Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thankfulness and progress

Gobble, gobble, ya’ll.

It’s turkey day and I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are all spending it the way you had hoped with the people you want to be with. And I hope you will all take just a few minutes to remember the reasons why you can be thankful this year.

Right at the top of my list is the fact that I am thankful I will be able to spend Thanksgiving this year at my parents’ house with family. Last year at this time I was knee-deep in my “Prilosec fever” and thus unable to leave my bed. Unable to handle being with other people. Unable to eat anything other than the few amount of foods I thought would not send me into anaphylaxis. I am a turkey person, so I’m ever-so-thankful that we’ll be having yummy turkey…whatever else is on the table is just gravy, so-to-speak. 🙂 (I am pre-thankful for the opportunity to be with my in-laws this Christmas, as last Christmas eve day and evening I spent in the ER and Christmas day I was back at home in bed, not doing much better than the day before).

I’m so eternally thankful (and grateful) for my husband, who takes care of me every single day. He supports me and loves me, even with the anxiety and the cranky moods and the pain. I’m also incredibly thankful for my parents, who are always there to support me and love me.

I’m thankful for the family in my life–mine and Hub’s. I’m thankful for the friends who are in my life, and for those who are a part of my past but can’t be part of the present, for whatever the reason. I’m thankful for family and friends who have passed, and for the many years they were part of my life. I’m thankful for the people who tend to me physically, spiritually, and mentally. I’m thankful for God’s presence–and the gifts He gives me–in my life.

I’m thankful for the roof over my head, the food in my tummy, and the health insurance that helps us maintain our health. I’m thankful for Hub’s job, which provides for all those things and so much more. I’m thankful to be able to share with those around me, whether I know them personally or not. I’m thankful for the people who touch my life–in ways large and small–whether they know me personally or not.

I’m thankful for the dogs in my past, whom I loved very much. I’m thankful for the dogs in my life now, and thankful for the opportunity to care for them and love them…and be loved by them.

I’m thankful for the things I AM able to do.

I’m thankful for the progress I’ve made to date. I know I have more to do and always will, but I want to remember that I’ve moved forward.

I’m driving on my own, a lot, and even going grocery shopping and making other stops/errands on my own. I’m also taking the highway to get to my appointments rather than going all back roads, which is what I was originally doing when I started driving myself to PT and therapy. I’ve driven in snow showers, rain, storms, wind.

I’m no longer Googling things. No looking up symptoms, no looking up medications or food reactions. I don’t look it up for me and I don’t look it up for other people. I use Google in a responsible way.

I don’t automatically rush to do things for people without being asked. If someone needs my help with something, I will happily do it, but I don’t just go do things if people mention something. I wait for people to ask for my help or I stay out of it. (But I’m thankful to be able to do most of the things asked of me…some of which I have not been able to do in the past.)

I don’t sit and wallow or worry over pains. I acknowledge the pain, I sometimes consider the root of the pain, then I let it go. I don’t let my health anxiety prey on me for any length of time. Yes, sometimes I will need to remind myself that the pain has a root cause in order to alleviate the potential for excess worry, but that’s a step forward from just letting the worry overtake me.

I don’t stress over the dogs playing together. Not Cray-cray Lab and Butthead, not Butthead and Le Moo, not even when all three are tumbling around together in the cold as they have been the last week or so. They seem to know how to play with each other and they seem to know each others limits. If there’s blood drawn, we clean up and make sure there’s nothing major causing the bloodshed. So far, so good.

I don’t run outside to pick up dog poop right away, unless one of them poops in a strange area or an area where they like to play. Otherwise, I pick up when I’m outside with them for other reasons. I don’t study their poop to check for issues (BH had worms when we first got her, which was why I was running out to pick up poop all the time), though I do try to make note that things are “normal” when I pick up. It’s a good way to keep an eye on your dog’s health.

I don’t worry (as much) about how other people react to things that happen. Whether the “things” are something I’ve done or something that has happened randomly (or not so randomly), I’m not responsible for how others respond. I am only responsible for how *I* respond. There are times I still have to catch myself and remind myself that it’s not my business how someone else responds to things, but those times are fewer.

I put this post on draft because I had hoped to come up with more things I’ve overcome since the beginning of the year when things changed drastically for me. Unfortunately, I don’t have much more to say. Either way, I’m thankful for the positives and the progress. I’ll take the progress I’ve made and pat myself on the back for it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Hug those around you, and remember what you have rather than what you don’t.

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Posted by on November 28, 2013 in anxiety, dogs, family, love, progress, thankfulness


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Let go and let Dog

So I am working on practicing letting go of control. Because control is an illusion, right?

After my appointment with T, I decided to concentrate on the control issues I have with the dogs, because I felt like it was a lower level of anxiety for me…in the grand scheme of things. So over the weekend I’ve practiced letting them outside without going out with them. I didn’t run out to pick up poop right after they went, and in fact did not see them poop most of the time where normally I’d be out with them or glued to the window watching them. I watched them to make sure they both peed and/or pooped, so I’d feel secure in letting Butthead wander around the house unsupervised. I figured if she had peed outside, regularly, she wouldn’t have anything in her to do in the house.

It’s been over a week since I started this post and I’ve tried very hard to not watch the dogs when they are outside. It has been hit or miss with success, unfortunately. There were times when I was able to let them be and check on them when Butthead barked, and other times when I couldn’t stop watching them to make sure everything was okay. With the attempts at practicing letting go of the control of the dogs, there have been setbacks. With Butthead, of course.

For the week plus, I’ve been leaving the gate open at the top of the stairs in the evenings, allowing Butthead to come upstairs when she wants (while I’m on that level) while closing the other bedroom doors up here. She has made the rounds, checking in to see if there are any treats or any food in the master bedroom, then she mostly goes back downstairs where Hub is. Seemed successful, which made me happy to know we were making progress. And I was trying very hard to let the dogs BE outside. They’re playing more in the cold weather so I feel like I should watch them to make sure they don’t get hurt, as they play rather rambunctiously. And I know that Butthead is still digging and eating stuff. But T said to me, if she digs, what happens? The yard looks like crap. (I didn’t think to say that the digging becomes a horrible habit we can’t stop…) If she eats stuff, what happens? She could get sick and puke on my carpets AGAIN. Then I have to clean it up. If she doesn’t pee outside, what happens? She pees in the house and then I have to clean it up. None of this is tragic. Annoying, yes. Habit-forming for Butthead, yes. Makes it harder for us to correct, yes. But things that can be dealt with.

So I was outside one day last week with my Dad, who was helping me replace the tail light on my car after my stupid accident with the garage. It took over an hour because he didn’t like how the replacement was fitting, and then we found a bulb out on the other tail light. So I had left Butthead and Le Moo in the back yard, which was only partially visible from where we were. I was keeping an ear out and every now and then could see Butthead wandering around back there. Le Moo mostly lays near the gate, so she was visible most of the time. When I was finally done with my Dad, I went through the house and out the back door and found Butthead head first in a new hole that she was digging flush up against the house. I was so angry, but I corrected her (since I caught her) and put her in the house. I was so angry because she could do damage to the waterproofing stuff that is visible where she was digging. So I spent the next hour filling that hole and the original hole she had dug weeks ago with fresh dirt we had leftover from when we’d done our gardens over the summer. And I hurt my back, which left me on ice and heating pads since then (four days so far). Setback #1, which shows the cascading results of what happens when I let go of some control. Nothing tragic, but annoying and frustrating and painful.

Today, both Hub and I are home, and it’s freaking frigid cold outside. But Hub has been with the dogs for most of the morning. We’re still not letting Butthead be alone for any length of time. When we go out, she goes in her crate. When he leaves in the morning for work, she goes in her crate. When we go to sleep at night, she sleeps in her crate. Otherwise either he’s on the same floor that she is, or I am. But we’ve relaxed how supervised she is. We don’t follow her to other rooms to see what she’s doing. We don’t go looking for her when she disappears from view. She hasn’t had an accident in the house since the first month she was with us…since the first two weeks, really. She gets to go out all the time since I’m home during the day. We have a schedule that we generally stick to. But as I said earlier, we’ve been letting her upstairs more often, which is what we did today. Hub was fixing something on my computer and working on his computer down the hall in the spare room we use as his computer room. Butthead was in the room with us (my computer is in our sitting room), sleeping on Le Moo’s bed. Then Hub got up to go to his computer room and Butthead wandered off. When I went to do laundry, I spotted Butthead downstairs with Le Moo and figured all was well. Twenty minutes later, while I was back in the bedroom reading, Hub called upstairs to tell me that Butthead had peed in the media room. And it had to have happened sometime between when he came upstairs to work on the computer and when he went back downstairs, because he was in the media room prior to that. So at some point during that hour, she peed on the carpet. She’d been out not more than two hours prior to him finding the pee. WTF. So we dragged out the carpet cleaner and I cleaned the carpet…probably more overkill than needed, but that’s how I roll with that stuff. But why the hell did she pee in the house? And what’s more, does that mean she’s been sneaking off to pee and we didn’t know it? Had we not gotten her house-trained and been humming along without knowing it? And so now her privileges upstairs are gone. Her privileges in that room are gone. I’m not even keen on leaving our den open (also carpeted) to her. I feel like we’ve taken a million steps backward and are back at square one. I’m so disappointed. I feel like I now have to go back to being uber-vigilent about watching her to make sure she doesn’t pee in the house. ARG. Setback #2.

Not happiness here. I feel like the practice has been a failure. I’m going to keep trying, but it’s going to be hard after these setbacks. I’m wondering now if there’s something easier I can practice on than this. I was supposed to make a list, but I never did because I thought this was one of the lowest level things I could come up with.


Posted by on November 25, 2013 in anxiety, Butthead, control, dogs, Le Moo, worry


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Illusion of control

Today’s session with T was a bit varied, but I brought up the idea that I am not afraid of change, but rather of the unknown. She agreed with me that it is different, though there is some underlying fear of the unknown with change. But we ended up touching again on the illusion of control…and the illusion of being prepared for change.

Okay, I wrote that paragraph two weeks ago, but did not follow up on the post because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. I saw T again today and I’m going to try to think about what we discussed. After pleasantries, I said to her with a clap of my hands, I have something I want to talk about. I rarely ever, if ever, say that. Normally we just roll into a conversation and whatever is on my mind comes out. But I’ve spent the last two weeks thinking about control, the illusion of control, how to let GO of control, and the like. And it’s been bugging the ever-loving shit out of me. I am a control freak. I like to be IN control. I often will do things with the thought that if I don’t, it won’t get done and everything will break down. I use control as a way to keep my anxiety in check. I get that. I totally get it. Thanks. So now what?

I said to T, how do I practice letting go of control? I told her I’ve practiced many other things, and we’ve discussed how to practice other things–distraction, mindfulness, thankfulness–but how do I “practice” letting go of control. I see where wanting to be in control is tied to my anxiety, but I don’t know where to go from there. So T looks at me and says, hmm, interesting question. *rolls eyes* After some thought, she asked me of the things I like to be in control of, what is a low-level issue? And we discussed it, and she told me to practice not doing what makes me feel in control. Literally, or figuratively, turn my back and let it go. Think about what’s the worst case scenario and what would be the results or consequences of that worst case scenario. It’s is very similar to my anxiety practice, I guess. But seriously, just “let go” and see what happens. I’m not really sure how to address that.

So I asked her, because it has been bugging me, how do you give up control and still be responsible? I mean, who is going to do the things that need to be done if I’m over there practicing “letting go”? Because after 22 years with Hub, I know he is not going to pick up the slack on certain things. He would, in fact, continue to ignore lots of things because they are not important to him. So how will the things get done? T told me that I need to find the line as to what I can “let go” without my world tumbling down around me. Obviously, bills need to be paid. The dogs need to be fed. We need to buy groceries. But how all these things get done are up for “debate” so-to-speak. And whether they have to be done the way *I* do them is also debatable. And here’s the thing…Hub has ADD. So there are things that don’t cross his field of vision…and T tells me that they likely never will, because of how his brain works. And she literally said to me, he’s never going to change. And she told me that generally the person who “care less” about doing something generally holds more power in the balance regarding that issue. And she tells me that this is why those issues get me so upset…because HE holds the control. And being the control freak that I am, I HATE THAT. **ARG**

T indicated that I need to make a list of things that I feel I need to control and start with the lowest level issue and try letting that one go. I said I would practice it and see how it goes. And at some point I guess I need to sit and talk to Hub about how he can help me, when it’s possible for him to do so.

Something that upset me, though, was that T told me she didn’t think I’d be able to let go of my anxieties. She told me I was holding onto them too tightly and she didn’t think that would ever change. I do feel that I’ve worked hard and made a LOT of changes. I know that there are anxieties that are hard for me to release–like my health anxieties–but I don’t let them affect me as much as they used to. It was kind of devastating to hear her say that, and I’m not sure if she really believes it or if she’s trying to nudge me forward in a way. I didn’t bother to argue with her, but it was painful to hear.

We touched briefly on my need to know things. My need to ask questions and know how things work. People, equipment…it doesn’t matter, I just want to know. She told me she understood how it served me because of my career and that I have a “science” mind. It’s interesting, because I hate science, and I don’t think of myself as having that kind of mind.

Anyway, it was a very interesting session and I wanted to be able to get it down in my blog so I didn’t forget it. And so that I can refer back to it again in the future. Meanwhile, I stopped at the post office to mail a bunch of packages, then I came home. And then I backed my vehicle into my garage door (and the molding around the garage). Damaged the molding and the garage door. Broke a lens on the brake light of the SUV and damaged the bumper. Fuck.


Posted by on November 22, 2013 in anxiety, control, questions, therapist, thinking


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Le Moo’s Deboo

So I introduced Butthead in the last post, not because she was the first of the two dogs but because she’s the one who drives me nuts. Don’t ask, it seemed right at the time.

This post will be about Le Moo in all her cow-colored, cow-shaped, baby-cow-sized glory. Behold…

I am Le Moo.

I am Le Moo.

I know it’s difficult to get a sense of her size, but she’s (on average) 95lbs. Sometimes we lose a little, sometimes we gain a little. I mean, why should she be any different than any of the rest of us. Anyway, Le Moo has been with us for 2 years. When we first adopted her (at 3 years old), she was very disconnected because of her sad past. She was moved from place to place, 4 times in total over 18 months, before she came to us. None of the changes were due to her but rather to circumstances beyond her control. We think that with each give up she just became more and more closed off. It took over a year for her to really start to open up with us. Even today, after two years, I think she is still learning to be herself and relax with us.

Le Moo does still remain aloof some of the time. Given the choice she is just as likely to sleep in a completely separate room from you. Other times she’ll be right on top of your feet or pawing you for attention. All on her terms, basically. One thing is clear, though, she is pretty much always likely to paw you in a region that, well, isn’t too pleasant. She’s been really consistent with this, especially with the men who come through our doors. We always warn people who walk into the house and go right for the dogs–because everyone we know loves dogs–to cover their privates and beware THE PAW! At her height and size, she really can reach even the tallest of our group, which basically is Hub. And man does she have great aim!

Le Moo is a fan of the cold weather. She’s pretty much a couch potato for most of the summer–indoors and outdoors–but bring on the cold weather and she does break out of her shell and play.

Love me some snow! Bring it on!

Love me some snow! Bring it on!

When the weather dips below 50 degrees, she becomes an outdoor dog. It’s really difficult to get her to come inside, which drives me crazy because I worry that her nose or toes or tail will get frostbite when it’s really really cold. Truthfully, she’s got a lot of, um, body to keep her warm. But I worry anyway.

We met Le Moo here at our house–the woman who was giving her up brought her to meet us–because we needed her to meet Cray-cray Lab. See, CCL has issues with other dogs and there was no way we could adopt a dog that didn’t get along with her. Based on the history we got from Le Moo’s previous owner, we heard that she was really laid back and had an aura of “don’t screw with me” which we knew would be good for CCL. When they met, all went well, which was one of many reasons we ended up adopting Le Moo.

S'all good!

S’all good!

Le Moo and Cray-cray Lab did play over the first winter we had Le Moo, but when the summer came Le Moo seemed less interested. Based on what is happening now (our 2nd cold-weather stint since we adopted her) we suspect that Le Moo will play more in the coming months. She’s already playing more with Butthead, and trying to play when CCL and BH are playing together, but she doesn’t seem to know how to tag in.

We really lucked out with Le Moo. She came to us–although disconnected–and integrated rather easily into our household. She never had an accident in the house and she never had an issue with any of my family or any of their dogs. She loves all dogs and is happy to talk to them, or not. She isn’t territorial of her yard or house or any of her things. The only big issue we have is her stubbornness. When she don’t wanna, she don’t. We were walking her (before we had our fence finished) on a leash around the yard, and when she didn’t want to move, she would plant her feet and lean away from you. And let me tell you, 95lbs of UH-UH is unbelievably difficult to move. We would also have a similar issue when we were walking her somewhere–say through the neighborhood–and she wasn’t ready to move. That’s eased somewhat with training, but we still can’t get her to “come” on command, despite repeated attempts at training. She has learned (and is learning) other commands, but there remains the stubborn streak…likely there forever.

Also, in case you couldn’t tell, she loves her food. She’s on a restricted diet but despite losing 8lbs shortly after we got her, she gained it all back. We just have no clue and neither does the vet. I suspect she’s at the weight she’s supposed to be at, despite our vet’s complaints. There’s no way I’ll starve her to lose a few pounds…and dammit if she doesn’t abuse us when food time is at hand (those big paws again!). Technically, an hour BEFORE food time is at hand!

When we decided to adopt a second dog–for the first time in our lives–we knew that Le Moo would not give us trouble. She’s so easy-going and unassuming that we had few worries. Little did we know that WE would have more issues than Le Moo did. Meanwhile, Le Moo kind of looks at Butthead like she’s a pesky gnat. But she never actually SWATS at the gnat. Butthead kind of bullies Le Moo, but true to her easy-going form, Le Moo just grins and bears it. Sometimes she looks at us like WTF though.

She's TOUCHING me again!

She’s TOUCHING me again!

(sometimes it is difficult to tell in pictures, but that’s Le Moo staring up at me imploringly, trying to get me to move Butthead off her feet)

When Le Moo came to us, we had only lost our previous dog of 9+ years for about 2 months. I wasn’t sure I was ready for another dog and we’d just moved into our new house a month prior. We had no fenced yard and no stairs exiting our house to our back yard. We were woefully unprepared, but again I had seen pictures of Le Moo and I was drawn to her. However, I was still shrouded in grief at the loss of Sweet Pea and I cried for days straight after Le Moo came to us. And for months and months and months I kept Le Moo at a distance. Which, oddly enough, she was doing to me as well because of her past. But over the ensuing months, we’ve relaxed into each other’s lives and have learned to love one another. It wasn’t because I didn’t want her or didn’t like her, it was because I wasn’t ready to open up again to such potential heartache. And because I was traumatized at losing Sweet Pea. I think Le Moo understood, and as she adapted to me, I adapted to her. I cannot imagine life without her at this point.

Butthead, on the other hand….

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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in dogs, Le Moo, love


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Introduction to Butthead

I hemmed and hawed over this title because it seems just too weird. But truthfully, this is what I call her a lot of the time, so it’s apt. APT I tell you!

We adopted Butthead long-distance from Oklahoma, having never met her. I saw her picture on petfinder and couldn’t resist the cute-but-dumb looking face she had. 🙂 No, really, there was something in her eyes that struck me, so I contacted the rescue to find out more about her. At the time, we were looking for a large, hairy, female dog around 3-4 years old. Turned out that Butthead was closer to 18 months, which should have been my first warning sign, but I was so struck by her appearance and the description we got of her from her foster. The foster seemed to imply that she was calm for her age, easy-going and got along with all the dogs in he had in his home. Since we were looking for a dog that was easy-going and got along with every dog she met, it seemed like a perfect match. (Now I laugh/cry at the thought.) Truthfully, she does get along with every dog she has met so far, but she is far from calm and easy-going. She’s energetic and rambunctious and needy and … a big, giant puppy.

At this exact moment, this is what I’m seeing while I’m attempting to type this post:

When are you going to feed me?

When are you going to feed me?

See, right around this time, Butthead gets a snacky-poo (along with Le Moo) and if I’m not on time, I get THE STARE. You must excuse the goobers in the corners of her eyes because no matter how many times we clean them, they reappear. I’ve never had a dog with such amazing eye-goober production.

Butthead is part newfoundland, with the sad eyes and the big giant hairy ears…and some mild-to-moderate slobber. Dog bless you if you get a head in your lap because 70% of the time it will leave you with slobber marks all over your pants. Hub likes to lay on the couch and oftentimes Butthead will come up to him and put her head on his chest…and leave his shirt wet and slobbery. It’s cute, sure, but it’s so gross.

Did I mention that Butthead is turning into a digger?

Looooove you. Where's the food?

Looooove you. Where’s the food?

I mean, it can be hard to be mad at that face. But trust me, when she’s out there digging her way to the very center of the earth, it is maddening. I know how to correct her from doing things she shouldn’t be, but the problem is she KNOWS she shouldn’t be digging so she won’t dig when I’m outside with her. But leave her outside on her own for too long (say ten minutes or so) and she’ll find a nice spot to start digging. By the time I get out to her position (usually out at the farthest end of the yard), she’ll have run away from the spot because she sees me coming. I know, you’ll tell me she’s bored, but that isn’t it. She’s digging for sticks (technically, she finds ROOTS in the ground and digs at them thinking they are sticks) because she loves chewing on sticks. She loves running with sticks. She freaking loves sticks. Have I also mentioned that she likes to eat rabbit poop? Also something she knows not to do because she won’t do it when I’m with her, but if she’s across the yard or I’m in the house, she’s nomming on that damn rabbit poop. *sigh*

On occasion she can be sweet. I’m still at the 70/30 feeling…70% annoying and 30% sweet. Don’t get me wrong, she’s cute, you can see that. But she’s sooooo annoying. Getting her to settle down is a struggle, so most of the time I’m having to fend off the drooling, the licking, the pawing, the barking (OMG she’s such a barker), the eating toys…constantly being on guard is so tiring.

Are you done working?

Are you done working?

Sometimes she tries so hard to be good, but she just can’t seem to master it. I know we’re lucky because she freaking LOVES Le Moo. She wants to be Le Moo’s best friend (which Le Moo is just MEH about), so there’s no aggression or other issues between them. But damn, she’s such a pesty little sister to Le Moo…probably equally as annoying to Le Moo as she is to us.

Are we be-fri yet?

Are we be-fri yet?

I know we’ve been lucky because other than being annoying, she really hasn’t destroyed anything. Yes, she peed and pooped in the house, and yes our foyer is now filled with a giant dog crate, and yes every soft toy we’ve given her she has attempted to eat (not just CHEW but EAT)… But our carpet and drywall and furniture are all in tact. Our yard is a bit swiss cheese-like, but she hasn’t been destructive.

If only I could get her to like being brushed. Or at least tolerate being brushed. It’s a good thing her coat doesn’t get tangled despite its length. She does stink, though. She loves to roll on the ground–which we have almost eliminated with the “leave it” command–and she definitely rolls around when she’s playing with Cray-cray Lab. We’ve only bathed her once in the five months we’ve had her and I wasn’t involved in the process. We’ll see how it goes next time, I guess.

So there you go. Butthead in all her gory.

Is it play time now?

Is it play time now?


Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Butthead, dogs, love, stress


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So I have this weird little baby tooth in my mouth. Don’t laugh, it is apparently not all that uncommon. Anyway, so one tooth apparently never got pushed out by an adult tooth, so the baby tooth is still there. Although it is not connected (so sayeth the dentist) but merely being held in by the other teeth around it (which I find an impossible statement), I believe it to be the source of all my powers.

Wait, don’t run off laughing. Let me try to ‘splain.

I never realized that it was a baby tooth until I got sick about 14 years ago (give or take a year). I’m one of those people who didn’t do dental visits. As a kid I guess I did here and there, but we were poor and if we didn’t have issues, we didn’t go. Two of my brothers had braces, I did not. Most of my teeth are pretty straight, the others are only minorly crooked, and since no one ever said anything to me, I never went to the dentist. I also lucked out because I rarely had mouth or teeth pain. I have no idea why, and frankly, I don’t care to ask. But when I started getting sick and finally found a good doctor, he sent me to a dentist because I had TMJ and he wanted me to get a night guard. When I told the dentist that I had never had a cleaning and couldn’t even tell her the last time I’d visited a dentist (pre-teen? I kind of guessed), she looked shocked AND appalled. Then she looked really apologetic, and told me it was likely my teeth cleaning was going to take hours. HOURS. And she offered me novocaine. I declined the shot, but sat in the chair and tried not to weep at the thought of having my mouth opened wide for hours…after all, I had TMJ which meant lots of jaw pain. So the poor, kind dentist tried to make me comfortable in the awful chair, then whipped out her water pick thingy. And she used the sonic-water high powered whosit to clean my teeth. And when we were done, she smiled and told me that I was an awesome patient and how surprised she was that my teeth weren’t worse than they were…cleaning-wise and cavity-wise. And she said she was impressed with how well I handled the somewhat lengthy cleaning.

We had already done the xray and already discussed my baby toof, which she said was a little loose but could stay for as long as I wanted, or until it fell out. I was about 29 at this point. She said it might be a year, it might be many years, but if it bugged me she could “pop it right outta there” or leave it be. I freaked out and said “DON’T TOUCH IT!” So she didn’t. And every time I went to see her (or her husband), we had to have “the conversation” about the baby toof. It was loose, but it wasn’t bothering me. It had nothing holding it in but the pressure of the teeth around it. It could go any day. Did I want to consider a bridge or an implant? So one year I went to a specialist to talk about an implant, because my dentist didn’t want to screw up the two good teeth around my baby tooth with a bridge. And she said, “They’re doing amazing things with implants these days! And you gotta good jaw bone there…” So I went for the consult. And they xrayed me and analyzed me and then sat me down to tell me aaaallll about the process. To which I said, “Fuck, no. Thank you.” And left. Hey, I was polite about it.

A few years ago, maybe 3 years?, my dentist up and disappeared. DISAPPEARED. She had her own business, which I attended yearly like a good patient, and I loved her. I’d been seeing her for like 10 years. And I had just seen her about 2-3 months prior to receiving a letter saying, “Hey ya’ll, I am outta here, but I sold my business to this new dentist so, ye-ah, lay-tah peeps.” And that was it. I mean, I’d just been there and we were talking about her getting married and moving near to where I was living at the time (I traveled about 45 minutes to see her). Then, boom, gone. I tried going to the new dentist, but I didn’t like her and I saw no reason to travel 45 minutes to start with someone new. I ended up trying a dentist about 10 minutes away from my house–which hub went to first to try out–but I didn’t like them either. They kept pushing me to get some procedures and they kept yakking about my baby toof. The dental hygienist–whom I did not like AT ALL–kept complaining that she really wanted to scrape that baby tooth but I wouldn’t let her because it bothered me. And she made me sit through a video on how to brush and floss. I am a fucking adult, don’t tell me I have to sit and watch a damn video about brushing and flossing. I mean, offer to let me watch it, sure, but I wasn’t given a choice…she popped on the video and disappeared until about 5 minutes after it ended. And again, as I was leaving, she told me I needed to get my gums scraped? Or whatever. Something that was bound to take two long sessions, lots of novocaine, and wow, would be a nice premium for the hygienist. In the 10 years I was with my previous dentist, she never once said I needed to get this done, even after 20 something years of no cleanings. I felt they were trying to get money out of me–and I didn’t like them anyway–so I left and never went back. Over the 10 years with my previous dentist I ended up with one crown (cracked a damn tooth, can you believe that shit?) and maybe 3 or 4 cavities, one of which was so small that they did the drill ‘n fill without novocaine.

So now it’s been like 2 years (maybe 3) since I have been to the dentist. And I don’t really want to go, though I know I should because I want to keep up with the goodness, but I’m afraid. Firstly, I don’t wanna have the whole conversation again about my magic baby toof. It’s a part of me and I love it. Secondly, I have bad reactions to novocaine, so I have to have the stuff without the adrenaline, and I dread having THAT conversation all over again with a new dentist. And thirdly, I don’t want to find out that someone else is going to try to give me that gum scraping or whatever. Every couple of months I search really hard trying to find my old dentist, but I think she has moved to New York. I’m considering taking the damn train up there once a year to see her. Seriously, I loved her that much. Also, she always did my cleaning because she knew how sensitive I was to everything. She never pawned me off on anyway else. All these other “groups” have hygienists and I loathe having to get to know (and have THEM get to know ME) all these people.

The whole reason this stuff came up today? I’ve got a gum infection. This happens to me every now and then. One part of my gum will swell up and be really painful and I’ll have trouble eating. I usually wash with a special mouthwash, but about 18 months ago I ran out of it (it was a prescription from my original dentist) and I’ve since been using an OTC mouth sore mouthwash. It works okay, but not as fast. This time I started with the damn gum infection and I’ve been alternating the mouthwash and warm saltwater rinses. Then the infection migrated to the other side of my mouth. Tonight? Day 3, it has now migrated to one end of my baby toof. My poor little baby toof. And every time I get one of these gum infections, it makes my baby toof sensitive, like it’s moving more and aching some. And every time THAT happens, I wonder if it’s time to let little baby toof go.

And then I remember that it is likely the source of all my powers. And I rage against ever letting it go. And then I take a nap, because raging about my baby toof is tiring.


Posted by on November 13, 2013 in about me, anxiety, fear, health, medical history, pain


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This is post number 101

This is my 101st post (technically it’s #102 because I just posted a link after having written this post). I had no idea how many I’d written, only that I was trying to keep ahead of the schedule. For a while I had five and six posts scheduled out, but now it’s been shrinking down to only 1 or 2 posts. Then last week I didn’t have a post ready on time, and I missed what I considered was a scheduled day. I’ve managed to make that post and now 100 is sitting on the schedule, with another one in draft that I can’t seem to concentrate on.

I thought maybe I would talk about my husband or my dogs, but I’m still a bit wary of giving out too much personal information. That seems like an incredibly stupid statement to make considering how much personal information I’ve shared about my life and mental state…but that is exactly why I am hesitant to share too much identifying information. As it is, I feel like I can be incredibly honest about everything happening to me personally because ya’ll have no idea who I am. As much as I like to have pictures to look at on other people’s blogs, I’ve yet to post a picture on mine…that fear of being identifiable. It sits on my shoulder and squawks in my ear like that big-ass bird that sits outside and taunts Le Moo almost every day. I want to be able to share things without worrying about people being able to identify me. But I struggle with the fact that I’m not ashamed of the psychological issues I’m dealing with. And that is true, I’m not ashamed… I think more of my concern is about giving out too much personal information on the internet. If I were to identify myself in some specific way, I feel like I’d be worried about identity theft, or some other issues.

For example, when I was younger, I had a friend (oooh, really? a whole friend?) that I was really close with. At some point she decided she didn’t like the person I was dating and she got really pissed when I wouldn’t break up with him. The friend knew a lot about me–a shit ton as I like to say–and she used it against me. Among other things, she broke into my house and stole things that were extremely important to me. I felt traumatized by the break-in as I was living alone at the time…and I felt betrayed by someone I thought I cared about. At another point, my brother was married and had children, then got divorced…his ex-wife tracked me down (not hard to do, I was listed in the phone book!) and was threatening me. She also tried to steal my identity to use for her own gains. Because of those two things, I became unlisted in the phone book (and online) and have been ever since, with every move to a new town, city, house, etc. I didn’t want to be vulnerable to either of those people ever again. If I were to identify myself here, they could potentially find me and try to use information against me. I’m not sure how, but I’m not as evil or crafty as they are. I would NEVER have considered breaking into my best friend’s house and ransacking their personal space. I would never steal things from someone who meant so much to me, even if I was angry with them. And I would never consider using a sibling to try to put black marks on an ex’s reputation in order to turn my children against him. I would never threaten a sibling as a way of getting back at an ex. So I have no idea what those kind of people could do with the information I put on this blog.

I know some blogs I follow have lots of identifying pictures and information. I know some of the blogs I follow do not. Clearly I am still struggling in the middle with that. I’d love to share pictures of Le Moo and Butthead. I’d love to share pictures of the property we live on, the deer and the woodchuck and the fox…the beautiful trees, the river that runs through our back yard when it rains. But at this point, I just can’t.

I share so much of who I really am, I am not ready to share who I am.


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We all have a closet

What’s keeping you inside yours?


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Posted by on November 7, 2013 in link


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I went to physical therapy today and unbeknownst to me, it was time to re-measure me. See, when you go in for PT, they ask you what’s wrong, then they do all kinds of measurements to get a baseline for where you are. For me, some of the measurements included how far I can bend one knee (the right), and how far I can straighten one knee (the left). Additionally, there is a measurement for how extended my knees are when I’m standing (apparently I was standing flexed, which is bad). They also measure strength–which is a bit trickier as they don’t really measure that as much as “feel” for it–from lots of different angles, so to speak.

So after my ultrasound, which is used for inflammation–E did her measurements. Good news is that my measurements are going in the right direction, pretty much in all areas. I know in one leg the strength still isn’t great, but otherwise everything is making progress. And when questioned more specifically, I realized that I’m taking the stairs better and I’m not having as much issue with feeling like my knees are going to buckle underneath me.

On the bad side, most of the pain is still with me. Some of it is moderately bad pain. And I had an honest discussion with E about that, to whit she tells me that it’s likely that pain will never go away. Probably won’t ever even be reduced. I wanted to sit down on the studio floor and cry. It’s such a blow that despite weeks and weeks (months even) of therapy on my knees (and previously on my shoulders and back), the pain will still be with me. It makes me want to give up on the PT, because if the pain is constant, what’s the point in putting all this work into strengthening things? I know it’s not the right thought process, but right now it’s where I am.

I’m disappointed. I’m angry. I feel like I’m going to have to go through those stupid grief stages again, realizing that this is what my life is going to be no matter how hard I try to change it. What’s the point in working to make changes when there is no relief?

I know there are a lot of people who live in pain every day. I get that. I live that way, too. But I guess I stupidly thought that this was going to be different, and that if I just worked hard enough, the pain would at least be reduced. But it isn’t changing at all. Even my shoulder and back pain come back, though they don’t necessarily last for days at a time. This is just one more load on my body that I didn’t want to have to accept.


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Event complete

We had a big event at our house over the weekend, where we hosted several people for 25 hour of gaming for charity. It was part of the Extra Life organization, supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This was a difficult day for us because Hub is still dealing with his ankle injury which left him less than mobile. It also meant I was doing the majority of the work to feed and clean up after everyone. On the other hand, I slept overnight, whereas Hub and the others participating in the marathon stayed awake to play games (of varying types) for the entire 25 hours (24 hours plus the time change).

I’m tired at this point, even though I slept for five or six hours overnight. It’s hard to have people in your house for all those hours straight. It’s hard to feed people you don’t know very well (they’re his friends, not mine). It’s hard to make the food work out right and on time for a large group of people (I made dinner and breakfast for Sunday, but we ordered out for lunch on Saturday). I worry that people won’t be able to eat what I make or that the food won’t be good. I stress over that kind of thing because although I do fine most of the time, I don’t cook often. Mostly because it stresses me out. I worry that people might get sick from my food.

As far as I know, no one got sick. Was the food gourmet? No, but it was serviceable, and no one complained. Everyone seemed happy to be eating and several went back for seconds during both meals. I cleaned up pretty much on my own, since I wasn’t participating in the game-play, loaded and emptied dishwashers multiple times, washed dishes, took the recycling out. And I took care of the dogs so they stayed out of the way as much as possible. Last year during this charity event (which we hosted as well), I was sick and unable to participate in any way. And as a matter of fact, Hub had to make sure to take care of me AND all the people staying with us, including making food and cleaning up. My mother came over to help me some of the time, but a lot of the time I was alone in bed too ill to do anything. I’m so pleased that despite the stress preparing for this event (as well as doing everything over the 25+ hours), I was able to do as much as I did.

I’m thankful. I have to continue to remind myself that I’m able to do things I couldn’t a year ago…even six months ago. Clearly I had some concerns during the day, but I didn’t stop what I was doing and I didn’t dwell on the thoughts. I have ended the day in some pain and very tired, but all of that can be chalked up to everything I did. Tomorrow I get to recover (no appointments!) and then Tuesday it’s back to PT.

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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in anxiety, hub, strength, stress, tired, worry


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