My new doctor has already proven himself to be way, way better than my last doctor. He’s really diving into my records and gathering insight to confirm my suspicion of hEDS. Meanwhile he’s put me on muscle relaxants “as needed” and I was taking them a couple hours before bed for a few days and started to feel a lot better. But I haven’t been taking them for the past few days, and I’m feeling worse. Go figure. So, muscle tension is definitely a factor, which I think goes along with hEDS? Like, reducing my muscle tension gives my shitty connective tissue a better chance to actually heal.
I also finally got an appointment with a new dentist. It’s towards the end of September (I really should have gotten on this sooner, as I’m due for a cleaning in, like, a week) but I’m really optimistic about the new dentist; her intake form is incredibly inclusive regarding gender stuff (with an open-ended selection for pronouns, and gender checkboxes that include non-binary!) and neurodivergent things (questions about a whole bunch of dentist-specific anxiety triggers to avoid, whether a blanket or weighted vest helps, whether it’s okay to be lectured about dental health, etc.). Also, she’s a PoC. I’ve never had a dentist who wasn’t a white dude before, and maybe that explains why it’s always felt like dentists don’t care about privilege or diversity or, y'know, taking care to make people feel comfortable.
Little dude is definitely slipping away more and more each day. By the rubric he’s probably past the point where I should consider euthanasia, but he doesn’t seem to be in pain and he’s enjoying pets/skritches/sitting with me/eating (especially stealing my food) so for now I’m going to just let it ride.
If he starts expressing pain I’ll have to make a tough choice, but for now he’s basically just getting progressively drunker and sleepier all the time (except when food’s involved). I really hope he just drifts off one time and never wakes up (although every time I check up on him he ends up waking up and gets excited about the prospect of food).
He’s having trouble staying steady while standing or walking, and Fiona’s started to interpret this as him being a lost kitten. She tries to pick him up by the scruff, even though he’s nearly as big as her, and he has none of it. So Fiona gets pretty confused by this.
I adopted Werner in a period when I’d lost a lot of people dear to me (my grandpa in 2010, my grandma in early 2011, and my partner of two years, Chris, in late 2011), and Werner was part of my healing process for that. These past ten years have been so much better with him around, and the way he’s going right now reminds me a lot of how my grandpa was, towards the end. When he started to decline I kept in close touch with him and talked to him on the phone nearly every day. Then he hit a sudden rough patch and I flew out to Chicago the next day to be with him and to say goodbye. During the course of that week there were many ups and downs, and towards the end he’d hit a sudden big downturn. I said my goodbyes and kept in touch but every time we talked after that got more and more painful. Eventually I stopped calling him because the person I loved so much wasn’t there anymore, and a few months later he passed away.
When I adopted Werner in December, 2011, a lot of his mannerisms actually reminded me of Chris. The way he’d snuggle up to me, especially. It was very much a coincidence but I can definitely see someone else deciding that their departed loved one had come to them in a different form. Maybe part of me wanted to believe this. I was still a complete emotional wreck from everything about Chris' death, including a deep, immense guilt I felt, as well as anger at him, and so many… complicated things. 10 years later I feel like I’m in a much better place, but I still have occasional twinges of grief.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that no matter how much I love him, Werner is, ultimately, just a cat. He’s been a proxy for a lot of deep, complicated feelings about a few humans I love and miss dearly. When I’m sad about Werner, I’m also sad about a bunch of other stuff, and sad about an idea, and there’s just a lot to process.
I know I’ll be fine, but I’m not quite sure when. And that’s okay.