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10 Animals I Can Relate to Since Being Diagnosed With Dysautonomia

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Brooke Barker over at does a fantastic job illustrating animals and some of the struggles they face. As someone with dysautonomia, I can easily relate to them!

1. Arabian Camels  sadanimalfactscamel

Oh boy, can I relate to drinking 30 gallons of water in 15 minutes! Water (in large quantities) is one of the only proven treatments for dysautonomia. When I’m having a particularly bad symptomatic episode, water is usually the first thing I grab.


sadanimalfactssparrow2. Sparrows

Let me just say that with the concoction of medication I am on combined with the random and sudden changes in my autonomic nervous system, I am known to suddenly grow very hungry. While eating small meals is advised, in those moments of sudden, ravenous hunger it can be hard to stop. Also, maybe the sparrow is having a rough day or is particularly emotional. Who are we to judge her? I have had some sparrow-y days in my time for sure.


sadanimalfactspanda3. Giant Pandas

Once we factor in the insomnia or “pain-somnia” from the night before, medications causing drowsiness and the constant fatigue of dysautonomia, it is very easy to see how we can easily feel like a panda.



4. Dik-Diks

I completely understand you, Mrs. Dik-Dik. Sometimes I just need a good old-fashioned territory-marking session myself.



5. Pigeons  

Of course we can all relate to this. I frequently put off calling the doctor or insurance company to ask a question. I don’t look forward to taking my handful of medications every morning, so I have been known to put that off as well. Working up the energy to shower and get ready is a constant game of “how long can I wait but also make sure I still have time to recover after this shower?”



6. Domesticated Rabbits

Oh man, can I relate to this rabbit with the number of times my husband asks if I’ve taken my pills, taken my blood pressure or brought my portable oxygen with me. My favorite forgetful moment of mine has to be when I was checking in at the hospital for a procedure unrelated to dysautonomia and they asked me a list of questions, such as “Are you a fall risk?” My response to this was, “Of course not!” My husband just tilted his head and looked at me. “You don’t occasionally pass out randomly while standing or walking?” he asked. Oh yeah, that.



7.  Ants
I certainly have these days occasionally, and I feel for you, Mr. Ant.






8. Octopus

I definitely feel like an octopus on those sick days when I only go out for coffee creamer or to the pharmacy.





9. Cows

Stairs are one of my biggest workouts. Going both up and down are hard for me. Could you run down and grab a few things for me?



10. Seagulls  sadanimalfactsseagull

First of all, don’t you think we should rename “Girls’ Night Out” to a “wreck?” I really think that name is more fitting. But seriously, aren’t we all kind of a wreck just trying to navigate our way through life?


Do you relate to any of these animals?

Follow along on Amy’s comical blog, Smiles in the Trials.

 All images are courtesy of Brooke Barker at You can now pre-order Brooke’s new book on Amazon!

Originally published: July 25, 2016
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