The Other Side of the Coin

By Wanda

A couple days ago I shared a blog about comorbid illnesses and pill shaming; lest you think we only see the bad things in life, let me briefly walk you through my day today.

The day started with last night’s rain grown colder, which most with arthritis know is torturous on your joints. Nonetheless, my service dog Tucker and I prepared to conquer the world, or at least a small corner of it. This is when we started meeting “angels” in disguise.

My neighbor didn’t walk me walking Tucker on the slippery mud, so she walked him herself — before she walked her own dog, before she went to work, before I could turn her down. Our first appointment was with my therapist, pretty much just to check in and make sure I was on the right path as our last appointment was four or more months ago. We had a nice visit, some hot tea to ward off the chill, and when I left, the ladies in the office gave Tucker an “Easter basket.”

By now the rain had let up, and I was attempting to multi-task on my way into the local pizza place. Let me tell you something: spoonies who are still in a post-concussion stage and have just come out of a hemiplegic migraine have NO business trying to multi-task!

Score one for Tucker — he knew where we were and wanted nothing to do with staying in the car while my friend and I ate “in peace.” Never have you seen a ten year old dog move SO FAST! Fortunately, he minds his manners most of the time and sat when he was told to — did I mention I was on the phone with another friend and had taken Tucker’s leash off since he wasn’t getting out of the car?

Enter a second set of angels — two young ladies, near 20 or so, who made much to do about Tucker and helped me get him back into the car. And yes, my friend was STILL on the phone, which was one the ground, which was wet from the rain. Fortunately the girls got Tucker in the car, my phone in my hand, and me headed toward PIZZA.

After enjoying a pesto, feta, mushroom, and spinach pizza with my poor dear brother, we decided to call it a day and head to our respective homes. There was only one small problem: he weighs about 18lbs, is fluffy and white, and may be a bit spoiled. See, Tucker is an extrovert — he loves going to see people. I made the executive decision to stop at the local Kohl’s department store so he could tell his ladies hello, walk around a bit, and I could drool over the shoes.

Enter my third set of angels: a mother, daughter, and granddaughter who found my phone in the bathroom. Mind you, my phone case is my wallet so I’d lost everything and was blissfully unaware until my name was called over the intercom. All I could think was “oh bother, someone has made a fuss about Tucker.” No, it was the manager letting me know my wallet, which I hadn’t even missed, had been found. The ladies stayed so they could meet Tucker — his work ID is in my wallet.

Once I decided the earth wasn’t going to open up and swallow me, we headed to CVS to check with the pharmacist about some med changes and possible interactions. They know us very well at CVS, and Tucker has trained them so he gets three cookies each time we go. Each of the ladies gave him one cookie while the pharmacist dealt with a customer in the consultation area.

Here comes my reality: “why is there a dog in here? (can you not see his vest?!?) “Pets shouldn’t be allowed in shops to run wild!” (Tucker is better behaved than 90% of the humans I’ve met.) “What are you feeding him for?!? That is so unhygienic!”

Enter Tucker’s ladies and the store manager to the rescue. What started out as an embarrassing situation with a rude woman turned in to a discussion about invisible illnesses, chronic pain, and service dogs — and I didn’t have to say a word.

Sometimes, every once in a while, the universe shows humanity the other side of the coin — there but grace you could be human — and in doing so, shows spoonies that normal, healthy people really DO care, that they are understood, and that there are angels amount us.

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