My Name is Leo

An adored cat deals gracefully with a jaw tumor while his owner quietly falls apart.

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Location: Philadelphia area, Northeast, United States

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Turning Kitty into a Junkie

I just picked up a pain medication for Leo from the vet office. Torbutrol - 1 mg pills.

Can't believe they charged me $18.76 for a week's supply. Upon this realization, I said to the desk-person (in my nicest, most non-confrontational voice) "Wow - that's a lot for only a week's worth. I can't believe I'm going to have to come back here once a week..."

Plus, I had to ask her a ton of questions (which she really didn't have the answer for) because no one had discussed this med with me. I had just gotten a call yesterday at dinnertime saying there was pain med ready for me to pick up.

Suppose I should backtrack to make this make sense:

I had called the vet office yesterday to get Leo's other RXs refilled. I had asked about something to help his mouth pain while eating, but when I came in to pick up the med my request was misunderstood to mean, "What's best to feed him?" To which the answer was "Soft foods." Duh.

So, I told the woman at the desk yesterday that I was asking about pain med and that Leo "didn't have much longer." (In the hopes that sounding ominous would get some action.)

Sooooo....maybe that's why they only gave me a week's worth?

I also picked up some more a/d (high calorie) pet food from the vet. Leo actually ate a decent amount of it (nearly an entire 5.5 oz can) yesterday. It's more finely ground and seems to go down easier. He has these phases of liking and not liking stuff, and in July when I gave him the a/d he vomited. So, I hadn't tried it since then.

He seemed to be a little more like normal last night, hanging out on the back of the couch as I watched a DVD with the kids.

Anyway, back to present tense. It's been about 30 minutes since I forced the little Torbutrol pain pill down Leo's throat. He's sitting near me on the floor. Not sleeping, but looking moderately relaxed.

I'm less than thrilled with my vet office. If only that the process of asking questions via the front desk seems to lose so much in the translation. It would be SO much easier if a vet would have actually phoned me to discuss meds. There are a number of viable pain control options, and I really don't know why this one was chosen. And the kind woman at the desk didn't have much info to impart.

Yes, I suppose a more assertive person would have already insisted to speak personally to a vet.

But I guess I'm overwhelmed -- not only by Leo's care but also day-to-day life. Like, my daughter's upcoming birthday and two parties to organize as a result. The washing machine is broken. School is starting almost two weeks later than usual (September 19th!) and as much as I love my children -- and they are wonderful beings -- we all need a break from 24/7 of each other.

Just went over to pet Leo. He doesn't seem the least bit drugged up (considering he got the smallest dose possible, I 'm not too surprised.) Followed me into the kitchen and he's currently eating his leftover breakfast food.

Wow -- good sign!

Okay, must go and start thinking about lunch for the humans in residence.


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