Puppy Love: The Power of Pets to Heal

Sarah’s Rap: As the month of love is upon us, I have been contemplating all the sources of love in my life. I am very fortunate to receive love from many angles – family, friends, spouse and children. Each kind of love is different, yet special in its own way. All this love has definitely helped me to cope with illness, stress and challenges over the years. Thank you to all those in my life that love me. I love you too!

A few other “loves of my life” are my fuzzy buddies. As a daughter and wife of pet-lovers, there have been very few times over my lifetime that I have been without a furry friend to love. Those times that we didn’t have a pet, the house felt empty even when it was full of people. What is it about the love from a pet that sometimes feels more comforting than human love? Do I take the human love for granted because I have always had copious amounts? Is it that pets love you unconditionally¬†(as long as you feed them)? Is it because they are always so happy to see you when you come home or maybe because they snuggle so nicely? Whatever it is, the power of a pet’s love is amazing, as is the feeling of loving a pet in return. In fact, it’s downright therapeutic!

katie-and-me

This is¬†Katie and I after moving to the Pacific Northwest. We had her for 14 years, after adopting her when she was a 7-week pound puppy. Although she is no longer with us physically, she’ll always be in my heart.

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Unraveling a Medical Mess

Melissa’s Rap: When one suffers from an autoimmune or other chronic condition (or several), a new doctor can bring hope as well as fear. Hope that THIS is the one; the doctor who will finally find what works so you can function in your life. Fear that they will 1) not understand, 2) put your current treatment at risk and 3) will implement treatments that do more damage than good.

Recently I started a new job and with it came a new insurance company. The new company doesn’t cover my old primary care physician (PCP), so I had to find another one. This is a scary prospect when you have as many health conditions as I do. I have been laughed out of the office by a PCP who didn’t believe I had Lyme disease, even though I had it in black and white: CDC-positive. I have had to fight to stay on medications that have made a tremendous difference in my symptoms, because that doctor didn’t support that brand/treatment/dosage, etc. Many PCP’s don’t know what to do with me because I have so many things going on, it is difficult to know what to treat and how those treatments interact with each other.

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