Monday, November 23, 2009

In Balance

Every individual has a driving force, a philosophy of life, a guide that shapes everything they do. Mine can be summed up in one word: balance.

I'm always striving to balance work and family and pleasure, nutritious food and yummy junk, things I want and things I need, exercise and activities, the checkbook, my friendships...everything! It stretches from big picture to day-to-day, and most of the time, I fail. I spend 17 hours a day on work and very little on family, or 17 hours on family and nothing on work. My ideal is to clean the house a bit each day, but I always end up doing it all at once, which means it's never done properly or fully.

Anyway. Today, I'm really satisfied with my balance.

Last night our 14-year-old dog (for her size, that's 88 in people years) launched into a panic attack over we could not tell what. We were thinking stroke or something, with the way she couldn't stand or walk and her head kept rocking from side to side and her eyes were twitching and stuff. Or we thought respiratory distress, her panting was so harsh and heavy. We had the kids say goodbye to her, just in case, and took her to the doggy ER at 11:30.

Turns out she has a simple disorder, vestibular disorder, that hits old animals in spells. Essentially, she's on her own personal tilt-a-whirl. She adjusted to it so she stopped panicking eventually, and Benadryl keeps her calm and not vomiting six times in three hours anymore (motion sickness!). But she can't eat, because she can't aim her nose in the dish and when she does manage it, she lists to the left and falls over. She keeps knocking into furniture and banging her head into the wall and floor. It's horrible!

So this morning, I spent at the dining room table, staying near her because she can't handle the stairs down to my office. I got 2400 words done with her at my feet. Then I did the dishes, caught up on all the e-mails from the weekend, and did a few tasks awaiting my attention.

When Number Two came home we read together. I did the dishes again, and talked with her and her sister before they brought their laundry downstairs. That's about halfway done now. The three of us spent a couple of hours playing Wii. I contributed to parental stereotypes by sucking hard. (They wouldn't let me play the things I'm good at!)

Now I'm blogging here and at Gab Wagon. I have a bio to write for one client, another to type for another's website, and a few other blogs to read. I'll finish just about the time Number One and her father leave for the health club, so I'll hang with Number Two until she gets in the shower (and finish the laundry, I hope!). Then I can relax and watch How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and Castle before I go to bed for a decent night's sleep.

All the bases covered! Gosh, it would be nice if every day was like this!


Ava Quinn said...

Sorry about your pooch, Natalie. That has to be pretty distressing. But the day sounded very productive and, well, balanced!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

She's quite pathetic, the poor thing, and had a bad night (=WE had a bad night). For her sake, I hope it resolves soon!

vickyb said...

Having suffered the human version of your dog's malady several times, I am in complete sympathy with her. And it was sooo good of you to stay with her.

But best of all, you're happy with your day and that's quite an accomplishment.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, Vicky! I don't wish the condition on any creature! :)

Cindy Procter-King said...

Poor doggy. Keeping her in my thoughts. I hate it when dogs aren't feeling well.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, Cindy!

Lori said...

I know EXACTLY what you are going through. Our 12 yr old had the same thing this summer. Thankfully, he has fully recovered and doesn't seem to have any lasting effects. His arthritis has become increasingly worse in his hind legs, but that's age for you. It took our dog weeks to fully recover, though. Just wanted to let you know that if you have any questions, please call me.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

OMG, Lori, that's so weird! I was thinking of you and your doggie scare during all this but I didn't remember it was the same thing! So good to know your baby's recovered.

Dolly is much improved. She's steadier, more able to get from place to place, but still has the head tilt that throws her off balance and won't eat from her dog dish. We're working on that, gave her turkey for dinner! :)