Today we went to the state house in Columbia, South Carolina to celebrate the passage of a law declaring May 12th as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) day, and May as ME month. For those who don’t know, Brad has ME, also called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
We met up with a small group of supporters and attended a press conference, then went to the House gallery, where we were recognized and witnessed a proclamation being read. There was one other person with CFS/ME there besides Brad, and four supporters besides me. So a few of us among the #MillionsMissing were found (or so Brad says)!
We had a good time there! Every security guard we saw asked if Hestia was a service dog, and the security guard at the entrance asked the two questions (1. Is that a service dog to help with your disability? and 2. What work or tasks does your dog do to assist you?). All the other security guards only cared that Hestia would not bark during the sessions. No one was surprised by her size, or at least if they were, they didn’t say anything.
It was a bit difficult at times, with huge crowds of people milling about in the large hallways and the sounds of many conversations reverberating from many angles. Hestia was a star. One of the hardest things a service dog has to do is just hang out while their owner stands there talking or waiting. When Hestia was a young pup, this was very hard for her to do—she thought waiting time meant time to get into mischief! But she has learned that she just needs to sit, stand, or down next to me and wait for me to be done. She was excellent at this even among large crowds of both kids and adults. And when I needed her, she was able to help me with pressure therapy.
After the state house, we went to Mellow Mushroom with Dr. Jacobs where we were able to get tasty gluten-free pizza and talk about CFS/ME. It was a good lunch, and we were even serenaded by a man playing a Scottish tune on his violin!
In the pictures, I am wearing my blue butterfly dress with red sandals. Brad is wearing a straw fedora, a red shirt, and a green blazer. Hestia is wearing a red and black mesh vest.
#MillionsMissing #MEAction #MEActionSouthCarolina