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RE: [FH] Living on the edge with HCM

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  • Judi Levens
    I think you can hope that she will normalize and you won t have to be monitoring her constantly. Something I learned to do was just stay with my cat Max and
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 21, 2012
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      I think you can hope that she will "normalize" and you won't have to be monitoring her constantly. Something I learned to do was just stay with my cat Max and read...that way we were together and I was preoccupied so that I wouldn't start getting hysterical. You will find very quickly that if you are all stressed out they will be stressed out too, and that is not good for the heart. I ussed to practice breathing very slowly around him and try to send him the mental image to relax and take deep slow breaths. I felt that he was calmer when I learned to "work with" my own stress around him, and I know it helped him that I spent more time around him...especially at first after he'd been in the hospital with CHF...that was very frightening for him (especially as we weren't with him...we were travelling when it happened.) You will learn that this disease is not usually a sudden killer, although it can be...you will learn to live with the fact that you could lose your girl at any time, so you need to spend your time with her just loving her and having quality time. My cat lived 3.5 years and they were wonderful ones...I wish you good luck with your Sophie.Judi and Angel Max




      To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
      From: hoofbeats95@...
      Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 13:07:00 +0000
      Subject: [FH] Living on the edge with HCM


























      So I'm a newbie and I posted about my Sophie girl being diagnosed with HCM about a month ago. Last Friday we had a 3 week follow up and all was well. I was super excited. However I'm finding living with HCM to be crazy stressful. I'm constantly monitoring her. Is she laying normally? Is she laying in her happy places? Is she eating? Is her routine normal? Is her respiration rate normal? I've been feeling like I'm waiting for a shoe to drop. And it did yesterday. I walked in the door and immediately knew her respiration rate was too high. I counted it several times as I'm still learning how to count and not watch my clock too much but also watch it so I stop at 15 secs. :) It was 11-13 in those 15 secs. Called the vet and we were on our way. Unfortunately the cardiologist is an hour away with no traffic and it was now rush hour. When we got there her rate was 80/min. Long story short she will probably come home to day with an increased dose of lasix. But is living with HCM always like this? I took a deep breath last week when she did so well at her follow up. I hate this feeling that I always have to monitor her. That at any moment I could be flying to the vet. Not to mention that I have no idea how we will ever be able to go out of town again! My stress is high - my shoulder are up by my ears. lol I can't seem to relax. Will this ever balance out? I worry that I made the wrong decision when she had her heart failure attack (she was undiagnosed till she had this first episode a month ago). The vet said if she recovered and responded to meds she'd have 6 months - 2 years. I was hoping for the higher end but I'm seriously concerned this is a setback. So tell me what can I expect living like this? :(


















      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mary McKee
      When our animal babies are sick or off, I try almost anything to keep them relaxed and de-stressed. One tool in my arsenal is regular use of the Pet Sitter
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 21, 2012
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        When our animal babies are sick or off, I try almost anything to keep them relaxed and de-stressed. One tool in my arsenal is regular use of the "Pet Sitter Videos" to keep my cats entertained, relaxed, and happy while sick or when I am gone. I am not in any way associated financially with these products but I am a super fan of these DVDs. They currently have 3 videos out just for cats and the photography is visually stunning (especially in Cat Sitter Volume II - 70 Exotic Birds). These DVD's are set up to run on a continuous loop and they alternate video scenes of live birds, butterflies, etc. to background bird/cricket sounds. The background sound can be changed to music if you prefer but I love the natural sounds behind the tapes. Honestly, it sounds like you're sitting outside below the trees and my cats absolutely love them! My cat, Hamlet, watches these videos all of the time and never seems to get sick of them. He comes running into the room at the first sound of the musical video start up. They snooze better in the room and are WAY more relaxed when they're recovering from an illness. I have two of the volumes and have recently ordered Volume III as I use these all of the time. I have even provided these videos to friends who have birds as the bird volume can be great company for a lonely bird.

        Here is a YouTube link to a short snippet of Volume II - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2g3ynAvDiY. Volume II snippets are here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJa7iQ9hmgE. You can google "Pet Sitter Videos" to get to the site where they can be ordered. The humane societies in our area often use these for their adoptable animals to keep them relaxed and entertained. I even find them relaxing while sitting in the room reading, etc.
      • Laurie Stead
        I am so sorry to hear Sophie had to go back to the ER.  What lasix dose was she taking and what is the new dose?  Sounds like increasing the lasix may be
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 21, 2012
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          I am so sorry to hear Sophie had to go back to the ER.  What lasix dose was she taking and what is the new dose?  Sounds like increasing the lasix may be enough to help her.  Once that is under control, you will in time become less obsessive, for lack of a better word. 

          I was the same exact way with Boo when first diagnosed. I watched her like a hawk and when I was forced to go to work, I thought of her the whole time so afraid I would return that evening to my baby girl in distress or worse.  I completely understand how you feel right now.  It takes time, time seeing that your baby girl is okay and the meds are doing what they need to.  Over time you will begin to relax, and believe it or not there will be a day you will catch yourself "oh wow I never took her resp rate yesterday".  You will begin to know her breathing without even counting. 

          Don't beat yourself up or second-guess your decision.  All you can do now is give Sophie the increased dose of lasix and the rest is up to her body.  As you relax, so will she.  Sounds silly but keeping her stress level low truly depends on yours.  My Boo has a great quality of life, and she was given "3mos at best" by the docs - that was Nov 2011!!  I was lucky in that her body responded very well to the meds but we still had to fine-tune them, even adding some new ones as we went along.

          How is Sophie now? Was she able to come home?  Is she on other meds besides lasix?

          Praying for your girl, and for you.

          Laurie and Boo



          --- On Fri, 9/21/12, hoofbeats95 <hoofbeats95@...> wrote:

          From: hoofbeats95 <hoofbeats95@...>
          Subject: [FH] Living on the edge with HCM
          To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, September 21, 2012, 9:07 AM
















           









          So I'm a newbie and I posted about my Sophie girl being diagnosed with HCM about a month ago. Last Friday we had a 3 week follow up and all was well. I was super excited. However I'm finding living with HCM to be crazy stressful. I'm constantly monitoring her. Is she laying normally? Is she laying in her happy places? Is she eating? Is her routine normal? Is her respiration rate normal? I've been feeling like I'm waiting for a shoe to drop. And it did yesterday. I walked in the door and immediately knew her respiration rate was too high. I counted it several times as I'm still learning how to count and not watch my clock too much but also watch it so I stop at 15 secs. :) It was 11-13 in those 15 secs. Called the vet and we were on our way. Unfortunately the cardiologist is an hour away with no traffic and it was now rush hour. When we got there her rate was 80/min. Long story short she will probably come home to day with an
          increased dose of lasix. But is living with HCM always like this? I took a deep breath last week when she did so well at her follow up. I hate this feeling that I always have to monitor her. That at any moment I could be flying to the vet. Not to mention that I have no idea how we will ever be able to go out of town again! My stress is high - my shoulder are up by my ears. lol I can't seem to relax. Will this ever balance out? I worry that I made the wrong decision when she had her heart failure attack (she was undiagnosed till she had this first episode a month ago). The vet said if she recovered and responded to meds she'd have 6 months - 2 years. I was hoping for the higher end but I'm seriously concerned this is a setback. So tell me what can I expect living like this? :(



























          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • breathes4tabs
          Hi there. I can certainly relate and I know we all can with what you are going through. My Tabitha was in congestive heart failure on 7/30/12 with a diagnosis
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 21, 2012
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            Hi there. I can certainly relate and I know we all can with what you are going through. My Tabitha was in congestive heart failure on 7/30/12 with a diagnosis of HCM (restrictive/unclassified). For us it took almost 5 weeks of tweaking her lasix medication week after week. And during the weeks we (well really Tabitha's cardiologist) her lasix was been tweaked there were at least 2 ER visits in between the 5 weeks.

            I obsessed like a mad woman. I took a daily logged of her respitory rate, 15 seconds, up to a minute. On weekends I wouldnt really even leave the house sometimes. Watching her, like a haulk. I learned when she would peak at her highest respitory rate and when she was effectively back in heart failure and off to the ER. The ER routine was always the same: oxygen cage, lasix every hour. I always got Tabitha the next day or sometimes within 12 hrs. We would come home with a higher dosage of lasix, and the cycle of monitoring would start again. Will we get it right this time? Will Tabitha's body respond THIS time? There were times where it was overwhelming, but Tabitha is a kindred spirit and little fighter. So I fight it through as well, together. Week after week increase in lasix (although her cardio continued to keep her on 2x a day every 12hrs). Week 5 and the 2nd ER visit and at my insistance we went from 2x a day to every 8 hrs of lasix (3x a day). Finally. Breakthrough! But here is my personal story that changed everything for Tabitha and I and I shed the madness and obsessing over her breaths.

            During this whole time while we were trying to find her the right amount of lasix, I went through anticipatory grief, the thought of losing my sweet 4 yr old Tabitha. But as the weeks passed by when I came to terms that I may have to do what was best for Tabitha and I found that courage inside of me, something inside of me let go and Tabitha began to respond. She got better. I stopped charting (yes charting her breaths based on the log I was keeping of her respitory rate) and thankfully we got her to the right lasix amount. Tabitha also takes 0.025ml of spironolactone another form of diruetic in addition to 3x a day lasix. Because of CFH she is also on Vetmedin (pimobenden).

            Its been 2 weeks since Tabitha's cardio told us see you in 1-2 months! and it gets better everyday.

            Once your Sophie is stabalized you'll see. Just like what others have been saying in your post, soon things will normalize and your stress will subside.

            Dont worry about vacation and travelling, cross that bridge when you get there. I recently posted here looking for a pet sitter and Tabitha's primary vet has a vet tech that will pet sit for Tabitha, give her medications on time as directed and needed and will monitor and care for her all while Tabitha stays at home stress free. Grateful for that for when I take a quick vacation. you will find a trusting petsitter as well.

            it's a roller coaster ride at first but hang in there. you made the right decision. you are a lot stronger than what you think.

            postive thoughts & prayers to you and Sophie.

            Yvette and Tabitha in Texas.








            --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, "hoofbeats95" <hoofbeats95@...> wrote:
            >
            > So I'm a newbie and I posted about my Sophie girl being diagnosed with HCM about a month ago. Last Friday we had a 3 week follow up and all was well. I was super excited. However I'm finding living with HCM to be crazy stressful. I'm constantly monitoring her. Is she laying normally? Is she laying in her happy places? Is she eating? Is her routine normal? Is her respiration rate normal? I've been feeling like I'm waiting for a shoe to drop. And it did yesterday. I walked in the door and immediately knew her respiration rate was too high. I counted it several times as I'm still learning how to count and not watch my clock too much but also watch it so I stop at 15 secs. :) It was 11-13 in those 15 secs. Called the vet and we were on our way. Unfortunately the cardiologist is an hour away with no traffic and it was now rush hour. When we got there her rate was 80/min. Long story short she will probably come home to day with an increased dose of lasix. But is living with HCM always like this? I took a deep breath last week when she did so well at her follow up. I hate this feeling that I always have to monitor her. That at any moment I could be flying to the vet. Not to mention that I have no idea how we will ever be able to go out of town again! My stress is high - my shoulder are up by my ears. lol I can't seem to relax. Will this ever balance out? I worry that I made the wrong decision when she had her heart failure attack (she was undiagnosed till she had this first episode a month ago). The vet said if she recovered and responded to meds she'd have 6 months - 2 years. I was hoping for the higher end but I'm seriously concerned this is a setback. So tell me what can I expect living like this? :(
            >
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