In November 2016, about a month after we formally adopted her, Toes was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. David was out of town when we received the news (as he’d been during the bite incident). Therefore, I was alone in the vet’s office when the doctor advised me on the treatment–a special kidney diet and subcutaneous fluids administered every other day.
Before Toes was diagnosed, I’d never heard of subcutaneous fluids, but apparently it’s a treatment commonly prescribed for older cats. It involves sticking a needle in your cat’s back and letting fluids flow from an IV bag into the cat.
When the doctor told me I would need to do this, I couldn’t believe it was something I was capable of. I’m not a vet tech! Plus, Toes was a bite-y cat, and even though she’d been cleared in the rabies quarantine, I was still scared of her.
The first few days she needed fluids, while David was still out of town, I took her up to the vet’s office to have the staff perform the treatment. After David returned, we learned how to do the task together–with me holding Toes in position and singing to her while David did the needle-y stuff.
Eventually I learned how to do the fluids by myself because David travels a lot. And it isn’t practical to take a cat to the vet that often.
Recently, when David was out of town (surprise!), I was having some trouble with the fluids. I couldn’t get them to flow out of the bag. I called my medically oriented family members for help, I called the vet’s office, and eventually realized that a clip on the IV line designed to block the flow had been activated.
For close to two years, I’d been giving Toes fluids, and while I’d seen the clip on the line, I’d never truly comprehended its functionality before then.
The big questions and mysteries of life overwhelm me, but I usually feel like I understand the small stuff. However, my failure to recognize the utility of the clip made me wonder. What other small things have I not figured out yet?