So, I had a very bad experience with my doctor with this latest chronic pain flare (and the short-term disability leave situation), and with encouragement from my therapist I am switching to a different doctor. The doctor I’m switching to specializes in LGBT healthcare (and apparently 10% of his patients are trans) and also has a specific interest in treating chronic conditions, which is what I need.
I’ve also gone back to my self-determined physical therapy regimen. You know, the one that my GP and the pain doc and physical therapist she referred me to all think will cause more injury, even though it’s always helped me in the past. So far it feels like I’m actually making progress on recovery.
- Frequent powerball sessions
- Upper-body stretching and partial chin-ups using a chin-up bar
- Playing DDR (okay I haven’t resumed that yet but I’ll probably be starting that again soon, and I’ll be streaming it when I do)
So, Werner’s still plugging along, and I know I keep on saying this but I don’t think he has a lot of time left. On the plus side, he hasn’t been vomiting and his diarrhea is under control, but on the minus side his liver is very swollen and he’s having mobility problems. He’s still able to jump on the bed and couch and feed himself, though. I found this helpful rubric for deciding when to euthanize a cat and according to it he’s still got some time left:
- Hurt: 7 (he doesn’t seem to be in pain per se except when he walks, and his breathing is fine)
- Hunger: 10 (especially since I found a semi-dry food he likes, and he’s also very interested in eating whatever I’m eating, too)
- Hydration: 8 (he seems to drink plenty of water all the time, and is good at reminding me when his water bowl needs filling)
- Hygiene: 5 (Fiona has mostly taken care of him for the past 9 years, but lately he’s been refusing, and while he still pees in the litter box he’s now taken a strong preference to pooping behind my desk… at least he’s predictable now)
- Happiness: 5 (he’s lost interest in toys and catnip, but he’s enjoying petting and seems content to sleep most of the day)
- Mobility: 3 (he stumbles around a lot more, and is clearly having some difficulty walking, and I suspect a lot of that is just from the awkward weight of his holy-crap-it’s-gotten-huge liver)
- More good days than bad: 5 (I wouldn’t say he’s having bad days right now but he does seem pretty tuned out at this point)
- Total: 43
I’m going to keep evaluating him on this scale and maybe that’ll help me make peace with needing to put him down when the time comes.
Or maybe whatever’s going on in his liver (probably gallstones) will pass and he’ll miraculously recover.
I mean I could take him into surgery and get his gallbladder removed, but given his age and frailty I’d not expect him to survive the procedure, and even if he does survive, the recovery will be pretty rough.
He’s almost 20. He’s had a good life.
Song Fight! Live!ish
Song Fight! Live will be online again this year. In the interest of improving my own experience (and also sharing the fun!) I’ve recruited an actual backing band to help me out with the performance. More to come later.
I haven’t had much energy to work on my things, but I’m also in recovery. For once I’m actually feeling fine with not constantly trying to create. Maybe this time around I can give myself some proper healing?
My ceramic printer should be arriving in a couple weeks. That’ll be fun, I hope. I know my neighbor Deb (who owns the pottery studio) is curious about how the 3D printed clay will turn out.
I also met with a contractor today to get the backyard studio built. Instead of going full guest house I’m just going to go with a 192 square foot office/studio building, just because it’ll be easier to fit on the property, significantly cheaper to build, and actually serves my specific need. It can still double as a guest house, they’ll just have to come into the main building to use the bathroom and kitchen, and that’s fine.
I also showed the contractor around my house for some of the other projects I want to do and he’s definitely interested in doing them, and his attitude around it is great.
He did actively discourage me from post-and-beam foundation construction for the office and made a very good case for doing a proper excavation and concrete foundation, which will drive up the cost significantly (like, on the order of $15,000), but it also means the building will last a lot longer, and won’t need $30,000 worth of repairs after three years.
His time estimate is 5-8 weeks for the actual construction (much of which will be waiting for materials, due to the current supply chain nightmare that is Late-Late 2020), and he won’t be able to start for at least 3 weeks since he’s getting married and will be on his honeymoon. But that’s fine, it gives me time to get drawings done and so on.
Anyway mostly I’ve been watching YouTube all day and occasionally gardening. And speaking of the garden, it turns out I like zucchini, which is a good thing, because I have a heck of a lot of it!
I gave up on keeping Fiona indoors all the time, so now I let her outside during the day. She wears a collar with a bell, and soon will have a fancy tracking device, you know, just in case.
Unrelatedly, I’ve been writing a thread on Mastodon which people seem to be enjoying.
(Okay, one of the toots was about Werner, not Fiona.)
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