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More Venting



:::WARNING:::: Lydi is on a rant! Read at your own risk ::::WARNING:::





Friday evening, Sam and I both got home about 5:30 pm. Me because I had to wait an extra hour for a ride. Sam because he doesn't get done with patients until 5:00 pm on Fridays. We met at home and suddenly, the world went wonky!


The dog needed to go out. Usually we let him into the yard on his own, but Friday evening, Sam didn't lock the gate and Monster chose to take himself for a walk. I, of course, have to deal with getting him back in the yard and getting the gate locked. While I am doing that, Sam sits down outside with a cigarette and announces to me that "my dog" has made a mess in the den. Thinking the worst, I go into to clean that up. He had only scattered things off of the coffee table and one of the lower shelves in the book case, then decided to "ingest some leterature." So I start to put everything back and pick up the pieces of torn and chewwed book. Of course, Mommy went inside, so Monster followed and was making a nusance of himsself while I was trying to pick everything up, so I called for Sam to come get him. I had managed to pick things up before Sam managed to walk into the den to take the dog. Big help to me there. (heavy sarcasm).He has the pelotas to wonder why I am frustrated at this point and made a remark to him. I don't go into it right away.


Once the mess is put right, I attempt to take a few minuites for myself in the "throne room." Yeah, even that doesn't happen uninterrupted. Sam is fussing that the animals need food and water and I need to come handle it because I complain that he over feeds them. He does. He just pours food from the bags instead of measuring out the proper amounts of food. That's why the cats are a little over weight! I yell back letting him know where I am and ask him to go ahead and handle it, the scoop is on the counter. When I am back in the living/dining room, I notice that 3 cats and a dog are still looking, expectantly, at their food bowls, and Sam has gone bgack outside to chain smoke while he reads a fantasy novel - one he has read about a hundred times, I might add! As I am finishing up feeding and watering the animals, Sam come inside and tells me that I need to take care of the dishes in the sink and wants to know A) what is for dinner and B) when it will beready. That was enough.


I shot back a snide remark about him being perfectly capable of washing a dish or two and not caring what he chose to do about dinner, I was to tired to bother eating anyhow, and to stop throwing everything over the fence to me since he is perfectly healthy and works less hours than I do, so should be helping out more in the house. He blinks at me, says "ok," and back outside to light up again!


I gave myself about 10 minutes to calm down, then went out to talk to Sam. I calmly appologized for snapping, then outlined the events that had taken place since we both got home, finishing up by reminding him that trash and cat boxes still need to be done and asking him if he sees anything wrong with the picture I have painted him. He is silent and fidgets. A ha! The light has dawned and he is beginning to see that he has been a classic JERK sionce he came home. He says he is sorry for behaving like a jerk (yes, he called himslef that), expecting me to take care of everything in the house and explains that he is just tired. I welcome him to my world. That jabs again because he knows he can't corner the market on tired. It's only been 4 months since I stroked and I'm still healing. I ask him what he intends to do to make up for being a jerk. He says he will handle the cat boxes, trash and the dishes, if I will just figure out something for dinner. I thank him and the rest of evening goes smoothly.


Saturday morning, I wake up about 8:30 am, wghich is typical. I grew up on a working farm in Ohio and Saturday mornings meant chicken coops and horse stalls to clean. I'm used to getting up early, even on weekends. I let the dog into the yard, take my medications, feed Monster and the cats, then settle down on the sofa with Cally on hte back of the couch, stretched out behind me, Oni on the arm next to me and Monster taking up the rest of the sofa, with his head in my lap, as I catch the latest airing of Dog Whisperer, that I recorded the night before. 10:00 am I decide I want to make a big weekend breakfast of eggs, bacon, and all the rest, so I go into the kitchen to start cooking.


10:30 and the the eggs are the only things left to cook, so I go in to wake up Sam. He teaches a Tai Chi class on Saturdays at 1:00, so getting him up at 10:30 gives him time to have breakfast and putter around a little bit before he has to leave. Monster was all too happy help me wake Daddy up by jumping on the bed and licking his ear. Sam fusses about being awakened, especially by dog slobber in his ear and wants to know why I can't just let him sleep in. I brightly tell him that it is 10:30 am and I am making breakfast, then go back to the kitchen.As I am working on his eggs, Sam hollers for me to come get the **beep** dog. I call back that Ican't because I am a little busy. A few minutes later, Sam angrily emerges from the bedroom and into the kitchen. As he opens his mouth to gripe, I cheerily greet him with a fresh plate og eggs, bacon, toast and grits, letting him know that, yes, I did use the bacon fat to scarmble his eggs and added cheese not only to that, but to his grits too. All he can say is "thank you" as he takes the plate and sits down on the sofa. Monster is all up in his business on the sofa and Sam is fussing and cursing about it. I remind him that humans eat at the dining table, that is why we have one, and it does not confuse the dog. By this time, I have made my plate and sitting down at the dining table, when Sam comes over and sits down, followed by Monster to plops himself down underneath at our feet and naps quietly.


After breakfast and 2 cigarettes, Sam decides he needs 30 more minutes of nap time before heading to his class. He appologizes for being a jerk again this morning, especially since I went to all the trouble to make breakfast, and goes back to bed.


I go into the bedroom at noon to wake Sam again, with Monster in tow. He should know, by now, that where ever I go, Monster follows, which means he is going to licked awake. It's only happened every morning since we got Monster. So I have little sympathy when he fusses about dog spit in his ear again. At 12:15, I have to wake Sam up again. This time I get griped at for my efforts, so I calmly and (mock) appologetically, explain that the time is now 12:20 and I am only trying to make sure he isn't late for his Tai Chi class. I get yet another appology as he untangles himself from Monster, gets out of bed and gets dressed. I go back to the kitchen to clean up from breakfast.


As he is leaving, Sam asks me for money for a new pack of cigarettes, out of the house budget. He has nothing smaller than a $20 and doesn't want to break that because he knows he will end up spending it all on silly stuff. I tell him I am sorry, but I can't do that. My mani-pedi money doesn't come out of the house budget, so he is just going to have to exercise some self restraint after breaking his $20. If he has a hard time doing that, maybe he should consider giving up smoking. He is about to argue with me when I remind him he has to get going or will be late for Tai Chi and the teacher should never be the last person there. He isn't happy, but kisses me good bye and heads off


Laney meets me at the house and we take Monster to the dog park. The afternoon is hot, there are not many dogs at the park to play with, and the ones that are there are a little too aggressive, meaning their doggie parents do not take the necessary time to train and socalize them properly. Laney and I decide to take Monster walking on the trails instead. 20 minutes later, we decide it is just too hot right now for the dog and decide to introduce him to the Mall instead. I have his service vest in the SUV. Laney calls her Dad to let him know we have chosen to change our location and ask if he wants to meet us there, which he says he will do.


We meet Sam outside of JC Penny and we do a couple hours of shopping and wakling around in air conditioning. After the mall, we drop Laney off at her place and take Monster back to the dog park to run off some energy. About 7:30, we make it back to the house. Sam starts in again, fussing and expecting me to step and fetch, while he goes out to the patio to smoke, opening his third pack since Friday evening. I get dinner going and go out to the patio to talk to Samabout the division of labor in the house and the fact that it is not a fair and equitable one. I point out that, not only am I still working more hours a week than he is, even after being reduced to 30 hours a week, but I still do bill paying, the shopping, the cooking, the kitchen, the mopping, cleaning up the living and dining room, the laundry, the bathrooms, the bedroom AND take care of the animals, with the 1 exception of the cat boxes, on top of being the one who STROKED 4 MONTHS AGO!!! He grudgingly offers to take over cleaning up the dining and living rooms. I point out that he has ofered to take over teh ONE least time consuming and simplest chore on my list. Thanks, but no thanks. I need some REAL help from him and the only reason all of this falls on my plate is because if I leave it to him, NOTHING gets done. He tells me he doesn't want to talk about it right now. So I answer that I don't want to be the one doing everything in the house and exhausting myself to the point I end up having another stroke, but here we are! He shoots back that he helps withthe shopping, so what the **beep** do I expect? I explain that "helping" withthe shopping is confined to him driveing there and back, whining and fussing like a child for a whole bunch of things NOT on the list and wandering off to look at books, electronics or whatever while I DO THE HEAVY LIFTING, then he expects me to help him unload the groceries at home AND put everything away. I'd bebetter off doing the whole thing my myself! He doesn't help plan the meals or create the shopping list, in fact, when I ask what he wants for dinner, his stock answer is "food!" He says he is sorry, that he didn't realize he was behaving so badly and being such a ....while he is searching forthe words, I add them fo him, ..such a colossal *beep*! He bristles, but admits that, in light of my examples of his assistance with the grocery shopping, he really has been the south end of a north-going mule of late. I let him know that as long as he is willing to change the action, I will be happy to revisit the division of chores in teh house when we can both be less emotional about it, but he is NOT off the hook here and I not about to take any more poor behavior on his part.


Sunday Sam has patients. He slept through his alarm and is down right surly when I wake him up. So I simply ask him if he knows what time it is. He realizes he is late and asks why I turned off his alarm. I let him know that I didn't. He slept through it. He curses and grumbles while getting dressed, then heads out the door. Monster and I tackle a load of dishes, then set in to rearranging the diningroom and taking all 3 leaves out of the table. With 2 kids out of the house now, 3 if you count Laney's fiance, Tom, we just don't need a table that seats 10 any more. That done, Monster investigates the yard while I settle down on the patio to read the Sunday news paper. That is becomeing our Sunday routine.Logan spent the night at his sister's house and wanders in about 10 minutes before Sam gets home, who grumbles about my having redone the dining room, but agrees that it is more open now and we really didn't need the big table any more.


Abot 2:30 he emerges from the patio back into the house, reaking of sigarette smoke, and pouts, "well, I guess I'm not going to get to go to the Reneassance festival this year, since it is the last day and he has no one to go with." I remind him that Logan is home, the fair doesn't close until 6 pm, it's late enough in the day that the sun shouldn't be too strong for me, and it's pet friendly, so Monster can go with us and won't eat anything in the den that way. We all pile into my SUV, with it's "preferred parking, " meaning my disabled license plate, and head out. True to form, we get preferential parking. Thank you little blue wheely man on my plate, and we head to the entrance, courtesy of the 4 free tickets my sister has given us. Logan hangs back waiting for1 of his 2 best friends, Langston (the trio is Logan, Lance and Langston), who he called on the way there and invited since we had the extra ticket. Lance is already there with his family. Logan is off with the other 2 of the "3 musketeers," as we call them. Sam and I have agreed that this afternoon there is no agenda. We will take out time and wander around, watching the shows and maybe doing a little window shopping. Nothing pressing. This is going to be a relaxing afternoon.


Monster entered "in vest," so that we did not have to bother with their "animal inspection," whatever that is. Service animals are given preferential treatment. He behaves beautifully, just like at the mall the day before. A coupkle of hours later, we remove his vest and let him enjoy the fair as a puppy. It's funny to watch the difference in his personality when in and out of vest. He really knows the difference! In vest, his head is up, he is calm but alert and looks to me for al of his signals. OUt of vest, nose is on the ground sniffing, every other animal and child is a potential meet and greet, any food that hits the ground is fair game, and he suddenly becomes a little hard of hearing when given a command, but not too bad. 4.5 months old and he already knows the difference!


We encounter the Queen and her enterage. Monster, out of vest, forgets himself and jumps up on the Her Royal Highness! WOOPS! Luckily, Carolyn attends the same church we do in real life. Her Majesty pardons Monster immediately and fastens a pin to his collar, decreeing him "a Knight of the Realm, for his devoted service to his lord and lady, and his unending affection for his queen!" Not bad for a puppy, LOL!! Sir Monster sits for photo opportunities with Carolyn and her crew. It's so cute no one can help but laugh at the scene. Leave it Monster! That face can worm its way into anyone's heart! We stay through the "last hurah," then head home. Logan and the guysa will be home by cerfew. They are getting together with some other friends for dinner.


Sir Monster is snow gray where he once was white. Sam and I are probably about 4 shades darker than normal from dirt too. Typical of a day there. We will be blowing dirt filled noses for the next several days. Sam decides that Monster cannot go to the office on Tuesday looking like that, and can't sleep in our bed that dirty either, so he will give him a bath. I tell him I'll help. We both strip down so that it doesn't matter how wet we get, and proceed to bathe Monster. We use a dog/cat/horse shanpoo that removes stains and brightens white coats. I like Monster to be white white when he is clean. He actually likes water and takes the bath well, even letting me scrub his muzzel.Monster towled damp, Sam and I "save water, shower with a friend." It takes less than 5 minutes for us to notice 2 white paws on the tub and a black nose poking at the shower curtain liner, followed soon after by a head and shoulders, then a back and soon Monster is in the shower with us! We should have just bathed all 3 of us at one time! We let him play in the water, towl him off again, get ourselves dried, then take hte blow dryer to Monster to get him all the way dry before letting him into the yard again. He loves the blow dryer! We decide it is left over night as I have developed a "total head" headache and tuck myself into bed. Monster follows.


Monday I wake up and the headache is still there, so I call out for the day. Then I make an apointment with teh doctor for that afternoon. By 1:00, my whole head feels like it is trying to explode and I can't hold food down because of the pain, so I call Sam. He calls out forthe rest of the afternoon and takes me to my doctor's appointment at 3:30. Logan is home from school by the time we leave, so we leave Monster with him. I'm just in too much pain.


At the soctor's office, my bp and heart rate are textbook normal. Dr. Mike concludes that I have just exhausted myself and may also be a little dehydrated. He tells Sam that I still need to be careful about doing too much, which is why he has limited my work hours. Sam knows the real reason I have exhausted myself, but says nothing about it. He agrees to make me "take it easy" at home. Dr. Mike gives me a shot of demeral to take down the pain, and a prescription for percocet. His recommendation is that I rest and sleep as much as possible forthe rest of the day, and that I stop trying to do too much. I'm only going to set back my recovery if I keep up too fast a pace. I silently let that sink into Sam's head. After 20 more minutes of observation, Dr. Mike tells Sam he can go ahead and take me home. On the way to the car, the demerol really kicks in and my right leg completely gives up on me! Sam sits me down on the bench of my rollator and wheels me to the car. Once hom, I spend the rest of the evening napping on the double chase lounge in the living room, Monster stretched out beside me. We skipped the dog park and Sam took care of feeding both animals and humans, then tucked me into actual bed with my furry companion at about 8:30.


It totally sucks that it took a headache scare and a trip to the doctor to remind Sam that I am not the woman I once was, but at least it drove the point home to him. Tuesday morning he was very contrite about his behavior. I let him know that this is typical of how he behaves when he takes up cigarettes again. I head off to the office with Monster and he heads off to his patients. Tuesday night, we meet up after work and take Monster to the dog park.


There is 1 pet owner there with a pit bull who is a young male, about 19 years old. He thinks he is cool because he has a pit bull. He is anything but. He doesn't know the first thing about being the pet parent of a "thinking breed," doesn't properly have the dog trained, has not asserted himself as the dog's pack leader and is less than forthwright on disciplaining the animal. The dog is, becaue of the lacksidasical ownership, agressive. It jumped poor little Monster the minute we entered the park. Sam and I separated teh dogs before it hurt Monster, Sam dregging off the attacker, me grabbing Monster. Poor little guy was so scared. As Sam is sdragging off the other pit, the kid comes up as if to challenge Sam for touching his dog. Sam, who is 5'8" and built like a linbacker, with an Irish temper, is the first one to confront the kid about his animal. He tells the kid to leash his **beep** dog and keep it from attacking. The other pet parents let this kid know that this is a family dog park and if he can't control his animal, he will have to leave. The park is especially full Tuesday night, with about 20 dogs and their parents. There is definitely enough peer pressure to make the kid back down if need be. He says something about all of us just not liking lits. Sam tells him to shut the **beep** up and take a good look around. Of the 20 dogs there, more than half are pit bulls or pit mixes, including ouor dog! The rest are German Shepards or shepard mixes. The kid drags his dog off to a picnic table and grumbles at his girlfriend, who is obviously having none of his crap and letting him know that he is in the wrong. After his dog snapping, on the lead, at 2 more dogs that get close to it while the pack is running around and playing, the majority of us pet parents let the kid know it is time for him to take his animal home. We also suggest that he invest in obendience training for the dog and himself before coming back to this park. Considering most of the guys there are in their 30's and 40's, and from all walks of life, they can be pretty convincing in their advice. He takes the dog and leaves, his girlfriend appologizes to me and Sam personally for the behavior of both the dog and her boyfriend and is giving him an earfull as they leave. The rest of the evening, all the dogs play in a pack together without another incident. Monster calms down and heads into the thick of it, as is his usual manner.


As is typical, we "closed the park" at 8:30 and headed home. Sam helped me measure food into food bowls and gave every one fresh water. We grilled sweet Italian sausages for dinner and had them with peppers and onions, on hoagie rolls. Sam asked me what I thought about a hypnotism. I told him I really didn't know much about it and asked why. He said he was considering it to quit smoking. So I gave my typical advice, do some research and if it feels right, go for it. He said he realized he was really being nasty lately and promised he would be better. I kissed him and told him I love him. Then he promised that we would sit down this week and work out a much more fair division of the chores. We leeft it at that. No need rubbing salt into a wound. We went to bed by midnight.


This morning, when the alarm went off and I woke Sam up, he wasn't grumpy, surly or fussy. He thanked me. I did have to wake him up again about 15 minutes later, but I plan for that and have the alarm set early. He got right up the second time, before Monster could get his ear, played with the dog, who had already been fed and taken out for the morning. I finished getting ready and was leaving while Sam was making coffee. He and Monster walked me to the gate and Sam kissed me good bye. I asked him to remember to lock the gate and the back door. He said I would and asked if I could check in on Monster at lunch. I said I would and headed off to work.


Maybe Sam just needed a reminder of what our life is now. I hope he had his eyes opened a little bit and will really work on his behavior....maybe even quit smoking for good this time.


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Lydi, most of what you have written is just stuff about adjusting to the new you. I would see some stormy days ahead but if you both work at it it will all come right in the end.



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I feel marriage is full of adjustment, at our household hubby ends up with lot more chores than I do. I try to do as much with one hand, but its not equal distribution. It never was even prestroke, we both did what needs to be done at the house to run smooth household operation. Post stroke I realized hubby is doing so much more, so I started being mindful & do what I can still do, but with disability I am sure I can't do as much he is doing, but we are team together. I use same trick at our house for kido, go & wake him up 10 mins early then he will say 10 mins more, so then go after 10 mins again, he gets satisfaction of sleeping more & still reach school on time. Sam is great guy he is realizing & I am sure will work on improving his behaviour, but till then you both have to work together. So hang on



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Sam really is a great guy and he is usually much more of a team player than he has been lately. The problem, as I see it, is that he went out with some of the guys, a couple of weeks ago, to a bar (no problem there, he's not much of a drinker), and had "a few cigarettes with his beer."


Once he starts smoking again, everything else goes out the window. He very quickly gets addicted to them again and suddenly that is what he wants to do most of the time, to the exclusion of all else. His attitude changes, he stops doing things in the house, and spends most of his time on the patio chain smoking.We've been through this before, but this is his first smoking binge since my stroke.


After Monday's trip to the doctor, he really started to see how smoking takes over just about every aspect of his life. He's now actively trying to stop on his own and made an appointment with our doctor to get medical help quitting once and for all.

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