Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The crazy scale...

It's dark in the living room, as I have no lights on and the day is cloudy. We are expecting rain later, but in preparation of it, the clouds have been moving in all day and it has been nothing but overcast and cool. I like this, of course, and I have the back door open for a nice cool draft, which the dog likes too, because he likes to casually wander out there and pee against a tree when the notion hits him. He does like to assert himself and his territorial rights. I don't know how the cats feel about that, because it is really their patio on which they hang out, but I don't think they begrudge the dog his occasional assertion of his rights.

After I did the dishes last night and before I got the vacuum out, I decided to take the dog to the vet. His eyes had started getting worse again, as I had been checking them several times a day and they had turned red again under the upper lids. He also needed new medication for his osteoarthritis as I noticed that his front paws were bothering him and he was kind of shaky on them at times. He had also started scratching himself and needed flea drops before that got out of hand.

About his eyes, the vet said that he hardly makes natural tears and that this dries his eyes out and makes them susceptible to bacteria, so he got an ointment against the drying out and an ointment against the bacteria and we are going to constantly have to apply these. We came home with 4 packages of goodies and a bill for the Exfactor who is financially responsible for the dog's vet bills, which is good, because I could not afford them. He is not going to be thrilled about this bill, but there is not much I can do about it.

So, that's what I did yesterday instead of vacuuming and it was hot and muggy and by the time I got home, I was tired and sweaty, and the dog was also worn out from the sheer nerves of going to the vet and panting so much. I applied the flea drops and the ointments and now we hope for the best. I want to take the best possible care of him and do the right thing as long as we are able to. He's such a sweet dog, but, of course, everybody thinks that about their dog, and you love them for their very presence in your life. I mustn't even think about him not being here anymore.

This morning I had ergo therapy and I did have a short moment when I sat at the dining table that I didn't want to go, but I made myself and I'm glad I did, because it was worth it. We were with a small group and could take some time to explain where we were in our lives and what was happening with us and I said that I no longer wanted to be a victim of my moods, but wanted to have control over them and decide for myself how far a mood would take me, or if I was going to have a certain mood at all and to what point.

The therapist asked me if I was able to control that and I said that surprisingly, yes, I was learning to to some extent. That I am not a helpless victim of my moods that just take me where they will, but that I can actively put a halt to them or bend them around in another direction.

The therapist asked me how I did that and I said that I used the "crazy scale." She asked me what that was and I explained that I checked my behavior to see if it was still within the normal range all the time, and that as long as it was, everything is okay. There are certain kinds of behavior that I have that I consider "crazy" and when I start to do these things, I know that I have to run interference quickly. So that is my crazy scale. I check my thoughts and behavior against it regularly to see if I'm still on the right path and let's be honest, everybody knows what normal is and what is crazy.

This became a new catchword throughout the session and the therapist kept talking about Irene's crazy scale and how she wants to keep that one in the vocabulary. But you know, it really works and I can test any thought I have against it and say, nah, that's crazy! Or yes, that's normal. I know more than I thought I did. I can be my own guardian and my own test driver.

Now I'm sitting here very jolly having not done a bloody thing but walked Jesker and fed him, and answered all my emails and took care of some Bookmooch business. I got my first book in the mail today and I'm pleased as punch about that and I have a special section in the bookcase for new books that I get through the mail from Bookmooch.

I have also moved my hardy fern to a kinder environment, because it needs filtered light and more water, so now it sits on the kitchen windowsill beside another plant that needs extra care, and I will remember to water it all the time. It was almost dying of thirst and too much sunlight where it was, so I had to find the right place for it and the kitchen windowsill is the best place for plants that don't do well. That need nurturing.

Now it is getting to be that time of the day again. Things are slowing down. I'm yawning, which probably means I'm in need of food and a glass of juice, but I still have a full cup of coffee sitting here. Toby keeps looking at me very expectantly, but I don't know what he wants. He has kibbles and water and he doesn't want milk, so I don't know what to do for him, unless he wants me to run the kitchen faucet for him, which he likes. I guess I'll try that... No, that's not it either. I give up.

You know, it's very difficult to get a dog awake who is hard of hearing. I try it with Jesker and I have to make all sorts of noise to try and get him to react. In the end, giving him a gentle shove is what works.

I hope you had a good day, or that you are still having it. Have a pleasant evening anyway. I am going to try and read without falling asleep.



Babaloo said...

Oh poor Jesker. Hope the eye drops help.

Jack's hearing also isn't great any more and he also likes his sleep, so sometimes you really have to shake him hard because he pretends not to notice the more subtle attempts.

Yesterday something funny happened, I walked into the utility room and there was Jack with his head shoved out through the cat flap, sniffing the evening air. All I could see was his behind. He didn't hear me walk in and even though I made all sorts of quieter noises so as not to startle him, it didn't work. Eventually he heard me rummaging through the shelves but he was startled anyway, despite all my attempts. I wish I could've recorded that scene on video!

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh my last dog Chelsea, had that dry socket thing, it was so awful for her, many drops, etc. I can totally sympathize with Jesker.
I love the scale thing, Irene, very, very indicative of where you are.
As to control, I don't think I can ever control my mood swings. Walks help....

VioletSky said...

Your scale idea sounds great - I can only do that in retrospect. A brisk walk helps me focus. I don't have a dog, dry eyes or otherwise, but I have to put drops in my eyes several times, every day, or they become very painful. But at least I can tell when I need it to minimize the sensitivity.

Babaloo: that story is hilarious!!

pinklea said...

Your crazy scale is brilliant - I'm going to have to use it! It's similar to the scale that DD was taught to use a few years ago when she was seeing a therapist over her anxiety issues: from 1 to 10, how anxious does this make you feel? It was pretty successful in calming her down, so I can see the crazy scale doing the exact same thing. Once you quantify or name something, you tame it and can control it better.

Maggie May said...

I like your crazy scale. I think we all have to do it to a certain extent to pull ourselves on the right path and we can choose how far we want to go with our moods. Distraction is a good thing.

Poor Jesker with his eye problem.
Dry eye.... I get that too so he has my sympathy. We dry out like prunes as we get older! LOL! (Well you HAVE to.)

Goodnight Irene, sleep tight X

Gail said...

You shall be leading those classes soon.

Maureen said...

All three of my cats have me trained very well... every time I go into the bathroom, they beat me to the sink and wait for me to turn the faucet on for them. Then each takes their turn lapping at the cold water. It is hilarious, really... I should buy one of those fountains for them.