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Advice for getting a new kitten... - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
John

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Advice for getting a new kitten... [Aug. 17th, 2013|01:04 pm]
John
... don't do it while feeling crappy, when you are assuming that you just strained your neck doing exercises, when, in fact, you may have a (relatively mild) case of viral meningitis[1].

But I do have a lovely new black kitten, sleek and pantherish, and a bit shy, about four months old. I wanted a kitten so Leo would have a playmate he wouldn't drive crazy, and besides, I've seen stuff saying kittens are easier to integrate than grown cats.

Her name at the shelter was Kate, which I might keep; "little kitty-Kate" flows nicely. But I'm waiting for her personality to tell me more. Alas, she's in seclusion for now (which is proper - at least a day of contact with a door between them is good advice, everyone agrees). But I wish I had more energy for playing with each kitty for a while, and didn't have such a rough time laying down in the seclusion room with its hard wooden floor and lack of pillows. (Getting down to kitten-level helps keep them from being too nervous about us big two-legged people.)

And I'm really nervous about the live introduction if I'm not energetic enough to chase them around the house. But we'll see... it'll work out, somehow.

Updated:
Kittens introduced. They seem to be a bit standoffish to me right now, but they seem to be getting along fine with each other. It's almost like they're saying "Hey, mack, what do you think we need *you* for? We've got a *cat* to play with!"




[1] Viral meningitis symptoms are headache (check) stiff neck (check - remember, thinking I'd strained it doing exercises?), fever (check - though relatively low), and fatigue (whoo, boy). Without confusion, photophobia, rash, etc., it's probably viral (it's like the flu; rest and wait) versus bacterial (GET THEE TO A DOCTOR). Don't worry I have some people checking on me for walking down the river and trying to drink the water, because mosquitoes may bite - er, I have people checking on me to make sure I'm coherent, just in case. But whatever it is, it seems to be passing, slowly, so it's probably not serious.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: glinda_w
2013-08-18 05:25 am (UTC)
Yay for kitten(s); yikes for possible meningitis. Take care of yourself, and don't let the kittens run you (too) ragged... :)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2013-08-23 05:45 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what it was - a weirdly presenting sinus infection is a not-bad guess right now. (I've got residual stuffiness and irritation.)

But it's over. And it's hard to believe the kitten has only aged a week; I feel like she's been here forever already.
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[User Picture]From: glinda_w
2013-08-24 01:19 am (UTC)
*wry expression* I'm on day three of antibiotics for - you guessed it, right? - a sinus infection.

Feeling like a particular feline has been part of one's life forever is a very good sign. :)

take care...
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[User Picture]From: kshandra
2013-08-18 05:45 am (UTC)
Meningitis was what they were thinking was wrong with gridlore originally...boy, did THEY have a wrong number.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2013-08-23 05:50 pm (UTC)
Nod... I knew meningitis could be bad news, and I was having one of those "who will I see, when, so someone will know to do something if I haven't shown?" and that got a bit freaky.

Thinking about gridlore is one of those times I'm a tiny bit relieved not to be a doctor. If I mess up a customer's SQL Server, they might lose money. I'd hate to make mistakes that can cost so much more.

(Then again, my own situation makes me kind of wish I could be a doctor. I'm getting ticked off at how people don't seem to care too much about fixing a problem.)
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[User Picture]From: glinda_w
2013-08-24 01:33 am (UTC)
(Then again, my own situation makes me kind of wish I could be a doctor. I'm getting ticked off at how people don't seem to care too much about fixing a problem.)

Dear sweet ghods, this.

TL:DR - wishing you had someone as competent and willing to believe a patient's knowledge of their own body as I have.

Really debilitating, etc. stuff started, all at once, in early February. Changed doctors a couple months ago, got lucky, have been able to return the shower seat to Helpline so someone else can use it, and the walker will go into the locker. Was angrily horrified to see what Former Doctor had put in my records - apparently I'm suicidal, get opioids from Canada, have relationship issues, am socially isolated. Oh, and she wrote, for every visit, "will continue to recommend counseling" - when I was seeing a therapist for EMDR, etc. It turns out that there's a legal thing in Washington, where you can amend your records; am not quite in a spoon-replenished state enough to do that yet, but it will happen. Because if she's been that incompetent and condescending and patronizing and just plain [expletives] wrong about me, who else is getting that same non-treatment?

Oops. *kicks soapbox away*

At least I got lucky with the new one. (Had to go through insurance, the Medicare Advantage people, to find another clinic that was covered; luckily, Harrison has opened one over in Poulsbo. I am so, so, so grateful for the new doc. She *listens*. She's come up with a medication tweak that is just about miraculous, am back to energy levels of pre-February (well, aside from feverish/sinus infection, but that's *fixable*).

Argh. Ranting.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2013-08-26 04:39 am (UTC)
Nod. What's really driving me crazy right now is that my problem is not unknown. It's not well established, but it's not unknown. And I've told doctors that their treatment plan *does not work* and... well, if it was me, a problem that I can't solve is like an itch. I want to scratch it. And if I can't solve it, I want to find someone who can. But that's not how medicine works.

(In my primary doctor's column, she did find someone who is more likely to help than anyone - but he's got a 3 month waiting list for appointments. But the specialists, who should "own" this problem, are insisting on doing the stuff that doesn't work. and nothing else.)

I'm glad you found someone who's listening, and taking action.
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[User Picture]From: acelightning
2013-08-18 08:37 am (UTC)
Could also be something flu-ish, with the vague aches deciding to settle in the neck. There's a difference between a sore neck and a stiff neck, as in meningitis; a sore neck hurts when you try to bend it, while a stiff neck won't bend. The test is to try to bring your chin down to touch your chest above the collarbone. If it hurts and you don't want to do it, that's one thing, but if it just plain won't go even if you try to push past the pain (or if it doesn't hurt, but you can't move it), it's probably time to call a doctor. Anyway, if it's going away, it probably was just a low-level flu kind of thing.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2013-08-23 05:52 pm (UTC)
Yes, it was probably just soreness in muscles and glands. I don't know if it ever got "can't touch chin to chest" stiff, because the fever broke before I had any knowledge. But right now, I'm guessing a sinus or ear infection from the residual sinus complaints.
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[User Picture]From: acelightning
2013-08-24 06:43 am (UTC)
If you had a stiff neck from meningitis or encephalitis, it would come on pretty quickly, and you'd know you were seriously ill. Your fever wouldn't be "mild", it would be incapacitating. You'd probably be vomiting as well.

Never read internet advice about symptoms when you're sick... you'll wind up with a virulent case of cyberchondria :-)

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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2013-08-26 04:35 am (UTC)
You know, I understand geek answer syndrome, and I know that it's often a sign of caring. I also know I don't have to justify my own judgment to anyone.

But I went from "neck seems a bit stiff - weird that only 25 of each neck exercise did that!" to waking up with a neck I was unwilling to move - so I didn't test range of motion - and a nasty headache, and a fever, and feeling that if things got worse, I wouldn't, e.g., be able to drive myself to the ER if necessary. I knew I was seriously ill.

Had I not read up on potential illness on the internet, I'd have gone to the ER and wasted time and resources that might have been better spent on someone else, to say nothing of probably being in agony. Instead, I could determine that the immediate danger was minimal, and try to rehydrate and go back to sleep, after making sure someone would check on me in case my symptoms worsened.

I do appreciate your caring, you are a good person whose friendship I value.
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[User Picture]From: thedragonspeaks
2013-08-18 07:08 pm (UTC)
Uh...yay for kitten! and uh-yay? for whatever-it-is passing.

Here's to feeling a lot better, and kittens helping. Because they generally do...
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2013-08-23 05:53 pm (UTC)
I'm feeling some better - and the kitten is definitely helping. Except - note to self, do not give scritches to kittens at 3am because kittens might follow you to bed, and think sheet-covered feet are cat toys.
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[User Picture]From: erin_c_1978
2013-08-19 06:52 pm (UTC)
Eep -- congrats on the new kitten, but really hoping those symptoms clear up and fast!
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2013-08-23 06:10 pm (UTC)
They have, mostly. I'm not feeling *good* right now, but I'm no longer feeling *sick*.

And I have a new kitten, which is good :-)
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[User Picture]From: kightp
2013-08-25 07:42 pm (UTC)
Glad to see the update (which I'd have seen yesterday if I hadn't been gallivanting all over the north coast). I've been *worried* about you.

And yay, kitten!
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