Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Hi special people out there! Just wanted to add a happy update! 

I took my Mom to Vancouver today! If she is  bi-polar, (as previously diagnosed), or just a GREAT day,,then so be it. I was with her all the way! Perhaps it was the new meds, increase in meds, decrease in meds, Mom was awesome today. This day will be remembered as a victory.

Fun trip and BRAVE. We took a new route, (scary..but what might be at that waterfront station..a monster..dont think so)  I could tell this was a new, glowing, surreal experience for Mom. She was happy, confident and in awe of the Waterfront Station! Mom was a scientist, an intelligent observer of history.  I felt serene at her side, proud.
We were lost as how to get home...but WOW...the building architecture was spellbinding! Mom was in her glory.

Waterfront station proved to be a confusing route to our 'expo line' home to surrey. I heard Mom ask some people in the elevator for directions. Calm. We wound our way through hallways and staircases that melted away the gleam and sparkle of the Canada Line with every step. Interesting, calm, sad.
We FINALLY found the expo line to King George, Surrey. Older trains, older platforms...the real world. Away from the modern glass and glitter of the new line just in time for the winter games and tourists. I loved all my pets!!!

Thank you Rosie for a trip I will never forget, because it was so clear in my mind. Very calm, deeply introspective, very real.

We are home, Donny is at Dad's. IT IS WINDY!!!!!!!!
We are together and warm.
It was a great day.
I am thankful, I am at peace.
I Love you Mom.

Monday, November 16, 2009



It has been so long since I have posted and I have so missed you all! As the blog title suggests there have been some very bad times. This is the reason the post has been so long coming.  Time can pass with a mental illness when you do not wish to tell anyone how bad it is. The last month has been this way. I have been hiding in a place where a baseball bat has been hitting my head with every insult you can imagine.

It helps me to write and that helps me heal.  Rosie is forever by my side through the darkness and never fails to make me laugh. Rosie is the reason I get through this. She is with me every second, every day. Rosie is why I survive.

 I have promised to do things, disappointed and confused friends, and mostly been in a battle with my own mind. Rosie has been there through it all. The face I show to the world is acceptable, normal, even friendly. Rosie knows that these days have been surreal to me and scary,she knows, she looks at me. My HOPE in this 'mind battle' is Rosie. She makes me laugh!
Have you ever had that person in your life that you can remember that makes you laugh? They are oh so special. Rosie chases my cat around the couch, (when she forgets she is so behaved ),,she plays!  We all must remember to play!
My retreat to the isolation in life began with that nasty H1N1 flu, i got it. Its just the flu right? The doctor told me I had it and just to relax, treat it like the normal flu. Yup, ok. I can do that. Cried all the way home and sent Donny to his Dad's, (oh so far away in my mind), as my son is high risk. (chronic lung problems).


Not so good for a person who is depressed. Nope. That began a month of missing my son, no homeschooling for my son..GUILT, (that can ruin you!) and a great trigger for a psychotic episode.  It happened.
To much time to much time to be sad and sick. The ONLY thing that connected me to the world guessed it! Rosie!
Rosie at the park, Rosie needed breakfast, Rosie was by my side. She's just there, always. Thank God.
My son is gone. I am lonely, sick, bored and depressed) Rosie is my lifeline, my best friend.

I can only control ONE THING.. I cannot control things i promise to do in the morning, things committed to, places i need to go. I am sad that I cant do things I mean too, they do not happen. I do not know why! It makes me confused! BUT  I can control my meds. I am out of meds.
I take Rosie to the park, our morning stroll. For some reason....for weeks...that is all I can do. WHY?

No more meds.  People wonder why people who need these meds stop them cold turkey. For a glorious moment the headaches are gone,no constant head heavyness! Your head is light! There is no pain in there! 

You reach the end of your rope, you just cant get out to get them, you stay home.I think I can do this..not so bad..some brain zaps..if there is anything i can do it is control my meds. When everything else in my life is out of least i can do this. Just hang on one more day...stop the meds. Wake up to a sunny morning when your ok.  I cried for days.

I never miss taking Rosie out to the park, (she doesn't let me. alerts, barks,,paws at me,,good girl!). These days she always stared RIGHT at me, like something was wrong, it was.
The brain zaps,,were not really zaps. This is the withdrawal from the antidepressants I take. They are more like body movements,jerky shifts,  (when you are not moving),like body shadows moving very fast. I knew this would happen. I just wanted to handle challenge something in my life and come out a winner, (have people like me and all that stuff). I lost this battle big time!

This is where Rosie came in to save my life. When  I had no meds, (the brain does not compute to ...get more!) I just thought...STAY HOME..handle it. By the time withdrawal came two days later, I could only walk with Rosie and a determined mind not to fall over. THIS morning i could nothing but run!!!!!!!! My whole body rushing and sweating and missing time....MISSING time in my mind,,,not my body..FREAKY!
I have looked this up and it is called the 'Cinderella Syndrome'. You think you move or fall, but you dont.

I CANT TELL YOU HOW ROSIE BY MY SIDE GOT ME TO THE DOCTORS!! Can you imagine? Me speeding at 100 miles per hour, (in my head), my feet feeling floaty enough to step INTO the sidewalk. We were home in a minute,,(it seemed) was actually 3 hours. Rosie took me, Rosie guided me, Rosie lead me home. I could not have done this without her. I would have been taken to the hospital.

I am back on my meds now. It frightens me to think of going off them, (wish i could,,maybe taper off). Always fighting that invisible illness.There is always that mindset that does not want to be mentally ill. Wouldn't you NOT want to be mentally ill? Its scary, and most importantly invisible. The day I floated to the Doctors with Rosie I talked to over 10 people, I talked fast.... They never knew how desperately I wanted that pharmacist to fill my prescription so I could walk home on concrete and not air,,(a bizzare, heart pounding air). They didnt know how I tried so hard to come off an addictive pill that i must take every day. They thought me friendly, talkative and sincere. Rosie stayed very close that day because she know the chaos inside, she knew.
Taking my meds, dam terrified to stop them. The doctor has given me some anti-anxiety meds that i had prevously stopped as they were addictive. They are helping. I must wonder about my antidepressants that when stopped have EXTREME consequences to body and mind and an anti-anxiety medicine that I can stop at anytime without any side-effects. These anti-anxiety medicines are labeled 'addicting'. hmmm....Just a thought for you out there that may help...Rosie is the best anti-anxiety medicine ever,,,just pet her head or stroke her fur.look into her eyes.You will know what I mean.

Happier Stuff!!!!!

My life has settled down EXTREMELY!! My son Donny is doing so well with homeschooling. Yes! I homeschool him! I am a very intelligent loving mom.

Leeta , (our kitty), is sitting by Donny as he reads his school book on Native Peoples. Donny LOVES animals! They calm him.
My son always says how Rosie has made our family life better. His comments regarding how 'Mom goes out now,and is so much happier' bring a warm fuzzy feeling to my heart.  I am just finishing up some laundry and have been out shopping.(walking with Rosie) 6 times over the last 2 days! Rosie and I have shared some tears,( i love the rain because no one knows that you are crying)..she always brings me home. Thank you Rosie, you never let me down. Thank you for my life, you are my hope for the better days, and the laughter. With Rosie by my side I can keep going and become a better person. I can like myself and help others, (everyone I meet you would be amazed). With this post,.things are getting better! Thank you so much for listening to all our darkness and light!


Never Forget!
'Who I am Makes a Difference!'

Monday, October 19, 2009



This is a story of today, the longest trip we have ever challenged! I am still glowing with pride thinking about our day and how far Rosie, Donny and I traveled!

We began our trip in South Surrey, our destination, downtown Vancouver! I did not sleep well the night before because a  trip like this scares the hell out of me! Not only would I leave my neighborhood bubble but would blow it to smithereens!
My son requires educational testing and his appointment was in downtown Vancouver, a two hour bus ride each way. Buses I've never been on, sky trains never ventured! Routes, tracks, unknown streets. I CLUNG to my little piece of paper with my directions!

How I wished I had my anti-anxiety meds! Rosie would need to calm me down today. I trusted her to help me if a panic attack came crashing down. Stopping the anti-anxiety meds may have not been the right thing to do for me. They were making me so forgetful! I was afraid of becoming addicted to them. I will talk to my doctor about this as I have been experiencing some extreme anxiety and canceled some appointments.

I could not miss this one! With no meds and a fast beating heart we headed for our first bus!  Once outside and on our way I felt elated! Rosie stayed very close and seemed to share my excitement!
Maybe I was somewhat manic, but the joy on Donny's face and the happy spirit of my high-tailed service dog promised a very exciting day...I can do this!

Alright, I know this bus! Just a short ride to the exchange, no problem! My heart begins to race as I search for Bay 3. Where's my bus pass, Rosie's bus pass, Donny's change...I'm mixed up! I'm sweating.


 Much better! Of course we find the '301' Brig-house Station bus! The bus driver is VERY friendly and lets us on with no questions. Good! We settle in comfy seats for the hour and half ride to Richmond. The scenery changes as we leave Surrey and travel into the unknown. The bus driver assures me that his last stop is Brig-house Station. OK! All good!
We are doing it! I feel like a kid at Christmas! In the back of my head a little voice of panic is trying desperately to shout at me. I wont let it. I have my furry best friend and my wonderful son smiling at me. Could it be we are having fun? YES! I can't tell you how excited I am at this point, amazing. I would be no more excited traveling to Mars!

OK..2 buses down, we are going the right way and I know the very last stop is the Canada Line, right?
I study my little note furiously, going over and over it for times and sky train platform directions. Donny has fallen asleep beside me, Rosie is napping under the seat. It's all good! I almost fall asleep myself, incredible!

Rosie is so calm and relaxed on the bus, she calms me down. Donny wakes up for a smile and a pic. I love my family.

I find myself yakking away to people on the bus! This results in comforting conversation that assures me we are heading in the right direction and confirmation of our next transfer.
Dam that little voice! 'You have NEVER been on the Canada Line! You are going to end up at the airport! You will be LATE for your son's very important appointment! How could you be so lost? You can't do this!' My mind feels like its off track, there a so many tracks, they go everywhere!

Oh SHUT UP, I think. Ha, Ha! I give Rosie a gentle pat on the head and wonder how she feels in this very strange and unfamiliar atmosphere! The noise and rumble of the bus, people getting off, getting on and the smell of fresh air when the door opens again and again. Yet, we do not get off when the door opens, how strange that must be for her. She looks at me with complete love and trust. I am calmed by her loyalty to me. She fills me with confidence.

By now I am GLOWING with confidence! Donny is ecstatic about the sky train 'ending' where we get off the bus! We are in Richmond. I have never seen these things I see all around me! There are very exciting things outside of the bubble! Rosie needs a nature break and we look for a discreet place for her. She is a lady and looks for privacy! All done, good girl!
NOW...lets NOT go to the airport! A friendly sky train security guard asks for Rosie's papers. Papers? Funny! I knew what he needed and gladly showed him Rosie's service dog certification. Big smiles!

 We took a glass elevator to the sky train platform. Rosie was so funny the way she tilted her head as the elevator rose.  I could not be prouder of Rosie, look how far we have come!! Red carpet please..Yippee!

The most delicious part of our journey was just ahead as we walked through the sky train doors! Enter, THE FUTURE! Even the voice on the sky train telling us the stops sounded like a female android! Modular shapes, smooth white and blue seats, shiny sleek floors and wide spacious aisles enveloped us. We continued our time-warp through a dark tunnel filled with orange light, Woo Hoo!!!
Don't know where we are going, don't care! This is fun! Bring on Vancouver! We are enjoying our adventure immensely! Next stop Broadway - City Hall Station. I am looking for a City Hall, can't find one! Again the panic tingles in my head and I feel very hot.

Rosie's eyes gave me the most loving look. 'I am here for you.'

My treasured son flashes a smile at me and my panic melts away. I am a good mom. Rosie will help me through the rough times and I will overcome the anxiety. I like these positive thoughts! I do not need a pill. I have Rosie. I again give her a big warm loving hug and we depart our space train to the streets of Commercial and Broadway.
Concrete jungle, strangers, unfamiliar and scary! Up, down, up, down. My emotions are like a yo-yo. I must remember that with Rosie's help, I control the string. We need 750 West Broadway, the sign says 500 block. I have a great fear of being late, becoming frightened. How are we going to make the appointment in time, the VERY IMPORTANT meeting! Again I become quite pissed at the negative chatter, its spoiling the day. I quit listening and we walk the very short blocks to Donny's psychologist arriving just in time.

Donny's Doctors were incredible, caring and warm. I felt so comfortable with them and so did Donny. Rosie was the star of the office! She was welcomed with loving arms and many questions as to her service to me. The doctors and teachers were attentive and sincerely interested to hear Donny and I inform them all about my psychiatric assistance dog. One person on the street backed away from me when I told her Rosie was a psychiatric assistance dog. Hee, Hee! I am sincerely sorry to giggle but the fact that she thought I was scary when I am so afraid of the world amused the heck out of me! A security guard in the building told me 'pets' were not allowed in the building. I told him calmly that she was a service dog, he just walked away. What do you do? These people are rare, most are in awe of Rosie! We took some pictures out the windows of Dr. Hotz and Eric's office. Look at what we saw! Beautiful view! Nice shot Donny!

During Donny's testing I was free to explore my surroundings and Rosie really needed another nature break. I chatted to everyone I met, me! I felt as if in a dream, surreal, but knew that this was wonderful reality. Rosie and I were on top of the world. Blood pressure time! Not to bad!

I took pictures of Vancouver General Hospital. I love the old section of the hospital and the towering powerful presence of the main building.

 I feel an unsettling familiarity around hospitals, especially old ones. I am drawn to researching asylums on the internet and mezmorized by 'insane' or 'hysterical' unfortunate souls that suffered horrible treatments of long ago. I have always felt 'at home' and at complete peace in hospitals, I worked in them for many years. I dwell on thoughts that I may have been one of those unfortunate souls in the past. What Rosie has taught me is that I was instead a caring, compassionate doctor, why not? She turns my dark places into places of positive light. I love her with all my heart.

The sorrow into the joy.
Time to get Donny! We made our way back to Dr. Hotz's office and enjoyed pastrami sandwiches and cheese, yum! The storm of unknown had become calm sailing seas and I looked forward to the way home. Another unfamiliar route, a different bus, but this is adventure!
This is life!

Rosie makes friends on the sky train. Smiles happen everywhere she goes!

The route home took us through Crescent Beach and to the South Surrey Park and Ride. The middle of nowhere really! Donny and I giggled and goofed around, not a care in the world!
Look Mom! We are heading home!!

The sun was shining, the day tranquil. I had traveled into the future, and remembered a dark past. Right this second, the present is a miracle and I treasure every second. Thank you my Rosie girl, thank you for the miracles.

Goodnight everyone! Thanks for listening. Rosie cant wait for our journey back to Vancouver tomorrow!
Say to yourself every night...
'Who I am Makes a Difference'

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Yes and Woof!
I went to Douglas College with my Mom, best pal Donny and my West Coast Assistance Teams family! What interesting things I saw that day!
Dr. Pauline Chow and her students in the Animal Health Technician class welcomed us to their school with friendly pets and smiles. A beautiful day at the Port Coquitlam campus!
My friends Buddy and Delhi were there too. We welcomed a new member to West Coast, her name is Lu Lu, (sorry lu lu if i didn't get the spelling right, we just met!). She is the cute little black pooch in Mom's pictures. Click on her for a better look! I wish her all the best!

We greeted SO MANY students and Mom told them all about me. Donny helped hand out pamphlets,,(my paws are kind of clumsy for that!). Sharon made these wonderful information pamphlets all about psychiatric assistance dogs and how they can benefit people with certain mental disorders. I am so happy helping my Mom and she tells me every day how happy I make her, she is VERY proud of me! Woof!

The A.H.T. class had so many wonderful and interesting things at their display! Skeletons of felines and even a horse!!! (that was in the classroom!) I had my teeth checked and Delhi had her nails clipped. Thanks students, much obliged! You were so gentle and professional! Mom and Sharon were very pleased!

Dr. Chow offered us a tour of her classrooms, wow! I thought for sure I was at the Doctor's!! Mom assured me we were just looking! We saw x-ray equipment, microscopes, sterilizing equipment, kennels, even the surgery suite! Very spacious and clean, amazing. These students have a great learning environment!

I'm so glad I could get Mom up to go today. She was not feeling her best because her meds have been increased. I know she was 'off' today and I was right by her side to give her the courage to keep going. She gave me hugs all night and told me how much she loved me because she felt better after going. She's brave! I will never leave her side. Donny had such a great time and learned so much! I saw him talking to the photographer from the Tri-City Newspaper. He loved talking about her camera and taking pictures! Donny spent a long time talking to the students and learning about animals. When Mom see's him like this she glows! She thanked me for that too! Awww gee, Mom, anytime!!
Thank you West Coast family and Dr. Pauline Chow for a wonderful, educational and fun day! Your students are professional, extremely helpful and friendly. I hope to see them one day! Just for a check-up of course!

We are exhausted! Mom's headaches are bad so I am off to give her a nudge for a friendly hug that will make us both feel better! Goodnight everyone, thanks for listening. We made a difference today.
'Who I am Makes A Difference'

Friday, September 25, 2009

Many Miles with Smiles and Rosie

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Hello everyone! This is Rosie. My Mom is very sick with the flu! Don't worry though, I am taking extra special care of her. I took her to the Doctor's and am making sure she takes her medicine. With all my kisses and lots of rest she will be healthy again soon!

We went on an important trip with Donny to his therapy appointment. Mom was 'aglow' as she was able to make this trip because of me! We traveled on the bus and sky trains, all the way to Gilmore Station in Burnaby! Donny was right on time for his occupational therapy assessment. All three of us were VERY proud of ourselves!

I went out for breakfast with Sharon and Ryan,,yummy eggs benny,(well, for mom!) Mom brought some of my favourite cheese treats so I was licking my chops too!

I'm going to go check on mom now, her throat is very soar but I don't need to hear her talk to know how much she loves and needs me. We will cuddle up,it's getting chilly at night now! Take Care Friends! Hugs and Woofs!

"Who I Am Makes A Difference"

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I just loved these pictures and wanted to share them with you. Click for a larger image..too cute!

When things get WAY TO BIG!! Think of this little brave mouse.  This little guy just wanted some food and well...went and got it! Sure was a BIG challenge for him, he didnt give it a second thought. The leopard was afraid of him! Such extreme confidence in such a little package!
Remember this little mouse when things get 'too big'.

The summer is over and the kids are back to school, a BIG change! Miss them, love them and treasure all the loving summer memories. They get older, way to fast and they, like the little mouse will be fine  Sniff, sniff!

Think of the little mouse, with no worries, when he should have BIG ONES!!! The big scary leopard so gentle with him, so confused.  The little mouse got his lunch and was not harmed.

We should forget our HUGE worries and just have our lunch.  Love our children and give thanks for what we have.  These pictures reminded me of how I can live with my illness.  I hope they help you too!

Back to school and a whole new year of little mice and BIG worries, no problem.  Rosie and I will post new pics of our life, ups and downs, mice and monsters.  Goodnight, homeschooling in the morning!

Must feed our little hamsters, (mice), they sure are cute and brave in their little world of a cage.  They can teach us all something, ya think?  Good sleeps.

'Who I Am Makes A Difference'

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Just a quick post!

I am taking out Rosie for the night time 'nature calls' before bed. I came to a realization regarding my recent breakdown, thanks Rosie!

My friend and mentor from West Coast Assistance Teams, Sharon,  had asked me a question. "Did you take your medicines late?" I did. Today I did too. My personal medication can cause nasty side effects and very ill  feelings  in a matter of hours if not taken on time.

I have recently bought some glucosamine for Rosie and put the container in her food dish, so I would not forget to give her her pill. This is her food dish that she brings my morning medicines to me in, so I do not forget my meds!  That is her task. That little change in schedule caused me to forget my meds!

I now have ALL my prescriptions and Rosie's supplements in her food dish  This is a very important change for me. I experienced this zappy feeling and knew that meant I forgot my meds, strange when you are out for a walk and everything in your body begins to BUZZ.  Such a little change in schedule can mean so much for my quality of day and mental health.

Rosie still alerts till I get up, or licks my face for special attention! Thank you Rosie for keeping me stable, and thank you Sharon for bringing to my attention the special details that a service dog is dedicated too.

Everyone matters, SO MUCH! Every person has some unique personality and skill to help our world.  Our world needs all our people to connect and help each other. The people with the most challenges are the ones who care the most.  I do.


Sunday, September 6, 2009


I wanted to write a post that was enlightening and happy!
Remember to click on the pic's for a bigger view!

This is how I feel with Rosie by my side, with my son and I.  Thank you from the deepest part of me for sharing the darkness and fears, it means so much that I am accepted.  That spiral would usually last for 3 weeks, and to my amazement, it is already gone.

 My son and I got together to tell you how HAPPY Rosie makes us feel. Donny is extremely sensitive. It was sad for him to have his Mom lost in her unresponsive dream.,sleeping in bed most of the time.  Donny now spends many hours at the park, shopping and walking with his Mom and Rosie. I am alive with him, as it should be.  He loves Rosie so much, as do I! 

We will begin homeschooling Sept.9!  Very exciting and positive! I have never seen Donny so happy or excited about school! I can do this because Rosie is my path to the outside world.  Donny had a very rough time in public school because he was born extremely premature at 25 weeks.  This resulted in illness and countless hospital stays because of his damaged lungs.  I wish I had Rosie then!

I had to always depend on someone to take me somewhere! I could not go alone.  Friends are wonderful, but they can not be there at all times. An emergency trip to the hospital one night resulted in us having to take the bus home at 1:30 am. I live in Surrey and it was dark!  Donny was wide-eyed and shaky  on ventolin and prednisone! I will never forget his state that night. Of course, he was still in need of his nebulizer and tender loving care from mom at home. There is no one I can call at this time of night!

 You know what?  We made it home safe and sound because Rosie was with us.  Rosie allowed me to take care of my son and get him home. There is nothing a mother needs more than to be independent enough to take care of their child.  There is a wonderful picture of Rosie in the ambulance after my son had an extremely bad asthma attack.  Please read the West Coast Assistance Teams website blog to see how wonderful Rosie was at the hospital!

Today is a great day!  It is very windy! I LOVE the wind, maybe there will be a storm! Rosie and I will enjoy it. There are MANY more great days to come! These pictures are a tribute to our love and appreciation towards our beloved service dog, Rosie.  How my life has changed since I got her!

Thank you Rosie!  All my love to West Coast Assistance Teams for believing in me. Quality of life is the difference between being a victim of your disease, or living life to the fullest with it.

'Who I Am Makes A Difference!'