constancy

This morning, I woke up feeling like someone ran me over.  I was up late watching Orange is the New Black–which, credit due, was pretty amazing.  The last episode conjured every emotion in a very real way and made me want to yell at people.  If you end up watching it, prepare to be taken on a wild ride that is truly well-done and heart-wrenching.

In any case, 6:55 am came way too soon for this girl.  I got up, fed the cats, and prepped Fogg’s meds.  I felt like someone had slammed my head in a car door.  Oh, and my eyes/face were itchy.  Lovely.  Allergy season is back.  Did it leave?  I actually felt like my meds were working for a few weeks, but the heat must’ve brought out something new.  I took my two OTC back-ups since my prescription clearly wasn’t handling whatever this was and finished my pre-work routine.

I knew my morning was decently busy, and after 15 minutes, I realized I really needed to lay down and turn off the lights because my eyes were still killing me.  I decided to take one very precious vacation day.  I only have two left for the year–other than the freebie ones–and those are earmarked for our final mass exodus.  So that gives you an idea of how shitty I felt.

Taking care of myself is always such a conflicting thing for me.  This morning, a very simple thing triggered major anxiety about taking today off, and I felt very nervous all day that doing what was right for me was something I’d regret later.  It’s not an unfounded fear.  Whenever I take care of me, I always feel like other people punish me for it.  Even though it’s so hard for me to do that for myself.  I was amazed by how quickly my head went to the worst case scenario.  I decided to relax as much as I could and took a long nap.  I have to be careful about allergies because they often trigger my asthma and stress is a big part of it.

I was kind of dreading this day for a while now.  Fogg had an appointment late in the afternoon with her vet.  Every few weeks, I have to take Fogg in for a fructosamine test to see how her insulin is working.  It measures the last two weeks.  Our last test was a while ago, though, since Fogg had her hunger strike.  Her vet figured that would not give any meaningful insight into whether or not we have the right dose.  We got Fogg eating, and she’s been doing really went for several days now.  Since getting her the lion cut, we’ve had no hairballs or vomiting–so she’s eating great and seems mostly happy.

This test freaks me out, though, because it’s done to see if her insulin needs adjusting.  And that’s an imperfect science that is often done through trial and error.  You don’t know how a cat will respond.  I’ve learned the hard way that Fogg doesn’t respond well to medication adjustments.  Last time, we almost ended up in the kitty ER again.  But we eventually got her stable.

She’s been doing so well on this dose that I don’t want to rock the boat.  But too much insulin can cause even worse things than what we went through before, so it’s important.  I was also nervous because, after her grooming appointment, I noticed a weird lump on Fogg that had a red dot on it.  It was in the skin, slightly pink but mostly flesh-colored.  She didn’t like me touching it, but didn’t seem bothered by it overall.  She had been scratching here and there, but nothing bad.  Just a lot of overgrooming.  Which is fairly normal for her.  It was pretty small and nowhere near her injection sites or her old tumor sites–which was a very good thing.  And it didn’t feel remotely the same as the other two.

The bump would go down a bit and then go back to its original size, but didn’t seem to change much over the course of the last week.  The red dot did go away.  I decided to wait till the fructosamine test to get it checked since it could just be a knick from her groomer.  I let her vet know.  Then, on Friday night, I found three more.  All around her back, by her spine.  All smaller–these smaller than the first–and all looking exactly the same–only no red dot on these guys.  Two were so small, I had problems finding them again yesterday and thought they went away.  But no.  I eventually found them again.

When it was time to go, it started raining.  It had been threatening rain all day–though it was warm.  Mama would have called it muggy.  It wasn’t bad.  I got there early and noted how darn busy the clinic was today.  It was insane.  And everyone seemed very anxious and impatient.

Our vet tech came out and asked me to show her the bumps.  It took a few minutes to locate them all.  Jean was amazed I’d even noticed them.  What can I say?  After finding a fibrosarcoma in your awesomely healthy (otherwise) kitty, you get good at finding not normal.

She wasn’t sure what the bumps were.  She knew it wasn’t some of the usual growths they see, so she had our vet check them out.  He felt pretty confident they’re skin tags or possibly warts.  He wasn’t sure why they all suddenly appeared at once, but told me not to worry and just keep an eye on them.  If they get ugly looking or get bigger, then we can remove them.  Removal should be super easy–usually it’s like getting rid of a mole.  Freeze or cut it off with local anesthesia.  That was a big relief because the surgery she had before was so invasive and tough on her.  This would be quick and relatively easy–just like my own mole removal–which was literally no big deal.

I did some research when I came home, and I have a theory about why these showed up after her grooming.  Either they were there before and I couldn’t feel them through all her hair (unlikely).  Or she had some dermatitis from the shampoo they used on her.  It was heavily scented, and maybe Fogg can’t deal with such things.  It would explain the licking and itching.  A lot of times, these things will pop up after this kind of thing.

In any case, I’m relieved, but still anxious because they’re still on her little body.

###

Coming home, we took Lyft and had a great driver named Venice.  We quickly discovered we were both from Colorado.  We hit it off immediately and bonded over our hatred of humidity.  We talked about our adventures in the south and how we needed our sunshine.  Both of us talked about how Denver has changed.  How you can immediately tell natives from non-natives because we’re the friendly ones who help people.  We talked about how things are changing and how it’s mostly because non-natives aren’t invested and just lack respect.  We both agreed we don’t mind new people.  But most newbies are unaware of their impact and totally oblivious to why natives are so irritated.  We also talked about the influx of bros in Denver dating and how having some self-respect gets you labeled a prude.  It was SO NICE to talk to someone who grew up in my city and saw everything I was noticing.

The thing that struck me most about the conversation was just how effortless it was.  Like I had known her forever.  Finally, someone who got it.

I think that lack of friendliness thing is why I feel so uncomfortable in Denver these days.  I’m used to people reaching out and giving a shit.  But most people are very much living in their glass houses.  It’s not the city I grew up in.  We had our problems, but no one ever came here feeling the way we feel now.  I think I actually noticed it happening the year I did TFA.  And I wonder if I wasn’t reacting to it a lot when I came back.  I just started feeling very uncomfortable and limited.  It caused me to limit myself and definitely helped spin me into the depression I went through back then.

The thing is–my Denver still exists.  It was in that Lyft today.  And oh, man, I missed it.  It felt like going home.

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