Monday, March 20, 2017

Is this the new normal?

Since the beginning of this year, I have had a terrible time with Sage's health. He's been going into a preictal phase, which is the stage before the full blown seizure, but not actually having one. The preictal stage is characterized for Sage (changes for every dog) by being more clingy than he usually is, jumpy at sudden sharp sounds, ultra sensitive to known sounds like the reverse tune of our car, sound of the lift on our floor, phone beeps and doorbell. He also sometimes begins to walk into doors and walls or wedge himself into tiny corners like between furniture etc. Constant needs for a walk because he is restless, sometimes every half hour, so I will walk him, bring him upstairs to our apartment, feed and give him water (which is a habit after every walk) and he will ask for another walk almost immediately. Which means there are days and nights when I am walking him continuously for upto 6 hours.

We put him on an hourly emergency medication which has averted the actual seizure from happening, but sometimes I wonder if he should just have the attack so that all of us can be done with it. 

This has meant round the clock monitoring and one block of 4 days when neither K or I slept because we needed to be alert. Sage can't settle down and sleep and is distrustful of climbing up and down from our bed, so I put a sheet on the floor to sleep next to him and comfort him. By the 36th hour, K and I are exhausted and at our wits end and getting at each other like cats in heat. This ended, we had a few weeks of normal and repeat!

While this sounds very mild, imagine living with this recurring every few weeks. It is exhausting. Plus I am unable to leave him home alone for any period of time, I cart him to the studio during workshops and he is leashed till the session is done. But with the temperatures soaring and the heat of the ovens, it gets ridiculously hot and uncomfortable for him and he whines and cries or is restless adding to my stress. I cannot figure whether I should give up classes and stay home or take him and lump it.

If I have to go any place, it is a mad synchronised dance with K and most times, I don't go out unless there is something very important because it causes everyone to be on edge. I do feel sometimes that I do not enough social interactions and need to get out more.

Last week, overwhelmed with all the stuff happening, I wanted to get away from everything and everyone, just walk till my feet hurt and exhaust myself physically so that the mental strain is not felt that much. But the minute I leave the house without him, Sage panics. So there I was, unable to break free, walking with him, feeling so suffocated and sorry for myself. I sat on the steps of a still unfinished mall and started to cry, cloaked by the darkness which had already fallen. I don't know why I burst into tears like that, I usually don't. But I just couldn't stop crying. Nuzzling me was Sage, making me feel more guilty that I held him partly responsible for my suffocation. He sat there, next to me, wedging his nose between my face and knees as I sobbed. I held onto him after a few minutes, and told him I was tired and sorry and just wanted a break. When I was spent, he walked me back and the next couple of days, he was so calm and tried not to get into my hair like he exactly understood what I needed.

I know he is helpless and fully dependent on me, but there are times when all I want is to have a day where I eat and sleep to my hearts content rather than according to his medication, food and walk schedule.

Work has been at the receiving end of all of this drama and for the last month, I haven't done much work which again sets me off. So it has been a cluster fuck for atleast the past 8 weeks. I am crabby and snappy and find everything getting on my nerves. I am sick of being this version of me to be honest. It has to stop, it has to change. If this is the new normal I will be terrible to live with in a few weeks :(