Fiera's Diary

You are juggling so many balls, Fiera. I really don't know how you do it.
Well I am dropping a lot of balls too, just keeping the most important ones in the air as best I can for now!

I am dragging my feet on emailing Pixy about NDog, but I have been dragging my feet on emails in general. Mostly too tired to ensure that I am doing things correctly. So this morning the foremost thing I need to do, after caffeinating, is to get out the emails regarding Thursday's transport.

I had a 2 hour sleep intermission last night. It might have been nicotine withdrawal related as I was feeling an urge to go smoke. I didn't but I had a full one this morning. One left in the pack, I will at least TRY to stretch out the last one and avoid buying another pack.

When I awakened at 1:30AM, I had been having a dream that I saw Toolboy again after some duration and he hugged me and I felt his strong arms around me and it felt so warm and snug and secure, like I belonged there. I have not thought of him in a while, but it just took me back. How well suited we were. What an idiot. We could have had it all. But I also flashed back at the terrible heartbreak I suffered and I FEEL it still existing in my body. I haven't connected with that pain in a really long time. No time to dwell on it, just making a note of it.

Of course my next session with CB will likely address men because of the potential to see AN at the old club reunion next Saturday, should I even attend (might be staying at my Dad's 50 miles away so may be a moot point).

For now, I feel a bit refreshed though physically weak. I have a major project today to determine and implement a safety solution for the volunteers and the hounds to navigate around the dog ramp I had built for KDog. It is too heavy I think to move aside, and walking around it currently requires volunteers and dogs to walk through a dirt flower bed which is a couple of inches below the new sidewalk. A tripping hazard, especially at night, in an area which is not well lit. Well, I will see how heavy the ramp is, moving it aside off the sidewalk would be the most simple solution.

I also need to do laundry, unload the dishwasher, and find coverage for NDog assuming I will be spending a few days at my Dad's house next week. Oh, and plan some kind of birthday surprise for my brother.
Well today will be the day something gets dropped. I forcibly stopped myself from thinking and behaving frenetically. There is so much to do. The basement is still in tornado shelter mode. I put some things away and started more laundry (carpet runners). The fluorescent lights are all failed. I knew I needed to address them and there is no wiggle room. I am too short and need a step stool and preferably a helper. Oh well.

I *think* my Dad will understand if I don't make it out there either today or tomorrow. But I know it is hard for him with so little to do or control.

I guess writing about it is a waste of time. Just needed to take a time out.

No doubt the nicotine withdrawal is factoring in. I had the last one yesterday afternoon. I will try.

I won an online auction item for a music festival I could not attend. They should be able to mail it to me. I got out an email regarding that.

Last night 2 of 6 fosters said they cannot make the pickup. A lot of time was spent finding transport for the one, and the other RP I spent 40 minutes calling and catching up and explaining to her that it really was very easy to get to my house and also park here. I spent ALL DAY recruiting, adding new volunteers etc. Respinse rate is a bit thin but it usually picks up. I just can't THINK clearly when I am so busy doing.

Oh, yesterday morning I went to my meditation group online. The leader of the Thursday night group was participating. He sent a me a private DM and later a website link to his update meeting time and location. I ignored both but then texted him after to acknowledge and say hello. My problem is that I had a little crush on him at one time. But I have had little crushes on guys from time to time from meditation group and it always is something I have to ignore or my equanimity gets screwed up. I recognize I need to understand what happens emotionally because it is volcanic...anxiety maybe...fear...self-doubt....and it makes it hard to just act normal. I feel like I have to avoid people to avoid that turbulence, like S; learning to sit through it and let it pass might be a better strategy. I have done nothing and am nothing to be ashamed of. Right? Except maybe wardrobe, need nails and a haircut.....blah blah blah....
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It's probably entirely normal to feel a disturbance when you have an interest in someone. It's probabaly not normal to experience it to the degree that I do, or to invoke such thoughts of negative self worth. I have a lot of work to do.
Happy to say that I have been chipping away at the to-do's bit by bit. I already told dad I won't be there til later afternoon, and am planning to leave here at 3. I will go to hardware store on way home. Figured out how to get the covers off and know what kind of bulbs to pick up now. Cut back the foliage in front of the house where folks will have to walk around the dog ramp (OH my though, the allergies on my skin). Steadily getting thru laundry, carpet runners, clothing. Most of the tornado shelter/flood prep has been restored to normal. I have an idea of what food supplies I need to purchase and I feel like I am making good progress. I just made a request for one of the vols to sit NDog for a few days while I go up there and make sure Dad and Peaches are sorted. Peaches apparently still is not feeling well and is dizzy in addition to having stomach issues. It sounds like positional vertigo. She mentioned the dizzy spells a few weeks back and I asked her several questions she admitted that she had been consuming a lot of fast food and salt while the emergency was going on with my Dad. I hope that I can help them get off to a good start with cooking, groceries, etc.

Nice to have 2 hours left before I need to scoot out the door. 🙂
I *almost *cracked and stopped for cigarettes on my way home from visiting my dad. However I had to stop for turkey for the dogs and I had NDog with me and I decided it was high time to get home. So. May actually have some traction with the stop-smoking effort.

Out of nowhere SB sent me a photo today, along the line of can't believe 10 years have passed. It was her and her hubby and me and AN at a baseball game. Pretty sure those were the tickets I won in a fundraiser aution bidding against Pitch. Anyway, I saw AN and my reaction was palpable. Besides being 50+ pounds lighter, AN and I just look good together. But that was then and this is now and if I do think of dating again, seems like it would be better to try someone new.

I drove out for a shorter Dad visit yesterday, took NDog, stayed from 4-6:30 or so. Home close to 8, after a stop to pick up turkey at the grocery store. That was all she wrote, Was so tired. This morning my gut is swollen so much that my back and abdomen are hurting. I am sure it was the BgMac I cracked and ate last night, first one in 15 years at least. Well, he will be out of there in a couple of days and hopefully I will not have the arches again in a very. very. long. time.

Did not crack. No cigarettes in the house. Today will probably be the pivotal day. I don't feel so agitated and edgy though so maybe I am over the worst of it. Biggest risk will be while I am out running errands, esp getting gas. So I will do that at the warehouse club where they only sell gas. I also need to pick up KDogs pain med renewal.

Last night after talking with Proggy about how tired Peaches seems to be, and my Dad's non compliance, my anger finally crystallized. It really is just like L. It is one thing to sign up to love someone forever. It is another thing when they engage in self destructive behaviors and those end up impacting the people around them. This has not been a linear progression. Rather for 7 years now, there have been ER visits and hospital stays, usually brought on by careless disregard for his health conditions. Now. I understand him, I understand that he doesn't want to be told what to do, or do things he does not feel like - after all, I am the same way! But I am finally *getting* that my life has in large part been impacted by his health episodes for years now. When he casually remarked the other day that he was going to die soon, and that soon to him was 90 (he is 80), I almost fell out of my chair. It is possible?..He has cheated death so many times now that it feels like any time now will be the last time...I have been living on that edge...and if he IS going to live to 90 (he is stubborn enough!) then I have to change my interface with all this somehow because I can't do this for another decade...not travelling or living where I want, not getting another dog or not taking vacations or not having space for a social life...spending a lot of my own money on gas and dog sitters, eating fast food, I cannot DO it. This is MY life.

I am sure Peaches is having these same thoughts and feelings.

Maybe I am finally going to get good and angry with him, just once, and tell him how bloody effing selfish he has been.

I was thinking back to my Mom. Dad mentioned her the other day. She was sick for 3 or 4 years and the docs could not help her...she was suffering...she did not want to be a burden...I was always well aware that because she left us at that time, I was free to live my own life.

Her death was a catalyst for my marrying L...when my Dad passes it will be a catalyst for what exactly? I tell you, I could never have anticipated taking care of my dad for years and years (even as a secondary caretaker). I really thought he would have had a heart attack that took him out..years ago. He was always so ANGRY, and SO Overweight and he abused alcohol for years.

I am sort of in this in between place between going "all in" and fully setting up my life to take care of him versus trying to preserve my life. But I am losing. I lost all of September, my favorite time of year. I am losing bonding with NDog. I am losing connection with Proggy and other friends like EF and Irish Friend.

What other thoughts and resentments am I shoving aside?

And when do I get to breathe?

Anyway this is not well thought out just some things that are squeezing out along the edges, as if I am comprise of of expansion foam shot into a crevice right now.
Back home from the warehouse club and hardware store. I bought some pavers and solar pathway lighting along with the bulbs I needed but am so tired now...cracked and bought smokes and had 1/2 a cigarette. Why so tired I don't know. Taking a break now and will call Dad in a bit and then work on pavers a bit later. Rain has stopped.

When I went into the warehouse store I was suddenly overcome by a wave of loneliness and sadness. I guess I am feeling disconnected and alone. It is an illusion to some extent. After all SB checked in as did DDog's adopters and the rescue reunion organizer. Just feeling a lack of genuine living and connection right now, life overshadowed by doing. Well, meditation group is a reminder to remain present so I will do a mini meditation right now.
Uh oh. I hit the wall. Total energy depletion.

Well I got the pavers arranged but they need stakes and leveling sand plus some dirt to fill the bed up to height. May not happen. Tomorrow is the last day to prepare for the transport; I have snacks to buy, stuff to organize/load, and I have to run out to see Dad and also go install a couch rail at their house. Need to see where I can cut corners. At least the paperwork is done. JS has not dropped off the supplies yet, I trust that she will...or will show up to meet the transport. She knows I am relying on her and she will not drop the ball.

I wish there was some magical potion but those energy drinks don't work for this kind of 50+ tired. Going to take some Emergen-C.

One of the light fixtures is only half working even with new bulbs. Probably as good as it's going to get for now.

Yesterday was a busy day. Made it to the hardware around 11 to pick up paver supplies and to rehab around 1. Forgot I had CB so talked to her from a bench outside. Left around 3:45 to head to Dad's house to install a couch rail and chat/brainstorm with Peaches. Left around 5. Traffic was especially messed up due to a highway accident and the alternate route took me somewhat near the house of the volunteer JS so I went a bit out of my way and picked up the folders and harnesses etc she was scheduled to drop off at my place at 7:30. I saw at JJ and stoped to grab a sandwich and chips for the first meal of the day. Traffic the rest of the way back was another 40 and by the time I got home and took care of the dogs I had no energy to unload the car, let alone work on pavers in the dark.

In addition one of the fosters backed out and I just had to leave that be someone else's problem. I got a hold of someone to do nail trims and this morning I got a hold of a backup volunteer for baths to replace one who got called out of town for business.

I made a lengthy to do list before conking out. I slept like the dead. This morning waking up at 4 and then 5:30 I had to stop myself from springing up and starting to run around doing things. I could feel anxious energy rising, and nothing depletes me faster than anxiety. Today is not a sprint, it is a marathon. I acknowledge the pavers may not get done to my satisfaction...or at all. I am staying present right now and forcing myself to sit, drink my matcha, and conserve energy as much as possible. I will start on the to-do's in an hour. I leave for the transport around 1:20. That is about 5.5 hours to do stuff. Pretty sure I can get by with the ice and snacks on baby food I have if I need to skip the store. I will feel a lot more settled when I have the pavers out of the car and the transport stuff inventoried and loaded.

Dad leaves rehab today and it is someone important's BDay. I sent that someone a H&D basket with fruit and nuts, a healthy treat. Sure cost a lot though.

KDog went straight out for her walk this morning but seemed to tire pretty quickly. I am feeling so much love for her. She is just the best dog. She was not when she was younger. A true testament to maturity, intelligence, and mutual love, respect and support.

I talked a bit with CB yesterday about bonds and connections, about people and relationships who make me feel anxiety, sometimes on a volcanic level. I think stems from a lack of owning my self worth. I have both a resistance to allowing people in, and an underlying desire to feel love and acceptance. And there are trust issues. I voiced how relationships feel "easy" when you feel accepted, and relationships feel volcanic when there is uncertainty. In the case of S, why should I feel like I need to avoid her, when she is the one who has had a change of heart? Why should it bother me? Why not just be calm abiding? I have seen the good and the bad she brings to a relationship and I don't have a desire to be close to her any more, so why can't I just be cordial without feeling like there is discomfort in the air?

Also, it seems that the Universe is making it so I don't really need to worry about bumping into AN on Saturday night. I will probably be miles away at my Dad's house. But if I do choose to drive the 50 miles to go to the reunion, it will be to have fun, to feel my heart smile, to dance a little, bask in the company of familiar faces, and not be so judgy about my 50 pound weight gain. I'm OK, I am manifesting in my own self worth, and I deserve to go have a nice time.

I slept like the dead last night. Again.

It was a crazy day. I got up and did the prep work for intake then got my butt outside and laid the pavers. It came out nice but with not doing the proper ground work it will be a matter of time before they are all uneven. Deal with that later, maybe pay someone to do it properly. All depends on how long the dog ramp needs to stay.

Transport arrived early so after I quick shower I got out the door to meet it.

In between I was emailing juggling volunteers. When we got back to the house I got some help setting remaining tasks. (Rug, cooler etc.). It was chaotic. I usually would have sent out the thank you email and the link to upload photos already. I am just tired. I could not wait last night to be done but the vet techs were late and bogged down by traffic. Got most of the cleanup done last night and this morning took out the trash and am washing the bathing towels.

It is quiet without NDog's energy in the house, he is with B for the weekend so I can stay at my Dad's. I gave Pixy the green light to put him up for adoption. I can't handle everything right now and he needs more attention and engagement than I can give. I think my Dad's needs are going to consume considerable bandwidth for quite some time, and KDog as long as I have her.

I am tired. Physically and soul-tired. Giving up NDog is a way for me to find a little extra space for myself. But oh gosh the house will be so quiet when KDog passes on. Hopefully she will be with me for some time yet.
Just cooked up turkey for KDog, poached eggs for myself, put the last load of towels in the dryer, prepped the dishwasher, and am sitting down to eat with some reheated coffee. Need to take out the trash and do dishes and pack. It occurred to me that I feel on the verge of an emotional breakdown, or breakTHROUGH. As happens so often with me, I freeze up and just motor through things, and then when the pressure lets off, wham-o. I detected a note of feeling sorry for myself but that is really useless. As I told someone last night, I lost my mom quite young, suddenly, and the fact that I "get" to take care of my Dad is something I cherish. I know there are moments when it means that I don't get to live my life in my own way in my own ter,s. But it will feel so empty and ungrounded when he is gone. I just say a little prayer to the Universe for the strength and balance to navigate things with grace and love. Too often, I am task-driven and I would like to be more nurturing and supportive and present for those around me.
Here comes the depression.
It does not help that I forgot to bring my vitamins and med with.
Sad about NDog but mostly pushing that aside for now.
Sad that I am spending a lot of time here and adding little value. I am kind of too tired to help as much as I had planned,
Sad that I am missing the reunion.
Sad that I have hardly talked to my friends lately.
Sad that my baseball team blew it.
Sad that my world has become so small.
Turning in early and hoping some sleep will help. I didn't get much last night, woke up at 3:30 and never really got back to sleep.
I really could use a drink/night off/trip.

Oh, and the reunion has AN wandering thru my mind. And L. And others...

Ok I will go back to numbing out.
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Doing a bit better today. The knowledge that I get to go home tomorrow and sleep in my own bed every night again is good. I pick up NDog at Noon. It will be bittersweet as he will be profiled to a potential adoptive home as soon as tomorrow. I can't breathe at the thought of him being gone, and yet I know if it is a good family then it really is the best decision. I cannot really be there for him right now the way that he deserves and needs.

I will drive back out here Tues, Weds and Thurs to help take my Dad to doc appts. Also 2 more the following week. It will be rough driving almost 100 miles per day but it is better than being here full time.

There are still unfinished tasks, like picking out a new computer table, helping him pick out a new watch (ideally with fall detection). Today I bought a new diabetes test strip reader and got it connected to an app on his phone, then got his scale sorted out (I think) to also relay daily readings to his phone. We made broiled cod for dinner and I picked up homemade pesto salad dressing from the italian place.

Life still seems really empty and not my own.

I checked out the photos from last nights' reunion. I would have enjoyed it under different circumstances but I was so tired I know last night would not have been enjoyable, just forced. Of course my immediate agenda was to look for AN in the photos and it appears he was not there. I thought I perhaps might have even had an email from him but I did not, which upon further reflection solidified that he wants nothing to do with me and we really have reached the End of knowing each other.

Puts me in mind of the Elliott Smith song "you're just somebody that I used to know". Mildly terrifying how many people are in that bucket now.

I pray the Universe has more in store for me ahead. My world is so small again, I feel relatively alone; I have contact with people but I feel a lack of intimacy. I told Proggy tonight that I would really like to rent a cabin for a couple of days and just take KDog and get away, but it does not seem like that is going to be in the cards for a while. I have a lot of things to do, taking the wonky maple tree down, getting some car maintenance done (and a much-needed detail), washing windows before winter, winterizing the A/C, staining the dog ramp and sealing the new sidewalk. And among it all, trying to get some exercise and get NDog into a new home.

Mostly, I think I just want to FEEL again. It almost seems like feeling any of this is a luxury I don't get any more. Processing time. Intimacy with my own self. The months and years speed by and I just feel this unsettled dryness of spirit. I feel no connection to music or reading or movies. I feel only sporadic human depth of emotion. Sometimes I wonder if it's the antidepressants, or the lack of hormones in menopause. Maybe I felt so much emotion for so many years thar I lack a desire to live that way any more. But it feels like a very dry, surfacey version of my former self. I don't feel depressed, not in the way I used to...but maybe this is a different form of it.

My guess is, if I did a fast, got back to jogging, lost some weight and got caught up some things (including my appearance) that I would start to open back up. I just can't break free from the task-oriented reality of keeping up with everything I am responsible for. Most days I am living above the neck, unable to feel my body. Not a very pleasureable or attuned version of me.

There is a scene in the movie version of Eat Pray Love where the main character rents a place in Italy and learns to slow down and appreciate La Dolce Vita. Of course, she had to blow apart her entire life as she knew it to get to that point. I know a bit about that. You have to start living for yourself, to make some difficult decisions and even be willing to hurt others in order to save yourself. That is how my marriage ended and there was a period of expansiveness afterward.

While I am not actively seeking to "blow up"my life, KDog will not be around a vast deal longer and neither will my Dad. I can start to prepare myself for the next period of expansion. Maybe that will be making a move or at least living somewhere else for a while. After all, that was my original retirement plan.

I came home from Dad's quite tired and got nothing much done the rest of the day. Picked up DDog at Noon, Went and picked up my Dad's scooter from repair shop after then loaded up on some drive thru food. Mostly laid on the couch after I got back home. Watched "a beautiful young mind" on streaming and then put Nomadland on again. Remembered to refund SB for the concert and pay for the fridge magnets/charity payment. I got OK sleep but woke up early to KDog having upset tummy rumbles. Took her for a pre-dawn potty break and made some matcha.

I am appreciating the opportunity to wake up without immediately tending to my Dad, his scale and meter, making breakfast, etc. There is just so little peace and the weather has been hot and bright during the days, making it impossible to get out for a walk where there is no shade.

Also, they have no real coffee maker, only a Keurig, which uses those dried pods. Peaches buys processed foods like powdered mashed potatoes. My nerves were screaming, esp in my hips and legs a couple of nights. Could have been from forgetting my vitamins/meds I suppose too.

It is pretty draining. I suppose if I was out there full time life would get into a rhythm and I would be able to set aside time blocks for myself, but we are still in set up mode working on all kinds of little things we need to hack, like fixing his couch.

Anyhow, for the moment I am watching KDog snooze. NDog is in front.The windows are open. I need to update/organize my to-dos which includes some chores before winter.

Today, tomorrow and Thurs I am driving out and then taking Dad to doc appts with Peaches. She asked me to cover for her Saturday and I said no, that Proggy already asked me to do a street fest and that we haven't done anything in 5 weeks. That my Dad could be Ok for a few hours and if not then we need to work on finding someone who can come sit with him. I said that I felt he would be OK and it they didn't start being able to leave him alone for a few hours now, then how did she think they were going to be able to do it when they go to FL? "You have a point". So we will see. He does not want a sitter but he also does not want a fall device and that is where we are going to have to push him. Apparently he fell out of the couch the other night and was unable to get back up into it for quite a long time, but didn't want to yell and wake us up for help. :(

By 7:20AM I was out the door driving up. At 7:30AM Peaches called me and said "change of plans, your dad is on his way back to the hospital". She had gotten up, taken the dog for a walk, and come back inside and was changing in the master suite before making breakfast when she heard a big thud in the living room and found Dad on the floor next to the couch. Dad was non responsive and white and she called the rescue squad. Fortunately they are close by. They said his blood sugar was 36 when the arrived. 36!

Not sure I have the energy to catalog the concerns and questions Peaches and I had raised about his blood sugar and insulin and were told he should be put on the same regimen as before his hospitalization. Except, he is 40 pounds lighter and not eating all that much. This was totally avoidable and I am really frustrated that we were not warned to keep a closer eye on the sugar and that his doc has in the past refused to prescribe the continuous glucose monitor. How much sense does this make?!

So, I drove straight to the hospital, we hung out for a few hours, they ran labs and took a CT of his head from the fall. Everything was fine except the sugar, thank goodness, and by around 12:30 he was out of the ER. He was very weak and we had a tough time getting him into the car, into the house, wiped down and changed into clean and dry clothing. Later while I was picking up groceries he slid off the couch and Peaches was unable to get him back up on her own. He is very weak. :( I don't think he is eating enough calories after seeing him in action for a few days; surely the insulin approach needs to be adjusted.

Peaches finally snapped. She told him that they need a caregiver. When I tried to ask practical questions about how that would work (12 hour days, a few days per week, etc) there were no answers. They got on with investigating getting a hospital bed with bed rails for the living room instead of the couch.

I left for home around 4. I did offer to stop home and get what I needed and KDog and drive back up but the offer was declined for the time being. If no further emergency arises I am scheduled to leave around 11:30A tomorrow to head out there to take him to the knee doctor.

Oh, the key for his scooter snapped off in the ignition while I was transporting it. I didn't think to remove it. Luckily I found a collision repair shop who helped me get the broken part out and there is a spare key. The guy Marcos would not take cash but he did suggest that I could buy some donuts, Will try to do that tomorrow or Thursday morning.

That's about it. Hope the rest of the evening is quiet!
Did call to check on Dad's evening bs and Peaches answered. Gah. Another 40 minutes later...

Anyway, dozed off somewhere around 9:30 maybe? Had a long sleep donut hole where I mostly just surfed and read news, but fell back asleep til 7:30. Way behind on chores. laundry, dishes, and need to buy dog food/turkey today.

Brother has shoulder surgery today. I forgot til he mentioned it while we were exchanging the daily word game and now I feel like neglectful. I didn't think it would help to say "sorry I forgot, Dad has pretty much been a full time focus", so I did not offer up an excuse.

Yesterday while with Dad and Peaches in the ER I got on the radar with the tree guy and connected with my concrete guy, who gave me a referral to do the sealing. So now I just can concentrate on staining/sealing the dog ramp in the next week or two. Also winterizing the A/C units, and then washing windows before I put the hose away.

My gut and lower back are hurting, which is typically a sign of gut inflammation. I did have a beer last night, but also two chicken sandwiches and some olive tapenade with tortilla chips. Probably not the dinner of champions.

I have a stack of mail and boxes in the kitchen to open. I need to write Magpie with an update to NDogs's profile, Supposed to do something with Proggy this weekend. Hopefully my dad will be a bit stronger when I drive up today.

I have a bit of energy but overall it is still pretty low and I am conserving it this morning rather than doing all the chores. If Dad was stronger Peaches could take him to this appointment on her own...but he is so weak now. I am really worried that by getting a hospital bed for the living room in place of the couch, he will just give up. It sucks to see him declining like this, we all expected him to go down suddenly one day from his heart. 🙁
Conserving some energy rather than doing all of the chores sounds like a sensible plan. Remember that you are not superwoman.