As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

Ode de' Tiki Torch

I get a call the other night from my friend & she tells me that her neighbors had been complaining that her dogs keep been barking non-stop. We already had the conversation about how we hate the electric zapping bark collars, so I suggested her purchasing a humane citronella collar, that way when the dogs barked, it shot out a blast of citronella under their nose and they don't like it. This morning she calls and asks me to come over & help her figure this crazy thing out. So I get dressed & walk over there. I was getting the collars ready and filled them with their stuff. And that's where my morning should have ended. But no, it's me, and I begin to become curious as to how said collars work. 

Now I'm standing on her back porch "barking" at the dog's collar. Nothing happens. I make sure it's turned on, check the fill level, and go through the "getting started" checklist one more time. Again, I bark. Nothing happens. She’s getting worried that they are defective and can’t take them back because we opened & filled them. 

Now I'm not quite sure, why I had this next thought, but I did; I put on the collar. I seriously extended the band and fit the growl box against my throat and barked. Apparently, the collar only works if it feels vibrations because I immediately received a blast of citronella to the face. 

I began coughing, which only caused the collar to continue to squirt bug spray over and over into my nasal cavity.I'm now on my hands and knees in my backyard, trying to breathe, and to make matters worse, the dogs are now barking. So between coughing and yelling at her & the dogs to shut up, I've emptied over a dozen blasts of citronella to my face. During all of this ruckus, I'm trying to undo the clasp of the collar, which has somehow managed to weld shut during this whole fiasco. She’s of no help! Trying to get the dogs inside & get scissors to cut the damn thing off me before I die. 

I finally get the collar off and threw, yes I threw that crazy (inhumane) thing across the yard, and lay in the gravel sucking in the cool morning air. In the middle of thinking this probably the dumbest thing I've done in a while, I hear laughter. HER NEIGHBOR SAW THE WHOLE THING! He was laughing so hard he couldn't breathe. Between gasps, he tells me,"I was gonna come help, but every time I started to climb over the fence, you'd set it off again and then I would start laughing and couldn't make it" So now, not only are my eyes red, but my face and ears are too. After checking to make sure I was ok, we parted ways and I went in to wash my face so I wouldn't be smelling like ode de' Tiki Torch.

So lesson learned: next time (yes, there will always be a next time with me) make sure that 1. Don't fill the collar before trying to set it off and B. Remember your neighbor is not a good source of help in a comedy crisis situation. On the plus side, I didn't have a mosquito problem for a few days!.....and now that even though this does sound like something I'd do I hate to break the news that it's a copied story.
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