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Walter - Cat In Acute Renal Failure


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#121
Judy

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You're right...Orville is a HERO...and he HAS had a tough go of things...

so, we will send positive thoughts for him tonight...he needs to know that he's now HOME...poor guy...he doesn't have a clue quite yet...and he's recovering from a major surgery himself...

So...not only will we worry about Walter...we will be sure to keep a good eye on Orville...

It sounds as if Mickey is going to be good with things, so we just have to make it clear to Orville, that he's safe and at home with his new family.

#122
JamesWilletts

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Walter was the best they've ever seen him today.

The tech, Christine, came into "The Quiet Room" (the visiting area) holding him.  He's still got his feeding tube and catheters & i.v.'s in, but he was active and talking to us.  He jumped up on her shoulders, pirate-style, like he does to all of us.  There's a picture of him doing it to my friend Chris in the video.

He hadn't eaten solid food since his surgery, so he really just smelled and stared at his food.  I went to lie down next to him, and he climbed up on my chest to sit down.  He ate a couple of kibbles when I put the dish on my chest.

He's got some wounds, too, so he's got to adjust a lot and really think about things every time he wants to shift his position.  Eventually, though, he shifted his way down to lie down on my chest and fired up the engine.

Now, Walter's got four styles of purring.


1.)  He's just happy.

2.)  He's trying to calm himself down.

3.)  He wants something and is trying to manipulate you.  He'll purr so that people will melt and give him what he wants.  He hops on my chest and purrs in the morning when it's breakfast time.  "He's a little manipulator," we say.

4.)  If you're feeling bad, he'll purr on purpose to make you feel better.  That's his super-hero's healing ability.  He can tell when someone's worried or sad or scared--like I've been--, so he'll purr to calm another person down.  



For any of these reasons, sometimes the dude purrs so hard you can feel it from the other end of the couch or bed.  He also does this thing sometimes where he'll let his mouth hang open, just a little, so you hear the purring happening all the way down his throat and into his body, like a kind of gurgling sound that reverberates in his mouth.  I got a little bit of that today.  Music to my ears.

I told him it was okay, and that I loved him, and that he didn't have to purr; he could just relax....

Slowly, his purring stopped, his breathing slowed, and he just....sank.  

Walter's always been a light sleeper (gets that from his mom), but Mickey's the heavy sleeper (gets that from his dad).  Walter and I have often taken naps together on the couch, but on the floor I was so damned uncomfortable & too happy to move, holding my boy.  Today, and for the first time since I've met him, Walter fell asleep before I did.

It was a good day.  I'll upload the pictures once Christine sends them to me.

- James



Attached File  Walter - 128 Lrg.jpg   1.5MB   3 downloads

Older picture of Walter after I had a long day at work and he had a long day of....well, sleeping.




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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#123
JamesWilletts

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Just a quick one....

I've been looking at pet insurance for all three boys....

Melissa:  Thanks SO much for the tips!!  The per-incident vs. per-year vs. per-type is definitely a big one.  

Kim & Leo:  Go Pet Plan so far looks like it kicks major tail!  Thanks SO much!!  10% discount for microchips (of course!), 10% off on additional pets (now we're those people with "all those cats"...), and 5% for enrolling online....  Holistic, exams, hereditary, drugs...  Looks like just about everything's covered.  About $130 or so per year per pet; we'll probably spend that much on shots and heart worm prevention alone.

Not sure what "Medical Service" means, but I might be able to get in on that discount, too!

I used Walter as the litmus test, since he's the one with the most decorated records.  Some companies won't even take him, and for book-keeping purposes, I need them all on the same bill & same company.

I also had to jump through a very minor hoop with Home Again.  Walter & Mickey's chips are on Home Again, but Orville's chip was a different company.  According to the rep on the phone, Home Again will let you use ANY company's chip #, so Orville is on the same account as his brothers, now.  Yay!

The shelter here in FL gave us 30 days of basic ShelterCare, but I think--in case Orville starts winking-- I'm just going to go full-blown Pet Plan.  Still looking.  

Anyway, just wanted to give a big shout-out and THANK YOU to Melissa, Kim & Leo.

- James



Attached File  Walter - 037.jpg   1.29MB   10 downloads

Posing with the flowers.
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#124
Little Leo

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James you are very wecome!  I hope your days get better and easier.  I'm sure at least you feel like you can breathe.

Leo sends you a crazy tail wag and I send you all good thoughts :-)  <3 Kim

#125
JamesWilletts

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Hey, gang -

Yes, Kim, I actually am getting some more sleep the last two days. Thank you.

Walter's just lettin' the pee fly.  I woke up this morning and barely rolled out of bed before the hospital called.  I got to have three visitation sessions with Walter today.  9:30-ish, 7-ish, and then right after his treatments at 8:45-ish tonight. :-D

I honestly think he's in such good spirits due to the amount of love that I am giving him and the love that you all are sending his way.  I know that to a stranger he might look really funny with all of his dressings and bandages, i.v.'s and tubes, but to me he looks better every day, more and more beautiful.

He seemed a little bored this morning when I visited him, so I went over to PetSmart to get some of the same food he's used to at home, some treats & a clicker.  I also went to the grocery store and bought an 18-pack of High Life.  (Anyone who's seen the video knows what I'm talking about.)

So I had plenty of stuff for him to hang out with when I saw him again.  When the nurse brought him out she had a diaper/rag around herself, because he totally pee'd on her on the way to the visiting area.  As much as that sucks for someone else, she was a really nice, good sport, and I was so happy!  (Is that mean?)  ;-)

After she set him down, he walked over and finished in his makeshift litter box, and then climbed into the high life box.  He sat there and cleaned himself for a while, and then later saw his bag of treats and walked over.

I got him to speak for his treats and gnaw down a few kibbles of dry food.  He's very interested in the bags and gets very excited about the prospect of receiving the food, but when it's actually in front of him he can't seem to chew it up or get it down.  He never used to eat out of my hand, but today I managed to keep encouraging him to eat by holding it up to his face.  Then, just when I thought he couldn't eat anymore, he stuck his whole head in the bag of food and pulled out some bites, a couple of kibbles at a time, and ate a little more.

Then, at about 8:15pm, he went over to the door to the quiet room.  Time for his treatment.  He stared at the door, turned back to me, and gave me a good yell.  "Time to go, Daddy!"  The dude's so smart.  I asked the staff if they've been giving him his treatments right at 8:15 every night, and they said, yeah; pretty spot-on.

So I waited and read a copy of Best Friends-- GREAT magazine about rescues & adoption, if no one's read it-- before getting to go back and see him.  We had a little play time while he climbed up onto one of the tables from the couch, and then he hopped down to pee again!  

After walking to the door, he climbed into my lap while I was sitting on the floor next to him.  That was my cue to move to the couch for our nap.  I admit I dozed off for maybe an hour (or two!!), but we had a great time today.

Long one, huh?  Every little detail is a joy.  Again, I thank ALL of you for making this possible, with your donations, support, and encouragement.

Orville's doing okay at home.  He got a taste of the bed (Yes, we let our cats sleep in the bed with us, but until his stitches are out, Orville needs to stay down in his crate), so now it's really hard to get him back in the crate.

Thanks again for reading.  It is SO good to see Walter's old self emerging again.  Thank you thank you thank YOU!!!

- James






Attached File  Walter - 133 Lrg.jpg   364.46K   5 downloads

Here's an old picture of Walter sleeping it off after a day at the park.  Honestly, we were too lazy to put the carriers up right away, and he just blooped in there.
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#126
Judy

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James...I just sit here and smile when I read your posts...I am hoping that today was just as good a day as yesterday, or wait...how about even BETTER...

Walter seems to be doing amazingly well...

Orrville is getting settled in

How is Mickey doing with the new addition?  Last report was he was OK with the new kitty...

All in all this is one amazing journey, isn't it??

Do you and Rondit live in Boston proper?  I have two friends in the area...one in Waltham and one in Quincy...

#127
Melissa 1

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I love to read Walter's posts too.  And I am loving this journey. I feel like I am right there with them.   But I do get worried when we don't hear. Hopefully all is good this morning......

Melissa/IMOM

#128
JamesWilletts

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Hey, family -

Yes, Mickey Licky is actually very curious and eager to meet his new brother.  While we check Walter's kidney levels daily down here in Florida, Ronit is checking Orville's "Hiss Levels" up in Boston.  We're down to one hiss today.  He's just really nervous.  Getting a chance to walk around the house has been helpful in getting him comfortable, but he still sometimes retreats to his large cage for comfort.  He's great with all of the humans he meets, and Dr. Bandt, one of Walter's doctors down here in Gainesville, waxed very poetic about what a special animal Orville is.

Meanwhile, Walter & I have had a good couple of days.  He still goes to the door of the visiting room to fuss when it's time for treatments, but today he just shot me that look: "I want to go home."  I told him everything that had to be done, like get his kidney levels stable, pull out his catheter, and train Daddy to change his dressing.  He'll be on a feeding tube for a little while longer after he goes home.  Walter just shot me another look as if to say, "Well, get on it, then!"  :-D

Today he definitely expressed boredom in the visiting room, so I held him and took him for a walk to the lobby to look out the windows.  He urinated three times over just about forty-five minutes, and Dr. Buckley was very pleased with that.

I got him to take a few nibbles of food.  I asked Dr. Brandt why he doesn't eat, and Dr. Brandt said they keep him very full with the feeding tube, to insure that he doesn't lose any more wait.  Typical, fat Walter: Still full and manages to chew down even more dry food.  :-D

I saw him this morning, and I'll be going to see him again tonight.  We have dressing-change rehearsal & training tomorrow.  Once his kidney levels drop & show a trend of dropping, his catheter comes out and I think we can start preparing for the flight home.

I was thinking Saturday, but it might be longer.  Fingers crossed.

Walter hasn't been lethargic at all since his last dialysis on Saturday afternoon, so his true self is starting to emerge.  The only reason he's not more rambunctious is because he's in a strange place.  Once his left leg gets up to full function he'll be back to his usual, naughty & destructive self.  His leg is going to be a little weak for a few more days, though, because the kidney--which is a third kidney; they kept the other two and put the new one in his leg-- is stocking up on the same blood supply that goes down his leg.

Three kidneys, three ureters, a graft on one eye, one crookedy tail, a big brain & a giant heart.  That's our Walter.

AH!  PICTURES!!!

Attached File  Mickey - 123 Lrg.jpg   132.13K   5 downloads
Aunt Christina's Caption: "So I see Orville can't jump on things.  Obviously I am the superior cat.  Check.  Mate."



Attached File  Orville %22Gizmo%22 Paws - 7 Lrg.jpg   186.17K   12 downloads
Aunt Christina's Caption: "Chillin.  Getting used to the new digs."  Check out his little court jester outfit!



Attached File  Walter - 146 Lrg.jpg   1.28MB   10 downloads
Back in the High Life again.



Attached File  Walter - 143 Lrg.jpg   1.26MB   10 downloads
Not quite as large, but still in charge.
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#129
JamesWilletts

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And yes, Judy:  We're pretty much in Boston proper.  Allston.

We'll be having an open house in a few weeks, when all of our children are settled in.  I presume your friends are also animal people.  They are more than welcome to come visit!  I'll keep you updated.

Thanks for reading, everyone!

- James
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#130
JamesWilletts

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Levels are DOWN!!!   :-D

To recap: Walter last went on dialysis on Saturday, bringing his creatonin (sp?) levels down to 0.7 Sunday morning, which is unrealistically great, and really is just a result of the dialysis.  (1 to 2 is normal.)  Monday he jumped to 3.5, which is livable for a post-transplant cat.  Tuesday he was at 4.7, and yesterday at 5.4.  Today, he has jumped back down to 4.8.  If he's lower tomorrow, the catheter comes out!

We had dressing-rehearsal this morning, where I learned how to re-dress his feeding tube.  The doctors say he'll be on a feeding tube for another month, but he ate almost his entire dish of food this morning, even though it took him from 9:30 or so until about 11:45 to get through it all, in little touch-and-go visits back and forth from his food to his water to his litter box.

He's in good spirits, still.  I took him for another walk around the lobby to look out the windows, and then he started fussing for his litter box.  After a quick visit to that he went back to the door to the lobby and started yelling at me to go back out there.  He even took his meds on his infuser right there in the visiting room with me, being a very good boy.  

I think he knows what it's going to take to go home.  He does his homework.  He must get that quality from his mom & dad.  He's almost forcing himself to eat and drink, and visits the litter box whenever he can.  Everyone is very pleased.

Dr. Bandt (I mis-spelled it in the last post) is still awesome.  Great man.  He obviously loves Walter and gets really excited whenever there's good news.  One of the other techs showed Krystine (I've been mis-spelling that one, too) Walter's levels this morning and she screamed with joy.

Evidently the entire surgery was broadcast over the college tv in the rounds.  Dr. Ellison had a little camera hooked onto his goggles, so Krystine got to see the whole thing.  I would probably have a heart-attack, but I'm sure to her it was fascinating.

Dr. Buckley is on his way to London to give more speeches & clinics about dialysis.  I am sure Walter will make his way into his talks, so Walter will be famous everywhere.  Evidently, Suzanne (who used to work at Tufts) is now head tech at UFL.  The whole team at Tufts is calling her and the hospital for updates and pictures of Walter.  

Popular guy.

My friend Jenny said last night, "He's a very lucky cat to have you guys."

Let's all hope for a world where luck has nothing to do with it; a world where this is exactly what you're supposed to do when your companion is in danger.

Thanks for the love & kind thoughts, everyone.

- James


Attached File  Walter - 152 Med.jpg   377.6K   8 downloads

Walter this morning.  His head was moving too fast for the camera.




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He's got this thing with sinks.  At Angell they're automatic, so he gets a nice surprise.




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Eating and getting his treatments.  Multi-tasking.




Attached File  Walter - 157 Med.jpg   444.07K   10 downloads

Yep.  That's a smile.  Fell asleep while I was holding his head in both of my hands.  I had to sneak one out to take the picture.




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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#131
Judy G

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Walter is one amazing cat, but I don't need to tell you that!  Happy to hear his levels are down and that he is recovering so well.   I look forward to the day when he is home with all of you and getting to know his new brother and reuniting with Mickey.

Judy G.

#132
Judy

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Walter is really doing amazingly well...

He is one special boy...

From the sounds of things, everything is going just as it should...GREAT JOB from all involved...you went that extra mile and can be proud...

Anxious to hear how today goes...THANKS for sharing your incredible journey with us all...Judy

#133
vickyimom

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"Let's all hope for a world where luck has nothing to do with it; a world where this is exactly what you're supposed to do when your companion is in danger"


Amen James. Wishing you all a terrific weekend full of news that just gets better.

Vicky M

#134
JamesWilletts

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Hello again, IMOM'er's & Angels,

Walter's levels are down again today, but not so much.  They're thinking that it's because he is using his kidneys (i.e., urinating) to put out more than he's putting in.  What that translates to is that he's a little dehydrated, so he had to get some water in his e-tube and some saline infused today.  He eats & drinks more when I'm around (of course...).

The doctors & techs think it's good for him when I pull him out into the lobby to see the outside world and the sunshine.  He's a lot happier out there with me, for sure.

I asked Dr. Buckley for another estimate for his release, best & worst case scenarios.  He's thinking best case is Wednesday, now.  I don't want to rush him.  We'll see how far his levels go down tomorrow & maybe his catheter will come out then.  Hoping.

Meanwhile, here's a picture I snapped of him looking out the window.  Even though we call his graft the "mood ring", he definitely gets more and more yellow in his eyes when he's happy.

Thanks for reading.  I'll check in again tomorrow.

- James



Attached File  Walter - 160 Med.jpg   432.84K   8 downloads
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#135
Judy

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I think that Walter is doing amazingly well...from the photos he looks great...

and I love to hear when he gets to look out the window and his eyes get really yellow...how wonderful is that...

Keep those photos and stories coming...

I sure do hope that Wednesday is his day to go home...but, you know, it's better to be safe right now...you sure don't want to do anything that could take away from all the progress this boy has made...you want to be extra sure that all is well before you begin his journey home...

How is Orville doing?  I hope much better...I hope that soon Mickey will be able to show him all the ins and out of his new home...Judy

#136
JamesWilletts

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Thanks everyone!

He is doing pretty great.  Today he was pretty tired most of the time.  And yes, I don't want to rush him at all.  His creatonin values dropped just a touch, but his B.U.N. dropped a lot (from 100 to 60, whatever that means; our target is 30-ish).

His catheter's still in.  He had to get another lung tap today due to fluid in there.  It was good to have Dr. Bandt come out to visit while we were in the lobby (I think he likes Walter a lot).  Dr. Bandt showed me how to observe his breathing; it was a little labored and I thought he was just breathing deeply and relaxing.

Walter & I have definitely gotten to know each other a lot better.  They keep his tummy pretty full, so he didn't eat so much solid food.  We watched a little bit of Star Trek (one of our old pastimes; there's something about the music or Patrick Stewart's voice that makes Walter enjoy the opening.), and for some reason Walter ate only when Lt. Worf was speaking.  Strange.  Must be that primal instinct.

He's getting spoiled, too.  He whines at the door to go the lobby, and he'll hop out of my lap....  I let him, now.  I got a little scared the first few times he tried, but he just wanted to sit in the window without me holding him.  He's such a good boy.

I think we'll keep him at the hospital a little longer than we need to, just to be safe.

I think that's pretty much it today.  As for Orville, he's doing okay at home with his new mommy.  They had lots of cuddle time after the vet yesterday.

Oh, they took the bandages off of Walter's incision, even though his stitches are still in.  It's long!  It'll be a tiny scar, though, and easily hidden by his fur, I'm sure.  

There are a couple of domesticated "strays" (they've got the TNR trimming on their ears) in the neighborhood I'm staying in, and the short-haired cats in Florida have really short hair.  They make Walter's new-england coat look really fluffy!  He had to get brushed big time today, and I let Mommy take the furminator home to work on Orville.

Thanks for keeping up, everyone.  I need to get my hands on an IMOM shirt for when I perform.  Brandish the Angel's Wings.

Love,

- James



Attached File  Walter - 172.jpg   334.65K   2 downloads
I like that Walter has a halo.


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You can see how shaved he is.  They poodle-pawed all four limbs so they can rotate the i.v.


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Walter & Daddy in the lobby.


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Walter taking a break from watching bugs and ambulance chopper practice in the window.


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This one's just cute.  I kinda went nuts with the camera today.
--


"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#137
JamesWilletts

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Hey, everyone.

So....  I'm not going to lie.  I'm scared.

Walter started throwing up last night, which could have been a reaction to his cyclosporin or a sign that he's rejecting the kidney.  His levels were back up this morning, and his white blood cell count was up, which definitely means rejection.

However, they caught it in less than 24 hours (obviously), so they just ramped up his cyclosporin & prednisone dosage, tapped his lung again (which yielded very little, but the point was to completely clear his lungs) so they can "push fluids".  Dr. Bandt, after just about four hours, said that he was very pleased with Walter's progress & state.

I guess I'm just being a worried parent.

I was hoping to be home now, but it's clear that Walter needs more time.  That's okay; I want him to have all the time he needs to get better.  He will be on a higher dosage of cyclosporin for the rest of his life, probably, which is okay.  As long as he's alive and happy.  We'll give him the best life possible.

I have to travel over the next couple of days, and I am SO scared to leave my baby behind at this point.  He has really made some great friends there at the hospital, so he will be with good company & well looked after until I return.....  However, the truth remains that I am really, really torn up inside today.

Please, everyone, just keep sending more love Walter's way.  He has done so well, done all of his homework, and had a lot of support from his family.  He's almost too healthy, because it is his immune system that is so strong & making this one move to reject the kidney.  Take your time, Walter.  I will take you home when you are ready.  Just come home.

- James


Attached File  Walter & Mickey - 45 Med.jpg   331.29K   7 downloads


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--


"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#138
celayne

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Oh, James, you must be beyond terrified.   It's easy for me to say from this distance, but I hope you'll remember that Walter is in wonderful, caring hands with his doctor and hospital staff.   And they caught the problem very quickly.  I imagine that is part of the reason they didn't discharge him earlier, despite everything looking so good -- they know that there can be glitches in the road to full recovery.  

I have been enjoying all your updates and photos of your family.   You really should consider writing a book about Walter and his brothers.  It's a compelling story and you are an excellent writer.  At the very least, the boys' journey is worthy of a long magazine article.  Your words are enhanced by your enchanting, warm pictures.

#139
Forusmom

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Hi James , Ronit, Walter, Orville, and Mikey,

Foru and I are with you, and I can completely understand your fears.

I was there more times, than I care to remember.
Dont feel torn, dont feel like you are leaving him, just reassure him , comfort , and love him with the positive feeling that this is a minor setback.
It was soo hard for me, but I never got upset in front of my monkey, I always left the room , composed myself and came back with nothing but happy emotions because he was getting the chance he so desperatly needed.
I wont lie it was hard, but I know in my heart it made him fight harder.

I would return to the room, thrilled to see him, and reassuring him, he would be home soon!

His tail would wag, and he would get soo happy to hear that and he improved each time within 24 hrs.

I knew full well, it was up to him, and in God;s hands but I made sure he knew how happy just the sight of his face made me and how I couldnt wait to take him home.
I had to leave him around the holidays, and there were quite a few times we did not know which way it would go.

I never left sad, ( not that he knew anyway), and I always expressed to him how much I was looking forward to coming back to take him home.

It was so difficult. He did not have a transplant, but he did lose a kidney and both were severly affected from his infection.

At one point during surgery it came to the point that they could not remove either one, because they were unsure if either would function normally on its own due to damage.

During the same surgery they made the decsion to remove the left one because it had developed a very large abcess.

He did well after that, but again had a setback, with his levels severly elevated, and he became septic.

My monkey was only 3 months old, but had made such an impact on my life in such a short time I wanted to die myself.

I  know every case is different, and I know many have fought the same battle and lost their precious soul mates.

I would like to say , when I found myself at this point I was at peace because I knew everything that needed to be done medically was done and it was up to the monkey , his body, and God.

I dont know if you are religous, but it does not matter, I know as does Walter, and everyone here at Imom and in the world that has heard his stpry that you have all done, everything that could have possibly be done and more to save his precious life.
I feel in my heart he will pull through this, he has an amazing group of Dr's, an awesome support system, IMOM, and all of his Aunties that love him so much.

Dont feel torn, dont feel you are leaving him, you are not!

Be thrilled he was given the chance he needed when so few cats are even canditates for these surgerys, and that he had parents who were able to move mountains and fundraise to get him the surgery he needed.

Be happy for him, with him, and adore each and every day.
This is just my opinion, and what worked for me.

I do understand what you are going through, and at times I felt like I had to pretend.

But the truth is I had to fight back my own sadness, and fears , and reassure my little monkey that I had faith in him, his will to live, and was counting the mins until he was home with me.

You should be soo proud of yourselves, and I am soo sure Walter is very proud of you and everything you have done and given him.

Stay strong, and dont give up on him, or ever feel you left him, or are leaving him.

He is a strong boy, in very good care, surrounded by love, and has the help of excellent meds to assist with his recovery.

We are all pulling for him, and for you.

With Love, and Positive thoughts coming your way!

Dawn , and Foru ( the monkey)

#140
Judy

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James, I now that you are traveling today...sending positive thoughts and prayers for a better day for Walter...

I know that you are concerned and worried because you are not there...but staff loves him and he is in the best of hands...

Know that all of us here are worrying right a long with you...will be anxious to see an update...Judy

#141
JamesWilletts

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Thank you everyone.

And thank you, Dawn, for the story.  You are right.  I have been in good spirits as much as I can when I see him.  I hope he is not going into shock because I was seeing him so much every day, taking him out into the lobby to watch bugs & helicopter practice.  

I will try to make sure I am happy when I see him again.  I have cried every time I've held him, but at least half the time it was because I was so glad to be with him.  He really is my soul mate.  He found us & picked us to show us many great things about life.  I genuinely feel that he is not done teaching us a lot of beautiful things and has so much to live for.

Orville & Mickey got to spend time together yesterday for the first time.  Orville was a little scared, but Mickey wanted to play.  Mickey has been very lonely lately, and even though he is obviously grasping for some kind of solace by playing with Orville, I can tell that to him it is definitely not the same.

It is hard to find a quiet place to go and cry.  I could cry at home, but I don't want to scare Mickey, Orville, or Ronit.

To update all of you on Walter, he feels better today.  He had a round of dialysis yesterday, just to make him more comfortable.  Part of the drill is to tap his lungs right after dialysis and fresh again this morning so they can keep pushing fluids.  We're waiting on his values to come back this morning & see if they spiked much.  I may have mentioned the delicate balance of cyclosporin levels that they are trying to achieve each day by delicately regulating his dosage, and I am pleased to say that yesterday they nailed it right on the money.  He had perfect levels yesterday.

He was also producing urine all day yesterday and the day before (during the setback), so it's also possible that his new kidney was undamaged, or at least damaged very little.  Dr. Bandt said that it could be back to being fully healed in a day or so.  

When I left yesterday morning, I did tell Walter that I wanted to take him home, to do his homework, eat, pee, and drink lots of water.  I told him that it was his kidney, that Orville gave it to him to keep forever so that he would get better.  I told him he was a good boy and that I would come back to take him home.

Dr. Bandt is giving him lots of love every day and telling him that his daddy loves him.

I will keep updating everyone when I get the chance.  Thanks for all of the love and positive thoughts!

- James




Attached File  Walter - 082 Med.jpg   361.76K   5 downloads
Clearly I was working on a few projects.  "That's a good spot, Walter."


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Needless to say, we're never short on lint rollers at our house.


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Krystine snapped this one when I first got to visit with him after surgery.
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#142
CatPaws

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Walter, Keep those values heading in the right direction.  

I'd be hugging and loving on Orville as much as he would let me, and send telepathic messages to the kidney he gave to Walter.  The less scared Orville is, the more calming the mental messages will be.  

They are all such good kitties.
HELP JUST ONE

Love, from AJ's Pride and Skeeter's Joy

#143
Melissa 1

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Agree with CatPaws! Those mental messages are powerful.

Thinking Walter every day.....hoping that everything is going in the right direction and that kidney does not get rejected.

Melissa/IMOM

#144
Beauty's Kathy

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I agree. I kept an outside kitty going for a year with lots of love and positive energy.

BE positive and keep strong for Walter. Read Foru's story for a real life example of the power of love in keeping our loved ones with us. Foru was on the edge more than once and now he is a healthy happy puppy.

My special crf Angel is with Walter right now, watching over him and keeping him safe.

Sending lots of whie light and healiing purrs from the Magical Beach Kitties

Kathy

#145
Forusmom

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The power of positive thinking, and the love do certainly make a difference.

I know that first hand.

My little monkey was in kidney failure more times than I care to remember.

He was septic twice, and euthansia was suggested at least 3 times, after his original battle which cost him one kidney, and he nearly lost the majority of his intestines.

Had I seen him suffering, and he had not lifted his head blowing kisses and wagging his tail even at his worst I may have agreed.

But I knew he was still with me and fighting, and I kept feeling positive, and reassuring him he would be coming home soon ( even though I was falling apart inside.)

I came close to losing it  a few times, and spent days on my couch crying, and crying. I  was able to vent and tell my deepest fears to all of Foru's Aunties here at Imom.

But,. I truly found each time I pulled it back togethor and composed myself he improved, despite all odds several times.

I never fell apart in front of him, and every time I was with him was a happy reassuring time for us both. A few times when I felt fear and emotion coming over me, I left the room....before I fell apart in front of him.

I composed myself, and returned .

I cant say 100% he never sensed my fear, or sadness, but I did my best to hide it from him and found comfort and joy in every moment we spent togethor.

This may sound harsh, and I dont mean it to be.... I am just sharing my experience from my heart in the hopes it helps you, and Walter.

In my heart, if he passed I would have accepted it.

It would have crippled me emotionally, but I felt true comfort knowing I had done, and would do anything in my power to save him, it wasnt up to me anymore. I would have given anything for him ( including my own kidney) .You and Ronit have done the same, and then some : )

If he passed it would have been because his body and organs werent strong enough, or just because it was his time to go and join the bridge kid Brigade.

I knew he was given all of the medical treatment he could have possibly recieved, and wasnt euthanized because I had run out of  funds, or was suffering .  

Once he was in surgery I had faith, more the first time, but the same faith which each additional operation.

  
I know in my heart, the monkey and I were fighting for each other.

I also realize there are times when their little bodies cant take anymore.

I felt as I do today, if it was his time he would let me know.

Dont ever feel guilty about having to leave him.

That was very hard for me too, I wanted him home for his first Christmas more than anything.

But in the end''' his life is the best Christmas present I could have recieved, EVER.

Our time apart gave him the medical attention he needed to save his life.

Each time I left, ( because I wasnt allowed in the critical care unit) he was carried back.....but before he went through the double doors he would always turn; and look back ( kisses in the air and tail wagging) and I would tell him " Be a good Boy little monkey. its gonna be okay, and you'll be home soon" and he would perk up so much it lifted my heart.

He was over 5 hours from me, and there were so many times between Thanksgiving and New Year that I couldnt see him for days at a time....the pain and worry were unbearable.

I was soo lucky that he touched so many Dr's and Students at Cornell, that almost every day he had someone

who cared and was routing for him by his side.

He also had ( like Walter does) all of IMOM, his IMOM aunties, and that LBK routing for him.

Walter has that too! Your pictures and videos are soo amazing.

Your love for Walter shows in every photo, and video, and everyone see's and feels that.

We all love Walter too!

You have gone above and beyond, and done everything in your power to ensure Walter gets every chance imaginable .

He is in a very good hospital, with the power of medication to assist him in his journey to recovery.

We are all here , right along with you and Ronit ( Mickey , and Orville) routing for him , sending love, and prayers that he will be back at home with you before you know it.

You take the best pics / videos and are able to capture the most intimate, and loving moments ... your love for Walter has touched our hearts and made us all fall in love with him too!
I cant wait to see the photos of him back at home, and the family photos once everyone has adapted to your new arrival.


All Our Love,
Dawn , and Foru ( the monkey)

Edited by Forusmom, 16 March 2012 - 12:52 AM.


#146
Beauty's Kathy

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I hope the next post we will be pictures of Walter back home with his family and new addition...sending lots of love and positive thoughts your way. IMOM and Magic have a way of working miracles...this year especially has been incredible..

Stay strong- you have all of IMOM behind you !

Kathy and the Magical Beach Kitties

#147
JamesWilletts

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Thank you again, everyone!

Walter & I are together again at the hospital.  He's just relaxing & sitting out in the lobby with me right now, watching the window washers with much curiosity.

His kidney has really been damaged.  His levels aren't staying down as well as they should, and he seemed really depressed & tired yesterday.  It was hard to see him like that.  He did yell at me a little (which is normal & definitely a sign of Walter's powerful spirit), and Dr. Bandt keeps telling me that "Walter looks good today," which is every day.

But today he's got that fire in his eyes again & seems to be showing that fighting spirit.  I thought of Foru & Dawn, so I kept my chin up and just gave him lots of love & smiles.  He's just heavily medicated and a little groggy.  It's okay for him to be a little lazy.

*(The window washers are laughing at him right now.  They have an audience.)

I wish I had pictures of him at home with the boys...  I am still holding positive thoughts of the three of them together...  The five of us together.  I was holding his head in my hands, shut my eyes, and thought of us together on our soft, red couch at home.

Walter's mom is working hard back at home.  Working very hard for all of us.  No one is in an easy situation.

I just thought I'd update everyone.  Thanks for the kind thoughts for Walter's safe & healthy return to Boston.


Also, everyone please pass along the story of IMOM & continue to bring animal awareness to everyone you know.  Tell your friends about pet insurance, rescue, and other ways to support our animal friends.  This economy is affecting them, too, and putting them in even more danger.



- James


Attached File  Orville %22Gizmo%22 Paws - 9 Med.jpg   235.07K   3 downloads
Orville & Mickey - "Bird Watching!"
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#148
cgerrans

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Oh James I check this post numerous times a day looking for an update on Walter, Mickey and Orville. I'm SO happy Walter's got a bit of his fighting spirit back. It's hard when you've gone through what he has been through. His new kidney has been damaged? Kidneys are a funny thing. I have human kidney disease and sometimes my levels are nuts and then they go back down again. I'm hoping that if they can get Walter stabilized his kidney can regenerate some.  And every day that goes by is a good day, one more into recovery.  I'm not as eloquent as many on this site but I do think of Walter constantly and send him love, prayers and VERY positive healing thoughts!

#149
JamesWilletts

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Hi, everyone.

Yes, Walter started rejecting the kidney two Sundays ago.  That means his body saw his new kidney as a foreign object and sent white blood cells and other things to attack it.  It was this attack that has damaged his kidney.

If a cat is going to reject a kidney, it happens in the first month. If that first attack on the kidney happens, then, after the cat is stable and able to go home, no more strong episodes like that will happen for the rest of his life.  If a second rejection is to occur, it will happen over a slow period of months, therefore allowing everyone plenty of time to catch it before it gets this bad.  He'll be meeting with his doctors in Boston quite frequently for the rest of his life.

But for now, his levels keep jumping up after dialysis.  They're not jumping as severely as they were before he got his new kidney, but it seems to be taking a long time for Walter's kidney to heal after his immune system attacked it.

Leave it to Walter to put off his full recovery until the last possible minute.  He can be such a jerk sometimes that it makes me laugh.  :-)  He's just going to take his sweet time and worry his parents as long as he possibly can before coming home, I bet.

His blood flow to his kidney is great, according to the ultra-sound.  This is where I get confused; if I understand correctly, there is a wall that is connected to the kidney that could be severed, making the transmission of nutrients & healing to the main part of the kidney difficult.  There seems to be enough going on that Walter is still able to urinate, so I take that as a good sign.

Another thing that really separates cats from humans is that cats are not able to be on dialysis forever the way humans can.  He HAS to fix that kidney before he can come home.

So another round of dialysis today.  We won't check his levels tomorrow, then, but the next day.  Fingers crossed.  

As for Orville & Mickey:  Ronit bought one of those snake & ball toys once (like $35, I think....), and brought it home.  Mickey & Walter played with it for about five minutes, and haven't touched it since.  Walter's favorite toy is the High Life box ($11, and the box comes with 18 free beers), so go figure.

Well....  Guess who just LOVES that ball/tunnel toy?  That's right.  Ronit went downstairs to go get lunch, and when she came back, Orville was still playing with it.

She also gave them both catnip yesterday.  I'd be amazed if the house isn't destroyed by now.

Thanks for all of the love, everyone.  I have seen some really beautiful animals here.  Animals in great shape, fantastic recovery, and animals just coming in that need lots of love and work.  The people are just as diverse, too.  People who know nothing about what it takes to have an animal companion in your life, and people with hearts so big & full for their furry & feathered & scaled friends.  I've even seen people that show little to no emotion on the outside, but are simply doing whatever it takes to make sure their animals are healthy and happy.

And you know, there is never a way to tell on the surface..... body language, dress, physical appearance, how they behave to humans....  You never know when another animal lover like us is walking nearby.

Keep us in your thoughts.  Someday I hope all of you have the chance to meet our little boys.

- James





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Catnip!!  (Man, Mickey looks huge in this picture....)
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France

#150
cgerrans

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James - I am so impressed with the love and devotion you and Ronit show to Walter, Mickey and Orville and also the great compassion and the wise soul that comes across in your postings. I know EVERYBODY is plugging for Walter and hopefully if they can continue to let his kidney heal and get his anti-rejection dosage right, Walter will be rearing to go in no time. I think it's incredible that you and Ronit have upturned your life to do this for Walter. I'm sure Walter is enjoying the closer bonding that the time you are spending with him is allowing. I think that the blood flow being excellent is a great sign in a transplant, now just got to nail the rejection part. Many years ago my husband was in an auto accident and they had to completely remove 1 kidney and part of the other one. Years go by and the nephrologist at Stanford was amazed when they did an ultrasound and the removed kidney had started to grow back, very small but there. God creation's are truly incredible in how they can heal themselves if given the right circumstance. Walter is getting lots of love and the very best medical care. You need to tell him that its up to him now. He's to concentrate on getting himself well. With cats that often translates to rest and good nutrition. Lots of love, healing thoughts and prayers directed at Walter and the rest of your family...Christine




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