The wait…

So surgery was cancelled.  I can live with that.  

Our little Nimbus is still struggling.  She requires round the clock care and observation.  

Surgery was rescheduled for October 16th.  

The waiting is the worst.  It gives my mind a lot of time to wander.  

Waiting is a keen reminder of all the work I need to do on myself.  

Since we have moved into this house I have thrown myself into cleaning, painting, decorating, mulching, yard work.  When my mind is busy is the anger is quiet.  

Dipping a paint brush into a can of paint and having my hands covered in dirt, mulch, and slugs makes sense to me.  When the rest of the world seems to be slipping off it’s axis, doing these things make sense.  Methodical.  Controlled.  

 

Not my America

This is not the America I learned about in school.  

I try not to delve into politics too often because, quite frankly I don’t understand where the compassion has gone.  

When it comes to social services the status quo is to treat people like criminals.  Welfare has become a dirty word.  It always equates to fat, lazy criminals who suckle off the tits of the government.  I frequently have debates with people who believe that more people on Welfare take advantage of it than those that don’t.  I simply don’t believe that.  Sure, there are scumbags everywhere.  There are people who take advantage of systems in this country.  The mainstream media floods our news hour with nothing but horror stories of people taking advantage.  What we don’t see is the real faces of welfare.  We never hear about the majority of people who need short-term, emergency aid.  

It is fascinating that you need to show proof of being poor to get food stamps, but need so little to purchase a firearm.  This is not my America.  My America doesn’t treat us poor people like criminals.  

Applying for food stamps is like stripping down naked and having a cavity search.  They ask you how much you pay in rent, utilities, your school financial information, they require medical proof you have a chronic illness and cannot currently work, how much is in your bank account, what your assets are, what your life insurance policies are and if they have a cash value.  At the end of the day that is all we are though aren’t we?  We have a monetary value.  Unfortunately, my $1000 in my bank account excludes me from getting cash assistance in the state of Minnesota.  Silly me, $1000 goes a long way with rent, bills, and groceries – says no one.  Ever.  In the state of Wisconsin, my being in school excludes me from food stamps.  I am going to school, so I am able to have employment from home, even though I am disabled, and can’t get food stamps.  Riddle me that.

Yes, I know some of you are reading this and not agreeing with a word I say.  I encourage you to reach out to the nearest person applying for benefits and have a conversation about the struggle.   

Nothin’ but Hamsters

I have the clarity to understand that we are all nothing but hamsters.  No matter who you are, you are just a hamster scrambling around in your habitat.  Nobody wants to shovel shit, they just want to cover their own asses.  No one can answer a question anymore – unless of course, the answer is no.  It’s easier to say no – even in healthcare.  I am the forever masochist.  Seeking advice and answers from sadists in healthcare and insurance.  Sadistic hamsters.  What a masochistic hamster I am.  

I finally find a primary care clinic + provider who are covered by my insurance.  Call to make an appointment.  Ask to speak to someone who provides referrals.  They just forward me to my insurance.  I mean, why not.  Just easier to send the stupid little hamster to the sadistic insurance company.  I explain my situation to the hamster at the insurance company.  As soon as she could, she placed me on hold.  Twenty minutes later she comes back to say that yes, my surgery is covered by insurance.  

Gee Willickers, yes, hamster, I already spoke to a male hamster last week who told me that.  That wasn’t my damn question.  I explained the entire story again.  I started to get frustrated.  She then “advised” (more on that later) me that I shouldn’t see a new doctor at a new clinic until September 1st.  Why you ask?  Oh, because staying with your primary clinic provides a better “continuum of care”.  I wanted the hamster to define continuum.  I decided I wouldn’t get any further if I did so.

I sat in silence and finally blurted out, “who can tell me who can give me the referral I need?”  The hamster started with the word, “um”.  Knew I was screwed.  She asked me if I wanted her to call the clinic I was trying to get to.  I said, “sure, maybe you can get an answer”.  Then this sadistic hamster has the audacity to say “maybe the question you were asking wasn’t clear”.  Oh yes.  I forgot I am just some idiotic layperson who doesn’t know shit about health care.  Other than that I have been living and breathing it for the last couple years.  Twenty minutes later she comes back and says that someone will call me in the next few days to let me know about that referral.  

By this point I was dumbfounded.  

Let’s have a discussion on “advising” sick people.  I am sick.  I am a sick person.  Chronically ill.  I don’t want to be advised anymore.  I want someone to answer my fucking question.  Drop the politically correct bullshit and just give me an answer.  Don’t beat around the bush.  It’s painful enough to be told no, time and time again.  Don’t try to sugarcoat it.  Putting flowers around dog shit doesn’t make it any less dog shit.  I wish those in health care and insurance companies would stop being so afraid of their own shadow, quit advising and be straight shooters.  

Silly me to think they actually have any answers.  None of us really do, do we?  At the end of the day we are nothing but hamsters aren’t we?

 

A Cat Called Nimbus

This is Nimbus.  She is four years old.  Likes food, treats, and moths.  She is a little timid, but loves both Matt and I.

 

Last Tuesday everything changed.  Matt and I were out of town in Duluth Sunday-Tuesday and got home to discover a totally different cat.  We knew some work had been done on the house when we weren’t here, but weren’t expecting what we came home to.  She was terrified of everything, even her toys.  She wasn’t interested in eating or drinking.  She had the thousand yard stare and looked depressed and scared.  We thought we would take things slow and hopefully she would snap out of it.

She didn’t.  We started noticing she was ataxic.  Her rear end was unsteady when she walked.  She appeared to be experiencing pain.  Matt and I thought long and hard and decided to take her to the vet Monday of this week.  We didn’t find out a whole lot (of course) other than that she was some arthritis in her hips.  Her white blood count and neutrophils were low and had a low-grade fever.

She was unwilling to let the doc manually manipulate her back end so they had to sedate her to get x-rays.  We were sent home with pain meds, some advice, heavy hearts, and eyes filled with tears.  We got her home and things got worse.  She was growling at us, refusing to eat, drink, be herself.

Yesterday we made the decision that isolation was necessary for her to feel safe and be able to eat and drink without Cirrus stealing her food.  Last night and today we have seen small improvements.  She is still ataxic, but is easier to encourage to come out from hiding, is eating, drinking, and even peed in the litter box last night (after I placed her in the box).

So that is the short and sweet version.  The hard truth of it.  The facts.

I have broken down over this each and every day since we got back from our trip.  I take responsibility for her suffering.  I pulled her out of that barn four years ago and made a promise to protect her.  I dropped the ball and now she is suffering.  Both emotionally and physically.  And there is little I can do for her other than provide medical care, nutrition, and any comfort I can provide.

Not knowing if her ataxia is depression, the arthritis, or a more serious issue is killing me.  She is suffering.  I can’t do anyone/anything else’s suffering.

My friends and loved ones joke about how I am a crazy cat lady.  Damn straight I am.  My pets provide more comfort than any person, pill, or potion can provide.  They never judge me, never talk back, never give empty advice.  I love our little boy Cirrus to death, but Nimbus has always been my girl.  She is delicate, moody, and loud.  I understand her.  Her fear.  I am fearful often too.

When I go into her room to administer her meds I tell her I will fight for her.  I will fight for her to come back.  No matter what it takes.  Because yes, I am the crazy cat lady.  The one willing to drop any amount of money is necessary to bring her back.  My tenacity knows no bounds.  These little creatures have kept me going for the last four years.

I prayed for the first time in years yesterday.  If there is a God he would certainly want to help Nimbus.

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Pending Surgery

I am currently on the search for a new physician, who is both covered by my insurance and contracted with my physician. This is no easy feat. My surgery is scheduled for October 16th.

This seems like a task that should have been accomplished by now: see next post.