21
August
2015
0

Bella

My nine year-old cat Bella has been the focus in our lives since the beginning of August. In July we started noticing a drop in energy as well as weight, and by the end of the month she was vomiting bile on a daily basis.

Worried, I scheduled to bring her into the vet on the same day as Mr. Big’s checkup. The doctor examined her, noting that she had lost 4lbs since her last exam, which is considered dramatic. Based on what I’ve observed and what he was able to see, he said it might be kidney related but wouldn’t know for sure until he ran a blood test and urine sample. They gave her an IV of fluids since she was dehydrated and sent her home.

The doctor wanted me to seperate her from the rest of the animals and monitor her over the weekend and he’d get back to me with the results on Monday. I kept Bella in my office room with her own litterbox and food/water, and I was able to observe her not eating and barely drinking.

Bella

Monday morning the doctor called me with the results: something was happening with her liver. There was no way to know what specifically it was without an ultrasound and/or biopsy. His ultrasound tech travels and wouldn’t be available till Friday, and he felt Bella’s condition was too serious to wait that long. We needed to get her down to the emergency clinic as soon as possible.

I called the clinic to schedule an appointment and the soonest they could get her in would have been Wednesday morning unless I brought her in on an emergency basis. I fell stuck, not knowing what to do. I called my vet back and asked the doctor what I should do – he encouraged me to bring her in as an emergency. That way they could keep her stable until the ultrasound.

After work (which I had to stay late at to meet a deadline), Joshua and I headed to the 24 hour emergency clinic about an hour away where we waited almost two hours to be seen only to find out we went to the wrong 24 hour clinic. Once we got to the correct clinic we were able to leave her there so they could keep her comfortable until her ultrasound.

Ultrasound and Diagnosis

Tuesday morning she had her ultrasound, and it was confirmed that she had feline hepatic lipidosis also known as feline fatty liver disease. This is a disease that occurs when cats do not eat for awhile. Their body starts to metabolize their fat for nutrients rather than using nutrients from food. As a result, the fatty acids build up in the liver and cause liver dysfunction.

This disease can be brought on by stress or by another underlying disease. I had the choice of treating it as fatty liver disease or doing biopsies to see if it was something more serious such as cancer. I opted to treat it as fatty liver and go from there.

Bella

The first step in treatment was to provide nutritional support. Since she wasn’t eating on her own she had to have a feeding tube put in her esophagus. The next couple of days they increased her feedings and monitored her to make sure she wasn’t having any complications.

Friday night she was diagnosed with anemia with the cause most likely being her liver disease. They were going to continue monitoring her blood levels but warned me that if they didn’t improve she would possibly need a blood transfusion. Luckily it didn’t come down to that, so we were given the green light to bring her home on Sunday.

Bringing Bella Home

Sunday afternoon (the 8th) we got to see our Bella for the first time in almost a week. We met with the specialist and discussed her home care instructions. We would have to feed her three times a day via feeding tube as well as administer medication. She would have to continue to be seperated from the other animals as well as being confined so she wouldn’t risk damaging her feeding tube. We were also told to continue offering her small amounts of her normal food in order to get her eating on her own again.

Bella

The first couple of days were pretty rough. She had difficulty keeping her food down, which I think had to do with the fact she’s not used to eating that much. She’s never had a huge appetite to begin with so going from that to not eating at all to being force fed high calorie food three times a day was tough.

She also refused to eat any of her normal food despite showing signs of hunger. It was a bit discouraging because before all this happen I switched all the animals over from highly processed kibble to more natural kibble. While all the other animals love it (especially the dogs when I put some coconut oil on top), Bella is not having it. In fact, it’s quite possible the food switch is what started this whole thing.

Between taking her food out of the fridge and letting it warm (couldn’t use a microwave), actually feeding her, and giving her meds/water, the whole process takes about an hour when all is said and done. We’ve had to adjust our schedules to make it happen, and we’ve definitely lost some sleep, but we’ve finally settled into a routine. She definitely enjoys sitting in my lap while I feed her and have my morning cup of coffee.

Bella

A few days prior I saw her energy start to come back, so that was very promising. And by not giving her the full dose of food on one of her feedings allowed her to keep her food down. By the time her first week with us came to close I was seeing slight improvement.

Checkup

This past Monday (17th) she had her first checkup since being home. They did a physical exam as well as blood tests. I told the doctor about her not showing interest in her food despite being obviously hungry, and he said sometimes cats develop an aversion to certain foods and there’s no going back. He suggested I get a couple different brands of food and see which ones she goes for.

Aside from that, Bella is healing. It’s a slow process, but she’s made tremendous amounts of progress in a short amount of time. He called me later in the evening to discuss the lab results. Her anemia is gone and her liver levels are not 100% back to normal but are on their way there.

Bella

My sister picked up a couple cans of different brands of cat food to see if she’ll eat on her own, and so far she has, even though it has been in small doses. Her energy is going up daily, and if all goes well we’ll hopefully get the feeding tube removed at her next checkup in two to three weeks.

29
July
2015
0
My Favorite Things: A Blog Linkup

diptyque Candles

diptyque violette candle
I’ve become a bit of a candle snob in the last several months, and I judge a candle based on the strength of its scent both lit and unlit. I’ve seen diptyque candles pop up around Pinterest/blogosphere, and when Dani and I stumbled upon a diptyque boutique shop in downtown San Francisco I had the opportunity to check out all their different scents.

They had a lot of lovely scents, but the one I went home with was Violette / Violet. This is going to sound silly but the scent reminded me of Mr. Bubble bubble bath. It smells SO GOOD! Dani got the Mimosa one which also smells divine! I’ve been lighting mine in the morning as I’m getting ready for work and putting my makeup on. Makes me feel all pretty!

Yoga

Buddha says…💕#tdme #malabeads #buddha #letgo #mantra #quote #goodnight

A photo posted by Tiny Devotions (@tinydevotions) on

This month I have fallen in love with yoga again. I first tried yoga at my local community college about nine years ago. The instructor wrote her own textbook and our final for the class was to bring a homemade dish from one of the recipes in the book for a sattvic picnic potluck. I loved the class so much that I continued yoga as one of my classes when I moved to the bay area. Unfortunately the instructor was not as inviting as the other, plus life happened, so I went several years withoutout taking classes regularly.

At the beginning of this year I found a couple YouTube channels to follow, but wasn’t doing it regularly. This month Dani introduced me to a yoga studio right around the corner from our house, so I’ve been going to classes 2-3 times a week. I absolutely love it!

Hozier

I first heard Hozier’s music when he performed at the 2014 Victoria’s Secrets Fashion Show, but it wasn’t until this month that I started getting into the rest of his music. I’ve had “Like Real People Do” as well as few other tracks on repeat all month. Something about his voice and style of music is very calming and puts me in a good mood.

– – –

My Favourite Things is a monthly linkup hosted by Raisa and Eirene. Head over there to participate!

28
July
2015
0
What's In My Beauty Bag - July 2015
  1. beautyblender® pure® – I’ve been skeptical of what I thought to be an overpriced makeup sponge for a long time. I decided to give the pure® a try after reading it was good for applying serums and primers; since most of the primers/serums nowadays want you to pat it onto your face, I figured this would be the ideal applicator. I use it to put on my Paula’s Choice Shinestopper, and it gives me great coverage. I really feel like I am getting an even amount of product on my face when I use this, and I can definitely see why people go for the original to apply foundation and concealer.
  2. Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish with Microsponge® Technology – I’ve been experimenting with Paula’s Choice for my skincare routine this past month, and this is one of my favorites. As someone with SUPER oily skin I am always on the lookout for something that will get my t-zone in control. This stuff does the job and leaves my skin super soft! I use it on top of my moisturizer and before foundation.
  3. Paula’s Choice Clinical KP Treatment Cloths – It’s hard to find stuff for bacne that actually works and doesn’t dry out my skin. I got a sample of these with my first Paula’s Choice order, and I love them! They’re great for these summer months right now where I don’t need something heavy but do need some kind of treatment.
  4. Benefit Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara – I don’t really have a favorite mascara, but this just might be my new one. I love the size of the brush and the fact that I don’t have to use an eyelash curler to get the fullness I want. Plus it’s not a pain to remove, like most high-end mascaras are.
  5. The Body Shop Tea Tree Body Wash – Like mascara, I’m typically not married to any one body wash in particular, but this stuff is by far my favorite! The tea tree oil feels cool and tingly and does a better job dealing with my bacne than some of the other body washes I’ve tried. I stocked up on a couple bottles of these during The Body Shop’s last sale!
26
July
2015
0

Life

I started out last weekend by going to the 40th birthday bqq of my former Creative Director. I got to meet his brand new baby, Kimo, and his wife finally got to meet Mr. Big!

James, me, Joshua, and Mr. Big

I would like to note that Mr. Big was very well-behaved around the baby, so it definitely gives me hope for the future, hehe.

Last weekend was also my niece Renee’s sixth birthday! Her mom and grandparents hosted a bbq at their house complete with a pool, craft station, and lots of good food!

Renee's Dress

Later in the day our good friends Adam and Danielle came over for a visit before heading back up to Reno. They recently became engaged and they asked both Joshua and I to be in their bridal party!

She asked, and I said yes! Honored to be your bridesmaid @daniellecmills! #bridesmaid #datwedding2016

@joshua300td left him hanging at first but agreed to be one of @adamtturnbull's groomsmen. #datwedding2016 #groomsmen #bromance

A couple of other life-related things:

  • I got my hair trimmed.
  • I only went to yoga once this week, but it was my 6am class, which I’m really proud of myself for getting up to exercise that early!
  • I saw Terminator Genisys, which I thought was really good and WAY better than Salvation!

Work

When I wasn’t hustling to get things done for the upcoming site for The Kitchen I was working on my CAPMR wireframes. Here’s a look at my sketches.

capmr wireframes

I digitized them, and they were presented to the client. Overall they really liked the direction I was going and were surprisingly very open-minded about the ideas I had, so I’m looking forward to moving into the design phase of the project.

Oh and Mikuni finally put the cover photo up I designed! Originally I had the Fair Oaks Roll, but the client wanted something different so what you see now is the final and approved result.

Blog

No love for The Lovely Geek this week other than some routine WordPress maintenance. I’m trying to work on adjusting my routine and making time at some point daily to work on the site so I avoid these “no progress” weeks.

19
July
2015
0

Life

Last weekend Joshua had to meet up with a fellow Mercedes lover to buy some wheels for his car in San Francisco, so Dani and I accompanied him which turned into a shopping day!

Dani and I in SF

We went to Westfield SF for lunch and to look around at the different shops. I visited the Tory Burch store and bought her fragrance; it was also cool to finally see the FitBit bracelets in person.

We explored a couple shops outside the mall, and purely by accident we stumbled upon a diptyque shop. I’ve seen their candles floating around the blogosphere/Pinterest, mainly empty candles being used to hold make-up brushes, and had been considering getting one, so it was nice to see the candles in person and actually smell them. I went home with Violette and Dani got Mimosa, both which smell SUPER good!

On our way home we passed through Marin and did a quick drive-by of my grandpa’s old house, and we stopped at Mary’s Pizza Shack for dinner.

Sunday was my first yoga class of the week. Dani and I went to Holy Yoga in the evening, which was basically doing yoga and worship. It was pretty neat, especially since we went to church earlier in the day, so it was a nice way to wrap up our Sunday.

I went to two additional yoga classes during the week. The one I went to on Tuesday evening was a donation class, so donations went to the Sweet Dreams Foundation which builds dream bedrooms for kids with life threatening diseases. Then I went to another Rise With the Sun class on Thursday.

Friday evening Joshua and I went out with Dani and her friends to celebrate the enagement of Danielle and Adam. We to Chicago Fire for dinner and wrapped up the evening at Cold Stone Creamery.

Work

This week I worked on a couple different projects. I did some more designs for the Swansons app, created some cover photos for Mikuni’s Twitter and Facebook pages (which they haven’t put up yet), worked on the upcoming new design for The Kitchen and Iron Horse Tavern, and began wireframing for Capitol Morning Report.

Also my lifestyle photo finally was added to Three29’s website.

Me shopping at West Elm

A couple weeks ago I did a photoshoot with Kevin Fiscus at West Elm which he photographed me shopping. The idea was to show me doing something other than what I do for a living, and since I keep this blog here of my domestic adventures it made sense to have a photo of my shopping at one of my favorite stores. And in case you’re wondering, in my photo I am look at a succulent.

Blog

I continued work on the mood board, playing around with some pattern designs, but that was about it for progress.