet on the phone, and she said that Zoey was doing much better! She was spunky, eating, and even managed to tear out her IV/catheter. Which is a really good sign that she is feeling better. So I picked Celia up a little early and we went to visit her (the vet said I could if I wanted to, and I asked if it was OK to bring Celia). She looked OK, definitely a bit scared, and not quite herself still, but doing much better. We stayed about 20 minutes, and then we went to get the baby (nice to have the vet RIGHT next door to our day care...we were able to just walk). We knew they would be retesting her levels today, so I expected the vet to call this afternoon.

Well, this morning just after I got out of the shower and was getting dressed the phone rang. I guess they tested her this morning, instead of later, to see how she was since her behavior has been so much better, and she was even rolling over to be petted. Well, her BUN level went from 83 to 87, which is really not good (normal is 10-30). The Createnine went from 8.6 to 7.6 (they want this below 2.4), which is at least in the right direction. And the Phospherous did drop from 10.6 to 6.1 (they want it between 3.4 and 5.8), so again in the right direction. So, they really want to see the Createnine a bit lower, and the BUN level to go down, instead of up. They gave us the option of taking her home today, or leaving her one more day to see if the extra day of fluids helps. I'm crossing everything imaginable that it does help more. She did mention that we'll be doing the SubQ injections 3 times a week, and that when I pick Zoey up, they'll show me how to do it by giving her her first dose.

So it's good, that her mood is up, she's eating, and even a little playful. Not good that her BUN level went up. I have no clue what to think. And I'm so worried about her. But at least things are sort of moving in the right direction, so I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic, which is really hard for me. I tend to prepare for the worst, and am happy with the best, instead of expect the best and prepare for the worst.

One other good thing is that when I am worried about something, I need to keep my hands and mind busy. So I started cleaning our office last night. Again. I started a few months back when I was pregnant, and didn't get very far. But now, I can actually SEE my desk!! Not completely, but there's definitely a good bit of desk space that has been uncovered, and a huge trash bag to show for it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Not a good month.

Seriously. This is the worst month ever. Between Celia and Seth needing to go to the docs, Nathan's job uncertainty, and now this. I think I may need to run away from home.

When Seth was born, my MIL was down to help. She noticed that one of our cats (Zoey) had been drinking a lot, and we should keep an eye on her. Well, over the last few months, she has been drinking more. And peeing more. And she's lost weight. And yesterday morning, I noticed that she walked away from her food bowl, with about half left. So I called the vet in the afternoon and made an appointment for last night. I assumed that she was likely diabetic. Her weight was up before (nearly 13 pounds), and with the thirst issues, it made sense. So we get her checked out, and they recommend lots of bloodwork, Xrays, and a urine-analysis. They take Zoey back and leave me to wait while they do the tests. After what seemed like forever (which was probably only a half hour), they brought her back and the vet came in a few mins later. With really bad news. Apparently, she has kidney failure. Her kidneys have been failing for a while, and she's not doing well. She's lost 4 pounds (and is now only 8.6 pounds), her kindey enzyme levels are like 4 times what they should be. And she's very anemic. The Xrays showed a few random things, but nothing that is causing the kidney issues (she does have a kidney stone and her hips are really bad). The main problem right now is the kidney failure. So they wanted to keep her for 2-3 days and give her tons of IV fluids to get her hydrated, give her a special renal diet and get her eating again, and watch her other levels (anemia). We'll see how she does. The thing they did say is that it's really about making her live as long as possible and maintaining her kidney function. This will involve daily injections of SubQ fluids, as well as some medications. My poor kitty. I know you're not supposed to have favorites, but she's my favorite cat. When we got her 6 years ago (she's only 6!!), I instantly fell in love and she had to come home with me. I love this cat like crazy. Her sister Trinity (we got them at the same time, but they're from different litters) is lost without her.

So please, if you could send some good thoughts, prayers, vibes my Zoey's way, I'd really appreciate it. I know she's just a cat, but she's my first baby. I really hope she responds to the fluids. Though they did say that we should prepare for the possibility that she may not. I really, really, really want my Zoey to be able to come home.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Well, it looks like Celia has an undeveloped bladder. After asking about a million questions, they came up with the diagnosis. It is a relief, because it means that it really isn't her fault. That she's not doing it on purpose. That she can't help it. It's a huge relief. We're supposed to not put any pressure on her, because it won't help at all. And hopefully in the next year or so, she should outgrow it. Or at least we hope she will. If, come next summer, she's still having accidents, we can start some medications that will help her. But for now, the only thing we really can do is wait it out. And give her a fiber supplement every day so that she does poop daily. The Dr seemed confident that it will at least help a little if one end of her is cleared out, then she can feel the necessary sensation more. Or something like that. After her appointment, I took her to lunch at Mickey D's, and took her to school.

It's definitely been a stressful week between the pulmonologist appointment, Celia's appointment, work, and my husband's job stuff. I sooo am looking forward to this weekend, and I plan to have some nice, big mojitos tonight. And some wine. Because my friend K (who I know from grad school), moved here a bit ago, and she just took the bar exam this week. She's coming over for some dinner, drinks, and relaxation. I can't wait.