For those who care for someone with Parkinson's disease
[Home] [Forum] [Help] [Search] [Register] [Login] [Donate]
You are not logged in


Topic When life throws you curveballs Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By mylove On 2012.03.14 00:53
Does it ever just seems like it never rains but it pours?

So my sweet husband has finally made the tough decision that after 40+ years of working he needs to reevaluate and slow down. We've gone through all the legwork and gotten the ok from the neuro and the state agency that will be paying his disability for the reduced hours; now we need to deal with work and negotiate how they envision the accommodation and whether he gets to keep his health insurance. It's been a very tough decision and hard on us both, because it means a complete restructuring of our lives. But the stress of work is killing him, in a literal sense.

Now that we've gotten our minds around that, we had a surprise visit from all three kids that live away from home (and their spouses/others) this weekend. That meant that the house was noisy and stressful (even if it was in a good way) and the TV was on all the time and it's messy... I can go on but you know how it is when someone's there and it disrupts your routine. So we didn't have any 'defrag' time over the weekend (and still have two people through the coming weekend).

The son that's still left at home is deep in Advanced Placement exams and graduation requirements this week, and is incredibly stressed and needs my help with his projects, etc. I'm actually his advisor on one of his projects, so it isn't like I'm doing his work for him.

And to top it all off, we have two dogs that seem to have lost their minds over the last six months. It began as my totally housebroken dogs (with full access to a dog door open 24/7) starting to go on the floor all over the house. Then it was stealing food off the counter when we turned our backs. Then it was shredding things all over the house. And now that we've thwarted the bad house behavior by shutting them out in the yard during the day, they've retaliated by tunneling a 10 foot long, 2 foot deep tunnel underneath the neighbor's fence into his yard.

I'm absolutely at my wits end. One of these dogs is a rescue from the pound, the other is one I've had from a puppy. I've had them both for 5 to 6 years. There's no apparent reason for the terrible behavior. But it's absolutely killing my husband. The stress is enormous. We come home from a terrible day at work, needing desperately to relax, and find chaos and mess when we get here. We've tried everything, and can't find a solution. To make matters worse, the college kid home for spring break thinks that coming in at 3 a.m is A-OK and wakes the dogs up, who tear around barking, which wakes my husband who can't get back to sleep.

I've come to the conclusion that I have to get rid of them. But the kid who isn't at home to see the drama thinks I'm a terrible horrible person, and that I'm making stuff up, and 'overreacting'. There's drama and angst and bad feelings all over, and I feel like I'm having to choose between my husband's health (and my peace of mind) and my pet, whom I love, but not as much as my husband.

I have no one to talk to, my counselor takes eight weeks to get an appt to get in to see, and I'm out of my mind. I just sat and cried over the pot of dinner tonight. I feel so helpless. No matter what I do I'm wrong. I know this is a long letter, but I just needed a vent tonight. There's nobody out there that can fix it, but I feel like crying out into the darkness.

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.03.14 08:28
ml, maybe the dogs are getting into some of your husbands meds, start cutting back on their dosage!

By lurkingforacure On 2012.03.14 22:08
mylove,

I am very sorry you are having such a tough time, you are not alone. I offer these suggestions:

1. can you board the dogs for a week or two somewhere? the cost might be worth the peace of mind...

2. if you can't do that, can one of your kids take the two dogs for a week or two or a month?

3. keep in mind how much you have on your plate, and cut yourselves some slack. Realize that you are only one person and can only do so much. Caregivers can run circles around most people we know on our worst day, we get so much done usually while functioning on a lot fewer cylinders that most....less sleep, more stress, less time, etc.

4. maybe you can take a hot bath and soak in some epsom salts as well? they contain magnesium which will absorb into the skin and help with stress. Most Americans are deficient in this critical mineral.

5. hug your hubby! And have him hug you :)

By plcpainter On 2012.03.17 12:26
Just a couple of thoughts on your dogs: They seem to be in "pack-mode" and playing off of each other. I would break the two of them up. Get a 4' x 4' kennel and keep one in the utility room or garage with a bed and toy while the other one goes out and then reverse the order. The "accidents" on the floor could be them marking their territory -- quite literally, they are having a pissing match. For dogs, there is strength in numbers, hence The Pack. Your human pack is diminished in its strength and this new, dog pack is trying to take over. Break up the pack! Take them on walks alone, or work on commands alone, in the yard. "SIT!" "STAY!", etc. until you have re-established yourself as the Head Dog. I would not let them out together until the bad dog behaviour was under control and then, only with commands. They may come out together but they need to be lying down while TV was on. Feed them separately. You can always get new homes for them but it might be just a matter of prioritizing in their doggie-brains who is running the show. It takes a lot of consistent energy and many of us caregivers don't have that. The dogs have it figured out. Let us know how it goes. Good luck and best wishes!

By drshepard On 2012.03.18 20:13
Oh my...they sound like my nitwit cats. Everytime there is a ton of stress, they go nuts. I vote for kicking out the kids and keeping the dogs quiet! (lol).

By mylove On 2012.03.18 23:38
Wow. The last two kids just left, and the house is finally quiet. I hope things calm down now. He's been sidelined all weekend with a nasty headache and just feels punky. I can imagine.

The dog thing is still up in the air. He installed a brutal-looking but ingenious little setup around the area the dachsie was digging under by the fence (the board we used to cover the hole has 3" screws screwed through the plywood so that you can't see them, but as soon as someone tries to dig under they get poked) and so far it seems to be holding. It just seems like we plug one hole in the dike and three more leaks erupt, so to speak. I know we're just postponing the inevitable. What happens when he trips and falls over one of them underfoot? And they are so incredibly needy - like children - when he gets to the point where he needs more from me I won't be able to do for them like I do now. I really liked the pack idea suggestions. I swear I need the Dog Whisperer. Thank you so much!

And thank you, Lurking, for the reminder that I need to stop and take a deep breath and regroup. I joined a beginner's quilting group with some ladies at work, and I can't believe how peaceful that hobby is. Sitting down in the evening when I can catch a break and doing some piecing or some cutting is wonderful therapy. Just some mindless activity with my hands to let my spinning mind wander. He and I do jigsaw puzzles for the same reason; it takes our minds off things after we get off work for the day, and lets us regroup and still have something we're doing as a couple. A little mind-body therapy, I guess.

I know we're not at the end of this saga. He's considering rather than taking one whole day off a week to shorten his workload to take a reduced schedule of 5 hours a day in the mornings, then come home at lunch and nap in the afternoons. I have been home sick during the day, and I know how hard it is to sleep in here even with no one home. One dog is a dachshund, and she barks at the drop of a hat, so she's always going off randomly for no apparent reason. I just can't see him getting any sleep when he thinks he's going to. So we'll be at this point again, even if we've forestalled the inevitable for now.

I know he only tolerates the dogs for my sake, which makes me feel worse. It's me that can't let go. (It doesn't get easier when the dachsie - who has been my baby - crawls up in my lap and snuggles, because she loves me, even if she is bad.) Ever feel like you're caught in one of those lose/lose situations? :)


© 2003-2017 MyParkinsons.org · Privacy Policy & Terms of Use
Published by jAess Media. This website and Forum is sponsorsed by people like you