What a shocker of a week. Last week, one of Ken's aunties (not a blood relative, but a long time family friend) died suddenly at the age of 98. She was in a nursing home as she had dementia, and she fell out of bed one night and cracked her skull. An ambulance was called, carted her off to hospital where they patched her up and sent her home. The next night she died.
We were notified in the morning by a cousin. Later that day, one of my friends rang to tell me her brother had committed suicide. She is American born, married to an Aussie, and has lived here for 30 + years. Her brother had never married, and was the carer for their mother, who has dementia. Their sister lives too far away to do much, and V. has just had hip operations that prevent her from flying back to the USA, so she was understandably beside herself.
That night, I had an email from M and L who are Bali on holiday. They had just received news that their neighbour's daughter had died. She had advanced cancer, so it wasn't a shock, but very sad just the same.
Ken has had ongoing health issues related to the shingles which developed in March. His breathing has been affected, so today he saw his lung specialist. Dr G. checked him over and said he couldn't tell anything from the physical examination, but organised a vascular ultra sound and a CT scan, to check for blood clots, and possible nerve damage from the shingles. If nothing comes of those, it just means his lungs are deteriorating further and the symptoms will continue.
Our 12 year old black cat Topsy has been coughing recently. We automatically thought "fur balls" and made sure she was brushed every night, and bought cat food supposedly to help eliminate fur balls. But she started to lose weight, went off her food and was lethargic. So we took her to the vet last week. $273 later she had been examined and had blood tests, but the vet said she would need to be X rayed, as he could tell she had respiratory problems. Ken said she had probably caught COPD off him and suggested dosing her with some of his medications. Joke, Joyce.
Today we dropped her off at the vet in the morning, and were told to collect her at 4 pm. He called us early in the afternoon to say that it was worse than what he had hoped for. Topsy has fluid in her chest cavity (not the lungs) which is mostly likely caused by heart failure or a tumour on the heart. He couldn't tell from the X rays because the heart couldn't be clearly seen through the fluid. They drained a bit of fluid from her and sent it away for analysis, and he said they could put her under a general anaesthetic and drain the rest of the fluid from her body, but most cats they have done this to, end up returning to the vet in a couple of weeks with the fluid built up again.
So, we brought her home with drops and special food to try and eliminate the fluid through her bladder, but he warned us she probably only has a couple of weeks left before she will be unable to breathe. The funniest thing happened when we got her home. Ken opened the carry cage very carefully, prepared to lift her out gently, but as soon as the wire door was open, she shot out out like a little black rocket and ran behind the couch to gaze out of the window! Lots of cuddles and photo sessions over the next few weeks....