The last few weeks have been a true test of character. I can handle a lot of bullshit when I'm well rested. And by bullshit I mean stress-inducing incidents. Sure, I might get angry or aggravated. I might even give in to those emotions and say something I might not have said had I taken a few more minutes to think things over. Most of the time, though, I like to think that I'm capable of rational thought and reasonable responses.
Deprive me of my sleep, though, and I turn into a nut job. It's not pretty and it's often inexcusable. Reason evaporates and I'm left functioning on a fearful combination of frustration and fury.
I hesitate to give an actual example because it will totally blow the nice girl persona.
Oh, what the hell...I'm not that nice. If you've been around me long enough, you already know this.
Our little Yorkie's stroke had an unfortunate side-effect. It blinded the little fellow. We're not sure that he's completely blind, mind you, but his vision is severely reduced. If he's lucky, he can differentiate between light and dark if there's a stark contrast between the two. This means he has no way to distinguish between day and night. This has resulted in him getting the two mixed up. Even when we were home with him over the winter break, he would sleep all day long in the living room and bark throughout the night from within his kennel.
He has a very piercing bark. You certainly can't sleep through it.
As my husband had volunteered to work over our scheduled break, he needed his sleep more than the rest of us. This often meant that the kids or I would attempt to stay up with the confused little fellow in an effort to keep him quiet. It was rough. Really rough. My boys looked like they hadn't slept in weeks by the time they were getting ready to go back to school.
One particular night, I was exhausted. Terribly exhausted. Ready-to-cry exhausted.
The Poops (his nickname) refused to let me get more than an half-hour of sleep here or there. This was made worse by the fact that our couch has been broken down to the point of discomfort. Sleeping on there under the best of circumstances is less than ideal.
By 4:00 a.m. I was beside myself. I plucked him up for what felt like the hundredth time, latched his leash to his body harness, and took him out into the frosty winter night for yet another potty break. So, there I was tired to the point of tears, shivering in my too thin jammies, waiting for the world's most stubborn blind dog to find a spot to relieve himself. The words that came pouring out of my mouth at this poor, afflicted animal are not fit to repeat. The least offensive thing I told him was that no one liked him anymore, which isn't true, but that didn't matter, not at the time.
Knowing I was ready to shake him into a million pieces if he didn't let me get some sleep, I was forced to lock him away in his kennel and let him whine and bark. Touching him again might have pushed me beyond the boundary of an ornery pre-dawn monologue. Knowing this, I had to let him carry while I stuffed a pillow over my head and prayed the rest of the house would sleep through the noise he was making. I think that was the same night my hubby finally had had enough and put him in the garage for a couple of hours before he had to get up for work.
I'm not sure. It all blends together.
On the bright side, we think we've finally figured out how to get some rest despite his mixed up schedule. We purchased a heating pad that was designed to sit inside his kennel. It's water resistant and thermostat controlled. This is important because the only place we've found in our house that allows us to escape his insistent yapping is in our basement, which is not exactly warm. In fact, it's downright chilly. The heating pad, though, seems to be just the thing to keep him toasty.
Now if only we could get him healthy and back to normal. We may have purchased the heating pad and relocated him to the basement a day or two too late because I think he's running a fever now. So, tonight we're off to the vet once more.
I may need to get a second job to help pay for the dog's vet bill!