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Everything posted by kayc

  1. Yeah, eating your problems away doesn't help either!
  2. I am so glad Ally is home with you and doing well. Arlie gets Diarrhea if there's any change in diet so maybe Ally will be better when she's back on her rice/ckn/veg diet? I hope so! I keep a close eye on Arlie's output as it tells me so much about his health...having a special needs dog can be a challenge! I couldn't agree more on the snow! Years ago I lost a FB "friend" when I said I hoped it'd quit snowing. Someone lambasted me in messaging, over and over, and I explained that while she had a husband and two strapping sons living at home to do her shoveling, some of us didn't have that luxury. I explained that snow caused me to spend Christmas alone as my daughter couldn't make it up the mountain in her car. I further explained that people fall in snow, it's dangerous, people have car accidents and it cancels plans. Nope, she said I was a killjoy, etc. I blocked her, I didn't figure I needed all the grief from her. She apologized years later. She's in a wheelchair and can't shovel and I couldn't understand why it never occurred to her, what would she do if she was alone? Many people are. I hope you find some back up people for Ally! I also hope you can volunteer today but only if you can safely get out. If you feel you need to stay home with Ally today, I hope you can do so without feeling bad about missing your volunteer work, I know you enjoy doing it.
  3. Last year my hard month was February also. I always feel relieved to get a milder January because I practically live at the church in January, trying to get all of the year end stuff done...a bookkeeper's hardest time of year! I feel grateful for a mild January this year too, it was hard to get everything done I needed to in between winter storms, but I made it! Now to get through February! They predicted an inch last night, inch today...nope! I woke up at 4 am to the heaviest wettest sludge, about 3" so far and it's really putting it down! Lord knows how much I'll end up with but it's back breaking type snow to move. I'm sorry you don't even have garbage service right now, Gwen. I guess they're hearty trash haulers here because they still came out. I had to haul my loaded trash can up my driveway, normally they come down into the driveway to get it, but they put out notice to have it on the street during snow, so even though I shoveled my driveway, I complied. It's hard for them to maneuver the pathways in snow with turning around, etc. One thing I did one year they couldn't pick up, I put all of the paper garbage in my shop and only put the icky stuff in the can...I only have one can and no spares. That way less attraction for mice or wild animals. I hope there's soon an end to this!
  4. Marty, By and large my experience with hospice over the three years of care they helped when my MIL was bedridden was amazing. There always seems to be a bad seed here and there and the one woman was an example of that, but in the three years most of those who helped us were godsends. My sister Donna was in an amazing foster family and they did more for her than anyone, and I still feel blessed we got to know this family. My mom had less interaction with hospice beyond a fitting for wheelchair, etc. but they were professional, her needs weren't as great for them because she was already in a facility taking care of her.
  5. kayc

    Grief seems to make people worse

    Wow, all I can say is wow.
  6. kayc

    The pain is crushing

    Go ahead and shed those tears, they can be part of our processing our grief, you have much to miss and good reason for the pain you are feeling. Do not fear, it won't stay in this intensity, it will lessen to something more tolerable eventually...that will not mean you are "over him" or didn't love him enough, it is merely our body's amazing resilience, without which we couldn't survive. Always you will miss your baby boy and love him. (((hugs)))
  7. kayc

    Thank you for this site

    I am so sorry for your loss. Those of us here get it, we are animal lovers and have been through this ourselves. My heart sunk as I saw the picture of your adorable Whiskey...I thought, oh no... You will never forget Whiskey, you will remember everything about him and forever be grateful to him for his loving relationship and the times shared with him. Having other loving relationships and times with others will in no way diminish anything you shared with him. I'm sorry for the seizure he experienced and you had to witness. I understand about having that image burned into your brain, it's much the same as having the image of my husband's final heart attack etched into my brain. It haunted me for a very long time but eventually I had to realize it was but a moment (or minutes) in time, not what defined him, me, our relationship, or our years together. He is in peace now, just as your Whiskey is, made whole and enjoying life where they are until we can at last be reunited. http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf (I'm having trouble with that loading so will attach the pdf file for you, look for it at the end.) Another article: http://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml A dangerous Villain-Guilt.pdf
  8. kayc

    Help...just lost my little cat

    I'm glad you have Emmie too. The getting the ashes back can be jolting as it's a stark reminder that this is all too real. Some people find comfort having their ashes back with them, I hope you can feel some comfort in that too.
  9. kayc

    Help...just lost my little cat

    I lost my husband 14 years ago this coming Father's Day. I was in shock, anxious, didn't see how I could survive, etc, you know all the emotions. I've read countless books, articles, been on this forum all that time, reading all of the posts every day...over the years some things have presented as helpful to me, and I want to share an article I wrote. Loss is loss, regardless of relationship, when you are close to someone, be it husband, child, dog, cat, it is hard, all the more so when it's someone in our everyday life that we come to depend on for love and interaction. I hope even one of these tips is helpful to you at this point or somewhere down the road... TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this. I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey. Take one day at a time. The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew. It can be challenging enough just to tackle today. I tell myself, I only have to get through today. Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again. To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety. Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves. The intensity lessens eventually. Visit your doctor. Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks. They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief. Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief. If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline. I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived. Back to taking a day at a time. Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 Give yourself permission to smile. It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still. Try not to isolate too much. There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself. We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it! Some people set aside time every day to grieve. I didn't have to, it searched and found me! Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever. That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care. You'll need it more than ever. Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is. We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc. They have not only the knowledge, but the resources. In time, consider a grief support group. If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". Be patient, give yourself time. There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc. They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it. It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters. Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time. That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse. Finally, they were up to stay. Consider a pet. Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely. It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him. Besides, they're known to relieve stress. Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage. Make yourself get out now and then. You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now. That's normal. Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then. Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first. You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it. If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot. Keep coming here. We've been through it and we're all going through this together. Look for joy in every day. It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T. It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully. You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it. It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it. Eventually consider volunteering. It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win. (((hugs))) Praying for you today.
  10. Aww, thank you, George! It's snowing right now although not predicted to amount to a lot today, I don't mind 1-2", just hate the large amounts I can't keep up with!
  11. My identity as George's wife, as part of a couple in a seemingly couples world, all that died when George did. I've had to built a new identity, one that always existed (as me) but sometimes I didn't always realize it in being someone's wife, someone's mother...and now that I'm older, I'm not the same person I was when I was young, so I've really had to reinvent my identity to align with who I am now, which is always changing. I'm glad your new one suits you better, it sounds more like the one I have, which usually has 6-7 people. We've become very close, very supportive. I've heard testimonies both positive and negative from others about hospice. For the most part I think they're good. We dealt with them for three years when I was taking care of my MIL who was bedridden with cancer. They were wonderful, all except for one who carried on an affair with my FIL while my MIL was dying! We were pretty angry with him at the time, but I also realize, SHE was the professional that took advantage of someone very vulnerable, someone who had been through hell, and we did report her and it's hard to believe she didn't lose her job over it! My poor MIL, she wasn't blind or stupid, just because her body was ravaged with the insidious cancer and pain, I watched her tears slip down her face, that was so hard. One of her dying wishes was we would forgive Papa and continue to love him...which we did. It was not only her dying request, but beyond that, our own values and beliefs that dictated forgiveness and understanding, even though we didn't agree with his choices. I loved that man until the day he died and even after his son's and my divorce, I visited him weekly in his assisted living, having dinner with him and playing Cribbage with him, which he always beat me at! I had interaction with hospice with my mom but she was in a dementia care facility so not as much need for the hospice. They appeared too late with regards to my sister, Donna.
  12. I prayed for you and Ally yesterday, continuing...how was she when you saw her? I bet she wants to be home! We all feel best at home even though sometimes we need outside care, dogs don't understand that. My hugs to you!
  13. Hey, I'd take the loser's prize! I'm sorry it's so cold, I can't imagine it continuing that long, I shouldn't complain about the Pacific Northwest, it's not only beautiful but most of the time the weather is moderate, no hurricanes, no tornadoes, no sub-degree temperatures, just the dreaded snow in February!
  14. kayc

    Performance at work suffering

    I agree with the advice given by Marty. Your boss did make a good point. People can't help what they don't know about, it's important to communicate with them what is going on and ask for help, most people will respond to that positively. However, I grew up in the era, and indeed was trained to think that personal and business are kept separate. And that is good to a point, we don't want our personal life to interfere with our work life, however, when it comes to grief, we can't pigeonhole it that well. At least I sure can't. Grief affects everything, including job performance. When I lost my husband, I had an honest talk with my boss before coming back to work, I told him I was concerned about making mistakes because my brain wasn't as usual, and I asked him to double check my work for a while. He was very agreeable and helpful and did so in a non-intrusive way. He even had someone who had suffered a loss years before speak to the other employees about what to expect and how to respond. They were all wonderful! Unfortunately it was the beginning of the recession and that job went down in the ensuing months. My next place was horrible and I ended up retiring seven years later. I hope as your brain begins to settle in a little closer to its previous state that your ratings will come back up but if it continues to affect your performance, you might want to consider a less stressful job until you feel you can manage it. This is such a hard thing to go through and I'm very sorry you find yourself in this situation. It's one of the by-products of grief but if we can lessen its effects by letting people know what they can do to help us, it can be a win-win for all. God luck to you!
  15. Gwen, I would be feeling as you are, I am so sorry you and Ally are going through this and I hope with all my heart she recovers from the pancreatitis and Pneumonia and gets to come home to you and her sister all better. I do know your fear. My dog is 11 today (we didn't know exact day so I settled on Valentine's because it's what the vet thought he'd be, approximately) and his breed lives to 9 or 10-12 depending on which side he takes after, but I know he hasn't a long time left and that seriously terrifies me because I feel so close to him. You have the added thing of it being part of your family unit, you and Steve...I already went through those losses, yes it's hard, like your life is moving on without him. It's not, but it kind of felt like that to me when I went through it. I'm glad it's morning and you can go visit, bring her toy.
  16. kayc

    Help...just lost my little cat

    That first picture really gets to my heart, what a little sweetie! I hope you have many years together, enjoy you new little one! And I'm with you on the cellphones...they don't work at my house so I only turn it on when I go someplace, but because of that I haven't gotten accustomed to it the way everyone else is with them glued to their hip. To me they're just a tool to use...or not.
  17. kayc

    Loss of my best buddy Barnes

    I am very sorry for your loss...it sounds like you had one very special cat, kind of a therapy cat, actually. I know you're going to miss him terribly, it's very hard...it takes time to adjust to the changes this means to our lives, but little by little we begin to process and absorb this. I hope this video brings you some comfort...
  18. My experience isn't the same as yours because I wasn't living in our family home at the time, but we had to sell the house my parents built to pay for my mom's dementia care...she'd lived in it for 59 years, it was built when I was a baby so I didn't know any other home other than it growing up, and all of my adult years, it was to that home I came back to visit. The memories! It was hard to see them destroy my mom's lifetime of work in her landscaping. It was hard to see the changes they made...some I welcomed, but others felt like they ruined it...like when they painted the brick interior, that can't be undone, or took out the beautiful solid wood bookcase my dad built in. You are leaving the only home you ever knew and I know that has to be more than unsettling. A home represents our sanctity, comfort. I hope you find a place very soon, it won't carry all the memories with it and will feel alien at first, but eventually you'll realize that all of your memories are still in your heart, even as you lose people, pets, and the family house. Home is in YOU. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers during this transition.
  19. I think your daughter, Jessie, gave you sound advice, Polly. Nicole may not want her world to change, but it WILL change for both of you as she gets out on her own. As she matures and sees you as a person and not just an appendage (her mom), she will see it differently. You need to do what is right for you, just as Nicole will do what is right for her, and I guarantee she won't wrap her life around what YOU think of HER choices. I wish you and Bill the best!
  20. I've been doing that for years for Arlie, he's down to 110 lbs (goal weight) and it helps him from getting his Colitis bouts, it's been ongoing all his life. I hope it helps your dogs, Gwen, I know how serious Pancreatitis can be, it's was my sister's dog's undoing (she got into the Christmas ham and that did it for her). Be careful in that snow! Yes, who'd have thought we'd be praying for RAIN here?! More snow coming, I guess I didn't cry UNCLE loud enough! They saw the groundhogs, where is the sign of Spring?! I know February is too soon to hope for, but still...just a respite would be nice. I think I pulled my R hamstring, but not severely, just need to be careful with it and let it heal, on Ibuprofen, I don't care how bad it is on stomachs, right now I need it. Will worry about my stomach later. I've been watching Seattle in the news for their weather, local newspaper has kept us up on it. I'm sure you're ready for something different! Let us know how your dogs are...
  21. Kieron, I am so sorry the two of you were dealt with in that way. Yes it IS appalling! I hope to God it wasn't discrimination, but be it discrimination or just inept workers (I hate to use the term professionals here), it is the same result and abhorrent. You are already aware that resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die...yes, you're right, it hurts you not them. BUT knowing that does little to change how you FEEL. I get that! I've had to work through my feelings and let go of what was done in George's case...I probably had grounds for a malpractice case with his practitioner for not sending him to a Cardiologist, not listening to his complaints which any doctor should have recognized as heart symptoms. I also have my own feelings to deal with in regards to "the ice queen" (as I've so dubbed the nurse that threw me off the ward and locked the door behind me when he was having his last heart attack). Because of her, I was deprived of my right to be there for him as he made his transition to what's next. Did he think I abandoned him? Did he realize I was thrown out, not willingly left? He was in crisis, extreme pain, I don't know how much cognizance he had at that time. I've had to trust that he attributed nothing but the best to my love and motives, as we always had complete and utter faith in each other. I don't know about nurse's protocol in such situations, I only know that I am the only one I know of that got thrown out when their husband was dying. I wasn't in their way, I was across the room...in fact, they wouldn't have even been aware of his situation had I not ran and got them! I've thought, if I hadn't ran and got them I could have been present while he was dying, but then I'd have always wondered if they could have saved him and would have beat myself up for life. Sometimes you can't win. I guess we have to realize some things are beyond our control, it's hard to realize that, it takes much much time to get there, we fight like crazy because we did not want this to be! Cookie and Gin, It took me years to build a life I could live. YEARS!! It took tremendous work and effort. It is nothing like my life with George, which was utter happiness. But it's a life I can do. I have a lot of interaction with others because I have several groups I'm a part of...church, a group of ladies that go out of town for a luncheon once a month, the grief support group, a group of ladies that meets for lunch once a week, the senior site I volunteer at twice a week, I'm active in my church both on the Praise Team (leads worship) and as Treasurer. I've been involved with Bible Study Groups, and Growth Groups. I had another monthly group I enjoyed but it's on hold due to the host's work schedule changes. This past month has been really hard for me because I was sick for two weeks and then snowed in, shoveling snow until my back ached and my hands (arthritis and carpal tunnel). It's been hard being isolated this last month and seeing nothing but snow in the forecasts. I can't wait for winter to be over! My heart goes out to you, I know the feeling all too well. I hope some of your small groups help you feel not so isolated, I know sometimes it takes time to forge those relationships. It's a horrid feeling when you feel no one cares...been there! This week I had a day that I called my "encouragement day". From Marty's message, to several phone calls I received from people, it was neat to have people that checked up with me. I hope you get a day like that, it's restorative! I hope you are in grief counseling, esp. you, Kieron, I think a professional counselor would be able to help you realize your goal of moving past some of these feelings, Lord knows it's hard for us to figure this stuff out on our own!
  22. kayc

    Help...just lost my little cat

    Can you access this website from your phone to upload the picture here? I connect my phone or device to my computer with the cable and it pops up with choices, then I open the folder and find the picture, you can drag it onto your desktop, it will copy it, not move it. Then you come here, click on attachment, find your picture on your desktop, open, when it's uploaded you save.
  23. kayc

    How Far I've Come

    I'm so happy for you, Maryann! You are well deserving of all of the happiness that comes your way! Wishing you and your new man the best...and I hope tomorrow will once again be a very special Valentine's Day for you.
  24. I can't imagine weather in the 70s this time of year! Sounds wonderful! My little sister is in Egypt for six weeks, she said it's in the 60s there, it looks way more inviting than snow!
  25. They finally came back and plowed yesterday but since there's ice/snowpack on it, it's not bare, they should have done this Saturday afternoon when it was fresh. I slipped and fell yesterday, felt something pull in my knee, I think I'll be okay though. Getting a lot more snow tomorrow, ugh! My trash hauler only comes once every two weeks, they usually come into my driveway to get it but I put the can out by the road to make it easier for them...they may not be able to make it here tomorrow. Gwen, we're up to over 20" but it's sunk way down and the snow came off my garage roof and landed, wouldn't you know it, in front of my garage. (Great design!) More shoveling, I finally got it cleared. I will have mounds of snow until spring. At least they lessened the predictions for tomorrow, hopefully not a lot comes. Right now we're having a wind storm. A tree came down on a neighbor's house and she's been gone since before Christmas so I hope it didn't do damage to her roof, I only have her landline so can't call her. No idea when she's coming home, thought she was just going to be gone for Christmas. They have another home in CA so maybe she went there.