January 5th, 2003


rash suggestions

I was having an uncomfortable time with the poison oak rash tonight, so finally just got up. As I was lying in bed it occurred to me that I might find some new solution to the rash on the web. And I did. There's something called Zanfel. There are independent web sites with user comments that extol its virtues, rather an unusual situation. Apparently it washes away the urushiol even after the critical initial period, actually stops the rash. I hunted down the manufacturer, found local pharmacies that carry it, and will be out getting some later this morning. Sounds really encouraging.

(no subject)

There's also the hot water relief. Pour hot water on the rash, as hot as you can stand, for fifteen to twenty minutes. The itch develops, then recedes, and stays away for eight hours. I poured hot water on the worst rash, on my lower arm, for several minutes. It seems to have helped.

cautious optimism

I got the Zanfel. It's a cleanser, with little beads of polyethylene in it (and other ingredients I have not heard of before). You rub it into a paste and rub it into the affected area for one minute. Then wait thirty seconds. If the itch is gone, rinse thoroughly. If not, rub another minute, then rinse.

I tried it on the worst two patches - my face and my arm. They feel MUCH better already. There is a little bit on my chin that is still touchy, but the rest feels (although it doesn't look) normal. I can do that chin part again in a couple of hours if the itch returns. The patch on my arm is still leaking. Ugh. There are few things that seem more disgusting.

Simba report

The vet called just now. She said Simba's right rear leg is worrying her. He doesn't move it and his foot is cold. They have already sewn together what could be sewn together but the circulation does not seem to be working well. She said there is a chance that he will lose the leg. They are using some kind of hydrotherapy treatment to encourage the blood flow, and they have upped the antibiotics because his leg is smelling bad. Probably just dead tissue, she said, but they are being cautious.

This is costing many hundreds. I asked her if Paxton can pay it off over time. She said that's not their usual procedure but he can ask the office manager. I feel badly for Paxton, yet at the same time I do not feel responsible for the cost - and yet, of course, chances are good Simba would be dead if he hadn't stepped in and taken him to the vet in the first place. Some things for me to think about, anyway. Unfortunately, I am not so flush that I can just step in and say, generously, I'll pay for it. I really wish I were.


The patch on my arm seems to be drying up. No more itching there or on my face. I just finished working the next-worse patch, just below my knee. That sucker was really itching, and feels much better now. So far so good.


I just got a call from the vet. Simba has taken a sudden turn for the worse. The best thing they can do now is amputate that leg, but he's not even a good surgical candidate right now and may die anyway. She is going to talk to Paxton about paying for this. I said if they can't manage it I want it done anyway. I am not ready to give him up yet.

She just now called again. Couldn't reach Paxton. I said go ahead anyway. I have no idea how I will pay for this, but...it's only money. My mantra. I only hope he makes it through. I am devastated.

He's dead.

The vet called again. Simba didn't make it. He had gangrene in his leg and it turned out to be too much for his heart. When she started the surgery he went into arrest. They tried to revive him but couldn't.

She said to call tomorrow. I think I will pick him up and bury him. For me, of course, not for him.

It never gets easier. I adored that cat. I talked to Elaine on the phone, just cried my eyes out, am still crying. I am going to take a shower, try to relax enough to sleep. At least now I know the worst.