living with depression

cat

It’s been rough having flu, a raised temperature and a secondary infection. Rick has been fortunate just to have had flu which is bad enough but he has been forgiven for giving it to me. I’m assuming the secondary infection is respiratory as my right lung has been clear but my left lung hasn’t been.

The first few days I just wanted to sleep all the time. Food has tasted like cardboard so I haven’t been esaing properly. This evening I have eaten a bit better although our doggy dustbin aka Cassie has eaten well.

Last night and this evening I have been cheered up by Jacob aka JJ aka Tigger has been out with me and Cassie. JJ thinks it’s great fun and makes a game of it although he will walk with us.

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The past few weeks have been the ‘usual’ of doing too much and not having enough hours in the day. Grace is getting bigger, more playful and being a good play mate for Cassie. Tasha, on the other hand, hasn’t been so good.

We knew she was having a bit of a problem with her right eye and sneezing regularly. The weekend before last her eye was extremely swollen so Rick rang up the vets who said it wasn’t an emergency and to ring up last Monday for an appointment. Rick did that and we were given an appointment for Tuesday. Tasha doesn’t go far but this time she did one of her rare disappearing acts so the appointment had to be cancelled. I went out at 11.45 pm for one last check round and as I walked to our car just in case Tasha had gone underneath it as she does sometimes I heard a meowing. It was such a relieve to know it was Tasha.

Rick rang up the vets straight away and was told to get her to their practise which we did. With a bit of gentle prodding pus and blood came from Tasha eye then she had an x-ray. The good news that she doesn’t have cancer but she has an abcess behind her eye. Tasha was kept in over night due to having an anaesthetic and them wanting to monitor her. By the time we got to bed it was about 2 – 2.30 am in the morning. We picked up Tasha up late Wednesday afternoon along with medication for her.

We had to take Tasha back on Friday so the vet could have another look as removing her right eye had been was the worst option. She said Tasha’s eye is better but there is still a risk that it might be removed or she could go blind in the eye. We have more medication and a final decisoon will be made on Friday.

Tasha has her moments for being a cantankerous cat but she can also be very loving too when it suits her. We love that cat so much as she is a character, very good with Grace and tolerant of Cassie considering she is nine years old.

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The past few weeks have been difficult due to the stress we’ve been put through by one family. I can’t remember when the last time I didn’t feel tired. The past week has been easier as I’ve spent more time at home so I have had time to get our home tidier.

The worst time of the week was on Wednesday as we took friends to an appointment in Newton Aycliffe. While we were waiting for them to come out we had a phone call from our friend Stewart to let us know that Tinkerbelle had died. We were completely shocked as she wasn’t quite 3 years old. When we got home I went to see Tinkerbelle who had been placed in a box and covered with a quilt in our backgarden. There wasn’t a mark on her which confirmed what was already suspected that it was natural causes even though she had appeared fit. Myself, Rick and a few others suspect it could have been Diabetes as Tinkerbelle had been eating and drinking a lot but wasn’t a big or fat cat. Earlier this year we had taken her to the vets due to her drinking and being sick. We were told to keep her on a specific diet and see how she went and Tinkerbelle stopped being sick. It’s really upset us and our neighbours as Tinkerbelle was loved so much.
Rest in peace our little Tinkerbella – we went through so much from bottle feeding you from two weeks old, your neck problems which we constantly bathed for months, being ill this year and now holding you in our hearts.

The best time of this week has been getting a kitten whom we have named Grace. We had been talking to a lady in Tesco a few weeks ago who told us her cat had had five kittens so we said we would have one. She rang us last Saturday asking if we still wanted one. Rick told her we would be round on Sunday as we were out – we were and on our way to Keswick. The lady asked if we could take all five so we agreed as we didn’t think it would be hard to rehome them all. Our friend didn’t take any persuasion to decide to keep one as the little angel snuggled into his neck. By Wednesday afternoon the other three were rehomed. I am still getting telephone calls and texts asking if we have any left even though we have made it clear that there aren’t any left.
Our newest little angel.

Our two other furbabies Tasha and Cassie have been great with Grace who is a typical little kitten by eating, sleeping and racing all over the place. I am just wondering how long it will before my legs and hands are ripped to shreds by one little kitty….

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It was a relieve to find out the my sister was able to book the funeral as we need to say our ‘goodbyes’ to our Dad. An autopsy was done which upset me a bit as he was elderly, frail and had his health worries. My sister asked me if I wanted to view my Dad’s body but I can’t face that and I want my memories of my Dad to be the good ones. I have mentioned to Rick that it feels a bit wierd that I haven’t dreamed about my Dad. When my Mum died I had dreams about her, still do, but none with my Dad.

This past week has been a bit different to the norm. Our budgie died aged about 7 so survived his ‘friend’ by 3 1/2 years and it does feel strange not having a bird in our home. On the other hand our youngest cat, Tinkerbelle, ‘chose’ to live at our neighbour’s home and the neighbour’s cat, Bella, moved in with us. We have a cat flap which Bella liked as it meant she could come and go as she pleased. Another neighbours cat, Sooty, also visits and I have a bowl of cat biscuits down permantly for him.

There were issues when Bella was put down and we got Tinkerbelle to the vets because she had sick several times. We knew the neighbour was keeping our furbaby in when she was at home but then I found out she had been locking Tinkerbelle in when she went out. Neither Rick or myself were happy about that. We knew Bella could get out of our home if she was in when we went out but that is completely different to locking a cat in. I let the neighbour know that Tinkerbelle was on a special diet and not to keep her in all of the time so we could feed her. There was an uproar and I was told we ‘were being cruel’ to Tinkerbelle by not letting her stay in the neighbour’s home. I made it quite clear we didn’t mind Tinkerbelle visiting but not to be kept in for so long. Now our lil Tinkerbelle, ‘who chose a new home’, is back to her normal self, loves curling up by my feet, spends quite a bit of time with us and hasn’t been sick. She still goes to see our neighbour but doesn’t attempt to go in.

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We had a bad start to the week as our neighbour had her cat, Bella, put down on Sunday. For the past three years Bella has suffered with fur loss during the winter months but recently it has been much worse. The crazy thing is she has been a happy little soul, eating well although becoming very clingy. Our home was her second home and that included eating here. The neighbour told me that the vet told her that it might have been a mite problem or more likely she was very stressed and was lickng excessively. She told the vet she couldn’t bear to see Bella suffer or have to keep giving Bella steroids so the vet agreed to Bella being put to sleep. It’s going to take time to get used to not seeing one beautiful little cat again.

Monday started off as reasonably good day and in the evening I was out with friends. We are all volunteers at the Shildon Methodist Church lunch club and at Christmas we were given £40 from the lunch club members as a ‘thank you’ for what we have done over the year. It was mutually agreed that we would go to the civic in Shildon for a meal. We had a good evening although the service was slow but it was just good to be out. Towards the end of our meal Rick rang and told me it was urgent for to get home. I had just got my dessert so I told him I would get home as soon as possible. He rang again just as I was getting ready to go home so I speeded up my departure. When I got home Rick told me there was no easy way to tell me the news and started with saying ‘The Lord giveth and Lord taketh away.’

I just looked at him and said, ‘My Dad is dead.’

Apparantly my sister had tried ringing me first but we were out all day. I got home before Rick as I was going out and was out by about 6.15 pm. Anyway I rang my sister who told me that our Dad hadn’t been too well on Sunday and she had taken him to the hospital that morning. She had checked with him before they had their dinner as our Dad went to her and my brother-in-law’s each Sunday for his dinner but he said he didn’t feel too good. On Monday my sister went to see our Dad and found him dead on the kitchen floor. He had got up and dressed as he was a man of routine. My sister believes it happened quickly and we both know that’s the way he would have wanted to go.

On Tuesday we took our Tinkerbelle to the vets as our neighbour decided to tell me that the little angel has been sick six times over a two week period. Fortunately she is healthy and we have bought cat food (wet and dry) to help her stomach and digestion. I spoke to our neighbour over the phone and told her that we were going to start on a special diet with Tinkerbelle. I asked her not to feed our little angel and to let another neighbour know as well as she adores cats and spoils her two and our little Tinker.

We kept Tinkerbelle in over night as Rick was going back to the vets this morning to get her micro chipped. We got home before our neighbour so when I knew she was home I returned her cat box. I reinforced what the vet said to us about Tinkerbelle’s diet and that we wanted her to just have the diet we are giving her. The neighbour wasn’t happy and told me there was nothing wrong with the food she gives Tinker and it was probably food that Tinker was eating outside. I made it quite clear that I wanted Tinkerbelle to just eat what we give her as it will be much better for her. Then I told her that Rick wasn’t happy with her keeping Tinkerbelle in. They fell out before Christmas as the neighbour took offense to the way Rick spoke to her when he disconnected her washing machine. I could see both points of view although I didn’t see why Rick should apologise as she knew we were busy on the day in question. One day the neighbour came to our home to sort the situation out but she made it worse and she swore at Rick. They haven’t spoken to each other since then.

When I told her that we don’t her keeping Tinkerbelle in she became angry and asked how she was supposed to keep Tinkerbelle out. I told her we don’t mind our furbaby going to visit her but we didn’t want Tinkerbelle spending so much time in there. She then accused Rick of being a big kid and told me to go, take my cat and keep her in. I was shocked but kept polite and told her I would go which I was going to do anyway. Yet the other neighbour who had a chat with me before I went in and fully understood why we wanted to keep Tinker on a certain diet. It has really upset me as she knows that my Dad has died and there was no need for her awful attitude. Rick told me not let it upset me but he does understand why I am.

I am thankful that I have real friends who are being supportive. Not all of them are even in this country so that makes it even more special.

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I hate depression with the endless cycle of good days and bad days.  It is even worse when I wake up happy then I can suffer a trigger or my mood can just turn for absolutely any reason.

Rick has had a tough year emotionally which has caused him a lot of stress.  This has been hard to deal with and I feel guilty for every bad day I have had a bad day as I haven’t given him the support he needs.  Rick saw a doctor on Monday who said he wanted Rick to have an echocardiogram and we are still waiting for an appointment for that.  It’s coming up for a year of when he had a heart attack which hasn’t helped how he feels.

We are also worried about Tinkerbelle who has been drinking far too much water for some time.  Yesterday we got her to the vets who have taken blood for tests and we were asked to get a urine sample which we now have in the fridge as that is what the vet asked us to do.  The vet thinks it could be caused by her kidneys but obviously she has got to run tests to make sure it isn’t something else.  Tinkerbelle is such a good natured, beautiful, lovable cat so we are hoping that whatever the problem is that it is easily remedied.

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Yesterday we had our second table top sale at the Valley Methodist Church.  Despite the weather people did come along and we made more more than the last one.  The money donated to the church – tables @ £6 plus donations – went up from last month so that was a success as we have proved again it is worth the effort.

We have been feeding Angel (the cat) all week and making sure she has fresh water down each day.  As we knew her kittens are getting bigger we decided to get them to safety.  The shed isn’t the safest place to be for them so our friend, Lyn, helped us after the table top sale.  First we tried getting Angel into the pet carrier but she wasn’t having any of it which included scratching my hands to pieces.  The next line of attack was to empty out the shed and I was given the ‘wonderful’ job of catching the kittens.  They are beautiful and much easier to get into the pet carrier even they were scared.  The hardest bit was trying to get hold of them as they little wrigglers.  One is black with a little bit of white and the other is a grey tabby like Angel except for having white paws.  Lyn and Rick took them to Kays Hill Animal Sanctuary as we decided to try to catch Angel today.  I went into town as we can’t find my laptop charger and the one we bought last Tuesday isn’t any good for the laptop.  Even though the right charger is £2 more the shop assistant was given permission to do a straight swap.

This morning we met Lyn at the church as we all needed to pack up our unsold goods anyway but also to try and catch Angel.  Again I was nominated to catch ‘even if meant a hospital visit’.  It was actually much easier to catch Angel than we thoguht.  I put food down and Angel came along as she was hungry so I was able to grab her.  Angel didn’t struggle and didn’t put up much of a battle being put in the pet carrier.  She is now happily reunited with her babies – a very happy outcome for all of them.

Angel and her babies have certainly helped me get through the week.  My mood is better than it has been of late but I am still getting anxious if I’m out for a long time.  It’s something that I am trying to deal with so I am trying to keep my mind occupied when I am out.

yeah

 

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I am still struggling with depression although I am beginning to have good days. Anxiety is still a problem for me so I really struggle when we have a long day.  I am also struggling with sleep which doesn’t help so I am constantly tired.

Yesterday was one of my better days.  We went to Bishop Auckland Methodist Church in the morning for a change and we know some of the members there.  I had to smile at one point as a lady asked us if we were visiting.  She got a ‘No’ and that we are members of the circuit.  After six years of living in the north east we still aren’t losing our southern accents.

In the afternoon it was lovely to have lunch in the garden then read.  It’s been a long while since I have done that.  The weather hasn’t been particularly good this year which hasn’t helped.

I was at the unit today and Rick went to the Valley Methodist Church with a friend as they do this every Monday morning.  It is an opportunity for men to go there for a cup of coffee or tea and a roll.  The chapel is also opened for quiet time.  When Rick got to the unit he told me about a cat that has had kittens, and, they are in the shed.  We took some cat food to the chapel this afternoon.  The cat was starving and went through two pouches of cat food.  We have left water and milk down for her and will make an effort to go and feed her.  I haven’t seen the kittens but if the mother is anything to go by they will be pretty.  She is friendly enough although a bit timid.  I will always love animals.

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