Home My Journey Mini Me Update [16/02/24] : The One Where It All Goes Wrong

Mini Me Update [16/02/24] : The One Where It All Goes Wrong

by InvisiblyMe

Hey everyone, how are you all doing? I’m sorry I’ve been rather MIA online for a while lately, it has been a bit of an overwhelm-on-steroids kind of time. I drafted this post a good while ago but only just got to deleting half of it, updating it and posting it. Every time you think things are so full on you can’t handle any more, it gets worse. I thought I’d do a little Mini Me Update in lieu of a regular post for the moment. 

In a nutshell to save you reading time : My mum has been unwell, I’ve been unwell, we’re maybe moving house, things at home have been vile, and my sweetheart cat Virgil has heartbreakingly died.

♥ ♥ ♥

My Poorly Mama

My mum has had quite a lot on her plate of late, with one thing after another. The heart attack she had brought ample problems, as did the medications she’s had to take ever since. But of course she has to be greedy like so many of us with chronic conditioners and so she’s got herself several other diagnoses to add to the list. 

Spinal Hell

Very long story short : My mum had severe back and leg pain develop last year that’s ongoing. It got so bad she could barely stand up let alone walk without crying out in pain. The NHS refused an MRI so I had to pay for one and the first few GPs refused to care. Getting help for the problems that were discovered by the scan has been a joke. 

She has  some severe and widespread deterioration, partly due to osteoporosis (thin bones like I have) and partly due to age. This has led to the likes of spondylolisthesis with four or more vertabrae slipping forward, fractures, and foraminal narrowing with trapped nerves. It seems to be those trapped nerves that cause most of the agonising pain in her back and legs. I know how painful nerve damage is and it’s heartbreaking to know hers must be even worse than I can imagine and I hate that she’s living with it. 

I’m helping with what I can getting her around the house, being there for her going up and down the stairs, doing all her meds, getting her food, and so on. The lack of independence, the unbearable pain, all of it has really got her to and it’s awful to see. 

Mystery Medical Conundrum 

Then came the unusually extreme epigastric pain at the end of December. The first GP fobbed her off despite my stating concern it could be gall stones or stomach ulcers (guess who was right?) Then came a midnight run to A&E, going to a different city as ours was shut down for three weeks due to the junior doctor strikes. 

She wasn’t admitted overnight but I drove her back to the hospital several times over the next 5 days for different scans and tests and the docs were still bamboozled as they were thinking it was a pulmonary embolism.

Meanwhile I became more sure my original theory about ulceration was right. I doubled up her Omeprazole and bought a huge bottle of Gaviscon Double Action… and the pain seemed better! 

I spoke with the only decent GP at her practice and she was brilliant. She agreed with my assessment and booked her for an endoscopy. It was a two week wait and the procedure itself was horrific but it confirmed stomach ulceration (erosive gastritis) with inflammation due to the aspirin she takes after the heart attack. The area affected is thankfully fairly small as the treatment we’d done during the two week wait had already significantly helped.

While she’ll need to maintain the treatment and be careful in future as she has to continue with aspirin, I’m grateful things didn’t turn out worse.

We did play Count The Ambulances one of the nights when I was driving through A&E to come home. Guess how many were queued up outside and around the entrance? 23. 

♥ ♥ ♥

Home Life

I mentioned briefly near the end of 2023 that we were hoping to move. It’s my parents’ house and yes, I still live with them so I’m helping to arrange it, but it’s all rather stress-inducing as nothing wants to go quite right. The house move has made things with my dad even worse. For a minute there I thought things might be getting better but that just shows how naive I am. Four years of feeling like you’re being treated like crap and then putting up with his crap on top of it has been exhausting.

I guess it would be an understatement to say things have been difficult physically. It is stupidly difficult to care for another person when you can barely care for yourself, so I take my hat off to all those who did it. At the same time though it makes me grateful to still be here so I can help my mum where possible. She’s the one who has always been there for me and does what she can to help given my health problems.

The migraines, or cluster headaches as they may be, have been pretty horrific and relentless. I’ll do a post sometime about the treatment I’ve tried for those who might be going through similar but sadly the latest one, botox, did nada and I’m now giving up on prophylaxis.

It’s fair to say it has all taken a toll. The pain is so immense I can’t think straight, the fatigue is getting harder to push through as I’ve got zero resources to push with, and the migraines have been back to back with little reprieve. I feel emotions I don’t want to feel because I’m exhausted and agitated and I’ve no time to really look after myself, and then I feel guilty for feeling like that. You know how it goes.

♥ ♥ ♥

Goodnight My Sweetheart Virgil

On 5th February, my beautiful cat Virgil went over the rainbow bridge. My dad killed him, but of course didn’t have the guts to do it with his bare hands. He took him to the vets to have him put down. For his convenience. He said it “had to be done” as part of moving house, which is so idiotic and twisted it doesn’t even deserve talking about. Virgil wasn’t sick, he wasn’t struggling.

I can’t tell you how devastated I am. I rallied against it and got into a screaming match but it did no good. All I got was an hour to cuddle with him on my bed and cry my eyes out. I had to walk away and I will never forgive myself for that. But like my mum said, if he wasn’t taken then my dad would have done it the next time I left the house. I couldn’t protect Virgil forever. Aside from the house move, I want nothing further to do with my dad. 

You know when you have odd moments in life where you think “how on earth did things ever get like this?” I’m having that moment right now. 

A photo of me in the garden wearing jeans and a black hoodie, holding up and hugging my black and white cat Virgil to my face.
A thin black line horizontal divider with fleur de lis style scrolls at either end.

I really want to get back to blog post writing but it’s an uphill struggle. Even since the very beginning of InvisiblyMe, the process has been difficult because my brain doesn’t work like it used to. After what happened with Virgil, I don’t much feel like doing anything. But I do miss the blogging community and my online friends and seeing how you’re all doing, so I’m sorry for not being around. I’ll apologise in advance if I can’t reply to any comments here but I’d love to hear from you.

How’ve you been? What has the start of 2024 been like for you?

Sending my best wishes, take good care of yourself guys.

Caz  ♥

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Debbie L February 16, 2024 - 3:51 pm

I am not really blogging much if at all anymore as our lives have also drastically changed. I still subscribe to yours and a few others. Let’s just say, we were praying 2024 would be so much better as 2023 was our hardest year ever….But alas, like you, it has been one diagnosis after another and one hard hill to climb. But for our faith, how would we survive? Today, my daily Bible reading and devotional was Psalm 107. In essence, my lesson learned is to keep worshipping and praising God in the bad times as much in the good times! You have come so far along in your journey, keep your faith strong!!! Praying for you and your family!

Looking for the Light February 16, 2024 - 3:57 pm

Slow down and quit blaming yourself. You’ve done nothing wrong. I pray it all works out. Hugs.

Stella Reddy February 16, 2024 - 4:00 pm

My thoughts are with you…

Darnell February 16, 2024 - 4:07 pm

This is a bad time for you and your mom. I hope things take a turn for the better soon. You and mom deserve that. As for dear Virgil, he left a good owner and friend too soon. I don’t understand the protocol for putting down a happy and healthy animal. If he couldn’t be part of the house move, why not be given to another good owner and cat lover? No need to respond. The loss and having to tell of the loss are enough. Thank you for sharing Caz. I wish the news were better, but I look forward hearing from you no matter what. Love to you and mom.

Cheila February 16, 2024 - 4:13 pm

Caz, I’m so sorry things are so hard for you right now. But you’re a strong one and a fighter and things will get better. I’m sorry about your kitty. I wish you wouldn’t have gone through that. And I hope your mom gets better or that they find something to really help with her pain. Sending love and hugs ❤️

Lindsay February 16, 2024 - 4:29 pm

Caz, I am so sorry. Your poor mum. She has been through so much, and you are such a great daughter to help her through your struggles as well. I hope she gets better treatment soon.

I am so sorry about Virgil. How heartbreaking that must have been. There were so many other options than having him put down, and I’m so sorry your dad didn’t see that. There’s nothing you could have done.

Sending you so much love.

DutchIl February 16, 2024 - 4:39 pm

Thank you for sharing!!.. sorry that you had and have to deal with all those issues, hopefully things will get much better in the future, just don’t give up on your dreams!!.. “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”… (Marilyn Monroe)… 🙂
I am sorry about what happened to Virgil and I know he has a special place in your heart and he would be saying these words to you;
When tomorrow starts without me
And I’m not here to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
Filled with tears for me.

I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things
We didn’t get to say.

I know how much you love me
As much as I love you,
And each time you think of me
I know you’ll miss me too.

When tomorrow starts without me
Don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me
I’m right there in your heart.
(Alena Hakala Meadows)

Hope your world gets better, your path will always be paved with love and happiness, and until we meet again…
May the sun shine all day long
Everything go right, nothing go wrong
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May those you love bring love back to you
And may all the wishes you wish come true
May your troubles be less
Your blessings be more
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door
(Irish Saying)

Carol Corrigan February 16, 2024 - 5:17 pm

So sorry to hear of all your troubles and how your poor mum is not only unwell but not being treated fairly either. You give yourself some time and space my lovely 🙂 Blogging can wait.

Kymber Hawke February 16, 2024 - 5:34 pm

Your poor, sweet Mum. I’m so sorry she is enduring this. I know what nerve pain is like. I take such a high dose of pregabalin, I have to see a rheumotologist because my main doctor doesn’t want to be the one prescribing that amount.

She’s been through so much, it’s heartbreaking.

I’m sorry about your migraines/cluster headaches. I know how unbelievably painful that is.

I’m also terribly sorry about sweet Virgil. I know he meant a lot to you. I can understand the animosity you feel toward you dad. This is just ghastly.

I hope and pray things get better for you and your mom soon, Caz. Sending you all my love.

Ned Hamson February 16, 2024 - 7:36 pm

So sorry for the extra troubles of late. Your NHS needs more staff and cash… Be as well as you can…

Teresa Dovalpage February 16, 2024 - 7:58 pm

I am sorry about your kitty. Praying that everything gets better for yo and your mom. But goodness, the health system there sounds awful!

Pamela Jessen February 16, 2024 - 9:00 pm

Caz, I’m heartbroken for you regarding Virgil. That was a cruel thing for your father to do. And I’m sorry that your mom is going through so much. Sending you love and strength to get through the move and onwards. ❤️❤️

Margaret February 16, 2024 - 9:08 pm

I know there are no words that can help, make things better, or take your pain away. I won’t even try. I will offer love, prayers and as always ears to listen.

Greg Dennison February 17, 2024 - 12:51 am

I said this already on Instagram, but I’m so sorry about Virgil… that’s just so messed up.

2024 hasn’t been all that great for me. I haven’t been writing. The last new episode of DLTDGB was the season 4 finale in October, and I haven’t made any concrete plans for season 5 yet. I have another standalone short story I started in October, worked on a bit more in January, and now I’ve been unmotivated again. And more recently, my team lost the Super Bowl. This year’s Super Bowl was like one of those classic stories where a guy that no one expected to be great comes out of nowhere to lead his team, and they’re going up against the bullies who always win, except unlike when this happens in movies, most of America seemed to be rooting for the bullies. And they won. But on the bright side, I’ve made a couple of new friends in real life, although all the usual dilemmas about my social life these days are still there.

Michele Anderson February 17, 2024 - 9:54 pm

Caz, I’m so sorry for your loss and everything you are going through.

Joe February 17, 2024 - 10:41 pm

2024 started horribly, not as horrible as yours, but enough to say – a shitty turn of the year – good luck ! 🍀

George February 18, 2024 - 10:47 am

I’m sorry. Virgil was beautiful, and I know what he means to you, personally and for your very survival. Hang in there for him and your mom. And for Sandy and me. I’d do anything I can to help, including just listening.

Cheryl Batavia February 19, 2024 - 2:51 am

Caz. sorry to hear all the distressing news. I have a neurologist’s appointment next month to find a cure for migraines. It has been going on for a year, and nothing I have tried helps, so I have some idea of what is going on with you..So sorry about your mom and your cat. Hope you find the answer to your migraines. XXOO

Animalcouriers February 19, 2024 - 10:27 am

What a hellish time. On top of that Virgil – beggars belief.

Despite Pain February 19, 2024 - 1:39 pm

Caz, your Mum seems to be having a really painful and difficult time just now and it must be so hard for you looking on trying to help. You struggle yourself but I know you will be doing everything possible to help.
If your migraines are actually cluster headaches, has anyone suggested oxygen? I know of people with cluster headaches and that is how they are being treated (along with meds, obviously). The oxygen seems to give fast relief. It might be worth looking into. I’ll drop you a message about that in case you don’t manage to read the comments.

I am at a loss what to say about Virgil. I just can’t get my head around it. I know what it’s like to lose a pet. It is heartbreaking. But to lose a pet in circumstances like this must be utterly devastating.

Thinking of you
Liz x

Bo February 19, 2024 - 3:18 pm

Kisses and hugs for both.
Trapped nerves are nerve-racking. There’s a med I’ve been taking lately, novaminsulfon, which has opiates in it, and is about the only drug that helps me with severe pain. You drink it as antibiotics, 4x a day, 7 days. Do try it if you can find it there.

da-AL February 20, 2024 - 2:14 am

so sorry for all your challenges – your mom – & your dad! – are very lucky to have you. hang in there, dear – we’re all rooting for you <3

The Oceanside Animals February 20, 2024 - 2:59 pm

Charlee: “We are super sorry to hear about all this, your mom’s troubles and your headaches and of course poor Virgil.”
Oona: “Let Oona in there! Oona the ninja will take revenge for what he did to Virgil! She will push everything he owns off every table he owns!”
Lulu: “Settle down, Oona.”
Lulu: “Settle down, because biting on the butt is a much better revenge than pushing things off tables.”
Oona: “WE CAN DO BOTH!!!”
Java Bean: “We send lots of tail wags your way right now and always.”
Chaplin: “And we cats send lots of purrs!”

James V Viscosi February 20, 2024 - 3:26 pm

Get ’em, Oona.

Ellie February 21, 2024 - 11:40 am

Just sending all the hugs Caz

Back Garden Naturalist February 21, 2024 - 1:09 pm

Oh Caz, I’m truly sorry you’re having such a dreadful time of it. I don’t know what to say re Virgil, especially given the circumstances other than I’m so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you x

Blanca February 21, 2024 - 7:15 pm

Oh Caz, I’m so sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time… I’m also so sorry to hear what happened to Virgil, you must be feeling so sad for his loss and also so angry with your dad for taking such a drastic and wrong decision. I really hope your mum’s health gets better soon and your pain and fatigue improve so you can cope with all this situation.

Carol Hand February 26, 2024 - 2:21 am


Liz February 26, 2024 - 10:13 am

I have only just seen your blog post now after directly visiting your blog again and so I see you have done an update. Last time I visited this year, there were no update and that was why I emailed you. I didn’t see this post come on the reader. It may have been there and missed it. I don’t know.

As you know with regarding how you feel towards your dad with Virgil. You know from my email that I understand on that one how you are feeling.
I felt that pain again knowing you were feeling this pain because a beloved pet that was healthy was put to sleep. Just like dad had done with my dog.

I can’t imagine the pain your mum was in and bloody hell, the doctors ignoring what you thought it would be. It’s a bugger when we have to fight for what we believe in for only to be brushed off.

The house move will be stressful and hope it will be over soon.

Take care. Hugs. Xx

Michael J. Miller March 24, 2024 - 9:56 pm

Oh Caz, I am so, so sorry. They say “when it rains, it pours” but that really doesn’t seem to begin to cover all this. What a terrible, trying time. I wish I had better words which could convey more peace and comfort for you. But please know I’m sending all the love and brightness in my heart to you and your mum, my friend. I love you and I’m thinking of you.

Elizabeth Jane Pryce April 7, 2024 - 5:18 pm

I am so sorry that you are going through such a rough time. Take care of yourself and the writing space will be waiting for you. Sending a virtual hug


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