My dog is a healer

I love my little dog, Puzzle.  She is a healing dog.  I had heard that dogs are healers but had never really thought I’d be so blessed, but she continues to amaze me.

A year ago tomorrow she got her papers to become my service animal.  I had thought her role would be more like “psychiatric service dog” but in fact, what she’s been doing for me lately has been helping many of my body’s systems as well.  Actually, I need her right now so much and I am so happy that she is laying beside me and I beside her.

She healed what’s known as “slowed peristalsis” that I had had for a long time.  This was maybe a year ago.  It came as a pleasant surprise and this stomach ailment that in fact can go on for years immediately stopped.   Slowed peristalsis, in my case, happened because I didn’t eat enough.

She proved herself amazing time after time.  I think three times she let me know that I was seriously dehydrated.  She detected it in me and gave me a signal.  The first time, I had no clue what the signal meant and I ignored it.  I fainted a day later in the bathroom.  But after that, when she signaled me that I was dehydrated, I took action.

Generally, she knows what to do and how she can best help me.  Now, I have to spend so much time in reclined position that I must say, having her beside me has given us both a chance at having contact through touch that we’d normally not have.  This dog is a blessing.

She has helped me with the edema I have had.  I still have it and it’s bad, but it’s rather amazing that she has at least helped to reduce it.  I had it from my bra line down. Puzzle certainly helps it.  By choice she lies across my thighs to reduce the edema in that area.  She sometimes lies with just her head across my thighs instead of her whole body.

Last night I awoke and found her pawing at me at an area she’s never paid attention to before.  Oh, I’m sure she has but this was so noticeable and obvious to me that I’ve decided I need to ask when this part of me will be checked again for any problems.

What a blessing to have my Puzzle in my life.  I wish I could snap a photo for you but she’s busy right now doing something incredible.  She’s helping me.

Have a nice day and love your animal friend.

Another You-Tube: This one of Puzzle

We’re off to the vet today.  I don’t want to explain the TMI stuff she’s going to have to go through.   She’ll never know.  It’ll be all over in two seconds and then we’ll come home and she’ll sleep and dream about whatever dogs dream about.  Me, I’ll seep too, and hopefully not dream about my credit card bill.

Here’s Puzzle:

Can dogs eat peel and seeds? My experience….

I am not a vet and I am sure no expert.  So that’s my disclaimer.  I am 55 years old and I have lived with dogs all my  life and watched them eat since maybe the age of 12.

For the most part, what we humans consider “disgusting” doesn’t register as “disgusting” with dogs.  They don’t think that way.  They don’t need table manners.  They don’t make a food budget.  They don’t worry about what is good for them, or are concerned about their weight or body image.  The few that do see their own reflection  in the mirror tilt their heads to the side with mild curiosity.  I suspect the last thing they are thinking is, “Do these jeans make my butt look fat?”  What I am saying is that they are on a different spectrum from us when it comes to food.

For years, I struggled to teach my dog to lose interest in nibbling on her own poops.  Years ago, the vet gave me stuff to put in her food to stop this “puppy habit.”  We tried vitamins, too.  There are all kinds of theories as to why dogs do this.  Lately, I’ve chosen to take an anthropological view of this and see it as one in the many list of things that separates dog from human.  She has four legs and I have two and this is a radical difference from the start.

So the other day I was cutting up an eggplant and a few very small pieces fell on the floor.  Anything on the floor is up for grabs unless I say it isn’t.  Puzzle must have heard that I was cutting something up and figured, “Hey, mama always drops a morsel for me,” and came in all curious or whatever.

Now eggplant is something interesting.  Peel and seeds.  Stuff that dogs can’t digest.  You look at a piece of eggplant and it’s rather unavoidable.   Even if you peel the skin off, just about every bit of it has some seeds in it….teensy seeds.  Not that I was even thinking.  I wasn’t.  It didn’t even register.  I tried to recall if eggplant was okay for dogs and I couldn’t remember it being on any warning list anywhere.

You can find a list of poisons by using Google or any search engine…do not use this as a substitute for veterinary care PLEASE… (so in that saying, I hesitate to provide too much info and do say the disclaimer above) however, I mean to say be careful what you give your dog and perhaps these lists that are posted could be used as basic guidelines because they are based on scientific evidence. You can google your local humane society and find guidelines there as well, or call your vet.

If you want to get a houseplant, and your dog is the type that takes a bite out of something to make sure it is okay to have around, you might want to make sure your houseplant isn’t going to make your dog sick.  I don’t keep plants cuz I tend to kill them.

Dogs vary in what they can eat.  I’ve had some with “iron stomachs” and I’ve had dogs that were more sensitive.  I don’t think Puzzle’s stomach was very happy about that little bit of raw eggplant and I am going to be careful from now on.

Ever since we switched to homemade food, Puzzle has been able to eat a wide variety of foods.  I’ve read about the trouble dogs have with peel and seeds.  Puzzle mostly eats meat, but I add some grain and veggies in very small quantities.  My experience is that she can occasionally eat some peel and seeds and digest it just fine, and other peel and seeds is quite difficult for her.

Puzzle eats very small quantities of everything, anyway.  Compared to any human, her meals are just snippets.  So as I figure it, a few spoonfuls of something will make a big difference in her little tummy.

Lesson learned.


Poll: What do you think about art and “altered states”?

I attempted to embed this poll into my earlier post and screwed up, so here it is live atcha now.  This relates to my post that I posted before I went to walk my dog Puzzle this morning.  We had a nice walk and listened to Talking Heads Remain in Light.  Go look up the history of that album in on Wikipedia in case you are curious…it got me thinking on this subject and was part of the inspiration for the post.  Those of you who have been hanging around me and my blog a long time know I have an ongoing obsession with that particular album, an obsession that has nothing whatsoever to do at all, I think, with art.  Oh, blather on.  I just woke up from a little nap with Puzzle and now we, or rather I, am going to shower or wake up or something spectacular.

I am screamingly funny, Puzzle is the cutest and life is a big joke

Well, yes, it’s true….I’ve got a darn cute dog.  We were out today and she got an awful lot of cuteness compliments.  I told folks she always wins those types of contests.  Just joking around.  Saying that I was older than her, you know, she being only six-and-a-half, you can kinda tell that maybe I am a little older than that.

Someone said, “You are only as old as you feel.”

Well, tell that to the insurance companies.  Tell that to the drug makers.  Tell that to Dr. P.

So I walked into my appointment today pretty much knowing what I was gonna hear.  That she is leaving her practice at the big hospital where she works.

So instead of going in there wicked early today, I sat outside the big place and enjoyed the outdoors, me and Puzzle, just hangin’ for a bit.  Yep, that’s about when Puzzle got the compliments.   I’m telling you, she was obsessed about this piece of gum on the ground that someone had spat out, just staring at the darned thing for quite a while.  I know she was thinking about nabbing it.  Dogs love gross stuff.

I do recall that was a topic earlier, at a church get-together.  Someone said her dog had rolled in poop and then she had hosed her dog down.  I believe that started off our conversation.  Now, how weird is that?  The conversation went on to the topic of me, myself, eventually, that is, Julie, and I guess the folks who were there were drinking tea and telling me I am depressed and isolated and never leave the house and stuff  like that.  We have an agreement that we don’t talk about what’s talked about outside of there, but I think the rolling in poop thing is rather universal and…screamingly funny…which is why I think nobody minds me sharing it right now.   And the me part is me, so I can tell you.  And you know already about me hanging around here and not going out, if you’ve been reading this blog for a bit.

So I guess I cried my eyes out.  Which may or may not have been a good thing.   You guys know I think crying is pretty much okay and right and healthy and if you start to cry, you sure got the right to do it and it ain’t against any law.  That’s the cool thing about crying.  It doesn’t hurt anyone to do it, and you can cry pretty much anywhere.  You can cry on a bus, and no one will notice cuz they are busy with their cell phones and ipods.  You can cry yourself to sleep, and the next morning, you might not remember except there will be little goo spots on your pillowcase, and then you’ll tell yourself, “Oh, gee, yeah, some asshole was mean to me yesterday,” or whatever the reason was that you were crying about. Or you will get to your desk and see the damn credit card bill you were crying about and start crying all over again realizing you still have to pay some of it.  Or you might wake up in the middle of the night and feel your dog on top of you and realize, “Gee, what a miracle, I am alive and breathing,” which was pretty much what I said to myself in the middle of the night last night for whatever reason.

Which I did not tell Dr. P.  No, I hardly told her anything, because I got a damn lecture when I finally reached her office. I suppose I never know exactly what to expect from these appointments.  And as I write this right now, I realize she’s gonna come to this site and read these words,  maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow. So I’d better be screamingly funny and make it all worth her while.  Yes, Dr. P spoke about me and my writing stuff online.

Oh, Dr. P, I have never called you anything else.  Cuz I know I’d get in trouble if I called you Dr. Poop if that in fact was your real name, but it isn’t.

Dr. P, don’t you realize the hospital is lying to you, covering its ass about the abuse in 2011?  If they in fact had been limiting me to four glasses of water a day due to “dangerously low sodium, due to polydipsia….” which is what you said today….No, this does not add up.  Do you want to know why?

Dr. P, you said you had put me on “suicide watch,” while I was on a medical floor.  Okay, that in the first place was not right, but I am not going to argue that right now.  So I was being watched 24/7, followed constantly, right?  I was too weak to walk on my own, and I never went to a canteen, so I was brought everything I drank by the nursing staff.  If I recall correctly, I inspected everything they brought me.  I made sure everything they brought was calorie-free, so every can of diet ginger ale had to be unopened.  I insisted on this, and if the can was opened already by the nurse, I would not drink it for fear that the nurse had snuck in some sugar or something with calories to fatten me up while I was not looking.  Anyone with a severe eating disorder might have this fear.   I also insisted that the vegetables not have butter on them, but the butter be on the side.  Again, folks with eating disorders are like this.  You folks with eating disorders know this deal well.

So everything I ate and drank was controlled by the nursing staff, Dr. P.  How could polydipsia occur?  If I were drinking too much, they would just have decided to stop bringing stuff, or just said, “Julie, you can’t have any more.”  I remember I came in severely dehydrated and they were very happy that I was finally drinking things.  Upon my arrival, I was immediately given two bags of fluids, rapidly, in the ER.  And if this were true, why was I not told this once?  I was not once told in the psych unit that my sodium was “dangerously low” and I was instead many times told “four eight-ounce bottles of water is protocol for eating disorders patients on this unit” and given no medical reason for this “protocol.”  Once, I was told it was to “prevent edema,” and once, I was told it had something to do with “refeeding syndrome” and I was repeatedly told that this was some kind of torture that I had to endure or like some kind of religious discipline, not drinking water the way I had taught myself at home to stay away from food.

Well, fuck you, all you doctors.  All of you.  Sometime around when I was 27, a doctor named Charles Capers (probably dead, so it doesn’t matter now about fucking liability) never checked my lithium level, and was practicing without a license anyway (no, I had no clue, nor did my parents, who were paying him a fortune probably because he refused to do his fucking insurance paperwork because he couldn’t…with no license, right?) so my kidneys got kinda messed up.  Now, back then, folks, lotsa patients ended up with wrecked up kidneys, cuz a lot of doctors were not particularly careful with lithium.  So lots of us ended up with lithium-induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.  That’s what I have.  It means not too much except your kidneys don’t work right anymore.  Permanently.   And folks like us have to drink a lot of water to make up for it.  Do you hear me loud and clear?  Our kidneys spit out too much water.  That’s why I am thirsty a lot more than most people.  The thirst I feel is natural and right and it’s my own body telling me the right thing to do and I’ve done it all my life.  I’ve never particularly thought about it until your fucking hospital decided to torture me by limiting me to four tiny bottles a day.  And yeah, if I’d stayed and not left AMA, I would have shriveled up like…remember that orange in that show…when they were all arguing…Gilligan’s Island?  When they were arguing about vitamin C and who was going to have that last orange? Who was the most important and deserving of that one vital orange, the one that contained Vitamin C, and while they were all sitting there arguing over the fucking orange, it shriveled up into nothing?  Yes, Dr. P.  Julie Greene right there on that fucking psych unit holding her pencil, writing about everything that was happening around her, making sure everything that happened to her got recorded, because she felt for some reason the world should know, would have shriveled up just like that orange.

So who is most important, most deserving of that vital last bit of life?  If you could change one thing in your life, make one thing different, what would it be?  If you could change the world, what would you change?

Imagine: world peace.  If you could only say the words, WORLD PEACE, and this would make this thing, world peace, happen, imagine this.

Now imagine, if you could make yourself happy by saying, “I am happy.”  Imagine that for a moment.

Imagine nobody ever having to live on fucking 844 dollars a month.  Imagine that.  Imagine never being told this is what you “deserve.”  Imagine saying, “There is no bullying in the world.”  And presto.  Bullying no longer exists.  Anywhere.

Wow, I am saying that what you say is powerful, ladies.  Personal is political.

So Puzzle and I came home.  On the bus ride, I made a few phone calls.  Told my minister I was looking forward to doing a bunch of writing.   Told him at least I have a lot to write about.

And folks, I have been denied care by the big hospital because I of liability.  No, not because of any medical reason, but because I will not shut my trap.  And I do not intend to.  Yes, I’ve been denied care because of my words.  Right here.

Never, ever shut up.

I will not back down.

And I don’t want you to, either.




Wish I had the guts

Oh honestly, I don’t really care what people think of what I say on here.  You guys know exactly what I am talking about and what I wish I had the guts to do.

Folks that don’t have the guts to read what my writings or find what I say “triggering” or are sick of reading my writings or haven’t found me yet or (most likely) don’t give a shit are not reading this right now.  Or, of course, those that hate my guts and aren’t around for that reason.  Oh, that too.

And really, I don’t care.  The day I stop losing friends I’m really going to be rather shocked and it’s gonna take some getting used to.  “Goodbye, fuck you,” seems to be my motto.  So if that’s the way it is, that’s the way it is.

Hey, does talk of wanting to die make you uncomfortable?  Then maybe it’s time we talked about it right here, right now.  And my reasons why.  If you don’t like it you can just close the window.

I saw on You-Tube (not that I watched the whole thing through, I got bored) a thingy about this young woman, late 20’s, who was anorexic and they had her frustrated parents on there.  I thought her parents looked kinda old to have a daughter that young.  Maybe they smoked and it made them appear older than they really were, all wrinkly and haggard and stuff.  She looked about her age.  She looked like she had been through a lot and actually presented herself in a rather mature manner, and it also looked like she made an effort to dress nicely, too.  I knew it was hard for her in regards to the clothes part.  Let me explain that part for a sec.

See, she had been wicked underweight, starving herself a lot, but then something happened, I’m not sure what, I think they forced drugs on her, and she gained weight.  Quite a lot.  Then she had some pain associated with the physical stuff that was going on (maybe she had some bone issues, they didn’t go into it) so she took pain pills too, and downers, too.  Mostly, she used the pills, which she was now addicted to, to cope with her bad feelings about the weight gain.  She took an awful lot of pills a day, many downers, and she’d built up a tolerance.  From what it sounded, her weight was about what a “normal” person might call “normal” weight for her height.  So was she “recovered” from her anorexia?

To me, she looked very, very uncomfortable in her body, and you could see her hatred toward her body in her eyes despite the fact that she’d made such an effort to dress well for the show.  She looked so much more comfortable with herself when she was thinner, at least to me she did.

I felt so, so sorry for her, not so much because of the drug addiction, which was now probably killing her (I didn’t bother to see the rest of the show, I got bored of the drugs part) but because I felt she felt so awful about her body and she said a number of times, “I want to go back to the way I was before.”

Wow, can I identify.  I guess a lot of folks would have said she was pretty good-looking but to me, that self-hatred obliterated it all. That’s how I feel about my body right now.

I haven’t showered in like a week or so, probably less than that.  I think maybe  Tuesday night I showered.  Then, since then, I haven’t bothered.    My legs are blue, all bruised from the skin having stretched so much from rapid weight gain.  Actually, it’s just as well I haven’t showered, cuz the skin is cracking all over the place and I would end up with bad sores like I have before.  If I showered, my skin would dry out worse.  The sores can get infected and take months to heal.  As for my belly, well, it’s bad, too, looks pregnant, worse than that, all stuck out and with stretch marks and bruising on that, too.  Normally, it kinda sinks in and you can see my ribs and stuff.  Well, no more.

I do take drugs.  I douse myself up with laxatives as often and as much as I can get away with.  This is for comfort.  It gets the food material out of my body quicker so I don’t have to carry it around for what ends up being all day and into the next.  If I did not abuse laxatives, I would quickly become impacted, anyway.  A normal body cannot process this huge amount of food without abusing laxatives.  Last year, I got impacted and miserable and I remember having all sorts of gas and stuff and it was bad, I was burping a lot, too, it was worse than this physically.  I think if I abuse laxatives, I lessen the risk of stomach rupture.  I think the electrolyte imbalance risk is also a problem, but stomach rupture is probably a bigger risk IN MY CASE.  Try explaining that to a doctor, and most physical doctors tell me I will throw up before my stomach will rupture and I try to tell them no, this does not happen, my stomach will not throw up. They laugh in my face and tell me to try some self-control.  Or give me some psycho mumbo jumbo that is not their territory.

I have been taking the meds I’m supposed to take but I’m sure they are having minimal effect.  Oh and I douse myself up with double-dose Klonopin so I can sleep all day whenever I get the chance.  This is so I won’t eat.  And so I won’t live, that is, so I won’t experience anything, so I can just shut down and be asleep and not do anything all day, pretend I’m dead.  I’d take 6 mgs, but I don’t quite dare.  I’m not exactly teensy anymore, but I’m not really grandiose either.  So 6 mgs would be a lot on a guy, too.  I took 4 mgs a number of hours ago but with all the food loaded up in my stomach, these pills have done nothing.  I figure my body will be digesting the food forever and forever and the Klonopin will kick in by 2 pm.  Then, I won’t be able to walk a straight line.  I hope I can sleep really, really nicely for many hours and forget that I’m alive.

I don’t take these pills for anxiety.  I take them to make sure I’m totally knocked out.  That’s the one and only reason I take them, so that’s why I take the largest dose I dare.  I hate the dopey feeling I get from them when I’m awake.  I’d rather not be doped up while conscious.  Actually, if I could be asleep 24/7 and just wake up to walk the dog and then go back to sleep again, I’d do it.  Just sleep day after day after day and do nothing.   Definitely, that’s better than spending my time binge eating.

Sleeping the day away is better than doing just about anything, better than hanging with people because people have been mean fuckers lately.  I can’t even stand walking down the street and walking near a crowd of people, I feel hateful feelings toward them.  Like I want to tell them what assholes they are.

These folks were saying, “Happy Mothers Day!” to each other, hugging each other and putting their arms around each other.  I wanted to tell them, “Yeah, assholes.  Go celebrate.  Eat and get fat.”  Cuz all that hugging and stuff is so foreign to me.  I have no family, no one to say, “Happy Mother’s Day” to, no one to put my arm around, no one to say, “See ya later,” or “It was nice seeing you,” or whatever.  It’s all like a different world to me.

Do you understand what I am saying?  I have NO ONE.  NO ONE.  No human to hug and love.  Boy does that ever make me appreciate  my dog a whole lot.

I guess when I hold onto that little furry creature, for hours and hours every day, I guess that makes me tell myself I don’t have the guts just yet.

Brushing my dog’s teeth: an act of love….Ramblings

I guess I am lucky.  Many dogs aren’t very happy about the idea of having a toothbrush or anything resembling one anywhere near the inside of their mouths, however, my little dog Puzzle is delighted every time we do this activity.

Recently, yesterday, in fact, I saw an ad for a product that made claims to “freshen dog breath.”  Now listen carefully.  First of all, the advertiser stated that brushing a dog’s teeth was not something a dog owner wanted to do, claiming that this was an unpleasant, yucky activity for both dog and owner that every dog owner would pay good money to avoid.

Really?  You can brush your dog’s teeth and avoid yuckiness such as tartar buildup, eventual loss of teeth, god knows what resulting pain and suffering (your dog’s, that is), of course bad breath (your dog’s), and huge vet bills (yours).

So the entire ad started with this premise and went onward.  What to do about bad dog breath?  I have no idea about the price of this product, and when a product’s price is not advertised, I’m sure it’s either sky high or the company has “special offers” and is deceptive about its prices, offering what people think are “bargains,” but we all know what that means.

So the product cleans the dog’s tongue, thereby freshening breath.  Technology at work, folks.  Listen carefully to the ad.  It makes claim to freshen your dog’s breath, and makes claim to clean the tartar off your dog’s tongue, but not from your dog’s teeth.

So, you’ll be paying a fortune for the tongue scraper, and then paying for the special gel for it, probably a they want to dupe you into a subscription payment, and then paying the vet for the teeth cleaning once every few years, anyway.

So back to dog teeth brushing.  It’s not expensive at all.  It’s just like brushing my own teeth, only for me, brushing Puzzle’s teeth is less disgusting than brushing my own teeth.  Dogs need different toothpaste.  They need what’s known as “enzymatic” toothpaste, not the toothpaste people use, such as “Crest” or “Colgate.”

I ran out of the dog toothpaste I’d been using for a few years.  Trust me, dog toothpaste is one of those things like tissues or toilet paper, one of those things you just don’t want to run out of.  Luckily, I had an Amazon gift certificate.  I went online and peeked at the Amazon product reviews.  Naturally, I take these reviews with a grain of salt.  So many of these reviews are all about how fast the product arrived, or if Amazon shipped the wrong product.  Finally, I found overwhelmingly positive reviews of a dog toothpaste called CET.

I have the product right here in my hand, and I will tell you what else it says on the box: C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste, Virbac Animal Health I think that’s all the information you will need.  You can get this product from many veterinarians right at their offices, and you will find that it is highly recommended.  The tube only 2.5 ounces, not particularly a lot but sold for well under ten dollars a tube, if I recall correctly.   If you go through the Amazon site, you will find the product sold by various vendors at varying prices.  CET comes in a variety of flavors.  Pick whatever you think your dog will like best.

For a few days, Puzzle and I were out of dog toothpaste.  Trust me, it was not a good thing.  I have always brushed Puzzle’s teeth I was cringing thinking of her going without brushing for those days.  Then, the CET arrived at the post office.  We began using it.  I was surprised because I figured it would take much longer than it did to clear up the yucky buildup from the days that Puzzle went without having her teeth brushed.

I’m not sure how to teach an older dog how to allow a toothbrush into their mouth, if the dog isn’t used to one.   I used to brush my dog Tiger’s teeth and in fact scrape her teeth with a dental scraper.  If I recall correctly, I didn’t do it daily.  I think I did it once a week.  I rolled her over on her back, and when I got the tartar off her teeth, I carefully lifted it out of her mouth to make sure she didn’t accidentally ingest it.  Human dentists are careful also to make sure we do not ingest the crap they remove from our teeth.  This was all so long ago.

Tiger’s teeth were much larger than Puzzle’s.  Her head and body were differently shaped, and she had a different disposition, being a herding dog by instinct.  Tiger often rolled over and lay with her belly exposed, and stayed in that posture for so long, her delicate front paws bent, waiting.  I was always amazed at how vulnerable she allowed herself to be.  It is a pose I rarely see Puzzle take on.  Instead, Puzzle, who is much smaller,  is more self-protective.  If she is curled in what we humans think of as fetal position, in apparent sleep, she will have her ears up, always on the alert for possible danger, real or imagined.

This morning, Puzzle decided it was time for me to get up.  I suppose it was.  Puzzle decided to change positions from beside me with my arm around her to directly on top of me.  This was not a lengthy commute.  Perhaps a few inches.  I wasn’t exactly awake, nor was I exactly asleep.  So Puzzle got on top of me.  I suppose she was saying, “Mama, get up.”

Then, right on top of me, she immediately fell into a deep sleep.  Now what’s a dog owner to do?  I had a funny-looking now-quite-white fourteen pound dog on top of me, fast asleep, and it was time to get up.  I didn’t want to be rude or anything.  She was truly in a doggie comatose state.  Married folks, you know the situation, it’s heartbreaking to interrupt them, but you have to get out of bed somehow.

I thanked myself a zillion times that my asleep dog didn’t have bad breath.  You sure don’t want a dog that’s suddenly fallen into a deep sleep for whatever reason breathing yuckiness all over you first thing in the morning.

As I remember correctly, I fell back asleep myself, my little dog I suppose in her own dream, too, and we were like that for a while until finally I awoke again.

And all over, upon waking, for me, it was again a surprise to see my dog, this wonder, this creation, how could this be?  How could a creature be so small?  How could a tiny creature love me with so much abandon and joy?

Readers, today I could not ask for more.

Food for Puzzle

Liver!  Liver!  Puzzle does a dance and jumps all over me every time I go near the beef liver.  I am this stuff in the crook pot.  Humans eat it with onions, but Puzzle can’t, because dogs can’t have onions.  Beef liver is dark brown and kinda slimy.  I normally get chicken liver, but the supermarket was out of chicken liver last night.

Puzzle gobbles up some pork, cooked up fresh, too.  I have no idea what the name of the cut was.  There are all kinds of names of cuts of pork.  I don’t get her ham, or any other salty kind.

Puzzle doesn’t know it yet, but I have a whole fresh chicken for her in the fridge.  This was 99 cents a pound.  Sometimes, you can get poultry for even less.  Sometimes, I get poultry for free for her at the food pantry.

Puzzle adores canned green beans.  I don’t know why dogs love them so much.  I get them without salt.  You can freeze these, and give them as treats.

I always put a little rice or grain in Puzzle’s food. Not too much, though.  Some dogs eat grain and some do not.

When I open up Puzzle’s vitamins, she wiggles around and gets all excited.  That sounds kinda weird, now doesn’t it, getting excited over vitamins?  Those powder doggie vitamins must be yummy.  Wow, how great it must be to be a dog.

No wonder they don’t end up with eating disorders like us humans.  If only  life could be so yummy and terrific like this.  And uncomplicated.  I must say, I got a bunch of late aunts who would roll over in their graves knowing I had these sorts of meats in the house.  According to Jewish law, if you keep Kosher, do you have to feed your dog Kosher, too?  Actually, I doubt it.  Oh, I could get very funky talking about the food chain right now.  Or just go to sleep while the liver cooks in the crock pot.

Time to heal

Recently, I have done some good and bad things and some strange things and also sent a bunch of e-mails that got no response and also made phone calls that got no response and I laughed and cried and lay in bed a lot and all that’s okay, cuz I hereby give myself permission to be a strange and quirky person.

Yeah, like I didn’t already know that and haven’t known that for years.  Even my parents knew I was a rather odd kid.  They even told me they were proud of me cuz I wasn’t the same as all the other kids at school.  Imagine that.

No, I wasn’t special needs.  Back then, they didn’t even call it that, they called it retarded.  (There was no such thing as learning disabilities, which I didn’t have, anyway.)   In fact, I was exceptionally bright.  That kinda bugged me cuz my intelligence did not make me any friends.   I learned to act dumb so that other kids would like me more.

The teachers poked fun at me an awful lot.  For everything under the sun.  Cuz I didn’t fit in.  They even teased me cuz I wore glasses.  Back then, it’s true that teachers made fun of loser kids.

Should anything be any different now?  Should I expect the world to be any different?  No.  And I should be damn proud of the quirky person I am.

Let me repeat that: I should be damn proud of the quirky person I am.

So here are a few things I did, not in any particular order, but in the order I feel like mentioning them.  And I’m tired so I’m gonna be selective about what I talk about so I won’t go on and on forever.

I went off my antipsychotic medication, Abilify.  I went off cold turkey and I think the last day of it was something like the 16th of February.  Why cold turkey?  It takes 150 hours to get out of your system, that is, it has a 75 hour half life.  So I had been up to 10 mgs Abilify.  I knew that after 75 hours, it would be like I was taking 5 mgs Abilify a day.  Then after 150 hours after the last dose, the drug would be completely out of my system.  Now is this logical and scientific?  Probably not, but on 10 mgs Abilify I was getting absolutely no sleep whatsoever, so how could I possibly think logically and scientifically if I wasn’t sleeping?  I wasn’t going to ask Dr. P cuz Dr. P would say no, don’t go off the drug, and I wanted off.  Also, after meeting with me the first time, the abusive therapist said I didn’t need Abilify and encouraged me to go off it.  He said it was a bad drug.  But I discount everything that therapist said cuz as we all know, he was bogus and cannot be trusted.

After a few days, I began to notice effects.  There were a few hours one morning when it was a little difficult to put a sentence together, but other than that, I got through withdrawal okay.  I do appear psychotic sometimes, but it’s due to my severe nutritional status, and has nothing to do with “lack of medicine.”  Is there such thing as Abilify deficiency?  I have anorexia nervosa which means severe malnutrition, and have had it for a long, long time, but Dr. P seems to forget that fact.  It doesn’t take just a few days of eating right to correct this.  It takes literally years, especially considering I’m not a kid anymore.

I’ve found there are advantages to not taking Abilify.  For one thing, sleep.  I went from no sleep at all to some sleep.  I never sleep like a normal person, but I can now sleep for a couple of hours at a time, which is an immense improvement. If I’m very, very lucky, I sleep three hours, but that’s rather rare.

And another thing that happened when I stopped the Abilify was that after a few weeks, I stopped getting edema all the time.  That awful curse that plagued me since mid-2011 was over.  There were no other changes that I can think of (or anything I feel like mentioning) so I think it was stopping the Abilify that finally ended that nightmare.  If you are dropping in out of cyberspace and wondering what the heck edema is, it means (in layman’s terms)….well, let me put it this way: it meant to me that out of the blue, for absolutely no reason, my whole body, in particular my ankles and feet and calves, blew up like balloons.  I am short so for me, this meant waking up about six to ten pounds heavier than I was the previous day for absolutely no reason.  For a tall person with an eating disorder, this might mean waking up in the morning up to 25 pounds heavier.  Now picture this on a skinny person with an anorexic mind, and you’ve got a living nightmare.  I would wake up to my anorexic living nightmare and go on a rampage every time I got edema.  Raising my feet did nothing, those stupid socks for elderly people made me look elderly and did nothing, and laying down?  Guess what that did.  The water shifted, and I got a “fat face.”

Not that I’d encourage anyone to go off their antipsychotic to end edema, but I’m just sharing my experience.  I’m not saying the two are connected, but I’ll bet they are.   I’m damn happy I don’t get edema anymore.

Dr. P insisted on giving me sleeping pills and benzos to make me sleep.  Now I have a big collection of these benzos and sleeping pills cuz at first, I filled the scripts but didn’t take them.  They are enough to knock out a horse, the pharmacist tells me.  So I do wish I was a horse, cuz maybe I’d get properly knocked out.  I have no desire to be “calm,” I only want to be completely unconscious.  While awake, I wish to be as undrugged as possible. I took them a few times.  I slept no more than the usual amount of time, and no more deeply.  So basically they made no difference.

I don’t need anxiety pills or something to “calm my nerves” which is why the few times I’ve tried, I couldn’t turn myself into an alcoholic.  I guess I don’t have it in my constitution.  I don’t get all nervous and reach for a pill or the bottle.  I’m not scared to tell part of my life story to a complete stranger and make them laugh and smile on the bus and I’m not afraid to get up in front of a huge group of people and speak.  In fact, that’s something I love to do.  I’m just not one of those anxious people that has panic attacks or the sweats or the shakes or anything like that.  I can relate to people who have had hard lives, cuz I’ve had one too, but calming myself with chemicals and getting addicted doesn’t seem the route to go.

Okay, what else have I done………

You guys know, or maybe you don’t know, that I dislike asking folks for favors.  Why? When I do, the answer is “NO.”  So I don’t ask.  The reason people say no is because I’m not Miss Popularity, first of all, and I’m not sweet and kind like I used to be, and everyone’s a little bit afraid of me these days.  Well, that’s fine.  Be scared, and I’ll be scary.  But no, what I’m saying is, everyone’s got their family, and family comes way, way before me.

So even making a phone call, I pretty much expect that the person, if they know it’s me, they aren’t going to pick up, or they won’t bother returning the call.  Except for my minister, but he goes into “minister mode,” as he puts it jokingly.  And yes, the suicide hotline picks up when I call.  I’m glad of that.  I’ve even had people tell me not to call them, but “e-mail only” because they are “too busy.”  Let met tell you, that line gets old very fast.

But I accept that people are gonna be this way.  I accept that I am way, way too quirky and weird for people and that’s fine.  I am proud of who I am.  I think I was born this way.  I think my dad would be proud, too.

So I asked a huge favor and so far, I’ve had no response and I don’t expect one.  I have a doctor appointment next Tuesday and I asked at a few folks at church if someone could come with me to the appointment.  No, I don’t need a ride.  I do our public transit just fine.  I need someone to be with me at the appointment.  See, I was alone with that abusive therapist and no one else was there.  This is a male doctor I’m seeing and it’s not so much that, but what if he doesn’t “get it”?  Most doctors don’t understand eating disorders.  Some barely know what eating disorders are.  What if he only asks about my periods and nothing else?  I am going to this new doctor mainly so I can get a referral to a therapist.  Maybe even a referral to a nutritionist and since it’ll be at a big hospital, it might be covered on insurance if they make some exception for me down the line but of course the nutritionist might not know about eating disorders, many only know about diabetes.  So I asked for this favor but I guess it’s way too much to ask.  So I’m hereby giving up on this plea and have accepted that I’m gonna be going to this appointment by myself.

Well, no, I’ll have Puzzle with me.  Did I tell you Puzzle can count?  I’ll have her count how many questions this doctor asks about my periods.  After three, she’ll bite him.

Now, furthermore, all you folks out there with eating disorders, what’s the worst most nightmarish thing you’ve ever heard come out of a doctor’s mouth?  I’ve heard some pretty bad stuff.  Now I’ve got Puzzle trained on cue.  I’m just imagining this:

“So, you’re anorexic and you binge occasionally, too?  I think if you shove in three extra large pizzas all at once, it’s a good thing, and you should do it more often, cuz you could stand to gain a few pounds.”

Now as soon as Puzzle hears that line, she’s gonna maul the doctor to bits, and enjoy all the pizza, too.



Strangers on the bus

Last night I was coming home from therapy on the 71 bus.  Puzzle and I were tired.  I struck up a conversation with a stranger.  Of course, I do this all the time.  Often, I tell strangers my life story, just for fun.  My life story is interesting, and I tell it well.  I like to amuse people, especially strangers.  I leave out whole chunks of it.  I have to.  I don’t tell the whole story.  I can’t.  I just tell the parts I want to tell.  That’s how all stories are.  And so the strangers pass on the bus, in and out of my life, and that’s how it should be.  I tell them this, but this girl doesn’t want to believe me, no, she wants to friend me on Facebook.

I want to tell her, no, no, no, once you find out what kind of person I am, once you see those words, those Latin words, anorexia nervosa, you ain’t gonna want to be my friend, kid, but I didn’t say that.  I said, “I love strangers, but once they get to be friends, they’re outa your life.”

The girl said, “Did I hear right what you just said?”

I said, “See, I used to hitch-hike.  People pass.  They’re here today, gone tomorrow.  That’s how it should be.  In your life, out of your life.  Just passing.”

This girl wanted to be my friend.  Wanted to be somebody different in my life.  But I hate promises, cuz promises are so often broken.

She asked me my name, and I told her I had a common name, but that I put Puzzle in my name on Facebook so that it wouldn’t be so common.  She said she’d look me up.  I told myself if she did, she’d see the anorexia stuff, and then tell herself, “Whoa!” and then decide to pass.  Not that I’d blame her.

We got off the bus, she and her friend, me and Puzzle, all at the same stop, and walked a bit.  It felt so strange to be walking with other people.  I’m so accustomed to walking alone with Puzzle.

They asked me what I’d done all day.  I said I’d been in bed.  Then I’d gone to therapy.  I said I’d go back to bed.  I wanted to add that I was turning the corner and going back to my nightmare shit life, but of course, I didn’t.  I said goodbye.

Food is the same way.  Like strangers.  You hope it doesn’t get too close.  Just in small doses.   And for godsakes never to nourish.  Us folks that hitch-hike don’t stick around long.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  Just strangers on the bus.