jerigraehl
Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since I made the choice to euthanize my Tonkinese Cat Khaomanee. I find that I am getting worse not better.... I keep reliving the last hour and my interactions with him. I kept going back and forth as to if it was the right choice. I failed him and I feel horrific guilt and grief. I could have changed my mind. They left me in the room with him to decide. He kept liftin his face up to be kissed like always. I feel responsible for his getting so sick. I did not check his glucose. I foolishly assumed that because he had a bad reaction to the insuline that he was just insuline resistant and that the prescription diet was all he needed. He was overweight. The last 6 weeks - after he was diagnosed with Diabetes he had responded so well to the food and had lost almost 2 pounds. He seemed to feel better than he had in years. But he got pancreatitis due to his glucose not being balanced with insuline. Yet he had had a bad response that required me giving him honey twice. I SHOULD have taken him in to be checked or at the very least done it myself at home. I should have tried changing his insuline brand. Instead I just thought he was in remission due to his bad response to the insuline I gave him - and I had only given him half of the dose they said to start him on. He got very sick very fast - yet the prior 6 weeks he appeared to be doing so well. I blame myself. I keep breaking down and just sobbing constantly. I keep reliving having the life go out of him on my lap. Has anyone else experienced anything similar??? I also based my decision on his being 15 years old - just turned. He had asthma the las 8 years requiring a mask twice a day. The vet said that could complicate his treatment for diabetes. And he had serious peradontal disease. I had been very worried about that for the last 3 years. I did not want to put him under as it was to risky. Older cats don't do well having their teeth pulled. I was so afraid it would kill him and he would have terrible pain.  So that was always in the back of my mind. Complications from a surgery or complications from a potential infection could have killed him. I question everything. I know many cats don't make it to 15. I just kept hoping I would have him until he was 18 in my mind. He still looked so beautiful. He had an amazing personality and was so loving. I miss him so much my heart just aches. I tell myself I dedicated the last 8 years to giving him his flovent twice a day and albuteral for in between asthma attacks. I don't really know what most people do about their cats teeth?? Putting them under every year for teeth cleaning seems like it would get risky at some point?? Clearly I am all over the place here. I just miss him so much and I feel like I failed him. And I am so traumatized by the last hour and the euthanasia and feeling his soul leave his body.... Is there anyone out there feeling remotely like I am right now - wondering if they should have done things differently and wishing they could go back and change it?
jerigraehl
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Memories_of_Marmalade


Hi Jerri,

Yes, I can totally relate to the way that you are feeling. The constant grief, remorse, guilt, and regret. The endless 2nd guessing. Around and around and around it goes in my head.

As I wrote in an earlier post Marmalade had to have ear canal surgery, as he was continuing to bleed out from his left ear, after his major Tom-Cat fight which is chronicled elsewhere here on this forum. But because of his bad liver, he had either a stroke on the operating table, or nerve damage, and was left maimed as you know. With a permanently squinting left eye, a lifeless set of left whiskers and his balance severely damaged. He would walk like he was drunk. He would fall off his favorite perch on the arm of our couch straight onto his back and knock the wind out of himself and wheeze and wheeze repeatedly. Then look up at me as if to say: "What is happening to me?"

As you may recall, after a tooth fell out on to Marmalade's breakfast plate, he growled and could not eat, I made the choice to go forward with his dental surgery. All 5 of his Vet's (4 in the past year) said that he had serious teeth and gum issues and they needed to be addressed. He was believed to be around 13 years old so I was concerned with his getting any older. He had 4 teeth removed during the procedure. Over the next 15 days, his health appeared to get worse. He would gasp, then he growled again, then he shrieked when I opened a can of cat food and approached him with a tiny piece of pure deli Turkey. Which had never happened before. And then he could no longer drink. Something we could always rely on to keep him going.

Diabetes as we discussed, is very, very tricky. I was concerned about Marmalade getting Diabetes if I got him a steroid shot to try and save his life in the end. He had almost died from steroid based medication in the Spring of 2018. The steroid that Marmalade took was for his ears, an antibiotic and the Animal Hospital that prescribed it told me "that there was no possible way that there could be any side-effects from the drug", as I watched Marmalade vomit blood and have bloody diarrhea and then not be able to be pet, moved, sit on my lap or eat or drink. And he hyperventilated. Fortunately I knew my cat, so I stopped giving him the drug immediately.

Thank goodness I then called the laboratory that made the drug and threatened to blog negatively about them for the rest of my life, if they did not get a scientist on the phone. And they did, and the scientist said "There can absolutely be complications, do not put him down, wait. You will see a miraculous recovery."

My point is, we knew our beloved's. We know more about them at times, then Vet's or Animal Hospitals do. I knew when my boy was having a reaction and to pull back on his meds, as you knew. 

I was worried about Marmalade's high liver count, from a blood test that I had outsourced to a specialty lab, which meant he could not properly process medication in his body. And if I had him rehydrated with an IV his last day or the next? he would have had to be sedated once again. For a 3rd time in 60 days. He had already been given 10 medications in his last 2 weeks of life. What did his liver feel like? What did he feel like inside? What was he going through that he could not communicate with me?

The other issue is, as I have posted, Marmalade was fighting the Vet's his last few visits tooth and nail. He no longer wanted medical treatment and I felt he should have a say in whether he received treatment or not. Because he was my partner. My companion. My best friend. I did not "own" him. I never "owned" him.  Marmalade was not a slave. No one could own him. In the end, I could simply no longer allow him to be poked, prodded, examined, man-handled, tested or injected if he had had enough. It was as much his call, as it was mine.

I also didn't know what was coming next, but I had read so many horror stories of cats becoming paralyzed, catatonic, insane with dementia (to the point of not recognizing their pet parent), blind, gasping for their last breath and clawing at the air as they died etc. Yowling in such terrible pain that that sound still haunts the pet parent, I could not allow any of that to happen to him. He had already suffered enough. I wanted him to depart this World while he was still "him." I could no longer allow him to become a shadow of his former noble and proud self. And I wanted him to depart with our bond as loving and as strong as it ever was.  

So much of what you and I had to cope with was truly a "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. I've read where 3 different Vet's said "You treat one thing, it triggers another." Which really appears to be the case the more that one reads this grief forum.

My heart breaks for you tonight Jeri, as it does for so many here. I am so, so sorry that you are sad and going through what many of us are experiencing. I know we will all make it through this, as the posts by the Veteran members here all point to that eventuality occuring. Keep the faith, be gentle with yourself and continue to travel through time. You are not alone sweetie. We are here with you. We are there with you in spirit tonight.

Hugs,
James
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CeeCeesMom
Dear Jerigraehl, yes, I've felt like that and still do wonder if I should have done things differently and wishing I could go back and change it.  I lost a kitten one month ago yesterday due to euthanasia because of feline infectious peritonitis, an incurable illness that leads to death.  She had a peaceful euthanasia and I believe that she was probably just a couple of days away from having a painful natural death. We only had her for a short time and every indication from what I've read and from what the vets I've spoken to, including a neurologist, told me is that she had the illness before we adopted her.  She most likely got it from her mother or her litter mates and/or from the first overcrowded shelter she was in.  So this time, I have deep grief for her but not guilt as if I did something wrong.  HOWEVER, I know exactly what it's like to torment yourself with guilt because that's what I was doing and to a lesser extant still am doing over the deaths of my two long-time cats who died last October and last January.  (Each was 16 years old and I've had them since they were kittens).  I've blamed myself for missing the signs, for not doing enough, not asking enough questions, not asking the right questions.  For not taking one of my cats off the antifungal medicine she was on for so many months, even though it was the vet who told us to keep her on the medicine for those many months.   In my mind, I've gone over the last months and weeks of the life of my kitty who died in October.   And I've replayed the last hours over and over of my cat who died in January.  (I just posted a lengthy post yesterday and believe me that was a condensed version.  So I won't get into it now).  I've read your previous post and I'm going to tell you something that people kept telling me:  I don't think you did anything wrong.  I mean it:  I've read your posts and I really don't think you did anything wrong. 

When people would tell me the same thing after I told them my stories, I thought they were crazy.  I did so many things wrong, couldn't they see?  And then I thought what if my grief and my guilt feelings are distorting my thinking?  What if they're right?   Not that we're perfect - no.  We all make mistakes but when we're loving our animals and taking care of them, we can't predict every outcome or catch every sign or symptom.  Also, I just want to add that it's my experience that the physical symptoms of grief do lessen with time.  After my cat was euthanized in October, I had heart palpitations and a burning pain in the veins in my neck for several weeks. And crying of course, and feelings of guilt.  But, I still had my other cat to comfort me.  When she passed away in January, the physical symptoms increased, radiating chest pains, intense headaches.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack or a stroke.  And crying jags.  And despair and so much guilt compounded because we didn't euthanize her in time and instead she had a natural death.  I was there and I replay those hours.  I felt like I was getting worse for a while and not getting better.  I'm writing this just to let you know that the physical pain can lessen in time.  Even though the death of my little kitten Dahlia last month has left me grieving again and even though I'm ruminating again over Claudine and Cleo, I'm not having the crushing physical symptoms now.  Also, one more thing, I don't want to push religion on anyone.  But prayer has been absolutely essential for me.  If you are a person of faith, this is a time to really lean on your faith.  I hope that what I've written will help you or at least make you feel you're not alone.  It's so clear in your posts that you love Khaomanee so very much.  You didn't fail him.  You probably saved him from having a suffering death.  You took great care of him.
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FClaire
Jeri. I'm like you at this moment so full of guilt. Ollie had a lung disease diagnosed in February. The vet put him on an inhaler twice a day. Ollie didn't like it so some days he didn't get it twice. I felt he was ok, but he wasn't. We enquired about laser therapy at the same time and the vet said he would look into it, but he didn't and we didn't push it. Dont think he believed in it. We had heard marvelous results with it. Why didn't I push it, feel so darn guilty. He wasn't too good two weeks ago why we where away, the hot weather played a big part that week. We came home earlier, but didn't take him to the vet, he seemed to settle, but feel guilt because we never got him checked. I spoke on the phone the week he passed to the vet to enquire about the laser. Thought it was time we got it even if the vet wasn't interested. He said leave it with him, even though it wasn't his practice that did it. I even rang the vets that do to ask about prices etc, ollie was insured so no issue there. But still nothing became of it, was hoping to get it sorted last week but of course too late. Feel so guilty. Laser would have given him more time with us and would have helped him. It was never a cure. He was on a new course of pills the week before he passed. They ran out and the days before he passed he seemed perkier so I left the pills which where at the vets for me to pick up, but I thought as he seemed settled I would get them after the weekend, of course it was too late. I'm so full of guilt, we stupidly neglectivly thought he was ok. The guilt is tearing me apart. But as my husband keeps telling me he seemed happy, we weren't to know.
Freda x
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RaenAngel
jerigraehl wrote:
Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since I made the choice to euthanize my Tonkinese Cat Khaomanee. I find that I am getting worse not better.... I keep reliving the last hour and my interactions with him. I kept going back and forth as to if it was the right choice. I failed him and I feel horrific guilt and grief. I could have changed my mind. They left me in the room with him to decide. He kept liftin his face up to be kissed like always. I feel responsible for his getting so sick. I did not check his glucose. I foolishly assumed that because he had a bad reaction to the insuline that he was just insuline resistant and that the prescription diet was all he needed. He was overweight. The last 6 weeks - after he was diagnosed with Diabetes he had responded so well to the food and had lost almost 2 pounds. He seemed to feel better than he had in years. But he got pancreatitis due to his glucose not being balanced with insuline. Yet he had had a bad response that required me giving him honey twice. I SHOULD have taken him in to be checked or at the very least done it myself at home. I should have tried changing his insuline brand. Instead I just thought he was in remission due to his bad response to the insuline I gave him - and I had only given him half of the dose they said to start him on. He got very sick very fast - yet the prior 6 weeks he appeared to be doing so well. I blame myself. I keep breaking down and just sobbing constantly. I keep reliving having the life go out of him on my lap. Has anyone else experienced anything similar??? I also based my decision on his being 15 years old - just turned. He had asthma the las 8 years requiring a mask twice a day. The vet said that could complicate his treatment for diabetes. And he had serious peradontal disease. I had been very worried about that for the last 3 years. I did not want to put him under as it was to risky. Older cats don't do well having their teeth pulled. I was so afraid it would kill him and he would have terrible pain.  So that was always in the back of my mind. Complications from a surgery or complications from a potential infection could have killed him. I question everything. I know many cats don't make it to 15. I just kept hoping I would have him until he was 18 in my mind. He still looked so beautiful. He had an amazing personality and was so loving. I miss him so much my heart just aches. I tell myself I dedicated the last 8 years to giving him his flovent twice a day and albuteral for in between asthma attacks. I don't really know what most people do about their cats teeth?? Putting them under every year for teeth cleaning seems like it would get risky at some point?? Clearly I am all over the place here. I just miss him so much and I feel like I failed him. And I am so traumatized by the last hour and the euthanasia and feeling his soul leave his body.... Is there anyone out there feeling remotely like I am right now - wondering if they should have done things differently and wishing they could go back and change it?



I am so sorry for your loss; and your struggle.

Diabetes is such a horrible thing. My pup (she was 14) was diagnoised in Dec and we fought with insulin for months. She had to be put on human insulin, but it took months to get there. Her numbers were near, at times over, 1000. We had many hospital stays for days at a time, even going home with the vet for saftey. I was "saved" from having to put her down, as she died the night before. But i am haunted with the "should i have done it that day?" "Would it have spared her pain?" I also beat myself up for not seeing her one last time, knowing she died alone, in a cage.

There are so many things I wish I could go back in time and change. I wonder, should i have done something different? Could one little thing have changed everything? Its a constant struggle every day.
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