Friday, November 20, 2009

Sympathetic pain

I have this thing that happens to my body when somebody close to me is seriously ill. I seem to suddenly develop a symptom that mimics their condition. 

For instance, when my beloved uncle lost the ability to swallow food safely without aspirating, for instance, I found myself suddenly having trouble swallowing, feeling my esophagus and epiglottis choking up. I had a similar experience when a friend had kidney problems. 

Now, since Monday, when I learned about Brindi being hospitalized, I've been having some gripping, sharp pains in my abdomen, kind of central, not high or low, and it's not going away just yet. Don't have any chronic heartburn or even infrequent heartburn (thankfully); it suddenly came on and it's been just maddening. 

Teresa wrote on November 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm
What is pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum—the first part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes digestive juices, or enzymes, into the duodenum through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic enzymes join with bile—a liquid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder—to digest food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body regulate the glucose it takes from food for energy.

Normally, digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas do not become active until they reach the small intestine. But when the pancreas is inflamed, the enzymes inside it attack and damage the tissues that produce them.

Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Either form is serious and can lead to complications. In severe cases, bleeding, infection, and permanent tissue damage may occur.

Post #2 
Teresa wrote on November 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm
I just wanted to share some information on what Brindi is dealing with health wise, how the pancreas works. Prayers for your quick recovery Brindi and your freedom ♥ 

Post #3 Francesca wrote on November 19, 2009 at 1:11am
Thank you so, so much Teresa!!

I learned in a chat with the shelter manager that they confirmed the diagnosis last Friday with a blood test. Apparently they wanted to insure she was looked after so they kept her in the hospital over the weekend rather than the shelter, where staff is either low and/or non-existent on Sundays. 

That was great. I am not so pleased about HRM's Animal Services and legal beagles' attempt to make me the culprit for a condition that takes a lot of time to come about - not something anybody could accomplish in one half-hour a week, for the few months I've been permitted these visits. Being deprived throughout of sufficient exercise, and the added weight (reflecting a rich diet; before January there were lots of fatty treats around), are likely factors; also, the vet told me that certain bacteria can trigger it. Having poor dental hygiene and gum disease is a great recipe for that. 

Brindi was peppy and very affectionate and ready for action, as usual. Her forearms had been shaved for IV's but she was not shedding much and her coat was in good condition. they are also clearly working on her teeth, which are still bad but slowly improving. That made me feel better. 

There is a dispute about the visit location and time: they want to change it to indoors at 4 pm. I do not. I arrived at 1 pm today to discover the new terms and was told they were sent to my lawyer. He did not receive anything and in his call to HRM he learned the other lawyer was in court - but five minutes later, he received an email from him announcing the chage. 

I really hope they will change their minds - today was very difficult for Brindi, and hard as hell for me. In that room, she sees the outside world through the window, just a single pane of glass away, a world she hasn't visited for a year and a half and which she doesn't see in the back pen because it is far from the road. So she was really suffering today, jumped on the couch and sat prettily staring outside. She kept glancing back at me with the same pleading eyes in this photo, asking me to take her out of there. She really really wants SO MUCH to be free. It pains me, as it would anyone, to be so utterly helpless to fulfill her wishes, to just open that door for her, when I know she once trusted me totally and I love her so much.
I just held her very close next to me, putting my head down on hers, and prayed very hard.
I sobbed a few times, with the waves of pain pushing through. 

 I'm sure it pains the staff as well that she is not allowed to even go for a walk - HRM's call and they obey it. But for me, it's the most unbearable feeling in the world, and my stomach cramping up every 30 seconds is a mirror of that pain.