All of the Stress


I haven’t felt very prolific lately. These last couple of weeks have been kind of nuts. Work has been insane, and Gizmo has been sick, so it’s been difficult to do anything in the evenings beyond staring blankly at the television with at least one glass of wine in my hand, much less write something of interest or really anything even remotely coherent.


First, work. It’s just the perfect storm right now. I have people out on maternity leave and others away for vacation. I’ve got new people who aren’t sure of what they’re doing, so the questions are endless. People are complaining about workloads and salary, both of which are justified, but there’s not a lot within my power to fix either situation. Projects are ramping up, and clients are freaking out. It’s all very par-for-the course in my job and this industry, but that doesn’t help me feeling overwhelmed. One night last week after a particularly ridiculous day and 2 glasses of wine, I started crying and told Chris that I either needed a demotion or to quit. He told me I was being overly dramatic and that we could talk the following day, when it was before 9 PM and I wasn’t under the influence. The next day was a little less bad, so I managed to make it through the rest of the week without threatening to end my employment. That’s about the best I can probably hope for right now. I will say that I am thankful to have the best boss ever. She has been very supportive through all of the recent craziness and one of the primary reasons why I’ve stuck things out this long.


Second, Gizmo. My poor little boy. We had a real scare with him about a week and a half ago. I woke up to him coughing, throwing up, and wheezing, and then he wouldn’t come out of his bed when it was time to go outside. We found out at the beginning of June that he has a mild heart murmur. The vet wasn’t too concerned at the time but wanted us to watch for signs of him having difficulty breathing. With the way he was breathing that morning, I was terrified that his heart was going to explode. I got him in to see the vet right away. When she did a chest x-ray, she saw a bunch of fluid in his lungs. She was worried it was either due to a leaky heart valve or pneumonia. She gave him an injection of a medicine that was supposed to help clear the fluid and sent us home with the same medicine in pill form, a blood pressure medication, an antibiotic in case of pneumonia, and a referral to see a cardiologist (yes, a dog cardiologist). I was sure he was dying and barely made it out the door before I was in tears. He was miserable for most of that day from the injection. I got really scared because he wouldn’t eat and didn’t want to go outside, so I called the vet in a panic. She told me if he didn’t eat that evening that he needed to go to the emergency room, so, of course, I freaked out even more. After a couple of hours and the medicine began to wear off, he started acting a little more normal and even ate dinner.  The next couple of days were pretty rough. The medicine we gave him to clear the fluid made him thirsty, so he was drinking and peeing all the time. I couldn’t sleep because I kept checking him to make sure he was breathing. When I did fall asleep, I’d wake up every time he coughed and then get up to take him out because I felt like he needed to pee. Talk about exhausting.


I was able to get him in fairly quickly to see the cardiologist. Aside from Gizmo hating his life (he can’t deal with the vet or any type of dog doctor without hyperventilating, whining, and clinging to me like a 2-year-old on his first day of daycare), that experience was very positive. Both the tech and the doctor were very nice and handled Gizmo gently. They did a full echocardiogram and confirmed that his heart condition is mild, nothing beyond the slight murmur we already knew about. The doctor determined that Gizmo’s current issues were related to pneumonia, took him off of the blood pressure and diarrhetic meds (which thankfully relieved us of constant bathroom duty), and increased his antibiotics. Within 2 days, Gizmo was mostly back to his old self. He’s been coughing periodically but hasn’t thrown up in almost a week and has stopped wheezing altogether.  He has a follow-up with his regular vet next week for another chest x-ray, but he should be okay. I am beyond relieved.


Lola had a tough time throughout the worst of Gizmo’s sickness. She did not like being left alone when I had to take him to his appointments. She was so confused when I’d get Gizmo hooked up to his leash and then tell her to go lay down. She just stared at me with her little brow furrowed and her eyes looking like the saddest thing you’ve ever seen in your life (heart = broken). At bedtime, she was taking turns laying on Chris’ and my face because that closeness apparently made up for the lack of attention she was getting throughout the day. She still has a hard time when Gizmo gets his medicine, like she’s being left out on a special treat. She’s just too sweet.


I know life worth living is just a series of stress and emotions, both good and bad, but, after these last couple of weeks, I think I’m good with being bored for a little while.

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