2:12 PM

Pet crazy. Why yes, I am!

They are my days & a pretty good part of my nights. They're all the children I'm ever going to have, & they comfort me so well if I'm crying about this. They make my husband & I laugh endlessly & sometimes frustrate the beans out of me.

It's more cleaning than most people would willingly do to have them in my home, but what's a little dog hair & bird seed in exchange for unconditional love?
My husband does grouse about not going anywhere because we have to find sitters for 6 animals!
Really, it's only for one special case: Sake.

He has a 3 medication-twice-a-day heart problem. He pees (& poos!)on a pad inside that he often misses. oh-- & he bites. Since he's my dog, I know what triggers him & the signs to watch for. But he's a headcase for sure & a damn cute one at that.
What do you do with this kind of dog if you want to go on vacay?

The cat is easy as cat pie. I can board her & the birds at the same reputable clinic they are seen at, a place I really like with a staff I equally like & trust. She's a special girl; the last link to my former life, before MS, before marriage, when Gambit was still with us.

Kismet, our new girl, our last for a while! Is pocket sized & I plan to take her with me as many places as I can manage.

Hopefully we can afford to go home to California in July since there's now a flight from Eugene to Oakland for super cheap. That's if we can find a dog sitter for Sake....

10:08 PM

Destiny? no, it's Kismet.

Formerly named "Karma", but happily accepting "Kismet"-- & everything else about her new life. She's spent most of the day sleeping on my sick husband, who picked up a snotty cold from a 2 year old house guest we had last week. Husbands are pitiful sick people. Impossible to soothe & resistant to anything you offer them that might help. J. has been downing mugs of Sleepytime tea & alternating between sleeping on the couch or playing PC games on his laptop in bed. Kismet is ever present.

Sick husband aside, the pet grand total is now 6. & that's it, cos I signed a contract with my ever patient husband stating I wouldn't bring home another unless one of ours was no longer of this planet. It wasn't actually so easy, but I'll spare you the details & just say she's my early birthday present.

Don't worry, everyone else is still here. Parrot, canary, spotted dog, grouchy little dog & hidey Siamese cat. Who is the most work? The parrot, grouchy little dog & cat. Those who have the tendency to scatter food or litter, or have a potty pad they miss sometimes & needs changing regularly. Ah, but I love them dearly.

I finally started a class at the local community college here & am relishing the homework & new collection of stationary supplies it entails. Backpack, binder, dividers, highlighters, oh! I do love it all. Especially the having somewhere to be. I feel important crossing campus, taking my seat & listening up. It's off to bed now, to be prepped for tomorrow of feeding animals, battening down the hatches for my away time, then dropping husband at work-- if he's going tomorrow.

8:09 PM

bird nerd!

& happy about.

5:13 PM

hot socks,

My dysesthesia pain is currently manifested in the guise of an invisible, hot wet sock. No, I'm not really wearing said sock. Just the phantom heat that my leg reports I'm enduring.

I remember when this all began, I would ask friends or family to compare the temperature of each leg. "It feels hotter", I would say. They kindly obliged me, comparing limbs. The truth was there is no outward sign of the things my nerves are doing.
It's a little nauseating. It's definitely irritating. I got a good chunk of housework done before this kicked in. Having spent 3 hours at the laundromat yesterday, I have oodles of ironing to tackle tonight & tomorrow, in preparations for a house guest this weekend. Luckily, I washed every last sheet & towel, so I'm prepared.

Finden, my faithful, feathered friend had a bit of a rough go if it today. He actually lunged at me, beak open in defense when I past his cage. He shrieked & postured, flashing & pinpointing his eyes, all but saying in plain English, "I am not a happy bird at the moment!" He did allow me to give him a scritch on the head before he backed deeper into his cage. I offered him a lasagna pan of bath water, & he appeared soothed for the moment, soaking his feathers thoroughly.

I'm going to chalk today's antics up to the bevy of crows foraging on the lawn in Finden's obscured view through the front window. I've read that every day with a parrot is a new day, so we'll see if he feels more like himself tomorrow.

11:01 AM

poke is poke.

I was having some reservations about my Copaxone injections, but as told by neurologist, it's really my last at-home therapy option. Shared Solutions, the 'support' group by the manufacturer, if you will, contacted me last Thursday & quizzed me about my experience thus far. The woman's comments to my responses were the kind I hate: repeated, statistical facts regarding pre-market study data. This lobs me in with everyone else as a number, removing my individual needs & just compares me with percentages. The bottom line was they felt I should stop the injections & speak with my doctor.

So, for 5 days, I didn't inject. The lumps & bruises on my legs & arms began to subside, J & I were both pleased to just say good night & go to bed. No anxious injections to be done or fussing with pain for half an hour. Of course, the doctor said take some Tylenol PM half an hour before the injection, the turn over & go to sleep.

Easier said than done.

Even with diphenhydramine taking the edge off, big fat teardrops rolled down my hot, flushing cheeks after the injection, as redness bloomed in a welt on my thigh. Just seeing my flesh bubble up in a near perfect circle is unnerving.
My emotions rise & my heart pounds. Even in my husband's arms for comfort, I cannot ignore the sound of my pulse thumping so hard in my neck I can hear my skin brush against the pillowcase. I don't know that I could have gotten this far without him beside me.

In this wash of anxiety, emotion, pain & rushing of pulse that I experience (almost nightly, mind you), my thoughts go to what's really going on. I'm upset that since I've come to a truce with my body, I'm breaking it somehow with these drugs. I have accepted-- maybe with the assistance of MS-- that this is me. My bones are soft, my head is hard, my nose is pointy & almost elfin. I don't tan, & I no longer try. I require a lot of sleep, rest, calm. I can't live on candy & toast, I have to nourish myself properly. I want my body to last, so I can inhabit it comfortably, to live my life with J. as long as I can.
Can I do this when I have to inject, ingest, compounds & chemicals & pills that have questionable efficacy over time?

I don't know what options I truly have. Well, that's not 100% true. I don't know what feasible options I have, or which ones I should exercise. I am curious about holistic medicine, but my one again, finances make that a little more difficult. I doubt insurance covers much of that. I bookmarked a page of a local facility that integrates holistic & 'traditional' medicine.

Is there something out there that will just allow me, not MAKE me, feel normal & pain free? Not groggy or drugged, nauseated or wired. It sounds like I want a lot. It really shouldn't be so much to ask to just want to feel good again, consistently.
Or is it?

12:26 AM

so far, so good.

Guess who had fleas? Surprise, surprise. His previous owner must have applied flea meds when she cut his nails.....a year ago? Judgments aside, I suppose, he's a sweet little dog & I'm glad J. let him stay for the time being. I hope someone awesome comes along to adopts him.....

11:21 PM

brothers from other mothers.

I know, I should stay away from Craig's List. My husband wants to block it from my computer. I found an ad that said simply, "Japanese Chin-- FREE". I emailed immediately. Then I ended up going to meet the dog & the owner today. Her reasoning was it was her grandson's dog, he wasn't paying it enough attention & neither was she.

This poor dog was a sad mess, of just neglect. He was fed, & sometimes pet, I'm sure. His coat is short, dry & matted in some places. His skin is itchy too, with signs of fleas at some point. He's thin, with his nails growing around into his paws. Still, his tail wags when he's spoken sweetly to. He hopped in my lap & offered bad breath kisses. I asked if he was available to me. The woman conceded I offered a good home, after about 30 minutes of chatting & my distractedly fretting over the dog.

His name is now Yoshi, which means good, simply because he is. He did yap & cry when he realized what was happening. At first I felt bad, but he wasn't wanted. I chatted to him over my shoulder as I drove home. A quick sniff of him for my own dogs, & then into the tub he went. Oatmeal shampoo & conditioner applied, I did the best I could to get the old urine stink of him that permeated the house I had just come from.
I cut his nails & trimmed his mats, all without a yip or gripe.

After a snooze sitting upright in my lap, he finally ate the food I offered him earlier & settled at the opposite end of the big dog bed from Sake, my own Japanese Chin. This is quite a privilege for Sake to allow an unknown dog on his bed without so much as a snarl. If you don't see the different 'masks' on their face & their varied bone structures, they might be twins:

Sake, 9 years old, is on the left. Yoshi, 4 years old, on the right.