alternate title ‘Kidneys don’t fail me now’.
My To-Be is not doing so good. He is in kidney failure. I just got the call from the vet. To-be’s red blood count is low. He is in kidney failure. I may keep inserting that last sentence, I don’t want to believe it. There are options but those I need to discuss with his alleged owners. Like many a mom before me and many a dad after me, I believed that famous line “I’ll take care of it, I promise.”.. That translates into “Happy birthday/Merry Christmas/Happy Mother’s or Father’s day. I got you a pet”
To-be and his brother Yoda joined our little family a little more than ten years ago. In my brain-dead mom of teenage boys daze, I agree to replace a passed on cat (cat number #3 for those keeping score) Taco was great. He was an old orange barn cat. Taco spent the last year of his life living in the kitchen near his food bowl. He got too lazy to put any effort into it. I wish I’d taken into consideration that the boy who was getting said kitten was about to graduate and go off to college.
Enter To-be and Yoda.
Litter mates. Mom was a Siamese, Dad was a Burmese. We settled on the first one pretty easily but then I saw the sad little kitten in the back of the box. The only one left. He was covered in goo, had infected eyes all a’squinty. He looked like a Yoda. The other kitten we named ”To-Be Named At A Later Date Because Mom Never Said OK To <hyphen> Two Kittens’. To-be for short. And yes,his full name is what he’s registered under at the vets. So To-be became my To-be. And I love him dearly. Sadly he’s not well. His kidneys are failing and he’s got a mass where a mass should not be. We can change his food and add a couple things to his diet and he may be good to go for a few more years. One thing I will not do is watch him suffer. That’s just cruel and I love him too much to do that. He’s already got me getting up in the middle of the night to make sure he’s breathing. Not like I can change it if he isn’t.
And this takes me back to Mom. She’s suffering. She is so confused. She gets half the words wrong and forgets the rest of them. Her eye sight has her to the point of us needing to feed her sometimes because she keeps lifting an empty folk to her lips. We are checking the blood cell counts. And for a urinary tract infection. Her loopy is speeding up too fast, something’s wrong in Shirleyland. ‘Shirleyland, obviously not the happiest place on Earth.’ She is dropping weight, weepy, and angry at times. She is having pains in her belly again.
The sick humor in this occurred to me. On one hand I have a small creature whose mind may not function on the same settings as ours do. On the other hand we have a very old person who only enjoys only two out of every seven days. Both are suffering, both are underweight, Both are considered geriatric. I spend my days with one, my nights with the other. I can only help one.
And what’s been rattling around in my head is this: is there a point where a person who will never really recover, can decide to end medical treatment and just be allowed to go? And if there is, who gets to decide when it is? I’m not suggesting we up the pain meds and say goodbye but if the person themselves steps onto the ice floe and asks you to let them sail off…
I’m not sure what my opinion is. I made the decision to honor Dad’s outdated and expired wishes. Kinda funny, Dad’s Living Will expired before he did. But now I’m watching Mom and there’s very little Shirley left in Shirley. She doesn’t even look like Shirley anymore. And I’m watching To-Be decline. And I’m wondering why it’s his time so fast but it’s Mom’s time so slow.
Edit to add:
I am not saying I want my Mother to die. I’m just accepting that she will and I’m dealing with it by humor. Please, my least favorite comment giver, do not send me any more pious messages. God and I are cool. My Faith has a huge set of … Pray for my Mom, not for me. And I promise to keep praying for you in return.