Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ah, the Fragmentary Nature of Thought

A couple of days ago, a groomer emasculated my dog. Poor Pounce didn't ask for it. Neither did my Mom when she took him. Wait! Maybe she did ask him... Then maybe she lied to me afterward and said she didn't. Hah I doubt it! This is the second time he has had a hair cut and the second time he has come out of it looking like a female dog. He has short, fuzzy hair on this body, but long, fluffy hair on his head and ears. He looks like a moldy, caramel coloured marshmallow.

This time my mom took him to the vet for a cut, probably because it was less expensive. Do groomers in general like to do this to little dogs? Or do groomers tend to just find this look attractive? Poor Pounce apparently cried when he had it done. Everyone at the vet office is sadistic! First they remove some of his man parts. Now this! Maybe I should get certified to be a vet and animal groomer, so that I will be able to take care of Pouncey myself!

Unfortunately, Pounce will likely be dead by the time I get my licenses. Darn! I guess I'll have to trust the vets... So this is what it's like to be a paranoid parent... Well, more like a selfish parent. He's asleep now, but I really want to wake him up to play and cuddle. Restrain yourself, Ashley. RESTRAIN!

Ah, why did I even think about Pounce dying. Seriously, even though that probably won't happen for years, it still hurts me to imagine it. I'm sure all you animal lovers can relate. I got sad whenever one of my hamsters or gerbils died. Animals very quickly become part of the family. It feels like we've always had Pounce. For years I wanted a dog and now I have one!

My parents took the dog to my Grandparents' house a couple of hours away. They stayed over night. I didn't go because I wasn't -- and still am not -- feeling well. Leg fatigue and pain. Anyway, I was happy to have the house to myself. I watched home movies, listened to music, chatted online. Once a year when I look after the Great Danes for a week, I'm the only human there, but they Danes my protectors. They're like people.

But I missed Pounce! And my Mom and Dad! This was the first time I've ever had a home to myself overnight. Yes, I'm 24 and this is the first time. I've never been terribly independent. I hadn't taken the public transit system alone until I was 18 and off to university every day.

I don't think I'd ever seen one of my specialists alone until last year. My mom always wanted to be there -- I think sometimes she still does. She has told me that I tend to downplay my symptoms to the doctor and sometimes I forget what the doctor has said to me, so I can't relay it to her. I think she likes to be there to make sure the doctor knows what my symptoms are and that they make me suffer. I just know my doctors have seen much worse than me. I don't feel that I'm worth much of their time. I don't want to appear dramatic.What if the doctor thinks I'm a hypochondriac? A ridiculous notion, probably, based on my medical history, diagnoses and the fact that no doctor has treated me like that before. My symptoms are as real to them as they are to me. It just feels surreal, telling doctors everything. Wondering what they can do for me. Wondering when they think I'll start feeling better.

I also tend not to explain my symptoms in detail to my friends, in person or on the phone. I get nervous when they ask. I don't really know why. I can't figure that out. I can write about it easily, but in person I don't like to talk about what I've written in this blog or in essays I wrote in university about health. I want people to know when I'm having a hard time and why, but I often don't want to talk about it -- in detail, anyway.

Perhaps, it's because I feel vulnerable about my issues. I don't want anyone to think I'm less capable of doing things, or that I'm delicate. I have always disliked being treated that way. I also dislike the reaction -- even the sympathy -- when people talk to me about it. I mean, I'm glad they feel for me, but I don't know how to handle sympathy or admiration for how I've handled it. What do I say or do?

Sometimes I feel I need Mom at the doctor because I tend to have trouble articulating everything and understanding and remembering what the doctors say. It's part of my Auditory Processing Disorder, which is caused by my neurological condition. It felt so strange to see my neurosurgeon without my mom last month. I'm hoping she'll be okay with me going to see my cardiologist alone this week. I get nervous before seeing the doctor and I find her presence is a major factor in that. I don't like the questions she asks about what I should be doing or what I should look out for. I don't like her being close when I'm examined or when I'm answering the doctor's questions or describing my symptoms.

Wow. Tangent! Anyway, it felt so odd to go to bed alone last night, to be in a quiet, dark house alone. I liked it, but it felt kind of lonely. Do I really want to live my life as a spinster? During my taste of independence last night, I missed my parents and Pounce. Then today when they came home, I went to the usual routine of staying in separate rooms from them mostly, because I wanted the privacy. I was just happy to know they were home, to hear Dad's television playing downstairs, to hear Mom talking to the dog.

It isn't just the comfort of security that I like; I find that I simply enjoy physically being with people. I'm the same with friends! I often don't say very much. I just like to listen to them talk and laugh or sit in silence. I think this comfort when being quiet is a testament to my true friendships and love for my family. I don't mind that I'm often not very chatty. I don't need to talk to feel comfortable or to enjoy myself.

Hosting social engagements does make me uncomfortable because I'm self conscious of my social skills. Also, it's hard to make sure I'm spending enough time with everyone. So many people I like and love! Even inviting people on Facebook was hard for me because I wondered if half the people I invited, mainly friends or acquaintances from university and college I want to get know better, would even want to come! I still wonder who will come. And what if I'm not feeling well during the party? It seems likely given that I've had more downs than upsin the past month. Also, the activity from a party won't help. I'm even less chatty when I don't feel well and I'll probably look sad and tired.

I promise I intended this to be a silly post. It's strange that our emotions can change so quickly. It's best to acknowledge such change, if you ask me.


  1. I think it was a very insightful post! And I'm sorry your puppy is a caramel! :)

  2. Ashley,

    Thank you for visiting Me! I'd love to know more about You.

    I'm thinking a few things now:

    1. You're 24! (yay for same age!)
    2. You have a cardiac condition? A neurological one too? (I must read more posts to figure- You can leave me links, I'll read.)
    3. Somebody other than Me thinks these spinster thoughts and wonders what she'll do! :D

    So glad your thoughts came out- high five!

    p.s. Pounce sounds cute.

  3. I think that you posting all this is very good for you. It helps you to relieve stress, probably, and you get to lean on someone's shoulder...even if you can't really SEE the shoulder...
    And, frankly, it helps us to count our blessings when we are least for me, anyway.
    So, while I am amazed at your faith and courage during all your challenges, it helps me to understand how damn lucky I am to be healthy. So through your struggles, you bring good out it for people you don't even know.
    God bless you, and as a stranger, I pray for you.

  4. It's so good to read an honest post. You are facing a lot and seem to do it with grace. Sending you lots of good thoughts.

  5. JackDaddy - Thanks! I love Pounce's colour, actually. He's so cute.

    Feeling Just Right - 1. Wow, a doctor at 24?! That's amazing. Good for you.

    2. I found your other comment on my "Lucky" post which you left after this one... So I'm assuming you are familiar with my story now. Is there anything else or something more specific you'd like to know? I'm not working or in school now, so I can rest. Thanks so much for your interest!

    3. Yes, it's nice to hear that spinsterhood is attractive to other people too!

    Thanks for visiting me and being glad my "thoughts came out." You're so nice!

    Joe - I know what you mean about someone's personal story of illness making you feel grateful for your own health. I feel that quite a bit, having often been reminded that "It could be a lot worse." Thanks for saying I've been faithful and courageous. And for your prayers. I'm an Atheist, but I appreciate the thought.

    Betty - I try to be very honest here. I try to be graceful about everything because I am grateful and happy, but I do have my ugly periods too, of course! Thanks so much for visiting me and leaving me such thoughtful, kind comments.

  6. All questions answered :)

    Hope you're having a beautiful, bright day!

  7. Ashley,
    Everything you said in this post sounds very normal to me (for a basically introverted personality). Retreating to your own room and feeling comforted by knowing you are not alone in the house is very normal. People (like us types) like to think we like to be alone, and we do, but we also like to have people within easy reach. Many times I seek solitude, so I go on a solo multi-day hike – what’s the first thing I feel – lonely. The more time I spend truly alone the more I realize how much I love and need my family and friends (even though I still like time alone).

    Forget about that spinster thing it’s ridiculous! Your perception of how things will be in the future is being drastically distorted by your current poor health. You are a very pretty, smart and funny young 24 year old girl – and you like people. It is extremely unlikely you will be a “spinster”. Your health may improve or maybe not, or maybe it will be a roller coaster. I certainly hope the best for you, but no matter what happens to your health, the world will bring new people into your life, some of them will certainly be men you are attracted to. No doubt that will be a roller coaster of emotions as well. Sooner or later you will find yourself in a serious relationship, and then your view of what the future could be like is bound to change. Like you said at the end of your post “…our emotions can change so quickly” – truer than you may realize.


  8. Robin - Good point that solitude makes you miss family and reflect on your love for them.

    I didn't mean for the spinster thing to be an insult to myself like "No one will want me." I'm sure I can find someone. I'm sure someone can find me. I'm just not attracted and I don't see myself becoming that way... But I hope it will happen.

    Thanks for your efforts to help me realize my ... eligibility. Haha! Ah, I blushed! I've thought about spinsterhood for ages. My health problems haven't factored into that imagining of the future, although I do imagine my health may be a challenge in a relationship.