Saturday, February 27, 2010

NeW dOoRs!

I got a gardening book in the mail today.  I have read page one and two.  That's about as fast as I go these days.  I hope to check out three and four in a bit.  I used to wonder how all of those TV infomercials and things that come in the mail worked.  I mean who actually bought that stuff. 

I now know, it is people like me, who find it difficult to get out and see what the rest of the world can see easily and regularly as they choose.  Ha!  An answer to another life long question.  =)!

I love catalogs, I rarely order, but I do grab my permanent marker and circle everything I love!  Makes me feel like I have gone shopping.  I do miss grabbing the fabric of a shirt through my fingers to see how it feels, or picking the hanger up an holding it in front of me to actually get a different perspective.  What I miss most is trying the varying styles, colors and outfits on before leaving the store.  Spending hours just looking or trying things on.  I loved that! 

Now, my favorite place to shop is at thrift stores.  I just grab everything in my size toss it into a cart and check out.  I then try it all on at my leisure at home and can return what doesn't work.  Hey, it works!  I still get to test it all out!  Now that I know what I like and what looks better than others, it has become even easier. 

My creativity is hard at work as well to discover what goes good together.  Styles from the past still work today!  You just have to know how to put things together.  I found out that after spending years in bed and not going out at all except to Dr's offices.  That my style was dated.  My makeup style was dated, and so was my style for choosing clothing.  I am not sure that it is still much better.  I feel that I missed out on a whole bunch of different styles.  And besides having to get a whole new wardrobe from thrift stores, because I had gone down in size 12 whole sizes proved to be an expensive venture, even at thrift store prices!  Good news, I am figuring it all out! 

I still have to rid my closet of things that make me look as if I were 12 years old.  Ha!  But, I really love wearing clothes that I would have never dreamed of wearing before.  So if you see me in something age inappropriate, just smile and know I will be tired of it soon!  But give a girl a chance to express herself before she sends those things back to the thrift store. 

I've got several friends who are also loosing!  Some are doing it the way I did!  Others are doing it differently!  I think it is great to find what works for you!  One friends Blood Pressure has gotten into normal ranges with the loss of 7 pounds!  Another has lost 10-15 and hopes to find hers lowered as well soon.  One more is fitting into clothes from her past!  She has been just loving it!  Yet another keeps shrinking little by little and is using it as an opportunity to spice up her wardrobe with new things!  Fun Fun Fun! 

I am so excited for everyone!  I am also excited for me!  As you know if you've been following my journey that I didn't start with my program to loose weight I started it for the vitamins to get my bones stronger, and follow the Dr's recommendations.  Side benefit of the program I chose was loosing weight!  Yippee!!  Size 16 to a size 2!  Yeeeks!! 

As an additional perk along with some basic Physical Therapy, some help from Luka my Service Dog who tells me prior to my getting one type of my migraines caused from weather and movement, and being on a regular vitamin and cleansing regimen the severity of my migraines has decreased substantially!  I still get them about half as frequently or so.. weather has allot to do with that I think, and I am learning what I can and can't do more with therapy so I don't cause more.  At any rate the severity has decreased abundantly!  Woot Woot Woot!  I had inklings of this last year!  I dared not say anything for fear that it was just seasonal. 

I've been holding out on sharing because I wanted it to be a reality not just a happy thought!  I have made almost no migraine trips to the er!  Woot!!  I have had a few.  But amazingly and wonderfully my body is making progress!  < Mental Happy Dance Inserted Here =) >  Rarely do I actually get up and wiggle! 

I told myself, "Self, give it the winter, decide in the spring about how excited you should actually be."  Well, it isn't quite spring.  But in light of all that is happening and the 40 Degree weather... I am imagining it to be just around the corner. 

Thus the gardening book as well! 

Now if only the regular daily problems that I face and have would be improved.  I did have a great day yesterday.  Interesting and everything. 

I had my regular massage therapy appointment.  Now really understand that going to the therapist that I see is not one of those pleasurable experiences.  He isn't one of the phooo foo massage therapists, that heats up rocks and oils and has relaxing scents floating in the air.  It isn't lush or fancy it is work.  Work on his part the guy who does the Neuromuscular Massage as well as work on mine.   This is a painful type of massage it is good pain, but you aren't necessarily filled with energy or renewed afterward.  What I notice is a great sense of deep pain relief.  I am able to get in and out of the jeep easier, I can hold myself up straighter and I can sit for longer. 

I have to hold back the tears many day.  Hold back the cries for the therapy to stop.  I just focus on breathing to get through it each week.  It hurts, but the short amount of time he works on me will give me relief for much longer.  The pain is good pain, the relief comes at a price.  It is one of the least invasive and healthiest ways I can get some relief. 

Pills don't take away the pain they just hide it.  Getting this done each week, brings back the blood flow to my arms, makes it possible to move and hold my head up stops or reduces the sciatic pain.  For me it is a necessary evil.  =) I say this with a bit of humor, as my therapist is so not evil. 

This type of massage isn't the one that you want to get if you want to feel like you've just gone to heaven and you feel all floaty and dreamy.  Before my auto accident I used to go for those!  Ahhh!  I remember the days!   < Dreaming>  Dream over..

Find out more about this type of therapy.  Click Here

My particular massage therapist is the best I have ever been to.  I will tell you more soon I promise. 

Well, I did read a couple more pages in my gardening book.  Which I think will help me choose what to plant.  I had hoped to get to the library, but the library here in town is tiny and has absolutely no good place for me to be.  Which is frustrating because I grew up going to the library!  My mom worked at one and so did my mother in law.  My sister having told me about her library (the one I grew up using) shared that she could access her's online.  I don't think mine has that option.  I have looked online.  Grrr. 

So I am now reduced to doing what so many others must do.  Take advantage of those crazy things that come in the mail.  Use the internet to buy things and order from catalogs instead of stores.  Not horrible for sure.  Much preferred to my anxiety of going new places.  With out a doubt it is a much better option as well, as Jason hates to shop. 

I love to lollygag and look at everything that is new.  Go down isles, look touch and peruse.  He is a man on a mission.  Really these days that is the way it works for me to.  I most of the time don't have the energy to cruise the entire store. 

With my Physical Therapy, I have really focused on walking enough with the crummy weather this winter, consistent snow and ice this has presented a problem for me.  We did get a tread mill for $50 from Craigslist.  I have a feeling the $50 would have been better spent on snow melt.  The darn thing hardly works.  Jason would rather I not hop on.  If he does well the darn thing just won't move.  And the noise!  Yia Yie Eie..  it really is sadly comical =).

So, that hasn't been the best investment.  This spring and summer when people once again don't want theirs maybe we can find something better.  I am finally feeling able to be walking again anyway.  The weather thankfully may even be cooperating!  I am sure thankful for that!

Luka is resting here with me today.  We are both tired from yesterday.  My old guy really needs som good weather too!is still doing well at not aggravating his allergy sores.  Thank goodness, soon hopefully with vigilance he will be thoroughly healed! 

Yesterday, after the therapy appointment, we were interviewed!  Yep!  Interviewed!  About LB858!  I will be sharing more about this soon too!  Allot more.  That is all that I will be saying for now.

There is more but it will have to wait.  It is taking me forever to write today.

Blessings and new doors to new places!
Pink Doberman

Thursday, February 25, 2010

pAiN pAsT pAiN pReSeNt... PrAyErS

Before I get started into my post, I want you to be sure to check out the right side of my blog.  I have moved some things around, and added quite allot as well.  I haven't done the advertising thing.  I probably should that might help us out but I really have a hard time with all of the commercialism.  So at this point at least I am opting to keep all of that extra type of stuff off of here.  It is harder to say no to this as I just watched a friend post about her new appliance that her advertising money paid for.  So enjoy reading.  Hugs!

It has been a pretty rough week for this girl and her dog.  Things are moving forward for that I am grateful.  With each step forward seems to cause me a great deal of pain, emotional and physical.  One day at a time I guess is all that you can do.

Last night the stress of it all really came to a boiling point.  I am really going to have to watch what I do.  I have started a couple of processes that are not yet finished.  Things I need to do, for myself, but mostly for others whom I care a great deal about. 

I hope my body can physically make it through and that my psyche can hold it together also.  One day at a time.  I keep repeating that God doesn't give you more than you can handle.  Sometimes I wish God would give it to someone else to handle.  The emotional and physical pain last night was almost unbearable.  If Jason hadn't been here, I really don't know what I would have done. 

I was back in the recliner, and he slept on the couch beside me.  Horrible night for sure.  He even ran out in the middle of the night to get medication for me.  Bless his heart!

I am doing everything I can.  I really have to keep my mind focused on the future and the present.  The night terrors are back.  I have been struggling with this again since a very painful episode earlier.  I just hope I can keep it from becoming a regular occurrence again. 

Sleep is something I am dreading for sure. 

Luka has been struggling a bit as well.  His allergies really flared up in December.  He is healing now, while it is hard for him to leave his boo boo's alone, he is really trying hard!  I am so proud of him.  He is able to go out with me some now again without problems.  While he is not yet perfect, he is so so much better. 

We've been keeping each other company this week while we are both trying to avoid aggravating our problems. 

Things are moving along on LB858  I am quite passionate about it.  However a couple of Senators on the list of the previous post are not on board with the proposed legislation.  Grrr...  Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinions.  I just really wish they could come hang out with me for a while.  They might get a different perspective of how important this legislation is to people like me. 

I have to say, being outspoken on this issue freaks me out, I am sure that is adding to the stress.  But if I don't who will?  This is what has been asked of me, I will do my best with sharing my perspective.  Besides Federal Law is totally on our side.   Learn more here!   It would just be so much better for everyone if the State of Nebraska would catch up! 

Well there is definitely more to come on this issue!  I am not going to share just yet but Thank God for people who really care!  Who are taking the time to do something about it and say something about it!  I have really been quite impressed by the integrity of Senator Kate Sullivan as well.  Her assistant Mikki M. is amazing as well!  I love their passion, and determination without persistent people like this there would be no hope for people like me. 

I've got lots more I could say, I just can't bring myself to go there right now.  I will be praying for a good night of happy sleep tomorrow is a big day!  

I want to give a shout out to my friends the B's the F's for a much needed break from reality.  Scott and Stephanie for persistence and hope!  I am terrified about tomorrow, as well as excited.  I really need to have a good night of sleep to make it through.  Pray that it is possible for me.  Luka's going to need his rest too. 

Big blessings to my friends R&K who are going through quite allot right now.  And a whole bunch of others who I am not mentioning but I have in my thoughts and prayers. 

I really did enjoy watching the woman's figure skating tonight!  What strong and beautiful women this world has in it!  They were each  to behold tonight!

Please keep us all in your prayers as well,

Pink Doberman

Thursday, February 11, 2010

NeBrAsKa StAtE LeGiSlAtUrE, My SpEeCh!

I was honored to be asked by Nebraska State Senator Kate Sullivan to speak on behalf of her proposed bill. 

Luka and I would be honored if you took the time to learn about this, we would be ecstatic if you chose to lend your support by sharing this with others across the nation- not just Nebraska..  as this ruling will effect all who travel through out state. 

Please also drop these Senators an email, a note or give them a call!  Your support is the best way we can make this happen! 

Please also contact other Nebraska Senators!  As their support and influence will be crucial in the future!

Click here to see the proposed adjustments to the bill.
For those of you who have and know about Service Dogs, there is also a proposed amendment to this adjustment regarding the signage and attire on the dog to make it more in line with federal law.  (an oversight that already has plans for a correction, so don't go all wonky on that subject, but please share your thoughts about being in line with federal laws so the amendment will have support)  In other words, there is a plan in place to have no requirements for labels or gear..  As each of us who use a Service Dog and each Dog is different. 

Contact these Committee Members NOW!!  to insure this bill makes it out of Committee and on to the Floor with their complete support!

To make this easier, I have listed the committee members names and information below! 

Sen. Tim Gay, Chairperson
District 14
Room #1402
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2730

Sen. Kathy Campbell
District 25
Room #1019
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2731

Sen. Mike Gloor
District 35
Room #1523
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2617

Sen. Gwen Howard
District 09
Room #1124
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2723

Sen. Dave Pankonin
District 02
Room #2004
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2613

Sen. Arnie Stuthman (was not able to be present when we spoke)
District 22
Room #1101
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2715

Sen. Norman Wallman
District 30
Room #1406
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2620


District 41
Room #1019
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2631

My Spoken Piece:

Thank you Senator’s for the time to share my thoughts, and most importantly Senator Sullivan for introducing the proposed adjustments to the law.

My name is Tonja, and this is my Service Dog Luka. He was gifted to me unexpectedly, and has become a very stabilizing factor in my life.

For over 20 years I have lived within the boundaries of the disabling unspoken mental trauma of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I had learned to manage my life avoiding things that would set my attacks off.

In 2004, the car I was driving was involved in an accident. At that instant my physical limitations changed forever.

It is hard for people to comprehend that I have a need for a Service Dog or for a handicapped parking spot. I am not the picture of a person most people visualize when they imagine someone with a disability.

I get poor balance, getting up and down is a problem, I have trouble negotiating stairs, occasionally I feel like my legs want to drop out from beneath me, I get very severe migraines and I am easily exhausted as well as many other things. I live most of my life in bed, or in therapy and before having Luka the only times I could leave the house would be when my husband Jason could take me out.

My Service Dog Luka helps me:

Get up from the floor

Gives me stability on the stairs

Tells me when I need to take my migraine medication

Braces me when I pick something up off of the floor or get something from a low shelf

He carries my groceries in his pack when we walk home from the store

Helps me up and down curbs

He pulls me along and steadies me while walking

He helps me up out of short chairs

While I have never been a shy person I was a very private person. I now write a blog, my blog is . I share my blog with people who want to understand what has happened to me as well as why I utilize a Service Dog.

I no longer enjoy shopping. It has nothing to do with my disabilities; it has everything to do with how I am treated. I don’t mind polite questions; I don’t even mind doing public education.

For me having a Service Dog is the only way I am able to safely go out on my own, while at the same time, he is a huge inconvenience. It is to some degree like living your life with a six year old at your side.

I am constantly bombarded by people, some well meaning, others not so much.

“Oh, don’t touch him,

Maim, please watch your baby don’t let him climb on my service dog...

Yes, lady, your daughter is correct; he is a service dog you are not supposed to pet him he is working,

Hey… don’t feed my dog!!

For me the worst part of having a disability is when you are confronted by ignorant and mean people. At a store in Omaha I had an encounter I will never forget, this was one of my first times out since the accident without my husband and I was so excited.

A lady working at the store came up interrupted my shopping and told me Luka and I had to leave, she rudely insisted that we leave the store, and shared that if I left him outside I would be welcome to shop again in the store, I told her he was a service dog, he is protected under the American’s with Disabilities Act. She didn’t even bother to look at his vest. She then started to well, well, and was still very rude. Finally she said we could stay and shop. But the damage to me was done.

I had heard of others with Service Dogs having problems, I felt so helpless and alone when it happened to me.

Every time I walk in to a new store, or even one that I frequent, I am filled with fear. I hate going places now! I now carry the law with me in my purse.

I stopped to eat at a favorite restaurant. I came in to the restaurant, and was completely ignored, they noticed I had a dog, but wouldn’t look at me wouldn’t talk to me wouldn’t acknowledge my presence.

While I was volunteering one afternoon, a couple with a little dog, kept walking by Luka and I, their dog was barking viciously at Luka.. The couple thought it was funny. They and their dog had tormented us the year before as well. People are just so thoughtless.

On the other hand many places have been just great. It still doesn’t stop the anxiety. I would like to be able to call the local police department for support, if I felt we were being threatened. I know I can file a complaint with the ADA, but that does nothing for our immediate needs and well being.

While I do not utilize Luka for my PTSD, the next Service Dog that I get will have that training as well. My panic attacks have become more apparent again with the situations I have encountered while I am out and about with Luka. What I once had under a good degree of control, is now controlling many aspects of my life again.

Basic independence is something that most people take for granted. People utilizing Service Dogs in order to lead a more productive and independent life should not be able to be taken advantage of, treated rudely, or dismissed.

As a member of the Nebraska community, I work hard to be as productive and independent as possible. I did not create the hand I was dealt, but I am doing the best I can to live the most productive life possible. I appreciate the proposal to make Nebraska safer, easier to negotiate and less of a burden for myself and others like me.

I had three to five minutes to speak... I took the entire five minutes... My first draft was about three times as long.. Yes, I know I am windy!  Ha!  One thing I can do for sure is come up with lots to say.

I enjoyed speaking, and sharing my perspective, it did wear me out for sure, and thankfully I had removed all of the names of the Senators on the Agriculture Committee...  (that is the group that my friend had told me I'd be speaking to.., of course it would have been funny)..   I was looking forward to speaking to that group of senators, as I am familiar with one of them, he happens to be my classmate and friends father.. =)! 

Those of you who know me can figure that one out, contact him as well to garner his support.

Well, I had wanted to get this posted last night after I spoke, but when I got home I was just able to get Luka fed, and get into bed.  My body hurt all over.  I couldn't think so much to get this all done properly.. 

I'd like to add more, but I've got therapy now, so I can't! 

LB858 Change provisions relating to service animals and mobility-impaired or otherwise disabled persons

Please take time and don't forget about this issue!  I am not the only one who is having horrible problems!  Others spoke yesterday as well to the issues they face and the horrible ignorant and rude people who think they have the right to abuse us because we are different or they are having a bad day. 

Every day we wake up it is a bad day, I like to make the most of my bad days and be as happy as possible!  Please help me do this with more grace and dignity!

By the way Luka did a great job and was a wonderful example for all to see!  What a good boy!

Pink Doberman

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Things aren't always what they seem.  Life is what you make of it when what you think is isn't.  =). 

Nothing in life is permanent.  It is all temporary, your youth is temporary, your future is temporary, your past is gone. 

You can't rely on people, 1/2 the information they have is incorrect, but they think it is correct.  That is what I have deduced from my own experiences.  The more I think I know the less I really do. 

I feel good some days but that is temporary,  other days I feel bad, that to is temporary.  I like change, I really do, but it is nice in my life to also have some consistency.  Even if that is also temporary, I realize this as well.

You really can find comfort in the small stuff.  The sun rising and setting, even though these days you might not know it with all of the intense cloud cover. 

Today has gone well, I was up and around most of the day, that felt good!  I was able to clean up a pile of shoes that I will be finding new homes for.  I actually have a pile of things to take down to the ReFind Shop. 

I have yet to decide if this venture is really worth it.  This winter has slowed the store down, no one goes walking downtown these days to shop.  Hopefully soon the folks will pop in for a visit and take some of my clothes home!

My day also held a fun opportunity.  We've got another dog that needs to find a home.  This one is a bit different.  Let's just say he's a lover not a fighter.  He isn't what he seems either.  It has it's good and bad sides as well. 

I may share more about him in the future.  I am hoping though that the person we've shown him too may want to take him home.  That would be pretty cool.  Of course they might not be a good fit.  So we'll just have to wait and see.  At any rate you will get to see pictures of our beautiful guy, Jason has promised to take pictures! 

Speaking of pictures Jason is going to be taking pictures at a wedding!  That is going to be fun!  I used to do lots of weddings, help the photographers, and brides!  But that was years ago.  This will be even more fun this time around, I can do what I am able, and watch Jason work his magic. 

Please keep in mind that Jason will not be becoming a "wedding photographer".  But for some special occasions he will accept offers to do large occasions. 

We have one coming up here soon as well.  I can't talk about it as it is top secret!  And I am not going to be the one that spills the news!  Uh uH.  But that will be fun for sure as well!  Jason is going to take pictures at that event as well! 

He has really been having some fun!  He really likes to take out door pictures too..  I think he likes just about everything to do with taking pictures of people and things.  Besides he is good at it, and getting better.

This is a picture he took before the weather got bad.  I really like it. 

We really like this place. 

This is something that changes, but it doesn't.  I like that. 

Well, my body is starting to feel a bit better.  As usual I over did it today.  Hah!  At least I did something!  I do feel good about that!  I even sorted a small pile of papers.  I know how I love doing that!  Hee Hee!

Well, life is in the small stuff.  I am sure that the sun will be coming back up tomorrow. 

I believe at least for now I will look forward to that!

Pink Doberman