Better

Exciting news on the puppy front! Kyrie loves her. They play in the living room. There’s something rewarding and adorable about my 45lb German Shepherd/Shar Pei/Chow mix trying to figure out how to play with a 2lb 3oz puppy that yips and squeals at every play bow. Kira plays with Frankie in the backyard, too. Kira, being a 40lb dog herself, is also crazy adorable when playing with Frankie. They play tag. Kira lets Frankie jump all over her. It’s so cute!

I’ve been worried about Kyrie, because she, like me, was in mourning of Keagan. Frankie really seems to have lifted her spirits, though. Everyone is getting something of a workout with Frankie around. She plays with Kyrie and Kira, she TRIES to play with Bdo and he cleverly evades her at every turn… and the cat is getting a lot of exercise loathing her existence. Lol.

Being happy has made me reflect on how much better I’m feeling on the whole. July 2017 Me wouldn’t believe that I was going to feel this okay, even if I went back and told her. She also wouldn’t believe that I actually whacked all my hair off. But the truth is, even with how wretched of a year I’ve had, I AM BETTER.

  • I don’t cry everyday for no reason
    • Or even for a reason like I just feel sad… cuz I don’t feel sad
  • I don’t feel like life is totally pointless
    • Only KIND OF pointless, in a fun way
  • I don’t obsess about my weight anymore
    • Am I fat? Yeah, but my wardrobe is hella cute
    • Also I’m not binge eating
      • Although sometimes I overdo on Chipotle…
        • I love Chipotle
    • But I’m also not dieting
    • I just feel good about me
  • I don’t dread social interaction
    • I’m even branching out into new social interactions
      • Like Pathfinder up at Robot Boy’s place
    • And I’m kinda half-dating someone now
    • And I can’t wait to take Frankie places after she gets all her shots
  • My mess bothers me
    • Like, if I don’t clean the house this weekend, I’m gonna lose my shit, cuz I deserve to come home to clean and organized
    • I also need to clean both cars
    • And mow the lawns
    • And probably rearrange the living room better
  • I have the desire to do things
    • I want to clean the house
    • I want to finish cleaning out the basement
    • I want to clean out the crawl space
    • I want to zero-scape the backyard
    • I want to repaint the inside of the house
    • I want to redo my bathroom
    • I want to get my banisters redone
    • I want to organize all my art stuff
    • I want to read more
    • I want to get back into illustration
    • I have art projects I want do
    • I want to train Frankie to be SUCH A GOOD GIRL
    • I want to retrain Kira
    • I want to go to the dog park with them
    • I want to display my Halloween town and Monster High dolls
    • I want to organize my books
    • I want to crochet some stuff for winter
    • I have so many wants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It makes me think about how far I’ve come, because I’d lost so much.

It’s uncanny to think that I could have been so poorly off and no one knew. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t trust them with my feelings. I didn’t want to bring anyone down. I didn’t want to sound whiny and emo. I didn’t want to burden anyone. And mostly I just didn’t trust them.

I’ve had problems with interpersonal relationships for… probably as long as I can remember having interpersonal relationships. I didn’t have friends going into middle school so I hooked up with people I saw as nerds, and then abruptly dropped them when I hit high school because they were nerds. To get friends in high school I essentially fabricated my whole personality to match what the kids I wanted to associate with were into. I didn’t bring much of myself into that. In college I felt incredibly lost because everyone was gone to other schools or on with their lives. When my best friend left to law school I had a complete freak out trying to figure out what I’d do without him. Even after college, I settled into a version of myself that I had to build from the scraps of who I’d been and who I lied about being. It’s only recently I’ve kind of let those things go and just EXISTED as a person.

I’m not saying I found myself, because that sounds new age-y and weird. I’m just saying that for once I’m not trying to be anyone. I’m not trying to be edgy. I’m not trying to fit in. I’m not trying to live up to some standard I think you have that I can’t even verify exists. I’m just living. I’m doing stuff. I’m trying to enjoy life.

It’s nice.

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New Beginnings

I will never stop grieving the loss of my Keagan. Let me make that perfectly clear. I’m not leaving him behind. I’m not forgetting him. I could never replace him. No one could ever mean more to me than he did. To that end, I wear a picture of us on a silver necklace every single day, and intend to wear it every single day, forever.

That being said, one must live. So, I’ve began to do a number of rash and spontaneous things. For once this is not binge eating or drinking too much… instead I started by whacking off my hair.

37067844_2117377648534694_1466114823388397568_o37130307_2117774268495032_359393856782860288_o

My hair dresser, quite correctly, was terrified this would be a bad idea. I’d gone quite short once before and hated it, but this time… I think I have it on lock this time. I just needed change. I needed to get rid of the baggage I was metaphorically carrying around, and nothing quite feels like lifting that, than whacking off a good 7 inches of hair.

37650652_2124475984491527_7616077764386357248_o I didn’t stop there, though. My next feat was to SPIKE that do up into a mohawk, much to the dismay of my mother. I loved it. I relished how much she hated it, but smiled anyway, in that way she does when she doesn’t like what I’m doing but supports my choice to do so. I enjoyed the feeling of doing something I’d yearned for since I was was in high school, but didn’t have the courage to do. I liked feeling edgy, even though I’m nearly 30. I liked the stares, in particular a little girl with tight, kinky hair piled high on her head. She stared at me like something she couldn’t even fathom existing, and I bent down to tell her I liked her hair. I wallowed in my mixture of self-consciousness and pride in my appearance. It was a wonderful day, that was only to get better.

dl5zpyw5k3jeb.cloudfront.net On Thursday, I’d gotten an email about a puppy. I’d setup an alert email for shelter corgis within 50 miles on PetFinder. I didn’t expect to find one, or that if I did that I could even afford to adopt it, but I liked the emails full of furry faces with big ears just the same. But, Friday morning I was sent this sad little face. I can’t say why, but I fell in love. That face made me want to cry and all I wanted was to hold this puppy.

The shelter, Moms and Mutts, is specifically a shelter for pregnant and nursing strays, as they’re often put down in other shelters because a litter of puppies takes up a lot of room. I had arranged to head over and just LOOK at this little ball of joy with Mom after work, but i37620963_2124904891115303_3004902537829548032_nt turns out this isn’t really that kind of shelter. Instead, I was directed to fill out an adoption application. They wouldn’t tell me how much the adoption would be, but I filled it out anyways. I expected to be rejected, because I have so many animals already, and I would be kenneling the puppy while I went to work. At least, I thought, I could say that I tried.

Obviously, I got approved.

I was waiting for a phone call from the shelter, letting me know if I got approved, and Saturday afternoon after Mom and I went to see Incredibles 2, I was idly checking my email. There it was… an email saying I sounded like a great home for a puppy. The puppy I’d applied for would be at an adoption event on Saturday from 11-5 at the nearby mall. It was 3pm. I thought very hard about not going, because it was already so late in the day. At the end of it, I wanted to know the pup went to a good home and wasn’t still sitting there, though. So, I rang up Mom to see if she wanted to go look at puppies with me, just to see if my puppy was there. She wasn’t excited but she came. I figured she’d take me to dinner as a consolation prize after we discovered my puppy adopted.

37583688_2124904851115307_6138505724893855744_nImagine my surprise when Mom and I arrived and there she was. The only one of her litter left. I asked about the price… It was a lot. A very lot. I was disheartened. I am used to the Dumb Friends League’s prices, and usually I don’t get actual puppies. That was when something unexpected happened. My mother asked if that was the one I wanted.

My mother is against us each having five animals. Four dogs and a cat is a lot, and while the passing of Keagan broke her heart as much as mine, for she’d bought him for me to take care of me, and he’d done a very good job of that, she was glad to see we were at least going down in numbers a little. So, it was much to my surprise when she had me go ask what the price included, and when I reported back it included the first round of shots, puppy deworming, microchipping, a month of pet insurance, and her spay. Mom ran the numbers in her head, determined that was an acceptable price for all that, and if I wanted the puppy… she’d put it on her Amazon card and rack up some points.

I cried. Like a lot. She got mad at me for crying about it, because it made her also cry. I was just so grateful, and then she took me to Petco and helped me buy my new little bundle of joy some sweaters, puppy pads, a collar, etc. I have a really good Mom.

“I would do anything to make you happy.”
-My mom on why she helped me get a puppy

So that’s what I’ve been up to.

I named the puppy Frankie. As the smallest in her litter, she’s a whole 2 lbs 3 oz, and in great health. I took her to the vet and they looked her over for me, and decided to de-worm her again, just in case, but didn’t charge me for the exam. She came out of a corgi, but we don’t know what the father was. I’m guessing it may have been a chihuahua, but it’s hard to say. Her whole litter all look different. One looks like a teddy bear. It’s crazy. So we’ll see what she grows up into.

I was worried the dogs wouldn’t like her, especially Kira since she is oh so possessive… but much to my surprise, Kyrie and Kira LOVE her. They play with her in the house and in the yard, and they’re not that put off by her except that she’s very loud when she wants to be. It’s pretty cute since they’re both 45-ish lb dogs and she’s so very small. I was surprised Bdo isn’t into the puppy… he seems to feel like she’s infringing on his territory of being the baby. I’ve gone to great lengths to try and keep almost everything the same as it was, but he is still offended. She tries to play-bow him and he blatantly just walks away from her. It’s sad, but funny. Kato… I was really hoping Kato would like Frankie, but she’s hissed at her a couple times and I caught her swatting at her once. I guess it makes sense, since the ONLY dog Kato liked was Keagan, but it’s still kind of sad. I thought they could be buddies.

The first couple of nights were bad. She’s 11 weeks old and it shows… she cries at night, she didn’t like sleeping in the kennel, and she has to potty at night… but I went and bought a baby toy that makes a heart beat sound… and she’s sleeping better than ever now. She still has to pee at 1am, but getting up once is better than 6 or 7 times.


Also… I’m seeing a dude.

We’re not serious or anything, but he’s super nice. His name is Chris, he’s 32, he used to own a game shop that went under, and he’s got 2 kids, 10 and 5. We talk about books and music a lot. He took me to tacos. I took him to Pathfinder and burrito. Yesterday we split the bill on some Korean BBQ.

I haven’t met his kids, yet. He asked if I wanted to and I told him no. It’s too soon. This could all crumble into little pieces at any second. He understood that, but he goes out of his way to text me on the daily if for nothing else than to say hi. I like him, but I want to go slow. He asked if he could kiss me when he dropped me at home yesterday, and I told him not yet. He was not offended.

I like that he’s patient with me. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not putting my metaphorical eggs in that basket, but it IS nice to have someone I look forward to hearing from… and he was excited about baby Frankie… so… hard to complain.


Things are still hard. The house is still a total wreck. I’m still not exercising. I still miss Keagan. I’m still not up on the housework.

Still, things are better. I’m not HAPPY, and I’m not even quite back to where I was before Keagan passed away, but I’m working on it. I’m on the road to it.

Time Heals, But Leaves Scars

Well, it’s been a terrible year so far.

Closed the year with less than half an office. Mom got pneumonia and ended up in the hospital. Keagan died. Work sucks. Still have no idea what to do with my life. Turning 30 in 116 days.

It’s true what they say, that time heals all wounds, but they don’t tell you that it leaves scars. You never forget how much hurt or how bad it felt, and if you’re anything like me, you live in terror of feeling it again.

Without Keagan around, I’ve been able to spread my love around more. By that I mean that I’m paying more attention to the remaining animals, not that I’ve taken up banging strangers. For example, I finally got Bdo on some itch medication, so he’s more comfortable than ever now. He’s always had skin allergies, but after Keagan’s passing it became important to me to get the problem handled, instead of just hobbling along as we have for the past seven years. Also, Kira doesn’t annoy me as much, even though she’s still as needy as ever. I have the time to give her now, I guess. I can see now that I was giving most of my time to Keagan, because he was my favorite… so she’s happier, too. I think that’s important.

Kyrie is still as aloof as she’s always been, but now I worry. She’s 14 and a larger breed than Keagan… she’s going to be my next loss, but when will that come? Not soon, I hope… three more years with her would be great. She’s slower than she used to be. She sleeps a lot. I worry she’s depressed, and maybe she is, too. Keagan was with her for 13 years. That’s a long time to have someone around. I keep trying to give her attention and get her to play, but she’s just not 100% interested. Still hurting, I guess. She kept thinking one day I’d come home and bring Keagan with me. She looked for him for over a week… and the day she didn’t look anymore was heartbreaking. She’s doing better than that day, but she still seems… sad. I guess that’s to be expected.

I’ve also taken to obsessively worrying about my mother. She still isn’t right. Next week we’re going to a pulmonary specialist to see if she has asthma or COPD. She’s not happy about it, and the doctor really wants us BOTH to get tested for sleep apnea, but it is what it is. I need her to be better… I didn’t know what I was going to do without her, and I don’t want to meditate on that again for a long while.

Seems the universe has decided that year 29 will be the worst year ever… it kind of has been. I’m emotionally more stable, but in general everything is terrible. If I wasn’t medicated, I might be dead now… I don’t even know how I got through having to put Keagan down myself. I couldn’t have done that before. I’d have rather died myself. I guess that’s a testament to the drugs, but I’m getting really tired of things just making me stronger instead of killing me, tbh.

I was getting frustrated at my depression over Keagan in the last entry… but I do think that it’s better to know why you’re depressed than to just be depressed for seemingly no reason. I knew what to be mad at, and I knew what caused me pain…. it didn’t make the pain better, but at least when people asked what was wrong I could tell them.

I’m still sad. A lot. I’m sleeping more than usual. My eating habits are whacked out again… but I guess it’s getting better. I ordered a necklace with a good picture of me and Keagan in it…. that helped. I still need to find a good one to hang in the house, but until my internet gets fixed tomorrow I’ve been unable to flip through all my pictures to find a good one.

Things are bad. I hate everything. But even with all the animosity for living that I have, and all the tears I’ve shed in the past 6 months… I’m still not as sad as I used to be… and all that tells me is that I was really fucking sad…

Pieces of Keagan

Yesterday I picked up Keagan’s ashes from the vet. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t incredibly hard, emotional, and oh so final. It’s not that I was really holding out hope that he’d magically come back, but getting his ashes back from the vet just cemented that in my mind. There was no hope left, not even the highly unlikely magical kind. He’s gone and he’s never coming back.

It’s been a hard week and a half since I lost my best friend, soul mate, and dog. I cry a lot. I wake up in the middle of the night, reach out for him, and he’s not there. I look for him in the morning. I still count to four when I let the dogs out. It’s been a process trying to adapt. Today was especially hard for me, because with his ashes the vet gave me his paw print, but I had to bake it to set the print. I don’t know why, but I found that incredibly sad. I bawled. I couldn’t deal. I called my mom and told her to just talk to me, and like the good mother she is, she did. I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing him… ever.

The animals miss him too. Kyrie continues to look for him every time I come home. It’s like she’s aware he went away, but he’ll obviously be back. It’s heartbreaking to watch her look behind me to check for him every single time I come home. Kira has decided to emulate Keagan to the best of her abilities. It makes sense, seeing as Keagan was the favorite. She’s always been so jealous, and with him gone she’s attempted to do all the things he and I would do together. At first, I was resentful of that, but I’ve come to realize that even if I dislike her motives, her heart is in the right place. She just wants to make me happy, so she’s doing what Keagan used to do to make me happy. it’s hard to stay angry at that. As for Bdo, I can’t tell if he’s entirely sure of what’s wrong, but he knows something is wrong. Since Keagan’s passing he’s started to get hives. I think it’s a physical manifestation of stress. he’s always been allergic to stuff, but never so badly. I took him to the vet and he’s managed to get a skin infection, so he’s on stuff for that as well as the itching, now. I think Kato took it the hardest. She tries to find him at night, and when she can’t she cries… and then I wake up and cry. It’s been hard on the whole family.

Mom has been supportive but also sad. He was part of her life, too, after all. I took his ashes and put them in the glass display case with Joie’s. It’s fitting since they used to share a kennel. It made mom cry to think of it. Makes me cry, too.

It’s been so hard, but I know I’m going to get through it. You don’t get over someone dying, but you have to move on… so… I just keep taking it a day at a time. Other people don’t understand what it’s like, because they see dogs as dogs, but Keagan was so much more than a dog. That’s what they don’t get.

Secret Vacation

So. I got some vacation time this week.

I was talking to Bosslady about how I was going to lose my vacation this year. You see, at my place of work if you don’t USE the vacation, you LOSE it, because the company doesn’t pay it out. So, I was telling Bosslady how I lost my vacation and she was like NO YOU DID NOT!!! TAKE THE VACATION! NOW!

So, I was on vacation this week. I didn’t tell anyone, because… they might wanna do stuff… and I had things I wanted to get done.

I cleaned mom’s house Monday. I didn’t CLEAN IT clean it, but I vacuumed like four times for dog hair, cleaned the bathrooms, and mowed the lawn.
Tuesday I had problems doing things… Kinda wore myself out Monday, I guess. Still, I managed to mow my front and backyard.
Wednesday I went to Lowes for some garden stuff, including some Lois flowers. They’re called Lantana, and my grandma, Lois, grew them in giant bushes in Florida.

Wednesday evening I called to be sure Mothership had left work and she was NOT good. She was dizzy and nauseous, so I went and got her from work. When we got home she threw up… and I panicked. It was too much like that day I had to take her to Urgent Care… I don’t know if I can survive her in the hospital again. Fortunately, I set her up in bed and she woke up much better. That meant that I had to take her back to work Thursday, though.

So this morning I took her to work. It was a pleasant enough ride. Afterward, since I had a blood pressure check on that side of town at 1030 anyways, I went to Village Inn for breakfast. It wasn’t my best idea to eat before a blood pressure check. The omelet upset my stomach, which I think raised my blood pressure some; also: salt content. So I went in for the check and it was 138/90. That’s good, but it’s not quite where they wanted it to be. As a result, my doctor increased my Procardia. Doubled it, actually.

Here is the baffling thing about this experience.

My shrink reduced my Effexor because she thought it was raising my blood pressure. Last week, after I saw Joe and had better blood pressure, I got her to agree to increase it again and let me keep the Wellbutrin. That was major. Because it’s not as low as they wanted it, my Effexor might be in danger again.

I can’t go back to how I was before the Effexor. I woke every morning wishing I hadn’t. It’s no way to live. While I’m not 100% great right now, I’m better. That little bit of better is so important to me. I’ll do anything to keep the Effexor. That’s an important determination to make, because the Procardia is causing some tiredness and joint pain… and this flushing thing where I’m just super hecking hot a lot of the time. Procardia is not pleasant when you tend to get every single side effect known to occur… but I can’t go back. I need the Effexor because I like wanting to live.

Admittedly, the tiredness and joint pain is hindering my former burst of energy that I got with the Effexor, but I’m still better on the Effexor than off of it.

We’ll just have to see how this plays out. Tomorrow I wanna do more yard work, and I’m getting the dogs groomed. It would be great to have a nice backyard to read in…

Steps Backwards

So.
I have high blood pressure.

My mom has high blood pressure and I’m incredibly fat and inactive… so, it’s not like this is unexpected or anything. What was unexpected is how stressful high blood pressure can be.

Let’s bullet this real quick.

  • So, I saw a shrink. She put me on Effexor. She requested some blood work.
  • My primary saw the blood work and wanted to talk about it, as well as just see me for the first time, since I finally picked a Kaiser doc.
    • My blood pressure at that appointment was high. She asked me to come back in like a month to recheck that it’s okay, because I thought it might be White-coat Hypertension. I don’t like doctors.
  • Before that recheck I saw my shrink again, just to see how I’m doing. I was doing great. Felt lots better. Started exercising. Woke up feeling pretty good on the daily. Wanted to increase just a little for weird depressive episodes.
    • Shrink had a nurse take my blood pressure since she saw it was high at my last doc visit, and Effexor CAN increase blood pressure.
    • My blood pressure was hella high. Like, to the point the nurse asked if I was having chest pain.
    • She got a higher ranking nurse to take it to confirm.
    • Blood pressure spooked my shrink, so she cut back the Effexor and gave me Wellbutrin.
  • Went to my blood pressure check.
    • Blood pressure was crazy high.
    • Nurse got panicky look and went to get higher ranking nurse to confirm again.
  • Doc scheduled me for an EKG and started me on Procardia.
  • Go to EKG. Take mom for moral support.
  • LPN is nutzo.
    • Can’t find the EKG order.
    • Tells me I don’t need to be there cuz it’s prolly White-coat Hypertension.
    • Brings me a 10XL gown to put on.
      • I’m fat, but I’m not THAT fat.
      • #bedsheet
    • EKG is fine. No damage to heart.
  • Take Procardia, Wellbutrin, and reduced dose of Effexor.
    • Feel bad.
    • Hard time waking up.
    • Very tired.
  • Get tired at work, so bosslady sends me to Rite Aid to check my BP.
    • BP is 183/123 according to machine.
    • Panic.
  • Mom takes me to Kaiser to have a nurse check my BP in case Imma have heart attack.
    • Nurse is cute guy named Joe.
    • BP is fine. 130-something / 80-something.
    • Advised that home devices and public machines are inaccurate.
      • For best results, sit for at least 5 minutes before taking BP.
  • Email Shrink about tiredness after mental breakdown over frittata.
    • It’s Effexor withdrawal.
    • Prescribes smaller pills.
      • Week 1: 1.5 pills
      • Week 2: 1 pill
      • Week 3: 0.5 pill
      • Week 4: Stop Effexor
    • Should help withdrawal.
    • Wait.
      • We’re stopping Effexor?
        • Not what I thought was happening.
      • Are we going to increase the Wellbutrin?
      • What if the Wellbutrin doesn’t work?
      • Panic.
      • Sadness.

And that brings us to today.

I picked up the pills… so I was up to 75mg… She knocked me down to half a pill (37.5mg) and added half a pill of Wellbutrin. So then she called in 37.5mg pills of Effexor, and I’m to take 1.5 of them this week to combat tiredness and withdrawal. Then decrease till I’m off Effexor.

That’s fine, I guess… but I feel like we’re moving backwards. I was doing great on Effexor. I’m on blood pressure meds now. The only up I’m seeing with Wellbutrin so far is that I don’t have the urge to smoke, even though I’ve been stressed out and sad. Great! But I’m supposed to be on vacation next week and I was really hoping to feel motivated to live so I can get some shit I wanna do, done. Right now I just want to sleep and cry. I’ve wanted to sleep and cry for years and I was finally kind of out of it, and now… we’re back here…

So I emailed my shrink… and asked when we’ll be increasing the Wellbutrin… because maybe it’ll work. It’s fine, if it works, but I am not currently fine. I had a freak out yesterday over cutting tomatoes… It was daunting, TO THE POINT OF TEARS, to cut tomatoes to put in a cake pan with eggs. That’s not better. That’s some shit I’d do before I started Effexor.

I feel very discouraged… I dunno what to do other than try to trust my shrink, but I’m not… great… at trusting mental health professionals…

In better news, I’ve lost some weight. Not a noticeable amount of weight, but 5lbs in 8 days. So, that’s good. I’m trying to keep up on exercising. Mom and I have been walking the dogs around the block a few times every night… we can’t go far cuz she’s still on oxygen at home, and all of us are out of shape, dogs included, but we’re doing SOMETHING. We didn’t go last night cuz of the freak out and general fatigue, but I did force myself to get on my stationary bike. I made it 12 minutes before my legs felt like they were going to explode… It’s not impressive, but it’s not bad for my first time in months.

I just… want to get better… Why is getting better so hard?

If I feel better, I can take better care of myself.
Not sad = can exercise & less binge eating.
Can exercise = will exercise. Less binging = less caloric intake.
Exercise + less calories = weight loss.
Weight loss = better heart health & better mood.
Repeat as needed.

But… that’s just not where I’m at right now.