Disclaimer

This site contains the highly fictionalized ramblings of a raconteur looking for a place in the medical world. The vignettes presented are cobbled together from various and sundry places.  Any resemblance to actual people, places, or events is purely coincidental.

And, I like to photograph things in lieu of words some days.

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Tuesday
Apr272010

Rest In Peace Sweet Meo





I lost my eldest Sphynx Meo today.

As I opened a can of food for dinner, only Oberon came running. Meo, usually prompt in an unusually prescient way for dinner time, was not in the kitchen. As I walked toward the bedroom, there he was, legs splayed beneath him with a glazed expression.

This wasn't supposed to happen yet.

He had a serious heart condition. He was on medication. His pulse was getting closer to a normal range. He was roughhousing with Oberon yesterday. Earlier this afternoon he was lying by my side while we watched yet another episode of "The Golden Girls." Perhaps for the thousandth time together.

I knew it was the end for him.

I moved him to the kitchen to see if the food would entice him to get up. It didn't. He let out a shriek and became incontinent on the floor. I phoned the vet. They directed me to the emergency room, Chicago Veterinary Emergency Services at 3123 N. Clybourn.

Packing his meds, a blanket in his carrier, I lifted his slack body into the carrying case and ran out for a cab. Fuck you Cubs traffic, it took a while to get to the ER. He was panting and let out the occasional yowl. I tried to be hopeful, but I knew, deep down inside that it was his time.

Part of me was praying they could do something magical at the ER. Maybe they could give him a shot of something-or-other that would make him leap up and nuzzle my chin. But the little tiny bit of medical training I've had since the beginning of the year knew better. His heart was in severe failure per his diagnosis. It was only a matter of time.

And it was time.

Upon arriving, the staff at Blum (his normal vet) had already phoned his chart over. The ER staff took him straight to what looked like a baby incubator. They let me watch him in the oxygen chamber, trying to sit up, gasping for air. It hurt. I couldn't watch him suffer. I went back into the examination room to see if Mom was there yet.



She arrived and I kind of lost it. The vet came in an suggested they could try and get an IV after he had some more oxygen. Then perhaps they could try some meds because he hadn't had his evening doses.

There I sat, my head resting on Mom's warm chest, softly sobbing. In my head I told myself 'If they want to stick a tube down his throat, let him go. If he stops breathing, let him go.'

The doctor came back in and said he'd stopped breathing and they'd like to intubate. I said no thank you, please let him go.

They brought him back into the examination room as he had just passed. There he was, a creature, a living being I'd loved so hard for so many years, absent of life. He was laying on his side exactly the way we'd wake up each morning. Except he wasn't looking at me. He wasn't there.

He was gone.

I kissed him. I told him I loved him. Mom and I petted him for a long while. His ears were so velvety soft. He was still warm. There I was, loving this little creature who had been my confidant, my partner in crime, and a source of unconditional love for so many years.

How would I get by without him? And how would Oberon get by? Obie hadn't known a world without Meo.

They brought me a clay paw print which I have to bake as a keepsake. The staff was amazingly kind and gentle. They let us have as much time as we wanted with him.

We made arrangements for the cremation. I'm having his ashes sent to me.

I'm going to miss you Meo. I'm going to miss you a lot. Rest in peace.


Thursday
Apr082010

let's talk

Meo



It's been a while radiopeter. We haven't chatted lately. But I got the urge this morning so here I am.

There's a whole lotta stuff goin' on.

I finished my CNA training classes at the end of February. State exam comes in just over a week. Once I've sat the test it'll take perhaps two weeks more to be an official Certified Nursing Assistant. That means a great deal to me and I'm looking only toward the future.

I'm still unemployed. Happily. Blissfully.

Every day I wake up and think how blessed I am to be in the middle of this life. I'm 33, just discovering what I want to do with my life, and at peace with my family and the world around me. Of course there are daily ups and downs. How could it be called living if there weren't?

---

One of my cats, Meo, who has been my faithful companion for nine years, is fatally ill.

He began losing weight around the turn of the year, but he seemed to gain it back. Then he lost it to the point where you can really tell. I looked at his teeth and saw some dark areas and took him to the vet. The news was awful. After listening to his heart, they ordered an xray and an EKG.

His little heart is enlarged, the aorta. That's blood on its way to the body to do work. They think perhaps he has something called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. That's a fancy word for the thickening of some parts of the heart. It's something that can cause sudden death.

We're medicating him with Vasotec (ACE inhibitor, helps the heart work better) and Lasix (a diuretic to try and remove some excess fluid build up), and a daily dose of aspirin. He's tolerating the meds well and still plays with Oberon like there's nothing wrong. But it's his heart. And the tears on my cheeks, dripping down onto my shirt right now, should suggest just how serious this is.

I don't know what I'm going to do without him. I don't know what Oberon is going to do without him.

All I want to do is sit and hold him all day long. Every time I come home I wonder if I'm going to find him dead. In bed, in the middle of the night, I lay my hand on his chest just to make sure he's breathing. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is say his name and pray that he opens his sleepy eyes and looks at me.

My prayers have been answered so far, but somehow I don't think I can count on that working forever.

There is a veterinary cardiologist that rotates through several practices in the area. Next week they'll see Meo to confirm the diagnosis. If the meds will help, and his quality if life remains the way it is today (which is exceedingly good), that's the best I can ask for. If the news is worse than expected, I'm not sure how I'll handle it.

---

I'm managing to maintain a 4.0 out of 4.0 in school. A&P I and Chem are both going quite well, but they basically involve hours of studying pretty much every day. Easily done since I'm not working. But once my certification comes in, I want to find a hospital job. There could be a million ways it'll play out, but somehow I think I might get stuck on weekends or overnights as a permanent shift.

I'm fine with that as long as I can get the right days off during the fall semester to round out my pre-nursing coursework. Microbiology and the second A&P are on the path. Two difficult subjects which will both require considerable work on my part. If I can take them with my current A&P professor (Dr. Siddiqi) I'll be pleased.

After the fall semester I will begin to apply to nursing schools. Even typing that makes me nervous. But my grades are good, I'll be working as a CNA, and I shouldn't have too much trouble getting accepted. My number one choice is Truman. Still trying to decide on two and three.

---

I've moved from a palatial apartment in Boystown to a place smaller than my very first Rogers Park 1BR. Living in quiet Buena Park is exactly what I needed. Walking to school makes me happy, the area businesses make me happy, the free gym (read: treadmill) in the building makes me happy, and the two blocks to the lake bike path are a dream.

My apartment is still not put together. There are *still* boxes. There is artwork that is *still* not hung up on the walls. But every day I'm getting closer to finishing. It isn't a race, but I'm unsure what the finish like looks like just yet. That needs to be sorted out.

---

Yes, I purchased an iPad. Yes, it really is as fan-frickin' tastic as people are claiming. Everyone I've shown it to has enjoyed toying around with it. There's a ton more to say about it, but an Apple conference begins in 5 minutes to discuss iPhone 4.0 and I'm going to hoover up as many live feeds as possible and regurgitate the key points via my twitter account.

---

Do me a favor? Tonight, before you go to sleep, ask whatever higher power you believe in to take my little Meo without suffering when his time comes? It can happen tomorrow or years from now, but no suffering okay?

We should all be so lucky. No suffering.
Friday
Apr022010

olive park


Friday
Apr022010

sheridan stop


Sunday
Mar142010

supermodel cat


Saturday
Jan302010

tikiriffic

Wednesday
Jan272010

five reasons I'm buying an iPad



5. I want to develop for the iPad. I really do. I have four product ideas I'd love to see materialize and I'm working my way gently into the iPhone SDK at the moment. Aside from graphic sizing, I can't see how the iPad is any different than the iPhone.

4. The same reason I bought a first gen iPhone. The iPad is a first gen device. Many folks will avoid it for that reason, but first gen tech has always fascinated me. Like the iPhone, the iPad will kick off a slew of imitators. I'd rather get one now and upgrade later. I've never been sorry for spending the $1000+ or so I've spent on iPhones. They've all been marvelously useful and I'd spend twice that on them in the future. Plus, my family loves tech hand-me-downs, so a first gen iPad might just have a future home.

3. I want a new laptop but I don't want a new laptop. In the sub $1000 space I wouldn't buy an Apple laptop, nor would I consider purchasing a Linux or Windows machine. This gizmo will do what I need in a travel laptop, which for me ain't much. I don't think I'll get the 3G option because I seldom stay at hotels without WiFi and there are hotspots galore in every part of Chicago that I frequent, including many of the places I will potentially work. Plus, my iPhone isn't going anywhere, and for directions or a quick text it's far more useful.

2. The Star Trek The Next Generation-ness of the device. If I have to explain what that means, we most likely aren't close friends, nor are you a regular reader of this blog, but welcome to the world of radiopeter.com! Toss me in your Google Reader, or better yet, follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/petermavrik. When my iPad lands, I'll be blogging about it, photographing it, and possibly establishing a similar unhealthy relationship with it along the lines of my iPhone.

1. Bragging rights. For realz. It's part of being an Apple fanboy and I'll admit that anytime. Will you?

Sunday
Jan242010

stepford babies

Friday
Jan222010

how foursquare shat on my Twitter stream

I hate foursquare. Not because of what the app can do, but because of what the app DOES do.

It shits in Twitter timelines. With every checkin. Possibly the most annoying thing ever.

The magic, for me, of Twitter is how eloquently the people I follow on Twitter are. They "get" the saying "brevity is the soul of wit." Short, descriptive clips of something interesting. And often, the folks I follow are bloggers who post interesting URL's when they blog.

foursquare now decides to shit a useless URL into Twitter streams far and wide every time someone checks in. Honestly, I care not. If I wanted to know where someone was, I'd ask.

But here's the kicker. 90% of the folks I follow on Twitter:

a) I've never met
b) Live far away from me
c) Do interesting things in life and have interesting things to say
d) Provide what I've often called Smart Content

Smart Content isn't telling the world where you are. It's meaningful information. Behind a Twitter URL can be a blog post, and interesting site, a cool picture, and generally something meaningful. foursquare provides a link to a site that tells me how many folks visited a certain corner/bus stop/business etc. I just don't care AND it's ruining the way I use Twitter.

Tech is what any of us make of it.

So today I unfollowed everyone who uses foursquare. Logging into Twitter to see pages of URLs that lead me to useless information is not only a waste of time, it's a waste of my bandwidth.

Nothing personal. I really don't have any ill feelings towards any of the users. But until the app removes the clutter from what should be a simple and eloquent way of communicating, i.e. Twitter, I ain't gonna follow you if you use foursquare.
Saturday
Jan162010

Delicious Times Eight