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My Furry Companion

Gipson, Becki

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000279055.47228.36
Department: Letter

Vacaville, Calif.

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome: new pain, fatigue, and muscle weakness more than 40 years after I had polio. My prescription is “conserve to preserve.”

Boo Boo, a six-pound black and white “tuxedo” fur ball, adopted me five years ago when she was just a baby. Boo Boo naps in my lap while I rest, and if I'm tempted to skip a rest period, she meows non-stop to let me know this is unacceptable. Boo Boo also gives me some gentle aerobic exercise when we play ball: She sits in an open area high above the kitchen and bats small shiny balls back to me when I pitch them to her. Her small furry body, gentle purr, and persistent presence calm me. Because of her, I wake up laughing as she snuggles and yawns, and I generally have a good laugh at bedtime as she wriggles up beneath the quilt to find a comfy spot. My furry companion is powerful medicine.

Becki Gipson

Vacaville, Calif.

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