Well, I hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend! Mine was... better than the last one, that's for damn sure. So, here's a quick update, first on me, and then on my angel with a furry lining, Oliver.

My Endoscopy on Monday revealed that I have severe stress induced GERD, which has caused a minor epi-gastric ulcer, and more importantly, another secondary condition called Barrett's Esophagus. The stress is coming almost 100% from the incredibly difficult things I'm dealing with at work right now. Without revealing too much, since the issues and the process by which they'll hopefully be resolved are still ongoing, suffice it to say that my employers were none too pleased when they were informed of my sexuality. Since becoming aware of it, they've created a very hostile work environment for me, and they've had no problem with breaking multiple federal laws to do so. On the bright side, almost all of my peers are incredibly supportive of me, some of them very openly. Further, I've been able to reach out to several advocates who are working with me to not only remove me from this poisonous environment, but also to put a stop to the actions currently being taken against me. Unfortunately, my specific office has been operating with complete autonomy for so long that it's nearly impossible to break through the wall of silence my managers have built around us. In addition to that, the top manager in the office wields a huge amount of influence in this region, to the extent that her nickname is the Teflon Don. Even her bosses are afraid to mess with her, and she has dirt on nearly everyone. Thus, my case has to go through a much, much higher level, and while I'm confident that I'll eventually be vindicated, the process can take a long time, for which I must endure the duration still under their toxic thumb. Needless to say, this has been stressful, and it reached a tipping point this month when I found myself completely incapacitated with pain. Still looking at the silver lining, this diagnosis can be helpful in expediting my case, however, so I'm just going to try to be patient and let this thing run its course. I've got medication to help stymie my conditions, and paired with focused calm, I will get better. Wish me luck, y'all.

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Now, onto the real reason you came to this post: the adorable, fluffy kitty. Ollie is recuperating beautifully from his surgery, and appears to be on course for a full and complete recovery. We had some trouble for a few days there because I couldn't get him to eat or drink enough, but my fiancée saved the day (as she always does) when she suggested that his e-collar (better known to Ollie as the Cone of Shame) might be too tight. Lightbulb moment, people! I swapped it out for the next size up yesterday, and he responded by immediately devouring two helpings of his food, drinking a healthy slurp of water, and then passing out asleep for the first uninterrupted night's sleep we've had since I brought him home on Wednesday.

I am so happy that I find myself lacking the proper words to express my joy. He's spent the day today snoozing next to me while I work, and occasionally farting the most noxious gas known to mankind in my general direction. But seriously, even that's cute to me right now. He's walking much better, and without the constriction of the first cone, he's better able to judge where he's going to avoid falling over whenever he tries to stand. He's still weak, and will be for some time, but it's progress, y'all. He has his post-operative follow-up this Thursday, and if all goes well, he could have his cone off by sometime in the beginning of next week.

His little tummy is almost completely shaved right now, as is his backside, so he gets cold. I keep a corner of the blanket over his backside and middle to ensure he stays warm, and he's been happily snoozing this way for nearly the whole day. He still needs to have another bowel movement (he had one on Thursday) to show that his food is digesting properly, but since he really only started eating with gusto last night, his doctor says not to worry until at least Monday. I also want to see him peeing more, but that sort of falls under the same limitations of his bowel movement, so as long as he keeps eating and drinking like he has been these last 24 hours, his doctor expects him to start peeing much more by tomorrow. We're not out of the woods yet, but there's so much more good news than bad today, and for that I am beyond grateful.

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But on a sad note, another member of our little internet family is suffering through this right now with her little boy. I shared KMilt's response on my first post earlier today, and I encourage all of you to share with her the same love, support, and encouragement that you offered to me during this hellaciously difficult time. Her little Ralphie is also very sick, and she has limited resources to help him. Please check that out, and if you have any other ideas for ways she might be able to raise the money in case Ralphie needs surgery, please share them.

I am sending good thoughts to each and every one of you, and I hope you're all hale, hearty, and happy today. And if you're not, for any reason, please accept a solid, strong, and warm internet hug from me. You are all wonderful. I am so glad to be a part of this little digital family now. Ollie also sends snuggles, headbutts, and snores to you. Wisely, he'll most likely reserve all the farts for me. Now, that's love. ;)