Heart to Post

About Pets, Vets, And Animal Cannonballs

From now on, I’m going to post once a week (I’ve got WordPress added to my action list!). About my life, because that’s how this blog started: as a diary. By going back to the basics, I’m hoping to learn more about myself – and the world I live in.

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language

• Martin Buber •


It all started a few months ago, when I noticed one of my gerbils squeezing his right eye.

A few trips to the vet left me with an antibiotics-type of eye cream and a very upset little gerbil.

You see, my Meeko doesn’t like to be picked up, let alone be tortured back into health – which is what I imagine he must think of it all, seeing as after two weeks of wriggling about fruitlessly in my hands, he started menacingly grinding his teeth at me.

Which in gerbil language means bad business. Very. Bad.

Meeko also steadfastly worked his way through 4 (!!) oven mittens and 1 welding glove (my dad’s), but only after having perforated my left hand in more ways than you can imagine with his tiny yet incredibly sharp teeth.

Maybe he grinds them to sharpen them…?

After 2 weeks of antibiotics, 4 oven mittens, 2 perforated fingers, 1 gnawed-on thumb, and NO eye-improvement, I had had it.

I went to a “specialist in small rodents” aka a “gerbil doctor”.

Meeko (on top) in healthier times

Well…

What can I say?

It cost me a rib and then some, but at least the woman knew what she was doing.

Outside the fact, of course, that Meeko managed to escape her examining table a whooping 3 times, twice within the first ten minutes.

Then once more by literally LAUNCHING himself from his travel box into the air and onto his path to escaping all those awful hands. Like a teeny tiny, furry cannonball he shot out!

“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a gerbil do that!” the gerbil expert exclaimed, baffled.

I had to agree, baffled.

The vet concluded Meeko has an inflammation of his tear duct and needs other meds than the ones he was getting.

Those meds not only cost me another rib, but I fear will cost me a few more sets of oven mittens as well, considering I now have to administer 2 droplets into Meeko’s eye, three times a day. That’s 5 more torture-moments for him than before!

Oh, and the good news? (For the gerbil doctor, at least.)

If this doesn’t work within 2-3 weeks, I have to come back so she can perform a CT-scan on Meeko.

Which will cost me all my remaining ribs.

I love my pets. Let nobody ever think otherwise!

I try my hardest to give them the best care in the World.

But if this new medicine doesn’t work, I consider moving to Switzerland to become one of those screeching mountain marmots, seeing as they best vocalise how I’m feeling right now:

The best part of last week, of which my gerbil’s health issues and my emptying bank account were really the least of my frustrations, was this song:

I need more of this on the radio, please! So I can wake up every day, even if it’s going to be a bad one, with a smile on my face and the knowledge I’ll make it through somehow.

Plus, it helps to drown out my inner screeching marmot.

How was your week?

Heart to Post

About Being Sleepless Outside Seattle

From now on, I’m going to post once a week (I’ve got WordPress added to my action list!). About my life, because that’s how this blog started: as a diary. By going back to the basics, I’m hoping to learn more about myself – and the world I live in.

I lie awake, I drive myself crazy, thinking of you

• *NSYNC •


Last Wednesday I saw her again after three months: my psychologist.

I started seeing her for my insomnia earlier this year, and miraculously she helped me fall back to sleep. Little by little.

It’s so weird to realise you don’t actually realise all that’s going on inside you. I mean: you think you know about all that’s going on in your head, when really you don’t.

Stress builds up and my psychologist told me my stress levels are running through the roof: they’re more than 90% full, so every little thing that happens during a day adds to that stress, overflowing me. Which leaves me, well, sleepless in the Netherlands.

Over the past three months, my sleeping has gone slightly back to normal. I say slightly, because I still spasm heavily before falling asleep and wake up every morning at 6 am on the dot.

But other than that, I was doing fine.

So fine, in fact, that I’d decided I was A-Okay!

Only… that stress gauge is still running and my brain is still accepting new stress-entries on a daily (and subconscious) basis.

The first time my insomnia hit me back – hard – was the day my mother had her medicine appointment at the hospital.

As I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, I felt my head rage. And really rage: I couldn’t stop a single thought from wreaking havoc in my head.

I was mad, upset, lonely, disappointed and immensely sad.

All the hurt and fears from 10 years ago, when my mother had breast cancer, came rushing back as if they’d never gone.

Ahhh, nostalgia 🙂

It took me two attempts at meditation, one melatonin and, much to my deepest dismay, a regular sleeping pill to eventually pass out.

The second night I nearly saw through was right after my eldest sister’s and mine high tea.

Of which I shall never speak again (the monkeys, remember?).

My psychologist was all ears, and luckily all understanding, too.

“If there had been no direct causality for your renewed insomnia, I would have been much more alerted. You will be fine once you deal with this stress.”

She recommended a YouTube video (in Dutch, so no point sharing it here) with information about healthy sleeping, and advised me to take the “sleeping diet” the video speaks of: force yourself into a healthy sleeping rhythm by going to bed at midnight and waking up at 6am.

Seeing as I’m already doing the latter (for no explicable reason), I might as well try the first, too.

The idea is to force your body and mind into getting enough rest a night (5-6 hours of really good, deep sleep for 7-10 days straight) and to create more rest-moments during the day. These moments will actively help your mind work through your daily impressions, so it can prepare itself for full rejuvenation at night.

I hate waking up early, but I hate lying awake more.

And I love myself enough to give this a try ❤

How was your week?

Heart to Post

About Picking Up The Pieces And Keeping Busy

It’s official: my mother has leukaemia.

Of course, deep down, I already knew there was no denying this news. So it didn’t come as a huge shock.

What also helps is that the doctors are pretty upbeat about her current situation: no red flags yet, she’s not done for quite already.

That’s a relief, in a way, I suppose. Things could be worse, much worse.

But they’re not 🙂

Another thing that happened this week is that I got my second vaccine shot.

I suppose everyone has different reactions to it, mine were zero complaints until sundown after which a fever rose.

Nothing too bad or worrisome: I spent all Wednesday in bed/on the sofa reading and sleeping and by the time Thursday morning hit 6.30 AM I was wide awake to take my mum to the hospital for her first round of testing.

Tomorrow I have a fun day planned at a museum that’s currently showcasing Dalí’s work, as well as a female artist (I forgot her name) who does all kinds of amazing things with cardboard. I am really looking forward to it!

It’s me and my middle sister, of whom I am very happy she wanted to join me (I hate doing things like these alone). Could also be a good moment to do some sisterly bonding, something we’ve both lacked in the past years.

Apart from all that, I am busy trying to up my business, get more into the Law Of Attraction and just, well, simply live.

I have a stack of books to read and have – finally! – watched Hocus Pocus today, a manifestation that took about 6 weeks to, well, manifest. But that’s another story.

A man has always to be busy with his thoughts if anything is to be accomplished

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Moreover, I have had an epiphany: to put WordPress and blogging onto my monthly “action list”. I have found I am a fervent “ticking things off”-er and this is another, hopefully more fruitful, attempt of picking up my personal blog as well as making sure I take time every week to read up on everyone else’s adventures 😉

Meanwhile, if you’re on Pinterest, you can find me there if you like. I put out a new quote every day, with a monthly theme and photos to accompany it.

I wanted to say most of the quotes used are English, which is true, only for this month I’ve chosen 31 uplifting quotes from famous Dutch people. Go figure how typical this is, lol.

Nevertheless, I’d love for you to check it out and possibly follow me on Pinterest – I promise I’ll follow back 😉

Now, to end this post with a question: I have yet to figure out how to revive this blog. What I’d like to ask you is: how do you go about posting yourself?

How did you decide on categories, topics, etc? And also: what would you like to read about on my blog? Any old type of posts you miss?

Any advice or tip is welcome, I am open to new things 🙂

I hope you’re all in good health and doing great!

Heart to Post

About Dentists, Disillusions & Delight

It was a week of strange notifications.

First, I received an email about my heavenly dentist. I am not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it here, but he is gorgeous! And also a very good dentist.

I never mind going there. I did mind when a few years ago he told me it was a good idea if I’d just come in “once a year instead of twice, because you have such great teeth, there’s never anything wrong.”

Honest, yes. Disappointing even more so.

Imagine the tenfold of such a disappointment when I read the email his assistant sent me, about all his Tuesday clients being moved to another dentist.

Somewhere two nights later I woke up and felt my sorrows transform into glorious hope as I realised his Tuesday clients were moved.

The next day I changed my appointment (for May 2022, imagine my thoroughness!) from a Tuesday to a Thursday.

Result: I was a happy dental camper again, looking forward to my next check-up, and felt a little high over my clever solution to keep my yummy dentist.

As it turned out, I needed this high, because it’s what’s gotten me through the past week.

Anyone who has had cancer or who knows someone who has had any form of this illness, can probably relate to the fear of it returning with practically every cough or sneeze.

Anyone who’s ever had their blood checked can probably relate to a certain level of panic when you receive the results on the same day as you went in to get tested.

My mum’s had cancer ten years ago.She has check-ups every year and so far, they’ve always been negative (or positive for us).

This year, she also had some blood taken and that’s where all the bells and whistles went off.

Bad news travels at the speed of light, good news at the speed of molasses

Tracy Morgan

Her GP personally made sure she got an appointment in the hospital ASAP this week – the oncology and haematology department.

That’s when I knew she was going to die.

Her test results are not 100% conclusive, but the specialist said it was very likely a form of chronic leukemia. Not the nicest news, but…

Even if this form isn’t curable it is treatable. She could, potentially, still make it to 100 with it.

Safe to say this, despite the shadowy nature of the news, it was still MUCH better than anything my mind came up with.

So, I was ready to end my week on a mid-high, with my mum not dying and my personal dentist success.

Why is it that siblings always have to ruin everything ?

When I told her about Mr. Dreamy Dentist, my sister asked me if I’d looked him up on social media already.

I should have known better than to fall for that…

I learned that my dreamy dentist is absolutely nothing like the person my mind’s made him up to be. In fact, he’s not half as interesting as I thought he was!

Actually, my findings have made me look at him from a completely different point of view – and it’s not a good one!

What a massive turn-off that was. Oof!

Thank goodness I never acted on my infatuation: we are a mismatch made in every place but heaven, I’d say!

To make up for this new disillusion I slapped my sister – accidentally right on her injection mark (she got her second anti-COVID shot today).

Oops!

Then again: no good deed goes unpunished.


How was your week? Any dreams gone up in smoke? Or did they become real?

Aside, Status Update

About New Years And Old Acquaintances

“Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it only means you’re wise”Unknown


Before I write anything else, I want to wish everyone a very belated yet earnest

Happy 2021!

I know it’s well overdue, but I’ve been told it’s allowed until at least the beginning of Spring, so… I’m not too late, surely? 😉

Anyway, I’ve been quiet, as always, because I’ve been doing all sorts of things, as always, apart from sleeping (as from November).

That’s a small lie: my sleeping has improved. A “good night” now varies between 5-7 hours of sleep and sometimes I even get that without any “help” such as a sleeping pill or melatonin. So even if I still find myself exhausted throughout various moments of the day, my insomnia is slowly (very slowly) decreasing.

In my last post I wrote about seeing a coach-like person… Well, that was a joke! Haha, it still makes me laugh out loud, thinking back to it all :’)

After interviewing me for about 20 minutes he declared I was “severely traumatised” and needed to find myself a “trauma psychologist, not a regular one, one that specialises in traumas.”

When I asked him what my trauma was, exactly, since I honestly didn’t know (still don’t), he told me that’s something I have to figure out with the trauma psychologist.

Whut? If you start talking like that, don’t we all suddenly need to see a “trauma psychologist”? How does this make sense? I don’t see it, but okay, I can shrug it off.

The coach-like person then proceeded by assuring me that him and me, we could work on boosting my low self-esteem.

I think that was the moment my jaw literally dropped. I must have looked at him with a more than just puzzling look on my face, because he reacted surprised by my, well, surprise.

I told him there was nothing wrong with my self-esteem. Sure, it’s been super low for super long, but I’ve also been building it up for quite a while, thank you very much, and I didn’t see the point in focussing on that right now. I mean, I have other priorities, such as, I don’t know, SLEEPING?

So, after 25 minutes of what was supposed to be a 30 minute session, my coach-like person rolled his chair back, threw his hands up and screeched: “Then WHY are you here!?”

I know that was the moment I lost my respect for him as a coach. I mean, I know I don’t actually have clients right now so this man’s got one over me, but… If somebody shows up for coaching, I make sure to let them tell me why they’re sitting in my office, not vice versa.

Anyway, when in doubt what to do, mimic what you see. So I, in turn, threw my hands up at him and shouted: “Finally you ask! I have barely slept for 4 weeks and I think it’s due to stress. I mean, all kinds of things fill my head and at night I lie awake.”

His advice? (You can giggle, it’s okay. I do it, too.)

His professional advice to me after telling him I lie awake at night was: “Don’t.”

When I asked him how he didn’t actually burst into song, yet he did pressure me to just “let it go.”

Honestly! I could do his job! And so much better!

Against all better reasoning I made a follow-up appointment for 3 weeks later. Sometime during those weeks I talked to a good friend of mine who asked me why I didn’t look into my old psychologist? The one that helped me get through my depression 12 years ago. Maybe she was still around and could help me? Surely it was worth looking her up?

So I did.

And guess what?

I found her! 😀 And she still works as a psychologist! Very close by, too!

I’ve contacted her and she’s got a waiting list for about 6 weeks, which sounds long but is far better than the 5 months a lot of other mental helpers have. So in a few weeks she’ll contact me and I’m curious to hear what she has to say, although I am convinced it’s going to be much better and way more helpful than “let it go.”

But, since I am not too good to teach anyone a lesson, including myself, I decided to go to the second appointment with the coach-like person anyway, just to… well, “show him in what state my self-esteem really was.”

When he asked me how I’d experienced our first session, I asked him if I could be frank (nobody ever says no to that, do they?). I told him I’d found it very useless, and that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at his advice to “not lie awake.”

He denied having said that.

Here’s a funny little intermezzo: every time somebody’s ever insulted me in the past and I confronted them with it, they either ended up denying it or blaming it all on me.

Normally I just leave it at that, but not this time. I told the “coach” I have a fantastic memory and an auditive one at that, and that he did say that, literally.

The crimson colour that appeared on his cheeks ran all the way down his neck.

People, that was by far the best moment I had in 2020! 😀 Eureka for standing up for myself, while keeping my cool (and icy glare).

The man sitting opposite of me started to mumble that maybe I was better of with a psychologist. I told him I agreed. He started explaining how to get a referral letter from my GP. I told him I already knew. He grasped his computer mouse and started googling some psychologists he knew. I told him I had already found one.

We stared at each other for a while and I remember thinking There is nothing this man can teach me.

Don’t get me wrong: I think he was kind and nice. He just wasn’t the right person to help me.

But… that’s where I’m at right now. Proud of myself (and boy did I sleep that night!), with a healthy self-esteem as proof of what I did in that man’s office, awaiting my time to meet up with my old psychologist.

12 years is a long time and she didn’t remember me, which I think is logical. But I have a good feeling about this.

Maybe everything that went wrong in 2020 only did so, so I could set it right in 2021.

2021 is going to be one heck of a year, I can sense it. But I am adamant to make that a positive thing!

How have you all been doing? I hope you’re all well! Stay safe and sane, people 🙂