Recurring Thought

Don’t expect things to slow down.

That has been the, often too late, response to my whiny, immature, impatient self-talk that occurs when life feels like too much. Which is almost all the time. Especially since all I’m focusing on is – when is ________ going to end?  when is ______ going to get easier?

Well, I’m pretty sure things will get easier and slow down when I choose to see the good along with the bad and when I let myself find peace in the struggle. I can’t let my happiness depend on things going my way. I have to take control.

Bartley is really sick again. We had a rough couple of days with him, wondering if he would be okay. The steriods helped, but soon enough, the skin infection that had been a secondary thing, became the primary concern. He has lost a lot of fur and has pustules and lesions. He’s more lethargic again. However, we had a promising visit to the dermatologist today, and I am hopeful that although it might be a slow journey, we’ll start to see some progress in the next few days.

This is what I’m talking about: I expected a rejeuvenating summer and life had other things in store for me. I’ve spent a lot of time whining about it in my mind, wondering if the school year is going to be just as overwhelming as the last three years, and I just can’t do that anymore.

I need to take control of my life and make it a life I want for myself, not just something I complain about.

Last week was a 19-point week. Not bad…. Considering:

  • Possible points = 35
  • Goal = 25
  • Best yet = 11

So last week was a record! 😀 As I go into this week, I have a new rule – no less than 2 points per day. I’m going to have to increase my expectations if I ever want to explore new points!

Today is a 4-point day. Also, I’ve made slow but steady progress that I feel good about on the bookshelf. I threw out so much stuff, have give-away items in my car, and learned that my next step is to do the same with the bookshelf in the living room.

Until next time. 😉


This Guy

… is doing better.

It might be temporary, or it might give him a few more years,

but I feel so light.

I know now more than ever that I have to appreciate every day with him, because he’s older than I let myself realize, and he has a condition that can be treated, but isn’t going away.

This whole experience has been a great lesson in acting like a “grown-up” even though I don’t feel like one.  The internist who was treating Bartley really wanted him to see a neurologist because his neurological issues were advancing. (Remember, Bartley is a distemper surviver, and he’s one of very few dogs who was treated for distemper the last time it was advancing. The treatment was hugely successful.)

I was forced to decide which was more important: finding out exactly what was wrong by taking Bartley to more doctors after 11 visits, and three hospitalizations – one of which was overnight – or ask the vet to treat him as though we were sure it was encephalitis, since he was showing many of the signs, and given his distemper background, it was likely. I chose the second one. The vet was hesitant because the only way to treat encephalitis is steroids, but since I’m not interested in putting him through more stressful vet visits, and testing or procedures, she agreed it was a good next step.

And he’s feeling better. Like I said, it might be temporary, but hopefully it will be more long-term. He feels better, and I feel so light.

(Also, it’s only 12:18 PM, and it’s already a 3-point day 🙂 )

Slipping Away

Summer is slipping away. To people who don’t teach, you’re probably thinking, “Oh don’t you complain about summer ending! At least you get a summer break – that’s a long lost memory to me.”

Yes, one of the only (non-emotional) perks to my job is the summer break. But no matter how hard I tried to explain to you just how essential the time off is, I don’t think you would understand. Please just try to believe me.

I can’t believe two weeks from today will be the night before I go back to work. Did I waste my break? No. But I did spend too much of it working (the month of June I did curriculum writing for the district), and too much of it deprived of me-time (Hungary) and to much of it worrying about my poor, perfect, sweet, sick dog. If given the chance to change the way I spent my summer break, would I? No. (Well, except for Bartley being sick. Of course I would change that.) It’s just unfortunate that these experiences ended up being so draining, and with no break in between.

So I want to play hard and work hard these next two weeks. There are things for school that, if left undone, I will torment myself over for the rest of the school year. But the opposite is true as well: Today I found myself making audible sighing noises by the pool, as I felt the breeze and sun on my skin, and couldn’t believe I’ve deprived myself of that amazing, rejuevenating, liberating feeling for so long.

I’ve been watching Bartley 24/7, practically, ever since we got back. In 10 days, he’s had 8 visits to 3 different veterinary clinics. Throughout it all, his health hasn’t improved, and in fact, it even worsened for a few days. We still don’t even have a diagnosis, although we have some best guesses. I think we’re finally reaching a turning point now that we decided to transfer him to an internist. The poor guy.  I was so proud of myself yesterday when I decided to let go of the veterinarian I’ve trusted for so long because I knew in my heart and mind that she wasn’t helping Bartley anymore.

Bartley is a fighter, and we will get through this, especially now that we have an expert fighting for him as well. He has already survived heart worms and distemper, not to mention the fact that he was rescued from a kill shelter the day he was to be euthanized, and then  was in foster care for a year and a half. The first four times I visited him, he wouldn’t let me pick him up. But he never barked at me – he walked right up to me and sniffed me, and his foster mom was astounded.

During the fifth visit to his foster home, I was walking him around the block, and a loud crash came from a construction site. Bartley tried to run away, and I instinctively scooped him up, and he collapsed into me. From that point on, he knew I was safety, I was his home.

So while working hard and playing hard and collecting points are goals of mine, at the moment, helping him get better is really all that’s on my mind.

A bit much, I know...

A bit much, I know…

Welcome Back, Adulthood…

I’m sorry, but I did not miss you (adulthood) while I was gone.

Reality hit me like a slap in the face no less that 12 hours after I landed. Bartley is sick – really sick. He couldn’t even wag his tail when he saw me for the first time. It’s been a week since we went to the vet the first time and we’ve ruled out a lot of things including pneumonia, cancer, problems with organ function, and viruses, but his fever just keeps getting worse. Tomorrow we go in for more testing.

Last night, I let panic get the best of me – surprise surprise. I had all kinds of horrible thoughts about him dying. It’s really hard to stay calm when his fever goes up. Unfortunately, it usually happens at night, which just makes everything more stressful. Bartley is a really nervous dog. He does not handle new people, let alone a new hospital, easily. He almost always has to be muzzled and ends up peeing/pooping on himself. It’s awful enough when this happens at a regular check-up, but right now, when he’s already such a sick dog? I’m so worried about him. I keep checking his temperature every couple of hours, and holding my breath.

I had big plans to work on my points this week, and soak up the summer sun. Ha! That is so not my priority right now. I’ve gotta get this guy better, and remember that I am an adult who is capable of making the right decisions… right? Right. Of course I will utilize my resources: veterinarians, husband, friends, parents, etc.

Please send us positive thoughts.