One of the most important aspects of the relationship with a service dog is understanding the level of commitment and dedication you must have as a partner/handler. For me, it really is a partnership and I have started my training to be the best partner for Jon Snow. Jon has spent his life undergoing high-level training with some of the best trainers in the business. … Continue reading The Partnership Begins
On January 11th I met Jon Snow, and he changed my life. Not the actual King of the North (well maybe the King of North Carolina) – Jon Snow is a two-year-old labradoodle who is now my incredible service dog. We matched perfectly, and I felt an immediate connection with him. My family and I did not enter into the possibility of a service animal … Continue reading Winter Is Coming!
I feel like I’m going to have a lot more time on my hands. My youngest graduated high school, and we completed her college orientation. The time has come. It’s here and it’s real. The last one is leaving the nest (gasp). The day she left middle school I took a photo of her and commented – Remember this moment because the next four years … Continue reading It’s Not Empty Nest – It’s Happy Nest
Life has abruptly changed for all of us around this country and the entire world. We all live with a common uncertainty causing most people to fear for their health. Disinfectant, hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks are now staples for most everyone, yet all of these have been part of my normal arsenal long before the novel Coronavirus. I am a chronically ill person … Continue reading COVID and the Chronically Ill
It is common to see ribbons and wristbands of every color symbolizing various health initiatives. September serves as the cancer awareness month for childhood cancer, ovarian and prostate cancers, leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. The month is also dedicated to Sickle Cell Awareness Month and Traumatic Brain Injury Month just to name a few. With October just around the corner, there will be another list including … Continue reading Pain is a Common Thread
I read a book in the late 80’s that I have been thinking about a lot recently. I remember reading it over one of my college breaks after a religion professor had mentioned it in class. The book is When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold Kushner. It was written after Rabbi Kushner’s son died of the degenerative disease, progeria. I remember … Continue reading Make Your Mess Your Message
Three weeks ago today I had my fifth brain surgery. And it was a big one. Most people never have one let alone five. Not me, I’m a classic overachiever. Craniotomy…bone flap…plate…screws…the works (again). My neurosurgeon worked nearly five hours from the area around my brain stem all the way to the ocular region behind my left eye. This time has been much harder than … Continue reading Brain Surgery Number Five
September is Pain Awareness Month. There is so much under this umbrella that it’s overwhelming to begin listing very real, often misunderstood afflictions. When I began thinking about writing during this month I kept going back and forth. For so many years I worked with cancer patients and advocated for proper care. I spent years helping people navigate the waters of the disease, and encouraging … Continue reading Be Your Own Best Advocate!
You may be looking at your calendar and thinking what drugs is this person taking today?! I do not mean July – I am referring to my fourth brain surgery. This one took a great deal out of me, leaving me a little more mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. As my neurosurgeon just reminded me – it was a BIG procedure. Even though I have … Continue reading Happy Fourth
This weekend I was hit by a bolt of lightning! My brain likes to surprise me with things like this. Just when I think I have made some serious progress it likes to remind me who is really in charge. The bolt has hit me before, but it has been well under control with meds and took about a two-year hiatus. I was going about … Continue reading The Suicide Disease
The WordPress Daily Post photo challenge spoke to me today. I am the epitome of the word “fray.” I am both noun and verb. I am fight and struggle, as well as a sight that could frighten most anything away. Last week I had two brain surgeries in five days. I spent a large part of the week in ICU, and now I can finally … Continue reading “Fray”
The Internet is full of articles and suggestions about what to say and what not to say to a person with a serious illness. I get that most people have no idea what to do, and often feel like they put their foot in their mouth when they do say something. Let’s face it – illness makes people uncomfortable. I have been professionally trained to … Continue reading Insights and Illness – Don’t Put Your Foot In Your Mouth