the fantastic news update

a few of you already know this news, but a bunch of you don’t, and i’ve been horribly negligent with this amazing update, so here goes!

regular readers (as if i’ve been so difficult to keep up with lately! heh) will remember finley’s extremely scary health drama back in april. i mentioned in may that things were looking up, but his next step was the three-month follow-up ultrasound in july. the closer his appointment got, the more nervous i became. there was no real reason for it; i just tend to get paranoid as vet appointments approach. i’m always afraid some big scary thing will be discovered and the whole thing gives me a tummyache.

anyway, we combined his follow-up sonogram with his upcoming yearly exam (because he is SO afraid of going to the vet), and we dropped him off the morning of. we went to a restaurant a couple of blocks away for breakfast, tried in vain to distract ourselves, and then went back to wait for him to be ready for his "regular" exam. while waiting in the lobby, one of the vet techs (who is very familiar with us, and with finley, and who had been assisting with his ultrasound that day) came out to ask us whether they could take repeat x-rays to compare with the ones they took in april. she didn’t really say anything good or bad, but it made me totally nervous anyway. we told her yes, of course, and she disappeared for a little while.

a few minutes later she reappeared with finley (looking nervous but really happy to see us) and told us we could go into an exam room now. she got us set up, and then just said "the doctor will be in shortly," and left. she was friendly, but again–no good news, no bad news. it scared me.

the longer we waited with finely, the more my stomach was killing me. i was a complete wreck, and i was trying so hard NOT to be, because i didn’t want my stress and fear to transfer to poor finley. eventually we could hear the doctor talking through the door, and the only snippet we caught was "heart is definitely smaller." we weren’t exactly sure what that meant, but we didn’t have to wait long.

she opened the door with a huge smile on her face and said, "well, i have FANTASTIC news for you!" and honestly i think a gallon of adrenaline shot through me all at once. she said that both she and the heart specialist (who conducted the ultrasound) were extremely pleasantly surprised to note that finley’s heart was almost completely back to normal, which is not only unexpected, but somewhat unheard of. his heart had reduced in size, the extreme thickening in the walls of his heart had lessened considerably (from a 17 down to a 12.7, when "normal" is a 12), and everything was functioning extremely well. my notes say, "AV block is resolved, septum is almost normal, heart is almost perfect. slightly enlarged right atrium, blood pressure very good, EKG weirdness now normal." as she put it: "we’re not talking stabilized condition, we’re talking reversal of heart disease. this is just amazing."

i was so relieved and happy and excited and dumbfounded i didn’t know what to do. every time i tried to talk, i felt myself starting to cry. i just couldn’t believe it. they couldn’t either–the vet told us that the specialist said something along the lines of, "honestly, i’m very surprised this cat made it; i didn’t think he would"–but obviously everyone was completely thrilled!

so, no one is really sure what exactly happened to poor little finley. they’re calling it "unclassified cardiomyopathy; characteristics of arrythmogenic cardiomyopathy," and it appears that he had some kind of "event" that we (thankfully) got him over/through and now he’s doing just great. we were able to take him off the lasix right away that day; we’re keeping him on the blood pressure/aspirin regimen as a precaution, because a severe cardiac event like that can create scarring inside the heart, and our vet wanted to be on the safe side there. in any case, as long as he remains asymptomatic we should be basically in the clear. they’d like him to come in for another follow-up ultrasound in november, just to see how everything looks. i’m certain i’ll be terrified again once that rolls around, but for now i’m basking in relief and happiness.

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