Not Going Back There

One thing about dealing with anxiety is that it seems to always be lurking.  When you think you are finally back on your feet and doing good, it slips a trip wire in your path.  You are too busy enjoying life to notice then next thing you know you are down.  That quickly sometimes.

Friday night I met up with a few friends for dinner and to see a free concert downtown.  As the sun set, the crowd grew.

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Still I had fun.  I even dared to think how awesome it was to be in a crowd that size.  How at one point not long ago, this would never happen.  Felt so accomplished in dealing with the attacks and thought maybe the agoraphobic part of my life was finally over.

Course shopping the next day reminded me that it can strike back harder any time it wants.  A simple bit of clothing shopping had me in full blown panic in less than 15 minutes with maybe an eighth of the size crowd. Unfortunately I didn’t have my trusty back up to call on (klonpain) so it progressed & I ended up staying inside the rest of the day exhausted & a little depressed that I was back to this. Frustrating.  Still I knew I had been here before and survived.

So next time I went with a friend.  (one who knew about my anxiety issues)  We shopped a little, had lunch then went to another store…. where it hit again.  Even with the klonapin, it hit hard.  Still I was determined.  We changed locations and still no good.  Getting dog food was necessary though so I fought on.  But I was done. Over it.  Lost the fight, but I will win this war.

What happened at the pet store got me thinking though.  Interaction with a seriously rude know it all cashier.  As she rang up the bag of dog food (& I focused on breathing & not subcoming to the urge to dash out the door and just keep running away), she judged my purchase.  Judged as she rang it up.  Asked if my dog liked this food.  Um… well he eats it & has yet to learn english and complain or leave any comment cards, so yeah I guess so.  Then she goes on to say “You know this is the most expensive food in here? ……. and it isn’t the best.”  Who asked you b*tch? nearly escaped my lips but in the attack all I wanted to do was pay & leave so I just looked at her with I’m sure a look that said “Is this happening?”  She then gives me my receipt and a final “well I guess if he loves it”.

Bizarre.  Just really bizarre.

Back home it pissed me off the more and more I thought about it.  The former retail manager in me thought that she really needs to learn to just sell the products from the shelf.  If it isn’t any good, why are they selling it there?  and telling a customer it is the most expensive food in the store just makes the customer feel like they are being ripped off.  Just as two dog people, I have to think she feels like she is trying to help, but really wrong approach for me.  I could see it maybe if we knew each other or if I had asked for her help with something prior, but she didn’t know me.  Just burned me.

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Got me wondering though.  Honestly I hadn’t given his food much thought since we got him & the vet suggested that brand & type.  Maybe there was something to what she said.

So I went online to a couple of pug rescue groups that interact with and posed the question about what they feed their pugs.  The information I got back was overwhelming but really appreciated.  Lots of people knew a lot about their dogs’ diets and what brand foods were good or bad.  Sadly Baxter’s food, not so great.

He has had a few issues that I assumed were just part of being a pug.  Turns out he could very likely have a food allergy.  Seems they are common.

Hit me that I am currently more aware of what I am eating and trying to eat healthier, why shouldn’t his diet get a revision?

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So I did research and yesterday he started a higher quality food that is grain-free and more protein based, less fillers…. and joy of joys cheaper for me!  His treats also are getting switched up.  We will try it and see how he does.  So far he LOVES the new food.  Acts like I have served up a bowl of treats for his meal.

So evidently we all are getting healthier around here.  The parrots better watch out!  Kidding, though they are enjoying the increase in fresh fruits & veggies from my salad making.

Now if only I can get these panic attacks under control again so that I can go get the food.  Will happen.  I have done it before and will do it again.

Can’t wait to go back downtown for another show…. that pet shop, not so much!

Return

Some days just should be labeled with a Word of the Day.  Today’s would be return.  Everytime I turn around I found myself using it.

Returned from another Charlotte trek late last night and ended up starting the day later than I thought I would have.

Also one of the things that I deal with from time to time is nightmares.  The ambien cuts them down big time, but occassionally I still have one or two slip in.  Since adding Baxter to my life several years ago there are nights where I find myself being awoken from the terror to a lil black worried face staring at me & snuggling close.  Doubt this qualifies him as a service dog, but it certainly earns his keep in my eyes.  Last night as I was up late catching up on emails and missed episodes of the Daily Show, I got to return the favor.  Started out as the typical Baxter dozing off and snoring away.  After a while the snores switched into a different mode.  Then I got to see something I had never seen him do before – he stretched out & up and HOWLED.  Like a wolf at a full moon…. while STILL asleep.  The first couple of times I just watched in awe.  He’s a pug & far from wolf-like.  Guess in his mind last night he was the beast within.

Since it just didn’t seem right, I snuggled up & started calling him.  He didn’t react at first but soon slowly came around & looked at me.  Can’t help but wonder if I had returned the favor.  Thankfully he & I both got to sleep not long after.

School is starting back up Monday & I’m starting to feel nervous again about being back in classes – full time.  Summer session was great, but this is going to be 5 classes to keep up with instead of just the two I had to focus on then.  Got the book this afternoon.  All but one that is out of stock.  May have to order it online after all.  All I can say it how thankful I am for that grant!  These things are expensive.  But I am ready to go back…. I think.

still kinda feel like a giddy girl getting ready for school to start.

Also got the news that my cousin has safely returned from his latest deployment!  Proud of him, but grateful for him to be back and about to be able to enjoy sometime doing whatever he chooses without the threats around every corner.  Chatting with another friend over there makes it all too real.  I know some areas are worse than others as far as activity, but it feels good knowing he is back.  Thankfully soon the friend will be too.

I’m of the opinion that sometimes the best thing to heal the fear is to jump back in and in that line of thought, am open to dating.  No real desire to yet, but figure its going to take a while to find someone I click with again.  Hopefully its the last time I have to activate a dating profile but why not?  Well today is why not.  Those guys are crazy.  Plenty of Freaks is more like it.  Not going to get into specifics but lets just say there are two more profiles on my blocked list.  The things people will say on there!  I may be the odd one out but for me, its not first come gets the job.  I want something real.  Someone I can communicate with and respect while having a blast and dealing with life side by side.  Seems to search for the diamond in the ball pit means risking sticking my hand in half eaten candy or vomit.  Still I have found myself this far, why not just keep falling down the rabbit hole to see what is on the otherside.  Just not going to get any hopes up anytime soon.

so very college dorm cool.

Just taking each moment as it comes.  Had to fathom that at the begining of a month I had thought I had it all together and was sharing life with someone wonderful.  Now I see that it wasn’t so great & although we both have our awesome points, together it doesn’t make extreme awesomeness.  Hoping that apart we both can get back to living life happily ever after in our own ways.  Just still makes me wonder how people do it.  Is it really just being dedicated to each other no matter what or does some have it easier than others.  I know to become a we from a he & a me there has to be compromise & change, but I have to think that some combinations of compromises are easier for each than others.  Hoping so anyway.  I don’t think anyone is unworthy of love  (ok maybe those people who hurt kids or disown dogs, cats & birds… ).  There has to be someone out there for each of us.  Just not sure we always know what we should be keeping out eyes open for.

So for now, I am going to let the ambien take me away.  Close the eyes and snuggle up with Baxter.  Maybe we both can be nightmare free tonight.

Pugster Panic

The events of the past 48 hours have rocked my world.
Woke up like normal & got the birds new food & water, dressed, yelled for Baxter to get out of bed for the twentieth time… then when I got him out finally I was getting my shoes & find that he lost a toe nail on the way out of the bedroom. Not like part of the toe nail.. like the ENTIRE FRIGGIN NAIL! So of course when I let him back in he is bleeding ALL over the place. I was trying to catch him to see what the hell was going on & he was trying to go back to sleep. Lazy bum. So yes, blood in the bed, on the couch, the rugs, my cloths, the carpets, floor…. even the shower curtain! I tried to get the bleeding to stop but it wouldn’t. Compression, cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide & more compression… nothing but more blood. He acted like he felt fine but I know I wasn’t. Used some bandages I had leftover from my days of daily bandage changes & got changed quick from work clothes to jeans & a tee.
So I had to call in to work & take him to the vet. He was still bleeding there & they said there wasn’t anything else that I could have done at home. Had to leave him there for the day. Going to sedate him to suture up the opening & then trim all his other nails back deeper than normal. My lil buddy is going to be on antibiotics for a little bit but should be ok. Still no clue why it just popped off that way. She said she hadn’t see one do that before. Usually they break & dangle but this was the full nail.
Always good to clean up a house that looks like a crime scene, change clothes 3 times, run up a $200 bill & pop a klonapin all before going into work 2 hours late….
While at work I thought I would be smart & move the money I needed to pay the vet bill from savings to the credit card, then use the card. Make a payment & pay the bill with the same cash. Then I went to check to make sure I had the card with me….to find it EXPIRED in JANUARY! See how much I use that thing? so I tossed it back under the desk where my bag was and moved more money from savings to checking. Dang it!
FINALLY I got the call he was ready. FINALLY I got finished up with work. FINALLY I got across town to my lil hurt baby… reached in the purse to get the debit card & discovered no wallet. Searched the bag & the car to no avail. Yup back UNDER my desk it had missed going into the bag. So back across town through traffic. Thankfully I have an alarm code & key to the office because by then everyone had cleared out for the weekend.
So bill paid. Great report that he had been a perfect lil patient and was quite hesitant to want to wake from his afternoon nap to go. He had made a few more fans through the day. Poor guy looked so pitiful all bandaged up. Got the instructions for his pain killer/anti-inflammatory and antibiotics, scheduled the follow up appointment for Monday to have the bandage removed and headed on home to snuggle my poor buddy.
Well that was MY plan. Evidently he had other ones. Like just forgetting the whole healing thing. Did I mention that literally within 5 minutes of being home? Yes the expensive professional bandage was OFF. Little buggar decided Monday was far too far away to wait.
Back to my stash. Another bandage & tried to keep him calm. Kennel time. Lights out & after seeing he was ok, went to dinner with a friend.
Returned to find another bandage OFF. So back to the stash & rewrapping the paw. Gave him the medication as directed. Then on to bed. Snuggle time it was.
Nervously I didn’t even go for the Ambien. Besides after the day, I was exhausted.
Around 4:30 AM I nearly got scared to death. Woke up because it was WaaY too quite. No normal snoring. He was laying so still beside me I couldn’t feel him breathing. Felt him & couldn’t feel anything breath pulse nothing. Tears in my eyes I panicked thinking he had a reaction to the medication. Jumped up & cried out his name wiggling his head in my hands hoping to hear the snore I loved so much. The eyes opened. He had the biggest WHAT THE FUCK look on his face! I think if he could have moved to the couch for the night he would have! Guess the anti-inflammatory stuff helps his breathing & thus less snoring? Freaked me out but he seemed less than thrilled. It is really hard to sleep without that sound now! So I laid there for a while just feeling grateful for him in my life. Also thankful that the bandage was still on even if it had shimmied down a bit down the leg.
Plans were to head to my parents. The weekends ahead are packed with plans & it could be well into May before I have a weekend wide open.
With Baxter doped up, we weren’t quite sure how he would do with the other dogs. Would he stay calm? Then I realized, I wasn’t staying calm, why not go? I didn’t want to miss seeing the family. So we loaded up & rebandaged up… yes AGAIN. Halfway there it was already off again. Long road.
I’m beyond sick of trying to figure out how to keep it covered & clean. Even my sister with all her medical training had trouble in getting one to stay on. Although hers did stay on longest, several hours.
So here we are, at my sisters, on her laptop… wondering what fun tomorrow will bring. Crazy how quickly things change.
Whatever tomorrow has in store, come what may. For now I just look forward to another meal where we all sit around the table together & another night with a snuggled up pug by my side. Snore or no snore.