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Nothing Is Im’paws’ible ~ How Pets Help The Mental & Emotional State Of The Chronically Ill

I recently wrote an article about the importance of pets in coping with chronic illness.  It seems to have struck a chord within the invisible illness community.  Really, how could it not?  Despite the fact that we as individuals have our own personalities and varying idiosyncrasies, the one thing that we almost universally agree on, is the love felt for our four-legged companions.  The value of these animals in our life is immeasurable.

I read a disturbing statistic this morning.  So much so, that I went to multiple sources to confirm its legitimacy.  It stated that one in ten suicides were related to ‘chronic illness’.  At first I was incredulous.  How could that number be so high?  I also read that over 50% of those suffering with fibromyalgia at least consider suicide at some point in their illness.  If these are not reason enough to be incensed by those who claim we suffer from a ‘phantom’ illness, I don’t know what is.

  People are dying by their own hands because their suffering is so great.  Awareness of the ‘invisible chronic illness’ community is vital.  There are voices crying out that must be heard before they are forever silenced.

If you or anyone you know is in need of help please call: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 (800) 273-8255  There is always hope!

How pets affect the emotional stability of the chronically ill

Pets do so much for the well being of our mental and emotional state.  Anyone with a dog (and even cats!) know of the strange ‘link’ these animals have with us.  They can ‘sense’ emotional turmoil in their pack member and will offer comfort even to extreme measures.  Dogs have even been known to go so far as to prevent the suicide of their owners!  Not to mention their fuzzy medicinal qualities go a long way in coping with the day to day of chronic illness.

Lily and I will soon be featured in an interview with Medea Karr FNP at ‘Medea Karr FNP A Resource Site for Fibromyalgia & Myofascial Pain Syndrome ‘.  She and her dog Koi are launching a campaign to bring fibromyalgia awareness to kids.  Lily will be lauded and extolled for her role in being a support dog  ‘par excellence’:lil



~Recipe Of The Week:

~Sautéed Vegetables & Hummus Bruschetta~ 

hummus final

~slice of good sourdough bread (contains probiotics, excellent for IBS)

~chopped vegetables (I used eggplant, spinach, tomato)

~sliced sweet onions

~sliced zucchini

~good quality olive oil

*~garlic/chipotle hummus (adds subtle smoky flavor)

salt/pepper to taste

Brush both slices of bread with oil and broil on both sides till browned.  Heat oil in pan an sauté onions and chopped vegetables, set aside.  Sauté zucchini in oil till brown on both sides.  Spread hummus on one side of bread, top with vegetables and zucchini.



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  • Reply
    Jessica Joy
    September 8 at 8:49 am

    Thanks again for the reminder of the joy our pets bring us, and the awareness of those around us who need help! I am so grateful for your perspective. You are truly a bright voice in the world, and I am excited for you interview. We have 2 big dogs, and sometimes I focus more on their maintenance, than the joy they bring. I am sorry. That’s not how it should be. I needed to read this. Take care, Lovely.

    • Reply
      September 8 at 9:59 am

      Thank you Jessica! Don’t feel guilty about not being thrilled with the upkeep 2 big ones require. Just like in child rearing: yes, there is the ‘good’ that we cherish and love, but there is also the ‘pain in the butt’ that isn’t so fun although necessary. Thanks so much for the lovely comment! Have a wonderful week 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary Beth Jackson
    September 8 at 8:55 am

    animals are a huge part of so many families! We lot our dog a few months ago and it has left a huge hole 🙁 I work in the LTC industry and our residents love pet therapy- it brings the biggest smiles! Nice post!

    • Reply
      September 8 at 9:55 am

      So sorry Mary Beth, I’ve been there several times. It always breaks your heart. Pet therapy is a wonderful service and worthwhile work. Thank you so much for stoppin’ and chattin’~

  • Reply
    September 11 at 8:49 am

    We have been trying to add some new recipes and more vegetables to our menus. This sounds like something everyone will enjoy. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • Reply
      September 11 at 9:15 am

      It’s a great appetizer option for parties too! Thanks for stoppin’ Steph 🙂

  • Reply
    September 12 at 9:48 am

    Hi Red,
    Animals are such a blessing to many people. I wish I could have a dog but I have too many allergies to be around any type of dog. I appreciate you sharing the information for the help line – that is very important to some one in need or that feels desperate. Love your recipe too. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.

    • Reply
      September 12 at 10:49 am

      What a bummer Marla! I hate allergies!! Have a great weekend 😉

  • Reply
    Deborah Brooks
    September 14 at 6:04 am

    ooh great snack! Hummus is one of my food groups 🙂 Thanks for linking up with us for Meatless Monday

    • Reply
      September 14 at 8:58 am

      Thanks Deborah 🙂

  • Reply
    Tina Muir
    September 14 at 8:02 am

    Yummy! This sounds delicious! i always forget about appetizers like this, but with recipes like this, I am sure you dont 😉

    • Reply
      September 14 at 8:59 am

      Would make a great appetizer for holiday get-togethers!

  • Reply
    Deborah Davis
    September 15 at 6:32 pm

    Who can resist these healthy and delectable ingredients! I am so delighted that you shared your Sautéed Vegetables & Hummus Bruschetta with us at the Plant-Based Potluck Party Link Up. I’m pinning and sharing.

    • Reply
      September 15 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks Deborah! 😉

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    September 16 at 9:48 am

    This looks fantastic, we will love it! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    • Reply
      September 16 at 11:19 am

      You too Miz Helen! THank you 🙂

  • Reply
    Share Good Food & Make New Friends at the Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up #62 #VGNMF15
    September 16 at 7:49 pm

    […] Sautéed Vegetables & Hummus Bruschetta from alifewellred […]

  • Reply
    November 3 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks for this post. I was diagnosed with fibro in 2000 and have developed a couple of other autoimmune diseases along they way. It wreaks havoc on your life, doesn’t it?! We live in a rural area and currently have 4 wonderful dogs. Three of them are rescues that just showed up at our door over the past 8 years. Each one of them has brought a unique joy into our lives. They give us so much more than they take. It is nice to get some validation though since most people think we are nuts! 🙂

    • Reply
      November 3 at 7:32 pm

      So glad to hear it Lisa! Send me pics if you would like to have them featured on an upcoming article I will be doing. I’m re-visiting the ‘pet therapy/chronic illness’ subject again soon. One of my favorites 😉

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