The DOGgone Truth

The DOGgone Truth

The DOGgone Truth. . .   Do you ever wonder what people are saying about you? I mean your close friends. Are they always 100% truthful? You’d like to think so. Personally, I can’t be around people or call anyone a true friend if I don’t think they are. But...
Running on Empty

Running on Empty

I can honestly say this has NEVER happened to me in my entire driving career which has spanned . . . .achhum,  a few decades. I was always taught to fill the tank when it gets to half a tank (thanks dad).  But yesterday as I was tooling around town...

In the Presence of a Service Dog

“Oh My God he’s so cute”- “Look Madge it’s a Seeing Eye Dog”- Those are just some of the things I hear as I walk thru a public place with my Service Dog Milo.  It’s been quite an education getting used to having him with me. And some of the things I hear and see people do would fill up a book I’m sure. I have to say 85% of the time we get nothing but kindness from the public, but it saddens me when the other 15% don’t behave well.   So from a handler of  a Service Dog I thought I would try to educate the public a little. Not all Service Dogs are “Seeing Eye Dogs”.    Service dogs  are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be trained for many different purposes.  They can...
Get off the couch and Play your Panic Attacks Away

Get off the couch and Play your Panic Attacks Away

Remember the last time your energetic doggie stared at you, just begging for some Frisbee action? It was about 5 minutes ago right!  Bet you couldn’t  ignore those pleading eyes, so instead of vegging on the couch, you got up and played a tug-o-war  with your best bud. No doubt,...
Enter Milo

Enter Milo

  This delicious face, is Milo. 8 weeks old- March 4th 2012 (ok i’m really late in starting the posts). . . but i was so over joyed and busy there was just no time. So let me try and catch up.   I had thought about Milo for years-...
Rescue 911

Rescue 911

I’m watching the rescue of the miners, well,  I was but it’s hard to watch. For the past two months when I think about them trapped underground like that I find that i can’t breath. My sister reminds me that i’m not trapped down there, but I feel for these...

Walk thru the Panic

Posted by unwrapping panic at 1/27/2012 8:49 AM | Add Comment Walk thru the Panic- that’s what the “experts” say you have to do to overcome the attacks. Ten years ago when someone told me to do that, I couldn’t even wrap my head around that thought. Today, as i was in one of my favorite stores- (no not in a mall- still trying to concur those) i could feel my palpitations starting, as i stood on line to pay for a pair of jeans i needed.  My first instinct was of course to run- leave- get out.  But of course all the hard work I’ve gone thru with therapy would tell me to stay and “walk thru the fear” so  i stayed in line. I hated it. I could have dumped the jeans in a minute, but I had to stay there as sweat was pouring down my face...

I can honestly say this has NEVER happened to me in my entire driving career which has spanned . . . .achhum,  a few decades. I was always taught to fill the tank when it gets to half a tank (thanks dad).  But yesterday as I was tooling around town – I looked down and there it was. The dreaded Gas light only it wasn’t just giving me a hint that it was empty- it was ON EMPTY!  How can that happen when i barely go anywhere right? If you look closely to the left of the gas light you can see that the car only has 1720 miles- and i got it in October of 2012-which actually for me is a lot of miles.

In years past (12 years about) had i seen this gas light come on- while it wouldn’t have caused a panic attack, it would have sent off the same chemical anxiety inside me and then I would have been fighting to keep a panic attack at bay. I would have been hearing in noise in my head yelling things like holy crap i can’t get to the gas station, i am going to be  all alone stranded, who’s going to help me, i can’t do this, but not this time- this place. This time I looked at the empty light, and in my head i heard- oh shoot how did this happen, turn around and go get gas- just like a (dare i  say) normal reaction. No chemical anxiety involved, just a normal response.  And i have been seeing that happen more and more with normal glitches that we all face. For me, in the past 12 years of being wrapped in panic, normal blips in the road would cause severe anxiety and a heightened over-response. But I am slowly seeing that I am handling these issues with a more normal response and ability to cope.

It is clear that Milo the Service Dog is helping me. Where drugs and exposure therapy got me to a limited point. With the presence of Milo, I am getting calmer- cortisol is not raging thru my body 24|7 and living is getting to be a little more normal.  I still fight the panic hard- but it seems to be stretching out in time and easing off a bit.  I have another dog that has been with me since the panic started, so it’s not just about “having a dog”. This dog is trained to work with me and help me with little tasks and simple motions that help change my thought process.  So now, running on empty may occur more and more as i venture out into the world again- and for me if i can respond in a more normal way- then running on empty might be a good thing after all!


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  1. denise meng says:

    May 23, 2013

    Excellent article. Milo is a wonderful addition to your coping skill set AND to your family!

  2. barbara servedio says:

    May 29, 2013

    You are not running on empty any more! It seems you have been able to incorporate your service dog into your life without having him
    take over your life!! Very inspirational

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