How Bad Would My Health Be Without My Dogs?

Maya on the Couch

When I’m not feeling well, I put a sheet over the couch and call the dogs up. Maya loves to cuddle with me. Mentally, it really helps me feel better.

Did you know about 1/4 of people with fibromyalgia are considered disabled? I do not consider myself disabled. Over the years I have learned how to manage most of my symptoms. Maya and Pierson help a lot. I imagine that without them, my symptoms would be far worse.

I wrote a post in November about how I was starting up a treatment that was supposedly going to cure my fibromyalgia. Well, it didn’t. I did everything I was supposed to. I did not have the support of a doctor, but that is only because there are no fibromyalgia specialists in my area. I did, however, buy a book that explained the treatment in detail. It required an over the counter drug, so I was able to implement everything to a T.

Anyway, since it didn’t work, I have to continue to manage my symptoms. This is where Maya and Pierson come in. Most days are pretty good, but I still have some bad ones. Yesterday, for example, I had to go to the emergency room. Before you worry, I was okay. I went at the suggestion of my doctor even though I was reasonably certain it wasn’t serious. It was my fibromyalgia acting up again.

Yesterday, I had an unexpected and terrible pain in my jaw and my mouth started to feel tingly. I was in extreme pain for several minutes before the pain slowly started to dissipate. This pain was unusual for me so I called my doctor and she told me to go to the emergency room.

Apparently, the painful jaw and tingling of the mouth is a symptom of a stroke. So when I got to the hospital, they immediately checked me in and began running a bunch of tests. All tests came up normal. They didn’t find anything wrong. Whew!

When I got home, I did my own research. I searched and searched about jaw pain until I finally found one that sounded like it could fit my situation. It said about 1/4 of fibromyalgia patients experience jaw pain. And the pain is more in the muscles than in the jaw. So there it is folks! I wasn’t having a stroke. It was just yet another symptom of my fibromyalgia. Ugh!

By now, it is well known that there are several health benefits to having a pet. I wholly believe this to be true. Sephi, Maya, and Pierson have been wonderful blessings in so many ways, including my health. Regular exercise is one way I am able to keep most of the fibromyalgia symptoms at bay. Maya and Pierson are great at helping me with this. We walk and play together all the time. Stress can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms as well and my dogs are great at helping me to alleviate stress.

Pull No More dog harness

Walking makes me feel better, and Maya too! 🙂

If you ever tell anyone you’ve heard pets provide health benefits and they don’t believe you, tell them you know someone who knows it is true. Attribute it to the placebo effect if you want. Whether my dogs are the sugar pill or the medicine, the fact remains that they are still a real remedy. They provide not only health benefits, but they hold the key to happiness. I don’t even want to imagine what my health and my life would be like without them.

Pierson and Mr. Monkey Dog Toy

Pierson’s cuteness helps lighten my mood whenever I’m not feeling well.

Thank you, Amy Shojai, for letting me reference your article about the health benefits of dogs.

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10 Responses to “How Bad Would My Health Be Without My Dogs?”

  1. Amy Shojai Says:

    So glad you have furry health helpers. Thanks for sharing my link, too!

  2. Lindsay Says:

    I hope you are feeling better today. I am not very familiar with fibromyalgia.

    I bet everyone who reads this will agree pets can make such a difference to anyone feeling bad, whether it’s stress, an illness, an injury or just life. My pets are a huge stress reliever for me. I am quite the worrier, and I stress out about the dumbest things. It helps so much to be able to goof around with my dog or just sit down and pet him.

    I’m so glad your dogs are able to make a difference for you as well. They have such an important job!

  3. Wags and Whiskers Says:

    Scary! Glad you are ok. I totally agree that pets provide health benefits – who cares if it’s a placebo affect!!

  4. peacelovenwhiskers Says:

    I fully believe in pets helping with illnesses. My hubby and I both suffer from depression. Having the cats around helps greatly. I do believe they help when I have bad migraines. They do say the purring helps heal. I think pets really help those who are sick whether physically or mentally. Thanks for sharing.

  5. rubytheairedale Says:

    Ma had a doctor that told her years and years ago that she had fibromyalgia (way before many knew what it even was). Since there was no medications or treatment for it, she did nothing. Well, she still has done nothing because she has no health insurance (not YET anyway!) butt, she has had TMJD all her life and has had surgery to try and correct it (didn’t help much). She also has learned to live with the pain and discomfort of it all. She works out everyday and thinks that is what has kept it in check. Now, she doesn’t ‘workout’ workout, just does AT LEAST 20 min. on the the
    elliptical to warm up the muscles so she can stretch and loosen and keep everything as flexible as possible. Walkin’ MOI of course helps bunches, cause we walk fast and long which releases those FABulous endorphines!!
    Anyhu, I’m sorry the treatment didn’t work, and THRILLED your Moms didn’t have a stroke! BOL
    What are we gonna do with them guys??!
    Keep em’ movin’, right?!
    Ruby ♥

  6. 25castleson25clouds Says:

    Glad to hear you are back at home and it wasn’t as serious (sorry if that sounds cold!) as they first thought! Having a few health issues myself I have to say does it matter what makes you feel better? If it’s a sugar coated placebo tablet that makes me feel better – fantastic I feel better and I’d rather have that in my system!

    I think you are so right, dogs can make everything a little better and really do make such a difference. Hope a good game with Mr Monkey helped!


  7. FleaByte Says:

    Dogs help with everything. Seriously. And I’m SO glad to hear that the pain isn’t a stroke. But BOO to this being chronic. 😦

  8. Jan K Says:

    My friend’s sister has fibromyalgia so I am familiar with it, and know how debilitating it can be. I have migraines myself which can also have unusual symptoms that go along with the headache. I once ended up in the ER because of chest pain and palpitations….my heart is fine and I also did online research to find out that palpitations can be caused by migraine. I totally agree with you…I think if I didn’t have my dogs to keep me active and provide companionship I would have many more symptoms than I do.

  9. Diane Silver (@ToDogWithLove) Says:

    I agree 100 percent in the health benefits of pets! So glad to hear it wasn’t a stroke.
    Your pals,
    Diane and Rocco

  10. 2browndawgs Says:

    I think pets do provide health benefits in many ways. Sorry you weren’t feeling well.

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