I would like this to be an on-going blog.
Anyone, raise your hand if you experience severe anxiety/depression while taking care of your old or sick pet. I’m hoping to provide some coping mechanisms here while I am still trying to discover them.
The first cat and pet I ever owned I put to sleep. I made all of this cat’s health decisions under extreme anxiety. No one ever makes good decisions while experiencing anxiety, and all decisions ever made while experiencing anxiety only lead to more anxiety. You get the picture.
I’ve been trying out a meditation, ‘All good decisions come from health and strength’. I know it’s kind of Tony Robbins but it works.
Keep exercising and socializing. Socializing is a key for distraction. Think of anxiety like hiccups, distract until it goes away.
Xanax is better than nothing, but I’ve discovered that a good Indica with a lot of THC provides healthier relief. And Carlson’s liquid fish oil.
Professional help is extremely important too, if you can afford it.
This is all that I have to share for now, May 23rd 2017.
May 24th 2017 – Any decision that has to be made about my sick cat brings on a lot of stress. Especially the anxiety in waiting for that day of a test and thinking about how I’m going to have to stuff her in her box, etc.
An exercise that I’ve been practicing is to allow myself to have these feelings. Give myself permission to feel these feelings. I think it’s the fighting back that can bring on an anxiety attack. So I just allow myself to have these feelings and try to cry.
May 26th 2017 – I’m trying to accept any outcome that will be in the future. The pain of seeing a sick pet is unbearable, I’m not sure how long that I can live in this state… The big Ultrasound is 6 days away.
June 3rd 2017 – It’s been about a week, since my last post. We still have our kitty. She is not well. She spent the day last Thursday being tested at the vet. It was an excruciating day. After the tests results, I was talked out of putting her down. She is still eating but very uncomfortable. This week we are talking to a surgeon to see if there is anything we can do.
I think in some ways, having a pet at the end of life is worse than a sick human family member. With a human, you are obligated to do everything to keep them alive as long as possible, and they have the choice of the care they are getting. With a pet, you have to weigh what is humane and what is excessive. If anything causes anxiety, this will.
But as I said earlier, I feel that I had euthanized my first cat too early because I was suffering from anxiety and hence allowing anxiety make my decision, instead of a cool, healthy, strong mind. And of course what happened later, my second guessing that decision sent me into a near nervous breakdown. It seems, this time I’ve allowed myself to live through the thought process, live through the pain, I think, that I’ve reached into the beginning of the acceptance stage and I feel a much cooler head. We have a way to go.
Some comfort treatments: Remember to keep exercising, if the weather permits, go out and walk or run. Get some sun on your face and eyes; Keep socializing, it’s the only way to get your mind off of things for a few hours; Plus, I made some cannabutter, a sativa with a lot of CBD in coconut oil. Figure out how much to eat so that it is barely noticeable, this way you can go about your day. It is very calming…
June 18th 2017 – Well, our cat is still around with a bladder tumor. We took her to a specialist thinking that there was a small chance of an operation, of course that was impossible. They convinced us to give her chemo. We are not going to schlep her for chemo treatments. She is on Piroxicam (an anti-inflammatory) that has at least diminished a bit some of her symptoms for now. I have no idea what her life expectancy is with the treatment we chose for her. I’ll stay in touch.
It’s amazing how the most absurd changes in life can always somehow normalize over time…
July 14th 2017 – Chiyo is still around, peeing everywhere but it’s just micro-pee, it doesn’t seem to smell. She has lost a lot of weight and eating very little.
Even though it’s sad and painful watching a loved pet ‘degrade’ (for lack of a better word), I don’t regret keeping her around. It’s become a job. I feel like a nursing home worker, cleaning up and trying to get my grandma to eat.
The only advice at this point that I can give is that as the saying goes, ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’, most things in life don’t ‘kill’ you per se, I think it’s kind of an endurance game, like hands on a hard body. You get pushed through the worm-hole and shoved through the other side. I guess my new expression is, ‘life is like hands-on-a-hard body’.
I had about 4 cats in my life. Two, I’ve put to sleep, one died unexpectedly and now I have one, she’s 17.