Support groups abound on Facebook for those with chronic conditions. Information sharing on social media ranges from tips on treatments to daily coping. We found a range of opinions on pet ownership among those trying to manage daily living under challenging circumstances.
A vestibular disorder gripped Marilyn with ongoing dizziness and imbalance, at times incapacitating her to the point where getting out of bed to do simple chores such as cooking or housekeeping seemed like a Mt. Everest climb. Jay’s chronic migraines found him in a darkened bedroom for hours unable to respond to anything. When their symptoms subsided enough allowing each to get on Facebook for much-need connection to fellow sufferers, they shared tips and gripes. Marilyn’s cat provided companionship for short outside walks on good days and helped guide the way while Jay’s cat nudged him incessantly for food as he lay in bed, no help for his headache.
In a recent Facebook discussion thread, participants shared stories and photos of comfort pets while some tried to weigh the merits and drawbacks of getting a companion animal to help with the emotional consequences of their issues. Below are actual comments from social media chronic condition support groups.
Burden or comfort? You decide.
My girl Jessie (I miss her so) was a real soother during my difficult days.
I will always be grateful to her for getting me through those times.
Special thanks to members of the Vestibular Disorders Support Group on Facebook, and the Vestibular Disorders Association, for sharing these comfort animal stories and photos.
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