Catastrophic past two weeks...

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gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 3/4/2008 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Got laid off from my job.  Dad is having mini-strokes and has been dx with vascular dementia.  Mom's Alzhiemers is progressing rapidly.  And the final blow?  Had to put down my 19 year old kitty this past weekend and have not stopped crying for 48 hours. 
 
Want to guess how my guts have responded?
 
I am a strong woman.  I have a strong faith in God and a network of fabulous people surrounding me to help me get through all of this.  BUT, I wish someone would tell that to my guts.  My head and my heart know that everything will be fine eventually, but my guts respond with unrestrained terror and panic.  In one day, they go from complete lock down to the D expressway.  Once again, these last few weeks have reconfirmed for me that the gut has a mind of it's own and in many respects, we are really at it's mercy and whim.
 
In the interest of total transparency: yes, I am definitely looking for sympathy!! yeah

Lady Frog
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 3/4/2008 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry. We recently lost my parents dog. He was wicked sick and it was in his best interest for us to have him put to sleep. He was 16 and had been told a decade ago that he only had a few years to live. Well he proved them wrong. Here's hoping that you at least get some good news soon. Dealing with sick family members is never easy. You'll be in my prayers.

Easta
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 3/4/2008 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry to hear of your sadnesses. It is so traumatic to lose a much loved family pet. I have gone through this several times and it never gets any easier. Try to console yourself with the fact that you gave your pet so much love and care. Sadly many cats and dogs never know love or tenderness. Yours did and it was a great gift.

Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 3/4/2008 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I know how the gut-thing goes. I hit a puppy on the way to work one morning and ended up having D that day or the next. (It was still alive when I got it to the owner, and I think it's now the second grown dog that I see sometimes--not sure, though, because I didn't see a second dog there for a very long time; maybe they put him up to keep him out of the road.)

I guess I was lucky when my childhood cat got old, he just disappeared one day. I had heard that they would do that--go off to die--but I was looking for him for weeks. I found a black fuzzy thing in the backyard about a month after he disappeared and I was afraid that was him, but it turned out to be a skunk carcass. But I even dreamed about him there for a while. I didn't cry over him because it's like he didn't really die, I guess--even though I know that's what happened to him. But a stray car we adopted, he got a deadly virus and I had to have him put down and I had never had a pet put down before and that WAS very hard and I cried a good deal over him, even though I didn't think of him as being our cat, really--not like Sylvester, whom I had had since he was about 3 weeks old until he was 13 or 14 years old. But I was out of work all day when I had stray at the vet/put down; I felt terrible.

My stepfather's mother had alzheimers and mini-strokes both; it's hard to have to deal with. I don't envy you that in the least. Do you think, though, that maybe God is at work here? I mean with your job. Maybe you got laid off so you could take care of your parents for a little while? At least you will draw some unemployment; if you had to take FMLA to take care of them, you wouldn't have gotten any pay.

Tizz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 3/4/2008 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   
(((((( Gutastrophe ))))))))
 
So sorry for all of your sadness and the loss of your precious kitty. I lost my 18 year old kitty 2 years ago so I know how very hard it is ... and how as strong as we feel we are being, and coping on the surface, our hopeless, good for nothing bodies have other ideas!
 
Just wanted to send you a big hug
 
Keep hanging on in there!!!
 
Tizz

Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 3/4/2008 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh Guts, my lip started trembling when I read your post. I am so sorry. about your parents, your kitty, your job. What a horrendous blow each of those things are individually, let alone combined...you deservedly will get some sympathy here. It is a testament to your good-naturedness that you are surrounded by a great network of friends like you described, so I hope they are bringing you chicken soup and the extra-soft tissues. You definitely are a tough lady but if there's any time to wallow a bit, now would be the time...so you just keep on venting to us, we'll be here!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum


Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 3/4/2008 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh my, I am so very sorry to hear all that you are going through right now. That is very hard to handle when both your parents aren't well and you want to be there for them. I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers. Then to lose your beloved cat. Pets become our full fledged family members so it's no wonder you feel this loss deeply. Finally, when stress becomes too much, our gut doesn't cooperate. And just when you need things to calm down, they don't. Please feel free to vent with us here - we'll listen!

(((Hugs))) going you to you tonight.......RIP Kitty.....

Mary

Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 3/4/2008 9:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I am so sorry that you are going thru this, so much at one time. It is always so hard to make the decision to put an animal down but sometimes I think we are kinder to our animals than we are to humans that we allow to suffer. Of course that is a matter of opinion, I realize. Know that we are all thinking of you and know that you have the strength to get thru this. A better time is coming.

Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 3/4/2008 11:41 PM (GMT -7)   
How are you doing, gusty? Is it okay if I call you that? :) I am thinking about you.
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gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 3/4/2008 11:42 PM (GMT -7)   

Wow.  You are all so amazing.  I'm sitting here in my big chair where kitty and I would nestle together each night while I yakked on the internet.  I have a big pillow shoved into the space where she should be but, as you can imagine, it is definitely not the same.  Is it possible to do permanent damage to the eyes and face from constant crying?  I look like someone inflated my head with helium.

Keriamon, I have been praying for three years about how best to deal with mom and dad.  I live in Seattle and they live in Florida so I am trying to discern if I should go there to be with them.  I was laid off 18 months ago from my last job and wondered then if it was time.  Now, after this news, it looks like all the signs are pointing southeast.  It's a tough decision to make because my son just got engaged to his girlfriend of 11 years and they will be planning the wedding for next summer.  I wanted to be around to help but it looks like I am needed elsewhere.

The acute stress of trying to decide what to do about kitty has passed now and I'm left with just extreme sadness.  The stress of trying to decide what to do about mom and dad is more the lingering, low-impact stress that most of us live with every day.  But for two days my guts were jumping like a string of firecrackers had gone off inside them. Because I was on high alert about the kitty, the bowels just went into lock down. Last night I had one of those very rare (for me) encounters with atrocious nausea.  Was very close to sticking the old finger down the throat.  It's crazy how folks with digestive issues often must resort to sticking their fingers into some orifice to get relief!  One thing is for sure: when I do meet my maker, my first question will be "um, about the human body?  WHAT WERE YOU THINKING????".

Thanks to everyone for all your kindness and support.  You guys rock.


Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 3/5/2008 12:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Even though the ol' guts can give us so much trouble, I still feel like we have to listen carefully to what they say. In this case it seems like your guts are telling you that a little Florida sunshine wouldn't be so bad. Congratulations on your son getting married! Does he live in Seattle? It's not so hard to plan a wedding from afar - I've been doing it for months! My wedding is in Philly in June and I'm sitting here wasting away in the southwest desert! What the? Anyway...there's no reason to think you won't be able to help with the wedding. Pretty much everything can be done from afar these days. Just reserve those airline miles so you can make a jettison across the country when all the plans turn a bit nutso. I think you are brave to think about going to take care of your parents. It is so tough to look ahead to those times.

And your kitty; I ache for you. My kitty in Philly is almost 18 and is in kidney failure and my mom keeps telling me she's going to put him down. Every time we talk about him I just about lose my soul. I was 11 when we adopted him. Now I have two kitties living with my fiance and I and I've come close to losing both of them on two separate occasions, but they pulled through. There comes a point when the rope breaks. But I bet you can still remember vividly those fiascos with the dental floss or feathers or yarn or laser pointer or whatever made her go crazy, and you will laugh at the memories, and it will feel uplifting.

I also have aging parents and my dad's prostate cancer seems to be advancing, and it's so, so hard to think about - our parents! - but as we learned in our ethics class, there is a voice that tells you what you "ought" to do. This is different from what you "could" do. What seems the most right? What seems the most natural?

I will admit I am the worst person when it comes to listening to my gut sometimes - after all, they haven't been the most compliant - but in some cases it's the only way to go.
Co-moderator - IBS Forum


gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 3/5/2008 2:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Gutsy!  I love that!  Yes, please do call me Gutsy!
 
Thanks for that beautiful post Sarita.  I am actually quite blessed and grateful that my son and daughter-in-law (whom I ADORE) are waiting until next year to wed.  I am doing the wedding cake so I do have to be here well before the event.  Otherwise, I suspect the gal has been planning this wedding in her head and heart for at least the last eight years while waiting patiently for my silly son to make her his wife!  Most likely, my role would be pretty minor but I feel sure she will need me here for moral support.  BUT, one thing at a time.  Right now, mom and dad require the immediate attention.  I want to be there with them before they decompensate to the point where they no longer know who I am.  That may be years away or it could be imminent.  Best not to wait and find our but rather carpe diem!
 
What I have found so interesting in the last week is the connection between my heart, emotions, soul and gut.  Each time I looked at kitty in the last few days, and saw her stumble on her frail hind legs, or watched her stare at her water bowl without being able to drink the water, I would feel the pain and emotion IN MY GUT - literally!  It was a physical pulling and tugging in the bowels and was completely connected to the lurching in my heart and the fearful thoughts in my head.  In a homily one Sunday in Church the priest explained that the Jewish understanding of the word "compassion" meant to literally "feel with the bowels".  He spoke of this in reference to the many places in the Bible where it is said that Jesus was "moved with compassion" for the sick and the poor.  I never forgot that because it made so much sense that the gut should be the center of our deepest emotions.  Hence the cliches like "I have a gut feeling" or "go with your gut instinct".  Even now, when I think of my beloved kitty looking up at me from her blanket as we drove in the car to the vet, I can feel it in the belly.  I only wish I could generate enough positive energy and thought to prod the gut to work properly!  Wouldn't that be amazing!
 
I've known for at least three years that I would take care of mom and dad.  I have a wonderful sis who lives in Florida too but she can't handle it on her own.  Together, we can rise to the challenge.  Many years ago, I did some hospice work for a brief time and I recognize the honor and privilige that goes with taking the journey with a loved one at the end of life.  I want to be right by their side when their time comes.
 
Again, thanks so much for all the wonderful and compassionate feedback.  I do feel much better tonight and I am going to attempt to sleep in my bed.  The couch has crippled me the last two days!
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