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!' 

Saturday, September 5, 2009


The "Eye of the Hurricane"

It is calm and quiet today.  The terror and panic of the world has faded to a whisper.  A thought comes to my mind how when I was a child my mother would threaten to get the bad people to ‘take me away’.  Being adopted I knew in my little mind that she could. It is strange how childhood terrors come back.  I can remember every detail in vivid clarity.  Mom was so angry and picked up the big black dial phone.  I can see it so clearly, looking way up, she was making the call.  I was crying and pulling on her dress to please not send me away.  I was 5. 
 I calmly dress Rosie for a trip to Safeway.  When you need to buy toilet paper, you have to go!  My previous attack seems like a bad nightmare, although I am aware.  Rosie and I are in what reminds me of   ‘the eye of the hurricane’.
It is strangely numb here.  I am tired.  Teenagers across the street are bouncing balls and riding quads. The noises are muffled, soft.   We encounter friendly people. Yet the world is still not as I think it should be.  There is a fog, though calming, I would like to break through it.  This is a nice place to be, yet I know the dark, swirling winds are all around us.  For now they are at a safe distance.  I love the stillness.
 This means a trip to my Doctors to increase my meds.  I am aware that my illness is knocking at the door.  The trick is to beat it from coming in. I would like my Effexor antidepressant increased from 150mg to 225 mg.  I am no stranger to psychiatric medicines.  I know that the increase will not only affect my serotonin levels, but also my norepinephrine levels at the higher dosage.  At 300mg plus, dopamine is also believed to be increased, maybe.  I will be very cautious with the increase.   A psychiatrist once prescribed me Wellbutrin. The drug increased dopamine levels.  I never heard voices before this drug.  The voices were nasty!  I never heard them again after flushing the meds and seeking a new doctor!
This illness involves countless meds, trial and error.  You do not just take a pill and get better, far from it!  You take MANY pills. Some are unbearable.  My history of treatment:  Tricyclics, introduced in the 1950’s such as Amitriptyline and Impramine.  These are now replaced by safer prescriptions.  These   antidepressants can cause fibrillation of the heart.  I have experienced this first hand with a suicide attempt in my early 20’s.  Trial and error, life and death.  Prozac would make me so numb, no pain. Only I would drop what I was holding on too, all the time. I flushed them away.  Even feeling pain was better than an emotionless, void world.  Next med please!!
Celexa! I could function! I could work! The only problem was the dosage had to be increased.  Many, many, many times!   At 80 mg I was a zombie, a very sad zombie.  This dosage is for people with OCD, not me.  Coming off this drug I experienced ‘Cinderella Syndrome’. It is not pleasant.  I fell backwards and wondered why people around me did not help.  I never fell, it was in my mind. 
The darkest of all were the bipolar meds, helpful to a point but deadly.  I have read that Depakote will make you fat, bald and old.  It did.  Let us try a good old antipsychotic!  I trusted my psychiatrist.  Seroquel was prescribed.  I was starting to wonder if I should just check myself into an asylum.  So is the stigma of this disease.  I need information!  The internet scared me to death.  Insane asylums and drooling people.   I cannot take Seroquel.
 Doctors, I understand.   I do not have heart disease.  I have a disease that even experts in the field do not fully understand.  I have a disease of the mind.  It is said that we use only 10% of our mind’s potential.  The mind is not understood, so how can I help myself? 
I have begun to lose weight walking with my best medicine ever!  I do not imagine falling anymore.  My hair is full.  My current meds will be put where Rosie can bring them to me in the am.  I will never forget my kind grade 1 teacher, Mrs. Mclean.  She told me to write.   Be wary of the hurricane and the stigma.  Thank you from my heart for listening.  I believe that every human being just needs to be heard.
‘Who I Am Makes a Difference’

*A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING MY MEDS* I am a patient and CERTAINLY not a doctor.  Please do not feel that the medications I have listed may not work for you.  A fact of treatment of psychiatric disorders is that one medicine may help someone that does not help another.  Unfortunately, that is the reason we have such a hard time being treated.  Thank you for listening to the battle with my personal trial and error medications.  Every person is affected differently by these meds! I wish you all well with your journey!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rosie Helps Me Through The Terror

 Anxiety attack day. I became so afraid of the world in a matter of minutes. LOUD noises, why is everything so loud?   My heart is beating fast. People look threatening.   I am beginning to tremble.  I am going to cry and know that if I let it out, the tears won’t stop and I will lose control.  I do not feel like me, me is gone.  I think I am going to fall down because my knees are trembling. I cannot see things as they should be.  Oh god, please don’t let this be happening again. It is.  I am holding on to Rosie for dear life.
There are screaming teenagers coming close to us. They are LOUD, they are scaring me. I am so very frightened, I feel terror.   One of them races by us on his bike, barely missing Rosie by inches.  She does not startle, she is glued to my side. Rosie is safety in this strange world that is surrounding and choking me. There are more teenagers, throwing things, making the deafening noises that are making my heart beat out of my chest.
 I run into Safeway to tell the security guards but it is hard to think, speak or breathe.  Rosie is so close to me and the only connection to reality I have right now.  I think if I leave the store at the far entrance I will not see the gang of teenagers. I am trying to survive, create an escape route and get home before I completely lose control. I am seeing the world through sheer panic.  Rosie knows I need to get home. 
All of a sudden a man is arguing with me. He is dark and dirty, I notice huge scabs on his arms and legs. He smells like rotting garbage and Rosie is moving very close to me.  His hair is oily, messy and black. He is slurring his words as if drunk.  He is very angry and LOUD.  In my mind I am terrified.
 He is yelling at me that dogs are not allowed in the store and he is coming closer.  Rosie is calm, seated and extremely alert.  I cannot speak.  He is so close now his smell is making me sick. The cashier is trying to calm the man but he is oblivious to her.
 I think he wants to hurt me, I know he does.  He reaches violently to try to grab Rosie, he became so close to us that Rosie had to nudge him to keep him back. Rosie then looked directly at me with her loving eyes to see if I was ok, making sure she kept space between us and this horrible man.  I believe she saved both of us from injury and further confrontation.
 Rosie was now safely blocking me.   She had the sense and ability to do what I, (in my state of panic), could not.
The security guards took the man away.  I am crying, shaking and not in this world of reality.  Rosie took me home, auto pilot? More like auto service dog!  My son was at home by himself. What would have happened without my service dog? I know for a fact that without her I would have been taken away by ambulance; unable to find my way out of the terror, panic and my surreal world.  My son would have been left alone to worry about his mom.   Rosie got me home to safety and my meds.
 I am home now.  Why did my illness rear its ugly head when I least expected it? So many good days and then I spiral down in a second. I am starting to breathe again while hugging Rosie. She is my gentle, loving, supportive service dog that allows me to have the courage to face a sometimes scary world.
My illness will be with me always and that has terrified me today.   Rosie will be with me through every day and every challenge.  I have her to give me the courage to face the monsters that my mind challenges me with.  Rosie is my loyal companion, service dog and most beloved member of our family. I will NEVER give up with her by my side.
My ‘Kiss From a Rose” will never forget to let me know
 ‘Who I Am Makes a Difference’


What a wonderful evening I enjoyed with West Coast Assistance Teams! I can remember not being able to leave my bed, how outstanding and exciting to attend the 'Just Singn Around' event for volunteer appreciation night! The event is held in Stanley Park at the Vancouver Rowing Club. This night was possible because of Rosie.

My son came with us and I could not have been prouder of him! We enjoyed a magical night that I could have only dreamed of before Rosie. The excitement showed on his face, (especially when the desert plate came), full of smiles! What a treasure for a Mom to be out with her son at such a beautiful place. Standing on the dock with him and Rosie was so enlightening. The fresh sea air and breeze, sparkling city lights and reflections on the water, incredible!

Rosie met some new friends and so did I! It was lovely to meet you Janice! Your friend Effy is such a happy person, I loved talking with her. I was warmed in my heart to see Michelle again! She can always make me giggle, LOVE your wit Michelle!  Thank you Mel for helping me with Donny and being such good company!  Sharon and Ryan, I love you like family.  Can you two get any more special?? Hugs!

I wondered how three service dogs were going to manage under our table.  They were angels! Rosie, Buddy and Dexter, you rock!! So did the entertainment! Wonderful music and laughter!

I am going to hug Rosie now and thank her for her loyalty and service. She enabled me to experience magic.

"Who I Am Makes a Difference"