Yesterday was the nine year anniversary of my car accident.
I admit, I’ve been “off” all week … not sleeping well, emotional, stressed.
But, in reality, a lot of other stuff has been going on in my life lately too.
One year ago, I wrote about beginning a search for a service dog to help me.
Fred has now been with me for almost seven months.
He turned nine months old yesterday.
Fred The Newf — My Service Dog Extraordinaire
In this last year, I’ve had some big changes.
I had record setting sales for my business. It made for an incredibly busy work (and travel) year.
And, for the last seven months I’ve spent a huge amount of time on Fred’s training.
Fred – tired and messy after our hike last night.
I really had no idea how all-consuming it would be to have Fred as part of my life.
Puppies need a lot of attention.
Puppies who are training to be service dogs need NON-STOP attention.
I have one working arm.
That makes all the training harder.
(I can see why people, who can afford it, spend $20,000 to get a two year old fully trained service dog.)
But, at the same time, it’s been worth it.
Fred and I are SO bonded … we are like “one.”
Being together constantly, training all the time – it creates a very strong intuitive bond.
I know, as Fred gets older, he will continue to become more and more of a help to me.
My “situation” with my pain/arm/shoulder has improved also.
Paul Newman has been the best thing to ever happen to my arm.
(And, that takes nothing away from all the other medical people who have helped me SO much!)
I imagine I will always live with pain as my companion.
But, there’s no doubt I can *manage* my pain much better these days as long as I see Paul Newman regularly.
I still have bad pain days and flare-ups.
Most of the time, though, they’re less severe and don’t last as long as they have in the past.
With less pain, I can do more and live my life better.
I don’t want to sugar coat things …
I live with constant pain.
That’s something most people never have to experience to the degree I do.
Every day I have challenges where I can’t lift something, or open something, or carry something, or DO something.
It’s a frustration that doesn’t go away.
Pain and disability are constants in my life post-accident.
However, my situation is a lot better than it was.
And really, nine years later, that is what I’m grateful for.
Life is better than it was.
It might be improving with slow baby steps but that’s okay.
I’m happy with ANY improvements.
It’s just so nice to know I’m in a better spot now than I was a year ago.
And a much, MUCH, better spot than I was five years ago.