12 days in and still tormented

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Nicky brown
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12 days in and still tormented

Post by Nicky brown » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:49 pm

It is now 12 days since we made the horrendous decision to put our little two and half year old to sleep. In that time I have relived his last hours again and again trying to rationalise his injury and the outcome then wham bam one of today's top news stories on TV is a possible cure for spinal paralysis. Ok it's about Swiss scientists and paralysis in humans but the details are just reminiscent of my anguish for little Hendrick. On the radio coming home in the car tonight I heard about how the brain can start sending messages down a previously damaged spinal chord and how there is evidence of nerve regeneration and receptiveness. Great news for humans with such terrible disability but for me, reliving exactly Hendrick's injury and being advised to put him to sleep because spinal chords don't mend and nerves don't regenerate! In the last 12 days I have researched spinal dislocation in cats and have spoken to two or 3 on- line vets from different parts of the country who have each been kind enough to reply but I'm still left with doubt and guilt and sadness. Prior to today's Swiss scientific break through I've been told that a spinal dislocation with a broken spinal chord is hopeless and that paralysis with no pain sensation is similar but that a bruised or twisted spinal chord can recover and this combined with pain sensation gives a degree of optimism. To me Hendrick's injury was an anomily - he had a clear dislocation half way down his spine - I saw the X-ray but his spinal chord was stretched not cut in two. Within 35 mins of the accident he gave one tail twitch and within the next hour gave a little reaction to pain sensation on his back paws though not when this was repeated. We were advised this demonstrated hopelessness but did it really? There was after all a small reaction and as research has shown today, nerves can recover. I wish I had known what I know today, 12 days ago. I would have asked more. I would have got a second opinion. Maybe he would never have recovered from the paralysis, maybe they were right that the likelihood would be a lifetime of incontinence due to the brain being unable to send messages down the spinal chord but maybe not. Maybe anti-inflammatories would have released pressure on the spinal chord. I JUST DON'T KNOW but it is too late. Hendy is gone and maybe he didn't need to be. I'll never forget his wee face when we walked back in to the vets to see him for the last time - his eyes lit up, he purred louder than I have ever heard, he was so pleased to see us but we were persuaded that the best course was to say goodbye. I was asked if I had insurance - why was I asked. If if made no difference, why ask? Just don't know if this torment will ever go away. I didn't want him to suffer pain and discomfort and I certainly didn't want him to lose his feline dignity to incontinence and worse but is euthanasia just an easier option for vets, if the injury is outwith their expertise? I need to know I did the right thing. I need to know there was no optimism. I need to know that today's Swiss discovery has no bearing on how a similar injury in a cat tomorrow would be judged. Better still, turn the clocks back 12 days rather than the one hour and I'll not let Hendrick out the front door.

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Lilith
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Re: 12 days in and still tormented

Post by Lilith » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:22 pm

Oh Nicky, this is the dreadful process of grief. Wishing we could have kept them alive by some miracle and feeling we made a terrible mistake in letting them go. But I think, despite news of a cure, the key words are 'feline dignity'. Hendrick's need was immediate; a young active cat would not have adapted well to a long wait for recovery and possible cure.

I do think you did the right thing in releasing him from that damaged body. It IS heartbreaking; 30 years ago I had to let an elderly boy of mine go as he had a tumour on his spine which paralysed his back half; his front half was still fine. When the nurse took him into her arms for the final injection he purred and kissed her. I still feel guilty. But what option did he have, in that body? Nappies? Dragging himself about?

I don't know why we should feel so guilty at releasing a cat under these circumstances, when most of us would say we would want the same release for ourselves, but we do. That is grief. I know how you feel; I feel it too; every day I go over losing my Emily months ago ... wasn't there SOMETHING? The truth was, no.

I'm so very sorry; and sorry too that I can't say anything much to comfort. But sending you hugs and love, Lil x

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Re: 12 days in and still tormented

Post by Bertie 2017 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:48 am

Hi so sorry for your loss ,yes I have often wondered ,why you couldn’t treat a cat ,for spinal injury ,just like in humans ,I suppose in a way ,you and myself have experienced the same thing ,my Bertie had spine damage too ,he could walk ok ,it was his bladder ,that had been ,
Damaged ,the tail is part of the spine ,damage too the spine often will damage the bladder ,
So I can understand your pain ,and 12 days isn’t that long at all ,it’s been almost a year ,
For me ,and I still get my moments ,i feel grief is a journey we take ,one with many .
Ups and downs ,a journey you shouldn’t feel alone ,there is lots of support out there ,
From people who care and understands and don’t judge ,what ever feelings and emotions
You get ,you must not feel ashamed of embarrassment ,I understand the love and bond
You have with your cat ,cats love us unconditional,and fast become ,part of the family ,
A valued member of the family ,so it’s no surprise ,we feel the way we do ,when we
Lose one ,it doesn’t seem right though ,when a cat dies so young ,you feel cheated
For the years you could have had together ,it’s a hard road to travel on ,but it does.
Get easier ,all though I believe you never get over it ,just learn to live with it ,
I hope you find peace soon xx

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Re: 12 days in and still tormented

Post by Nicky brown » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:25 pm

Hi folks
Thank you once again for taking the time to reply. Not having a good evening - looking back through all my photos from when he was a little kitten, all his antics and cuddles. Tonight pulling in to the drive a squirrel jumped over the dyke, ran right across the road and over the dyke at the other side. I think it crossed just where Hendy was hurt. Makes me think this could have been the cause - chasing a squirrel. The house just feels so empty before and after work as I'm used to him chumming me into the bedroom to get ready or changed. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks. My husband is collecting my daughter at tea-time again - it will be a repeat of our routine 2 weeks ago and a sorry reminder. I haven't seen my daughter since that fateful weekend and it must have been an awful home visit for her. I want this weekend to be more upbeat but I find it hard to pretend all is well. We are going to the local bonfire but even fireworks can be quite melancholy. Any advice to make this weekend feel less sad than the last two?

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Mayday21
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Re: 12 days in and still tormented

Post by Mayday21 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:30 pm

Hi Nicky I’ve just read your posts on losing Hendrix, please accept my condolences. I found this forum when I lost my Mayday ... my avatar. I was suffering the most incredible grief & it was the support & understanding I received from people on this site that helped me. Some of those people are supporting you. The grieving process is different for everyone but there’s a common thread ... ‘what if & the emptiness’. Please post whatever & whenever you’ll be supported. Take care. Vivian

Bertie 2017
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Re: 12 days in and still tormented

Post by Bertie 2017 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:27 pm

Please don’t be so hard on yourself ,as I have send ,it takes time ,it’s almost a year since ,
Bertie left ,and tonight I burst into tears ,sobbing my heart out ,so yes even though I get
Good days ,I still have my demons ,as for that night playing in your head ,I had the same experience ,I don’t know ,if I told you .berties tail got trapped in A’s I was closing ,
The washing machine doors,pulling away damaged his spine and bladder ,I dare say
You blame yourself for the accident ?. Please don’t ,all we can do is look after our pets .
And hope they live a long life ,fate can be cruel or kind ,sadly these things are out of our
Control , as for you referring ,too it was all good not so long ago ,that’s normal ,we all
In the bad times ,wish we could all live in the past ,and it’s hard too face the future ,
Sometimes ,so my advice would be ,is don’t be so hard on yourself ,be kind instead,
Because your grief does a good job of that as it is ,it will batter you ,and drain you ,
And you will feel ,drained , so it wort help if you blame yourself ,too be honest ,
I had a million questions going around in my head ,sadly I have no answers too them .
Because when something bad happens ,you what answers ,too as why did it happen ?
Sadly you may never know ,hope you find peace soon xx

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bobbys girl
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Re: 12 days in and still tormented

Post by bobbys girl » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:54 am

There is nothing much I can add to what has already been said. I know there are many of us who have come so close to having to make that decision.

A few weeks back, when little Freddie broke his leg, I know that it could have been so much worse and the thought of that makes me feel sick.

The 'what if's' don't help, but it is all a part of caring and grieving for our fur babies. I wish there was something I could do or say to take away that pain. Much love and (hugs), Sue. xx

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Re: 12 days in and still tormented

Post by Nicky brown » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:19 pm

Thank you bobby's girl. My Hendrick hurt his leg too when he was less than a year old. He knocked over a large, glass goldfish bowl (the goldfish had passed away a few days earlier and the bowl was empty) . I think he must of climbed into the bowl and it dropped from a height and smashed on a tile floor. Hendrick's leg caught on one of the shards. The noise woke me up as it was about 4.30 in the morning. There was glass everywhere and his paw was bleeding. I phoned the vet who advised I keep him secure and come in at 8.30 unless the bleeding was really heavy. Poor wee soul - I shut him in a cat box to stop him moving about too much but he must have been so frightened. At first the vet said it was superficial and he would just need a couple of stitches but then we had a Phonecall to say it was deeper than thought and that there was nerve damage and he might not have use of his paw. Thankfully he mended almost 100%. I think one little claw couldn't fully stretch but that was all. He was lucky that day but I think he used up one of his lives and then many more that we didn't know about until the fateful evening 2 weeks ago. What I'd give to have him back with just a sore leg now, even though his leg injury seemed traumatic at the time. I hope Freddie is feeling better. Keep him safe.
Thank you Mayday too. It's kind of you to respond. We got the vet's bill on Saturday - it was a few hundred pounds for the X-ray, pain relief etc. The £30 for the consultation kind of shocked me - a consultation where they tell you what you already know - your friend has been badly hurt and the prognosis is bad so we think you should....... £30 for that. And then those final words..... cremation. Well that was Saturday night doomed. Plus the bonfire and firework display we were meant to be going to was cancelled due to the weather. It's on again on Monday but my daughter will have gone back to the city and my husband will be away on business so it's go alone and come back to an empty house or don't go. Either way, it will be my first night home alone without Hendrick for company. Of course I have Hobbs and Truffle but lovely as they are, they just sleep and go out at night. The thought of coming home from work in the dark, to an empty house. Hendrick was a little companion, following you about and sleeping on my bed, just whilst I read my book of course, whenever my husband was away. He was just my little boy.
Thank you too Bertie. I can see how upset you still are for your little friend too. Yours was a tragic accident a bit like Hendrick's with the bowl, only Bertie wasn't lucky as Hendrick was on that occasion. I can understand how you still have waves of emotion. When I lost Toulouse I really found that getting Hendrick helped immensly. Because Toulouse is buried in the garden, I would take Hendrick out and speak to Toulouse with Hendrick there. I think they would have been friends had they been here together. Unfortunately though, I buried my grief for Toulouse in my love for Hendrick which has now left me with double the loss. I feel a degree of guilt even looking at pictures of other cats. You know I even feel guilty that I have a tin full of dreamies. I keep telling myself I should have opened the packets more frequently and given Hendy lots rather than store them up for a rainy day that never came. Maybe you should think about getting another cat now. Maybe it would help with those sad moments. 3 weeks ago I had long nails and was even wearing red nail varnish but on Saturday night, I chewed them all off. I just feel I've nothing to get dressed up for and nothing to look forward to and when I momentarily forget and smile at something on the TV or radio, I then feel guilty for doing it. Hopefully I will sleep less restlessly tonight.

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