Big Dog Update and Me Feeling?

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Big Dog Update

Yesterday turned into a Big Dog management day.  Meaning…I spent all morning and the early afternoon focused on him.  After dh and ds left for work/school, I took a minuted to check Big Dog’s wound…And discovered that his leg had been wrapped way too tight cutting off circulation to his paw and his paw had blown up hugely.  I immediately unwrapped his leg and then placed his paw up on a pillow so it was above his heart (he was laying down).  I then placed the pillow on my lap to get his paw up higher.  Eventually, the swelling became a bit more diffuse and softer and I massaged some of the fluid up into his leg.  After a few hours, it was still blown up and so I got him up and we wandered around in the yard for a while to help with circulation.  It actually took 7 hours for the paw to look pretty much normal again!  Luckily, basic edema management is part of what I do at work, so I had a good idea of what to do with the dog’s paw.

I don’t really fault the vet as I know that wrapping wounds can be tricky business, there is a fine line between good and snug (especially on an animal that needs snugness to keep the wrapping in place) and too tight.  Good thing for Big Dog that I was on top of it!  He seems fine today…Though I am sure he would be okay with me holding his paw in my lap and massaging it again today! 😉

Me Feeling?

So…I am glad that the dog has been a distraction because I just feel sort of hollow and empty.  Like, I am not feeling much of anything…except maybe exhaustion.

I have yoga today and while I am looking forward to it, I just feel kind of flat and not as excited about it as I usually am.  I know it’s not the yoga…It’s me…Just flat. I am hoping yoga will help center me (it pretty much always does) and maybe I can get back in touch with my feelings.  We shall see.

Monday In Review and Compliments and Trauma

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Somehow, today’s mandala ending up feeling more melancholy than I meant it to be. But then when I look inside at how I am feeling…a little bit sad does kind of fit the bill.  Also, I did the drawing without erasing..even though there are errors in it.  I kind of thought I would just let it be…Challenging for me to do!

Monday In Review

Sooo many things from yesterday to blog about….

Yesterday was a good day for me.  I hope this is the start of a trend (aside from today’s melancholy start).  That said, Sunday was not such a good mood day for me and I could totally feel my mood doing that ugly dip…But somehow, I pulled it together and got myself back on an even keel.  Am I overly optimistic if I hope one good day is starting a trend?

Yesterday, therapy was good too.  For the first time since I started with the AT, I felt really settled and comfortable with him.  No…the shoes didn’t come off, but I felt like I have reached my highest level of trust with him so far.  This is good because he wants to start doing some harder stuff (How can it get any harder?!) and feeling safer makes me more amenable to the idea.

After therapy, I went out to breakfast with a friend.  I like this friend a lot…I have known her for about 19 years now.  She is one of the few people that I will go out to a restaurant with (food/eating/shame issues).  Anyway, we had a nice visit.  And she is a PNP at the same office as my doctor, so I related my concerns/frustrations about my doctor with her.  It turns out I am not the only one who is having a hard time with my doctor…I was relieved to hear this.  It means that I am not being unreasonable or over-reacting to my doctor, but that there is a real issue.  I’m not sure what I am going to do about it…I am still thinking on it.  And still waiting for a reply from my doctor…If she chooses to reply.

When I got home, I took the dogs on a walk. The big dog got scared by a big truck barreling by us and has now decided he is afraid of big trucks.  He is damaged and anxious like me.  Little things (or as the case may be big and noisy things) can be triggering for him.  Now I will have to do some remediation to get him feeling safe again.  Poor puppy!

Then I spent the afternoon reading the rest of Social Strawberries blog.

Later in the day, I IMed SS.  During our conversation she mentioned she had read a couple of my blog posts. And it appears she is still speaking to me…Perhaps I don’t have to worry about her being afraid of my mental health issues?  Maybe I can let my anxiety about it step down a notch?

Compliments

Okay…I am stuck on something.   I don’t know what to do when people say nice things to me.  Like yesterday, the AT said something nice about me being courageous (I think about “outing” myself to SS).  And I froze. This happens all the time.  I never know what to do when people say nice things.  It makes me feel small and reminds me of all the bad things about myself, so I freeze.  I know the socially appropriate thing is to say thank you….but I feel so awkward…Especially if the person is being genuine with their compliment.

I guess part of me also is just baffled by the compliment.  Like, how can you find something nice to say about me? Have you even looked at me/talked to me? There is nothing here to compliment.  Must be this is a self-esteem issue and I have deemed myself not worthy of compliments.  Actually, that makes sense…I don’t feel like I deserve compliments.  I guess this is one more thing to work on in therapy.

Trauma

Remember ages ago, I took those old sketchbooks in and showed them to the AT?  He thinks maybe it would be a good idea if we looked a bit closer at them so I can “process the trauma.”  I am both terrified and intrigued by the idea.  I pressed him for what he meant by” process the trauma.”  His answer was vague.  I don’t like vague. I like to know exactly what to expect so that I am prepared.

Am I ready to look at the things in my sketchbooks?  I just don’t know. What I do know is that it will be an unpleasant process (understatement of the day!) and I am not looking forward to it.  I think I will give myself some time to warm up to the idea.

Three Feelings and The Dog

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Three Feelings

I feel sad today.

I feel ambivalent about Art Therapy again today.

I feel tired today. Physically and mentally.

The Dog

I forgot to post a picture yesterday.  Yesterday was the big dog’s birthday and he turned five.  He has been part of our family for two and a half years now and we love him to pieces. ❤  I have to say, it is nice to have a dog-friend on a day when you are feeling sad and tired and ambivalent about therapy…cuz the dog?  He will just love you no matter what!

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Perfectionism and Snow and Dreams

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Perfectionism

Have I ever mentioned that I am a recovering perfectionist?

I bring it up because, I am really having a perfectionism relapse.  I am not sure what has triggered this and it is kind of frustrating.  Here are some examples…I was given an Art Therapy project to work on while the AT was on vacation.  I am supposed to be making a book with pictures of “safe places.”  He dubbed it, Heidi’s Big Book of Safe Places.  And so, I started the first picture…It wasn’t coming out perfectly and I was really frustrated and so I left it for a day.  And went back to it and I just couldn’t stand it, so I tore it out and threw it away.  I worked on two other pictures and they are acceptable I guess….but they aren’t perfect and it really bothers me.  (And I started it before the AT forgetting issue, so it was not related to that.)

Pottery class?  Crazy perfectionism.  My projects are not coming out the way I want and it is killing me.  To me, they look stupid and trashy and the farthest thing from perfect.  I totally wanted to scrap them…but I am suffering through it, like maybe the glaze will help them look better?  Or maybe they will just look kindergarten quality and stupid, but with glaze.  Ugh!

And then yesterday, we celebrated my MIL’s birthday and I made a cake with chocolate frosting.  Dh thought it was kind of plain looking, so I tried sprinkling confectioner’s sugar into a cookie cutter, to then lift the cookie cutter and leave the shape on the frosting.  Only it didn’t work.  I was so frustrated because it made the cake not perfect.  So frustrated that I stomped off to the couch and just about burst into tears.  Ds said, “It’s just a cake. It’s fine.”  And I know it’s just a cake…but it wasn’t perfect anymore.  It was ruined.

So…this is all challenging. I kind of thought I had more control of my hyper-perfectionism but I guess I don’t…And I don’t know what changed and what has made it sooo extreme right now.

Snow

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It snowed yesterday. It is snowing right now.  There is snow accumulating.  And I am not ready.  Last winter was sooo awful for me in terms of my mood…Like really, really bad.  And I am pretty much dreading this winter because of it.  Several challenging things happened between just about his time last year and through February and I did not handle it well at all.  And my mood and anxiety just got worse and worse and worse….I am so afraid this winter will be like last winter….I don’t want to feel that bad again.  So…for me, the snow is sort of a harbinger of ill.  And it makes me feel stressed and anxious.

But…I did take pictures for folks who I know will enjoy seeing the snow. And maybe your excitement can help shift my trepidation.

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Probably time to mulch the strawberries!

And the dogs get double layer, extra warm jammies today! ❤

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Dreams

So, my dreams have been okay for a week or so.  Which is great!  But last night…I had a dream where I was living with a family and I was in charge of their large number of children. The kids were outside playing in the yard and a bear cub came along, and then another cub and then the angry momma bear.  And I had to get all the children in the house and lock the doors and keep out the momma bear.  Only the doors were flimsy. And then the bear tried to come in the window, so I tried to close the window, but the windows didn’t have locks…you could actually see at some point they had had locks, but they had been removed.  And, while doing all this bear guarding, I kept trying to call 911 to get help…but I kept misdialing the number.  Like, I bet I called 15 times in the dream. Of the 15 times,I dialed the wrong number a dozen times and I got through three times, once with a message saying 911 was closed for lunch and to call back later, once I was put on hold and no one ever came back, and the third time, I got someone who didn’t take my need seriously.  Talk about a stressful dream! (And the trying to use the phone to get help and not being able to dial the right number is a recurring  dream that I have had for probably 30 years!)

The dream then shifted to where I slept in the family’s house.  I slept at the bottom of a set of wooden stairs that had a door at the last step. There were bags of trash and old dusty cardboard boxes and junk that filled the bottom few steps to make a place for me to sleep. So, I slept in this nasty, hard, cold stairwell on top of trash.  All the children in the home had nice bedrooms and there were even two empty rooms and I hoped that one was going to be for me….And I talked to the mother about it….But she just took me back to my trash stairs and that was my place.

Nice, eh?  The AT and I have been talking forever about his contention that I matter and I have been telling him forever that me, my feelings, nothing about me matters.  And in my dream…I didn’t matter enough for 911 to help me and I didn’t matter enough to have any place other than trash in which to sleep.  See…even my psyche knows I don’t matter!

Anyway….at least it wasn’t a nightmare, but it was a pretty stressful dream.

Day One of Absolutely & Totally Gluten Free

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Day One of Absolutely & Totally Gluten Free

I am plugging away on my work with the nutritionist.  My reason for going was to get my diet/eating under control so that I could lose some weight and thus decrease my blood pressure (which is just a smidge high).  I currently take a tiny dose of hydrochlorothiazide to help regulate my blood pressure and it would likely not take much weight loss to drop my BP and then I will be able to stop the med.  That’s my goal anyway.

Since I was seeing a nutritionist, I also brought up stomach issues I have had for years.  And so, at the moment, the bulk of the work with the Nutritionist has been trouble shooting my stomach issues.  And over the course of the past two and a half months, we have kind of gotten to the point where we have figured out that I am gluten intolerant.  (I was tested several years ago for Celiac disease, but it was negative.)  And so, I have decreased and decreased my gluten intake, and only when I have significantly eliminated gluten for several days does my stomach feel better.

Yesterday, she recommended I cut out gluten completely.  I am pretty close to that already…but I will have some work to do and some close food label reading to get the rest of the way.  Honestly, I am glad I am working with the nutritionist as this process is tricky and she has a ton of knowledge about it.

The other big topic we are tackling is emotional eating.  It is not fun.  I have so much shame tied up with my eating habits/emotional eating that it is just ugly to talk about it.  But…I am getting better at it.  It is embarrassing and uncomfortable, but I am doing it.

We have also been talking about my mood and how my mood impacts my eating habits (really, it’s just an off shoot of the emotional eating topic.)  Yesterday, I wondered out loud why the past couple of weeks, I have been able to keep my dietary changes pretty much on track (with a few blips here and there) when I have had two horrible weeks in terms of my mental health.  And…she had the answer! (I am starting to like this woman a lot! She is pretty sharp.)  She hypothesized that my eating habits were something that I had control over…and so even though other things were not going well…I could have control over that one part of my life.  Her idea makes complete sense to me…Like so much so, that I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me!

Something else the nutritionist has encourage with me is self-care.  Ways to soothe/calm myself that are not eating, as well as integrating regular exercise into my days. (Which I had kind of gotten really lax about.)  It reminded me of a book I made several years ago to track different aspects of self-care in my life…and so I resurrected the book and have been filling it out.  I don’t have pictures of it for today, but I will take some later to share tomorrow.

But speaking of pictures…..Not that I spoil my dogs….okay…yes, I totally do!  But here they are in their matching 4 legged jammies! (They have 4 legged jammies, 2 legged jammies and coat style jammies.)

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Ah heck…since you now know that I spoil them rotten…Here’s a pic of the jammie pile when I pulled it out to organize it for the fall.

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Please…don’t judge me too much!  I am fully aware I have a jammie addiction! 🙂

Feel Good Moments

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Feel Good Moments

I seem to be in an okay mood (so far) today.  Yesterday was a lovely day…busy in the morning running errands with dh in order to get ready for his trip to Seattle this week…then an afternoon of friend time with Social Strawberries and her daughter Pixie.

Yesterday started off cold…and much to my dismay, there was snow on the mountain.  Yup….snow.  Yikes!  It won’t be too long before it creeps down the mountain and settles here….but hopefully, that won’t be for a few weeks yet!

The outing yesterday afternoon was lovely.  The sun came out, it was cool, but not so much in the sun…the air was clear and perfect.  Perfect for a nice picture of the Snowy Hinterlands from across the valley.

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See, the trees in this picture are just turning color? But where I am…back in the Snowy Hinterlands, we are at peak foliage.  The hills are just glowing here.  It’s beautiful!

My visit with SS yesterday was the first time I have not felt awkward around her…I think I am settling into this friendship.  I like her…she and I think the same way about lots of things, but we are also very different.  It seems like a nice balance.

And she has that fiery Pixie girl!  Pixie is full of energy and questions and life.  She is very self-assured and quite the sassy little thing. (Good sassy…not bad sassy!)  She ran the show on our outing.  Which was fine…after all, she is three! Nothing like the ferocity of a bright 3 year old to keep you on your toes!

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It was a good afternoon!

And since I am sharing “feel good” pictures…..Part of my errands with dh was a trip to the pet store to get some supplies.  I found some adorable little jack-o-lantern dog toys and thought I knew two dogs who would really like them.  And I was right!  The toys are a big hit!!

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And yes…the dogs are in pajama…It’s a greyhound thing. 😉

I Made It! and Sleep & Dreams

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I Made It!

I made it through the whole day of the Meet and Greet yesterday (8+ hours) and it went really well. I talked to dozens of people, negotiated dogs, chatted with small children and chatted with the other volunteers.  Dh an ds had the stamina to stay all day too.  It was actually pretty fun.  I have never posted pics of my doggers before…But here are my buddies.

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Yup…total balls of energy! 😉

We took both dogs to the Meet and Greet in the morning, but the black dog got too stressed, so dh zipped him home.  The white dog stayed for the whole day and was fawned over non-stop…She was in doggy heaven!

I made some dry biscuit mixes and donated them to be sold for the rescue.  They were an unbelievable hit and we almost sold out of them yesterday…Only four jars were left for selling today (the M&G is at a two day event). I’ll have to make twice as many for next year!

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There is a fundraising barbecue and shopping event for the rescue in October and I will again be making up these jars…Clearly, they are popular.

And…the best part of yesterday?  This little bit of awesomeness.

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Maple cotton candy. They spin it with maple sugar instead of cane sugar….I cannot properly describe how wonderful it is!  It is once a year treat and I totally look forward to it!!

The event was a good distraction from my mood…though, once we got home my mood came back along with the dark thoughts (suicidal ideation) and hopelessness. However, I am doing better so far today…so I am hoping I worked my way through that mood plunge.

Sleep and Dreams

Of course, I may be feeling better this morning because I finally slept some last night. After that busy day yesterday, and the lack of sleep from the prior few nights, I was in bed at 5 of 7 last night and slept for 11 hours! Yup….11!!!  Crazy, huh?  But I really needed the catch up.

And my dreams cooperated last night.  I did have dreams of children in danger and trying to rescue them and running through woods and snow and hiding in buildings with them.  And I dreamed about weird inappropriate adult/child relationships.  And I had some other dream about travelling and being lost…not knowing what the right road to take was. And another dream about work and the patients…But none of them were intense enough to be a nightmare for which I am incredibly relieved. I could use a few more nights without nightmares and then I would not be so an edge.  We’ll see what my brain allows.

Today is another busy day…Another outing requiring me to be social and visible, maybe a short get together with a friend and then I have to go back to the Meet and Greet and retrieve our tables that we lent them for the weekend. Oh…and the kind of apple we really like has just started picking at the orchard…So, I want to go pick some apples too.  Do ya think I am overly ambitious with my plans?