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Clematis

Still slogging along

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Yeah, I am still slogging along here. A lot of things are good, but my dad is still dead. No matter what I am doing, his loss comes back to remind me of the void in my life. However, it's not so much like a slap alongside the head, but more like a tap on the shoulder. He is never far from my thoughts.

Still, things are good. I found out at the end of May that I will still have the same work I had last year, and will also have more work. This is good; I really didn't have enough work las year and it was stressful to not have enough income. When I found out I don't have to spend the summer job hunting, I pronounced to whoever I was with, "This is going to be the best summer ever!" That is not exactly true, but it is definitely the best summer since my dad died. I haven't cleaned out my mess from the last school year's accumulation in the house in the house and garage, but I still have almost two months, so why not continue to procrastinate. Same thing with my taxes...

This summer I have been doing a little ceramics and a little water color painting and a lot of gardening. I have been working hard on my health and fitness and this summer I have lost ten more of the pounds I gained after my dad's death. (Last summer I lost fifteen pounds). That has been really difficult. 

I also have been taking a creative writing class.It has been a little frustrating. The teacher is sloppy and lazy, she writes terribly, and she she has little to say about student's writing. The course is online and we are teaching each other, and in the month we nave had, the teacher has and zero comments about my writing. Apparently, this is totally inconsistent with the college's expectation for writing and English teachers, but that doesn't help me anyway. At this point, I have so little respect for this teacher, perhaps it is just as well that she has nothing to say about my writing. In spite of all that, I have been writing a lot and that is good. Perhaps I should post my poems here! That would be fun. OK, here goes the first.

Grieving

 

You sit in a camp chair, alone on a wood floor, watching

Me play cello in a band with my friends, most on ukes.

This same old wooden floor in less than two years will host

Your celebration of life, potluck and contradance.

 

But there you’re alone and slumped in that chair

Watching us play the songs of your youth. And no one

Could tell what you’re thinking or feeling. Just sitting.

I’d forgotten your boniness in years near the end.

 

In my mind’s eye you are with us, on stage with your uke, 

Sentimental Journey, and Heart of My Heart.

Rehearsing together with this band from Jerome, we play

In an old empty hall, still singing together, we sing the songs of your youth.

 

You taught me ukulele when I was a child

To sing and to play was our family delight

And now it’s all over, your uke’s all alone

I play cello in orchestra and teach uke to new players.

 

I don’t see you now – you’re gone from the living

But your voice I hear in my ear, so glad you’ve not left me

Don’t forget to buy gas, Watch out for that big truck

I never will leave you…How I love you, my father!

Daddy in Spook Hall.JPG

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Here is another piece I wrote for my class:

                                                                                                    Leaving the love of my life

            The black suspension bridge over the Colorado River recedes behind me as I hike along the broad sandy trail just downstream from Phantom Ranch. The trail parallels the river amidst a series of rolling hills, surrounded by the rugged black cliffs of Vishnu Schist that form the inner gorge. I scuff along in my Teva sandals through silky sand that is too soft and deep to leave footprints. Above me lie the sandy layers of Tapeats Sandstone above the Schist, but I don’t look beyond the Tapeats. The impossibly thick layer of Redwall Limestone above is more than I care to contemplate. Every hike out of the Canyon seems daunting, but this time is different. Am I going to go through with this?

            I never wear a watch in the Canyon, but know it is late morning as I try to ignore the August heat as well as the ten-mile trail that climbs one mile.  I drenched my clothing before I left the river, but my draped outfit of worn white cotton is already dry. I am trudging up the Schist, swinging a full canteen fashioned from a Log Cabin syrup bottle in one hand. From my other hand swings the slim white ammo box that houses my Walkman II. For this hike I am not listening to the Grateful Dead Reckoning or Van Morrison’s Moondance. I am too busy with my thoughts. Am I really going to leave this fantasy life and be like people who visit? I focus on the rhythm of my plodding feet.

            The Tapeats ledges run beside me now and my mind drifts to years of naps taken in the shade of these sandy rocks that shelter themselves like shelves. So many memories of river trips and hikes and the luxury of living as if the Canyon were my own. My husband and I work for a Grand Canyon rafting company and he, unaware of my plans, is continuing to row a raft on the two-week river trip I just left. Our VW Jetta is in the Bright Angel Lodge parking lot. I will drive it back to Flagstaff and then I will move out of the house that we purchased the morning after our wedding three years ago.

            I tell people how I met Alan and fell in love with the Grand Canyon. The most typical response is, “Don’t you mean the other way around?” Nope, I do not. I surely love him, but the Canyon is the rhythm of my heart and the breath of my soul. Am I really going to move out and leave him and this life? Even to imagine this loss seems more than I can bear. So I don’t imagine or even think of it. I feel the heat through my clothing and fine sand on my feet in the sturdy sandals. Perhaps I could stay. I belong here, basking and darting like a lizard in the sun, and napping in the shade. Why should I leave my magical life, my love of Canyon and river and him?

            Oh no, I forgot. He has vowed to quit his management job with the rafting company and return to full-time guiding. The steep reduction in his salary will necessitate selling the house and he plans to move us back into his teepee. Not a joke – we lived in that teepee in the woods the summer we met after a Grand Canyon raft trip. He has the delusional idea that I am going to have and raise babies in that teepee, and he can lie around and smoke dope when he is not in the Canyon. Soon there will be no house, and staying with Alan will mean living in the teepee, in the mountains with a woodstove and an outhouse, where temperatures can reach 20 below zero. But can I survive on my own? I have no real job skills, and this life change means returning to college to find my way in the world. College demands will reduce me to a visitor here.

            Dang! I have turned my ankle and suddenly don’t know where I am. I recall the faint green spots in the pale maroon of the Hermit Shale, but the sandy trail I have fallen onto is beige. A canyon wren trills its descending cascade of song and I hear a motor droning. A motor – it’s the pump house below Indian Gardens! Somehow I have gotten through the Redwall layer. I swipe dust from my knees and elbows, slide an ankle brace from my fanny pack over my foot, and rise to trudge through Indian Gardens, stopping only to fill my canteen and pour water over my head until I am drenched again. Wild raspberries grow in this area but today I hardly care. I keep a steady pace, one foot following the other, lumbering uphill alongside wedge-shaped cross-beds of Coconino Sandstone. Scattered drops from the edge of a rainstorm are cool on my hot skin but it hardly matters as I scan for the shaded three-mile rest house to fill my canteen. Three miles from the rim and I’m not even close to it. Right. Left. Just keep going.

            I trot to the rhythm of the light but steady rain. I don’t notice passing the Toroweap layer or the one-and-a-half-mile rest house, where I fail to fill my canteen, as I quicken my pace through now heavy rain. Hail mingles with the rain, and echoes off the rock walls. Having pulled my Gore-Tex parka from my tiny pack, I have scant protection. My wet, reddened legs are exposed and the pelting hail really hurts. Hail accumulates like snow as I scamper uphill. I know this trail like I know my face, and the closest shelter is that archway blasted through the Kaibab Limestone near the rim. It seems so far away and the raw cold of my skin is excruciating. By the time I reach the archway, all precipitation has ceased, and even though I am shivering and cramped, I slog up the last bit of trail and return to my thoughts. The answer to my quandary seems clear now. I alone must create the life I choose, regardless of the storms I may face.

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Here is a poem...you, my friends here on the forum helped support me through this one...The assignment was to write about something we had found to be abhorrent  or repulsive, but then had a transformation towards it - internally, like an attitude change.

 

I love everything about her!

 

It’s been two days now – two days of no pooping

The box I keep scooping smells clean but I worry,

Those horribly nasty deposits are absent

My vet friend Paula says keep watching.

 

If she doesn’t start pooping she’ll be in deep trouble

She can’t live if that motion stays halted.

Oh Lena, sweet Lena, please drop off some cat poop

You’re eating, I know, but where is it going?

 

Precious pet, you had cancer removed from your ear.

E-Collar you sport, and you stumble by day.

But by night we both sleep, our faces together, 

Face to face inside that big cone you must wear.

 

And then one fine morning I wake to some scratching

Is my precious kitty in the bathroom and pooping?

She is! I smell cat poop! Oh glorious day!

All parts are working of my fabulous pet - she will live!

 

It’s been like two years now and my cat she is healthy,

Every day tasty meals are followed by pooping.

The truth is, my friend, the smell hasn’t changed,

But now I celebrate cat pooping!

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This is another. Youall know that I worked out on the Hopi reservation for five or six years. You may not know that I was terribly disturbed about the way animals were treated out there. People love their pets, but those animals have a hard life and die young. Anyway, three days ago I woke up from a dream about a grey kitten and wrote it into this poem:

Hopi Kitten

Oh tiny grey kitten, you crawled through a hole

Of the grade school out here at Hopi.

After school now but still I’m at my desk

How can you have lived in those walls?

 

Tiny and damp, healing scratch on your cheek,

You welcome me with shyness but spunk.

Tremble on my lap with a purr in your throat,

You accept my stroking with caution and grace.

 

I have to go home now, but what about you?

To hear of pets’ lives here hurts my heart.

Seems daily the stories of children I counsel

Talk of dogs got run over and cats eaten by dogs.

 

You were born here, you fur-ball, you streak of delight,

But can I just leave you here to some fate

Of nightmares and cruelty, of starving neglect?

Can I leave you to live in this school all alone?

 

I could feed you right here with a bowl near my desk

Let you wander the school every night

The students would love you but what of the staff?

A janitor would whisk you away with no tale.

 

I can’t take you home – my cat Lena won’t let you

You can’t live with us. She hates all other cats.

But far from this school you’d surely do better. But then,

You were born in the walls of this school. Is this wrong?

 

Be silent, my kitten, as we slink to my car, with you in the depths of my pack.

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Here is one more. I hope I'm not being a pest. The assignment here was to write a story in two parts - the first from the perspective of a child but in the present tense, and the second part looking back from the mature perspective of an adult.

I am fourteen and my family is in West Virginia for the summer. Visiting relatives here at our “Camp” on the Greenbrier River is the best thing every year. I love them all and it is so much like heaven I even have fun with my sisters. Most of the time. Sometimes I really want to get away from all of them and enjoy this paradise alone.

I get up early. No one gets up as early as I do. They were up late playing cards last night. So was I, but I am not about to miss a moment of my time alone in nature. I slip on my same clothes from yesterday and take my sandals in hand, tiptoeing to the door. The screen door is a squeaker and I open it very slowly so it is silent. The heavy wooden main door is quiet all by itself. Daddy must have oiled the hinges.

Outside, I slip on my sandals and breathe the moist air. I can see fog hanging tight over the river and the aluminum canoe upside down over the cement pier, but I’m not going there yet. I head for the fruit trees to my right, carefully avoiding the bigger plants that are dripping with dew. My feet get wet anyway.

My grandfather Jack planted the apricot and plum trees while he was alive. That seems so long ago. But it seems like he is right here with me. I hardly ever see an apricot, but the plum trees are heavy with fruit. I am thrilled at how the skin is so bitter and the flesh so sweet. I eat one after another. 

I begin to focus on the birds as I walk down the cement pier to the water, still slurping on plums. I hear the mourning dove. Hoo-ee-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo. Marion told me yesterday that it wasn’t a morning dove, but mourning, like it was sad, and that’s why we hear them in the evening as well. I hear another bird song back and forth from this side of the river to the other. Two birds. Call and response. Their song is very complex. 

I sit on the pier’s end with my feet in the cold water as I focus on another mystery bird and its song, trying to ignore the kitchen sounds I now hear. Marion and Jack know all the birds and they would know what it was. I wonder how they learned all that about birds. I don’t think I will ever know that.

It is decades later and I get up early in Sedona, walking with compact Nikon binoculars I found in my father’s dresser after his death. I also found Jack’s old binoculars and their optics are fabulous, but after learning that they are circa WWI, I’m not sure that schlepping them around is the thing to do. Nevertheless, I love having the glasses that connect me to my father and grandfather. 

Here and now, the only fruit around is at Safeway and here in arid Arizona I’ve seen neither dew nor fog in ages. Early morning walks always take me back to those dawn strolls by the log cabin on the Greenbrier. Decades ago, Hurricane Hugo trashed the cabin’s foundation and my mother sold the property, but even if not I couldn’t go back there because I can’t return to the magic in a child’s mind. The fog over the river was a velvet barrier to all that lay beyond and the dew sparking in the early light was that of fairy gems. I remember so clearly how it felt like I’d stepped alone into the wilderness less than fifty feet from my sleeping family but I can’t quite get back. I’ve not since had a plum with such dramatic contrast of sweet and tart, dripping down my chin onto my shirt. Are plums really so different now?

I am finally learning to identify some birds; the first entry in my Bird Watching Notebook is the house finch. I was thrilled to positively identify this bird by its song, using the Sibley app on my iPhone. It adds to the dimensionality of my early morning walk to play the song on my phone and hear birds in the trees responding, but it’s not the magic I felt drifting around our “Camp” in my sparkling fairy dew fog. I endeavor to be in the moment while simultaneously floating in my childhood memories. I remember the magic of rising early.

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I loved reading your writing, Laura ~ vivid, rhythmic, just beautiful! And these lines especially . . .

1 hour ago, Clematis said:

it’s not the magic I felt drifting around our “Camp” in my sparkling fairy dew fog. I endeavor to be in the moment while simultaneously floating in my childhood memories.

Thank you for sharing! 

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2 hours ago, Kieron said:

As a writer and poet as well, I can assure you there is nothing pestilent about sharing your poems. 😄

Did you like them?

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I don't even know where to post this, so I'll put it here under "Still Slogging Along". Yesterday Lena's vet diagnosed her with Kidney Disease. I am devastated and worried and grief-stricken. She is tired and looks like she isn't feeling well. It is an early diagnosis because she has been getting annual bloodwork for several years. Also, she has had health insurance for several years, which makes this not a Pre-existing condition going forward. So hopefully the insurance will help in the future.

Still, it is really disheartening news...

781845057_Lenaistired.thumb.jpg.f25c379fefd6405dbb0ac5b48c606767.jpg

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Laura,

The diagnosis is treatable in many different ways. May I suggest looking into natural and low carb options.  It seems our pets get similar diseases to us humans.  I know it works well for dogs.  Cats need a higher protein for their metabolism.  I read recently about this.  Although, it is not good news there are some simple adjustments that may improve Lena's diagnosis.  THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.  Are you on Facebook or Instagram? PM me with your contact information and I will let you know what I find out. (YOUR info will be safe and secure) - Shalom ( Peace be with you)

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Laura,

I can understand your feelings...when I got Arlie's cancer diagnosis six weeks ago it blew my world apart overnight.  I tried altering his diet but unfortunately, because of his Colitis, I can't.  It's a balancing act...his cancer is already advanced, liver barely functioning, but he has carbs in his diet to help his Colitis, which feeds the cancer, it's a horrible juxtaposition to be in.  I have to watch as cancer takes him, and it kills me...I do not intend to let him suffer, I will have him euthanized before it gets to that point.  I just ordered hemp oil.  

Let George help you, he's a researcher and good at it.  At least you have some options for Lena, she can get treatment, and I'm glad you have pet insurance, I do not, nor do I have the money.  I do have a church praying for my dog and he's had six good weeks since we found out, hoping for more time, it's gone by so fast.  I'm sorry you're going through this, we love and worry about our pets...they are more than pets, they are companions, family.

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4 minutes ago, kayc said:

I do have a church praying for my dog

And you and Arlie have us, Kay ~ and so do you and your Lena, Laura 

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4 hours ago, iPraiseHim said:

The diagnosis is treatable in many different ways. May I suggest looking into natural and low carb options.

Hi George - thanks! I sent you my info in a pm. Cats with kidney disease are supposed to have high liquid, low protein, and low phosphorus. Lena mostly eats Simply Nourish canned food; it's a PetSmart brand. It is human quality food that is low-fat and virtually no carb. It is low protein (10%) because the moisture content is so high (83%). The phosphorus is supposed to be low, but this is a little unclear. I called the company at 888-839-9638 to find out about the phosphorus and I didn't get the best answer. He asked me for the flavors. She mostly eats Chicken Stew, Chicken & Duck Stew, Chicken & Vegetable Stew, and Tuna & Potato Stew. He told me the numbers ranged from .59 to .70, and these are good numbers but he told me it was grams per 3 oz can. The numbers should really be a percentage of DMA (I think that means Dry Materials Analysis). If those numbers really are .59% to .70% of the DMA, that is fabulous because it means that the food she loves and I feel good about and have a stockpile of is perfect for her. Lena has a history of eating anything that says "cat" on it, but she seems to be getting more fussy. Not real crazy about new brands unless it is mostly gravy/liquid, and some of those it's hard to find out the phosphorus on. I found a product called lil' soups that Lena more or less inhales, and that is great because it's mostly liquid. But I can't find out anything about them. Like the phosphorus...

The other thing that people do for cats with chronic kidney disease is to give them subcutaneous fluids to help flush the system and add more fluids. That is supposed to slow the progression and also to make them feel better. I also read something about tracking their weight (daily), but I'm not sure what that's supposed to do...something about fluid retention and processing by the kidneys? I'm not sure.

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2 hours ago, kayc said:

Let George help you, he's a researcher and good at it.  At least you have some options for Lena, she can get treatment, and I'm glad you have pet insurance, I do not, nor do I have the money.  I do have a church praying for my dog

I did give George my info and also my progress and where I got stuck - finding info about phosphorus. He may well do better on that issue than I have. 

It is horrible to watch our beloved furry family members suffer and not be able to do anything about it. I have thought for at least a year, off and on, that something was not quite right with Lena. She has been a little crankier, most of the time, and sometimes she just seems to be tired and lethargic. Also, she started throwing up in a pattern that I realized was related to having an empty stomach early in the morning. I started feeding her earlier in the morning, and that was helpful but not totally effective. I felt like I was being told from all sides that all of this was normal for cats and I was probably just worrying excessively over nothing.

But looking back, I think she was actually showing symptoms - the intermittent lethargy, mood change, vomiting - all of that is classic for chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats. But nothing significant showed up on her bloodwork. Her SDMA, the early CKD marker was 12 two years ago and then 13 one year ago. 14 is the top of normal. This year it is 16. I suppose I could have had bloodwork done earlier - at six months rather than eleven months, but no one suggested this. Actually, no one ever suggested that I get bloodwork or pet insurance for Lena - I just came to this myself. I wish I could have known earlier, but I don't think that was actually possible. It is not generally diagnosed until there are other signs on the bloodwork like elevated creatinine, and that did not show up until just now.

I really thought I could help Lena dodge the bullet of CKD by giving her this fabulous wet food that is high in moisture and low in everything you don't want (fat, carbs, synthetic chemicals, sodium, fillers, etc.) Who knows? It is entirely possible that she would have gotten it sooner had I not switched to that food from the dry food five years ago.

I suppose it's natural to wonder if we could have done things differently. I remember once Lena's water ran out and was dry - maybe it was twice. I responded by getting her two bowls and bigger ones, so it would not happen again. I don't think that brought on kidney disease. I know in my head that I have been very careful in my care for her, sparing nothing that I could ever think of. The bad news in that is that there is not really much more that I can do. Well, I can give her subcutaneous fluids, and there may be more that is possible, but it is a progressive disease that affects an awful lot of kitties...

 

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3 hours ago, MartyT said:

And you and Arlie have us, Kay ~ and so do you and your Lena, Laura 

Thanks, Marty. That is nice that Kay's church is praying for Arlie. I wonder if my synagogue would do that - I kind of think not, but it may be that my friends there might.

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9 hours ago, Clematis said:

,,,The other thing that people do for cats with chronic kidney disease is to give them subcutaneous fluids to help flush the system and add more fluids. That is supposed to slow the progression and also to make them feel better. I also read something about tracking their weight (daily), but I'm not sure what that's supposed to do...something about fluid retention and processing by the kidneys? I'm not sure.

The reason is a sudden weight gain lets you know there is more fluid retention.  My father had CHF (Congestive Heart failure) for a few years and he would weight daily to see if there was fluid retention more than normal. - Shalom

 

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I feel so so sad about Lena. I went to synagogue tonight and sat there crying during the service. In six weeks I will have had her for seven years. I thought we would have twice that again, and now it looks like the bulk of our time together may be over. I love this cat so so much. Who knows how much time we have left? I only had one very short conversation with the vet since she called me while I was at the register at the grocery store, trying to help the cashier sort out the groceries for my elderly neighbor and myself. I have talked to her husband (who is her assistant) twice. He said that they were talking about Lena and plan to come see her this week when they are in Sedona to give her fluids. Then sometime soon he will show me how to give her subcutaneous fluids. I bought an IV pole on Amazon...

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I can't imagine getting a cat's cooperation, maybe it's just Kitty who is totally uncooperative.  I do get her pills down her but she thinks that's what she has to do to get her food and I haven't told her any different.  I wish you well with it and hope it buys you more time and especially comfort for Lena.

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I have been doing my homework, obsessively and perseveratively as is my specialty, researching kidney disease in cats, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and so on. The vet is stuck on Royal Canin renal diet. When I read the ingredients, I thought no way ever, because it is highly processed and its primary ingredient after water is pork liver. Pork Liver! This is a cat who sleeps next to a stack of yarmulkes. I have gone to great lengths to buy her the most natural and whole-food products I can find, just like I do for myself.

I just can't believe she has chronic kidney disease at the age of 8-1/2 after eating a diet selected to prevent that for the last five years. It doesn't seem possible, and maybe it's not. I found out that there are some other things that could have resulted in her lab results. I also discovered that a complete assessment includes a urinalysis at the same time, blood pressure, and an ultrasound to actually look at the kidneys and other organs. You have to rule out infection, kidney stones, kidney obstructions, and some other things. Also, if dehydration is a possible factor, the cat's hydration needs to be stabilized and the labs repeated in about two weeks. This vet only did one blood test and called it a diagnosis.

I had a friend many years ago who told me that when she went to medical school, one of the first things they were taught was that you can't treat a number. If you see an abnormal number on a lab result or other finding, you do a thorough assessment to arrive at a diagnosis, and only then can you consider treatment options. I had a doctor years ago that I saw in Sedona and I didn't think that much of him, but it's a small town. When my dad moved out here, he went to my doctor, who was getting ready to start treatment of something about which he had a number but no further assessment upon which to base a real diagnosis, and my dad was going to do it. I said no, not my dad. I found another doctor, who did a thorough assessment and Dr. #1 was just wrong. He was going to treat my dad for a condition that he did not have. It's unfortunate, but you have to do your homework, for yourself and your loved ones. And I surely do love my cat!

After a few days of trying, I finally got hold of my retired vet friend Paula. She worked for somewhere near 40 years before she had to retire because you can't be a Vet and take blood thinners. She had a sterling reputation, and was highly respected. Anyway, she asked me for the history, lab numbers, etc. and she told me that I was right in what I had come up with. She said that these results were indicative of a concern in the kidney area, but there wasn't even close to enough information to reach a definitive diagnosis, and certainly not such a serious one that requires such significant life changes. Not time to panic yet, she said, and that time may not even come. This is good.

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I am glad to hear this Laura.

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Lena has an appointment for tomorrow for with the vet that my friend Paula recommended. She is the vet who bought Paula's practice when she retired. This is good. Paula did say that Lena's bloodwork was suspicious and it is possible that she may have kidney disease, but if she does at least I will have a diagnosis in which I can have confidence of accuracy. Of course I am hoping that the ckd diagnosis was incorrect. I'll keep you posted when I get any news.

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I was very impressed with Lena's new vet, and Lena seemed to like her as well. She said that it really is essential to have a urinalysis as well as a blood test to make this diagnosis. She also told me that even if Lena does have kidney disease, she is likely to have a long life with good care. She also told me that there are a lot of options to slow the progression. I will know the results of the new lab work tomorrow, and am hoping and praying for the best...

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On 7/24/2019 at 9:13 PM, MartyT said:

Such good news, Laura. We don't want anything to happen to your precious Lena!

Thank you! Lena's new vet said that she is in the very very early stages of kidney disease, but the reason she was feeling sick, lethargic, cranky and not hungry was that she had a UTI. She prescribed an antibiotic and a Chinese herbal remedy called Rehmannia Eight Combination, that is supposed to help her with hydration and delay the progression of the kidney disease. She also told me that Lena does not have to change her foods at this time and is nowhere near needing subcutaneous fluids. Better yet, she told me that there is every reason to believe Lena will have a long life and she will be happy and healthy for many years.

Her old vet, the roaming vet, never called me back, but her husband/assistant did. I told him about the UTI and what the new vet said, explaining that she was able to make this diagnosis with the additional information from the UA and ultrasound. He said that they were going with the strong recommendation they had given me of aggressive treatment - subcutaneous fluids and changing her food to that nasty low protein stuff made mostly from pork liver - because they were figuring her clinical symptoms - feeling sick - were due to a very rapidly progressing kidney disease, and that is why they had told me she would not be likely to live very long. Had I stuck with them, they might have been right, because she would have been struggling along with an untreated UTI. I find that disturbing, but am not obsessing over it. 

I am very much relieved that Lena once more has a vet I feel very good about. Lena's first vet, Dr. Brown, who had twins a couple of years ago, leading me to search for a new vet and I ended up with the roaming vet. So now Lena could see new vet or her first vet. Only problem is that their office is in Flagstaff and that is an hour's drive away, but I can do that. It is a much better alternative than having her seen by someone in whom I have no confidence or trust. And Lena has been on the antibiotic for three days now and is feeling much better. It is a big relief. I was so worried seeing her mope around. I love her SO much!

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