Monday, September 29, 2008

Preparing for The Cure!

Today started out full of activity. Having eaten late before I'd gone to bed I awoke with a slightly upset stomach and the alarm seemed to go off way too early. The repairman was coming to get the security lights put up and take care a a few other odd jobs around 9:00 and I wanted to call and get the news from Dr. Muller as to whether he had located the NDV and talked with Dr. Norwood yet. When I called a receptionist told me that he wouldn't be in until 2:00 today. She said that Dr. Norwood had just called and she had to take a message. I asked her to have Dr. Muller call me so I could find out if everything was set.

A little while later the receptionist called back and said she'd gotten in touch with him and that he said I should bring Carmella in Wednesday and get the NDV from Dr. Norwood's office and bring it when we come. I assumed that the two of them had spoken by that time, but the receptionist hadn't asked. She said she'd ask him that and ask whether Dr. Muller felt the vaccine was still viable that Dr. Norwood had.

Then I called Dr. Norwood's office to find out whether they could have it up at the front around 4:30. Felicia had to check with Dr. Norwood and see if it "came in yet" so apparently he had ordered a new batch!

While I waited to hear back from Dr. Norwood's office I took care of some Etsy-related things and wrote Dr. Sears several e-mails and also Dr. Muller to give them the link to my blog and the Carmella-cam.

I called back and Gwen told me that it was ready.

The woman who lives just a mile away got off work early and picked me up and we headed up there.

In the waitingroom was a woman sitting there with two dogs; one tiny little Chihuaua puppy and an older Dachsund. I commented on how cute the puppy was and pointed him out to my friend, saying you could hold it in the palm of one hand. The owner smiled appreciatively and jokingly commented for the other dog, "What about me?"

Felicia turned around as we approached the front desk smiling broadly. "So you found somebody to do the treatment! That's great!"

I said yes and gave her a thumbs up. "And it's just in time. She has gotten worse over the weekend".

"So you won't need the news media?"

"Well, not to get her treated but once she's had the procedure it will be an even bigger story. I'll just need to change my press release."

Just then I noticed Dr. Norwood standing to my left inside the half-door leading to the back. He was smiling and seemed to have come into the room nearly unnoticed.

"Hi!" I said looking his way. "Yes, sometimes she jerks so much it's like she's dancing in place". I did an immitation of Carmella's jerking with my arm and hand on the desk in front of me.

"Oh, wow", he exclaimed, concerned. "I'm glad you were able to find one."

"Did you make contact with Dr. Muller today?"

"I tried, but they said he was out until 2:00, so I e-mailed him, but never heard back" Dr. Norwood responded. "I had a hard time getting this" he said, as Gwen brought out the box containing the precious vaccine and proceeded to tape up the box. "There's two bottles in there but he'll probably only need one."

"When are you taking it over there?" Gwen asked.

"Wednesday. Our appointment is at 9:00 in the morning. I was just going to put it in the refrigerator at home until that day."

"Oh, OK, then the best thing is to take it out of the box when you get home and put it in the refrigerator and put the ice packs in the freezer, then put it back in there together before you leave for the appointment."

I asked Dr. Norwood if he gave Dr. Muller the contact information in his e-mail for the supply company so he'd know in the future where to get it. I didn't quite register his answer, but it seemed as though they might not have normally carried it. The box had an Atlanta address on it which was stamped "late delivery" but no date.

"How's she eating?" Dr. Norwood asked me.

"Great! She almost finished a whole 50 Lb. bag of dog food in one month! I have a webcam on her now documenting her recovery. I hope that with Carmella's recovery we can educate other vets about this so that they realize that rather than putting dogs to sleep there is a real option. If you decide to publish this you and Dr. Muller should collaborate", I said to Dr. Norwood. "After all, your name should be on that paper, because you were a big part of this."

Tears came to his eyes, and suddenly my peripheral vision sensed movement from all corners of the room. I realized at that moment that there was an audience. It seemed as though over the previous minute or so 6 or more people had slowly gathered to watch this unfold.

"When should I bring her in next for you to see how she's doing?" I asked him.

"Well I would bring her in a week later, then a month, then at 6 months, then at a year, but I'm sure he'll want to see her for a follow-up too. Anyway I'm sure he'll want to keep her a few days for hospitalization or at least overnight."

"I hope she gets rid of the jerking."

"We won't know for awhile whether that's temporary or permanent" Dr. Norwood replied.

"Yes, that's true. But myoclonic jerking is considered a type of seizure, so maybe it won't be permanent."

I thanked them and headed out the door, the box in tow.

Once at home I found Carmella stretched out in front of the kitchen entrance as I entered. This was not normal, as she usually jumped up and waited with nose pressed against the crack as soon as she heard people in the garage and jumped up enthusiastically as I came in, but not this time. In fact I had to squeeze by her and move her aside to come in. That worried me.

I unpacked the box and looked closely at the bottles inside. The NDV bottles were amazingly small, each only about one inch high, and they were each packaged side-by-side with a very large bottle of delutant liquid about 5-6 inches tall that was sort of bluish in color. It occurred to me that the vaccine must be very concentrated for such extreme proportions. The writing on the bottles of NDV was very tiny. One would need a magnifyer to read what it said. After putting them into my refrigerator and the ice packs in the freezer I sat down on the floor to play with Carmella. She started trying to chew my pants leg but still seemed particularly inert and avoided standing, moving about mainly by tossing and turning from one side to the other, rolling onto her back and onto her stomach.

She had been outside several times earlier and had been energetic, but usually she has not remained tired for very long after exerting herself. Tonight she seemed notably different, as though her limbs were sluggish and it took some effort to move them. If she can just manage to hang in there until Wednesday everything should work out.

Be sure to check out the Carmella-cam at the top right in my sidebar to see her live.

If you'd like to help Carmella please use the donation button in my sidebar, buy an ad slot, and/or purchase handcrafted and unique art jewelry from my Etsy store; in advance of the holidays. Proceeds are going to pay off her vet bill. Many thanks to those who have already given, and to those who have commented and given other types of support. Keep reading, commenting, and do whatever you can. Carmella still needs your help, good thoughts, and prayers as she embarks on this next phase of recovery. The next few days are going to be very crucial.


kim* said...

carmella always looks so happy in cat is going to vet tomorrow he has been breathing terribly...hacking...breathing hard, laying on my bed...hiding in his cabiney where i layed a blanket...he hasnt eaten all day either ::(

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Wonderful news. I just showed my husband pictures of Carmella, she is in our thoughts. We are sending lots of strength and healing energies to you both.I'll be back to check!

Devin said...

That is gret new.I will be keep you carmella in my thoughts and Prayer.I love reading your blog.

Giftbearer said...

Hi Kim,

I hope your cat will be fixed up soon. There was a time when Carmella was like that too. Read the earlier posts from abour 1 month ago and see the earliest pictures. She wasn't eating or drinking and the vet wasn't sure she would live through the weekend when he first saw her. The first part of this treatment really worked wonders.

and thanks to all of you for your support. I hope some more will post today too.