Friday, June 10, 2005

Cat - Tastrophe, Redux

Ok, I'm beat. And the kids now know what a cat's skeleton looks like on film. Today (Thursday) I just couldn't stand it any longer and wasn't sure he could either, and so we took him to the vet. She confirmed our original impressions: he's a perfectly healthy older cat who has suffered an injury, and he's just going to have to hang out and mellow out until he gets better. The good news is that nothing's broken, he has the perfect amount of bone density for his age, he hasn't blown out a knee or ruptured any of the main ligaments that would require surgery. BUT he has done something to one of the ligaments on either the medial or lateral (inside or outside) of his left hind leg. He had to be put under general anesthetic for his X-rays, and have this little gas mask on to keep him under after the first shot wore off. Did you know that when they're drugged, cats' eyes don't close? They just stay open, staring off into space, but no one's home. When they discontinued the gas, he was woozy and just lay there with his eyes wide open and his tongue sticking out. One of the tests the vets do to see how the cat is doing is a quick pull on the tongue to see whether it's pink and whether he can pull it back inside his mouth. It's wierd--imagine what happens when you pull and release a measuring tape. He didn't focus immediately, but you could see the moment when he "came back" and the intelligence was awake behind those dilated eyes. My poor kitty. I'm very proud of him; he took it all so well. I'm positive that he knew we'd taken him there to try to help him.

He's much better tonight. He's supposed to take it easy for a few weeks to heal, and he has some anti-inflammatory medication to take in the evening to help get him through the next few days. But he's doing all his ADL's (that's Activities of Daily Living, for those who didn't have to suffer through nursing school) and he's getting around so much better that we're actually starting to hope that the ligaments may be merely pulled and not torn. I'm just glad to see him comfortable and reasonably happy again. When this cat's in pain, everybody knows it.

After about 24 straight hours without sleep, I collapsed in the afternoon after the Huz got home and slept until 10:00 pm. Then about midnight I went down to the couch to visit the cat and ended up falling asleep there for a while. Now I'm going to work for maybe an hour or so and then sleep again, so I can go and meet Bob at the airport tomorrow and go to the kick-off events for the conference in the evening. I have not finished the revisions, nor will I have them completely done before the weekend. But I should have them done by mid next week, and that's the best I can do. I've discovered that on zero to five hours of sleep, I can't write worth ****.

I just read something that said sleep deprivation can produce the same level of impairment as being legally over the limit for blood alcohol level. A sobering thought, that. And so was the fact that after all those hours of sleep, it took me about ten minutes to fix a problem in the manuscript that had stumped me for the past four days.

I never said I didn't occasionally need a good whack with a clue-by-four.

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