We have posted the petition to craigslist sites all over the state of Texas. I also emailed several columnists and staff writers in major papers yesterday. It's a start.
Now I'm fussing with the website.
It's important to me that other pet guardians get this information and learn from my mistakes. So how do I make it visible?
As I read and research more deeply, I feel deeper and deeper regret.
Cats present illness in such similar ways. Diabetes and renal failure look very much alike. I distinctly remember that moment of doubt, when I made the choice on blind faith rather than fact.
If it was diabetes, the change in diet to high protein kibble would help. If it was renal failure, the combination of dry food and high protein would accelerate her decline. Or was the renal failure at the end a complication of unregulated diabetes?
She did get better for a time. Her weight stabilized. She even got frisky. In fact, she was frisky right up to the day before she died.
And to be fair to myself, we fed her many different kinds of cat foods - raw, canned, dry. Some had a better balance of protein to carbohydrate. In the end, she would only eat kibble.
Would getting an accurate diagnosis have made a difference for Aimee?
Chronic disease is chronic disease. Something was going to get her. But my feeling that knowing what we were up against might have made a difference has certainly made me more circumspect about doing the diagnostics with Matisse and myself.
Here's what I've learned.
Getting an accurate diagnosis is about ruling things out. This is a long, torturous and expensive process. And in the end, it's not always accurate.
I saw the doctor in March for changes in my breast that indicated inflammatory breast cancer. My physician sent me through two routine screenings - mammogram and ultrasound. This despite the fact that IBC does not present with a lump, so neither was useful.
Three months downstream, I am symptomatic again.
What the hell will it take to get this properly diagnosed?
So one can spend time and money, and still not know with certainty what's causing symptoms. Then it's the pharmaceutical solution - if it gets better when you take this, you've got it.
I didn't want to put her through all that. I don't want to go through all that.
Now that we have met Dr. Vandermause at Crystal Mountain Animal Hospital, I beat myself up over my procrastination. I meant to take her there long before her time was up. He certainly would have handled her euthanasia to my satisfaction. I did not.
Given the timing, there is no assurance that it would have gone any differently. He may well have been frozen in during the ice storm. Everybody else was except Dr. McShane.
So now I'm back to "I did the best I could with the information I had at the time." I just wish I could live with this.