Under The Influence

Hello lovely people!
Yup, a long time between entries AGAIN! But I’m hoping that you will forgive me for the delay in getting to this entry.
There is a lot to cover this week from fun and friendship to total sadness to UTIs’ to more UTI’s to guilt to anticipation to fun. If that isn’t enough mix in a bit of fatigue, pain, and relief. So, there you are I think I've finished so, TTFN NO! WAIT!
I’ll fill a bit of detail for you to hang all of those things on.
Since my last entry days became a blur, time became irrelevant and MS took a back seat at times as well as overwhelming me sometimes. Buckle up, hold on and I’ll start.
For those of you who have seen my Instagram account daveharper1958 or my dave harper Facebook page, you will have noticed that a cat called Charlie features a lot in both. Those uninitiated of you, Charlie was the most beautiful lion head ginger moggy who was my friend and companion who spent lots of time asleep on my knee in my wheelchair or cuddled up to me with Victoria on our bed. Over the last 8 years, he became a close friend and listening ear when I wanted to moan, complain and generally confess to in times of anger and sadness plus of course someone to tell the good news of the day to. The great thing about cats, in general, is that they aren’t gossips, can keep secrets and help you to get things off your chest without judging you.

Well, Charlie had started to have the odd time when he found it difficult to breathe and made an awful wheezing sound for about 10 minutes, then he was OK again. We took him to the cat doctors for a quick check-up. Being very ‘cat’ he refused to display the said symptoms whilst she was checking him over. The conclusion was that he would be fine, he maybe had a ‘polyp’ in this throat that should go away with steroids. She gave him a steroid shot plus some pills that I valued in carats and not milligrams because of the price.

He spent the rest of that day looking happy and in better fettle. He did as usual and slept on my chest until about 2.00am then disappeared, normally for a perimeter check and to do the necessary. All was fine until I got up to make the tea and found Charlie there not moving! His cleaning paw was wet and his tongue was in its position halfway out of his mouth to lick his paw although he was lying down. We think he had a heart attack and died in his favourite warm spot in the dining room. This really shook me and I was in a numb brain worse than the worst cog fog I’d had in my MS career. We gently placed him in our sunroom and Victoria and I both cried because he would leave a big hole where his heart had been in our little family of 3 now 2.

Around lunchtime, I took my viper team hybrid bike wheel and went
down to our village to try and clear my head. When I got back, I shed another couple of tears for Charlie. I decided that the next move was to go to bed for my afternoon rest. As I got out of my chair to get into bed, my legs decided that gravity could take over for a while and I ended up on the floor! Been there, done that many times so I smiled to myself and tried to get up. My legs weren’t having any of it which I decided was ‘inconvenient’ because I now needed the loo (see what I did there?). Victoria can’t lift me off the floor to get me into the bathroom, desperation was setting in and so the dreaded catheter came into use. Unfortunately for me, every catheter brings with it a UTI and a couple of hours later I was definitely becoming Under The Influence of the UTI.
Bedtime for 4 days. Ughh I hate being bed-bound without any choice in the matter. Unfortunately with a UTI comes the pain, aches, a bit of a temperature and spasms; all of which I could do without. But then again, there’s no choice in the matter so it may be ‘politically incorrect’ nowadays but the phrase ‘man up princess’ came to mind. So I did and went to sleep! For the next few days, time was mush, my version of reality was unreal and I was a mess. NO! NOT THAT SORT!!!!
Whilst I was in bed still grieving for Charlie, Victoria was busy on the Internet and after a few false starts came into our bedroom to me and said she had found two beautiful cats that were in a rescue place not too far away. WHAT? JUST LIKE THAT! IT’S TOO SOON, I’D FEEL GUILTY WITH CHARLIE GOING SO RECENTLY, I said. Then she said something that, although hard to swallow (unlike the produce of her kitchen wizardry). She said “Dave Charlie is dead an doesn’t mind” but these two cats need a home! OK,?
Reality check time. Charlie didn’t and wouldn’t mind, it’s me that is upset not him. Charlie will always have a little piece of my heart, but that’s between me and my now non-existent friend. So when I felt ready to chance a 40-minute car drive without an accident (UTI type and not car type) we went to visit Matty and George a 7-year-old black and white BSH and a 7-month shy ginger BSH. You’ll have to message me to find out what BSH means if you don’t know:-}
We said yes to homing them after much deliberation (about 300 milliseconds) and arranged for them to be delivered to us two days later. The day before they arrived, my UTI returned with a vengeance! Back to bed, back on the pill. It didn’t take too long before it was starting to be beaten again as I must have had residual antibiotic in my system plus the boost of another dose of antibiotics. Back out of bed again this time to receive our new buddies. They have arrived and even as I'm typing this missive are starting to get braver and are exploring the sunroom, the lounge, and the dining room. Ah the fun, Charlie would love the fact that we have saved 2 more abandoned and emotionally damaged cats. When we get to know them properly, I’m sure I’ll have two more bed buddies to listen to me drivel on about the world with and without MS.

The moral of all this? There isn’t one, but it does show that the good, bad and the ugly of life do not wait a suitable amount of time in line between each attack. They can come all at once, one at a time or can arrive in any combination they feel will be most effective against you.

Don’t let them beat you, don’t let them overwhelm you. You are MS warriors, so get stuck into the battle. TTFN