Just an update fwiw.
When I had the heart attack a couple weeks after losing Ricky - and when my mood permitted it - I started thinking of recovery well underway by Thanksgiving. I gotta say the past three months have been tougher than I'd have ever imagined.
The meds issue is coming around. Feel better having dumped most of them except for the cholesterol med and a BP med (jury's still out). Claratin has helped the sinus somewhat. Tylenol - my only pain reliever option - helps a bit, too. Things aren't as resolved as I'd like, but I'm no longer in agonizing pain most of the day. And I suddenly noticed the other day I've not had even a hint of angina lately.
Change of seasons here in the South has helped because I can now work outdoors without being soaked in sweat after five minutes. Consequently, I'm back to digging, weeding, trimming, pruning, fertilizing, etc. Physically I feel more resilient than I have in over a year. Three months, however, has felt agonizingly slow, like an eternity.
Getting back into the photo side of my business has been frustrating. Have had a couple awful, embarrassing, subpar shoots. Currently trying - have a week to do it - with an extensive product shoot of few thousand dollars' worth of designer eyewear sitting on my dining room table. (Guess it says something that I have a client who trusts me with that much inventory). Just a few months and I feel like I've lost a lot of my skill. I feel like I'll eventually get it back, but I'm nowhere near that point. Feels almost like learning to walk all over again. (Hospital bills aside, I nevertheless invested in a 24MP upgrade on one of the camera bodies I'll admit was partially to get my juices flowing again, screw the expense).
The pair of cats have been my primary road to recovery. I still miss 16½ years with Ricky and, painful to admit because I'd do anything to have Ricky back, these guys can't replace him or the depth of our relationship. But these guys have grown on me, though I've only had them a month.
Charlie (went ahead with secret nickname of "Kitler") is more of an exuberant youngster - even at 2½ - but has quickly developed his trust with me. Nero (a "butch pussy") talks a lot (identical voice to Ricky's sister Lucy, another black cat I had years ago), follows me almost everywhere, trusts me with his stomach (as a Ragdoll cat, Buddy, had done in my past) and gladly spoons with me...I go to bed with him beside me and 4-5 hours later wake up with him in the same position. Interesting he spoons on my right while Ricky would spoon on my left. Both of them are completely relaxed and secure with being carried - they know they won't be dropped or restrained against their will, every "landing" is a gentle one - and enjoy the view. Lots of emotional healing all the way around...and it helps these guys are paired like big brother/little brother.
...and, as all of my kittehz have done - thx for the spelchk Falcon - they're now bringing in lizard presents for me with lots of fanfare. In cat language, that's a compliment.