Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Week of Vacation Blown

So, here I am off from work and it is Friday. I have yet to really do anything enjoyable with my days. I have been doing errands and periodically vegging out trying to recover from working that early Sunday morning and from the errands.

I did see the latest Mummy movie (Chinese "mummy") using a Movie Cash voucher so I paid about half price out of pocket. This one had it's moments but not as enjoyable as the previous two. But a nice working in of the clay warriors.

I finally had to go shopping for jeans since my current set is wearing away. So I decided to visit a craft store relatively nearby the mall and the "new" Trader Joes (food/green cleaning, etc.) store that had opened one stop beforehand on the bus. There is one near where I work that is always packed unless you are lucky and time it just right. I could check this one out and then use the walkway next to the highway to get to the Craft store. Well I made it to the Trader Joes, the first time I could move around without constantly running into someone or their cart. No lines at the cashiers and I couldn't buy anything since I needed the room for anything I picked up at the craft store. Plus I didn't want anything to spoil.
Another craft store chain had opened a store next door so I checked it out. Nothing I had to have. Picked up some school supplies on sale at the Staples next to that to send to the Indian Reservation. Then onto the walkway, the one in a more deserted area and smelled from what those who hung out there left behind. I did buy supplies at the craft store, got an iced coffee at Starbucks before waiting for the bus to take me back to the mall. I still had to get those jeans!

I did finally get several pairs of jeans that actually fit comfortably at a reasonable price. I even managed to squash them into the carry bags I had brought that were already fairly full and caught the bus home. But my legs, feet and back were worse for the wear.

That of course meant vegging out trying to recover the next day. Hopefully I will be able to do the other errands that must be done and perhaps take a quick trip to one of the zoos.

First is dropping off the sample to the vets office. Wish me luck!

August Cat Saga

I haven't had a chance to update with everything that has been going on.

Cat News:
I had to medically board her for 14 days just to make sure she got the medication and the full dose. So that was $$$. I wasn't sure if she could be discharged on the 14th day since the senior vet had been on vacation when I boarded her. I was not sure if there was anything else he wanted to do while she was there AND if she had gotten her last dose of the medication. So I left my cell phone number and was going to be called once they checked with the vet and the staff administering the meds.
I was running late for work and was just about to enter the subway station when they called and said she could be discharged and picked up anytime. Oh and they closed that day at 5pm. This was 11am. No way I could leave early enough to guarantee getting there before closing at this rate. I opted for picking her up right then and if she was okay I would go into the office otherwise work from home.

Once she was home all she did was roam around exploring everything and crying so loudly you would describe it as screaming.
When she finally settled down she would scream periodically just because. She wanted attention and would check that I was around so I couldn't leave her. I had to work from home. She finally started drinking some water later in the afternoon and picked at some food.

Even though we were trying to schedule and clarify the changes required for a high profile, high priority project to go live that weekend, that we had, of course, just gotten. I could not go in the next day either. She was still too unstable AND a physical therapist was coming to evaluate my Mom and hopefully incorporate officially some things we have been doing for years. Without the official okay the health aide is not allowed to set up or assist her with these. Which meant to me that she would get worse since these were things she was willing to do in the apartment when she often refused or only partly did the official routines.

It has been a couple of weeks now and time for another test to check if the infection the cat has had is still there. I went yesterday to check on the office schedule and exactly what was needed. Turned out a normal urinalysis so no requirement for sterile samples. They gave me supplies to attempt to obtain a sample at home which amazingly I was able to do last night. I can only hope that this has finally been beaten.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

So Frustrating

The vet had changed the antibiotic for my cat to Primor just in case the Clavamox had caused the diarrhea but she refuses to eat it!

It is a blue pill that I have to crush and mix into something she would eat. The exact procedure I was doing for 8 weeks with the Orbax. But she will sniff it and refuse to try it or today she licked it and then refused to touch it again! Oh and then she threw up on my bed. Thankfully I had put a waterproof sheet covered by a spare flat sheet on it before she did. Still meant I had to clean up and change that spare sheet and a couple of stray spots but at least less of a nightmare.

Understand that she is really hungry but she won't touch this. I called the vet yesterday to ask what to do. The typical answer was to try it in other things that she won't notice it in. "put it in a small meatball", like this is a DOG, which would wolf down anything seemingly tasty (or not so tasty). I was supposed to keep trying and call back if it still wasn't working. Oh and meanwhile the culture of her urine was negative. Don't know what that means since she had a high white blood cell count in her urine. Maybe this is therefore a simple bladder or urinary tract infection not the deep kidney infection?


Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Cat Thinks I Am Stupid

My vet got the lab results back on the regular urine tests and sure enough my cat STILL has an infection! So that meant we needed another attempt to get a sterile urine sample for a culture. I used the last half of tranquilizer and brought her in on Tuesday, leaving her for the day or as long as it took to get it.

They called me in the afternoon that they had succeeded and I could go pick her up that day. I had told them I was going to call before leaving but in the end I opted for speed over communication and left my office about 5:30pm without calling. As I was on the train line to get there and just after we had emerged from underground (in Queens my line is elevated) my cell phone rang and it was the vet office. I let them know I was pretty close. I got there with about 30 minutes to spare before closing and everyone was happy. Except that my cat was growling.

She was pretty happy to be home and did not snub me. I had Clavamox antibiotic to give her and I gave her the first dose that evening. In the morning I discovered she had bad diarrhea overnight. A little while later she had another bout. I called the office and they told me not to feed her anything else for the day and to stop the antibiotic. I checked back with them later in the day and she had not had another bowel movement so we thought it might be safe to give her something bland to eat. I was to call in the morning before feeding her and give them an update and we would proceed from there.

Gave her the Science Diet Kidney prescription food which initially she stuck her nose up at but then ate it. Later that evening I gave her more but forgot to remove the food before falling asleep. This morning I again had a lovely mess to clean up in her pan but this time it was less severe. Now I had to bring her in which was not easy since I had not fed her so she knew something was up. She went under the dresser and emerged later to have another messy bowel movement and went right back under the dresser.

Eventually she came out again and I didn't chance her going back under where I would have to stress her out even more trying to get her to come out. I grabbed her and put her in the carrier while I finished getting ready to take her.

Doc gave her something to help her get over the poops and gave me a new antibiotic which I am not supposed to give her until the morning and no food until then either.
This has not been easy since she has been ravenous since this morning. She tries to get through to me that I have to feed her but I am just too stupid and she then gives up for awhile and naps. Then wakes up hungry to try to get through my thick skull that I am failing in my duties.

She is truly disgusted with me. She thinks I am REALLY STUPID.

Let's hope she is better in the morning.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

That First Mitten Knitalong

Oh did I forget to mention that I joined another Mitten knitalong?
This one was started as a learning experience for those members of a Yahoo group that make items or otherwise donate to a Native American Reservation in North Dakota.

Back to the First Mitten KAL - the Mystery Mitten Knitalong, the last part was just released but I missed seeing it until this evening. Hopefully I will get a chance to do it for at least one mitten tonight. Here is a pic of how my mittens look after the "4th" clue:


They look okay. Not sure if I should have been tightened the stitches more but we shall see how they turn out after the last "clue".

Saturday, July 12, 2008

More Vet Adventures

Well my poor little cat went back to the vets on Thursday. But it was not a good experience for her. She volunteered a urine sample at them. So they were unable to obtain a regular or sterile sample. They felt this was all fear related so they gave me tranquilizers to give her before bringing her in for another attempt.

When I brought her home she was furious with me. Now you have to understand that she normally stays in my room especially since whenever she goes into Mom's room my Mom is shooing her out and that is also where Mom's health aide would be. *scary*
This day we had a substitute health aide so it was a stranger, but she pointedly ignored my room and went right into Mom's room and plopped down and got comfy on the carpet by the window. She would not be coaxed out and into my room until I tried fresh deli turkey. But as soon as she ate it she went directly under my dresser and ignored me until later in the evening. When she seemed to finally sort of forgive me.

I managed to give her the tranquilizer crushed and mixed into some food and brought her back on Friday. Same problem so they gave me a choice of taking her home and returning her again OR leaving her possibly overnight if they are still unable to obtain a sample. They were not able to, so she stayed overnight and I checked with them this morning. No luck for a sterile sample needed for the culture to make sure the infection was gone but they were able to obtain a sample for the regular tests.
I call on Monday for test results. If they had staff that could attempt obtaining a sterile sample tonight and tomorrow then they would have suggested leaving her overnight again. But that was not the case so I brought her home and they only charged me for the lab tests.

Surprisingly although my cat has been extremely vocal, chastising me I am sure for subjecting her to such torture, she did not seem to be holding a grudge like the last time. She was very hungry and wolfed down a bit of food and drank some. Then christened her newly cleaned litter pan with a sizable solid contribution, complained alot and finally let me brush her and relaxed a bit. In the end she did go to take a nap under the dresser.

Hopefully she will remain in a fairly good mood.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Another Knitalong?

Okay so I have NEVER finished a knit-a-long that I have joined. Mea Culpa.
I joined the Irish Hiking Scarf one when I wasn't really ready to finish one of those cable scarfs and the others were all lace shawls that required quality knitting time to do each clue properly.
Having some time in the evening but not enough quiet uninterrupted time I would make more mistakes then progress so I fell way behind and got discouraged. One day I will finish those shawls!

Anyway, I need to break my streak of not completing any of the knit-a-longs so I just joined a mystery mitten one that I should be able to handle without going crazy. The organizer just posted a new "clue" and I am in a good position since I had completed the last one for at least one mitten and the second mitten is in progress.

MysteryMittenClue 1

The yarn is wool - Cascade 220 in a salmon color. That seemed a good pick for young children which the pattern is for. You can see that I am using the same ball of yarn for both mittens. The first completed clue one on the left is using the center pull yarn which is currently on the bottom of the ball. The second in progress mitten is using the outer end hence turning the ball upside down to make sure that I don't get tangled in the center pull yarn.

Well hopefully I will be able to start the new clue soon. The clues are released every couple of days.

Let's hope I break my bad streak!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What You Missed Move Wise

Well my office move went okay, I am now located a floor below the rest of my co-workers in a student lab. I have an office with a door which I must remember to lock whenever I leave. Not only because I work with information that the students should not have access to but because someone could walk off with anything from my office without anyone being able to tell. The staffed reception desk is in the middle area and I am at the far end. Everyone using the lab have all their stuff with them, outerwear, bags, etc. No way for any of the staff to know that they may be leaving with something they did not arrive with.

I have gotten used to trying to think of everything I might need from the floor above to reduce the number of trips I have to make up and down. I get everything sent to the printers (and printed), bring a carry bag with everything I need to drop off and a thermos to bring hot water down. If I am installing any software that means bringing the software media up with me as well. Of course whenever I am on that level the usual "out of sight out of mind" scenario kicks in and suddenly people just HAVE to ask me or tell me about something.
Luckily our large department had started using an instant messaging product that is hosted on a secure internal server for ease of communication between different groups within the department and it has been very useful to reduce the isolation. Not everyone logs into it on a regular basis but once people get into the habit it will be even better.

My boss has helped obtain things to assist me in being a more self sufficient island in my office.
I have a multi-function printer/fax/copies/scanner that lets me print what I can locally and receive copies of requests that are faxed to the upper level that I need to follow up on. I have a small refrigerator so I can have some refreshments handy. I still have to go upstairs to get hot water for tea or get coffee and use the microwave to reheat anything but it is helpful.

The cabinets arrived that I needed, I now have a bulletin board, mouse pad and keyboard wrist supports (they were built-in to my previous desk), and both monitor and printer stands. I also have a larger monitor which helps a lot. My old standard sized monitor had multi-layers of windows stacked which drove me crazy. I have bracket shelving that now mainly hold my plants and I have to carefully climb onto my rolling chair braced against the table and wall to get onto the table in order to water them.

How is it down there? Well, it actually is probably more conducive to getting things done when I don't need anything from the other level. I can stay in my room with the door closed and play some music or a podcast and concentrate on what has to get done. Except when the lab printers outside my door get jams and alarm the normal sounds have become just background noise.

In order to visit, it makes sense for people to call first to make sure I am there. Which usually means I don't get visitors or they take the chance that I am not there. Not to mention getting some of the reception staff bugging them to swipe their ids to enter the area. *smile*

How Time Flies!

Can't believe it has been so long since I had a chance to post.

What you missed:

Since the last update on my cat's health problems she was re-admitted for medical boarding for over a week when she wasn't interested that much in her food. That meant I could not dose her since I cannot give her medication by mouth myself. She won't tolerate me restraining her and getting anything in her, she will just hide. During that medical boarding the vet was really stumped by the persistance of this infection and wanted an ultrasound to determine exactly where the infection was. Well that cost about $400 and showed that it was deep in her kidney. The vet and the doctor reading the ultrasound determined that sulfur drugs might be the best solution and since it was a long series (eight weeks) it would be best in liquid form for ease of dosing her. Just like a doctor, they don't do the actual procedure so it is certainly easy for them.

It would be cost prohibitive and extremely stressful for my cat to be boarded for that length of time and since she was now taking her med in food and eating it all she was discharged when the medication arrived. Another $400+ for that boarding and $27 for the liquid medication and she went home that Saturday. She settled back into being home with an exploration of the apartment and vocally chastising me for having placed her into "prison" for so long.

Then came the medication dosing the next day. Have you ever noticed how tight a cat's lips are against their teeth? Well I tried to get the medication tube past her lips but did not manage to get any medication actually into her mouth. After getting out of my grip she sought refuge under my dresser for the rest of that day. Later on she let me reach under and just touch her with my fingers but made sure to squash close to the wall out of reach of my full hands. She finally emerged that night to eat.

Well, liquid was out but she was eating her food. I went back to get pills from the office that Monday. Which turned out to be the first antibiotic that they had prescribed, Orbax, for another $30. I have been crushing the half pills and mixing it in her morning food. We just finished the eight week series and I need to bring her to the vet to be re-tested.

I took off this week using up expiring vacation days in order to get her tested and do alot of things I have neglected to do for quite awhile. Well, this is Tuesday and I haven't had a chance to get her there with unexpected home problems and the weather being high heat and humidity.
Hopefully when I do and the results are back the nasty infection has been killed off for good this time.