allekha: (Default)
It's nice to be back after being gone for so long. (Long story short: my computer became unusable due to power issues, then was held captive by tech support for almost two months, after which it still wasn't fixed because they couldn't be bothered to ship the right part from California, so I then had to take it to a local place and spend my own money to get the power jack replaced.)

We had our first snowfall near the end of October. I wonder if we'll have a proper winter this year.

Happy, mostly fannish stuff under this cut )

Elections-related stuff under this cut )
allekha: (Zukaang hug)
What in the goddamned fucking hell, America?

I was so excited this morning. I happily went to cast my ballot. I started to mentally write something cheerful about America and doing good and maybe being a little proud of my country for the first time since June last year.

Instead, I ended up breaking down at one in the morning after managing to prevent several panic attacks. I called by mom and just lost it. She tried to reassure me about how it's not the end of the world, and I know intellectually that that's probably true; I don't want to think about that right now. I don't want to think. I don't even want to get angry. Angry can wait until tomorrow, until I've slept.

I'm just in total disbelief. I thought the people here could be better than this. I thought all the statisticians and polling data couldn't be that wrong. The world makes no sense to me right now.

It's four am and I can't sleep. I've moved past horrified into numbness but I can't settle. I'm going to listen to something happy and draw, maybe do some writing, maybe study Japanese. And get something hot to drink.

I hope everyone is holding up okay, given the circumstances.
allekha: (Default)
So, I think I can do this without crying, now.

Last Friday we took Wisp to a vet cardiologist. It was a fairly peaceful ride, once Wisp figured that it was best to stay by my feet instead of trying to climb up and look out the window and get rocked all over the place...

There was a pretty fishtank in the waiting room. I carried Wisp over, thinking he would like it, but the fish didn't really seem to catch his attention for whatever reason. So we sat down to wait. Wisp got settled down. We read.

On the way to the exam room the assistant measured his weight, even though he was just weighed yesterday... 11 pounds something, much better...

We got to the exam room and answered some questions. The assistant said to count his breathing at home, even though I had been to make sure he was under the limit the bet had told us about, thirty breaths a minute, but she wanted me to write them down. Turns out we didn't need that form...

We waited some more. The cardiologist came in, and there was probably some more talking and then he started the ultrasound. ...even I could tell it was really bad, just from looking at it. I'll cut a little description short, the cardiologist said that if he was a human, he would basically need a heart transplant, listed maybe five different conditions that described Wisp's heart, and said that it had failed. Not even failing. Completely failed.

"So how's he still alive?" asked my dad. The cardiologist waved his arms around his head. Some up there, maybe. Basically, Wisp should not have still been alive. I think he said that it was only his blood pressure keeping things going.

We were given three options. Admit Wisp to the hospital to drain the fluid that was building up again and give him drugs, try him on drugs for a few days, or put him to sleep.

...you already know what we chose.

Wisp was actively suffering. He wasn't going to get better again. Even if they did absolutely everything, it wouldn't restore that much heart function, and he would be in pain, not to mention it would cost money.

We called my mom to confirm that yes, the three of us were in agreement. I started crying. I didn't want Wisp to die. But more than that, I didn't want him to be in pain.

If the ground wasn't frozen we would have taken his body home and buried him in the woods, since he loved them. But it was (is) so we chose to get him cremated. A body isn't really important, anyway.

We were given some time alone with him in a more clear room, and I took some pictures of him with my phone. My dad took a couple of me holding him. Maybe I'll post those tomorrow or something...

Eventually they came to take him back to put in a catheter. My dad and I both did a lot of crying. Even my normally stoic dad... I kept thinking random things, like I was glad that this had happened today because that day I had had a test, and the next day I wouldn't have to go to school. Wondering if this was anything like my dad had gone through with Twinkle, his mostly-Siamese childhood cat. (Turned out, no, his parents took her in because she was sick, and came back and said that she was gone.)

At some point someone stopped by to say they were having trouble getting the catheter in, and asked if we would be okay giving him a sedative. She asked because he was so badly off, there was a chance it would kill him. Thankfully he relaxed and they were able to get it in.

They brought him back in and the other vet was supposed to come in right away, but we ended up having to wait. It was painful to see Wisp try to walk with the bandages on his legs, so my dad held him on his lap and we just petted him.

Eventually she came in. Saline water, worked. Relaxant, worked. More saline to flush it.

Then she stuck in the last needle. I remember it was a deep pink color. She started pushing it in. My dad started crying again, and a moment later I started crying again, and we kept petting him as the vet listened for a heartbeat to confirm that he had passed on.

His eyes had been closed. When she carried him to the table to wrap him in a blanket to wrap him up his eyes opened for a moment and I had to look away. They look so creepy and empty, like a doll's eyes. Not like Wisp's eyes.

I pet his neck for a few moments, right before she carried him out. I couldn't see his eyes. His body was still warm, his fur was still so soft. I still remember the feel of that fur.

Then we left. The sun was setting on the ride home. I called my mom to let her know.

At least he went as happy as he could, in that situation, not in the middle of the night when we were all sleeping, or something.

I've been crying for most of writing this.


It's amazing how empty this house can feel with just one cat missing. I keep thinking about the things he's never going to do again. I don't know if Starlight understands anything about his being gone. I don't know, she seems a little lonely. The people at our regular vet sent us a plant. It's still sitting up on the microwave where he used to sit.

Sorry if this gets a little weird in parts, I'm still really upset.
allekha: (Default)
I don't want to write the whole story right now.

We just had to put Wisp to sleep. He went in my dad's lap while we were both petting him. He was in a lot of pain and it was a miracle he was still alive. If he went somewhere, I'm sure he's much happier now.

I'll just record the time here:

At a little before 5 PM EST, on Friday, January 14, 2011, Wisp went to sleep for the last time.

Rest in peace, boy.
allekha: (Default)
So, update of Wisp situation...

So we went back to the vet today for Starlight's usual check-up and Wisp's return check-up. A different vet saw them this time. Starlight was fine. Wisp, though...

The arrhythmia got a lot worse. The vet was very concerned when he heard it, and he said we should go take Wisp to the cardiologist. He went out to get another vet while we stood around and talked a bit about it - my dad was sort of reluctant to do so, being under the impression that the previous doctor had given us that there wasn't much to do. The second vet came in and was also pretty concerned.

It turns out that there are different medications that one can give depending on the exact cause of the arrhythmia, and whatever Wisp was getting wasn't really helping, and depending on what the cardiologist discovered it could be really helpful to give him something else. The first vet reassured us that he was pretty pragmatic about testing and wouldn't be suggesting this to us if he didn't think it would help, and both of them were saying that if this was their cat they would take Wisp in right away.

So the first vet left to go check the new blood test results and the x rays and the second to go see if the cardiologist we were being referred to was in. We talked some more... I was petting Wisp on his neck and found his pulse point by accident, and it really freaked me out - it was really random. It reminded me for some reason of a hard drive light when the computer is doing something - it did not feel like a heart beat at all.

We got an appointment for three tomorrow, they'll do an ultrasound on his heart and see if they can't determine the cause. The vet listed a couple of things it might be, I don't remember their names, but he did mention that it could be something pressing up against the heart... Anyway, we'll see what it is and if there's anything that can be done to bring the arrhythmia under control because it's really bad.
allekha: (Default)
This all happened almost a week ago, last Thursday, but I wanted to wait until we got some test results to write this up.

My cat Wisp had been acting kind of strange. He wasn't eating as much as he should and he was drinking a lot more water, or at least following us to a sink to watch it stream from the faucet. Because he wasn't eating he felt skinnier, and he wasn't exactly plump beforehand. So, we took him to the vet.

He had in fact lost a pound, and he was acting unusually passive, we noticed. The vet noted that he seemed to have some sort of fluid in his belly - though she wasn't sure, since it could just be it feeling big compared to the rest of his skinny self - and then she listened to his heart and heard arrhythmia.

They did some quick bloodwork and took him to get an ultrasound while I read a book and waited and my dad went to his appointment to get the car's tires changed.

When the vet came out, she told me that his heart was enlarged and that there was in fact fluid in his belly. I think she said that she had drained some of it already but I can't quite remember. When she called my dad he wanted to speak to me and he gave me a little more information. Basically, that Wisp might die soon.

...I nearly started crying right there.

My dad authorized more tests to find out what exactly was wrong with him - an x-ray, and I don't remember if there was something else. I went back to the waiting room to wait and read. Some time after my dad came back the vet called us in again.

She said that Wisp was in heart failure. that was why he had fluid in his abdomen, which was why he wasn't eating because it made him uncomfortable. She gave three possible causes for this: thyroid problem, heartworm, and it being congenital (she mentioned that whatever the specific condition is rare in cats but more common in Maine Coons, and that he looks like he has some in him). Thyroid, heartworm, there's medication for that, but I don't know if there's much they can do if it's congenital. They sent out to another lab for those tests. Meanwhile, we could take him home.

The scariest part was when she said that if he started breathing really hard, or if he started open-mouth breathing, to bring him in right away because that means he has fluid in his lungs and he can't breathe, and that's a horrible way to die. My dad started tearing up at that. He never cries. That's how my mother's mother died, just before I was born...

We were given pills to give him and told to encourage him to eat. A followup in a week.

Back home, we tried over the evening to give him canned food, smoked salmon, 'cat milk', even cheese. I did some reading on the internet about how to encourage cats to eat and tried warming things up. I tried giving him catnip. Wisp wouldn't have any of it. Just before I went to bed he had a little bit of the canned food, and I got a little catmilk in him, but that was it.

Next day, Friday, on the way back from picking me up from my linguistics class, we stopped to pick up some other food to try, regular salmon and tuna and baby food (checked to have no onions). I got him to have a few spoonfuls of the baby food when we got home, and every hour or so I shoved more at him. Usually he would have a spoonful, more often two, sometimes three. Got a whole jar into him, and a bit of another.

Starting the next day, he became midly more energetic and more hungry - he would eat canned food in small amounts at a time. It's been getting a little better every day - now he comes into the kitchen every couple of hours and stands around for us to feed him. He usually eats several cans of food, and although he still lays at this same spot most of the day - this one at the top of the stairs, he's never especially slept there before - he walks around more. Fights more, too, when I give him his pills if I don't do it quickly enough.

I said at the beginning of this I was waiting for test results. On Friday, we got a call that the thyroid test came back negative. Today, the heartworm test came back negative as well.

I don't really want to write anymore so I'll stop there.
allekha: (Default)
Yes, I'm still alive, I just took far too long to actually sit down and update >_>

But since I just actually went through with a name change, I thought I might as well do so. It wasn't that I minded nekastale, but I usually use allekha now and I don't want to be named after my character any more. (Except on FP, but that's so ingrained that I wouldn't be able to stand to change it. Plus, my tags all have 'Neka' on them. They'd be a pain to change around.) 'Allekha' was something I actually came up with for a name of a town in my book, but I actually never used it.

On Sunday, when I tried to bring my laptop out of sleep mode, it froze at a black screen, so I shut it off. And tried to boot it up again. But it didn't. It wouldn't boot in safe mood, either. There was one point where it said 'Hit ESC to skip loading sptd.sys' and if I hit that key then it came up with a different message. The next day, my mom took it into the university computer center. Yesterday, the people there said that something was wrong with the hard drive, and it was unfixable, but they could get data off of it. They said that they would put it on a DVD.

This morning as I was showering I started agonizing over the ways it could go wrong, since the amount they supposedly had seemed low (something like... 2.5 gigs? I'm really sure I have more than that) and one of them came true. They only copied my mom's files. None of mine. Immediately we sent a message about that, but they don't work on weekends, we're leaving on Monday, and tomorrow is Friday. Yeah, I'm not happy about that. At least I won't lose the files for forever, but I really would like my Mnemosyne files and bookmarks back before we leave. I had a fair amount of sites bookmarked to find at Comiket, and it'd be a bit of a pain if I have to find all of them over again...

Aaaand just as I finished typing the above my mom finished a call. They said that if she got there this evening with her 32-gig USB stick, they think they can get what I need off before we go. It's 20 gigabytes (5 DVDs) so they preferred the USB. *crosses fingers*

For something completely different, I typed this up a few weeks ago. I just updated the exchange rates.

This is why I want to start tutoring... )

And now I need a new laptop. Maybe if I don't get anything else for my birthday? At least I can get one with higher specs and without broken hinges now.
allekha: (Default)
My mom let me install the Sims 2 on her computer, and it runs so much better on there. I can even see fish in the ponds now. And it's nice to have it load faster.

Last Saturday (not yesterday, the week before) my mom and I witnessed a car accident. Well, we didn't see it, but we were at the place it happened and heard it. Somebody got hit from behind as they were turning in. Thankfully, it seems like they weren't too badly hurt, as the ambulance took them off without lights or sirens.

Click for long, weird dream )
allekha: (Default)
I finished Death Note last night ;_; I mean, there's still the oneshot afterward and volume 13 and fanfic, but still. Oh, the ending ;___; It was good but... I bet that last episode is going to be painful.

When I went out jogging/walking today, as I was coming back towards my house the first time (about 8 minutes after I left) there were two or three police cars in front of out next-door neighbors' house. One of the officers asked me a couple of questions (if I lived in the area - I said the house next door and pointed, where I was coming from - just walking around, my name, if I'd seen anyone else walking around - no, stuff like that). I went around another time and then went in to study.

And then a couple of hours later (a couple of minutes ago) another officer came to ask us if we had seen anything suspicious and get our names and stuff. A burglary in broad daylight, it seems a little unusual, but they had a broken sliding glass door and missing property, so...

My last econ exam got me a 90, which brings me to an average of 90.

A few nights ago my mom was just awesome (more than usual, that is) for the night. She got her latest book praised by someone who she has seen rip people apart in his column (and it was a pretty in-depth thing too, it took up a few pages) and she found me pocky! Which is goooood. It's the kind of thing where you want to just keep eating one right after the other.

We're also repainting our living room. Designers that claim it's a 'quick and easy way to change the look of a room'? Are either lying or don't have bookshelves stuffed with books.
allekha: (Default)
An ambulance just left our driveway (I think, hard to hear it through the door). I called 911 for the first time in my life (though I didn't talk to the people there). This day is exciting (in a bad way of course) and I've only been awake an hour and up half that.

Okay, at eight my mom starts coughing. I can hear it from the other end of the house, but that's not too unusual. What is is that it goes on for maybe 15, twenty minutes? Then at about eight thirty, when I'm about to get up, I hear my mom in my parents' bedroom and she's breathing not good. I hear her tell my dad to call 911.

That got me up in a jiffy. So I dialed 911 while my dad was finishing dressing, he talked to them while I tried to get my mom to calm down a bit (which I don't think I managed very well) and we debated for a few minutes whether to take her to the local emergency room ourselves or get an ambulance. At first my mom changed her mind since she was breathing easier, but we got an ambulance.

So get cats in and locked away, open front doors, etc. What's weird is that we don't know what caused it - maybe something from China?

Update: She's okay. Not SARS or TB, seems to be an allergic reaction. Which would mean she just developed an allergy. To what, we're not sure. Anyway, her throat's not swollen anymore. And we're finally home from the hospital. And I'm wondering why she was warned away from whatever it is that she takes for headaches. She said several times that the swelling happened instantly as she was swallowing, not a minute or few later.
allekha: (Default)
Well. I had an unexpected adventure when I went to take my other exam today.

Okay. So I open up the testing window, and immediately there is this pop-up saying that my time's up and I need to submit my exam. I get a proctor, we go to a person and then another, and I explain what happened on Wednesday: I had accidentally opened the wrong exam and the proctor told me to just click out of it and then log out and back in. And then I took the test I was supposed to.

So then the women has me take them to look at the computer screen, and then I get to sit there for a few minutes while they go find someone else. Which, by the way was really nerve-wracking. I was reading everything that was written on my ID card and trying not to wonder if I was even going to be able to take this test at all. Then she comes back and then takes me into the hallway and says a few things, and then goes to check something (I think). After a minute she came back and told me I could sit down and I talked with my dad for a couple minutes.

Finally someone else comes up and says that they've reset my time and I get to take my test. I scraped an A- on it, although I at first thought it was a B (they don't give letter grades, just a number score) and was a bit disappointed in myself. My dad did take me to my favorite diner though which cheered me up some.

But I would not like to repeat that experience. Ever.
allekha: (Default)
I fell down the stairs...

I was just finished cleaning something, so my hands were still a bit wet and slippery. I slip on the fourth or fifith?, and start falling. My other hand goes to the banister to help try and slow/stop my fall. Then they reach the end of the first part (when you get down the stairs a bit, the first banister part ends and you have to switch your hand over to the other one next to it) and I curl up and start rolling down the rest. I fall ALL the way down and into the stuff at the bottom. After calling out a few times, my dad came down and got the stuff off of me and I get up.

I lay down for a few minutes to calm down and stop shaking.

I think I hit the back of my head on the edge of one of the stairs, but not hard, and it's okay. I didn't break anything, though my left foot hurts to walk on...

And five minutes later, I'm going up again to get ice cream. I think I don't get shaken too hard by these sort of things, though now I'm going to definately going to try and be even more careful... for a bit, anyways.

Eek.

Aug. 9th, 2007 07:08 pm
allekha: (Default)
Alright, this happened a little while ago but I just now got around to posting it.

So, a few large vehicles go by our house, but I'm used to trucks and stuff going by so I don't think much about it, other than the fact that they sound more numerous than usual. My mom then looks out the window by the door and says that something's going on at the other end of our neighborhood (it's kind of circle shaped) - the things that passed by were a fire truck and ambulance!

So we go out and see what happened:

Alright, so a woman that lives at the house comes home to find the house full of smoke. She calls 911, especially worried 'cause she has a disabled son there. Everybody gets out okay, though, and son goes off to the hospital in an ambulance.

There were a lot of emergency vehicles. They were arriving even as we went back - and emergency care unit, two police cars, and ANOTHER fire truck. It was starting to seem like overkill, but they were afraid that the unkown source of the smoke might explode the oil holder...

They also blocked off the entrance to anybody who doesn't live here.

I just heard a couple of them leaving, though. Hope everything is okay, it should be. No fire, just smoke...

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