I’m Having A LAT With My Guinea Pigs! – Angel And Chestnut Gone To Live At Mum’s – And Panic Attack!


This is a blog post I don’t want to write. I have been putting off writing it since Wednesday night, when I had to be parted from girls on what has now become a permanent basis!

It all happened so quick. On 12th of March Angel (white and caramel coloured guinea pig), was seen and treated by the vet for a skin condition. She was given mite treatment, even though no mites were found. Chestnut was also given the same as they live together. Chestnut is the Chestnut coloured one. This photo was taken on 16th of March, as you can see her eyes are fine. On 3rd of April she was diagnosed by a vet, with cataracts in both her eyes and completely blind. On 12th of April she saw the head vet and was given a blood test which indicated she has diabetes. On Monday 16th of April, she was at the vets all day for blood tests and diagnosed with diabetes. Tuesday 17th of April she went back for more blood tests so they could get her insulin medication right. By the end of that day when I went to collect her, I got told she would need two shots of insulin, 12 hours apart, one at 8am and one at 8pm. The vet proceeded to show me how to do it, and I had to grip Angel’s fur a certain way (like the scruff of the neck), and make it so that there was a cave-like shape where the needle would go. It took me about 5 attempts just to fill the needle with insulin and get the air bubbles out of the syringe. When it came to injecting her, she was making noises like she was hurting and they said I have to get it at the right angle and you may get blood going back into the needle, but don’t worry about if that happens!! And that was it!! I completely freaked out and could not do it. I have a phobia of needles and blood and to even attempt to do that was a big deal for me. After they said about the blood going back into the syringe, I just could not stop crying and could not do it. I would say I had a panic attack. They went to speak to the head vet on the phone and meanwhile I phoned my mum in a panic, explaining that I could not do it and could her and dad come over to watch how to do it and for her to look after her. As I was talking to mum, the vet came back from speaking to the head vet who said my options were to come to the vets twice a day and they do it for me, which I could not afford as I have to get a taxi each time, am currently without employed work, and the vets is at the other end of the city to where I live, but they specialise in guinea pigs, and the vets near me don’t. Or to have her put to sleep, which I did not want to do as her behaviour was perfectly normal. Despite being blind and diabetic, she was still jumping when I put clean hay in, still playing in her tube, and still eating and drinking and behaving like a normal piggy – and from that point of view, I even question whether she needs meds, but they are the experts and said she would get too sick without it. The vets were about to close for the day and would not let my parents come then, so I arranged to meet my parents at the vets at the end of the next day and they said she could miss her morning injection as they wanted to give me a break as they saw what state I was in. That night was like my last supper with the girls, I felt extremely sad and I listened to them munching their hay and knew, despite my mum saying on the phone after the vets, that it would be temporary until I could do it and that she thinks I can, that it would be permanent and they won’t be coming back.

Chestnut I miss even more because I have been with her almost 4 years of her life. I have had her since a baby and she has outlived 2 previous companions. I love her so much, she is my baby daughter and best friend and I am welling up with tears just writing this, but I had to let her go for Angel’s sake, as Angel cannot be without her. Angel I have known for less than 2 years as she is not 2 until June 17th and I love her dearly but I am more attached to Chestnut as we have been through a lot together in 4 years of my life. It is in fact Chestnut’s 4th Birthday tomorrow – the day before my birthday, and yes I will be visiting her, after I have collected more insulin needles for Angel. Even though they are staying with my mum and dad, I will still be paying for their insurance, for their hay, for their play tubes, and collecting Angel’s insulin and needles. Although my mum thought I could inject Angel, now she has come to do it herself, she realises the process is far more complicated with guinea pigs than humans. My mum is a diabetic and used to injecting herself every day, but even she has found it difficult. My dad could also see why I had problems doing it, because Angel was even making squealing noises before my mum put the needle into her. My dad has injected her and had less problems, but he is a blacksmith and seems to have the magic touch, plus with my mum holding her it is easier. My mum said today on the phone, that really it needs two people, one to hold Angel and one to inject her, and she doesn’t think I would be able to do it on my own. I already resided myself to the fact on Wednesday that she would not be coming back. I thought me and Chestnut would be together until death do us art, but this is now not the case. I miss them terribly. The last day they were here, when I got home from stocking up on piggie food, veg and hay, to give mum, Angel was stood up and leaning on the platform with her paws waiting for me to feed her some more food, like she did not even have any in her pot – but did – I miss that, I miss her. I miss her demanding me to fill her pot, when it is already full. I miss her squeaking when I eat my own food, for more food, and I miss Chestnut so very deeply too. I miss them both munching on hay which is so therapeutic to hear, and I miss their energy around me, their inspiration and motivation they gave me, and just them being there for me when I get home. I miss cleaning them out and having cuddles. I miss all of the 365 days a year when I will not see them. Yes, I will still be able to them, but realistically, it is going to be no where near many days each month. Now tears are streaming down my face, which is why I have taken my time to lead up to writing this.

I have been out with my friend and her other friend for the last two nights as they stayed in a hotel in my city and it was a pre-birthday celebration for me and a late one for her birthday, which is 12 days before mine, but she did not do much for it on the day. I had a fab time out and was dancing a lot, just coming home last night to no piggies in my flat was super tough. After this I am thinking not to get guinea pigs again or pets, as I need to be able to do anything and everything for them, and this one thing I could not do for Angel. When Cinnamon was alive, I even bathed his cut open cheek that showed the inside flesh of it, for 1o days, with salt water – even though I am squeamish, but with Angel I failed to do this one thing. My mum truly saved her life when I could not step up to the plate. Guinea pigs and pets are like a part of me and who I am. Luckily I live in a big house and my housemates who have the downstairs and first floor of the house, whose hallway I have to go through to get to my flat, have two lucky black cats with green eyes, who are house cats, so I always have pets around me in that sense, but I have a passion for piggies and specifically for my own – I love them to bits, and even though I think cats are wonderful and those ones are cute, those cats are not the same for me as having my own piggies.

So I guess for some time I wanted a Living Apart Together (LAT) relationship, with a romantic asexual guy, if I could find a suitable one. I enjoy living only own and prefer to live on my own, with the exception of guinea pigs. I don’t mind being a slave to them or married to them, but I guess now I am having an LAT with both of them, and it is the one slightly humourous thing I could take from this situation.

So there you have it, how a person’s life can change in the blink of an eye and how after 4 years I have to give up seeing something so precious every day, to help save a life! Thanks to my mum who is the true life saver who I will always be eternally grateful to, and to my dad who seems to have the magic touch. My dad isn’t always there to inject her, so my mum still takes on that responsibility as the main person to do it.

I have not been for a blood test for years for myself and once my mum had an operation and I went to see her in hospital afterwards and the nurses were more worried about me and the pale white colour I was going. They asked me if I wanted to go out and sit in the corridor for a bit. I had a similar situation with a friend years ago and the whole room went grey and I nearly passed out – it was the sight of a bit of blood that did it. Yeah, I know it is good to face your fears and overcome them, but I have not got time and months to practise that bit by bit, I have been like it for years, and I had to make a quick decision by Angel, as it was a life or death situation that the vet had told me I was in. I have since got a needle to try just to hold it its wrapper and even that feels horrific. I managed to hold it for Angel as I was thinking of her and trying to do that for her.

My life is not where I want it to be right now financially or career wise, so I need to focus on that more, and I guess this is one way I can do that, once I have more emotionally healed and come to terms with the situation, it will become easier. My mum is giving me some money to go out on my birthday and the next day. In fact she already gave me some so I can plan ahead. I will continue to celebrate my birthday no matter what and plan to go to the aquarium in Plymouth for the day and eat in Nandos, and then see my parents and my girls. The next day I shall be going to Brean Leisure park. So yes, I am still getting on with life, still feeling happy to be alive, still believing everything happens for a reason, and still having lots of happy times. In fact I am off to the cinema for another pre-birthday celebration very soon, although this one is on me. And I bought myself a gift today in the city for my birthday and it is lovely; I can’t wait to give it to myself. My friend bought me a bag for my birthday and there is a present inside it and her friend also bought me some Nivea shower gels which was so sweet of her and incidentally happens to be the only brand I can use on my skin.

Until next time, keep being quirky you, and write soon

Sandra xx

 

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Piggy Power! Chestnut and Angel! And I was shocked As Angel Is Now Blind!


Chestnut Guinea Pig

I thought it had been a while since you saw my girls so here we are! Chestnut is the brown one and Angel is the white and caramel one. They are both my angels though and I love them to bits. These photos were taken last month, the day after they were bathed – 16th of March. It is the very last photo taken when Angel will be able to see out of her eyes, as now she is completely blind.

They were having treatment for mites at the time, and I was shampooing them a few days after their first lot of treatment at the vets. Although no mites had been found, the vet did see the white flaky skin, like dandruff, that was on Angel’s back, and agreed that was a sign of mites so gave me some medication for it, which I had to drop onto both of their skin the following week. Otherwise, they were, (and are), happy and healthy. They were still jumping around in-between scratches. Angel did start to thrash her head from side-to-side at one point, and she did not seem to be biting at the same time, so I was worried about this. The vet said so long as she does not do that after the mites have gone, she should be fine and it will have been the mites, otherwise it could be a brain issue. Her eyes, heart and teeth, were all checked and fine. Strong heartbeat, which is good. I decided to be positive about this, as I think it was the mites, and I hope not to see her doing that again and that she will be okay in this respect, she is only 1 year and 10 months old. Guinea pigs, naturally do a thing called popcorning when they are happy, and they can twitch and do the most weirdest of movements with their body, but this was different as far as I could tell, and when I said “Angel, what you doing?” She stopped doing it. Here is a video of another person’s guinea pig popcorning and you will see what I mean about weird movements.

And if you want to see more piggy power, check out this amazing video from another guinea pig lover.

I started to write this post before she had her last trip to the vets on 3rd of April, so have updated it before posting. I had notice on Saturday 24th of March, that her eyes had started to become a bit cloudy when my mum had asked how my girls were doing. I thought maybe it was just the light in my room and the reflection of light into it. 6 days later and it was clear that her eyes were not right and I Googled it and it said there could be an infection. However, as she was jumping around her cage, playing and eating and drinking fine, and in no pain and had no eye discharge, it was like there was nothing wrong with her, because her behaviour meant there was nothing wrong. She even jumped up on my arm as usual to take her out for cleaning, so there appeared to be no sight issue. I seemed more concerned than she did.

On Saturday 31st of March, I made an appointment to see the vet on Tuesday 3rd of March, after the Easter weekend. They saw no urgency, as her behaviour was normal. My mum and dad offered to take me and my mum kindly paid for the check-up and treatment as I am currently unemployed from an employed job (still redundant). She was still scratching which was a worry. (The vet was not the usual head vet, as he was away on vacation and she has a further check-up with the head vet very soon, on Thursday 12th of April.) He examined her eyes in a dark room and declared she has cataracts in both eyes and is stone blind. She cannot see anything. I was in shock, my heart heavy and sank to my stomach. It hurt me more than her I think. She is still behaving like there is nothing much wrong with her, which I am very grateful and thankful for. And now I praise her on her beautiful pearl eyes. They take some getting use to as they are like bright white marbles. They don’t operate on cataracts in guinea pigs I was told. I feel upset that my baby girl is less than 2 years old and will never see me with her eyes again. I love her so much and feel like a furry mother in agony. In fact I am shedding tears as I write this to you, but better out than in. People around me, don’t show much emotion sometimes and I am an emotional person, I need to let it out, to feel better. She has finally stopped scratching, as the vet gave her some more mite treatment, after her cataracts diagnosis. Fingers crossed when she sees the head vet on Thursday this week. She is currently munching food as usual.

Until next time, stay quirky and write soon

Sandra xx

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Angel’s First Birthday Guinea Pig Party Photos!


Angel with card
Angel with 1st Birthday card
Angel and birthday banner
Angel with 1st Birthday banner
Angel with balloon
Angel with animal balloon
Angel with Birthday balloon
Angel with Happy Birthday balloon

On Monday 17th of July, it was Angel’s first birthday! These photos were taken of the morning after, the night before! Chestnut, the brown piggie, is her companion and she is 3. Although I don’t think they look much different in age! What do you think?

I did a Facebook Live on the night of her birthday and she got a bit camera shy!

I have started work on my Quirky Books e-book store, which means you will be able to purchase my digital books directly from it, and it should be up and running in the next few weeks, and it will also have a blog on there too – with some of my best posts from my current blogs, including this one, AND new fresh content! To inspire you to live your best life and fulfil your writing dreams.

Stay quirky and write soon

Sandra xx

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