No Matter How Close We Are…

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.” ―Dean Koontz

Utterly Useless

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Hello everyone! I’m sorry that I’ve been completely and utterly useless for the last few days, which explains my lack of posts. I got slammed by allergies and haven’t really been able to function a whole lot. The shift into Spring is difficult for those of us with allergies, especially if you live on the East Coast and you’re experiencing the incredibly odd shift each day. The nights are either cold or mild, the days are mild, warm, sometimes way too hot, and if the pollen count is high, forget it. There is nothing consistent about this, it’s all incredibly random. This time around, my allergies are seemingly pet related. I’m not giving cat and kitten to someone else, so I just have to suck it up. Clawing at my face and eyes all day isn’t exactly a clear picture of who I am, so I think it’s best to handle it and get on with my life. I’m fine, until the Benadryl wears off. Basically that means I’m fine, so long as I am knocked out on Benadryl and resting, to some extent. My eye drops haven’t been very helpful either, which makes me grouchy. In my attempt to “make it better”, I obsessively laundered every single thing either of them has touched or slept on that could affect me, because naturally they both insist on fussing over my things and only sleeping on their own when convenient. I discovered one additional item this morning. If I contemplate it for too long, I will end up in an allergists’ office demanding allergy shots. Alas, it can take years for those to work, if they work at all.

If it hasn’t been killer allergies, it’s been other things keeping my “under the weather”, for lack of a better expression. I simply do not feel right these days. My Fibromyalgia has been so bad that I feel bruised, achy, and sore from the top of my spine down to my calves. The sparring I did Sunday night resulted in a bruised right hand from a knuckle on knuckle hit. Properly job is apparently equals out to “more pain”. Unfortunately, it’s one of the few things I can do for several hours that doesn’t make me want to rip my limbs off. I have to chalk that up to a cruel joke.

Beyond that, there’s really not much to report or say. I am working on some ideas, letting them stew. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for what I want and need to do, especially when I feel like crap. This, I suspect, is the chronic fatigue aspect of Fibromyalgia that often rears its ugly head when you’ve done too much in a short period of time. It certainly explains my intense desire to take naps when I normally power through the afternoons with writing or editing projects.

Here’s hoping all of this passes soon and that I can return to status quo. Pain is still pain, but sleeping like a coma patient and acting like a zombie the rest of the time is disturbing.

I hope your week is turning out to be far more productive. Just don’t brag if it is. No one appreciates a smart ass. 😛

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Overreaching

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I decided a few weeks ago to forgo all the “traditional” Thanksgiving Day fare. I did not relish the idea of dealing with a turkey when a good half of it would end up in the garbage or making stuffing because I made it last year and there is simply NEVER enough stuffing one can have. I’m a carb fiend, take my word on this. FYI for all pet owners: Do not give your dogs or cats dark meat, it’s too rich for them.

Alas, I came up with a different idea. It’s a great idea. However, after a very long day of shopping in two different stores for everything I needed yesterday, I woke up this morning (way too early) and had a moment of utter panic.

What possessed me to think that chopping 7 pounds of vegetables would be “no big deal”? I’m more concerned with my Fibromyalgia, because it is flaring up BIG TIME today from my neck to my ankles, than I am about my skills with a knife (I already sliced myself last night on a mixer blade.). I will have no choice, but to take breaks in between each veggie (there are 4 in total, but there is, obviously, a LOT of it.). My only “plus” is that having had a migraine yesterday afternoon, which required medicine with caffeine to abort it out of my system, I was left wide awake into the wee hours of the morning. It was around 10:30 or so last night when I decided I was “awake, therefore I should bake”. It took more time to mix up the batter than it did to bake the two cakes I made. I thought they were awful, until I tasted the 100% cooled product this morning. It’s a little like dying and going to heaven, depending on what you like cake wise. I’m only feeling certain flavors these days. But hey, that’s one additional thing out of the way. All I have to do is frost the cake, though I do have to say that certain frostings are so disgusting, and filled with chemicals that terrify me, that I wish I’d taken a spare 30 seconds to read one can before agreeing to it. However, it’s not going into MY body, so it’s not on me. At least the normal one has ingredients in it that I can pronounce, as opposed to “Let me just Google this…” That is the quickest way to ruin dessert.

I think Aleve should be forced to change their advertising slogan from “It’s your life, pain shouldn’t get in the way. 2 pills will provide up to 12 hours of relief.” (Less than ten years ago, they claimed that 2-3 pills was 24 hours of pain relief compared to 8 Tylenol. Who the hell are they kidding? Neither of them work.) to “2 pills MIGHT give you an hour or so of peace.” There’s absolutely no drastic difference if I use the brand name or a generic version, there’s no such thing as true “relief”. I’m willing to do a LOT right now for true pain relief, but I have my limits. I already feel like someone beat me to death and no one has found my body yet, so if you don’t hear from me for a while, I must have posted from the spirit realm.

Dinner won’t be “early” tonight, hell, it might not even be served in a timely fashion, but I’ll do my best to get it all done. I have an assistant, we’ll see how long he lasts before I throw him out of the kitchen. As long as there’s no bloodshed (from my chopping knife), it’s all good.

No matter how you spend this holiday or where you are spending it, especially for our troops overseas who are away from their families, take a moment to appreciate the good things in your life and all the unhappy, bad shit that lead you to this place. Take stock of all that is important to you. Sometimes we find that the list is huge and other times we find that the list is smaller. My list is in the acknowledgements of Book One. I cannot say it’s short.

Don’t just be thankful today, be thankful every day.

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Caring For Pets With Chronic Pain/Fibromyalgia

Caring For Pets With Chronic Pain/Fibromyalgia

Across the scale of Chronic Pain/Fibro sufferers, I have noticed a very high percentage of us are pet owners. I, myself, adopted a kitten last Fall. The tiny, under three pounds, kitten I brought home (see photo in the About section) that fell asleep in my lap after a few hours of being home that first night is now a rambunctious, troublesome, cheeky, full sized cat, but she’s still got a lot of kitten in her in terms of youth and spirit.

When I want to sleep, she wants to play. When she’s asleep, I’m usually working. This does not bother her, she curls up into a ball and sleeps deeply, or she sprawls out like royalty and takes over half the bed. Of course, there are also times where she’s off being a cat. She has a lot of odd little hiding places.

Initially, I ran myself ragged caring for her. She was so tiny, I didn’t want her to get trapped someplace or be afraid, especially since she’s one of those rare breeds that doesn’t really meow. After a short confinement period, she took over the entire house. The shelter told me she was my property, but I don’t think she quite sees it that way. I am pretty sure she’s got Kitty LoJack on my ass.

As we’ve slowly gotten to know one another, the daily care is minimal. I feed her, I change her water multiple times a day, I brush her (for a short-haired cat, her belly is similar to that of a medium-to-long haired cat. I can brush it daily and a ton of hair will come off. She finds this rude. Why am I stealing her hair?!), I clean her ears and clip her nails, I talk to her, and throw toys for her, because “playing fetch” is one of her favorite things to do. She runs around with a toy in her mouth, brings it to you eagerly, plops down, and then waits to see what you will do with it. And then, she’s off and running on her next fetch adventure. This can go on for hours.

She came from a very cat filled household, but since all of her siblings had already been adopted out, I decided she could be the solo kitty for a while. However, for the past few months I have been communicating with a foster parent and I am about to embark on kittens again, this time slightly older than she was when I got her. The shelter told me they feel she is the right age to accept them, but that I can return them within 21 days if things don’t work out. I’d feel terrible if she rejected them or hurt them, but they’re bonded siblings, they’ll have each other to play with if she’s being a shit for a while. I expect she will be. I expect she’ll wonder who these encroachers are in HER home, especially if Mommy is sweet to them.

In all fairness, I have been telling her about them for months. I have used soft, dulcet tones to tell her how excited she’ll be to have a little brother and sister to play with. How they’ll get to do all the fun stuff together that Mommy can’t do because she’s in too much pain. I use their potential names when I tell her about her siblings, and I try to make sure she understands that some sharing will be involved.

And then, anxiety set in. I can barely get out of bed and see to her needs each day, what am I THINKING bringing in two additional little creatures? The shelter and my vet’s office said I was “A shining example of what all adopters should be.” Color my ass surprised, and flattered. However, is this realistic? I am deeply concerned.

Strictly speaking, I fly solo in almost all things, but especially when it pertains to pet care. I may not do all of the playing, but everything else, it’s 100% Mommy. I’ve never truly had just one cat before, except as a child and much later on in life, when my cat’s sister passed away, leaving her the solo cat. That was different. This time I see my little espresso bean wanting to play, looking bored and unhappy at times, and all I can think is “She needs a friend.”

Initially I only wanted one, but I ended up falling in love with the 2nd of a bonded pair of siblings. They’re utterly adorable and closing in on six months in foster care. I am deeply concerned about my little girl A) Rejecting them, B) Acting out because she thinks she’s being replaced, and C) Hurting one, or both, of them. I’m also concerned with my health getting worse and what it will be like for me to have to handle two litter boxes per week instead of one (at least for now), feeding the little ones at meal times because they’re on a schedule and espresso bean is not, playing with all of them when I’m already exhausted from just the one, and then sleep time. The little bean sleeps when she feels like it, especially since Mommy doesn’t feel well, writes when she can, and sleeps when she’s ready to pass out. She will sleep with me when she feels like it, and other times I look over and she’s standing on my night-stand staring at me, making little chirping sounds. The little ones go to sleep each night, sleeping next to their foster mother. What will the bean do when she finds two new cats in my bed?!? Will she kick them out, act out, be violent?! This is completely and utterly freaking me out.

So, I ask my fellow pain sufferers: How do you handle multiple animals in your home? Do you have help, do your pets act out towards one another, am I just over-thinking this? I expect an adjustment period, obviously, but should I be questioning whether or not to just take one, or should I take them both and let the chips fall where they may?

A small part of me is also concerned about the adoption fees. I got the bean for a steal because she’s an all black cat and no one wanted to adopt her. Her adoption fee was so cheap, I felt like I stole her, except I didn’t, I got an awesome little friend. If I wait a few more weeks, the fees will be considerably less than if I do it now, and the truth is, I have to wait a few weeks regardless because I am already dealing with some heavy shit and that must be handled first. Only then can I handle stocking up on cat litter and their current kitten food, and setting them up for their new life with me.

Am I being ridiculous, unreasonable, unfair, or thinking this through intelligently? Please leave your comments and let me know what you think. Generally I am not an advice seeker, but I’ve been freaking out over this for weeks now and I need to make a decision soon. Is three too many, or is two more realistic?