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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Party on, Wayne

Tonight Hub and I are going to a party. I do not like parties. I’m a terrible introvert and incredibly shy. I also get embarrassed easily. I will probably spend the evening with my face in flames…partly from discomfort and embarrassment and partly because I overheat incredibly easily. Our house is like a freezer pretty much all year round, and no one else ever keeps their place cold enough.

Why, you ask, am I going to the party? No real choice, actually. Hub is working with a charity and we’re going to the party to try to raise funds for the charity. I’ve been helping him with some of the fundraising stuff (ideas and setup), but heaven help me if I have to TALK to anyone about the charity or the fundraising…or ask for money. I’m terrible at all of it. It isn’t that I get anxious about going to the party, I just don’t like parties. I don’t like mingling, I don’t like meeting new people, I don’t like making small-talk. On top of everything else, the party is during dinner-time (also, happy hour) at a restaurant. I have no idea if there will be any food I can eat safely…and since I don’t drink, the happy hour means pretty much nothing to me.

I’m going to take my new camera and take pictures. The person organizing the event asked people to take pictures to share afterward and I figured it’d be a good way for me to practice my camera skills. Also, if I’m taking pictures maybe no one will talk to me. AND taking pictures will give me something to do and something to hold in my hands.

Really, I have nothing else to talk about right now. Well, I probably do, but for some reason I don’t feel motivated to write.

 

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What does it say?

What does it say about me? Over the past week, two times I have warned my husband, “Don’t be nice to me.”

At one point we were talking again about my brother and father, and I was telling Hub that I was trying to be supportive to my mom in the ways that I could be, and he hugged me and told me I was a good daughter. And I felt the tears rush into my eyes, and I said, “Don’t be nice to me.” Because I know when I’m emotional, if someone is nice to me it makes me even more emotional and I wanted to remain in control at that point. Another time, it was again about my mom and I went into Hub’s arms for support, and he said something nice to me and I told him not to. For the same reason.

I have this issue with a couple of people. My mom, two of my brothers (one more than the other can just look at me when emotions are high and I’ll burst into tears), Hub… If I’m in an emotional state and they say nice things, it will make me burst into tears. I guess it’s a safety thing (as in I feel safe with them) or maybe it’s leftover from my childhood from something, I’m not sure. But really, I’ve made that statement (Don’t be nice to me) many times over the years I’ve been an adult. Does it mean anything? Does it mean something different when I say it to Hub?

Why does it trigger me to tears? Why can’t I handle someone being nice to me at a time when that’s absolutely appropriate? Am I just afraid of emotional overload? Or am I feeling not worthy of someone being nice to me? Or am I unable to accept kindness?

Or am I over-analyzing?

I once asked T why I retreat when most people look to others for support. Even when I’m sick, I really want to be left alone. When I’ve gotten bad news, I will put on a mask until I’m alone and I can break down. Later, I will go and talk about whatever it is with Hub or my mom or my best friend…in a manner that is more down-to-earth. She told me that she felt it was healthy to do what I am doing…with respect to me individually. That apparently I understood what I needed to soothe myself and that I should allow myself to do things that way. Am I doing the same thing with the kindness thing?

 

 

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Finding happy

Had a session with T last week. Of course we talked about my mom and her cancer situation, as well as the situation with my dad and brother. And gently, but firmly, T reminded me that I am not my mother’s sentry. I want to protect her, but really she knows how to protect herself. I have to take a step back and offer her my support without trying to take over. I had already started doing that before my session with T, but she did reinforce that for me.

So among some other conversation, T and I talked about my relationship with food. I told her how I feel traumatized every time I take the digestive enzymes my nutritionist recommended for my heartburn and stomach issues. The enzymes seem to work (this past week not so much, but prior they were working REALLY well), but they remind me so much of all the “herbal” pills I had tried to buy and take growing up to lose weight. There’s a smell to them, and the look of them is not much better. And I can’t help but smell them every time I open the bottle. She suggested I put a cinnamon stick in the bottle and/or to inhale before I open the bottle so I can’t smell them. We talked about being mindful with my food, but truthfully–as I told her–I either think about it too much, or I think about thinking about it. Which sounds weird. So I’m not sure what direction to go, because I don’t want to obsess over food, but I don’t want to eat unmindfully. One of the problems I have is that I have to think about food constantly because of my gluten/wheat issues. I can’t go out anywhere without spending time thinking about where we’re going and will there be food for me and will I get sick afterward and will it be worth it. I can’t go to other people’s houses without thinking about it, or even randomly pick up a chocolate bar in the store. I can’t even randomly pick something out of my pantry or refrigerator without thinking about the ingredients because Hub is not gluten/wheat free. So I have to think about what I eat all the time.

T asked me to think back to a time when I felt like I wasn’t worrying about my weight or my body image. And there was a time, shortly after we moved into our house from the townhouse we first lived in together. I was deep into my writing and felt that I was a part of a larger group…and that I was touching people’s lives. So she asked me how I could get back there, but I told her I wasn’t likely to ever be in “that place” again, because it was years before I realized I had food sensitivities. Back then we didn’t think about or worry about gluten/wheat. I ate what I wanted to, when I wanted to, and in the amount I wanted to. Now I can’t do that with pretty much anything. I eat too much cheese, I get sick. I eat split pea soup, I get a stomach ache. I eat GF pretzels, it makes my stomach hurt. My favorite cheddar cheese potato chips? They leave sores on the inside of my mouth. Pineapple? Burns my lips. Fritos (which I love but actually can’t eat at all anymore) makes my lips burn, too. Spinach upsets my stomach. Chocolate upsets my heartburn. Tomato sauce upsets my heartburn. Popcorn gets stuck in my teeth and gives me toothaches (stupid delicious movie theater popcorn that I haven’t had in about ten years.) I avoid sugar substitutes, so a lot of foods are off limits because I can’t take the sugar substitutes in them. I literally never pick anything up at the grocery store without reading the ingredients and searching for items on my no-no list. I’ll never be able to just eat what I want to eat. I’ll never not have to think about it. And it sucks, because it makes food an obsession of sorts for me, which is one of the last things I need.

And I miss writing. I know that I’m writing here, and I hope that I’m touching people’s lives…but I miss the writing that I loved so much. I miss being buried in those words, in my characters, in the worlds that I created. But I can’t seem to find my way back there. I can’t seem to be in that place anymore. And that hurts me, too, because that was a happy, comforting place to be. It made me feel like I was doing something good, offering something to people, and I felt fulfilled. I want that again, too.

 

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These days I live

I’ve been writing a lot about how I am trying to change how I live on a daily basis. That I am try to be more in the moment, live life one day at a time, and enjoy the moments I am given. And I do feel like I have been able to accomplish this pretty often.

But there are days where I feel the pain, physically and emotionally, and I fall backward. I feel like I fall into a hole, where I am surrounded my dirt and muck and the earth is clammy and cold. My body hurts and every ache is amplified. I feel the pop in my knee with every tiny bend. My back burns no matter how I move…or don’t move. The coolness of the earth around me is so damp that it seems to seep into my bones. I try to climb out of the hole even though I know better. Dirt tumbles around me, getting stuck under my fingernails and covering my feet. My hands hurt from digging, my feet are cramping from being clenched to keep me upright on the soft earth below. My knees ache from standing there so long. It all hurts, and I can’t see any light above me. I can’t see a way up or out.

I want to cry. Fear and loss tunnel around in my head as I think about my mother being sick. I can’t get rid of the itch to do research on the internet. It is a constant barrage of questions going through my head, pushing me to research to find the answers. And I feel smothered by the feeling that I am not doing enough because I’m not doing the research I should be doing. It’s heavy, this oppressive feeling, pushing me further into the hole, weighing me down so that I cannot even stand. It puts more pressure on my knees, my feet, my joints. My shoulders hurt, and my arms feel like I’ve got twenty pound dumbbells clutched in each hand.

It’s not all easy and happy. My mind is not always in a good place. My body is rarely in a good place. Some days just suck.

 

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How we deal

We are all different. We all deal differently with things. Some of us learn new ways to deal, some can’t ever change that part of themselves.

My way of dealing used to be researching everything until I was cross-eyed, sick to my stomach, and anxiety to the point that I couldn’t breathe right. I’d read everything I could on whatever the subject was (generally relating to my health, or someone else’s health), even when one thing contradicted another. I’d come away with probably less knowledge or understanding than I’d started with, and I’d be filled with stress and anxiety. And then when I was done trying to figure out how to breathe again, I’d dive right back in and start researching again. I thought I was doing something and that I was helping myself. I thought I was educating myself and learning how to fix what was wrong with me…whatever that might have been at the time. It was all a lie. Although I might have learned a few things, most of it just made me worry more and I ended up without any resolutions to anything I was researching.

I’m not researching anything anymore. Not for me, not for my mother, not for anyone. I don’t want to live that way anymore.

My brother started researching things as soon as he heard about my mother’s surgery. He’s tenacious and smart, and he thinks he knows better. Than pretty much everyone. Maybe even the doctors. He’s aggressive and angry, all of which comes from his abject fear. He needs to feel in control…I understand his quest, but it’s difficult for me to deal with. My mother’s pathology came back before she even left the hospital. Other than the original findings from the original uterus scraping/biopsy, they found nothing else in the organs they removed during her hysterectomy. But one lymph node had “microscopic” cancer cells. Her uterine cancer was diagnosed as stage 3, with a cancer that is generally aggressive. I want to say the doctors seem positive about her prognosis, but honestly I did not get the chance to ask because the last time I saw him, it was so brief and we were almost out the door when he showed up to see my mother. But his recommendation is for chemotherapy…a full course. He has already set her up for a second opinion with a colleague (my father is sure the colleague is just a “yes” man for the original surgeon and will rubber stamp his recommendation) in about ten days. She has chosen to focus on her recovery from the surgery, my brother has decided to spend the next ten days on the internet, reading and questioning everything…including the doctors. He sent me an email this morning (and to my father) with the subject line “opinion.” I skimmed over the first line of the email, then directed Hub to respond to the email, requesting that my brother not send me anything that has to do with his internet research. Then I asked Hub to delete all the emails to and from that might include anything that the original email said. Hub did it, and I went on with my day (after crying for a few minutes because I felt like I wasn’t do anything to help my mother because I wasn’t participating in the researching).

I went over to see my mother after lunch today, bringing over some groceries that Hub and I picked up this morning for them. Almost immediate I was attacked by my father. My father researches, but he only reads what he wants to read, and only understands what he wants to understand. He only hears what he wants to hear, and is just as likely to misinterpret and/or misremember things. He questions everything, but from a place of conspiracy and from the expectation of the worst. He thinks every medication out there is only to make pharmaceutical companies bigger and richer. He is sure everything that happens is going to be the worst case scenario. And he’s scared shitless. And driving my mother crazy. She doesn’t want to discuss this every day, or spend the next ten days until her appointment worrying about it. She wants to recover, she wants to live, she wants to do normal things. He wants to talk to her and spend his days researching and questioning and thinking and worrying and looking for the worst that could be. He wants to question the doctors and tell her everything he thinks they did wrong. He wants to tell her that she’s not worrying enough, or thinking enough, or planning enough. She wants to find faith and hope in G-d and in the future…in the daily workings of her life.

I told my father that nothing was certain. That the doctors wouldn’t be able to give him any certainty, even if he would believe them if they did (which he wouldn’t). They could give him probabilities and percentages, but even those are guesses. Because every person is an individual, and everyone is going to react differently. The doctors can’t give him what he wants, which is for his wife not to have cancer. My father argued with me every time I opened my mouth. And with every statement or attack he made, I could see my mother sinking down in her chair. I finally told him to stop talking to mom about this stuff. I told him that he might need to deal with it this way, but she didn’t want to, and he was just making things worse for her. I told him to go talk to my brother and to my uncle, both of whom want to do research and talk endlessly about everything. But to leave me and Mom out of it. He stomped off, angrily, and went to talk to my brother on the phone.

I turned to my mother and told her that she needs to take care of herself and her headspace. That she wasn’t responsible for how my father feels or what he does, but that she IS responsible for how she feels and what she does. And if he continued to talk to her about this stuff, she needed to reiterate that she didn’t want to hear it and that he was upsetting her. I then offered to let her come stay with me for the ten days, which we both knew was just a joke. I don’t want him to bring her down. I want her to feel positive and up and enjoy each day she has. None of us has anything promised to us. If she doesn’t want to spend her days worrying and reading the internet, she shouldn’t have to.

I want to be able to spend time with my mother doing normal things. If it helps her to feel normal by talking about every day normal things, I’m good with that. If she wants to talk about health stuff, I’m good with that. But I’m not going to spend my time thinking and worrying and researching and making myself ill. I can’t do anything for her by doing that. I can do the most for her by being in the moment and helping with everyday things. And if necessary, reminding my father and brother to go talk in another room where we can’t hear them.

 

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Post-surgery update

Good news is that Mom made it through her surgery and is doing well. The surgery seemed to take forever and I think we were going a little crazy in the waiting room, but that’s all over now. When the surgeon finally came out to say everything went well, I listened and asked questions, then when he left I got teary-eyed. And my family (my aunt and uncle, anyway) got all nervous. I just told them I was relieved and that was how I responded, and that I was okay. I turned away and started making phone calls and sending emails. But jeez, why am I not allowed to have a response? Why am I not allowed to have emotions? I made my reports to family and friends, then went to find some lunch in the hospital cafeteria. Unfortunately, they had closed after breakfast to prepare for lunch and since I didn’t see a schedule, I bought some canned tuna salad and potato chips from the vending machine. By the time I had wolfed it down (I hadn’t eaten all morning and was up for 4am)–like ten minutes later–the cafeteria doors opened and people rushed in. But I didn’t want to eat anything else, so I went back to the waiting room to be with my family.

We finally got to see Mom in her room at about 1pm. It’s hard to see your mother lying in a hospital bed. She was clearly still coming out of the anesthesia, shaking and shivering, but she said she wasn’t in any pain, so that was good. My father did okay, but he couldn’t even concentrate enough to read–which is his default mode–or doze. He mostly sat and stared, or we chatted about nothing. Or he went outside and smoked his pipe.

So we hung out for a while with Mom to make sure she was okay. She was on a morphine drip and seemed drowsy and loopy. No surprise, right? I tried to keep talking to her so she didn’t have to talk too much (her throat was sore from the breathing tube and her mouth was dry), and so did my brother and SIL. Slowly, everyone left, but my oldest brother and I stayed so my dad could get some food since he hadn’t eaten since breakfast. When he came back, my brother and I left, hoping that Mom would sleep for a while. After an early dinner, Hub and I went back to the hospital to see Mom and give Dad another break. We stayed for about two hours or so…long enough to distract Mom (Hub is good at that) and let Dad relax for a while.

By the time we got home, I was WIPED. I pretty much stumbled in the house, let the dogs out, then went upstairs to shower. By the time Hub came upstairs at just after 10pm, I was in bed and almost couldn’t keep my eye open. Hub tells me that five minutes after the lights went off, I was asleep. I didn’t wake up once in the night, where normally I’d be up at least once or twice to pee…and more often to turn over in bed. It was tough for me physically all day because my back has been bothering me from some stuff in PT, but I was able to handle it. I’m still in pain today, but it’s still a point that I can handle…I hope I’m not making things worse for myself for the weekend, though, as I want to be able to help when Mom comes home from the hospital.

This morning my father called early to let me know the doctors had been in and were pleased with Mom’s progress. Since then I’ve talked to both of them and heard that she’s had breakfast AND already walked the whole corridor with a nurse. I told you my mother was a strong lady! I’ll be heading back down after lunch sometime to spend the afternoon with her and make sure my dad has time to relax and not be so on “duty” all the time.

I really didn’t feel too much anxiety yesterday. Really, when we were heading to the hospital at 5am in the dark, did I feel some anxiety creeping up. I’m not sure why it happened then, but I was able to deal with it and it went away pretty quickly. At the hospital in the waiting room, I stayed as busy as I could–talking, playing on the iPad, knitting–and didn’t have any major issues except when I heard them call my mother’s surgeon’s name on the intercom when I thought he was supposed to be IN surgery. That seemed weird, but I figured they didn’t realize he was in surgery and I went back to what I was doing. And once I saw my mom, I was more relieved that she made it through the surgery and anesthesia than anything else…so there was no anxiety around. Also, I was so zonked I don’t think I was feeling too much of anything last night.

I’ve got Cray-cray Lab here with me today, since there’s no one home to take care of her. She was with Hub yesterday while he worked from home and took care of all the dogs. Cray-cray has become pretty attached to Mom since she retired and I know she misses Mom. But I talk to her and pet her and make sure she gets good play time outside with Butthead. Right now she’s napping in the sun on one of the dog beds in our family room while I’m writing this blog. Butthead and Le Moo are keeping watching in our library where they can stare out the window to the street out front.

My thankful list overfloweth. Our family has been amazing. The doctors were great. Most of the nurses have been wonderful so far. An old, dear friend of mine texted me the morning of the surgery to tell me she was thinking of me and my mother. And she has repeatedly offered help and support for me, even though we only see each other like once or twice a year on average. My husband has been amazing to me, not even blinking when I asked him if he would drive me back to the hospital last night even though I’d barely been home an hour (and it meant postponing something he had already planned to do that evening). I can’t even list all the things he’s done and is doing for me during this time, just that I am very thankful for him. And I’m thankful for the time I’ve had with T, who has helped me to be in the place I am in now, able to be of support to my parents without the overwhelming anxiety pressing on me.

Thanks to all of you, too, for reading about all this.

 

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Surgery day–almost

By the time this is posted (and you have an opportunity to read it), surgery day will have come and gone for my mom. I will be heading to the hospital with them tomorrow morning at 5am, as she is first in line for surgery with her particular surgeons.

Over the past couple of days, I’m starting to see (or she’s starting to allow me to see) her fear. She isn’t sleeping well, and told me last night when she wakes up, she just gets up and goes to read a book until she is sleepy again. She says laying in bed gives her too much time to think and worry about the surgery. She is a strong woman, practical and pragmatic, filled with faith in G-d. That does not mean she is impenetrable. I saw a bit of this when she was working on her medical directives about two weeks ago. Where prior to this I think she would have made a certain decision, now her directive is different than I had anticipated. We are never so aware of our fragility and the fragility of life as when we are sick and faced with the possibility for a bad outcome (surgery, anesthesia, etc.)

I’m still trying to keep myself grounded, while at the same time preparing what I need to take with me for at least an entire day at the hospital. Like I said, we’ll be there very early, and the doctor said she might not be in her room (where we can finally see her post-surgery) until close to lunchtime. Of course, depending on what happens in surgery and how well she makes it in recovery. Since she has no past experience in the hospital, we have no idea how she will react to the anesthesia and/or any of the pain medications she’ll be on. And, of course, considering her age.

I’m so so so thankful for my husband, who is taking time off of work to make sure all our animals are taken care of while the rest of us are at the hospital. I am so so so thankful that he understands how important it is that I be with my dad while my mother is in surgery. I am thankful for my aunt and uncle, who are going to be with us during the surgery tomorrow, and be with us as we wait for Mom to make it through recovery. I am thankful for my brothers, who will be there in person and/or in spirit as they are able. I am thankful for all the people who are praying for and thinking of my mother as she goes through this. I am thankful for the experience of the surgeons performing the surgery, and for the nurses who will be attending her during and after the surgery. I am thankful for the people who run and take care of the hospital, so that it is there and operational when she needs it. I am thankful there is a higher power that my mother can feel connected to during this time, so that she feels that spirit and that support as she goes through this. I am thankful that she is not alone in this (and that *I* am not alone, as well).

I am thankful for my mind and my body and my spirit, all of which propel me forward every day, and allow me to be with my parents tomorrow (and after). I am even thankful for the aches and pains that I feel every day, because it reminds me that I am here, and that I am living. I am thankful for the fear and the helplessness that I am (and have been) feeling, because it reminds me how much I love the people in my life and how much I cherish the time I have with them.

 

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Had to share…too funny

When I go out in the yard with the dogs I almost always grab the cordless phone and the spiral wrist band that holds the keys to the house. Especially in the summer, sometimes I walk to my parents’ house to say hi if I know they are around…so I have to lock the door in case I leave my yard. It’s habit to grab both things and today I am ever so glad to be in that habit.

Well, I only have ONE attached to the keys, but you get the idea.

Well, I only have ONE attached to the keys, but you get the idea.

It’s sunny and lovely and I spent twenty minutes on the floor petting the dogs. So I decided to get them outside to try to let Butthead run around for a while. Otherwise she gets really restless and antsy in the house…besides, it’s so pretty out I figured I’d do some good with a little sunshine and fresh air (achoo!). So out we go and I grab keys and phone on the way. The dogs go trotting out toward our fence, tails up, heads up, sniffing the air and looking happy to be free. Le Moo wanders only briefly, then finds herself a nice spot and plops down to survey, well, everything. Butthead is more active, so she walks around more, sniffing and looking and stuff. I pet Le Moo for a minute or two, then kick the ball for Butthead…who gives chase and tries to bring it back to me. But it’s almost soccer ball size, so she trips over it more than carries it, and gives up about three quarters of the way back to me. So I talk her into playing with this green foam fake stick thing that we bought so she’d stop eating all the sticks in our yard. She likes it a lot and will chase it if you throw it. Sometimes she’ll just keep it in her mouth and wait for you to chase her…that’s her favorite game. So I grab the stick out of her mouth and sort of wave it around until she gets worked up, then I throw it. And as I’m releasing it from my hand, I feel the stretchy coil thingy around my wrist sliding upward, upward….and OFF MY WRIST. It has about five keys on it (for various houses and locks) so it’s a tad heavy. I cover my head with my arms and try to protect myself from being konked on the head or on my face. I vaguely hear the keys jingle as they land and then I drop my hands and look around.

Shit, Hub hasn’t mowed the yard in just over a week and we had that horrible rainstorm with 7″ of rain over 2 1/2 days…the grass is high, ya’ll. The wristband thing is black. I had no idea where the keys landed because I had my head covered and my eyes shut. I’m sca-rewed. I start pacing along the yard where I had been standing to see if I can find the keys. No luck. And, of course, I suddenly have to pee.

Lost keys, house locked, have to pee. Did I also mention that we lock the gates on our yard so no one can get in and/or open the gates and let the dogs out? Guess where that key is for the gate? On the wristband. I can’t get out of the backyard. I can’t get into the house. I have to pee.

Luckily for me, I have the cordless phone in my pocket. I call my parents’ house and my mom answers. She’s been spending the day doing pre-op preparations (which means not being too far away from a bathroom) and can’t leave the house. But she answers the phone and I ask if my brother is home. I figure he can walk over and help me find the keys, but he’s not home yet. I loathe to tell her that I have to pee, so I just ask her to send my father over when she sees him and she says she will, then hangs up. So I’m pacing the yard like those police recruits do when they’re searching for evidence. Straight line, from one end of the area to the other, turn and double-back. Nothing. Dogs are now panting and looking at me like it’s time to go inside. My bladder is definitely telling me it’s time to go inside. Then I spot my dad heading up my driveway and I go to the gate to wave…

Something shiny catches my eye.

My keys (and wristband) are sitting about six feet on the other side of the gate. The locked gate that I can’t get out of because the key is on my wristband…on the other side of the gate. How the hell the keys flew up in the air and at least ten feet away (I was not standing that close to the gate when the keys flew off my wrist) I have no idea. I point at the keys and my father scoops them up for me and hands them over (he’s also carrying the spare key to my house in his other hand, just in case we couldn’t find my keys). I explain (with gesticulations) what happened and he laughs. We talk briefly about how Mom is doing with her pre-op prep, then he tells me about some TV show he was watching when I called (detection dogs in Russia?). We confirm timing for the morning to leave for the hospital, then he walks off with a wave.

I rush to the back door, one dog following me and the other hiding in the shade, and let myself into the house. I barely stop to toss Butthead a treat and run into the bathroom.

My afternoon. FUN TIMES.

The dogs seem pretty fine with being outside.

The dogs seem pretty fine with being outside.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in anxiety, Butthead, dogs, Le Moo

 

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Changing dreams

Last night, I had strange dreams/nightmares again.

Remember my old dreams where I talked about driving around either searching for an exit or when I’m on a highway and I can’t find the right direction to go? I haven’t had those in a while, but that does happen. Sometimes I’ll go months without them, and then they’ll pop up and happen every night. I’ve had similar type dreams where I was coming out of a subway train and couldn’t find the right direction to get out of the station, or where I’d be out of the station but not able to find my way home from the station…etc. But last night, the dream was different.

I was out of the station already in the dream, and I did a bit of searching to find a taxi cab. Guys, I haven’t taken a taxi cab since I was in high school and had to take a cab home from school when I was “sick”. Anyway, I hailed a taxi and got in, and immediately gave them the address of my current home, including very specifically my zip code. I then had thoughts about how much this was going to cost–how expensive–and some thoughts on what other options I had to get home. But there was no real feeling of distress or being lost. I felt very on-track and like I was in control of where I was going…but I knew quite clearly I wasn’t driving. I gave the taxi driver the address and that was the end of it. No worries or discussion over how to get there, and no fear that we were heading in the wrong direction or taking the wrong exit.

On a weird note, I then found myself in a dream with Hub (no longer in the taxi, but still trying to get somewhere) who was carrying a large, bright orange or red and black backpack. Inside the backpack was something we were trying to bury (we kept looking for someplace to bury what was in the backpack, but no place seemed secure enough or hidden enough). I have no idea what was in the backpack, but we were hiding it from people and trying to find a place to bury it. Then Hub disappeared and I was left with the backpack and people kept trying to look at it and/or pick it up and carry for me, but I wouldn’t let them because I knew we needed to keep it hidden.

Guys, I believe our dreams have meanings, but that we don’t always understand them. Sometimes I think it isn’t important to understand, just that the dreams are trying to get things out of your head and away from you. Sometimes I think they are just reflections of what is going on in your life.

I think part of this dream…the part where I was able to get out of the subway and into a vehicle and head for home? I feel like it’s because I’m doing better with my anxiety and my control stuff. I’m not searching so much for the person I want to be…I’m not so lost. When I woke in the middle of the night from that part of my dream, I actually felt like “Oh yeah, it’s because I’m on the right track. I’m doing the right things to be a better, more grounded me.” Then I got up to pee and went back to bed. 🙂

The second dream? I have no idea where that was going. It was a new one for me and it made me feel more uncomfortable. I rarely have dreams with Hub in them for some reason. So what’s going on there? I just don’t know yet.

 
 

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My favorite carpet (hates me)

When we were building this house, we talked about getting dark carpeting in a lot of the rooms that were going to be carpeted. We had cranberry colored carpeting in our old house in the family room, and it was the ONE carpet in the house I loved. It was a sploched, weird pattern, but it made me so happy to see it every day. And it was a short pile, so it was easy to vacuum…and truthfully if we ever spilled any drinks in there, you’d never know.

sp_carpet

Sweet Pea! (and our carpet)

When we went a-shopping for new carpet, I carried around a sample of this carpet everywhere we went. I tried to find it because I wanted it our new bedroom, but the manufacturer got bought out by a bigger chain and they discontinued the carpet. I never found anything even close. We ended up with a semi-shaggy (and soft) chocolate brown on our first floor (big open rooms with lots of windows) and a multi-colored tan-ish with gold-ish flecks for the upstairs (less natural light coming in). Both sets of carpet were the same manufacturer, same soft slightly shaggy pile, and we were told they would wear extremely well. We also thought we’d have Sweet Pea with us, so we figured it was best to get darker colors in the main parts of the house to hide the dark dog hair. She never made it to the new house, but those decisions were made by then.

Anyhoo, while we were shopping one time, I found this carpet that I L-O-V-E-D. But a) it was verrry expensive and b) it was an “animal print” (subtle) and everyone thought it would be too much in our larger rooms. But come hell or high water, I wanted that damn carpet. We ended up putting it on our stairs going up from the main level to the bedroom level. We have a relatively large landing (the stairs are a “U” shape) where I’d get to enjoy a larger swath of the pattern, but on the stairs it would be less overpowering. The pile on this carpet was also low and tight, so we figured it’d be easy to keep clean, no matter what dog(s) we ended up with.

The landing, post-vacuum.

The landing, post-vacuum.

Also, note the TWO dog toys discarded on the side of the steps. That's a Butthead thing...

Also, note the TWO dog toys discarded on the side of the steps. That’s a Butthead thing…

So now with two big hairy dogs, we have dog hair everywhere. Yes it gets worse when they blow their coats, but they shed all year round. Lots of hair, lots of shedding, lots of hair. Get that? And of course, that means the stairs get covered with dog hair. The stairs I have to walk up and down every day. The stairs that are visible from the family room and the foyer (altho we rarely use the front door for guests because we don’t have a walkway yet) and from all of upstairs. When we got long haired dogs, I knew what it would be like, so I’m not shocked or surprised. I knew we’d be vacuuming the stairs…we had the same issue with SP.

But holy hell, this carpet basically fights back against every vacuum we’ve ever bought (and/or tried and returned). The only thing we haven’t done is buy a Dyson, mostly because we’ve been told they don’t actually work that well. (Also, $500 for a vacuum? Hell no!) We JUST bought a Shark Rocket, which is similar to the Dyson stick thing, but supposedly has better suction power.

Da Rocket

Da Rocket

Our stairs have larger-than-average depth to them because Hub has ginormous feet and we asked to have deep steps to accommodate him. That, of course, leaves us with even more area for dog hair to collect. The Shark did okay on the steps, I thought, until I took the above pictures. The landing looks pretty okay, but those steps look like they’re still covered with dust. I wonder if it’s the lighting from the flash? Ugh.

We have two full-size vacuums in the house, but the hose attachments won’t pick anything up, and hefting the whole vacuum over each step is painful and tiring. I’m guessing at this point that the weave on the carpet is just SO tight that it won’t release anything. And also, the weave seems to have a direction, and vacuuming in the wrong direction seems to dig dirt and hair further into the pile.

If I totally didn’t love this carpet so much, I’d be considering pulling it up and replacing it. It was hella expensive, but cleaning it is nearly impossible. And even if we didn’t let the dogs upstairs (which we do, so nuts to that idea), the dog hair still floats around and would STILL get on the carpet. I’ve actually spent time BRUSHING the carpet with one of our dog’s brushes, which pulls the hair off the carpet, but having to sit on each step and brush it individually with a hairbrush? Uh uh, not going to happen, ya’ll.

I haven’t decided yet if we’ll keep the Shark Rocket. I’m waiting for Hub to give me a second opinion on how it works. It wasn’t an inexpensive investment…if it worked, I don’t think it’d be a big deal. But I’m sort of undecided on how well it worked. Then again, I’m really critical about how these vacuums work.

And just because…

Butthead snoozin' in her crate on this rainy day (she goes in there all the time to nap).

Butthead snoozin’ in her crate on this rainy day (she goes in there all the time to nap).

 

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in anxiety, dogs, Sweet Pea

 

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