Meeting My Service Pup
The first year of my diagnosis was rough. I’ve never felt so alone, so unwanted and so broken in my life. The friends that I had were slowly burning out and going about their lives. Everyone had just graduated high school and finished their first year of college. As everybody went back to school I stayed behind in a hospital bed, crossing my fingers that this wasn’t the end of the road for me.
My mom was running out of ideas to help me feel less alone. There were only so many times that my brother and sister could call me or that she could come in and check on me. I was missing the life that I had before, wanting to use the freedom and the carefree lifestyle that I had. I went from carefree to 42 pills in medication.
At the time I was friends with somebody who was chronically ill and had a service dog. I’ve never categorized myself into a group or as a person that would need one. But as things were getting harder for me, I was getting more and more tired, and having more high-risk medical events. I was just so lonely during the night when the insomnia would kick in. For months I would stay awake all night and sleep all day.
One of those lonely nights I was googling puppies, and found several I was interested in to see the next day. I begged and pleaded for my mom to take me to go see them when I saw the puppies. Yes, they were cute, but I didn’t feel like that that was the puppy that I wanted.
After several more sleepless nights, I found an ad for somebody who bred service dogs at that time. There were still a full litter left. These dogs were well out of our price range, and I didn’t even know why I was taking my mom to go meet some of them. The one I had picked out was a little boy with a white stripe on his head. I was certain that he was gonna be my service puppy.
Meeting my service puppy
Just before we were supposed to meet up with the family, they informed me that there was only one left that nobody wanted. She was smaller than the rest and a lot more timid.
The moment I saw her and she was handed to me, I knew that she was my puppy.
She filled a void I didn’t even know was empty. Knowing that there was another being around when I was going through the roughest parts of my journey made everything feel so much easier.
If it wasn’t for the insomnia or the medication that kept me up at night, I may still be roaming the world without my best friend. This four-legged friend has gotten me through so much. After she had completed her training and actually started to help me out around the house, I knew that it was the best decision I ever made.
Does anyone else have a four-legged service friend? Have they helped lessen any feelings of loneliness?
Were you misdiagnosed, prior to being diagnosed with NMOSD?