Monday, July 19, 2010

Gone to the Dogs

Today I awoke to blinding sunlight from the windows in the hall (skylight, I curse you!) and the whoosh of my mom's giant fan. She had opened the door to let the air circulate, as no air seems to come from the vent in her bedroom. I'm not terribly certain that opening my door will give her more access to the air, but maybe that's just because I'm annoyed with the lack of privacy and also from having my sleep disturbed.

I was so frustrated I actually cried! Yes. I blame the sleep deprivation. I'm often nocturnal, remember? Also it took me like two hours to get to sleep. Longer than usual. NOT ENOUGH SLEEP MAKES ASHLEY CRANKY! But joking aside, my sadness was about more than the lack of sleep. My mom told me I shouldn't be in bed at 9 am anyway. What??! Even if I had gone to bed early, I would have had every reason to still be in bed! That's partly why I'm still not working! I need to rest! Seriously, I tire often and I need a lot of sleep to feel decent.

For two weeks now, I've been feeling pretty good with a lot of sleep, but I won't get a job -- at least not yet. I have ups and downs. It's pretty normal for me to have a couple of weeks of wellness like I am having now and then to feel terrifically bad for a long time, or at least have intermittent periods of badness that are unpredictable in their rhythm, frequency and duration. So I can't say: "I can work Monday, Wednesday and Friday because I'll be fine with a day of rest between days of work," especially because I often need even more rest and become even more symptomatic when I'm active. So I really don't know what to do.

I don't mind sitting on my bum most of the time because it helps me feel better and is certainly my best option when I'm not doing well. But I do hate telling people that I'm currently not working or in school. Just living with my parents. I don't think I come off as a low-life, though, because I tell them I was just in grad school and will go back next year. That changes the subject from illness to public relations. Don't get me wrong, it feels great to vent about everything, but I often want a break from it when I'm out. Especially if I'm feeling good. At an art show a good friend of mine had, I think I only told one person why I was at home, partly because I just didn't want to talk about it and didn't want to deal with the sympathy, shock or wonderment at my "good period." I was happy to be my spunky self, joking around and sharing my love and admiration for my friend with important people in her life.

Anyway, back to today. At 11:30, I went across the street to let the Great Danes out and hang out with them for an hour. It's a sweet gig, but they weren't behaving: the blue Dane wouldn't stop eating grass and the black Dane wouldn't get out of the sun. So I made them go inside to their beds. Get this: they each have their own little mattress! Such nice dog owners they have.

They usual go to their beds after they go inside. So I sit with them and pet them for a bit. Then they seem to get bored of me. So this time I decided to read the Readers Digest to them. the black Dane grumbled when I read the comments section, so I skipped the joke section. I read them an article on Michael J. Fox who talked about learning to be happy despite having Parkinsons. Now, I'm anti self-help books because I find they give useless or cliched common sense advice, but Michael really has a good perspective and he managed to share it without lecturing. His thoughts about learning about your condition to understand how to manage it resonated with me. I enjoyed reading the article, especially aloud, but I can't speak for the dogs.


  1. I'd count it the height of luxury to be read to - not that I have been since I was at school! LOL :)

  2. What a nice thing to do for the dogs! That struck a chord with me, for some reason I pictured you reading to them, sunlight streaming in through the windows while you resonated with Michael's experiences with Parkinson's. I hope you have a nice day, Ashley!

  3. As a mum of two great danes myself, I'd say they rather enjoyed being read to and would have taken much from the subject matter :P Currently mine are snoring on our two couches and I am sitting on the floor. They own the house, just ask them.

  4. Nice of you to read those dogs a story!


  5. Jinksy - If only the Danes understood how lucky they were! No appreciation! hehe

    Jinnia - Were you watching me read to them? That's pretty much exactly how it happened.

    Rusty - Oh, Danes are so lazy aren't they? I didn't know you had some! That's it. I'm coming over there to read National Geographic.

    Jane - Thanks! I thought it was nice too...

  6. I really like Michael J. Fox. He has a great head on his shoulders, despite being a celebrity. He has an audio book, perhaps the danes would appreciate hearing directly from him. LOL

  7. Hahaha Pauline, that made me laugh... Michael J. Fox reading to the dogs. His voice is so nice to listen to. And why not?? Their owners and I put either the television or radio on for them to keep them company when no one's home.