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Re: [feline-heart] Phoebe Going for Echo

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  • Laura Penny
    Melinda, I read somewhere that the grade of the murmur doesn t necessarily correspond to the severity of the disease, so hopefully Phoebe will have a good
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 4, 2001
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      Melinda,

      I read somewhere that the grade of the murmur doesn't necessarily correspond
      to the severity of the disease, so hopefully Phoebe will have a good echo.

      I do relate to caregiver's fatigue. What bothers me the most is that, like
      you, I have two older cats--so I'll have to go through this twice. And
      though I've lost many pets, including two to whom I've been a mom, I've
      never had a pet this long.

      We also schedule our lives around our cats. My kids want to go to Disney
      World, to England (hi, Helen!), to travel the U.S. We sneak in a few beach
      trips, but I don't even know how we'll do that this year. Last year we were
      gone for 4 days, and shortly after that we found out Lucky had diabetes
      again and Kassy had lost a pound because her hyperT was acting up. Clearly
      they can't handle the stress of us being gone (we even had a vet tech come
      in every day!).

      You're wonderful for looking ahead to another cat. I don't know if I can
      handle that. I'm thinking a nice, calm dog would be a good companion to my
      wild greyhound.

      But for now, like you, I'm taking it one day at a time and enjoying the cats
      until we meet again in the great beyond.

      Purrs to Phoebe and Pongo.

      Laura, Lucky, & Kassy

      -----Original Message-----
      From: brunobaby <brunobaby@...>
      To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Sunday, February 04, 2001 4:45 PM
      Subject: [feline-heart] Phoebe Going for Echo


      >Greetings, worried catparents. <G>
      >
      >We had Pongo's hyper-t twin, Phoebe, in for her checkup and T-4 this
      >morning. She had a 2/6 murmur last September. Now it's up to a 4/6, even
      >though we'd increased her dosage of Tapezole. So she's going in for an echo
      >on Thursday morning.
      >
      >We're concerned, but not alarmed. Phoebe's always been a much sturdier cat
      >than Pongo. Heart disease secondary to thyroid disease is supposedly easier
      >to control than the idiopathic kind, which is what Pongo has. My neighbor's
      >cat had been diagnosed with heart disease secondary to hyperthyroid at the
      >age of 17, and the cat lived to be over 20 years old. And he was pretty
      >active until a couple of months before the end.
      >
      >At this point, it's just another headache on top of a migraine.
      >
      >The vet who examined Phoebe today was the senior partner, not the guy who
      >dealt with Pongo last week. I told him, "So, did you hear all about Pongo?"
      >
      >"Yeah, Kevin showed me the before and after on the EKG. That was really
      >something. It looks like the Atenolol wasn't his drug."
      >
      >We asked if he thought that switching him from Inderal to Atenolol had
      >caused the attack, or had failed to prevent one, or if the dosage had been
      >insufficient. We reminded him that the cardiologist hadn't been sure back
      >in December what was causing the arrhythmia, since there hadn't been much
      >of a progression of the HCM and Pongo's heart had been deemed
      >"well-working." And I can see this thought balloon over my husband's head
      >that says, "Sue the cardiologist."
      >
      >The vet drew a little diagram for us. There are two nerve bundles that lead
      >into the heart chambers and regulate the heartbeat. What may have happened
      >in Pongo's case is that the HCM is causing a lesion around the nerve
      >bundles, and the meds help to regulate and control the messages to the
      >nerves.
      >
      >Also, that it was hard to tell exactly what had caused it, or when and if
      >he'd have another one, since most cats who have an attack the size of the
      >one Pongo had don't survive it.
      >
      >"What does the cardiologist think about this?"
      >
      >"He hasn't been told."
      >
      >"Hasn't been told!"
      >
      >"He's a hard guy to get ahold of."
      >
      >"Well, I should think he'd want to hear about *this*!"
      >
      >I think he'll tell him, now. I'm truly floored, though, because we've been
      >bringing our cats to this vet all their lives and they've almost always
      >been on the ball. Any vet who's worked with them who *hasn't* been on the
      >ball doesn't last there very long, and thankfully, none of the rejects have
      >caused our cats any permanent damage.
      >
      >Jill, I know what you mean about the Caregiver's Fatigue. In fact, when we
      >thought Pongo was dying, one thought that was running through my head was,
      >"At least I don't have to worry about him anymore." It's the same way I
      >felt when my mother-in-law died, even though we were friends and I miss her
      >very much. She'd been sick for a long time, and all of our energy had been
      >spent looking for the best care for her. For weeks after she died, I'd
      >reflexively think, "I'll have to check this out for Jim's mother," and then
      >I'd remember that I didn't have to, that nature had written 60 to any deal
      >we could struggle to come up with.
      >
      >As for what I'll do with myself when he's gone, grieving and missing him
      >would be high on my list. But the terrible anxiety would be gone, too, and
      >the constant focusing of our plans around his medication and his condition.
      >And last Friday, I knew that we'd done everything we could, that it was up
      >to a higher authority and whatever strength Pongo could still muster. I
      >actually felt calmer that night than I have this week, when I've been
      >dealing with the terrible uncertainty of what was going to happen with him
      >next.
      >
      >I can calm myself now with the thought that he's been a strong cat despite
      >all his problems, that we're doing the best we can for him. He's scheduled
      >for a follow-up next Saturday, barring any emergencies. He's been spending
      >most of his time sleeping, which can be attributed to a) he's had a massive
      >assault to his system, b) Inderal sometimes causes fatigue, c) he's a cat.
      >
      >I also calm myself with the thought that when he does go, we'll make room
      >in our hearts and home for a young, healthy cat and hopefully have all
      >those years of pleasure all over again. That is, if Phoebe approves. <G>
      >
      >--Melinda
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
      >
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