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Grief

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Punky died today. It’s been an emotional week, knowing that he was near his last bit of life. Today I held him while he died. It was rough. It might have been more efficient to have him put to sleep, but he was a fighter and he wanted to live right down to the end.

I got my cat in 1999 when he was 3 years old as a “foster” cat from a no-kill shelter, the Greater New Haven Cat Project. Punky was part of a feral litter that was rescued while still kittens. He had every contagious disease that was going around, so he got a bit shy around people after lots of medical treatment. His previous “adoptions” ended up being short term because he was so shy…and he preferred to get to know his new humans at 3am at the top of his lungs. But I stuck it out with him and he stopped waking me up in the middle of the night and eventually joined my household.

Punky and I have been through a lot together, most of it with PJ, his companion who I adopted a year later and who died this past December. We’ve lived in 3 different homes, had 6 different roommates, dealt with an unending onslaught of bedbugs, shared our space with 4 other cats and 2 dogs (not all at once), and that’s just the stuff Punky knew was going on. He was my companion when I quit grad school, worked for the union, and eventually succumbed to Lyme disease.

Punky was my cat. As my mom said many times, he only liked his Rosie, no other humans held his interest. It isn’t completely true, he did like one of my friends (but only one) who used to hang out with me in New Haven, and he accepted one other friend who shared my apartment for a while in New York. Everyone else, including my roommate of 5 years, he was ambivalent about. Their shoes and bags were interesting to smell, but the people were to be avoided.

I picked up PJ to be Punky’s companion. They got along right away. PJ understood me when I said it was okay if she didn’t like me–as long as she had a good relationship with Punky, she could stay for ever. They were best buddies. They groomed each other all the time, but stopped if they caught me watching. They chased each other around the apartments we lived in. They sat together on the window staring at birds outside. The slept together. And when they needed space, they had a little fight and parted ways for an hour.

My two kitties made life bearable during the first years of being disabled by Lyme disease. They stayed right up close to me all the months I was in bed. They followed me around the apartment once I was able to walk again. They were good to me. And I like to think that I was good to them. They both enjoyed contact with me and showed fewer and fewer signs of being feral as they aged. They liked to talk to me, chase treats and just generally pal around. Until PJ arrived and told him it wasn’t catlike, Punky used to play fetch with me, chasing down a stuffed mouse toy and bringing it to me to throw again. They were my friends to love unconditionally.

Coiling

I’m back on Bartonella and continuing with Babesia. No increases. Just riding out the Lyme Herx.

Coiling for Bartonella increased my headache somewhat and gave me a lump in my throat. But the treatment on my chest wasn’t nearly as bad as last time.

  • Bartonella, abdomen, 5 minutes; chest, 2 minutes
  • Babesia, chest, 4 minutes; liver, 4 minutes
  • Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes

Detox

I’m just trying to keep on track. I’ve been thinking about the homeopathic remedies. I’ll see my doctor on Wednesday and decide what I’m doing next.

  • kombucha
  • juiced greens (double dose)
  • skin brushing
  • BioMat
  • castor oil pack on liver

Body

It’s been a messy day with my body. I think the Lyme Herx is on the move. I had a medium grade night sweat. I had vivid, strange dreams this morning, but not as bad a yesterday. I had a pain on that spot on left hip going down the outside of my leg, which I haven’t had in a while, and which was slightly different. It felt like on itch inside my muscle at the same time that it hurt.

I had the usual light sensitivity, floaters and a mild headache on and off all day. My fatigue level was moderate. My jaw’s been popping like crazy and the rest of my joints are pretty achy. My finger joints, in particular, are the most painful. My neck is cracking. The center of my upper back itches, both on the skin and just under the surface. It’s an irritating itch that pulls at my attention.

Tonight, my rib cage hurts, both sides all the way around, about the level of the bottom of my sternum. The pain includes part of my thoracic spine. I’m guessing it’s the Herx, but it feels (emotionally) like my heart exploded and the shards have lodged in my bones.

My attention, obviously, was on Punky all day, even after he died at 4:50pm. Yet my mind has been wandering all over the place. I think it’s a combination of sadness about my kitty (and all the other unresolved disappointments in my life churning up at this moment) and the Lyme Herx slowly coming out.

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