He's still pineconed, but every time I lift up the cover he's always moving around. I found him moping at the bottom only once! Feeding him is a damn pain, but I got 1.5 pellets down him yesterday. He's big enough he can't really get to the food if it's on the bottom, so I put him in his little store cup and feed him piece by piece with tweezers.
But, he still loves to eat and still swims actively. Just no smaller. So nothing worse is good. I keep telling myself this.
It's not sounding so good, no. :( If it seems like he's suffering, you may have to euthanize him. I'm so sorry, he's really fought this for a long time but it sounds like his organs are shutting down. :(
It's not your fault. It sounds like he has a really aggressive infection and some things just can't be cured. You tried your best, so definitely don't think it's your fault. I'm sure Bruce doesn't blame you.
Uhm, actually freezing cold water is considered INhumane. Something to do with they're still alive as the ice crystals form. The most humane way is the one pretty much no one can bring themselves to do: decapitation.
Your next best bet is clove oil. There are instructions on how to use clove oil somewhere on the forum and all over the web. IF you can bring yourself to do this, it's best to destroy the brain afterwards, either by piercing it or crushing it. I know, this is gruesome. But fish brains can live on for a while after the body dies. If you can't bring yourself to do that (and God knows I don't blame you one bit if you can't), maybe let the body sit somewhere for a few hours to guarantee he is truly gone before you bury or otherwise dispose of it.
Ideally, if you can take him to a veterinarian, they may be able to humanely euthanize him for you, possibly free of charge.
Gagh, I hate talking about things like that. I'm so sorry. *hugs*
He may have had something brewing for weeks but it wasn't until he showed any visible signs that you knew he was sick. That's a big problem with fish, we often don't know they're sick until they get dropsy and by then it can be too late. :( And even if he was in a .5g tank, a day and a half without a water change still shouldn't have caused this. There are lots of bettas out there who survive in water that hasn't been changed in weeks or months.
Your veterinarian should be able to euthanize him even if she doesn't normally deal in fish. There are meds that can be overdosed and he will simply go to sleep forever. But I hope for your sake that he does pass peacefully soon so you don't have to deal with euthanization. It's a horrible thing to have to think about with any living animal. :(
Don't forget, Bruce knows you love him. He really honestly does. Bettas know when they are getting good care and love and when they aren't. That's why they bond with us the way few other fish do. I bet if he could he would tell you not to feel so bad.