Monday, June 23, 2008

The Chronic Cat Teaches Another Lesson: Be Vigilant

I don't know if these things happen for a reason or I just notice them for a reason. Either way, it's time to get back on the horse when it comes to taking good care of The Body Chronic....and The Chronic Cat.

For the first time in a long time (long being a month or so), I got pelvic pains with no trigger whatsoever on Friday. I was sitting here at work minding my own business when out of nowhere I realized it felt as if someone was stabbing me in the pelvic region. These pains used to be more prevalent before physical therapy, but having a refresher course in them is not something I had hoped to do. I gritted my teeth for a minute to get through the first wave of pain, and then promptly took my medecine--something I've been forgetting to do as of late. Then on Saturday the pain struck again, just as the mood was about to strike. (Remind me to tell you in depth how being a newlywed and having pelvic issues is rather depressing.)

I didn't think much of this. I'll admit it--complacency usually gets the best of me, whether I notice it or not. So a few pains here and there (and when I say pain, I mean the noticeable pain that stops you from doing something, not the everyday pain people with chronic illness/chronic pain face) isn't usually enough to really strike me as interesting.

Then an accident happened. As I was sitting on the couch on Sunday, Lucy, The Chronic Cat, decided it was time to sit with me, as she usually does when I'm on the phone or the computer. So she jumped up and immediately I knew something was off...then I felt it...and smelt it. Lucy had wet herself. I'd like to say this is the first time this has happened--but this is the third time (and the second time since she's last seen the vet). I used to think she'd just get startled easily, but now I wonder if it isn't something more. So after cleaning her, the couch and myself I got to Googling. Sure enough, spayed female cats are known to have this problem. I'd venture to guess that it's even more prevalent in cats with known urinary tract issues already. I e-mailed the vet and tried to not get too hyped up about it. But I believe that Lucy has one of my problems--pelvic floor dysfunction (something about the cat's anatomy when they get spayed leads to it).

I realized throughout all of this, though, that I've been lax on giving Lucy her meds too. In the rush of life and the unconcious desire to escape The Body Chronic, I've not only let my own health slide, but Lucy's as well. Granted, I don't think Lucy's problem this weekend was directly related to her other issues, but it was a wake-up call.

Sometimes, for those of us in The Body Chronic, it's a helluva lot easier to ignore the signs and even our better judgment and just pretend as if everything were normal. I skip pills more often than I'd like to admit and way more often than I should, but then I complain when I have an issue. I can't have it all--either I treat myself properly or I fall back into the pain that got me here in the first place. The same goes for The Chronic Cat.

I'm happy to say that Lucy has had her medecine for two days in a row now and I have set out my pills for the week in my elderly-inspired-pill-box. It may be a pain, but it's better than being in pain. And I will not let the issue drop again. We're going to find a fix for both of us...even if it's just a patch..and we're going to be consistent.

Or at least we'll strive for consistency and settle for something more than complacency.