The Story

Jazz Resting
It is really good to be back home. If you’ve been following my story, you know that on Sunday, July 27th, I suddenly became very sick. “He” and “She” were so worried about me that neither of them slept at all for fear I wouldn’t make it through the night. Monday morning, we were at Dr. M’s office and greeted the staff as they arrived to open up for the day. At that time, I was feeling pretty crummy. My eyes were watering, and I was drooling like a faucet. I had become dehydrated and could feel my energy ebbing away. I was very vocal about not wanting to be at the doctor’s office, and I was trying to let them know just how bad I was feeling. By the time Dr. M. arrived to examine me, I had really worked myself into a frenzy and contrary to my usual manner, I’m a little ashamed to admit now, I became somewhat aggressive. Dr. M. made a phone call, and She gave the approval for me to be lightly sedated so I could have a thorough examination.

I was found to have mildly elevated white blood cells, which was to expected, as it was very obvious I was sick. They immediately started me on fluids for the dehydration and a medicine for inflammation. At that time, Dr. M. wasn’t sure what was going on with me, and some of the possible diagnoses were a severe ear infection, infected tonsils, or some type of infection in my head. She really wouldn’t know anything else until she was able to take xrays and look them over. I don’t remember much about all of this, as I was feeling worse and worse.

Dr. M. was beginning to suspect some very serious conditions, such as a brain tumor, or possibly a mass in the stomach based on some of my mannerisms and constant nausea. They were considering an MRI at one point, if my condition continued as it was.

He was the one who thought to mention they had just had the house sprayed for insects a few days prior, and Dr. M. started to suspect toxic poisoning. “She” was pretty sure this wouldn’t be the case, as they have used the same exterminator for years, and he had always told them the products he used were safe to spray around pets. However, after requesting the Material Safety Data Sheet from Mr. P. to give to Dr. M., it was confirmed the product contained Pyrethrin, which can be toxic to mammals, (including humans). Now, Mr. P. is a very nice man, and we know he would never intentionally put us or any pet in harm’s way. Unfortunately, it took me getting sick for him to realize just how harmful this product could be. In the past when he had sprayed, we had never had any bad reactions, but he could not be sure he had used this exact product before, as he rotates out the chemicals. They were a little confused at first why my reaction was so severe, while most of the other cats weren’t affected, and Barny and Flirt had only mild symptoms requiring treatment.

Dr. M. tested to confirm her suspicions and found the toxicity in the solution used had brought on this illness. However, with further testing, she found that I am also FHV-1 positive. No one ever knew I had this serious condition as it had been dormant for all of my eight years. However, the stress put on my immune system by the toxic poisoning combined with the virus to make me one very sick kitty.

Now that they knew what the illness was, they could start treating it. I had completely stopped eating. I couldn’t smell anything, and the nausea had caused me to lose all interest in food. I was missing my family, and the unfamiliar surroundings of the hospital were just making me more depressed, even though the care and attention I got was top notch. There were a lot of other residents there at the time, but I was just too sick to even care or wonder about them.

They had been force feeding me for a few days, but I was getting more and more weak, as I just couldn’t keep the food down. Even the medicine they were giving me for nausea wasn’t helping, because when I was losing all my food, my antibiotics and other meds were coming up too! When it became evident I wouldn’t regain any interest in food on my own, Dr. M. decided it was time to insert a feeding tube. I was pretty out of it anyway, but I understand they put me to sleep and inserted a feeding tube into my esophagus. They immediately began to use the tube to feed me very watered down food and all my medicines. Within days I started to show little improvements. They continued to try to get me to eat by mouth, but I still wasn’t interested because nothing smelled good. There were other milestones, though. My eyes were still draining, but I had stopped salivating by that point, and I began to be a little interested in my surroundings. When they saw I was more alert and inquisitive, they started taking me out of my little cozy apartment and letting me walk around in the hospital some. I made friends with Tiny Tim, J.J., Zachary, Zeke and Thelma. There were actually a lot of other residents there, and they were all very nice. Even the dogs were nice (but, noisy). I had never been around dogs before. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with dogs, I’m just saying I didn’t know any before this. The ones I met there all seemed to be very nice.

He and She were visiting me regularly, and they brought toys and food, but I really wasn’t interested in any of it. The other residents there did enjoy all the extra snacking, though – especially Tiny Tim. Every time they would come to visit, they would tell me that I needed to start eating, and if I did, I would be able to come home. I really wanted to come home, and I wanted to eat, I just couldn’t seem to make myself do it! Then, on Friday, August 15th, something just clicked and when they held that food up to my nose, it looked good. I took a bite, and couldn’t seem to stop eating, it was really good!  Mrs. C. called He and She to let them know I was eating, and I know they were celebrating for me back home. They continued to hand feed me at the hospital. When they would sit the food down, I would just look at them until they gave it to me on a spoon. I mean, what were they thinking? I was starting to enjoy being spoiled.

On that Saturday when He and She came to visit, She was hand feeding me, but she tricked me by holding the food over the can, and I didn’t realize it, but she kept lowering it until I was actually eating out of the can. Then when He was feeding me, He put the can on the floor and I thought, “So! The jig is up – I might as well eat from the can”. 

After a few more days of eating on my own, I was really starting to get irritated with that stupid feeding tube hanging around all the time, so when they let me go exploring about the place, I found a nice quiet corner and removed it myself. There! Now, I’ll bet they let me go home! And, you know what? They did!!

So, after almost four whole weeks in the hospital, I’ve been home for a week. I am really getting a lot of special attention. Like private feedings, priority lap time and pretty much anything I want. But, they are still giving me a lot of medicine and I especially hate the cream for my eyes. I tell you what, though, it is just so worth it to be home.

Dr. M. says I will always have health issues because of this. My immune system is suppressed, and any undue stress could cause a flare up of my symptoms, and I will always have to be on medication. He and She will do all they can to make sure I’m as healthy as I can be, though.

And, in case you were wondering – no more spraying for insects inside the house. She says She will just keep the vacuum handy, and that should take care of any unwanted visitors. Mr. P. has been very concerned about me and has kept in touch to check on my condition. He even voluntarily took care of my bill at the hospital.

Thank you all for taking an interest in my story and for praying for me and keeping me in your thoughts. Thank you to Mrs. Emily for my wonderful care package, and, thank you especially to Dr. M. and her entire staff, Mrs. E., Mrs. C., Mrs. L., Mrs. M. and Ms. H.! I promise to continue to do better everyday and before long, I’ll be back to my old self.

Love,

Jazz
******

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7 thoughts on “The Story

  1. We’re all glad you’re home and doing so well!

    It’s easy to forget that small animals spend more time close to the floor where the spraying is usually done than humans. Plus they clean themselves by licking so there’s more potential for exposure. I’m glad Mr. P took an active role in tracking down the cause of your illness.

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  2. Wow, Jazz, we’re so glad you’re better. We thought your illness sounded much more than just FHV-1. Thank you for telling us your story because it seriously convinced our human dad that we shouldn’t spray the inside of our new home for pests. He was dead set on it and our human mom was all upset about the idea. Your story has saved us.

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  3. It cracked me up to read how they slowly got Jazz to eat from the can. What a hoot! I’m glad there are people who specialize in the care of our little precious animals! The picture of Jazz looking out the door made me want to cry, cause I can tell she has been really sick. I’m glad Jazz met nice dogs; it’s obvious Brownie wasn’t there! So happy Jazz is better and back home!

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  4. Oh, Jazz, I am so glad you felt up to telling us the whole story! You can bet I’ll be quizzing our bug guy harder than usual before he comes over next time! I am so sorry to hear about the FHV but I am sure your humans have it under control. You are all very lucky to have each other!

    PS I hope they saved some treats for you when you felt better!

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  5. Pingback: Life is Good « The House of 9 Lives

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