Monday, September 15, 2008

The rollercoaster

Coming up Wednesday will be 4 weeks since I put Peanut down.  Friends warned me about the ups and downs, but since I was feeling better last week, I thought I was through it.....for the most part.  I guess I am, but for some reason the weekends set me off, especially Sundays.  Every week since I let Peanut go, I get weepy on Sunday nights.  I have to call in to Hibachi (a local restaurant) and order salmon for the week.  I hate cooking fish, because I suck at it, and they do such a nice job of broiling it, and the owner is my I'd rather they do it.  

Just getting up the nerve to call chokes me up.  Walking there, I am always on the verge of tears and walking home is always the torrent.  Maybe because I would tuck Peanut in my hoodie for the walk because I felt safer.  Or maybe because everyone would give him a pat and ask how he is doing. (Yes, I snuck a dog into a restaurant.) Or just maybe he was woven into every part of my life and Sunday evenings just make it so obvious that he is gone.

So today, I am filled with anxiety.  I don't know why.  I am so anxious and feeling like I am going to explode in a fit of emotions.  I had to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, for the umpteenth time for a project, and at the end, I was sobbing.  Ok, its sad that Elizabeth and Will only see each other once every 10 years, but I've seen this movie a gajillion times and so why am I now crying?  Ugh.  Emotions. 

I think my downfall was drinking a Diet Coke.  Its a fast forward into anxiety land.  How annoying.  I drank it because I fell asleep TWICE while watching Pirates....for the umpteenth time.  Go figure.  Now I'm drinking chamomile tea to try and offset it.  Total pain in my ass.  Seriously, who has time for out of control emotions...not me.  Not ever.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Transitioning back to my life.

What a difficult month its been.  It started out wonderfully by having my parents and nieces visiting me.  Six jam packed days of the beach, horseback riding, aquariums, Disneyland and a grand finale of the Cheetah Girls: One World movie premiere in Hollywood.  It was a lot of fun.  By the end, I was exhausted from all the running around and then dealing with my elderly dog Peanut who could no longer stand.  One of the nights I had maybe gotten 1-2 hours of sleep and there I sat the next morning, on the kitchen floor in tears because he could no longer stand to do "dog business".  It was sad and I was overwhelmed by the feeling of helplessness.  I loved him so much and I couldn't help him anymore than I already was.  Its a horrible feeling.

After the family left, I proceeded to get a cold, that sounded like bronchitis, but never is.  Lucky me I guess.  I took 2 days off from work and laid on the couch.  When I went back to work the next week, that Tuesday, weeks of wondering about if it was time to put Peanut down came to a head.  I was looking online and tried to call my vet to discuss it.  Eventually, I came to the realization that it was time.   Its the hardest decision I have ever had to make. 

Peanut was still a hearty eater and very alert, but his body had given up on him.  His little legs withered beneath him and could no longer support the frail body that remained.  It broke my heart to make the decision, but I also needed to do it for me because I hadn't slept in months and was starting to lose my mind.  No wonder sleep deprivation is a torture technique, it works.  You start to feel like reality is a lie and everything looks weird and seems out of place.  Its horrific to live through.  I was willing to put up with it for a bit because I loved Peanut that much and then I realized that prolonging the decision was just going to chip away at me even more.  Plus Peanut had dissolved to a point of frustration and was just barking at me all the time.  Poor little thing.  My biggest regret was just not holding him more in the end.  He was such a sweet dog.

Wednesday August 20, 2008 I released Peanut from his broken body and at the same time, broke mine.  When I asked the vet if he was gone, and he said yes, I crumbled over onto the exam table because my back went out.  It was as if all of Peanuts pain transfered into my body and it broke me.   I have never felt so weak and disabled.  I didn't know what to do and I just wanted to hold and kiss Peanut forever.  

I loved his ears and how they were soft when I got him and now they were crunchy and bumpy from the skin issues.  But I loved them because when he slept they would fold down on his head like moth wings and I could just run my hands over them down to his back.  

I loved his paws.  Always stopping to do a mic check on them, "Hello!? Are these things on? Hello!?"  Then there was the 'rogue' paw, the front one that had dislocated out of its socket and caused me to put bands on his front paws so they would stay together and he could walk.  I had to reprimand it one more time and tell it it was a 'bad paw'.  I loved that they smelled like Doriitos or Fritos after he napped and I loved the little fur between his peds that was soft and he'd let me stroke for hours.

I loved his little snout.  Barely an inch and a half long.  So tiny and so sweet.  I marveled at how small he was sometimes.  Precious little dog.

I loved his belly.  I loved kissing it when it was chubby and even when his little ribs would stick out.  It was a feat trying to keep some meat on him.  He was blessed with a fast metabolism, but sometimes people thought I didn't feed him.  Oh please.  This dog would eat anything that wasn't nailed down!  I love telling the story of the was more like a wrap, but he ate the WHOLE thing.  I left him alone with it and when I came back, only a little piece of tortilla and some lettuce were left.  Crazy little monkey.

My favorite spot by far, was his cheek.  It was a little space between his eye and his ear, where the bone had a natural bump under it and it was perfect for planting a kiss.  He was so funny about this too because he would always act like he didn't care and would just stare off into space, but you knew that secretly, he was soaking up the love.  This was my favorite thing to do to him and I could just kiss his little head all day long.

I also loved napping with him on the couch.  He'd snuggle into the crook of my arm or armpit.  Sometimes he would just sleep on my chest or I would lay on my side and he'd rest his head on my arm.  He was such a little napper since he was an old man and I remember many a weekend day where we would watch tv and just snooze.  Of course he was really happy if that nap took place with the sun on us.  He was just like his momma in loving the sunshine.

What do you do?  Where do you live your life when this little creature, who was like a child, is gone from it?  How do you find your footing again when you have such an emptiness?  Its a hole thats bigger than you, bigger than your soul and bigger than the universe.  Its like it takes so much away from you that you almost don't exist.  Its a horrible, exhausting, painful void that nothing can fill.  Nothing. 

Its frustrating because you want to feel better, but there is nothing to be done to achieve that.  No food, beverage, place, person, event, creature or thing to patch the pain.  And so here I sit, today, surrounded by the emptiness, the sorrow and the memory of a little dog that brought me so much joy and touched the hearts of everyone he met. 
He was a gift and I was the lucky one that received him.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Long time, no sleep.

Trying to function normally on little sleep for weeks and weeks at a time is about as fruitful as trying push a diesel truck up a hill with a toothpick. And I haven't slept since April. What I wouldn't give for a full 8 hours with no whining chihuahua, no creaking walls, no earthquakes, no thunderstorms, no coughing.....and no whining chihuahua. I had to mention that one twice because that has been the largest factor in my lack of nocturnal coma time. Just to prove my point, I am going to type the rest of this entry, without the backspace to fix mistakes as I type. (It took me 20 mins to type this paragraph) We'll see if I lose you all quickly, or if it turns out entertaining.

I can't in fact, remember the last ime i wrote in this thing an thats mainly because I coulsnt FIND it! Yes, I klost ,y blog. I hav since saved it as a bookmark....but thien i had a time remembering my password. why are there SO MANY passwords! PASSWORDS FOR EVERYTHING!!! I've been wanting to tell you all about he construction that continues across the street, the ghosta that invade my house and may family rhatr came into town last week! We had soooo much fun, but now I have a cold bcause, fun+visitors+lackofsleep=sick. And of course, all weekend, as I lay on the couch coughin and hacking, the whining chihuahua is doing what else? Whining. He's old. He;s cranky. He doesnt know what he wants and whats worse is that I don't know what he wants and so it esclates from a whning chihuahua to a flailing, barking chihuahua! Ugh. He's waering me out. I love him, dearly, but he's wearing me the F out.

BTW, the above picture is from when my fami;y was here and the neoghbors with the opium couch invited us for a Fedora and mustache party! Screaming success! Chihuahua didn't havw a fedora, but I made him a mustache so he wouldn't feel left out! And yes, he wears a diaper now!

Let me give you a brief breakdown of chihuahua's medical woes and why he has pawcuffs on. He is hovvering around 19 years of age. Hes' a rescue, so no one really knoes and the vet just kept adding years every time I went in becase of something he did, some behavior he exhibited or some new ailment tht had cropped up overnight. When I got the little man 4 years ago, he was infested woth fleas, dirty, had a lung infectiong, eye infection, seizures and a gagging habit.

Within 4 months of adoption, I found out he had skin cancer......on his penis. Poor little monkey. There were few options. Do nothing and let it spread to a long and painful death. Operate and have said cancerous penis removed (i can see men grabbing their crotches) or just put him down now. (I actually had people think this was the option I should have done) I opted for the operatin because I wasn't giving up on him and I had vowed to take care of him to the best of my ability. Little monkey made it through the surgery well and spent a week in the hospitail. I would go visit him and he would have all these IV's hooked up and i would hold him and he'd just cry in my arms. But he was a fghter and he healed nicely and had little complaint once we went home.

Next, his seizures got worse. They went from a few times a month to sevseral a day. Put him on meds and after a few days of stumbling around like a drunk soldier, he adjusted adn no more seizures. A month after that, I found out he had a heart condition. Luckily, he had made it through the cancer surgery, but if we had known of this before the surgery, he never would have had it and the outcome of the 3 1/2 pound whining chihuahua would have been very different.

Then he had a skin condition that makes his hair fall out.....followed by a neurological disorder whose medication stifles any functions deemed unneccesary, like hair regrowth. So the skin disorder is under control, but the medicine for his brain function will not allow his fur to regrow, so he is slowly becoming bald. On top of ALL of that, he had premanantly dislocated his left front paw and thus the "rogue paw" was born and hence, the pawcuffs that actually KEEP his paws together so he has hope to actually long as the neurologcal disorder is not in full swing disabling any and sometimes ALL paws at any given time....PHEW!

The thing I love the most are the dirty looks i get. Oh yea, I get 'em. If any of you know Manhattan Beach, CA, its like any upscale place full of wealthy soccer moms who have nothing to do all day but go to yoga class. I ran into one such mom at the vet one day when chihuahua had on the pawcuffs. She sat in the waiting room, in her workout clothes giving me great looks of disgust and just as her disdain for me and the cruelty I inflicted on this poor helpless animal got the best of her, she snarls at me "What's wrong with him?!" Luckily I was in a great mood that day and I said "What ISN'T wrong with him! He;s old! Hahah!" If it had been one of my grumpy days, this would have been my more likely response....

"Look lady, I get that you've downward dogged enough times that your brain has entirely too much blood flow. Hpwever, that doesn't make you smarter or better able to recognize a situation and therefore judge. So until you fully know the ALL the joys this little beast has endured, spend your dirty disapproving looks elsewhere!"

So there's the nutshell of this little chihuahua's life. And I continue to have nights of fragmented sleep and nights of none, but I long for the noghts I used to have where I would fall asleep and be off in that beautufl land of slumber for a solid 8! Oh, and if one more person tells me I'm ready for kids, I will hand them one very grumpy, very slobber, very whiny and very crazy chihuahua to spend a night with and they will see how he's more like birth control! I don't know i I could go through this again....I'M EXHAUSTED!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 aching head.

I have a headache today. Its at the base of my skull and all day I have been trying to figure out what is causing it. I'm not stressed at work because my boss is off hiking the Great Wall of China. Its not allergies because I have been breathing freely for the first time in months. Its not from chewing too much gum, because I have cut back since all that maltitol and sorbitol can give you the winds something fierce! All the usual suspects have been ruled out.

Then, as I am reaching for my head to touch the affected areas again, it dawns on me....headband. Not the 1980's Olivia Newton-John type, the 1960's Jackie-O, Polly the Preppy type. Those wide ones with the maddening grip, just behind the ears. Since my hair is leftover 'beach hair' from the weekend, I've had to get creative. Short of an Ed Hardy hat, that will probably be Friday if I can hang on that long, I have employed various styles of updos and ponytails, all in an attempt to make my hair appear....well, clean. It actually IS clean, it just had that light dusting of salty sea air that gives it that extra.....well, oily look. Baby powder and a headband are my friends, just not today.

Enough of that. The fun of the week is that the building across from me is about to be torn down. I live on a small alley street in Hermosa Beach, where the speed limit is 15 mph and I will sit out there on the weekends enforcing it! Oh if only I had a spike strip! The problem is that we have elderly, kids and people with pets on our street. Not to mention, you step out my door and you are ON the sidewalks. And now with this building coming down, we will endure fourteen months of waking to jackhammers, diesel trucks and other audible cues that something is first coming down and then going up. Ah, just how I wanted to spend my summer. Where is the Extreme Home Makeover team when you need them!?!

The worst part is that I may be losing my neighbors Karen and Stan.....yes, the ones with the opium couch. I love those two and they are the best to get into mischief with, as well as patrolling the alley for 'evildoers'! (There are WMD's hidden somewhere! I'm sure the Bush would back me up on this assessment!) Karen works from home and she will lose her mind if she sits through all this at her doorstep. For me, its across the street and I go off to work, but for her it is 8 feet from her front door. Sucks. Already we've had the gas company out to disconnect the gas line and they jackhammered while blocking my garage with their huge truck when I came home from the gym yesterday morning. When I was trying to figure out where to put my car, the guy acted put out and annoyed but waited till we were all of 10 feet from him to start jackhammering again. "HEY JACK@$$! WE DON'T HAVE EARPLUGS AND I ACTUALLY NEED TO HEAR IN MY PROFESSION!!!" I was grumpy yesterday.....really grumpy. I ran into Karen as I drove off to work and she asked me to keep an eye out for apartments for them and since I was grumpy, I said "Hell no! I'm not gonna help you guys leave the neighborhood!" Selfish, I know, but I did mention I was grumpy. (sniff)

Peanut had PT today (acupuncture) so I ran him across the street to drop him off. If anyone knows LA, they know Olympic Blvd is a speedway. People should have numbers on the sides of their cars because I swear they think they are in a Nascar race. Nothing like playing a little real life Frogger to keep you on your toes! Peanut loves it at the PT office. He doesn't mind being poked or bent like a pretzel because he gets treats. Endless treats. Its the equivalent to doggie heaven, the treats are plentiful and often, so he's like "Mom who?" when I leave him. Good, it gives me an hour of not having a warm chihuahua tucked under my arm EVERYWHERE I go.....even the bathroom! If I don't bring him into the bathroom, when I come out he will look at me and pee right where he is standing. He's smart. Now, if I could only get him to do the dishes or pay my taxes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Let's begin.

This is all my sister-in-law's fault.  So blame her if I put you to sleep.  (Note: Don't read this while driving)

Yes, I recently got a link from my sister-in-law to her blog page about the 6 inches of June snow they Montana. In Montana, things like that are possible.  I ended up reading all past blogs because I was interested in what she, the nieces (DD#1 and DD#2) and 'the husband' were up to.  I really enjoyed the updates of Chester and the (avalanche victims) tennis balls.  She puts a strike through the 'avalanche victims', but this blog site won't let me do that.....although they may and I just haven't figured it out yet.

Anyway, I figured its a cool way to give friends and family a snapshot of my life that will keep them up to date and hopefully entertain!  We'll, see.  I'm not eating sugar these days and I don't really drink, so you may be done with me after two posts.

So!  What have I been up to?  Well, work, chihuahua exercises, working out, eating and drinking a lot of water.  I drink a gallon a day.  Try it sometime.  Endlessly entertaining.  Not really.  More like a million trips to the bathroom.  Think of it as cardio.

My 18 year old dog, Peanut, has begun physical therapy.  He is 3 1/2 pounds and has a neurological disorder that makes his legs go stiff.  Each day I have to sit with him and stuff treats down his gullet so I can stretch his legs out.  He's a good dog and doesn't really mind as long as the treats don't run out.  Today he had to do hydrotherapy at the clinic, where they walk him on an underwater treadmill.  He wasn't real keen on it.  I think he thought he was getting a bath and I always make him just stand there, so when the floor started moving, he got confused.  They said thats normal at first.  

I have wonderful neighbors and the most entertaining are Karen and Stan.  They are surfers, have been married 5 years and have no children....yet.  They always have the grill going and a good movie or two, so on occasion, I commute the 30 feet across the street to hang out with them.  They are great company and always have good stories to share.

Last night they were unveiling the couch they had just bought on ebay to replace the 'stoner futon' they have had for years.  They live in a one bedroom beach bungalow that is cozy (small) and so the futon has been helpful to accommodate guests as a fold out.  The couch they saw online looked wide, tall and like the back pillows would hit at the top of your shoulder blades.  So it seemed like a nice replacement and still quite lounge-y. 

I turned the corner to the garage where they unwrapped it, saw the couch and could not contain my laughter.  Karen came over and grabbed my head shaking it and saying "It looked bigger in the picture!"  This poor thing, although beautiful, was maybe 12" from the ground and about as wide as a skinny twin mattress.  The back pillows are those round roll pillows, so when you sit down and lean back, you could roll right off the back!  Apparently they will now be turning their house into an opium lounge.  They also ordered a chair that they will unveil tonight.   Just looking at it wrapped up, I can already tell you its also challenged in its height from the floor!  Should make for an interesting evening!  I'll have to bring over a hookah and some drapes!  I love what I do.  Challenging, interesting and continues to force me to use my non-linear thinking.  Oh hell, who am I kidding.....I get to watch movies all day.  I have become a worker bee to one studio in particular.  I actually don't mind the work.  Its better than when I was working trailers for WWII video games where people actually had body parts blown off.  Can only take so much of that.  So now I am immersed in bubble gum pop and that's just fine with me.  Lots of pink, fireworks, and upbeat music.  You get these songs stuck in your head and find that you sing them at times you wish you didn' standing behind a gorgeous man at the grocery store checkout.  I'm single and I'm sure they think "She's got kids cuz why else would she be singing that?"  Yea, I like pop music and I'm okay with that!

It's Friday night and I would LOVE to go order a pizza and veg in front of the tv, but I am 8 weeks out from my next competition and I need to eat 'clean'. (Healthy and boring)  I don't have much planned for the weekend but laundry and the beach.  Ahhhh, the beach.  I love it there.  I could never live anywhere else.  Maybe if the waves are good, I'll drag the ginormous surfboard down the hill and try not to drown.  Maybe....otherwise its, a book, chair and a nap.  I think I'll just plan on the latter.  I'm sore from all the gym stuff I have to do.  So, yea, I'll just be taking a nap!  

Happy Friday!