Registered: 1520952202 Posts: 12
I am absolutely sick with guilt. I have had to miss work and I can barely speak or eat. All I do is cry. And I should feel this way because my Gracie is gone and it is all my fault.
She was diagnosed in November with congestive heart failure but the vet gave me meds and said this would extend her life. She had a terrible reaction to the meds so the vet told me to stop them temporarily and we would try them again in a week. I did that and she still have the reaction. Instead of taking her back to the vet soon I just went into denial that she was okay. I knew last week she was feeling bad but work had me so stressed out that I was consumed with myself. I didn't take her back to the vet. She died Saturday night. I noticed she was having breathing problems on Saturday afternoon and rushed her to the emergency vet but although they worked with her they couldn't save her. I will never forgive myself. Her condition was going to eventually be fatal but I know with the proper meds she could have lived longer. All the love is gone from my life and it is all my fault. A trip to the vet last week would have extended her life. I thank you for having this site to come to when I am so much in need of it.
Registered: 1520268522 Posts: 16
Hi there, and first, all of what you are feeling is normal, it sucks - but it is normal - it means you cared about your pet. is any of it true? Maybe? Maybe not. If it is true, and you got a bit side-tracked - ask yourself - did you do it intentionally? Did your vet follow up after the visit? I think this is a thing that vet offices should have as part of their protocols - you bring in a pet for treatment - they should check back in within a few days and see how they pet is doing at home. You might feel like you have to beat yourself up over what you didn't do - I certainly did. So go ahead, beat yourself up, it might feel good and normal. But, then, when you're done or exhausted ask yourself what will it change now? If you can find some way to make a positive out of what happened - perhaps that can help. Join a FB Group for CHF in cats or check for a Yahoo group. People with pets who experience the same thing can help shed light on the various aspects of disease. Then, perhaps you can take some time and make a timelines, of her entire life - not just the end part. From when you got her. Put the good stuff on a notch above the line with the approx year - and anything not so great (like my cat threw up all over my brand new carpet and the stain never came out) on a tick below the main line. Then look back at the entirety of it all. Consider writing a letter to your pet apologizing for the times you felt you let them down and ask for forgiveness. Or, forgive them for the mishaps and let those mishaps go. Tell them how absolutely wonderful they were and how they changed your life. What you learned from them. Or take it in stages, do the timeline first, then think about each notch on the timeline good/bad and whether it's something you need to forgive them for, apologize for or tell them how great they are. Then, do the letter another night. You can also ask yourself, OK, what would have happened if you did give her the meds she needed? How much longer would she have had and how much of a life would it have been? CHF can only be managed for so long - the fluid just builds up too fast and unless you are going to get their chest tapped - well....also, pilling cats is hard - they get sick of it especially when they feel awful. All of that must be taken into account when looking at the time around their death.
Mostly, I'm so sorry for your loss and that Gracie is gone. :( Many feel as you do - including me - anxiety, shoulda, woulda, coulda, I spread myself too thin with other animals and didn't give my boy the time he needed. I didn't. And, there is nothing else I can do about it now but accept that I didn't, and work through it all. 😉 Hugs.
Registered: 1520491849 Posts: 4
I am so sorry for your loss and have similar feelings of guilt but you have to know that if the meds caused that reaction, another med may have done the same and may have even made her feel worse. She knew you loved her so don't be so hard on yourself. My girl has been gone a month and her 7th bday would be coming up March 21 and I feel I failed her as well, but I also know I gave her the very best life with all she went through. We are human don't forget that. I would guarantee your baby is at the bridge bragging about how great her life was with you.
Registered: 1520952202 Posts: 12
Thank you Sissy48 and Sunnys_Mom. I woke up crying this morning and it means so much to me to read your kind words. It is hard to go to work and face the day.
I have felt so guilty that I haven't told anyone the story of her passing. It is a comfort to be able to come here and cry with others. This is a wonderful place for pet lovers. I am going to read your comments during the day to help me get through it. Thank you both for your kindness and sympathy.