Sunday, July 1, 2012

The never ending tooth saga

For more or less, this is a whiny post. For the past month in a half, I have been in horrible tooth pain...again. I feel like this will never end. I think this infection has been brewing since January, but none of my dentists seemed to take me seriously - all thinking it was residual from a filling. I'm very frustrated by this, as I feel like if it had been dealt with then, I would not be in this situation now. But isn't this the story of all of our lives?

I called my endodontist this past Thursday as I am scheduled for a root canal on Tuesday, but they were out of the office until then. I called my regular dentist, but they said they could only recommend painkillers, and since I do not do well with just about every one (percocet is the only one I did okay with but had nausea and discomfort this time around), that was out of the question. I asked if I could at least be put on another antibiotic, no answer there. Since the pain has worsened and now the gum surrounding the tooth is infected/swollen, I called my regular dentist after hours. I'm hopeful she calls me back. I've tried some natural remedies, like onion and clove to no avail. They only gave very temporary relief. I've tried alcohol just to numb the tooth pain and gum, as well as tea bags with no success

So, I feel like I'm doomed to a lot of ibuprofen and tylenol. It's been within safe limits, but it's uncomfortable taking that much amount of meds to be honest, especially with past liver issues (now fine).

On top of all this, I have another infection in my mouth as well. With that one, it is in my gum surrounding my one tooth on my upper left side (used to have a bridge there). We cannot figure out why the infection won't drain and just stays there. This has caused intense itching, and again, has been for quite some time.

Then, in general, this is all a huge amount of money to fix. :sigh: Even in recovery, the after effects of an eating disorder looms. It is really disheartening.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The other shoe dropped...

I'm pretty exhausted right now. What I will say is that the shoe did indeed drop. When I arrived here on Sunday evening, things did not look good for my dad. He had a massive brain hemorrhage. Medications and the correct protocol were done, however, bleeding only worsened overnight. The nurse practitioner showed me his digitized scans, and it was apparent. His hemorrhage had begun as a size of grapefruit and grew another few cm in 7 hours time. There was also increased swelling. At this point, he was not a candidate for surgery. And even if he did survive, he would have been left with no speech, hearing, and half side body paralyzed. We all knew he did not want to live that way.

He left this earth at approximately 2:55pm on Monday. Arrangements were quickly made for a traditional Jewish funeral as my dad was Jewish (did not practice but grew up as and believed in the faith). The funeral is tomorrow, and then I have to leave to go back where grieving and processing will resume. It will be hard as I live alone, and come Sunday, that may be rough. Sundays and Wednesdays were his "official" days to call me. We talked at other times too, but he designated those days and absolutely loved to have them. It is very sad knowing there will be no more of those calls.

I will post more later after the funeral and when I get back. I'm just extremely exhausted, but at least not numb. Sometimes, those emotions are hard to feel, but it is how we process, grieve, and heal.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

I kept thinking how I needed to update all of you on what's been happening with my life.  It's actually been a lot of exciting things.   Job wise, I started my own business.  It's actually been in existence, but I feel like it is finally getting off the ground.  I'm meeting new clients who value my time and expertise and are committed to working with their dogs.  I've led some 4-H dog obedience classes which were very successful and am helping with their Dog Show in the summer.  I've finally found a place that will allow me to hold group dog training classes, so that will be getting underway soon.  I've met some good  vets here who are referring me clients.  I've worked with some rescue groups, and they've felt I was a very "rescue friendly" trainer.  I'm also the lead person for the annual dog training conference I go to for local involvement.  Tovah has also started her therapy dog career and is officially certified.  She has done very well at all the places we have gone to - assisted living centers, nursing homes, and one of the local libraries to have kids read to her.  Tuesday, we were meeting with a social worker/volunteer to possibly work as a therapy dog for a support group who helps those who have lost loved ones.

So, just as things are beginning to come together, something happens; the other shoe drops.  This evening, I had a call that my father had a massive brain hemorrhage and was unconscious.  The last I heard a few hours ago was that he had some movement on one of his sides and that a neurologist was going to look at him.  I feel awful as it is seems like he just never catches a break.  He has had many illnesses over the years - cancer twice, quintuple by-pass with major complications, chemo twice, sepsis, Diabetes, dementia, chronic kidney disease, and others I'm sure I am missing.  He's been a trooper all along, and we nicknamed him the "kudzu" man, as the kudzu plant is difficult to kill and survives easily.  However, we've all worried when his luck might run out.  

We've been told to come as this could be the end.  We've been told this before, and he has fought his way back.  I like to think this will happen again, but honestly, I am unsure.  I have slight guilt as well which is also why I feel the need to go - flying out tomorrow.  He called me this evening prior to his brain trauma.  I was out mowing so received the message when I came in.  He sounded usual with no problems and said he would call me tomorrow, his usual day.  I thought nothing of this and did not call him back.  I hope I am wrong, and our last conversation won't just be about my car but rather other things.  

It's hard when spontaneous stuff like this happens.  I get thrown into thinking of who will watch the dogs and the bunny, how much do I need to pack, etc. This would not be so bad, except I have no dog food until tomorrow.    

I'll be flying tomorrow afternoon.  I hope the news will be better when I get there.  Please send good vibes and thoughts.  Thanks!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"The Awakening"

I didn't actually realize it had been almost two months since I've updated this blog.  Yikes!  A lot has been going on since then with business, my own dogs, just life in general.  I'm off to a week long workshop this coming week, and then in May, I am really off and running with more group classes, working with a local shelter in implementing a new training program for their volunteers, and board/board and train dogs.  What is up with the week of May 20th?  I'm already booked for that week!

Anyway, I wanted to post this lovely poem called "The Awakening" by Sonny Carroll that was recently posted on the Heal Ourselves, Heal the World Facebook group.  I thought it was so fitting for many of us.  I tried to post this to some of you who are my facebook friends, but it did not come through, so I will try again.

There comes a time in your life when you finally get it…when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out…ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying, blaming and struggling to hold on. Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening... 
You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.

You realize that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you…and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are…and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself…and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

Your stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you – or didn’t do for you – and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and everything isn’t always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself…and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties…and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with.

You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for you next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry.

Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.

You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drinking more water, and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms.

You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people…and you learn not to always take it personally.

You learn that nobody’s punishing you and everything isn’t always somebody’s fault. It’s just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Then, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than you heart’s desire.

You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.

Finally, with courage in you heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Back in the dating pool :-(

Well, as my title suggests, I'm back in the dating pool again. Actually, however, this time, it was not due to me at all. Match Music guy got a great career opportunity on the other side of the coast. It really is a good break for the industry he is in, as he will have steadier work and be able to network with more higher status people.

In his e-mail, he was certainly happy for this new opportunity, but at the same time felt very bummed as this would affect our relationship. And in actuality, I was bummed too, as I do think we could have furthered our relationship.

There is part of me that feels like the stars were not aligned in our favor. When I say this, I mean that there were some instances (out of his control) where he had to cancel dates, such as a virus on his computer and a bad alternator in his car last week, and then at one point he thought I was letting him go in not suggesting a date idea in an e-mail. Certainly, these are coincidences for sure, but it did make me wonder in a funny kind of way, like the universe was trying to tell me something. Maybe this was good that this happened now versus 6 months or a year down the road or something. I always like to believe that things happen for a reason. If things are meant to be, then they come back to you in one way shape or form, at least this is my viewpoint on life, experiences, learning lessons, and loss.

In any case, I wrote a nice e-mail back saying what I've said here, that I'd be selfish not to be happy for him, and that I'm sure he will find someone there, though this means he will also be back in the dating pool, something he does not enjoy. So, there you have it. Last week would have been our 4th date. I guess this is a new record for me, but :sigh: it's back to dating again.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Guest visitors

So while I've been busy with things here, I also have a few new visitors. I'm not sure how long they are staying. The story is that they are from a hoarder in Chicago. A shelter took them in, but they were going to be euthanized, so some local rat rescues here, took them. It was a total of 21 rats they had to find placements for. The way rats work is that they have to be quarantined for 2-4 weeks with no other rats to ensure they are healthy. Otherwise, the entire rat colony can be killed.



The two I have, a pair of girls, I've named Matilda and Tallulah. I've never had pet rats before, but they are fun. They are easy to take care of in terms of maintenance, however, rat-proofing can be hard, harder than bunny proofing, at least in my house anyway.

I've had the girls a week in a half, and they are doing well. Matilda is more outgoing, but both take treats from me, climb into my lap, etc. Tallulah, however, will hide after a period of time out.

Anyway, if you've never had a pet rat, and you want something that is pretty easy to take care of and trainable, a rat might be for you. They are not smelly like a ferret either. They keep themselves very well groomed and do enjoy being around humans, at least these two. However, if you have other animals, you need to take caution with that. The other species may not be too happy with them, as evidence of Clover thumping for 2 hours after they got here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Re-opening wounds

For several weeks, I had known about an upcoming dinner for some local dog trainers. It happens that the annual dog training conference I've been attending since 2003, will literally be in my backyard this year. It is really exciting to have such an big event here, and I'm hopeful it will be just as good or even better than other past conferences.

I had already told the event coordinator I was going, however, I also knew there was a high chance my former boss would be there. After all, we are in the same town and belong to the same organization. It took me awhile, but I finally was brazen enough to ask the event coordinator if she had RSVP'd. I guess I did not want to have to feel anxiety or feel paranoid for nothing, but at the same time, I did not want to sound petty. Yep, you guessed it, she RSVP'd.

I was the very first person to arrive, and she was the last person to come. There were a total of 16 people there--6 of us were trainers, the rest were committee members. The dinner was mostly for the local people--to see if they would be interested in being a part of the local arrangements team, of which I will be leading. For me, it was also a chance to chat with some old friends and catch up.

Overall, the dinner went well, but there was definitely an awkwardness between her and me, as well as another dog trainer who had also worked for her after me. I know we both glanced a few times in each other's direction, but we mostly avoided eye contact at all costs. She spoke to a few people sitting around her, and I spoke to a good number of people in general. The one thing I know I had was support from good friends and members who had also helped out with the conference last year. THAT made a huge difference for me, as I was reminded how valuable and recognized I was for all my hard work last year and the years preceding.

I try to remind myself that this was probably a weird feeling for her as well, but I cannot say old wounds were not re-opened. It's been close to a year since that day (you can look back through the archives if you are interested), and a year since we've had any contact at all--no phone, no e-mail, no anything. It is hard when you are in the same town at times. I think this is a situation that would have caused more rapidly healing from afar, ie "out of sight, out of mind."

Certainly, I have moved on and done my own thing which is coming along, but still, it is hard knowing that she and I will have to have some contact over the next 8 months. People tell me to be the bigger person, and of course I am, but sometimes, you do get tired of being the bigger person when you do not see others doing that as well. I think the most helpful thing for me is to remind myself that we truly are on the same team. I know we both want an outstanding conference and to be able to help as much as possible. I know we are both for the positive, scientific dog training movement, despite the fact our approaches are very different. 

I guess this will be a good test to see if this old wound can heal.