Monday, February 04, 2008

I Don't Even Know Where To Start

I'm tired... maybe that's a good place to start. And sad. And tired.

I left work early today to get Elliott back to the vet. It was decided that we'd do some x-rays before our doctor referred us to an internist, and the quicker, the better given his rapid weight loss. So we arrived at the vet around 4:15, and they did two x-rays (one from the top and one from the side). Immediately a strange shape popped out. As the vet said, "Well, we found something, but I have no idea what it is." Hmmm...

Here's a rather poor picture of the strangely shaped thing. From the top (not shown), it looks round. From the side (as seen here), it looks like half of a quarter with a jagged edge. Don't look at the see-thru circle in the image, look for the half-moon shaped white object below it. It was nearly impossible to tell where this strange thing was, because Elliott is so dehydrated and skinny. She thought maybe the gallbladder? The stomach? Or a tissue mass? Thinking the stomach, I guessed that maybe it was a piece of a toy, but the doctor said that plastic doesn't show up like this on an x-ray, and she said it's some calcified thing. Okay.

Next we decided to run some Barium tests. I've had it done before on me, but for those who don't know, they pretty much force-fed Elliott lots of liquid Barium. Barium shows up on x-rays, so the idea is to take multiple x-rays over a period of time to track the "digestion" or movement of the Barium. This test showed us that the strange thing moved, which might be proof that it is in his stomach, which was important. It was at least a temporary sigh of relief - seeing it on an x-ray and knowing where it was.

So by this time it's 8 PM or so (that's about 4 hours later by the way), and the vet referred me to an emergency clinic in Towson for an endoscopy. With any luck, the gadgets on the end of the endoscope can grab that thing and pull it out. So my vet calls Towson to set things up, but then sits down with me after the call with a new suggestion. Apparently the vet at the Towson clinic said that they couldn't fit an endoscopy in until Wednesday, and said that they'd take Elliott to surgery tonight instead. My vet (being the awesome lady that she is), turned down this doctor and called another emergency clinic instead, because she said she got a "bad vibe" from the Towson doctor. So far my vet has been fabulous, so I trust her completely. If she got a bad vibe, we wouldn't be going to Towson.

So we went to Annapolis. Yeah.

I got there about 8:30/8:45, watched a few dogs foam at the mouth, watched one family put their dog to sleep, and we waited. At this point Elliott has growled and hissed at everyone at our vet's office, and now is falling asleep in his crate. Seriously, how bad does it have to be for him to be falling asleep? He's still not home, dogs are sick and dying, and he can't keep his eyes open. He was so obviously at his limit.

So to make a long, long story as short as I can at this point, the vet came in, reviewed his x-rays and paperwork, confirmed the findings, and took Elliott for the night. He was growling and hissing so much that I offered to take him to his cage. He's not a bad cat at all... but five hours of being poked and prodded is a lot for a sickly little kitty cat.

It's 10:30 pm now, and I'm home with Antonio. I've had a few good cries, and I am hoping and praying that this endoscopy works. If they can't remove it with the endoscope, they'll go straight to surgery right then and there. Money isn't an object, but I'm already down $1500 so far today... and the surgery will add another $2000 to the damages.

Here's a photo of Elliott that I took while we waited for his bed to be ready. Poor kitty.

I have hope that everything tomorrow will go well, but please send Elliott happy thoughts. He is not a happy kitty right now, and he's also without his loving mom and dog. Despite the horrible evening he has had, every time I picked him up or stuck my hand or face in his crate, I was able to calm him down. We're bonded, 'Lellie and I. He needs him mom just as much as I need my cat. Sweet dreams little guy. Be strong for me.


Anonymous *D* said...

I can only say that I feel very badly for you and Elliott. We went through a much faster problem with our last dog. I hope Elliott has a far different outcome than Carmen did.

I am praying for you and Elliott.

February 04, 2008 11:05 PM  
Blogger cherylann said...

okay, so now I'm crying too and I never even met your beautiful cat. *sigh* I will pray for him... and you. *hugs*

February 05, 2008 12:12 AM  
Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

Many hopeful thoughts for you and Elliott.

February 05, 2008 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They do good work at that hospital and Elliott is in good hands. Please let us know how things go. *big hugs*

February 05, 2008 7:34 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

elliott is SUCH a good cat and you are such a good owner. i hope he gets better very, very soon

February 05, 2008 7:53 AM  
Blogger Broadsheet said...

Oh sweetie - I was there this week. That feeling is beyond awful. The vet called me and made me come get Pumpkin instead of leaving him there because he was so terrified they couldn't even treat him, and his poor brother was bereft without him. Luckily, my situation turned out for the best - all my thoughts to you and Ellie.

February 05, 2008 9:21 AM  
Blogger Missy B said...

Love and prayers for you and Elliot.

February 05, 2008 9:23 AM  
Blogger Summer said...

Oh, C... I've got both of you in my thoughts and heart. Poor Elliot.

If you need to, ask about Care Credit. It's a 0% interest for 12 months veterinary credit plan. After 12 months, the interest is ridiculous, but for this type of emergency, it may come in handy. Almost every vet offers it.

February 05, 2008 9:30 AM  
Blogger anonymouscoworker said...

Here's hoping we hear good things about Elliott soon!

February 05, 2008 10:11 AM  
Blogger Jamaila said...


February 05, 2008 11:00 AM  
Blogger CindyD said...

So sorry to hear about Elliott... Me and Grady will be thinking of you both.

February 05, 2008 12:15 PM  
Blogger David Raynes said...

I'm so sorry. I still remember what it was like when one of my cats (Hans) started having his heart problems, and the number of visits to the various pet emergency clinics over the last few years. It took a while, but his cardiologist got him on a good combination of meds that I give him twice a day.

Now he's doing wonderfully and you wouldn't know he has a heart condition to look at him. Cats are extremely tough customers. It still amazes me how much he's made it through.

I'll be thinking hopeful thoughts for you and your little guy.

February 05, 2008 12:21 PM  
Blogger NPR Junky said...

Oh, baby. I hope all turns out well for you and Mr. Fuzz. I love you and if I can do ANYTHING please don't hesitate to ask.

Hugs, prayers and good thougts for the both of you.

February 05, 2008 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH,Charissa - I wish the best for YOU (as the mommy), Elliot (to get better) and for Antonio (to have his sidekick back.
It is hard when they are sick, because it is so hard to determine what their problem is.
I hope the endoscopy tells you more information, so you can fix whatever it is that is making Elliot sick.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
FYI-Beautiful cat...
You are a very good Mommy, Love is the best thing you can offer anyone or any animal.

February 05, 2008 2:55 PM  
Blogger Carol Ott said...

Hugs for you and Elliott!!!! So sorry again that you have to go through all of this.

February 05, 2008 5:21 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

Rissa, I am a mess. Elliott will be just fine. You are the best Mommy ever

February 05, 2008 6:46 PM  

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