|Purred: Sat Aug 8, '09 6:06pm PST |
|Wednesday I took Loki and Oliver into the hospital for a routine dental cleaning. Oliver woke up and recovered normally. Loki...did not.
First, he took forever to wake up. Oliver was awake and alert within minutes. Loki took 30 minutes to swallow so we could take the tube out of his throat. When we took the tube out and laid him in the kennel, he was resting quietly for about 30 minutes, and then, out of nowhere, he began frantically climbing the kennel door and then falling drunkenly back down. He was thrashing so much in the kennel that the nurses thought he would hurt himself, so they brought him up to me at the front desk. I held him for almost 7 hours.
He went back and forth between frantically thrashing and stiffening every muscle in his body, to laying completely still with his little heart racing. He looked completely out of it, and when he cried it was like he was hallucinating and having a really really BAD trip. He peed on me twice and on one of the nurses once. These fits happened about every 30 minutes for about 5 hours.
At about 7pm, he was alert but still not coherent. Still, the doctor was not concerned and told me to just watch him that night and that he just had a reaction to the pre-meds we used before the surgery. I took him home and put him in my room while I hung out. He was meowing constantly (and Loki NEVER meows), alternately stumbling around and freezing in place. I called the doctor because he was freaking me out, and she said to bring him back in the morning if he wasn't any better. I put him in the bathroom with some towels and a litter box and woke up about every hour to check on him throughout the night.
He wasn't any better in the morning. I called the doctor first thing and she met me at the hospital. She gave him fluids and did an exam. Everything, including his bloodwork, came back normal. Then, when she put him on the floor to see him walk (I told her he had no coordination and stumbled around all night), she realized it. She waved her hand in front of his face and we saw no reaction on his part. A normal cat blinks. Loki didn't.
When the doctor told me my little kitty was blind, I just about lost it. Then, she told me that the blindness was a result of several seizures he had the day before. The thrashing and jerking he was doing after he woke up from the anesthesia was seizure after seizure. Nobody knew they were seizures. Nobody had seen a cat seize like that before. I was holding him while he seized over and over and I didn't know. The doctor and nurse both saw him during those five hours, and neither one of them even considered seizures as an option. He just didn't look like a cat that was seizing.
Loki has brain damage. We don't know what caused the seizures...if it was lack of oxygen during the procedure, or toxoplasmosis (causes a predisposition to seizures in cats) or a bad reaction to the pre-meds. What we do know is that he is blind. The chances of him regaining his sight are good, with average recovery around two weeks. There is, of course, the chance that the blindness could be permanant. But I can't even let myself think about that right now.
There are other things. He cannot use the litterbox. He goes where he goes. Usually he doesn't realize he's gone and he just lays in it. I have to keep him in the bathroom so he is separate from the other cats and so he doesn't go all over my apartment. He cannot eat or drink on his own. I hand feed him and give him a combo of subcutaneous fluids and water orally. He sleeps for 23 hours a day, and when he isn't sleeping, he's wandering aimlessly, crying. The seizures didn't damage just the part of the brain that processes sight, but other parts too. His memory is gone.
It's heartbreaking. This is my baby.
The doctors seem confidant that he will recover and get his sight back. I'm actually less worried about the actual seeing part and more worried about his day to day processes like eating and drinking. And his personality. What if that never comes back?
I should always trust my gut. I felt really nervous about him going under anesthesia, and I just told myself that he would be fine. But Loki has always been sickly and weak. I should have known he would be too sensitive for anesthesia. I'm not saying it's my fault or the doctors' faults. There's no way anyone could have predicted this. But that doesn't change the fact that my 18 month old active, affectionate, sweet kitty is completely handicapped and completely dependent on me.
I'm going to do the absolute best I can to give him the absolute best shot at recovering. If I just focus on that, I won't think about him being this way for the rest of his life.
If anybody has similar experience with this type of thing or has any advice, please send me a comment or message. I'm scared to death.
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