Monday, 21 June 2010

Thereby hangs a tail.

I knew today wasn't going to be great when it started at half past three. CPAP's great; it keeps Mog's airway open and gives us all a good night's sleep. CPAP's not so wonderful though when the CPAP wearer needs to shout for assistance; a full face mask muffles the sound somewhat and it takes longer to get through to yours truly. Oops.

Mask off, one hysterical Mog thrashing about in bed getting louder and louder, body twisting and arching and stiffening as I watch in awe and try to work out what to do. Medication, yes. And comfort, but getting one long and pretzeled child out of her bed without severing ankles or nose (these being the top and bottommost edges at this point. No, I don't know where her toes go either) and through her bedroom door isn't the easiest of tasks.

Into the sitting room and onto a chair. Some gentle humming and she settles, repretzelling herself whenever I shift a leg or even think about plonking her back in bed. So I log on, have a nice chat with a friend whose new baby is keeping her up also, and two hours later Mog is somewhat looser and ready to go back to bed, if not to sleep.

I debate the pros and cons of another hour's sleep vs an hour mindlessly surfing when my router gets huffy and kicks me offline anyway.

Grolly joins us during this time, and her tail, normally a proud flag waving over her shoulders is instead dragging behind her. She wants lots of fuss, but cries when I touch the base of her tail. I resolve to call the vet later in the morning.

Little Fish wakes full of woe; "I cryin' acos I love you and I not want to go to school. And I wanna go to school and not be here." Hmm. Toast and marmite seem to help.

Two girls go to school, and I call the vet. Then spend forty-five minutes hunting for Grolly, who has squeezed herself through a one inch gap in the kitchen door and turns out to be hiding in the middle of the rose bush.

We get to the vet, who pokes and prods and clips and discovers not just a general strain but a broken tail. We make an appointment for tomorrow, for him to amputate. He gives her a 24 hour pain relieving injection (side note: what is this injection, and can it be given to humans too? I like the idea of not having to give meds in the middle of the night), and tells me to keep her in until the morning. I shut her in the sunroom, where she crawls into the sewing cupboard and curls up quietly on my new skirt lengths.

And then I come home, and try to distract myself from the fact I've just agreed to have her tail cut off, and from the fact that she's sitting in a cupboard with a tail which is sore where it has feeling and numb where the damage has been done, by getting the computer to recognise the printer. We've had the Mac nearly a year now; it's time it consented to read the software and let me print more than one photo in the top corner of each piece of paper.

I download drivers. I restart the computer. I reinsert the disc, Mac rejects the disc. Repeat for the next two hours, before stomping off and resolving to sign up for the new mega-deal which will give me superfast broadband, telephone, television and 50 free photos printed each and every month for less than the cost of my present cuts-me-off-every-few-hours-just-because-it-can broadband service. I phone the number, get put on hold, with a very gentle soothing boingetty binglediddledeedee music and recording of a woman talking about all the very special amazing deals I can get, all in a very you-are-feeling-very-sleepy voice. And then a real live person starts talking to me at the other end of the phone, and I am so disconcerted by this that I cannot remember who I am calling, why, what my name is or what I was actually doing. So I apologise and hang up.

Phone for a new inco collection, manage to leave a message on that answerphone, then manage to find answerphones for speech therapy and something else I've already forgotten.

And meanwhile Grolly crouches in her cupboard, wondering why her tail doesn't respond to her wishes any more. And Gotcha sits outside the room, wondering why his playmate doesn't want to tumble with him.



Doorless said...

Wow! A broken tail! How did that happen? Glad it can be fixed. Now Growly will realy look like a fluff ball. Hope that they can get Mogs spasticity sorted out better for her.
Enjoy New Wine!

Alison S said...

Lurking vet here - the injection will have been either meloxicam or cartrophen, two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (same family as ibuprofen). One of the reasons they last 24 hours in cats is that cats metabolise that sort of thing much more slowly than people do - and different NSAIDs work differently in different species, so I suppose neither is as safe in people as in cats.
Unusual to have a broken tail without a road accident or other dramatic reason for it. Presumably it's completely paralysed, in which case did he ask you to make sure she can urinate OK? Did he Xray it to check it was broken, or is it so bad it's really obvious?

Tia said...

The tail is very very obviously broken - it's thick and swollen from the base of the tail to the break, and where it's broken there's a bit of blood and then two very clearly separated bits of bone. Not nice. It's totally numb below the break, and very sore above it.

As to what happened, we don't know - unlikely to have been a car or bike apparently as it's not crushed and hasn't been totally pulled off. So it's a straight "tail pull" injury and probably strained further up too.

She has some anal reflex (after a lot of prodding and poking), and her bladder was not distended or uncomfortable. She's not voided since this morning but then she's not really wanted anything to eat or drink either.

Currently curled up in a bookshelf; camping Gaz stove and a pile of books evidently being more comfortable than soft new fabric. She gets up to have a cuddle and a fuss and a stroke but then crawls back to her hole bypassing the food and water. Got to take the food away in a bit anyway, so I hope she'll wake up after the op with a bit more of an appetite.

Alison S said...

Poor her - I hope her bladder function is ok and that the op goes well : (

Tia said...

Me too.
I suspect cathing a cat not a terribly effective longterm solution if not.

Emma said...

Sorry to hear about the broken tail. I hope the aputation (ouch) heals quickly

On another note I do that 'Oh. Forgotten why I have called because I have been listening to sophoriphic music for 25 mins' thing. They must get that a lot

kitchu said...

sounds like you were victim to a difficult day and phone hypnosis!


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