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Suze70

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Posts: 5
 #1 
I had to put my beautiful Harvey to sleep on Thursday afternoon. He was only 6 years old and had became unwell on Monday. He'd been a bit sick about 4 weeks ago and I took home to the vet he was given a steroid injection and antibiotics as he was coughing. Monday past he went right downhill and I rushed him back to the vets. We had to wait outside in the car because of the coronavirus they wouldn't let us in. To cut a long story short he had CKD. They kept him in and set him up on intravenous fluids. He came home on Wednesday about 4ish. I had all the prescription food for him but he wouldn't eat. I stayed up all night with him and my son spent the majority of the night up as well. In the morning he seemed a bit brighter but still wouldn't eat or drink and he hadn't used his litter tray. I could tell he was so unwell and his tail was all bushy. I had him up on the sofa on a fluffy blanket and another blanket over him and all he wanted to do was sleep. He was just so floppy and limp I knew I had to phone the vet back. My son who has only turned 16 was his best buddy and he suffers from depression, Harvey knew just to cuddle up with him and it would make things better. My daughter who is 20 has high functioning ASD and she just couldn't wrap it round her head that he was dying. My daughter and I took him to vets and it was the worst scenario. Harvey's kidneys had completely failed. I had to make the horrendous decision to put him to sleep and we couldn't even be with him 😭😭😭 I just cried constantly since Thursday, he was only 6 and I just feel it's so unfair. It came on all of a sudden out of nowhere 😭😭😭. I lost my dad last year and had to make the decision to stop his treatment on 1 April. He died on 4 April holding my hand and losing Harvey is right up there with losing my dad. I'm trying to stay strong for my children but truth is, I'm an absolute wreck. I just wish I'd seen signs, realised something was wrong but no matter how much I think about it, I just can't understand why this happened and why so quickly. Just want to lie in my bed crying I miss him so much and feel completely empty. Life can be so unfair at times 😭😭😭
twinkiesmom

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Posts: 839
 #2 
I am so sorry for your loss. CKD is a horrible disease. My little Piper is 14 years old and was diagnosed with CKD 18 months ago. With a lot of medications and even more love and cuddles she did quite well until two weeks ago. She was euthanized Monday and your words of being a wreck perfectly describe how I feel. There is an emptiness in my heart that will remain for the rest of my life. I think the worst part for me is that my wonderful vet always saw Piper in my home and I always planned to have her euthanized here. She could have lain in my lap where she was happiest as she took her last breath. I was able to be with her in a vet's office but my sweet girl was very uncomfortable and nervous. I understand your feelings of unfairness that Harvey got sick at such a young age, we don't think things like this will happen when they are young. Your daughter and son will need lots of comfort and support which makes it feel even worse for you because you feel you don't have the ability of letting yourself fully grieve while being strong for them. I don't mean that to sound negative but your feelings are so important, now more than ever. I am here if you need someone to listen as are so many people here at Petloss. I understand your feelings that losing Harvey is right up there with losing your dad. To so many of us our pets are not just pets, they are like our children and are treated with the same love and care that children need. And in return they love us unconditionally every moment of our time together. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you. Rest in peace precious Harvey.
Heidi4907

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Posts: 39
 #3 
Your story broke my heart. Years ago I lost an 8-year-old. It was very sudden, and although it was clear something was wrong the thought that he would die never crossed my mind. I absolutely adored him and it was the worst loss I'd ever experienced. My home felt so empty, I was in shock and a complete wreck for weeks. He left a huge hole in my heart. I am now grieving for an amazing cat I lost almost 6 weeks ago. I miss him so much. It never gets easier, but the loss of young ones is especially heartbreaking. I suffer from depression too, like your son, so I know this is an especially difficult time for him, and you and your daughter are suffering as well. It's clear that Harvey was very loved. It takes time and lots of tears to get through the loss. Don't worry too much about letting your children see you grieve. It helps them know that it is normal.
Thinking of you.
Heidi
Suze70

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #4 
Thank you both for responding and I'm so very sorry for both your losses also. It's been 3 days now and I keep expecting to see him. My son cried, which is good, watching some videos we have of Harvey. I think we'll be very upset again this week as his ashes will be returned. I was originally getting them in a wooden casket with his name but my son really didn't want that so we all agreed a scatter tube would be best.

Twinkiesmom, CKD is awful, Harvey was basically diagnosed on Monday and had to be put to sleep Thursday. I feel grateful but also guilty that he came home Wednesday but had to go back to vet Thursday as his kidneys completely failed. I wonder if our boy suffered being at home. I don't think for one minute the vet expected him to deteriorate so quickly.

Heidi, I'm so sorry to hear about both your cats and the fact you suffer from depression. Not only does my son have depression but I have Bipolar and my daughter has high functioning ASD. My daughter is actually coping the best of of the 3 of us although we had to stop her continually going on about wanting a kitten (it's her illness). She has stopped now but I still think she doesn't realise we just can't 'replace' Harvey and everything will be fine because it'll never be fine, he's completely irreplaceable.

Just cooking dinner now and feel so very sad as it's mince and because Harvey was an Oriental he was extremely loud and would have been in kitchen just now, talking to me, expressing his desire for human food, obviously he never got mince but he would have been there so loud and I miss that so very much. Our home just feels so quiet and empty 😭😭😭

Heidi4907

Registered:
Posts: 39
 #5 
Thank you for responding. Three days is really no time at all. I think I was numb and in shock for nearly 2 weeks after my recent loss of my big boy Coco, then there were more tears as the loss really sank in. I am bipolar too (bipolarII), and bipolar depression is the worst. For me it can be a very agitated depression. I have had trouble with medications, especially antidepressants which cause a mixed state, an awful place to be with grief from losing a cat. After my 8 year old Mickey died, years ago, I had to go on disability for a month. Tried going to work for a week at first but continued to get worse, and that was prior to my bipolar diagnosis and not knowing that antidepressants actually had a negative effect on me. I recently reached out to my ayurvedic doctor, Harvard educated and also knowledgable of eastern supplements. He recommended a saffron extract, which I started last week. It was a huge help; calmed me in a way I desperately needed, but by the fifth day I could feel mania coming on, so I quit taking it. The mania has passed and I continue to feel a calmness, which I desperately needed. I'm waiting to hear back from him for another recommendation, or maybe a lower dose would work. Tomorrow will be 6 weeks for me. I hope it will be comforting for you to know I am doing better, but what a hard time those early weeks are. For me I can't imagine I could feel worse. Since you are bipolar I hope you are already on meds that will help with the pain somewhat; if not I would suggest seeing your doctor before your depression goes too far. I think my psychiatrist had no understanding of how deep the grief from losing a pet is for some of us. I hope that isn't the case for you.
Something about your original post stuck with me and I'm still thinking about you. Sending hugs from San Francisco.
Suze70

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #6 
Hi Heidi I was diagnosed Bipolar type II but when I was 33 (I'm 49 now) my psychiatrist reviewed all my files and I'm actually Type 1. Apparently anti depressants can make you worse. I was moved onto mood stabiliser and anti psychotic and I was already on diazepam for anxiety. My psychiatrist upped my Quetiapine by 100mg on Monday when Harvey initially went into vets. Max dose is 800mg per day and I'm now on 700mg.

My psychologist had her regular 1 hour telephone appointment with me Friday morning the day after Harvey passed. I cried tons but I think crying helps. It releases tension. That's why I was happy my son actually cried as he normally holds a lot in. He didn't cry when we lost dad/grandad last year.

I've passed through San Francisco airport on route to Phoenix from Seattle that was in 2003 when I was travelling through the US visiting different friends. Was hoping to have some time in San Fran but couldn't fix it into my schedule.

I'm from Edinburgh Scotland. Thank you for your kind words, I'm still looking all over the house for my boy, it's awful x
twinkiesmom

Registered:
Posts: 839
 #7 
Suze and Heidi, I have depression issues and have been on meds for years. I have had furry kids a large percentage of my life and have always said I like them more than a lot of human beings I know. If I had to define the feelings I get from animals I would say they center me if that makes any sense. They are not just animals or pets, they are family. After losing Piper I was being told you need to get over it in just a couple of days. I have always said crying helps us to heal. You can't keep those feelings bottled up, you have to get them out. Thankfully I have a dear friend I got to know through the Petloss website 20 years ago and we help each other through the devestation of losing one we love and other situations as well. I am here if you need to vent, cry or whatever helps. Just knowing someone cares and understands helps immensely.
Heidi4907

Registered:
Posts: 39
 #8 
Thank you twinkiesmom-
I didn't mean to suggest we need to block out the pain or not cry, but for some of us we need to be careful of keeping the grief from transforming to clinical depression, which is a separate beast entirely and interferes with grief. Our losses are certainly not something to "get over" in a couple days. Without Coco I feel like I'm living in the wrong apartment. He had a huge presence. He brought me more joy and warmth than anyone. He made me laugh. He was my sunshine. Three days after losing him I took my other cat, his brother/littermate Grover to the vet because he seemed to be going downhill since shortly before losing Coco. Grover adored Coco; I thought he was probably grieving. But he was diagnosed with a serious illness which could be life threatening (not what took Coco), so right away I had another cat to nurse and worry about. Needless to say I have been overwhelmed. Early on it was unbearable to be grieving while trying to nurse one back to health. I felt like my world was collapsing. Grover seems to be doing better but we're not out of the woods yet. I'm feeling better, but still in much pain every day. Earlier I felt like I was going to go right over the deep end.
It does help reading the stories here to know that we're not alone. I fortunately have a few people I can talk to who understand. It's nice that you have continued a relationship with your understanding friend for 20 years! 
Heidi4907

Registered:
Posts: 39
 #9 
Hi Suze-
Quetiapine is one that has helped me but caused terrible Restless Leg Syndrome so I had to quit, however I occasionally still bite off a small piece for a little help. I have Ativan for anxiety, but find it mostly makes me tired, which sometimes is a good thing. 
I flew over Scotland on my way back from 6 weeks in Spain, in the 80s. A quick stop in Dublin, just long enough for a pint of Guinness at the airport. 
It's been 6 weeks today since I lost Coco. Mondays are the hardest, and I try not to look at the clock. Still can't believe it. He had several beds that his brother doesn't use and I can't bring myself to remove them. His own toys too. Always carrying little white mice around and dropping them at my feet. They're everywhere. I am having longer periods of time where I'm better than last month, but life feels very off. Always aware of his absence. I know it will get better; I knew losing him would be horrible. 
Take care, as best you can.
Heidi
Julesnjemma

Registered:
Posts: 11
 #10 
Hello to you both my condolences..
I just lost my precious Gemma yesterday afternoon..
I am trying to accept this reality but I really do not want to accept that this is real..
I am also bipolar recently newly diagnosed and thankful that I am on medication to help me through this..
Xo
Heidi4907

Registered:
Posts: 39
 #11 
I'm so sorry, and I know what you mean about not wanting to accept that it's real. I felt like I was in shock the first couple weeks, even panicky at times. I didn't know what to do with myself, walking from room to room but going nowhere. Now, after 6 weeks, I'm doing a little better, but so sad, and every day I have moments where it still hits really hard. I hate being in this reality. I hate that he's gone and there's nothing I can do about it. I know I'll get through it, but right now it hurts so much.
Bipolar depression is especially brutal. Your loss of Gemma of course is very painful, but I do hope your meds will provide some relief as you grieve. Sometimes it takes quite a while to find the right med/s. I hope your doctor is available for you and understands that losing a pet is a major loss for many of usβ€”otherwise this site wouldn't exist. Somehow it helps to know that all these strangers understand.
Hugs,
Heidi
Suze70

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #12 
Hey guys

Sorry I've not been on. I got Harvey's ashes back and I've been sleeping so much. I've just tucked them away in my wardrobe just now.

I'm so sorry you lost Gemma and that you have Bipolar also. It's hard to accept reality. It's a week today since we lost Harvey and I think we are now in the denial stage of grief. I look for him everywhere.

Heidi, I'm sorry you had to stop Quetiapine, it was my and is my saving drug. I understand you not wanting to move his toys etc. I've now packed up Harvey's toys but put them in the wardrobe also. I can't get rid of them. I understand Monday's being hard for you. It's Thursday's that are hard for me. I lost dad on a Thursday and now Harvey on a Thursday also.

I am thinking of you all.

Much love

Suzy
Heidi4907

Registered:
Posts: 39
 #13 
Good to hear from you, Suze. It's hard getting the ashes back. A week is such a short time, even though it feels like forever. My grief for the first 2 or 3 weeks was really overwhelming. So panicked, frightened, so hopeless and lost. After 6+ weeks I am finding it to be a deep sadness, which is still very difficult, but maybe more "normal"; I'm glad to be past the early stages. I still become very tearful, but that's OK. I LOVED him. Grief is love. I have a couple meds that are helping to keep me in an emotional range that is manageable, but not blocking healthy grief. Bipolar is all about having a broken thermostat.
Thinking of you too.
Heidi
Suze70

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #14 
Hi Heidi

I had to have him cremated privately. Couldn't bare the thought of him being cremated with other animals. I just can't believe it's a week now. Like you probably cannot believe it's 6 weeks.

I'm glad you are feeling more "normal" I feel I'm definitely in denial stage of grief now. I just feel emotionally drained and keep expecting to see Harvey in the house.

I think you've described Bipolar very well indeed. It is like having a broken thermostat.
Take care

Suzy
Heidi4907

Registered:
Posts: 39
 #15 
Hi Suzy-

Just wanted to check in and let you know I'm thinking of you and hoping you're getting through this. I'm finding some days are better than others, so I'm just going with it and thankful for the days when there aren't tears constantly streaming down my face. Today is better for some reason. Feels like it circles around. I know what you mean when you say you feel emotionally drained.

Take care,
Heidi
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