Yochabel's Wisdom: Hospice at Home
Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
August 28, 2019
I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share my precious Yochabel's story as a guest author for www.consciouscat.net, with Ingrid King. This is the fifth of a series of blog posts over the next few months. In this series I discuss what it is like to live with a chronically ill cat, the stress, the joys, and the heartache of loss. I also talk about how Yochabel has helped me live with my own chronic illness and ways she helped me cope and gain resiliency. My philosophies about integrative healing apply to Yochabel's treatment as does the use of my healing wheel.
Excerpts taken from consciouscat.com. For link to full article see below.
Cancer changes lives
"When Yochabel was diagnosed with a bladder tumor both of our lives changed. I felt weighed down by a daunting fear that I was racing against time while the tumor might be growing faster than we could intervene..."
"...Eventually, she didn’t have the bladder control or the energy to make it to the box...Her desire to be with me prevailed, and for several weeks I honored her request by following behind and lovingly cleaning up her dribbles along the way..."
"Illness and aging can be hard on dignity. She deserved to feel “normal” without shame..."
"One day as I walked down the hallway wiping up dribbles, I realized Yochabel wasn’t in front of me. I was wiping up puddles of my own tears. None of us want to get old and to see our bodies change... I realized at some point in all of our lives, we may have to accept our bodies don’t work the way they used to. We may have to face that hospice and palliative care are a part of life..."
Yochabel’s Beach: Modifying the environment with dignity
"Yochabel had tested many litter boxes since she came to live with me. Ultimately, she chose a spacious, round (27 inch) pan, inspired by my husband’s ability to 'think outside the box.' I am most grateful she loved this pan, because with the tumor competing for space inside her bladder, Yochabel spent more time in this pan than anywhere else..."
"...We named her litter pan Yochabel Beach: a place associated with joy, peace, her love for food, and fun, not cancer..."
..."Our home had to fit her needs by becoming functional and hospice friendly. If her world had to shrink to the litter box, then we would make the best of it..."
Finding a vet who puts your needs first
"... I persisted and found the perfect vet for us. Dr Blair took time to return my phone call and spoke with me at length so that I could be assured she was a proper fit prior to bringing Yochabel in. Her philosophy was simple:"
“My focus is on what is in the best interests of Yochabel and
making her life more comfortable.
How can I help you do this?”
Acceptance, and creating new rituals
"...Things were changing and we couldn’t go back in time, but we could hold on to our memories together. While I fed her in Yochabel’s Beach, we both looked at each other as if to say, 'We know this is sort of gross, but we gotta do what we gotta do...' As singing and playing was our way to bond, we made a new ritual. We pretended to have our picnic at the beach and we sang our new song together."
♪ “You’re not a kitty cat, you’re a mountain lion… ROAR ROAR. Look at you go!” ♪
"...Hospice wasn’t all bad. It was about living life together one day at a time and making the most of it. It was about being courageous and accepting things we couldn’t change. Our love would never change..."
Yochabel's Wisdom: Securing the Bond
Yochabel's Wisdom: The Food Connection
Yochabel's Wisdom: Coping with Cancer
Yochabel's Wisdom: Emotional Turmoil
Yochabel's Wisdom: The Last Day
Read full article here:
Ingrid King's award winning website, www.consciouscat.net, and her heartfelt books, including Buckley's Story and Purrs of Wisdom, expand our loving and soulful connections with our cat companions while offering practical information to enhance our lives. For more information and an abundance of resources, please visit her website.
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