Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Back on the Healthy Wagon.

The last year at this job has been hard on my healthy habits. I'm a stress snacker, and my job is in turn stressful and frustrating. I'm an insomniac who has trouble falling asleep without wine, and I sit on my ass nearly every waking moment: an hour commute to sit for over 8 at an ugly desk in one of the least comfortable and attractive offices I've ever endured, another hour to drive home to deal with an elderly sick dog's daily messes on the floor.

I love Murphy, everyone knows that, but I'm not going to pretend that it's easy to live with him at this stage of his life. I'm not going to romanticize it, or say that I want him to live forever. Not like this. It's wearing me down, it really is.

I stayed up pretty late Saturday night, and took the dogs for their bedtime walk a little after midnight, hoping they would let me sleep in until, oh, 7. 7 hours of sleep is apparently the maximum I'm allowed by law, btw. I fell asleep at nearly 1 a.m.

Murphy woke me well before 6, and I got up to prepare to take them for a walk. I walked to the kitchen, to find he'd already peed a lake and had a big, runny attack of diarrhea on the kitchen floor. He felt much better and went back to bed, and I started my day as I do so many days, cleaning up after him.

I never know what's going to greet me when I come home from work exhausted and disgusted. I can't have throw rugs, I go through a mind-blowing amount of paper towels and cleaning products, it's the canine nursing home from hell. And yet, there he is, perky and alert, demanding treats at my spot on the couch (often when I'm across the room - he fakes being able to see quite convincingly). It's not like I'm prolonging "putting him out of his misery" for my own needs. He's old, he doesn't believe in using potty pads, but he honestly is happy and enjoying his life as an ancient and frequently incontinent old dog. Murphy is not suffering. I am. It's disgusting to live like this. I will be sad when he finally passes, but also relieved that this nursing home phase will be over. But he's definitely a happy guy and at least one of us is sleeping well. He had a very exciting dream again last night and woke me up barking in his sleep.

Add running a canine nursing home to my long days at my shitty job, and it's a recipe for depression. I'm not the only person feeling stressed and depressed at work, but the thought that misery loves company has never been at all comforting.

So I'm focusing on the things I can control. I can't fix the weather or do much about the job, but I can fix my eating habits and stop backsliding into snacking on junk. I can drink more tea and less wine, and get up and move more at work. Small things, baby steps, but they're helping.

My daughter and son-in-law had a day off and took Miss D back to Disney. They got rained on a bit, but not too much, and had a much better day. It made up for Saturday's disappointment. Delaney rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for the first time. That's the ride that caused such crushing disappointment last year, when she was deemed too skinny to be secure under the bar, though she was officially tall enough to ride. She was thrilled and pronounced it "Amazing!" I can't wait to ride it with her.

Disney is my therapy. A Florida resident pass is cheaper than a shrink.


ellen kirkendall said...

I feel for you and your doggie nursing home. My long gone Great Dane had limited continence for the last year (and more) of his life. He too was otherwise comfortable and happy.

Catherine said...

Great Dane? Thanks for the perspective. ;-) Yesterday I came home to several messes, many left within less than a foot of a peepee pad. I leave them in every room, and Sophie will faithfully use one if she feels the need while I'm gone. Murphy...not so much.

Brenda said...

Can you confine your little senior to one room? I bought some baby gates for $10 each at WalMart before I went back to work, so when Hannah has an accident, it is at least confined to the 1972 linoleum in the kitchen. Plus I don't have to worry about her falling down the stairs while I'm gone---she's blind as a bat, too. I know how you feel---I've provided skilled nursing care for two senior Yorkies, and while I was glad to do it for them and dreaded losing them, it does get old. I'm no good without a dog, so I dread starting over with another puppy when she's gone, too.