Sunday, August 05, 2012

I Love My Bed

Its hard to believe that it hasn't even been a full three weeks since Belle woke up unable to use her right rear leg. It feels like its been so much longer. I'm sure part of that's due to the fact that I haven't had a good night's sleep since then.

Belle hasn't improved much since that day, but at least she's not getting any worse. The only positive sign we've seen is that she's had good circulation in that foot for the last week or so. There were several days early on when the foot was much cooler than the other, indicating a problem with the blood flow. That's better, but she still has no mobility at all below the knee and only limited mobility at the hip. She also has no feeling below the knee. There seems to be some above the knee, but its not consistent.

We went back to the vet two weeks ago for a follow-up and Dr. L was concerned about an arrhythmia that he heard. Last week, I took her in for an echo to check her heart. She does have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but not so much that we need to worry about treating it right now.

Unfortunately, the vet still has no idea what's caused the leg problem. It could be any number of things, but without very expensive tests or invasive procedures there's no way to tell. Dr. L has not been encouraging about her chances of improvement and its more likely than not that she'll get worse rather than better. She could have months, or she could have years. No way to know. Its basically all about quality of life now.

Belle has a permanent set-up in the spare room with food, water and litter box that she can access easily. She can't get on the loveseat so I have blankets and pillows scattered around the room to give her snoozing options. And since there was absolutely no way I could continue sleeping on a pallet on the floor (oh, my aching bones), I had to figure out a way for her to get on my bed. After poking around on the internet, I saw a ramp that was perfect - except for the $270 price tag. I'm a smart cookie, though, so I figured out how to make a decent version of the same thing. Its not perfect or beautiful, but it does the job and it cost a heck of a lot less than $270. I bought the materials and built it yesterday. Belle is already using it, thank goodness. Last night was the first night since this started that I slept in my own bed - I don't think I've ever felt anything so good.

Between the carpet and the shallow slope, Belle can cruise right up the ramp, even with the bad leg dragging behind.

Belle likes to sit on the platform and keep an eye on the other cats. Its also just the right height for her to look out the bedroom window. Guess its time to put the bird feeder in front of that window.

In other news (because I hadn't gotten around to posting about it yet), four days after I was rear-ended, I was side-swiped. Some idiot couldn't be bothered to sit in traffic like the rest of us, so he decided to drive up the center median of the highway. There was apparently enough of a gap between me and the truck in front of me that the idiot decided that was the best spot to get back on the road. In the process, though, he smacked right into me. And then he took off (traffic had started moving normally again). Thankfully, a trooper was right there and saw the whole thing. He caught the idiot a little farther up the road. The trooper told me the the idiot was being charged with hit-and-run, driving with an expired license, and a few other traffic violations. I got really lucky again - no significant damage to me or the truck. I'm hoping its been long enough that we're no longer in danger of being in a third collision. I can't help thinking that massive good luck in two collisions in such a short time means the third one would be really bad.


Anonymous said...

I think you are amazing and soooo smart !!!!! And I know you are glad to be back in your own bed !!!
I'm sure Ms. Belle is proud of her ramp and I bet she just about dares the other cats to use it !!!!!
Ya'll take care.
:)Love you, Mom

Molly The Wally said...

Great idea for the ramp. We hope Belle will get better our paws are crossed. Have a great Monday.
Best wishes Molly

Anonymous said...

The cat ramp is did a great job! Hope all improves. Mary B.

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