Posts tagged ‘cats’

December 4, 2009

cats & dogs: the other antidepressant

MUTTS comic strip. If you like animals, you'll like Mutts!

39 percent of U.S. households own at least one dog and nearly 34 percent own at least one cat. I am one of them. I have mentioned my cat Simon before, but I’ll talk about him again since this post deals with a new scientific find that pets are indeed good for you.

at the MUTTS/Patrick McDonell signing

I adopted my cat five years ago right after one of my suicide attempts.  The bond between this little creature and me is something I never imagined I’d have before I met him. The power of such bond is articulated in two articles in the journal Family Process. The  research documents the value of the human-animal bond in child development, elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, and the rehabilitation of incarcerated youth and adults.

In the papers, Dr. Froma Walsh examines how a bond with a pet can strengthen human resilience through times of crisis, persistent adversity, and disruptive transitions, such as relocation, divorce, widowhood, and adoption. The well-being and healing that a pet can provide includes a range of relational benefits, from stress reduction and playfulness, to loyal companionship,affection, comfort, security, and unconditional love. Dr. Walsh says, “The powerful meaning and significance of companion animals is underestimated.”

my cat as a daisy

I suppose this research is great news for all the pet owners everywhere, but the truth is that we probably don’t need a scientific reason to justify why we have a cat, dog or a fish. We are lucky to have them in our lives.

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September 9, 2009

Cat that saved my life

SIMON

SIMON

If there’s anything good that came out of my suicide attempt, it’s what I did five years ago today.  I wandered into the local humane association, and I instantly fell in love with a kitten that was behind bars. I adopted the little tabby with white socks and a white streak on his nose. I named him Simon, after Mr. Paul Simon.

I think I found my daemon (“The Golden Compass”) when I met Simon. I would not have made it through the last five years without him.

I gave him life, and he gave me mine.

February 16, 2009

number 13 and counting…

Twelve treatments are done. And at least three more via sine-wave machine days are on their way. This is already a few more days than the typical number of treatment days, in fact, way more days. I am thankful for my mother for staying an extra month. She is having to change around her own doctor’s appointments so that she can hang around with me. I will not be able to drive around for two weeks after the last ECT, so Mom will have to drive me around. My cat, Simon, is curled up and licking his white paws. He’s become a bit more needy since Mom’s been giving into more of  Simon’s morning calls. There’s a part of me that would like to do something a bit artsy while I am involved in this ECT deal. I wonder if I could get someone to take a picture of me getting ready to be zapped. Or they’ll just think that request is a bit odd. (yes, that’s a bit odd.)
Dr. J. told me today that in the last session I kind of got disoriented and freaked out a little. I hope I didn’t create that scene this time around. I saw the Sine-wave ECT machine and it looks very much like a Samsonite cosmetic bag. I hope it worked better than it looked.
Dr. J. also arranged for a lithium medication tapering schedule! I hope that would allow for my hands to stop with the tremors. I’ve already had to see a neurologist, both instate and out,  over the tremors, and I think it’s time to look at the lithium dosage before I have to go see another neurologist.

In case anyone wondered, I believe the median number of ECT is around 8.  I have a feeling I will double that number….

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