Saturday, March 24, 2012

Back to the Dog Park

Fundy's stitches came out on Tuesday, so she is clear to go to the dog park again. John & Jennifer took them yesterday for the first time in weeks, and they ran and ran. Today went well until the end, at which point Paisley lost her mind, completely and utterly. She was attacking Fundy, John, me. I think only Jennifer was spared. John finally was able to get her to sit. She was out of control. I don't know she does that, whether it's overstimulation, being overtired, or what. It's frustrating for all involved though.

Fortunately Fundy doesn't seem to hold a grudge, so I'm sure she'll go out with her again.

Both dogs got some crazy ear action going today.

In this one she was sticking her tongue out at John. He was trying to make her sit when she was going mental.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


My friend Kathleen surprised me today by sending flowers! They are beautiful. You should have seen the packaging then came in! They were delivered by FedEx, I think, and came in this huge box. The lid came off the box, then there was an insert to lift the flowers out. They were already in a glass vase, and the vase was packed in this special box. Once I got that box off, the flowers were packed in special stuff to keep them fresh without water. All in all, it was very impressive.

The flowers are gorgeous! I still have to trim them and make them look good in the vase, but Kathleen wanted some pictures to make sure they looked good! The one funny thing is that the one of the info cards said "memorial flowers" on it. I found that hilarious! I told Kathleen that it is in honour of my dear departed uterus.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Video, maybe

I went for a walk around Sun Ridge this afternoon and took my camera. I thought it might be a good opportunity to take some pictures. I decided to create a slideshow with them, just for practice. The song is Pie Jesu by Sarah Slean.

Spring from Constance Sheriff on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Poodle Love

I have been fortunate to live with 2 standard poodles. Molly was our first poodle. She was the love of my life. I feel terrible looking back on her life with me though, as I didn't give her the attention she deserved. When we first got her we were living in Toronto, and both of us worked fairly long hours. Despite not being around enough, she & I eventually managed to bond, and she was definitely "my dog". I loved her so much. When we moved to Lethbridge our hours changed, but I still don't think I gave her enough attention. She liked to be in the basement, so often hung out down there on her own. I would play with her and walk her, and spend time with her when she asked for attention, but there's no reason I couldn't have just been down there with her. I will always regret that. As she got older I went back to school and neglected her even more. I will regret that forever.

I can still cry thinking about losing her. I regret so much with Molly. I wish I could have a do-over.

Now we have Paisley. Paisley is the complete opposite of Molly in many (most!) respects. Where Molly was tidy and fastidious, Paisley is untidy and unconcerned about being messy. Where Molly basically trained herself, Paisley requires constant work. Having said that, I love Paisley just as much as I loved Molly. Paisley is independent, crazy, and sweet. She gets into everything, and can lose her mind in an instant. She rarely relaxes, and if not asleep is moving, moving, moving. She's not so much "my dog", or anyone's dog. She's her own dog. I'm OK with that now, although it took a while before I could accept that she was never going to be "my dog" the way Molly was.

I have been so lucky with Paisley. We got to see her at 3 weeks, 5 weeks, and 8 weeks old. She was our dog long before she got to come home with us. With Molly we didn't meet her until the day we went to pick her up. Then the breeder said "This is your dog". And so she was. It was nice with Paisley to watch her grow and develop, and I thank the breeder for that. We had a long drive to bring her home, and I got to sit with her in the car and snuggle. It took about 20 minutes for me to fall completely in love with her. She started off across the seat from me, and gradually inched her way closer until she was lying across my lap. Poodle heaven.

Because I work part-time here I was able to spend a lot more time with her when she was a pup. Now that I'm off work for almost 8 weeks, I get to spend basically 24 hours a days with her. I feel so lucky to have so much time with her. She has so much personality and zest for life. She has lifted our spirits that were so down after losing Molly. Paisley is not an easy dog by any stretch of the imagination, but she is worth the effort. Even now we can see settling down a bit, and being a bit less naughty. I don't kid myself though - I know she will always be naughty. It's her nature. The good thing she is so cute about her naughtiness that you can't hold it against her for long.

I hope that I can be and do all the things with Paisley that I regret not being & doing with Molly. I guess it's a learning curve, but boy, I feel bad that Molly took the brunt of the curve. Hopefully I will be a better poodle parent with Paisley.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


I can't sleep. I've never been a great sleeper, but usually could get a few straight hours each night. I'm a light sleeper so I hear everything, especially the dog. Since the surgery I struggle to get to sleep, then struggle to stay asleep. I have a hard time getting comfortable initially, and then for some reason just can't stay asleep. I woke up at 3:30am as I always seem to since being in the hospital. I thought if I waited it out I could get back to sleep but no luck. Then it just gets frustrating, so I got up. I'd rather nap in a bit than toss & turn.

As I left the bedroom I noticed that the little dog was crowding John completely. He can't stand being touched so as she takes up more space he squishes himself into the smaller space to avoid her. Hopefully she'll stretch out on my side now that I'm gone and give him more room. Normally I'd move her when I see her doing that, but I can't right now. Poor John.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Caution - May be TMI for some!

I got my period when I was 12. It was sheer hell from day one. I had no idea at the time why, but it was awful. By the time I was 15 I was on birth control to try to control it. At 17 I had a laparoscopy & D&C to see what was going on, and was diagnosed with endometriosis. Back then there wasn't much to do about it other than continue with birth control, so I did.

In my mid-20s I found an amazing doctor. She let me take the pill all the time so I never had a period. It was the best period of my life, pun intended. Sadly in 2003 I developed a blood clot in my leg, so there went the pill. My period returned with a vengeance. Every month seemed to be worse & worse. I started missing work because of it. I referred to the flow as hemorrhaging, it was so bad. No protection was enough, and the clotting was terrible. I felt like vomiting and passing out the entire week, and couldn't stand upright for the pain. However, aside from trying an IUD, there were no options for me. No one wanted to do a hysterectomy when I was in my 30s because they were concerned I'd change my mind about having kids and regret it.

Funny enough, I recently asked my doctor to send me to see someone about my defective bladder. The doctor he referred me to  is an OBGYN. In the course of the exam he asked about my period, so I told him how bad it was. He wondered why I hadn't done anything about it before. I said I had no options, and he said I did - a hysterectomy. He explained that he could do one that would remove the uterus, tubes, & cervix but leave the ovaries so I wouldn't immediately go into menopause. He told me to think about it and do some research, then we could discuss it again.

I talked to John and some of friends about it. It seemed a bit extreme, but tempting. In the end, after much discussion and research, I decided to go ahead. As the doctor said, it's not like I am using the equipment!

So, on Feb 29, I had a hysterectomy. It's been interesting so far. My surgery was delayed by an emergency, then an emergency c-section, but just after 9:30 I was taken in. Just after noon I was already being moved from recovery to a room. Wednesday was an adventure. Despite my dislike of painkillers I allowed them to give me 3 injections of morphine. Jennifer & Michelle laughed at me, saying it was the only time they have seen me stoned. It probably will be the only time too, girls!

I had a bad time on Wednesday night. Time seemed to have stopped moving. The woman next me to begged for pain medication every 10-15 minutes. I hated to ask for it, so I ended up waiting too long. That was unpleasant and led to some tears. Fortunately by Thursday morning I felt a bit better, and wasn't so emotional.

Eventually I was moved to the maternity wing, which is where I should have been all along. I found that a bit ironic, actually, given that there would be no babies for me now ; ) There was a lot of activity to keep me entertained. I got a chuckle from watching the new fathers wander the halls with their babies. The men looked like they had been hit on the head. They were stunned by the babies, and I sure each one felt that he was the only person who had ever had a baby, it was that amazing. It was fun to watch. The moms weren't like that. They were more practical about things - what do I now, what does the baby need, and so on. The dads were dumbstruck.

By Thursday afternoon I decided to stop taking pain medication. It's a bit easier to deal with pain when you know it's temporary, and since I hate it so much I decided to just do without. One of the nurses was quite surprised by this, and kept checking with me in case I changed my mind. The doctor who eventually discharged me was also quite surprised that I didn't want to go home with pain killers. I'm not saying it's not painful, just that I chose to not take them.

I got home on Saturday morning. They took the stitches out before I left the hospital. I hate having them taken out almost as much as I hate having IVs removed. At least that was done on Friday so I could spend one day in the hospital without it. Those things hurt.

So far things have been OK at home. I am definitely moving around more, which is good, but that leads to  more pain. I am making an effort to stand up straight, because I have been hunched over since the surgery. Now my back aches. I just have to stay focused on my posture and hopefully that will resolve itself. My stomach is quite distended still, partly because of the gas they use, and partly from swelling I think. I imagine that'll disappear in a few days.

Poor John is already feeling tired. He's having trouble trying to wrangle the dog, get dinner, keep things tidy, and do some actual work. I'm going to have to start pitching in more soon, so he doesn't have to do so much. He didn't get to bed until 1:30am this morning, and he can't keep that up for 6 weeks.

In the end though, I think I made the right decision. The doctor said that I have endometriosis throughout my abdomen. He got a lot of it out by removing things down there, but there is a lot that is left. He tried to cauterize as much as possible, but there is still some on my ovaries, bladder, and ligaments. I don't know what will happen with that. I will still ovulate every month, but without a uterus I won't have an actual period so I don't know I'll feel if anything.

Anyway, that's it for now. I may update this as things progress, or may not. We'll see. Sorry for the personal nature, but it is an interesting experience. And while I'm on a roll with too much personal information, I would like to mention that the pubic shave job the nurse gave is quite something, and not in a good way. It's no Brazilian! Can't wait for that stubble to grow in.