15 September 2011

The Hard Reality of Lyme Treatment

Lyme spirochetes are tenacious. As such, we have to fight back just as tenaciously (or at least try). For those with chronic Lyme that went undiagnosed for years, this can bring with it unwanted effects for sure.

By the time we end what I call phase one of treatment, Thane will have been on antibiotics for 4 1/2 months as well as a number of supplements being taken to combat the various complications from the disease, the treatment, the damage of the treatment and the like.

During the treatment, I think one of the most difficult things now that Thane wants to work and has the energy to do so is combating the yeast odor that excessive antibiotic use brings on. There's not a whole lot one can do to combat the odor other than more frequent bathing and vinegar rinses. It leaves me always concerned that someone someplace will ask me to leave because Thane smells. Under the ADA, they can in fact legally do this. I don't have a leg to stand on if such a request is made. I do my best with bathing, grooming, vinegar wipes but the reality is that this is going to be with us for a while.

But beyond the work side of things, I know that yeast odor emanating through the skin and coat points to systemic yeast. I also know that Lyme spirochetes love collagen and collagen repair is not going to take place proficiently with yeast taking over like this.  I don't feed grains for it to thrive off of instead feeding a raw prey model diet. I don't give treats that are anything but meat or organ and even those have been rare- used only when doing some training. One of the supplements in use is a very good probiotic. It seems I am doing everything right except the excessive use of the antibiotic to kill the spirochetes.

Right now I like to keep my mind set positive in that phase one will be all that is needed. I try and think of the follow-up testing showing that we got everything and that we can then begin rebuilding his immune system and hopefully putting an end to all of this yeast once the big culprit is withdrawn.

I know in my head that the important thing is to kill ALL of the spirochetes from all of his systems, but when I get violently ill like I did last night from his odor and none of the known quick fixes I used with Met to buy a day or two between bathing works, it's hard to keep my mind on the big picture.

12 September 2011

Life is Better

Its been a beautiful busy month here between the weather, errands, re-certification, and plain enjoying working with Thane again.

Some people have wondered and asked just how things differ now besides the obvious changes of improvement I noted in the physical changes, but more about where is our partnership and working ability now in relation to where it was before he crashed hard.

It Rocks! We are certainly not all the way back just yet, but as long as its not too hot we are loving and living life well again. No, I have not taken any long treks to the Portland or Clackamas areas, but we are making weekly if not more frequent treks to New Seasons for good organic produce and taking walks and running other errands at will. When its not too hot, Thane also is at my side for the afternoon mail pickup and garbage run.

Thane loves to help around the home again from retrieves, to carries, to opening and closing the fridge, to finding something I can't like the television remote.

There are things that are much improved, but there nonetheless are reminders that we have not come full circle yet- improved yet still working through symptoms. That all said, for two years Thane worked with the symptoms until he crashed.

Now I am more aware and watch his symptoms, but physically he is probably about the place he was for the past year prior to the crash. If we are headed for a big errand and I note he is less able than I thought or more distracted than is good, then it becomes a small errand instead. Lately though, his energy, enthusiasm, and work ability have not often impacted the decision of where we are headed to. That's a great feeling after how hard a journey we found ourselves in

01 September 2011


I pretty much feel like summer passed me by this year. Lyme can be that way- especially chronic Lyme. I keep reminding myself that it took Thane two years to get this sick so not to expect miracles overnight, but sometimes those reminders seem to go in one ear and out the other.

I thought right now I would focus on some of the changes I am noticing- some for the better thankfully, but others can be exasperating and are going to require a trip back to training I think to get through them.

Thane has a lot of energy, but not a lot of ability just now. I should explain that comment better probably before someone thinks he is still in real dire condition. grin If we do a big trip say one that takes an hour each direction between bus, max, and waits for each with a significant walk as well this means the next day I best be planning on just playing with him. Its been hard to live life that way. I've had to alter transportation source for some things to cut back walking distances. I've had to do without things I need for a day or two if I want to do it with Thane at my side.

Amidst these limitations Thane has a need to expend mental energy and if I can't fulfill that with work because of his limits or mine, the next time we head out he is full of days of unreleased energy. We play ball and other things on home days, but there's nothing like a really hard walk to release all that pent up energy!

The past week or two seems to have been a turning point for Thane's endurance related outings. I'm not saying that he is his old able self, but that he has more tolerance for longer outings like our weekly trips to New Seasons. Until this week, I had to alter the route we used to do this trip or he was dead tired when we got home. That is no longer the case. That is really good progress.

I see a lot of good progress amidst my frustrations though. For instance, I can't remember the last time Thane did not want to eat everything I gave him for his meal. His skin is also markedly improved as long as I catch him before he chews himself silly. Spirochets love collagen and I saw a marked increase in his skin discomfort about a week ago which may have been more positive than that seems. It may be a result of releasing the biofilm through the use of systemic enzymes. Before treatment even by using protective collars, his skin was still not very good. Now I am really happy for the most part when I check him over for ticks and other problems or brush him. For the most part he is also interested in being involved with me at home. That usually means trying to get me to throw his toy while I am busy doing other things, but whats a ball obsessed doggy to do?

On the negative, he has a lot of impulse control things surfacing in his work. A lot of that is indoor work that I can easily work with, but not all of it is this way. It means we need to get out there and practice, practice, practice to settle these aspects down. Its frustrating because I know its all about the lack of experiences that has this surfacing, but its also nothing either of us had control over.

Thane is a creature of habit meaning that if we regularly do something then he considers it part of our routine. When he got sick, a lot of his job was left up to me. When you add the hot pavement to the mix, it meant that Thane stayed inside while I did the garbage and mail run this past couple months. I was sure it was going to take a bit of work to get him back into that being part of his job. We got a couple very cold days for summer in the mid 60 temps. Thane was all rearing to go help with the garbage and mail. It was just one of those special blessings amidst what has been a very rocky and stressful time for both of us.

Things could be a lot worse than they are. The weather is improving some again and he is rearing to go. I think rather than looking at the big picture of at least two more months of meds and probably a year or more of systemic enzymes and regular use of Milk Thistle, I will focus on the here and now today- today he seems rearing to go so a good walk at the minimum is on the books for today. We have a busy weekend ahead so I am sure he will get his fill of work in it.