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Staying/Getting/Doing Well – Moving goalposts or fixed target?

Paw Prints
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Valued Contributor

Hi, this is my first post, though I have been reading the forums for some weeks. I’m probably expressing myself badly when I say that I have found reading about other people’s journeys reassuring. Finding a community of people who “get it” even when they have a wide variety of experiences and lives lived is not something I thought I would ever find.

Though people talk about getting well & there is a section Staying Well, I’m curious as to what this actually means to other people and how they manage their expectations. I noticed some people refer to being well as ‘being like themselves before they got ill’, whilst others don’t express an exact aim.

My idea of being well has changed over the years. I was first diagnosed as an 8 year old child back in the late sixties. The doctors told Mum that the voices in my head & the sudden crying bouts were because I suffered from ‘nerves’ & I was given meds to calm me. Of course such things were not discussed back then & I was told not to talk about it to anyone, not my school friends nor siblings, just Mum. For decades after my idea of being well simply meant being able to hide my illness from others.

A number of events in my life caused my illness to worsen, until some years ago I became so ill I needed to be hospitalised for my own safety. This lead to my current diagnosis of Major Depression, Anxiety & PTSD. I’m no longer in that dark place, but each day is still a battle (though I can now believe in a future). For now only my siblings & one friend know about my illness, though some things they still don’t know.
So, what does ‘being well’ mean to me, it is ever moving goalposts. If you had asked me 5 years ago would I be as well as I am now I would have thought it impossible as I couldn’t envision a future. If you had asked me last week (during one of my down periods) I would have said my progress was all an illusion & I was fooling myself that things can get better.
For now my idea of being well is being able to believe that things can change for the better, that I will one day be able to manage the everyday things like housework, caring for myself & caring for my dog & maybe, just maybe I will even be able to enjoy myself.

Paw Prints
**I took the tip to give myself time to write my post by writing on a word doc & then paste it.

882 Replies 882

Hi Paws,

 

It's terribly hot and muggy here today, wish we would get some rain.  I have no idea why that woman wanted a Dalmation.  I go there sometimes to chat to a couple of friends of mine - she was taking her dog out as another person and dog arrived and I felt sorry for the Dalmation because clearly she would have liked to play with the other dog.  She seems sweet natured enough, just full of beans being a young dog.

 

It's very noticeable when people who are too elderly/frail to manage a large dog still buy them - where I used to live they got the big dog to ward off burglars and for a feeling of safety, but then they couldn't handle the dogs out walking and I felt sorry for the dogs who needed to run and have heaps of exercise and these folk are constantly pulling at the leads because the dog is nearly knocking them off their feet.

 

I've seen this lady with the Dalmation near the beach with it and she was still angry with it and pulling at its lead - I would have thought the beach was a good area to let the dog run off all that energy for a while!

 

I stick to dogs I know I can manage - smaller dogs like Schitzu etc.  I love big dogs but know I have neither the space nor energy to give them sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.  I have been reading an excellent book called Our Dog, Ourselves, and he talks about how dogs need physical exercise, lots of mental stimulation, exposure to different people and places and smells and other dogs, and that owners must also give them the ability to make choices - which way do they want to walk, which game do they want to play?

 

I just felt sorry for the Dalmation.  I think the lady has taken on more than she should have by the way she is struggling with it.  

Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Hanna, wave to all,

 

I hope you are getting some of the rain that's about. I've had overcast & sporadic showers for a few days now, but today was the first day there wasn't the humidity with it, so much nicer. 

 

I've been really lacking any oomph this past week or so & had to push myself hard to do the drive into big town to get my meds yesterday. I'm hoping it was just the high humidity & that things will improve this week.

 

Have you put in your application to Housing Plus? Do you know how long it will be until you know if they will even put you in the queue to get a place or how long the queue is? 

 

Paws

Hi Paws,mmMekitty, Grandy and everyone

 

Sorry for the late response we've had no wifi all day - I think there are fierce storms coming in - but for some reasons it's been down and not working too well now.  I am getting the final paperwork together for a transfer applcation, all these organisations like lots of paperwork!  They will put me on the list, if you apply satisfactorily you do get on the list- and my age helps actually as they can't delay for ages and ages.  

 

My neighbours have been saying how much they miss little Sam coming around to say hi, which was nice of them.  It's been terribly hot here today, muggy and oppressive and it needs to storm.  

 

Robert Dessaix is an Australian writer who lives in Tasmania.  He wrote a wonderful piece about the loss of his dog for The Guardian, it's online and it's just lovely to read.

 

I hope you get some motivation Paws - I got up early this morning and did the housework and then went back to bed for a while to relax afterwards - it felt very nice to get the house done early and then rest a bit before going on with the day!

 

Best wishes from us here

Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Everyone,

 

Here in the Paw Prints kennel we are at day 4 of Paws having a very sore paw (foot) & she doesn't have Woofa to tell her to stop being such a sooky sook... Good news is the xray didn't show any breaks, but... it does show I have (to quote the Dr "a foreign body") in my foot... I'm supposed to stay off it for now & see the Dr on Monday. 

 

I'm sure this is going to be a case of what I call 'paper cut syndrome'... where the pain level has no correlation with how small, tiny, miniscule, the injury is... in this case the injury site is so small I don't know how something got into my foot as there isn't anything to see. 

 

Hanna I think that is so sweet that your neighbours are not only missing Sam, but letting you know that they are. That shows what a wonderful furry friend he was to everyone. 

 

Its warm here today & going to get warmer as the week goes on... I feel sorry for folk who are copping all of the rain that's about, the weather is weird these days. 

 

Hugs

Paws

 

 

Dear Paws,

 

I’m sorry you have a paw injury 🐾 I know what you mean about those tiny things that aren’t even visible but seem to cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Did the doctor seem to have any idea, such as a little bit of a bone spur coming off or something? It sounds like he isn’t sure with the description of a foreign body. I hope it settles soon.

 

 I’m thinking about doggies again. My neighbour is going to be breeding her Staffy X with someone else’s Staffy X, and she has been throwing out hints to me about the puppies. She knows I have been thinking for sometime about getting a rescue dog.

 

I know a puppy is full on. At the same time my mental health just improves around dogs 🐶💗 I always feel better when patting one. They give a kind of purpose to your daily existence if you have one. And living on my own, it gives me a sense of family.

 

At the same time I worry about logistics such as being able to go away as easily, though I know many caravan parks accommodate dogs. I won’t be able to go into national parks to do my photography if I have a doggy with me. My neighbour adores dogs though and I’m thinking she might be really happy to have one of her dog’s offspring come to stay for short periods if I’m going somewhere I can’t take a dog. But I also relish the idea of road trips with a dog, giving a furry companion the best life exploring new places, and there are still lots of places you can go with a dog.

 

I’ve lived with English Staffies and an American Staffy X before so I’m very familiar with staffies and feel an affinity with them. They do bond to you intensely. It would be kind of nice the puppy would be living next door to her/his daddy who is a lovely fellow. They could have father-child play dates.

 

Anyway, so go my thoughts about doggies. I also worry about my long term physical health issues and hoping I can be the dog parent I want to be. But, again, so many people have huge improvements in their physical as well as mental health with a dog.

 

Hoping your paw is healed very soon Paws 🐾 🩹 

🤗 Hugs from Eagle Ray

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi everyone,

It sure is a lot to weigh up when deciding on another dog or cat or any pet.... there is so much more to having a puppy/kitten than hving them to pat.... but, i recognise how the very fact that they keep us more active is better for our physical & mental health. My dilemma is that I worry so much about their welfare, I think that mitigates the benefit s of having one. tough decision....

 

...but speaking of paws being injured .... my own right back paw is sore, too. I was told, at first, it was a fungal infection, then I seemed to develop a spot that felt like a bone spur in the middle, which then became blistered ... meanwhile the cream for the fungal infection seems to have stopped doing any good ... now I did a naughty bit of blister bursting, & now I have more blisters, which are itchy like you wouldn't believe, & it's very uncomfortable to walk on, gets painful to walk & stand for longer than a few minutes, so I keep it bandaged now, & have seen my GP again, & he says it's some sort of very-long-word-dermatitis & I have another cream to use ... it's going to take a while to get better .... oh, woe!

But he did say I can still go swimming!

Well, I hope so.

My support worker took my swim shoes home to glue the insoles in place, but (following a COVID-19 vaccination, we both had), she is now experiencing some side-effects, so she hasn't brought the shoes back to me this morning, when we would have also gone out to a koala reserve, sor a walk, which, well, I might not have been able to complete anyway ... again, woe!

That's twice I haven't been able to go out to the koala reserve.

What to do about Monday? I need my foot securely bandaged, or I won't be able to walk on it, even in the pool. The shoes would help so much.  & it's too late now to cancel the hydrotherapy & not have to (NDIS) pay....  I just don't like cancelling & the exercise physiologist won't have someone to fill the slot.

 

Talk about 'moving goalposts' - gosh I wish they'd stand still for a bit!

 

Hugzies

mmMekitty

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear MK and All,

 

I’m so sorry you’re having the paw troubles too! I’ve had similar issues with my left foot which have been variously diagnosed as pustular psoriasis, dermatitis and a fungal infection at different times. It was a skin specialist who originally diagnosed pustular psoriasis, and at least in the beginning that seemed to be correct. One thing that has helped at times has been soaking my foot in half apple cider vinegar and half water. Apple cider vinegar is more expensive than plain white vinegar though, so sometimes I’ve resorted to the latter. But it’s important to make sure it doesn’t actually aggravate the foot thing, depending what it is. For me it gave relief when it was painfully itchy.

 

Those moving goalposts can be unsettling can’t they MK. Just when you think you know what’s happening it changes again. I hope somehow you do get your swim and soon get to the koala reserve.

 

Yes, I struggle with the decision about a pet too. I will have to be clear within myself I can be a good dog parent and that it will be beneficial for both the dog and myself. I think I have a few health issues to sort too to feel in a stable position for having a dog.

 

Take care all and hugs from ER

Hello ER, mmMekitty & Hanna,

 

Oh Kitty that sounds so painful, I really hope your Dr has got the diagnosis right this time. Hopefully the chlorine in the pool helps it to improve. Can you take a spare bandage with you on Monday, that way you could swim with the existing bandage & change it to the dry one if you don't have your shoes to wear. Just a thought.

 

What a bummer about missing out on the Koalas, maybe it will be a case of third time lucky??

 

ER if you think coping with a puppy might be a bit much, I noticed most of the rescue places are full up with Staffy Xs, perhaps an older dog might suit your life style better. Though there is something about having a dog from puppy onwards. Perhaps your neighbour would agree to take the dog back if your circumstances change to where you couldn't manage with the dog. Most good breeders prefer to take a dog back rather than having it end up in a shelter.

 

There are facebook groups for people who want to travel with their dogs that share dog friendly places. Also the state tourism web pages often include that sort of info. I'm a firm believer that having a dog is wonderful for a persons mental & physical health. Dogs aren't judgemental & there are so many studies showing the benefits of having a pet. That is why many medical/aged care places have dog visits these days. People seem to think you have to walk a dog every day & do it long enough to tire it out, that is not the case. Modern dog training/health studies show that mental exercise is just as good & letting a dog sniff while it is out is better than insisting it rigidly walk a set distance. Yes staying by your side when needed is a valuable skill & should be taught, but it isn't the only thing to do when out. I used to take Woofa to places that would have lots of smells like forestry tracks through plantations or verges on country roads, etc. I have a thirty metre long lead, so even when I struggled with standing he still had plenty of space to sniff if I needed to sit. I also had mind games we could play at home which gave him the chance to problem solve which he loved. 

 

I'm missing Woofa so much, I'm vicariously looking at the photo's other Great Dane owners post to facebook & I've joined other breed specific pages associated with the two breeds I'm thinking of choosing between. It isn't anywhere near enough, but I'm being strict with myself, no new puppy before next year after all the projects are finished.

 

Hugs

Paws

Hi all,

 A couple of folks here with sore foot problems, ouch!  We rely on our feet to get us around, hope everyone does OK...

 

There was an elderly lady where I used to live, I suspect she had a bit of dementia - she had two medium size dogs she used to take on the same walk every morning - and the dogs were never allowed to stop and smell anything - it was as if she was out on a military march - they walked very fast, she looked straight ahead, and the two dogs just had to do the same.

 

I used to meander with little Sam - we'd walk along the river and he's sniff at this and that and have a paddle - and we'd sit on a park bench for a while and relax and enjoy the scenery -it was so much more pleasant than her kind of walk!  I used to feel sorry for her dogs.  

 

There was another guy who had his dog attached to his bike by a rope and it just had to run along at the same pace as the bike - it used to look so hot and tired poor thing.  

 

Yes Sam used to love doing tricks and mind games like hide-the-treat etc - I think they wore him out more than the physical exercise!  

 

No new dogs for me until next year - it's so hot now I wouldn't want to take one on until we headed into cooler weather anyway.  

 

Not much news here - I have a housing inspection coming up so just ensuring everything is tidy and clean.  Off to get some dinner and watch a good movie!

Hi Paws & ER

Thanks for your sympathy.

I will try to go swimming - it's too late to cancel without being charged anyway. I'll have wrapped my foot in a bandage & will take another length for after. My concern is about how secure the bandaging will be, given that I don't want to cut off the blood supply to my toes!

My support worker who was going to glue the insoles into my swim shoes, so they won't move, is the mum of the other worker I've have taking me to the hydrotherapy. I called her (mum) earlier today, & she is feeling better today. She said she'll get my shoes to her son to bring back to me Monday when he arrives to take me to the hydrotherapy.

Everytime I lie down, to put my feet up, I end up having a nap! I am enjoying the snoozes - not feeling my foot being sore or itchy when I'm rested. Getting up to do anything has been very difficult, especially cooking & doing the washing up. Until I get another home help support worker, I am not doing much else. Sometimes the dirt on the floor gets too annoying, so I try to use my vacuum, until this last week, that is. It just hurts my foot to be on it & inching about the place trying to vacuum all the gritty dirt I want so I don't trod on it when my foot is unbandaged even for five minutes, going from bed to bathroom, for instance, let alone to the kitchen for a drink of water. 

Since I don't have good balance, it looks like I get to appreciate being able to walk on two feet. Even having this one foot feeling so bad has shown me how inconvenient & difficult it could be if I was to permanently lose the use of it. these experiences can certainly teach us something, eh?

Hugzies

mmMekitty