Thursday, June 14, 2007

Today, I'm home with Nikki. When I got home about 7:30 last night, she couldn't see me. Her wide-eyed stare looked right past me, and she startled when I touched her. She could see light and some movement if it had color contrast, but she was blind. I did a quick google search and learned that sudden blindness is often high blood pressure so I gave her a dose of her old meds. Her pupils were HUGE (another symptom), and it was really sad to see her try to find her way around. She stepped right off the side of the bed. Later she walked right into me and also got lost in the den.

At the vet this morning, my hunch was correct.....high blood pressure. The doctor said that even for a "stressed" cat, her blood pressure was very high. (If someone shaved your tail and wrapped a cuff around it, you would be stressed too.) Plus, the doctor could see "it" in her eyes too....the pressure, I guess. We won't know for a week or so whether the blindness is permanent. :(

Anyway, I'm staying home with her so she doesn't hurt herself. I can't imagine not being able to see nor hear. The vet said that I was very smart to give her a dose of her blood pressure med last night. However, I can't help feeling the guilt of any normal parent for taking her off her blood pressure meds. However, when you have an ornery 20 yo cat, you can't give them every medicine on the planet. It's kind of a give & take. Nikki takes a liquid daily to, constipation, and she gets her subcutaneous fluids every 3 days. Everything you do to her is a drama (cut nails, clean ears, brush her under parts, etc.). You have to find that balance between doing what you can to help her, but not doing so much that she's miserable and hides from you constantly. I stopped doing the blood pressure meds a few months ago, and I discussed it with the vet when she went in a few weeks ago for coughing/wheezing. Basically, I took a chance on stopping her meds because, having only had her blood pressure checked once over a year ago, how reliable could the reading be after a year? Plus, to check the blood pressure is stressful to a cat so how accurate is the reading in the first place? It was a gamble, but then again it's all about give & take. (The coughing/wheezing was determined to be probably caused by acid reflux related to the kidney problem. Since then she's been taking a pill 2x day to calm her tummy, and it has definitely helped.)

So today at the vet, she got a shot of Lasix (diuretic) and two meds were called in. She's resting comfortably now, but I'm just waiting & praying for any sign that she can see me.