How do you survive ?

The recent death of our dog, our comrade this last eleven years , has stripped bare the  isolation we endure. How will we cope ? 

Invisible, mostly, the pulverizing isolation that  sufferers and carers experience in Severe ME  is compounded by being virtually incomprehensible. Who can possibly understand  this  being separated,this  being  absolutely cut-off  from even the simplest ordinary things ?

My wife can be in a room but not be able to access anything , because of the disability on all levels that Severe ME  brings. Into that vast gap our dog brought his furry nose to be stroked and his  ears, so expressive, to be tickled; it made all the difference to my wife's quality of life.

The  carer's isolation is also  fathomless.  Who knows what  suffering they endure,  through the almost inevitable, decades-long process ,  of becoming cut off from everybody and almost everything  ?

 Through people just  not understanding the dreadful impact of Severe ME and why the carer cannot see them.

Who can describe the hurt ,  the resentment , the persecution that  carer's  experience, as a result of  putting the person with Severe  ME first ?  

The continual  blaming they endure, whether overt or covert.

Who knows their immense stress ?

Who has a clue what it is like to live in such material and emotional  poverty ?

Very rarely are the sufferer's or carer's needs seen or met in Severe ME.

Into that astronomical space, our little dog  took me out for walks. 

He gave us a purpose, beyond bone-crushing  survival. His utter  delight in life, his acceptance and unconditional love,  brought limitless joy and taught us well. No wonder a tear is running down my cheek.

Ask any pet owner, the loss of a beloved  animal is a terrible thing,  comparable to human loss. 

The loss of Amos , in our solitary  situation, is incomprehensibly compounded by the illness.Not only is the physical stress likely to make my wife much much worse, a necessary support mechanism has been torn up by its roots , leaving us gasping.

Amidst  the wreckage, Linda and I hold onto each other and try to work out what to do now. 

What do you do, after the necessary grief work is done,  when you can't afford to buy another dog ? When you can't really afford the pet insurance, the vaccinations, the bowls, the toys, the treats ? The endless ongoing 
costs ?

Yet how on earth do you survive ?

There  is such a need for a Dogs for People with ME service; that is what I know now.


  1. It's really hard to imagine (although I think I understand) the huge gap left in your lives by the loss of Amos; you make a wonderful case for a "Dogs for People with ME" service. If the responsibilities / agonies of any carer for, and the unspeakably painful dis-ease of, the severe ME sufferer themselves can be alleviated (to even a small extent) I'm all for it.

    Meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with you both. Gentle cyber hugs to you both from a 'moderate' sufferer.

  2. There is such a need for a Dogs for People with ME service; that is what I know now.

    And cats too.


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