Sunday, 27 May 2012

It's about time, it's about dogs...

Well back in April I undertook the A - Z blog challenge because my blogging was flagging a bit and it seems that rather than give me a kick start (as I intended) it exhausted my creativity and caused me to need nearly a month off blogging!  Never fear - I have returned!

I must confess life has been rather busy of late.  I am working on my masters - not nearly as much as I should be - but I am doing it.  I've finished the first subject, am in progress with two at the moment and I'm about to start my fourth.  Then I will be half way through!  It's very interesting learning about conflict, mediation, and all that other alternative dispute resolution stuff.  Although I must confess that it is a bit difficult doing this when I am not working.  Hanging out in paradise with TLOML and the dogs just doesn't give me all that much food for thought in the conflict department.

Healthwise I think I am doing somewhat better than I was six months ago.  The pain levels are not good at all even though I'm taking much better pain meds and I'm almost constantly maintaining a level of pain medication to knock the worst of it down.  I can feel the pain killer I took this morning has worn off and I'm getting those nasty roving cramps that make everything else hard.  On the upside I have had far less issues with the other things that are a problem --- like vertigo, fatigue, the swallowing problem, weird skin sensations etc etc -- you know all that bonus stuff that we get with fibromyalgia.

TLOML and I seem to go from strength to strength in our relationship.  There is not a moment of any day when I don't feel like the luckiest woman on earth.  Neither of us is perfect but there is something pretty damn close to perfect about our relationship.  If we have a spat we get over it quickly and no one holds a grudge, we enjoy a lot of the same things, I get along well with her friends and her family, basically we have a lovely life.  The nights are chilly at the moment and we get excited that we are going to be able to snuggle and spend the night close to each other.  Almost every day when I pick her up from work we take the dogs to the beach.  I'm slow but I have built up the distance I can walk and we stroll hand in hand talking about our day and enjoying the dogs together.  It really is one of my greatest joys.

Now I have to tell you a bit about the dogs.  TLOML already had a dog when I moved in and she is a fabulous dog!  Her name is Venus and she is mostly fox terrier with a bit of kelpie probably.  She's very obedient, affectionate, lovable and easy to get along with but she is getting on a bit and has grey on her nose and around her eyes.  In the US I had a dog I LOVED called Sergio but I couldn't bring him home to Australia, even if I could have afforded the $3,000 I couldn't have stood him being in quarantine for 6 weeks!  He stayed with my ex who loves him and has a great home for him, but I still miss him.  So I mentioned to TLOML that I would like to think about getting another dog so that Venus can train it before she gets too old to play.  I started looking on the RSPCA site - I really believe in rescuing a dog if you can!  Then I found this young female dog called Misty who was described as a Maltese cross.  She is black and white and fluffy.  That night I showed TLOML Misty online and she agreed that she would be the one she would be most interested in too.  The next day I had a doctors appointment for some xrays on the mainland (free floating bone fragments in my ankle Yippee!) and I popped out to the RSPCA and met Misty.  OMG she was so cute!  Unfortunately the staff informed me that there were two people who had expressed an interest in her ahead of me.  I put my name down as interested and asked them to find out if the others were going to adopt her because if they didn't I was pretty sure we would.  Later that week it was confirmed that the other people couldn't proceed at the moment and if we wanted her we could have her.  So I took TLOML to the RSPCA on Saturday morning and watched her fall in love with the scruffy little bundle too.
Here she is on her first day with us - at the petshop buying her collar and lead before heading home to the island!
Neither TLOML nor I liked the name Misty so we decided to call her Frizby which sounds kind of similar but is cuter and more fun.
Venus (on the left) is teaching Frizby where to wait when we are in the kitchen.
Mostly now we just call her Frizzy or Frizzball or Frizz and she is absolutely wonderful!  At first TLOML was adamant that Frizby would be my responsibility and I would bear all the costs (blah blah blah) which would have been fine with me but I thought it might be nicer if we adopted her together.  It seemed that the idea of knowing which dog belongs to whom kind of presumes that one day we will split up and I don't ever want that to happen!  I mentioned this, with the note that it isn't about the money, and TLOML agreed. So now both dogs are OURS!  It has really been a lovely bonding experience and we both think it was by far the best decision.  We think she might be some sort of Poodle/Shih Tzu/Maltese cross but who knows, she doesn't have a squashed in face like a Shih Tzu and she is bigger than either them or a Maltese...She is like a lamb more than anything else!  So now we are in love not only with each other but also with the dogs.

So there you go... living in bliss is not really the stuff of great blogs I guess... my life is filled with laughter and love and lots of fun too, The Boy is busy in Sydney and I wish we had more contact but other than that, oh yeah and the nagging chronic pain, everything is perfect!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Screwed up is NORMAL

If you meet someone who appears completely well adjusted they are either repressed or false...  somewhere, in some way, we are all screwed up.  I used to think I was pretty well adjusted but the older, and more self aware, I have become the more I realize that I was just glossing over my eccentricities, phobias, and sensitivities.  I'm nearly a basket case if you really catalog my oddities!  But so is everyone else!

I am frightened of flying things -  can't handle them being too close to me - is this because of my brother's 47 budgerigars (parakeets) that used to fly free through our rumpus room?

I have some level of separation anxiety, ok quite a high level...  is this because my dad left when I was nearly 6?    I suffered horrific homesickness as a kid - Dad said it was because I was too close to my mother - but I had an overwhelming fear of something terrible happening when I wasn't there - maybe I was just an incurable sticky beak or maybe it was a control issue?

I'm thingy about my things.  Mum used to call me "Black Jed" and said "Nothing comes between Black Jed and what's hissun." -- I have no idea where she got that saying, although knowing mum I would say it was a line from some old movie.  I even googled it without result.  Interestingly I have spent the last 13 years getting rid of stuff - my possessions have been broken, stolen, lost, abandoned, withheld, auctioned, destroyed, sold, given away, and sued for...  I suspect short of blasting my possessions into orbit with a satellite or vapourizing them I have covered pretty much all potential aspects of dispersal.  I flew home from the states with 6 suitcases, drove to my new tropical home with a sedan full of stuff, and aside from a few things that are still stored somewhere at my brother's place, that's it.  Sometimes I just need to get used to things, like getting used to TLOML taking off in my car and calling it "our car". This, by the way, is fine with me, but I do know that I have an emotional response which I need to manage intellectually.  I hope that people can be forgiving of that moment of non-generosity that happens before I get my emotions under control.  It is just a touch of Gollumitis "mine mine my precious".  In other ways I am incredibly generous, for example with my time, labour and expertise...  I will help pretty much anyone to do pretty much anything with no expectation of repayment or return.  But stuff... stuff is an issue...  Actually I became quite philosophical about this after several years of repeated losses... for example just recently I bought my 6th cordless drill having had the other five taken from me in one way or another over the last ten years.  I have taken a zen approach in deciding that this is clearly part of my life lesson...  In the words of Deepak Chopra "Let it go".

I can't stop listing my problems without talking about crowds, queues, and social anxiety...  I can get quite close to a panic attack in a crowd or when trapped in a queue.  This has become worse since I have had FMS - I should say since FMS started to really impact on my existence because I think I have always had it probably - but now the panic to get out of the queue is exacerbated by the pain of standing and the desperate need to get off my feet.  I'm a very socially successful person, I can talk to pretty much anyone about anything and yet I am quite freaked out by strangers and groups of people.  One on one I am fine in a group I can't have my first few drinks fast enough to make these situations tolerable.

I'm not about to list other people's issues but I do know that no matter how smooth and unencumbered with complexes people appear they have got some areas of weirdness.  I think we are all twisted, it is part of the human condition, part of the wonderful diversity that makes us all individual!