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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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What did I do, world?

Yesterday at 5:30 a.m., I was awakened by the Mother of All Bladder Infections. "Come into the bathroom," she whispered into my ear. "I have something to show you." I won't even tell you what that bitch did to me in there, but it was gruesome. Somehow I managed to live until 9 a.m., when my doctor's office opened, and the nurses hoisted me off the stoop and into an examining room.

I love my doctor because he's not at all nonchalant about illnesses. He is always highly alarmed by my condition, whatever it is, as if he'd never seen anything like it before. Strangely, I find this reassuring. If I'm in pain, I don't want my medical specialist to poo-poo my discomfort. So when he gasped in horror at the sight of my urine specimen--just eyeballing it made him gasp, kids! It didn't look good!--I kind of wanted to kiss him full on the mouth. It would have made an adorable story for our future children. Unfortunately we're both married, and my husband was fretting in the waiting room. Our love, it cannot be.

Anyway, he knocked me up (NOT THAT WAY) with many many drugs and I spent the rest of the day and all of the night and then most of this morning either in bed or in the can, either peeing or sleeping. Sleep, pee, sleep, pee. I was kind of like my dog. Except I have better aim.

Then this afternoon, just as I started to feel better, the phone rang. It was the woman who gave us Izzy, our brand new, incredibly adorable cat. Izzy's mom had been diagnosed with feline leukemia. For whatever reason, the cat had previously tested negative, but was now positive.

So! It appears that my kitty cat may or may not be long for this world. Anyone know anything about FeLV? Because the Internets, she is bringing me the contradictory information. And I'm trying not to cry, over here. I need all my bodily fluids, for the peeing.

EDITED TO ADD: Okay, so maybe I shouldn't read only one highly alarmist website about FeLV before posting. The one that said she had an 85% chance of dying within months. I'm trying to find it now, and can't. Probably I hallucinated it. I blame the Cipro. Yes. Ahem.

Reader Comments (68)

Bladder infection suck! Nothing worse than that not-so-fresh feeling.
May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFENICLE
Nothing to offer here but sympathy. If I could send tea through the Interwebs, I'd give that too.

Keep us updated, and have another glass of cranberry juice. Yum!
May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Izzy rocks. And Dr. I. Care rocks!

We are rooting for you and the Iz. And next time you should totally just kiss him on the mouth. Dr. I. Care. Blame it on the infection spreading to your brain.
May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJenn
Ouch! Bad day. Hope both you and Izzy are on the mend.
May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMommmyKnows
Oh, man. Bladder infections do suck. My heart (and possibly also my bladder) goes out to you.

Watch out for the cipro, though. Don't get me wrong. Cipro saved my sanity when I had a killer bladder infection. I loved it and wanted to marry it, etcetera. And then after it had killed off every bad microorganism in my body, it killed off some of the good ones, too, and I came down with a yeast infection. Good times!

Not trying to be alarmist or anything. Just a word of advice to up your daily yogurt intake to keep your good microbes happy.
May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
I've used low dose Cipro, cranberry juice, name it and I still got infections every few weeks for years. I think I've finally found something that works. Sounds crazy, but take some alka seltzer right when you feel the first twinge of an infection. It seems to make my body chemistry less hospitable to the bacteria. I also take a supplement called MSM - 1000mg per day. I hope you feel better. I know how painful it can be.
May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I hope you feel better and I hope adorable Izzy is as healthy as can be! My best thoughts and crossed fingers.
May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCroupier
Marshmallow Root- pills or tincture - it coats the mucus membranes including the baldder and makes the oowie better. Also- probiotics to replace the good bacteria. I have had innumerable bladder issues and both these things make them almost bearable. Feel better!
May 20, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterchristina
Can't help on the kitty issues, but I have had UTI's (when I felt it coming know THAT feeling) that I got rid of at home without antibiotics and dr.'s. D-mannose and drink tons of water! Also, drink cranberry tea (not juice, too much sugar) and/or take cranberry capsules on a regular basis. If it gets too full blown, forget the home remedies and just take the drugs (but I don't have to tell you that)!
May 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWendy
You should have Izzy tested to determine if she has feline leukemia at 12 weeks and if she is negative, your veterinarian might test her again at six months or about the time when she is spayed. If she is positive, she couldf live a nice, long, healthy life. Just make sure you keep her inside so she doesn't infect other cats and is not exposed to nasty bacteria and viruses. Either way I hope she turns out negative. Good luck!
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
I'm with everyone else who said to have her tested, that's the only way and you'll get the best info from your vet. Good luck and I'll be thinking good kittie thoughts.
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHope
Bladder infections are my worst nightmare. I can't even read about it without cringing! I hope yours goes away as fast as lightning!
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdana
Nettle tea. It won't help the cat, but it'll make peeing considerably more comfortable for you. I found it even more effective than cranberry juice. Been there, pulled the face, walked the walk. I am slightly clenched in sympathy for you as I write.

I don't know anything about feline leukaemia, but everyone else seems to, and I hope Izzy's okay.

If you ever need to stick an enema up her, though, I know all about how to do that.
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAntonia
Feline leukemia! I've never heard of such a thing - I really hope that's now what's wrong with itty bitty kitty.

And despite what they say, you DON'T want cranberry juice, you want the cranberry nectar from whole foods. It smells and tastes like armpit mixed with dirty sock, but it really helps my wife. There's not sugar, which aids the urinary tract.
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew M. F. Miller
I generally take cranberry tablets, but my, armpit with dirty sock? You've piqued my interest...
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Nothing worse than the ho-hum you're-a-hypo tone of a doctor. I know that tone. That's why I now see someone who, like yours, is mortified by my health. Hope tomorrow is a better day for you and your kit.
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Crabmom
My little kitten tested positive. But then it went away. I hope that is the case with yours.

Mine is now 19 years old, and going strong!

(And yeah, cranberry is a good thing.)
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKarianna
I hope everything turns out for your little kitty. Because your kitten is very young, the prognosis is much better than if she was an adult.
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterschmutzie
You like knee-jerk doctors? Bossy likes her doctors conservative and her politicians liberal.
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBOSSY
I went through a hideous phase where I got a bladder infection EACH and EVERY time I had sex with my husband. Mind you this was while we were trying to get pregnant, so taking drugs every time was putting a big cramp in our style. I finally started going pee right after sex (cuddling is overrated) and drinking a glass of water. Also power guzzling water the next day at the faintest twinge. I haven't had a bladder infection in a long time (knock on wood). They are really really a drag though.
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRobin in San Jose
I had hellish bladder infections every two weeks or so for an entire year. I tried everything noted in the comments above. The only remedy for me was high-tailing it to the ER or a doctor's office for antibiotics. Then, my doctor in the US recommended D-Mannose. Heaven. At the first signs of a possible onset I take a tablespoon, and I have been bladder infection free of a year.

It is truly a miracle drug. It is natural, but it actually works. Our bodies already produce it. Its sweetness is actually what makes the ecoli bacteria (90% of uti are due to ecoli) love to hang out and torture us. You take more than your body produces, the bacteria gets confused, attaches itself to the floating sugar instead of the bladder and half an hour later gets flushed.

I am so sorry you had this ordeal. I know that gut-wrenching pain so well, so many of us do. I just wish more doctors would recommend d-mannose. It changed my life.

Good luck to you and the cat.
May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSo in Paris
Just to echo, FeLV cats can live long, healthy lives... AND, you can't tell if a kitten will truly test positive until about 5 months. Izzy looked a lot smaller than that in your pictures.

I read (but can't find a reliable reference on the interwebs) that you can give a kitten some sort of anti-FeLV medicine if its mother is known to be positive to help inhibit the disease in the kitten. I think it was some sort of immune-booster, but I can't remember for sure. I'm sure a vet would know (or could tell you if it's complete bunk I read on the internet).

I'm so sorry about Izzy and your UTI. Thinking good thoughts for you.
Sorry to hear about Izzy and your infection. I've landed myself in the emergency room due to bladder infection pain, so I know what you're going through.

I hope that everything with Izzy turns out all right. :(
May 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKait
My only experience with FeLV was a terrible one--I lost a beloved kitten very, very quickly--but that was 12 years ago, and I'm sure there have been advances in veterinary medicine since then that make the disease more manageable. Have her tested, as others have mentioned, and good luck--I'll keep you & dear Izzy in my thoughts.

And sorry to hear about the UTI--that SUCKS. Hope the drugs are dulling the pain so you can feel better while you get better. (love me some pyridium!!)
May 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTara
Does this make anyone else feel like they gotta pee?
May 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBOSSY

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