Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Creations

Thank you for the buck-up. Sorry. I think I may be past the worst of it. I had a better day today.

Well I couldn't leave you all on such a sour note for Christmas, could I? So I have -at last!- got round to doing the photo's of all my Christmas creations..... cards and felties :) I hope they make you smile!

 -these are envelopes that I decorated. Colouring all the snow in white gel pen was really relaxing :)

more envelopes.......put a post-it note in the middle, stamp all around and over it, outline the square and then remove the post-it. Ta-daah!

These are felties I made for some people at my mum's Tai Chi Physio class.
I made them in line with their Chinese birth year.
So, this one is for someone born in the year of the rooster....

this for someone born in the year of the monkey:

....and the year of the rat!!! I like this one best, I think!!!

I made this wee cat for someone who's birth year I didn't know, but didn't want to leave her out :)

I also made some Babooshka dolls but can't find the photo! But I sent one to Di and she very kindly posted about it on her blog, here: Pixie's Crafty Workshop. 

Oh and look! We managed to replace the tree!!!

 And cheeky Scooter has sussed out which of the presents is his. Hmmm must be the catnip inside, do you think?

I hope we all have as good a day as we all possibly can!!!!

Have a good one!!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Not coping

Lots of stress signs: bursting into tears, sleeping heavily and intermittently with mad dreams, snapping at everybody, stomping about in a bad temper. Heart rate is high. Feel fat fat fat and miserable. Tumbling thoughts and HEARING THINGS. Want to switch off.

I just can't cope with mum any more. Little of what she says makes sense. Even when I am not with her she calls, calls, calls. She can't work the tv any more. She can't follow a diagram or written notes either, we tried that. She says she has been hallucinating for 4-5 weeks, seeing people who are not there, faint people with white outlines.

I have seen her every day since 5th March. There is no help; social services say that as she can go to the lavatory herself with no need of help, she doesn't get a carer, and I get no help. That's it. Oh, they did offer grab rails for the bath, which she already has, or meals-on-wheels at £3.50 a day for lunch, which she tried, and we cancelled after a few weeks because she called them "foul" and refused to eat them.

So that's it then.

I told my GP, in tears, that I wasn't coping. She told me, oh well, you'll have to put her into a home then.

I asked the neurologist 2 weeks ago, and she told me to ask the churches.

I am almost giving up. Except I can't, can I? Because who else is there? I think I shall end up going to the wall. I'll reach the point where I can no longer see that I can't, and I'll take every pill I can find, altogether, at once. And then the authorities and relatives who SHOULD help will HAVE to come and pick up the pieces, won't they? There doesn't seem to be any other way out of this relentless situation.

Hanging on by my fingernails for Luvbug and Scooter ;)

Thank you for all the support out there. Some of you have even given your phone numbers- I am very moved that you would do so as that very generous of you. I do have an emergency number to ring if I get to 'that' stage. I might be up ringing it in the middle of the night quite soon.

Sorry to post such misery near Christmas. Even our little tree gave up the ghost! We will try to return it to the shop tomorrow....

CARFTERING has been updated too, if you can bear it!!!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Scooter left me a smile in his biscuit bowl this morning:


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I think he has realised just yesterday that Fluffy has gone. In the last week he has lapped up extra attention, purring his head off at all the fuss. But two days ago I saw him wandering around from room to room upstairs, and looking in the wardrobe (Fluffy sometimes sneaked in to sleep in there). Then yesterday, he was sitting next to me quite calmly, when suddenly he looked at me and meowed and meowed and meowed, with teeth bared (such that he has) and it was a real worraworraworra meow, it went on and on and he just glared at me. And since then, he has been quiet and morose looking, lethargic and curled up.

Poor lad. I think it just hit him that his sister isn't coming back. I can't say that there was great love shown between them, he did tend to bully her a little. But now his sparing partner has gone, I suppose. And he has never been an 'only' cat.

I shall just keep an eye on him and put extra treats his way. I bought his Christmas present this morning; a new bowl and a bag of catnip.

Other than this, he has soft fleecey blankets and lots of love. I hope he is going to be OK. Fluffy pined terribly for her sister when she went.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Thank you!

Thank you for so many messages following the loss of Fluffy. I was overwhelmed! I have never received so many comments. It has really helped, really it has. Thank you all so much!

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Mum is OK. She had a little cry but, thankfully, it hasn't hit her badly like I feared it would. Here is the Christmas card I made for her. Actually it's the second one as she lost the first (!!!)

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 Here is a photo taken on Fluffy's last evening.... Scooter is taking a drink and Fluff is by the fire... if you look closely you'll see that she didn't have the strength to rest her head on top of her paws in that Sphinx pose that cats love- her head is resting to one side of her toes....
 Luvbug took this photo of us on her last morning.....
I have cried buckets this week and my arms ache to cuddle and hold her.

I keep thinking I can hear her in the house. I don't know if this is the auditory hallucinations that I get under stress with the Bi-polar, or if it's just normal grief. I think probably the latter, so I shan't worry...
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This morning a special parcel arrived from Ginger Jasper! Look at the gorgeous card- GJ in his Christmas finery!

He send me a beautifully soft bear, and some things for making momentoes of Fluffy.....
 ...a little album, and an empty bauble- you put a photo in it and hang it on the tree.

I think it would be a lovely tribute to Fluffy, especially as she always loved Christmas sparkly things. She used to lie underneath the tree belly-up and daze up through the branches at all the twinkling lights. She also used to attack tinsel and go worra worra worra........

Thanks, GJ! I was very moved to receive these things. It is very kind of you. Look- your photo is now overlooking our crib!

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 Here is Scooter by our tree...

We bought ourselves a little 3ft one! It has fibre-optic tips that change colour slowly and it's quite relaxing to sit and gaze at it! Scooter really enjoyed himself like a kitten when I got the decorations out.

Here is our mantelpiece lit up.
We bought little LED strings of lights that work by battery. I put a bunch in a couple of vases, which are the big glows in the picture. These are good lights as they don't get hot.

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I am trying to keep my chin up and have a good Christmas- I have wrapped all my presents and all the shopping is done. It's difficult when others say how miserable they are though! Mum told me straight she can't wait for Christmas to be over, and Luvbug has been down over lack of work- the schools just haven't been calling in supply staff these last few weeks. I do see their point of view and I do sympathise, but mood is contagious, isn't it? So it is hard to keep plodding on at the moment. I am managing ok, but feel like I'm using my emergency tank, know what I mean?!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Farewell, sweet Fluff

 Fluffy, in the foreground, with her brother in the garden in July.

We took our princess to the vet this morning and she was put to sleep at 9.15.

Last night I lay by her box. Pretty soon her brother, Scooter, came and lay beside me. Whenever Fluffy stirred I stroked her to let her know we were there.

Early morning, she struggled to her feet. Her back legs were very weak and she could no longer manage more than 2 steps at a time. Her head hung down.

I lay down and lifted her onto my chest, where we had a final wee snuggle. She purred as I held her there and she snuggled her nose down into my jumper.

I took her to the vet in her blanket with her hot water bottle. The vet was very kind and gentle and I was allowed to hold her, talk to her, and her final moments were with me rubbing her eyebrows which was her favourite scrunch.

We will collect her ashes in a week or so. I'll keep them for a while, then, in the spring, when it's warm, I'll put them in with where her sister is buried, under some carnations at the end of the garden.

It is so hard.... I am 43, and Fluffy has been with me since I was 25. It isn't the years, it's the milestones. Young adulthood to the first steps of middle age. Boyfriends, jobs, even homes come and gone. She was there through it all. That's what makes it hard to let go. My poor, cheesy-footed baby. I miss her meow already.

Thank you all for all your kind support and loving good wishes....

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Fluffy's last weekend?

Fluffy on Mum's lap in the week...

The vet rang on Wednesday with Fluffy's blood results. I had now been thinking anaemia, maybe, diabetes at worst? He said that her thyroid levels are now normal, so the new drug, Vidalta, has worked there. But her urea levels are sky high. Normal reading would be 10; in October hers was 20. Now it's 63. He said he was very surprised she is doing as well as she is with levels that high; usually, he said, when it is in the 30s they are giving up.....

He says this means that Fluffy's kidneys are shutting down. He thinks that the thyroid drug isn't being matabolised, i.e., it isn't being cleared out of her system. Perhaps, he said, perhaps if we leave off that drug for a little while, it will clear from her system and the urea will go down. So the plan last Wednesday was this: withdraw drugs and wait to see an improvement. If there is one, then we know that the high urea levels were only because of the drug in her system. If there isn't one, then her kidneys really are barely functioning.

Well, last weekend we started feeding her a super-palatable special food called Hills A/D and she loved it! Yum yum yum, we started to call it her licky-mush. More licky-mush? Yum yum.

By Monday it was becoming more difficult to get her to eat. Maybe she is just going off it, I thought. I started to heat it a little. She ate it.

The wobbly back legs recovered, which gave us hope. And I think you were all right about the meowing round the litter box- I think it used to hurt, so she was scared it would again, hence the continued crying. This still happens, but not for a as long.


I have been up through the night with her. She is refusing all food and I have to encourage her to drink her water. She gave up washing herself days ago; I am doing it with a warm, wet flannel. In the night, for a little while, her back legs went floppy and she seemed to have trouble lifting her head. It was flopped down and leaning to one side.

I stayed with her by the fire and got her to settle on my tummy for a while, with a blanket.

Now she is in her box with a hot water bottle. She has had a drink but refuses food. Maybe I should try to give her some with a syringe into the side of the mouth? But I do think i may be putting off the inevitable now........

I fear this is her last weekend, poor sweet girl....... she is a shadow of her former self. This isn't fair any more. I think if she were human she'd be on dialysis right now. I think she is feeling sick and yuck.....I feel so guilty to approach giving up stage, but I love her, and she trusts me, and part of that has to be being able to say, no more, that's enough now, no more.....

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Update on Fluffy

I have been totally stunned and humbled by the huge response to my call for advice on Fluffy. Thank you all for your support and all the knowledge and hunches you shared, both here and via email. It has meant so much and made it easier to get through these very worrying days...

We returned to the vet this morning with her. It was the same surgery, but the boss vet rather than one of the part time ones. We handed in a urine sample for her, and they took some blood.We won't have the blood results till Tuesday, but I did ask specifically about anaemia and he said that Fluffy's gums weren't pale, and the blood looked ok, so he doesn't think so, but of course will make sure. He rang with the urine results this afternoon:

He said that there is now no sign of bacterial infection and also no sign of crystals or blood. Fluffy managed to produce a decent amount of wee, and it was clear.

What he DID find, however, and which is quite worrying, is a high number of bladder lining cells. He has suggested that this might indicate a tumour.

I have tried to read up again on this, thanks to Google I have read tons on feline urinary problems(!) but I can't find much about an excess of bladder lining cells. I gather that kidney stones might cause this. What confuses me is that I've read about a tumour test that can be done on urine to rule a tumour in or out. If this is so, why didn't the vet just do this?

I wonder also if it is just an after-effect of the anti-biotics?

Anyway.......... another thing; she has lost weight in the last month, down from 3.8kg to 2.6kg. There are 2.2lb to a kg, so she has lost about 2 1/2lb. This is a lot for a little cat. She is beginning to look emaciated.

He has given me some special, high calorie and highly smelly food to whet her appetite; Hills A/D, it is called. She should have a minimum of 3/4 of a little can per day. Today so far she has had a little under half. I am very pleased with her for this :) and I'll continue to tempt her into eating more whenever she stirs.

She is sticking to her box, with dish and small hot water bottle (wrapped in a jumper) just inside. She even sneaked out into the snow yesterday, when I slipped out to feed the birds. She had a wee out there and then just lay in the snow. I told her, you can't do that, not here, it's too cold. She told me off and walked back in.

I hope she pulls through. She does still meow an awful lot, and this seems centred around her tray, so I think it is weeing and the thought of an impending wee that causes the meowing. She sounds so sad and in pain, but when I pick her up she stops. When the vet examined her he pushed all around her bladder and she didn't protest and also she loves to be groomed still, so I can't decide whether she is in pain or not. I am sure that if it is proved she is suffering I will let her go, as I can't be having her hurting, no matter how much I would miss her and grieve for her. She's had a nice life and I want her last bit of life to be nice too, not lingering in pain.

Poor wee thing. She has gained the nickname 'Twiglet' now.

As before, any thoughts would be so welcome. Please purr your loudest for her......

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Fearful for Fluffy

I think Fluffy is definitely in her 9th life, and I am even worried that she won't make Christmas. I wanted to make this post so that all my cat-owning friends out there can give me their thoughts; maybe you have experience of these symptoms?............

When I took Fluffy to the vet in October it was for two reasons:

  1. she needed pills for her thyroid condition. I stopped giving her the ones she was on because they were having the side effect of sever itching and she was pulling her fur out. So, she needed a blood test to assess her levels, and new prescription of Vidalta, the thyroid med she had been on before.
  2. she was off her food.

I can't stress enough that these were the ONLY reasons I took her in. She was ok in every other respect. She was racing up and down stairs, overtaking us at times. She was using her litter tray ok, and using the catflap to go out. She was climbing the furniture and climbing onto US for cuddles and naps.

When at the vet's, they felt a lump and so decided to keep her in for the day to investigate. They shaved her side and did an ultrasound scan without sedative. They found that one kidney was larger than the other and looked cystic. They gave her 3 injections; an anti-biotic, an anabolic steroid, and a vitamin B12 shot.

SINCE THE VISIT TO THE VET she has changed- since then she hasn't run upstairs, or anywhere else. She stays in one room. She doesn't climb furniture or seek cuddles. She strains to wee and meows and meows and meows really loudly for about 20 minutes BEFORE each wee.

We returned to the vet. I told them her symptoms and they prescribed anti-biotics for a urine infection. She had this for 15 days. NO CHANGE.

She has gone from running around and being cheeky to staying in one room, crying to and from from the litter tray. When I asked about this, the only response was that oh well, she IS old, you know; you may have to make a difficult decision soon.

WHAT???? Yes I know she is old, but she was old when I brought her in last month and she wasn't like this. She has only been like this since her day at the vet. I am so scared they did something to traumatise her in some way and now no one will tell me what.

Since yesterday she is off her food. I am having to force her tablets down her, which I hate to do. AND NOW THERE IS ANOTHER SYMPTOM; her back legs are weak and she is wobbly and walking ' on her haunches'.

I know this can be a symptom of chronic renal failure, but I wander if she would be weeing more if she had that. It can also mean anaemia.

She is booked in for another blood test this Saturday morning. I am going to call the vet tomorrow morning to ask for more advice. They also want to test her urine via some special litter I have to use Friday night.

WHAT DO YOU THINK??? I know she is old, but this change in behaviour is only since she was at the vet for a day. I have said this to them, and all they do is say nothing they did caused it and that she is old. They don't seem to get that she was so different before. I know she will go downhill, being old, that is going to come,. But this was a sudden change...... I think i am losing her....

Thursday, 25 November 2010


Sorry peeps; lack of posts is due to bad bug- still!

I've just got back from another trip to the doc's. Still no anti-biotics. OK I know they're not a cure if it's a virus, but after a month I'd like to try them, esp. as they can't know if it's bacterial or viral, not for sure, not without tests.

Grrr. Or, I would go grrrr if it didn't hurt.

It has now spread to both sides of my throat and both ears and I feel bleagh.

Snow is on the way, so I hope the cold doesn't make this worse, or kick start my asthma!

Oh what a jolly post!!! Sorry!!

I'm off for a lie down while the washing finishes. Off to mum's midday. Fluffy is meow, meow, meow and had me up till 4. I can't get her meds down her.


Monday, 15 November 2010

Unexpected gifts and bugs

A belated birthday gift....

chocolates and flowers.....

They were delivered complete with the glass vase! The chocolates (from M&S) were delicious!
  Who from? My brother, David, and his family. What a lovely surprise!

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I have just got back from the doctor's... I have a bad throat and I feel exhausted and icky. It's been coming on for a while now. The verdict is that I've picked up a bug that's gone nasty because of me being tired anyway. No antibiotics needed, just water, painkillers and rest. Rest???!!!!

Well mum went home earlier than usual last night and so I was able to get to bed around 7. I've slept heavily and still feel woozy and ick. My throat is all itchy and sore all down my neck. WAAH... maybe I'm allergic to chocolates?

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I've made another little book and this time I took photo's as I went along. I'll post them in my next post.... :)

My Carftering blog has finally been updated too ;)