Sunday, February 16, 2014

More on Yesterday

I realize that in my post last night, I probably sounded like a lunatic.  I was sort of crazy but maybe not in the way I sounded in my post.  I was not really throwing my groceries around the kitchen, not exactly.  It was more like slamming things down on the counter, slamming cabinet doors, stuff like that.  I did throw a package of hotdogs into the freezer, but since I was standing right in front of the freezer, it wasn't much of a throw.  I was stomping my feet and being loud, though.  And that is not at all typical of my behavior.

I do think it frightened Isaac some.  Cayenne was sitting on the couch the whole time, not looking fazed at all.  I'm  not sure, but I think Isaac was bothered because he knew I was wanting him to do something but for some reason that I don't quite understand, he didn't understand what it was that I wanted.  And then I was getting mad and of course that didn't help him figure out what it was that I wanted.

After I finished putting the groceries away and stomping around, I sat down on the couch and cried.  Isaac came over to me, crept over, like he was a little unsure it was the right thing to do.  He put his head on my knees and I put my arms around him and hugged him and then he was fine.  He sat there with me for several minutes, then went and found a toy and brought that to me, which is typical Isaac behavior.

I realize my thinking last night was really irrational.  What I was thinking was something along the lines of, no one is helping me, I need help and no one will help, the rheumatologist won't help, my other doctor won't help, there is no one to help me, and now Isaac won't even help me.  Of course it's not true that no one will help, but it was true that there was no one around last night to help me.  And it is true that I don't always have help when I need it.  But I tend to get stuck in black and white thinking at times like that, where it's all or nothing.  No help at that moment means no help ever, period.

And of course it's not true that Isaac won't help me or was refusing to help me or didn't want to help me.  Isaac, for reasons I am unsure of, didn't know what was expected of him last night when I was having a major meltdown.  That is not the same as refusing to help.  Isaac very  much wants to help but he is a dog, not a computer or robot or mind reader, and sometimes he gets mixed up or doesn't understand.  And usually, it's because I am not communicating things to him clearly.  Which is my fault, not his.

Today Isaac and I practiced doing the lights and getting the meds a few times.  We are going to practice those things a lot in the next few days.  One of the problems may have been that I was standing in the doorway asking him to get the lights and we have not practiced that command from there very often.  The light he gets the most often for me is the living room light and most of the time I am on the couch when I give him that command.  He can turn on the lights in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, and we practice all of those occasionally, but probably not enough. 

I was wanting him to turn on the kitchen light last night, but maybe he wasn't sure which light he was supposed to get.  Really, it would have been OK with me if he turned on the living room light instead, but if he was confused about which light, it makes sense he didn't turn on any of them.  He needs to be given clear instructions and it's my job to be clear with him.

In addition to practicing the other lights more, we are going to practice getting the meds.  Isaac and I have practiced that extensively, with me giving the command from all rooms in my apartment, and with me sitting on the floor, standing up, lying on the bed, etc.  But we haven't practiced it with me given the command in different tones of voice.  Either I say, "Get the meds," in a calm voice, or we also practice it with me sitting and rocking back and forth, which is something I do when I'm very anxious, and he knows that means to get the meds without being told to get them.  But by the time I told him to get them last night, I was upset because he hadn't turned on the light and because of everything else that was going on, and I think I was loud and angry-sounding.  So we're going to practice it with me saying it in different tones of voice.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone has a meltdown sometimes. I've sure done it, throwing things around and ranting. You have a right to express your feelings in a strong way and not feel like a lunatic. It's certainly understandable that you were so upset. It must be very frustrating to be in so much pain and feel like your health care providers aren't fully listening to you and addressing your needs. You can be proud of yourself for having perspective on what happened and coming up with tangible things you can to to have control over what happens. That is awesome!