Difficult days…

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Apologies to all who follow my blog for the lack of writing of late. No excuse available for much of the time away, but now am in that awful place we all have to cope with having just lost my wonderful dearest mother to heaven on Monday past (20th August 2012).

She was 85-1/2 and had suffered with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)after having smoked heavily for 30+ years of her life.   While we knew her time was getting shorter with every passing day, we somehow still felt she would be here many years ahead yet, as she was in superb form right up until getting her final chest infection just over a fortnight ago.

She unfortunately didn’t complain of the right symptoms, so we were unaware of how seriously ill she actually was, & thus time was wasted getitng her into hospital, and once in, she deteriorated very rapidly despite all the treatment she was getitng.  We were told last Thursday that she was unlikely to recover and on Friday preparations were started for her impending demise.

Having never prayed with her at any point in her life, I thankfully had opportunity during her last 2 days to do so, & to read lots of scripture to her.  She had made a statement of faith in her youth but never progressed from that point, yet I have to believe that it was enough.  Certain portions of scripture give the impression that really nothing more is needed:

“Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Act 16:30-31

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Personal update & Christmas cards.

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Apologies to all my regular readers for the lack of posts in recent days but I’ve had some stressful times of late, and only now have time to catch up on such things as updating my blog.   My mum wasn’t at all well over the late summer right through to October and she’d really only started to recover, when I then had to cope with my 12-year-old handreared (by me) kit Tikvah (you can read about him elsewhere on here if you search) took critically ill, culminating in emergency surgery for aggressive small cell lymphoma (bowel cancer).    While he sailed through the surgery incredibly well, he went downhill a week later necessitating immediate chemotherapy.  I found all of this surprisingly hugely stressful – much more so than I ever anticipated so I’ve not been too well on the back of it.

However, he’s now just completed week 4 and is once again doing superbly well and is expected to continue to stay so for the foreseeable future, although I appreciate this is really only delaying the inevitable, and his time with me now is hugely limited, which is still tough for me to accept, but ultimately philosophically, I recognise he is only a cat – he just happens to be THE most amazing, unique, and special cat, the kind you only get once in a lifetime if you’re really lucky.   He’s the first one I’ve ever had that responds appropriately to 10 words not all related to food :), and acts sometimes as if he really does understand what you’re saying.

Anyway all that aside the other time consuming aspect of my life has been making 500+ Christmas cards since August.   It’s the same every year – I start early thinking surely this year I’ll make enough to deal with all the requests but once again, got to the beginning of the month having to find another 80 from my own stash to fulfil a friend’s needs.   And almost all of these get given away to family – two friends are gracious enough to sell some but ultimately you just can’t make money on them as nobody wants to pay even 50p per card let alone the £2-3 they should be sold for and I’d rather get £5 than nothing at the end of the day.   Plus the biggest purpose of making them isn’t for money, it’s for my therapy and pain relief/distraction etc.   My pain levels have been rather high of late with all the extra driving and stress etc, and making the cards has been great for just keeping my mind off how bad it can be more often than not now, especially with the Arctic conditions we’ve suddenly hit here in the UK.

So once again I figured I’d just share a couple here and give you the link to the website where I have a lot more on show.   If you’re feeling generous, certainly I’d be more than happy for you to buy some and am willing to do a deal on bulk orders (more than 5).   Each year I seem to manage to create a whole new range and the side-stepper cards (shown above) are proving hugely popular this year.   The one on the right here is a “Flowersoft” one – the foliage at the base of the image is treated with tactile Flowersoft which provides a lovely 3D feel to it and looks quite realistic.   And the bonus is that it’s not too deep so along with the S/S cards doesn’t cost too much in postage.   One friend told me that it had cost her £28 to post her cards last year because most of them were 3D decoupage – that really shocked both of us, so I’m endeavouring now to make a lot more flat ones for next year!!

So for now, all that remains for me is to wish you all a very blessed and peaceful Christmas and trust you all remember Who the season is all about and why it is celebrated at all!!

Feline nonketotic hyperosmolar diabetes – a curable rarity…

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Just as a digression from my normal content of posts, inka-05.jpgI figured this one might be useful to do since it’s such a rare occurrence and also something which at one time I tried vainly to gain useful information on.

In 2001 my then 10-year-old cat Inka became suddenly and seriously ill fairly rapidly. However, when I looked back I could see there were warning signs which I’d ignored or put down to other circumstances. He was one of two outdoor cats, so when I noticed that I had to replenish the water bowl more often than usual I tended to put it down to the warmer weather or the fact that they were both on a purely dry food diet. He’d always been somewhat of a greedy cat too, so when he started looking for food more often again I just ignored it as I was trying to keep his weight to a reasonable level as he was already a barrel despite being on diet food and never leaving the back yard (unlike his brother who did). He was also a very nervous cat who didn’t take well to changes and if memory serves me right he’d just coped with a lot of stress through my having building work done in the couple of months prior to his illness. I had to go away for 3 or 4 days in May that year, and my brother was looking after him, but while he felt Inka was perhaps a bit off colour he equally didn’t see anything majorly wrong with him. However, the minute I went outside I did – Inka was totally out of it, semi-comatose, unable to lift his head or walk – really on the brink of death which was a total shock. The vets immediately assessed him as being in shock but as their initial tests didn’t indicate diabetes it took a while before his blood tests returned to show that his blood sugar was horrendous – 35 mmoles/L (in UK units a normal value would be 4.5-7) and thus I was warned his chances of survival were very slim. The next day after they’d made a lot of enquiries throughout the UK, they diagnosed him as having the rarer form of NKHO diabetes and stated that he was at that time one of only 4 other cats in the UK with the condition, and that up to that point, most others diagnosed with the condtion tended to die within the first week. However, he not only made it past the first week, but went on to be discharged home to me two weeks later, at which point we both had to deal with daily ear pricks and blood tests, as well as continually high blood sugars and equally high insulin doses. Six weeks later we were still battling not only with his DM but also his worsening asthma and general poor condition through being stuck indoors in a small room for weeks on end as he needed to preserve his energy for recovery.

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Size v strength :)

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This one has probably done the rounds 10 times over, but heck is it cute! Well worth yet another visit 🙂   No commentary needed for once.

Animals in Heaven?

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Bet this topic will divide the camp to a degree. Those who own pets will most likely say Yes, while non animal lovers maybe hope No, but scripturally it’s quite an interesting topic to review.tikvah-clear.jpgHaving always not only lived with pets of various types, but also grown up in the country and ran a wild bird hospital in between trekking around the countryside watching birds and also breeding birds, I have always had a great love for nature and the outdoors etc. However, although I’ve been a Christian for many years, and kept and lost many pets, mostly cats in that time, it’s only been over the past decade really that I’ve started to wonder about this topic of whether we will be reunited with our pets in particular in heaven. I’ve always just sort of hoped so, like most pet owners, but now I’m more than convinced of the reality of it.

Firstly, when God created man He gave Him all the animals, birds etc to name, and the text denotes a relationship of sorts between Adam and all the rest of creation – there’s certainly no mention at that point of animals fearing him or him having to chase them around to have contact. And initially there was no mention of eating any of them either. After the fall however, that changed, and suddenly man was no longer a friend to creation having brought it all under judgement by the fall, until after the flood when the animal kingdom in particular was to become a food source as God then specifically states:

Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

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