“I need a service dog.” It is not exactly something I thought I would write a year or even six months ago.
Six months ago, my back was hurting, but I could walk, work, enjoy time with my husband, friends and family and dig in my gardens. Now I have very limited energy most days and some, like today, I am flat out exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally.
Since the Spring of 2019, my ability to do things for myself, work and just function on a daily basis has swiftly gone downhill. Most days I have some level of difficulty walking. I have fallen several times trying to get up from chairs and walking up stairs. I hurt badly enough some days I am pushing the handicap button (when there is one) to open doors, but even that can hurt my wrists. Dropping something and having to get it or anything that requires bending can be incredibly painful. I am, quite simply, overwhelmed. My emotional support is very limited. Between all of the x-rays, blood draws, MRIs or scans & tests of numerous kinds as well as my 3-6 appointments a week for doctors, occupational and physical therapy, I am just numb.
A service dog from PAWS would change my world. I would not be alone anymore going through all of this. He would not only help me with my mobility and stability, but also with learning to better recognize when I need to rest, help calm me when it all becomes too much to bear and support me through the stress of being in so many medical appointments alone.
I am not be able to do many of the things I love anymore. A service dog from PAWS, however, would help me stay upright and mobile longer. He would help me be able to walk up or down the stairs without having to take a break halfway.. A service dog could help stabilize me on a boat so I can do water therapy for pain relief when out with friends at the lake. He can help to stabilize me when walking on the tile at the gym pool so that I don't slip and fall. A service dog will be able to provide deep pressure for when I am in pain or have high anxiety at doctor's offices. He can redirect panic attacks during the many needles sticks, MRI's, surgeries and medical procedures I need to have done on a regular basis.
For any or this to happen, however, I need your help. With two incomes we were doing fairly well. Faced with going down to one, we are struggling and a service dog is out of our reach right now. We have begun clearing out our house and selling or listing things on eBay to raise money, but it is not near enough. Will you help me make this dream a reality?
My medical conditions include: Severe Anxiety, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome (hypermobility type, causing my tissues to tear easily, as well as chronic tendonitis), a Chiari-1 malformation in my brain, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis of the spine & SI, psoriatic arthritis, cervical/lumbar/facet/SI joint and spine instability, as well as auditory processing disorder. I am still under diagnosis for other conditions related to Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome.
I am incredibly grateful for any help you can provide.