In the past 24 hours, various things - stuff I've witnessed, stuff on TV, stuff that came up in conversations - have occurred that make me think, "Hey, there's a blog topic!" Here's the rub...I forget them within about a half hour. That is damned irritating because a) is it MS making yet another hole in my brain, and b) .....well damn, I've already forgotten what b was.
So right now I'm going to write about my mood and my dogs. And how much my dogs help my mood. I've been reading a lot about MS and depression. Depression is a different thing in different people and I think it can also manifest itself differently in the same person because it is fluid. For example, after the sudden death of my father a few years ago, I got angry. At everything and everyone. I was very aware of what was going on and I took great pains not to take my anger out on friends and family. I internalized it, which made me miserable and I knew needed some counseling. Thank God my employer at the time had good insurance and I was able to hook up with a therapist for a couple of years who really helped me get my head straight. Zoloft helped, too. Things were so good it got to where I was forgetting to take my Zoloft regularly and was still feeling fine, so I just weaned myself off.
Fast forward to the spring of 2008. The Avonex I'd been on since 1998 for MS was starting to majorly disagree with me. The side effects were always there, but I'd found that Celebrex right before the injection had been taking care of the fever and aches. Suddenly, that stopped working, and it was taking two days to recover from the weekly Avonex injection. So, long story that has been well documented here, I enter the Fingolimod study and everything is rosy. Except I find I'm not particularly happy. With anything. I'm not particularly unhappy, but I'm not happy. Great, what the bloody hell am I supposed to do with that??
Speaking of bloody hell, my menstrual life (LOL, menstrual life? WTH is that Anne?) is also changing. I'm still regular calendar-wise, but occasionally an additional bleeding episode appears during the month, my PMS is off the chart and the blood itself is different (yick). My point is, are my moods related to MS or to changing hormones? Since I don't have insurance, gynecologists and psychiatrists are not an option right now. Besides, for hundreds of thousands of years, women have gone through this change of life bullshit without the help of pharmaceuticals. I'm just going to deal. The only thing I can say with confidence is that when I'm short-tempered and weepy, I think it's hormones. The apathy I think is MS. Armed with that belief, I soldier on...
Now, the dogs. Maggie and Little Bo have become my non-prescription mood enhancers. Maggie has this way of sitting down in front of me and gazing intently into my eyes that just melts me. Does she love me as much as her eyes say she does? Sure, probably, but she also knows that look pretty much guarantees a doggy biscuit. She is manipulator extraordinaire, and I don't have a problem giving in to her.
Little Bo is not the manipulator Maggie is. I think he knows we rescued him from a certain death in that stinky kennel and is forever happy and grateful. When he sees me, his tail starts wagging. When he hears my voice, either directed at him or when I'm on the phone, his tail starts wagging. When I get up from this chair after I post this, his tail will start wagging.
It's been said ad nauseum, by bloggers, authors, emails: Probably the purest, truest love anyone can get comes from their dog. Dog spelled backward is god. And if there are no dogs in heaven, I'm not going.