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ursulav

Mini-Meltdown

So apparently going on booktour, coming home to a crushing deadline, and then adopting a dog is not really a great order of operations for stress.

I spent a week increasingly anxious and queasy--but anxiety feels like a tense lump under my sternum, and that happens to be the same area where I get heartburn, so I wasn't sure which was what, except heartburn usually doesn't involve horrible gnawing dread, but then I'd drink tea and it would feel like the liquid was passing through the horrible gnawing dread, so what did that mean?

It meant that I finally gave up and called the doctor, made the appointment, hung up the phone, had a rather startling crying jag, and then went "Okay, yeah, I know what this is, at least I didn't move across the country this time." Fortunately, while the NP that got me through the last one has moved on, the new one knew her well, went through the file, and said "If this worked for you, we will do exactly the same." So I'm hooked up with enough anti-anxiety and anti-nausea meds to get me through the end of this book deadline, when I can take the week off and go back on antidepressants, which will basically mean a week of having the mental flu.

Worst. Vacation. Ever.

Ugh. Brain chemistry. (And no one should have to make the choice "Okay, I can't take these at the same time, so do I want the anti-anxiety or the anti-nausea first?")

New Hound celebrated this mental breakdown by digging under the fence. She has been marvelous so far, and this is the first real bad behavior. I can't trench and put down chicken wire easily--it's a hundred yards of clay and mature trees have rooted through it--but we've blocked up the hole, Kevin dragged a couple dead trees over the area, and we're trying to figure out what to do next. Brandon the border collie did that a few times as a puppy, but learned not to--we have to figure out if this is a trainable problem and she'll give up if discouraged, or if she's just a digger. One is within the realm of reasonable accommodation, the other gets tricky.

Silver lining in all this -- you have a medical provider who actually: 1) listens to you; 2) reads the chart; 3) has the good sense to repeat what's worked rather than trying to re-invent the wheel. (Although of course it has to be storming pretty thoroughly to even FIND a silver lining...) May the clouds pass and the good things remain. Get well soon! (A team of professional newts are faxing themselves to you and will fix you a thimbleful of properly restorative Newt Tea. Please let the cats know that the Newts Are Not For Eating...)

or if she's just a digger.

wait til you see a doxie climb a chain link fence, tricky buggers...

anti nausea first, take care of the most immediate symptom... plus the not puking part helps..

Oof. I say the next time you go on book tour, demand tickets for your tiny extrovert buffer. Or possibly just nab some anti-anxiety meds no matter WHAT the class sizes.

I don't suppose there is anything in the pharmacopoeia that could combat both?

I hope you are feeling better soon.

You'll just have to train her to dig where you need a hole, failing that part of the garden that you don't need for much can have things like dog toys and treats so her doggy brain gets the message "Here is where it is more fun to dig!".

Of course that is assuming she isn't trying to dig her way out to get at the rabbits and other tantalising smells calling her from beyond the fence.


Digging Dog

(Anonymous)
Usually filling the hole with dog poop topped by a thin layer of dirt will discourage digging in the same spot. Of course, this has to be repeated with every subsequent hole.

That worked this year with Patagonian Hares. I was amazed. But I also suspect the two female maras of getting real old this year too, so I don't consider the success conclusive.

If it's something that would help, I offer hugs: *hugs*

(if not, please feel free to ignore)

I'm sorry you're having to go through this. From one medicated person to another, I hope it all works as it should, that side-effects are minimal and you can be off medication soon. Oh, and hugs from an internet stranger!

*hugs* Good on you for realizing your problem and realizing how to fix it!

AS for dogs, I'm totes not a canine expert, but I know some dogs dig because of boredom? She may need more play time or whatever to help her expend her energy.

Just reading about your past few weeks had me feeling anxious and queasy. Very glad you have the help you need -- personal and pharmaceutical -- to get back to well again.


In a pretty simple procedure for people who are as Adept With Household Stuff as you and Kevin, you can run (lowest voltage) horse tape fencing along the bottom of the fence and connect it to a box next to the house. It'll stop any digging. (We had a shepherd beagle mix who really... REALLY... like to escape...) It usually takes maybe ONE shock for them to never go near it again.

But as a start, I'd also toss something Less Than Fun in the area where she was digging - red pepper flakes, that sort of thing. Then pick an area where you don't care if she excavates a giant hole (put a tree in next spring!) and make that area AWESOME. Turn over the soil some with a shovel. Bury a few things of awesomeness like dog treats. Maybe the most disgusting chew or rope toy or whatever that you can find. Praise her for digging THERE but not anywhere else. I think she'll pick it up in a hurry.

Also, many hounds are chewy creatures by nature. You may have nine billion chew toys, but long cut beef soup bones will serve her well. (...and she can bury them. And unbury them. And bury them. And unbury them.)

I am not a dog person, so I will try not to offer unwanted advice here...

But it seems to me that were it possible to train a dog to dig on command and were directed, an avid gardener might have a use for such a dog.

Hope you feel better soon!

I'm sure doggie will sort herself out.

I have something called gastroparesis which, amongst other fabulous things, makes nausea a huge problem in my life. Years ago, a coworker introduced me to something called Queasy Drops and I haven't looked back since. I thought she was completely full of it when she was telling me how much they helped her, she pretty much had to force it on me to try it, but I've been a devoted user ever since. Seriously, these were life-changing for me, and they work while nausea drugs don't help me at all. I don't know what the secret ingredient in them is, and I honestly don't care - they work and that's all that matters for me. Realo carries them in little round containers of mixed flavors, and you can also get them via the manufacturer on their website or at their Amazon store. I use Amazon because it's cheaper, and because I can get specific flavors there (I don't like a couple of the flavors in the mixed tin.) I don't want to link to them because I always feel like a corporate shill when I pimp these things so hard, but they work so well for me I can't in good conscience not recommend them when I see people mention nausea issues. The only issue I have with them is they melt really easy, so leaving a bunch in my car when I live in North Carolina is not a good idea. I have containers spread throughout my work and house, though, and I would seriously panic if I could not get them any more.

I am very sorry that anxiety and nausea are making your life miserable.

I spent most of last December nauseated. (Very unusual but really attention-grabbing side effect of high thyroid that ended up making it much harder to diagnose.) I feel for you. Plain instant oatmeal made with water usually didn't make me sick. Also when I was at my worst I could keep distilled water down better than tap. On the other hand, I live in East Tennessee; we get gravel in the hot water heater---not kidding; every couple of years the hot water heater quits working and the plumber takes out a bucket of white rocks before he puts the new heating elements in. Where you live this might not be an issue.

I was so nauseated the anti-nausea med *had* to come first. I hope you are better off.

May life get easier soon!

Growing up in South Georgia, I remember we used to get rocks in our teakettle.

Good luck with the Digging Hound, who otherwise sounds like a paragon of a hound.

Well at least she isn't a wombat.