Monday, 27 October 2008

Doggy diversion

Marie has been wanting to have a dog for quite some time now. Having had the company of man's best friend for most of my life, I am content to do without now. However, during the last few weeks Marie's quest for canine company has almost become an obsession.

She started out wanting a medium-to-large dog - something along the lines of a labrador or some variety of retriever. All these dogs require copious amounts of exercise and Marie, of course, would be unable to look after the dog's needs in this area. Additionally our "garden" is just a small patio area. I feel unable to
take on additional time-consuming activities, so I was dead set against having any dog requiring much in the way of "walkies". However, in the (as it turns out, forlorn) hope that Marie would be motivated enough to put some serious effort into walking outdoors, I agreed to getting a dog the moment she was able to walk around the (small) block in which we live.

ince Marie was unwilling and/or unable to progress to this level, she began to accept that her dream retriever would be just a dream. She began to peruse doggie websites for smaller breeds. As a result, I reduced the distance she would have to be able to walk before getting a dog. After a few weeks of almost non-stop internet browsing (in between her extended sleeping sessions), Marie decided to go for a toy dog (also known as companion dogs and occasionally lap dogs, for obvious reasons). Many of these breeds require little or no exercise, so you can see why they would be attractive to Marie. She also considered teacup dogs, the type promoted by Paris Hilton who carries one around in her bag (purse) and eagerly copied by other brain-dead "celebs"; but this idea was discarded when she learned that teacup dogs are really freak animals who cannot usually breed.

Eventually Marie settled on getting a chihuahua. The aforementioned Paris Hilton has 17 of these, both toy and teacup size (see video clip of Paris' dogs), but this had no effect on Marie's choice....I think!

We've already viewed some chihuahua puppies, but Marie intends not to get one until she sees one that she falls in love with. It is also my opinion that Marie should delay having any dog until her medication side effects wear off.

This whole canine caper is a diversion for Marie - a way to take her mind off more worrysome matters. But we all need an escape from time to time, don't we? And if you are an agoraphobic, your choice of escape is more limited.

Btw, the children can't wait to get the new puppy!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Single Parent with 3 Kids

In my last post, I wrote "Things can only get better."

I was premature.

Things have got worse.

But not much worse - and the situation seems to have stabilised.

Marie sleeps about 12 hours a day and when she's awake, she's extremely lethargic. I get to look after the children, the housework, the cooking, the laundry, the bills, my business and Marie - not listed in any particular order. I am, de facto, a single parent; and Marie is the 3rd child.

I thought that it was just a phase that Marie was going through, so I coped - barely - and waited for things to change. But change didn't come, so I started to wonder what was the cause of Marie's untypical behaviour. One of my daughters (not Orla, of course!) mentioned medication side-effects. Of course! Why hadn't I thought of it? I checked out the leaflet that came with Marie's Citalopram and there, under "common side-effects" was - tiredness, dizziness, nausea etc. - all the things Marie has been complaining about. But why now? Marie started Citaloprom several monthe ago. Surely the time for side-effects had passed?

When I mentioned my suspicion that she was suffering from medication side-effects, Marie was visibly relieved. I guess she had been worrying about her abnormal drowsiness. Then she explained how several weeks ago, feeling pretty good, she decided that she didn't need her medication any more. A couple of weeks later, not feeling so good any more, she realised that she had made a mistake, and started her medication again. This was when the side effects began to appear.

I spoke to the doctor next day. The doctor confirmed my belief that when Marie re-started her medication, she should have started on a lower concentration and worked her way up. The doctor subsequently came out to see Marie, gave her a good check over and pronounced her to be in excellent health. She recommended a weaker dose of Citaloprim and told Marie that the unwelcome side-effects should disappear in "a month or so".

So...another month as a de facto single parent...I can cope with that, no problem. But more importantly, my "old" Marie will be returning to me soon. Now, that's good news.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Things...can only get better

Did you ever notice that when one thing goes wrong, more problems follow in quick succession?

Marie has been sleeping lots. Up to 14 hours a day. Not every day, but lots of days. So I have more domestic duties to perform or suffer domestic chaos. And with two young children there are lots of domestic duties!

My business is expanding. I didn't look for this (I have a fairly modest lifestyle and don't need a bigger income), but I cannot ignore opportunities. Businesses either improve or get worse - they never stay the same. I owe it to my employees to make sure that my business doesn't get worse so that they continue to have job security.

A few weeks ago, Marie spilled a drink into her laptop and killed it. The next week, she tripped while carrying my laptop and damaged parts of the hard drive, but it still functioned - just about... And then my laptop got a serious virus (my antivirus protection was up-to-date, but it doesn't stop everything) which took a week to sort out and damaged more sectors in my hard drive. It was time to renew the laptops, so we put the wheels in motion and while waiting for the new laptops to arrive, hired one...but Marie broke the screen... No laptops means no internet shopping - Marie's only means of retail therapy - and major problems for the smooth running of my business.

Then my employees started to fall ill...

Ok, the worst is over...I hope! For example, I'm using the first of the new laptops. Marie has the laptop on just about every waking hour, but she's several hours into one of her extended sleeps at the moment so I get to try it out now. The next couple of weeks will be quite hectic, but less than of late, and I'm going to try to find another suitable employee to ease the pressure. After that, things should settle down a bit.

Perhaps Marie will perk up a little.

I'm not complaining - well, perhaps I am just a little - because a lot of the complications in my life are the result of my own actions. If I was like my more normal contemporaries, I would have a couple of grown-up children living on their own who occasionally visit me to show off their children, a non-demanding job with regular hours, I would be looking forward to retirement with my post-menopausal wife and I would have a comfortable cardigan and a nice, worn, comfortable pair of slippers...

Would I swap that lifestyle for my current one?

Definitely not!