It’s been an odd week. I don’t often write about stuff that happens in our lives away from the internet, but this week has been so difficult and sad that I am making an exception.
Last Sunday we noticed Ruby’s ear was bleeding, and she was in pain. She’d had a nasty ear infection the week before, which had involved rivers of pus, and a lot of pain, but the blood concerned me. After debating whether to take her up to a&e, I decided to let her sleep and go back to the GP on Monday morning, reasoning that a good night’s sleep would be better than hours of waiting at the hospital. And for what? Hard to know if we’d even get to see an ENT on a Sunday night, but I presumed it unlikely.
The GP we saw was unconcerned. He glanced over her, peered in her ear and told me not to worry. I told him I’d be calling the consultant when we got home to double check what he’d said, as we are still under her care after the grommets op in September, and all of a sudden he was more interested. He prescribed a new course of antibiotics and sent us on our merry way. I was disappointed, but not surprised – I’ve had issues in the past with his level of care – and I use that term loosely. But the way our surgery works is that if you want to be seen as an urgent appointment, you don’t get a choice of what doctor you see.
The Consultant’s secretary was lovely, and managed to squeeze us in as an extra appointment at her clinic, so it’s back to the hospital for us tomorrow.
By Thursday, the bleeding still hadn’t stopped and the school had called to let me know Ruby had asked to be cleaned up, so I rang the surgery again and asked for a callback from a doctor who I like and always try to see. We ended up getting an appointment at 4pm, and this time a swab was taken, her ear drum was properly looked at and she even called the ENT on call at the hospital to ask for advice. The ENT advised us to stop the second course of oral antibiotics and go for ear drops instead. Turns out Roo has a huge perforation in her eardrum, the grommet has dislodged.
Jumping back a little, on Tuesday we had parent’s evening. I have thought for a while that Ruby might have Asperger’s. She shows a lot of traits typical of a child with Asperger’s, and we spend the entire time talking it through with her teacher. She’s always been pretty quirky, but hearing from her teacher that she thought it very likely that Ruby is on the autistic spectrum and that the school would support us if we decided to try and get a diagnosis kind of hammered it home for me. We don’t want to go down that route yet, she’s only five and what would be the point? She’s happy when she’s learning, she’s happy to be by herself or with only a couple of friends, she’s happy when she knows what to expect and what is expected of her. If her traits become more obvious over the next couple of years then we will rethink, but for now we are happy to work on assumption and have been supporting her as if she has been diagnosed, and she has been doing a lot better with that support.
This morning we did junior parkrun, and when we got home, she immediately made a Venn diagram of how people feel about running.
Yesterday evening I had to have my cat put to sleep. Her kidneys had failed, and she was cold, very dehydrated and not at all herself. It all happened so quickly. She’d lost the sparkle in her eyes, her fur was dull, she’d lost a lot of weight. She used to be scratchy and unfriendly, but when I picked her up, she snuggled into my chest. She rolled over when the vet felt her abdomen as if she was in pain, and didn’t even really flinch when they took her temperature up her bum. She’d never have tolerated that if she was feeling even remotely herself. And so it was time to let her go before she took herself off to die alone. My hand shook as I signed the consent form and I stroked her and told her how much I loved her as they euthanised her. She died about 10 seconds later. I closed her eyes and stayed with her for a few minutes afterwards.
Sleep tight little Pange, you were the first cat we had who belonged to me. I will miss you, you were truly one of a kind.
Next week will be better, right?