Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Most Difficult Week I've Had In Years

This has been a very trying week for me.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up to find out that my grandfather had a stroke whilst visiting my aunt up in Rochester. We're five hours away from him right now, and the stroke was very severe and we're not sure how much he'll be able to recover, if at all. This could be the beginning of the end, so I've been bracing for losing him for the past several days.

As if that wasn't enough, another emotional blow slammed me two days later. The morning of the stroke, my cat Murphy, who saved me from my mental breakdown that resulted in my Asperger's diagnosis, had trouble going to the bathroom, but was able to relieve himself. He seemed fine for two more days, and then Thursday afternoon suddenly looked awful and would yowl when I picked him up. It got worse throughout the night, and he wasn't eating and drinking, so I correctly diagnosed the problem as a urethral blockage and Mom and I brought him to the emergency room at 1 in the morning. I lost a cat to repeated urethral blockages that led to kidney failure when I was in 8th grade (I mentioned that briefly here once), so I knew the warning signs and wasn't taking any chances.

Murphy got through surgery just fine and he'll be home late tonight or early tomorrow morning - he's doing fantastically. Unfortunately, emergency vet bills are very steep, and so I'm taking art commissions to help raise money to pay for his emergency treatment. The money, though, is the least of my worries right now - knowing he's healthy and is going to be home again has calmed me down considerably because the last thing I needed right now was to lose the cat that saved my life. Having him back means everything to me - he was my emotional rock at the most difficult time of my life, and I wouldn't be writing this blog if he hadn't shown up during my sophomore year of college and let me adopt him.

With Murphy's health back in order, I can return my focus to my grandfather, which is a relief because handling all of this emotional stress at once was pushing me to the edge. I'm still getting sick to my stomach and not sleeping well, but my grandfather is in his 80s and I can come to terms with losing him because I've known that he's been unwell for a while - this stroke was just the culmination of all the stress on his body. There is absolutely no way I would have handled Murphy's death well at all because he's been the best little supporter I could have ever asked for and I love him more than anything. He's honestly been one of my best friends for the past four years and I can genuinely say that when he came into my life it was the beginning of a long healing process for me. It wouldn't have started without him, and I'm eternally thankful to him.

April 2009. Murphy and I met when he was six weeks old.

Best friends forever! Here we are four years later in April 2013.
I'm genuinely concerned about losing my grandfather, though - I love him dearly and I don't want to see him go out in pain. He's been taking care of my grandmother, his wife of 59 years, and the strain was just too much on him and now he's in a horrible state. He goes through good moments and bad moments and all the information we've been getting from Rochester - even from my data-oriented dad, who got up there as soon as he could - has been mixed and I don't know what to expect anymore. I just know that no matter what happens he's not going to be the same or fully recover from this and it breaks my heart to see him reduced to a shadow of the man he was.

Grandpa with Louise (and Barnaby in the background following my dad, as usual).
Basically, this has been a really, really emotionally difficult week, and I hope for everything to come to a satisfactory conclusion but I'm afraid that's not going to be the case for my grandfather. I'm just heartbroken for him - he doesn't deserve to go out like this.

Nobody deserves to go out like this.