Turning over a new leaf is always a difficult task, but one that I have been faced with. After completing almost three months of school, I was devastated to realize I had to withdraw from my classes. Not only was I suffering with severe anxiety (that has gotten worse since my operation) and depression, but my memory is getting even worse. I am having problems recalling times, dates, and with my school work: even the most basic of terms, which has caused a great decline in my grades. After talking to my doctor, he determined I should withdraw because I was basically over doing it and could potentially threaten my recovery. I have now been out of school for a little over a week. While it is comforting, knowing that I don’t have to stress over assignments and tests, although I am still enrolled in my last Spanish class, I am disappointed that I couldn’t keep up with the semester and that I won’t be graduating this year. I have to take back control of my health, so a neuropathologist is in order to get my cognitive function tested. I’m not sure what results will show, but maybe going through some therapy (such as speech therapy, etc.) will aid me in recovering some of prior abilities. In addition to dealing with my “brain issues,” I have to test out several medications in order to help me with my a&d. I have tried so many different ones, that I’m becoming a bit exhausted and hopeless that I will ever find something that works.I have to report some ups amongst my many downs. First and foremost, I have a new addition in my life: Mavis. Mavis (pronounce Mahv-is, not Mae-vis) Odessa is my twelve-week-old Puglet, who is the light of my life. My parents and my boyfriend all went in to gift me my tiny biff for my 23rd birthday. From about the age of six-years-old, I have obsessed over the idea of having a pug. My parents were always against it, so it never became, until now. We first met her on February 6th and then picked her up on March 6th. I am currently training little Mav to be my service dog with the help of Lelah Sullivan’s book and hopefully Service Dog Express (whom I’ve contacted and will hear back within two weeks). She is so full of joy and energy and today she completed her first day of intensive training and did wonderfully. I took her in public and tested her ability to hold her attention on me. This being her first time, cars, birds, and little noises distracted her, but she soon got the hang of keeping focused on me with some great reinforcing clicker training. She’s my little companion and I can’t wait to see what a difference she will make in my life, once she is trained. Another little joyous moment came with a new job. I now work at a doggy daycare center and have enjoyed it thus far, but have decided it is too physical for me to sustain. I didn’t realize the full extent this operation would take on me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I over did it. I can’t keep up with everybody else, which is hard for me to accept. My memory and my strength (physically and emotionally) has degraded. The frustration that comes with this is unbelievable. I know that I am not alone, but yet I feel it most days in terms of my mental/emotional/physical status. I can’t guess when I have flare days, yet I have to push through them with excruciating pain in my neck and back and brain fog that won’t shake, no matter how hard I focus on concentrating. My ability to stay focused has diminished and I am beyond irritated at myself, although I know it is out of my control, that I cannot control it. I have found some support through Chiari Life on facebook that has helped me feel more united, but I still am struggling.
One last thing! I wanted to expand my blog into my other passions: as you might’ve noticed from my last post. I am trying to start loving myself more and more and appreciating the things that I am good at and enjoy. I love fashion, but I hardly have been able to be fashionable because of my condition. Most days I have felt exhausted and not up to dressing up, so now that things are getting better, I want to share my passion as well as my training updates with Mavis, and other bits and pieces of my odd little life. I hope that whoever follows my blog, will continue to, and whoever doesn’t will be drawn to a new diversity.
Cass & Mavis
follow Mav on instagram (@mavisodessa) for updates on growing up.
(images are created/taken by me. Please do not repost without permission)