pandemic

Where’s Waldo

I know I’ve been gone for a bit. There was a lot going on. Just life stuff. But then the good news: Michael got a temp job. It was perfect timing, too, just a few weeks before the end of the federal matching of unemployment benefits. He started his job and then…a week later, we had to go into “quarantine”. 

We are fine. We got an email that we may have come into contact with someone who came into contact with a positive covid-19 case. So to be safe we pulled Logan out of preschool, Michael worked from home for a week, I was already working from home. It was a rough week. Logan did not want to be home. He wanted to be with his friends at school. It was incredibly hard for both parents to work full time jobs and try and pay attention to a bored toddler.

Thankfully, everything turned out well. That other person was negative. So life got back to “normal”. (LAUGH). It was a stressful week for sure, though. You start thinking about all the what ifs.

Anyways. Amidst all this stuff, my kitty, Stevie got sick. Like REALLY sick. One Sunday night he seemed a little “off”. The first sign is usually that he doesn’t sleep in our bed at night. He likes to sleep in the middle of the bed. LOL

Monday morning, he was acting even more weird. And I was finding some vomit (not hairballs) around the house. He was not eating. I took him into the vet. A few hours later, his vet called that he had a blocked urethra and it was life threatening and he had to go to the hospital.

So I picked him up and took him to the emergency vet hospital in Tualatin. Because of covid, processes are all different. You have to call to check in, do everything over the phone, wait in your car, etc. I dropped Stevie off and then went home to wait.

Long story short, I had to make a life or death decision that night. He had blockage and needed a catheter and meds and there was no guarantee it would work and it would be VERY expensive. Considering Michael JUST started his new job and we were trying to recover from unemployment, I wasn’t sure what the right decision was. Pay thousands of dollars when there’s no guarantee?

I decided to try and Stevie stayed at the hospital for the next 6 days. He was supposed to come home Thursday but when they took the catheter out, he re-blocked, which was the risk. He also had a UTI, so now he was on antibiotics too. It was one of the most stressful weeks and one of the hardest decisions. When he re-blocked I seriously wasn’t sure what to do. My hope of him coming home was dwindling.

They put the catheter back in and we decided to give it another day or so. By Saturday he was doing better and able to pee on his own, without the catheter, and no re-blocking. I picked him up Saturday afternoon. He was clearly still sick. That weekend was really hard. He was on a LOT of medication, not eating, I had decided to start hand-feeding water so he’d be hydrated. 

Monday morning he went back to the hospital. He wasn’t eating. I was worried. They checked him, he wasn’t re-blocked, but he was dehydrated. They gave him anti-nausea meds, appetite stimulants, fluids and he came home. That second week he started to perk back up and his regular vet gave him more meds and now he’s doing a lot better. 

He sleeps with us, he plays, he’s eating more, drinking on his own. He will be on special diet food for the rest of his life. Urethra blockages happen in cats, but are more common in boy cats. 

It was a scary, stressful time. I’m glad we got through it. I made the right decision, but it was hard. And expensive. And it is truly awful that for a lot of people, having pets can become a barrier because of money. I think having pets is so beneficial mentally and (if it’s a dog!) physically. Pets just make their owners happy. I’m glad Stevie was doing a lot better. 

Then this weekend he was acting a little weird again. We went back to the doctor and he had a bladder infection. Thankfully he wasn’t reblocked but he was still sick. So more medications, back on antibiotics. It sucks.

That’s basically been our life lately.

Pandemic 10

How’s everyone doing?

Pandemic update: Oregon has been slowly opening. My county is in Phase 1. The county I work in, recently applied for phase 1 but we’ve been seeing upticks in coronavirus cases as things open up, as predicted. Less and less people are wearing masks. I still wear my mask when I go to stores and stuff. {shrug}

I am still working from home. We are not sure yet how it will look returning to work, or when it will happen. As I said, we aren’t in Phase 1 yet for work. My employer is talking about plans: staggered schedules, still working from home, doing shifts, 25-50% of staff in the office only, etc etc. Time will tell.

As for me, this year has been hard. Even pre-pandemic. There was some life drama (that I don’t really want to get into here) right after we got back from Hawaii. Which SUCKED and was super stressful. It was about a month and a half of major life stress. It’s been resolved but it screwed up a lot of our life plans going forward. Then covid-19. Then Michael lost his job. Then then then…it feels like it’s been one thing after another.

Last fall I tried to go off my medication to lose some weight. Prozac works well for me, but it’s very much dose dependent. I gained about 15 or so pounds on it at 20mg. It was really frustrating. I went back down to 10mg and tried and struggled and slowly lost some weight. But I was still struggling. Going off the meds turned out to be a bad idea. I went back. My doctor suggested we try 15mg. It worked well for me mentally. In the middle of the pandemic, Michael asked me why I wasn’t freaking out. I said “I’m medicated.” And it was the truth. It was really helping my anxiety a lot. BUT…you guessed it. The weight started ticking up.

So my doctor suggested a try a new drug. He suggested two, the one I ended up trying was Viibryd. I’d never heard of it before. I gave it a try and immediately started having negative side effects. First was the insomnia. I was taking I think 10mg to start. It was like I had shots of espresso. I was amped up during the day–which was NICE because I wasn’t feeling fatigued. But at night? I couldn’t physically close my eyes. I laid in bed like I did shots of coffee right before I laid down. It was brutal. I was also having some mania/hyper focus.

So we cut the dose to 5mg for a few days and I felt better and then went back up to 10mg and the insomnia issues went away. Good, right? Yes. But…then I started having insane hunger. My doctor told me that weight gain was not a side effect of Viibryd. So why was I suddenly so famished?! And it was CARBS and SUGAR. That’s all I wanted. And I felt like the thing in my brain that says YOU ARE FULL was broken.

I started doing googling and found some chat groups talking about it and a lot of people seemed to have a similar side effect: hunger, weight gain. Huh. Ok. I wonder why the claim is no weight gain but so many people are having hunger issues?

So since the beginning of February (I did not gain any weight in Hawaii! MIRACULOUS!) I’ve gained about 10 pounds.

I can’t necessarily blame that all on pandemic. Some was stress eating and drinking at the beginning of the pandemic. But that was just 2 weeks and I then I pulled my shit together. Some of it is not going to the gym. BUT I am still working out 5 days a week the best I can. It’s not the same workout I can do at the gym, but I am doing my best.

It sucks when medication causes your body to just go haywire.

What am I doing?

Doing Low Carb/Keto (not strict keto, but low carb for sure)

Stopped Drinking completely (it’s something I can control calorie wise)

Trying to drink more water (not very good at this yet)

Drinking tea on a regular basis (every night I have some chamomile tea, which is nice)

Working out 5 days a week (it’s a lot of cardio right now, but doing the best I can)

Switched my medication

Not having sweets in the house (Other than atkins brand)

I’ve lost about 3 or 4 pounds in two weeks so far. The new medication I’m trying is Lamictal. A friend took it for years and liked it a lot and said it was “weight neutral” so that is promising. We will see.

My new favorite drink: fake mojito! The previous owner of our house planted mint in the garden and it’s gone nuts (in case you didn’t know, mint is better in a pot or it will take over!). So I am trying to use it up! I do 1 packet of stevia, fresh lime juice, sparkling lime water, mint and ice.

I will do another post in a week or two about the weight and stuff but I wanted to give a quick update on all of this stuff to start out.