Dogs

Mar. 4th, 2009 04:29 pm
urocyon: (water)
We hadn't been planning on getting a dog, but I ran across a 10-year-old Staffie who needs a new home, and am sorely tempted to try to give him one.

This isn't just because I'm a chump when it comes to animals, though I'll freely admit that I can be. There aren't nearly as many people wanting to adopt older animals. Trying to find other arrangements for 15-year-old B.B. made me even more aware of this. It also isn't just because I love dogs, and miss B.B.--who made me realize just how much I like Staffies.

Spending time with B.B. again helped me realize just how much she was helping me day to day. I was aware that there are helper dogs for auties, but had taken for granted all the ways in which B.B. taught herself to help, beyond the basic emotional support. This was probably also a good bit of the reason my Nana made sure I always had at least one dog with me as a kid, without even thinking about disability! That wasn't just for snake protection. Having spent most of my life in mutually beneficial relationships with dogs, I'm really missing not having that.

Dogs and support )

Most of this help just falls under the category of "being a good dog friend," and reciprocity. I was mainly interested in the companionship and emotional support, but have gained a better appreciation for the practical side of things. Living with B.B., I just took that for granted. I don't expect a new dog to do all the same things, but with a little encouragement and training, s/he could provide a lot of support which the cats cannot. Not too surprisingly, it's easier for me to request and accept help from an animal, without feeling ickily vulnerable, as just part of the relationship.

My main concern here is, indeed, the cats. ([livejournal.com profile] vatine is a bit of a concern, too; even though he liked spending time with B.B., he's just not used to being around dogs.) This dog is supposed to be good with cats--again, can't expect him to love cats like B.B.--but I'm not sure how the kitties would react. I was not as concerned about B.B., when we were still hoping she'd travel OK at her age, since she puts out such a strong "ooh, I adore cats" vibe that she doesn't scare most of them. I would take great care with the introduction, of course, and sure do hope that's enough. At least none of these cats has had reason to develop a serious fear of dogs, unlike a couple of rescue kitties who have lived with me in past.** I've considered trying to find a small dog, preferably as a puppy, which they might find less intimidating. (But, that might remind Feist of a fox, and bring out aggression!) Max is an adult, but Staffies aren't very big, and he's old enough to have calmed down.

Decisions, decisions! I couldn't resist sending Max's human a message--before consulting anyone else :/--and should try to get back to her today.
______
* Pretty good description of the fun of a supermarket, even for an adult
** One was terrified of a tiny 8-week-old rescue B.B., to the point of leaving. He would periodically check back in, to see if she was still there! He and his littermates had spent at least a couple of days abandoned in a neighborhood with roaming dogs, at less than six weeks old. :/
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Looking through Vol. 1 of Travell & Simons' Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction--which I haven't bought, expensive as the set is--after it turned up on Google Books when I was trying to find a reference on short arms and ill-fitting furniture, I ran across some other interesting info.

Yep, it's probably a good thing I went back on the B complex, plus the B vitamins in Magnesium-OK. I was not remembering that, besides the swinging thyroid weirdness (which I've been getting again, from prolonged stress), the repeatedly uncontrolled diabetes will interfere with absorption and conversion of a number of things. Including B vitamins for which I'm showing signs of insufficiency, or outright deficiency in a couple of cases. The disturbing oculomotor weirdness (not to mention increased brain fog and fatigue) I've been running into lately may well be coming from being low on thiamine, for example. The ear infection has proven much harder to deal with because I was already getting dizzy from my eyes not wanting to focus properly, and probaby more directly from vitamin depletion.

I was also not bearing in mind that the ethnic liver chemistry may well be changing requirements for a lot of things--besides the lingering celiac absorption issues--as a large part of the "wild natural individual variation" thing. "Enough" determined statistically--mostly from samples of rather different ethnic background--may well not be enough of some things for me at the best of times. Judging by the traditionally high intake of a number of foods full of nutrients I seem to be running low on--like leafy green veggies, beans, fish, and nuts--back home, this would not surprise me at all.

Yeah, I'd recognized the feeling of being low on B12 again, but was blaming a lot of the rest on spending months* really running myself into the ground, with neglect and overt under/malnutrition. That likely had a lot to do with it, though in a more complicated way than I had thought. No wonder I've been craving liver, which is chock full of several nutrients I seem to be low on right now. (I think I will go ahead and buy some later, and [livejournal.com profile] vatine doesn't have to eat any.) Trying to get more of a number of things from food sources has not been enough, and no wonder! I may just need to set up a pill box to help me remember the supplements--which I may well just have to keep taking regularly, judging by this experience.

The good news is, assuming I get sufficient vitamin intake to work around the absorption/conversion oddness, apparently most of the symptoms should be much better within 4-6 weeks. I was starting to get scared by some of this stuff**, and it's reassuring to find a probable explanation which is easier to do something about than the nebulous "stress".

Another helpful thing is just finding out that I've got a "good" reason to be feeling pretty damned disabled right now. ATM, I'm too dizzy and clumsy to risk a jaunt through the shower--what with all the actual falling down lately--but am getting ready to slather on more deodorant and head out grocery shopping anyway. Trying to apply the same standards to myself that I would to a stranger on the street is a bare minimal goal, but it doesn't always work! I thought I had come to terms with having a pretty variable apparent functioning level by now, but it seems not completely. Ah, the fun of less obvious (not just close to "invisible") disabilities, and the mess of internalized BS which gets bundled with them.

At least this has provided a wake up call, making it abundantly clear that I really should slow down and take better care of myself. That is what I'm going to have to do for a while, and the omnipresent other considerations can go hang. Shame I'm going through another spell in which this kind of thing is needed for me to admit to myself that I really am dealing with disabilities--but, all things considered, it's a good thing I did get a jolt! Continuing to run myself into the ground, mainly to show myself that I can, is just plain stupid.

______
* I say "months", but this has been going on for the better part of a year now. No wonder it's catching up.
** And even more hesitant to bring some of it up to the GP, having been on the wrong end of iffy conclusions being jumped to if your problem is not a common one, way too many times by now. Watching how that kept happening with my mom did not make me any keener on reporting things like oculomotor problems, and likely being given Haldol for my troubles by the well intentioned. Especially since I'm looking more autistic these days, in part from dealing with the health issues.

Edit: This is also likely to get one's symptoms taken less seriously. Largely between "looking more autistic" and associated bad experiences, I have not hobbled screeching and whining in search of pain relief. And I manage to look more functional, and get more done, than probably 95% of other people with similar pain and other symptom levels; therefore, the pain could not possibly be that bad. Not being neurotypical--and not responding in an expected manner to high levels of pain--definitely helped my mom get into the situation she did. It's scary.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I haven't been around much lately, and my first impulse is to apologize for it. But, it finally dawned on me a couple of weeks ago that this is not an example of Not Trying Hard Enough, but of overload levels affecting my language skills (and other stuff). Trying to translate thoughts into words (part of my verbosity comes from this, throwing enough words at concepts so that maybe some of them will stick), then type them out, gets harder when there are a lot of other things sapping energy. So much for the persistent idea that I don't have significant communication issues. I can't help but be reminded of Bev's incisive I Am Joe's Functioning Label. Ouch.

It took having to try very hard to avoid going into the ever-popular John Fit (family subtype of the rather violent meltdown episode, which is apparently something to behold, especially with the distinctive unlearned "twirling in midair" movement pattern) for the first time in 10+ years, before I figured out what kind of persistent overload levels I'm dealing with right now. At least I know that it's avoidable now, and what's happening in the first place. (When I tried desperately to suppress them before I knew what was causing them, I just got some self-destructive substitutes going, which were treated as a separate problem.) I'm fighting feeling bad about not going out much, which cuts out a lot of troublesome stimuli, now that I am aware (a) what's going on, and (b) that it's very temporary. I'm spending a lot more time resembling Amanda's How to make a phone call, in 70 easy steps, and kicking myself over it less.

At least it finally occurred to me to ask for some help getting some of the factors under control. I have started taking paroxetine again (forgot all about it once I got back here), since some serotonin tinkering could only help right now; having depression creep up on me now that I can let myself relax more hasn't helped. I tend to forget, or at least not take fully into account, some ongoing pain and health issues--especially when other things are distracting me from dealing with them--when they're still there in the background, adding to overload. Getting my blood sugar managed again will no doubt help a lot (especially since I still keep forgetting to eat), and I did recognize that I was staying so overloaded that calling the doctor's and making it there on my own was just not likely to happen, until and unless some of the other things were taken care of. I saw that this was not yet another example of Not Trying Hard Enough (kind of trained to be a broken record, eh?), and asked Ingvar for help with the impasse. Yep, that's still hard to do sometimes, though I have had even more evidence that pushing yourself until you cannot do so anymore is just not reasonable, from watching my Mom.

No, I'm not complaining nor feeling particularly sorry for myself, just explaining what's been going on. It's amazing what some knowledge, coping skills, and perspective can do for one's perceptions of a situation.

I'm mostly trying not to beat myself up or push myself too hard to do things that will be more overloading, just because I still tell myself that I "should". Applying compassion to one's own life isn't necessary easy, with sufficient training to the contrary, but I think I'm learning. This also makes it easier/vaguely possible to see other options, and have more energy left to pursue them. For example, I have had to admit that getting the pet care business up and running is best delayed until I can actually talk on the phone and go out on a predictable basis (duh). Instead of badgering myself about it, I've started making jewelry again in the meantime. I have also started learning Cherokee, since I feel capable of doing that right now.# Keeping things picked up out of the floor and learning a language require very different abilities. I can at least see that kicking myself over not being so good with applying the cleaning skillset ATM is not going to help me get anything accomplished, rather the reverse. I've still got skills I can put to good use.

Speaking of not beating myself up, I have found a good antidote to getting down on my physique: the Warriors of AniKituhwa dance group. I'd been impressed by still shots of some of them in some museum stuff Sid's sister thought we might be interested in, and brough back from a trip there this past fall--and by "impressed", I partially mean "falling over laughing in recognition". They've also done some rather funny tourism ads for Cherokee, NC. One of the more impressive things was recognizing that these guys are actually more striking because of the way they're built. Maybe what I really need is some red ochre and bloodroot. I'd been trying to keep Alexander McCall Smith's "traditionally built lady" point in mind (with all the associated humor), but these guys kinda smacked me in the face with it. :)
____________
# This is largely because it's very accessible as these things go, to the point that the Nation in OK is offering free online courses. It seems slightly more relevant since, by traditional reckoning, my lineage turns out to be dual Tutelo/Cherokee (lineage adopted around the time of Removal), which explained a lot of minor differences which have passed down. (Along with the fact that the common portrait of Sequoyah looks disconcertingly like my Papaw in a turban.) No, that does not make me feel somehow deeply Cherokee, but increases interest levels. Less relevant, but I just found out last night that my paternal-line Tacketts (NC-->KY) had probably been harder to pin down because they started out Tahquettes. *smacks forehead*

September 2011

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
111213 14151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 10:42 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios