26 November 2011

Rough Days

Thane has had some rougher days- about a week of them in fact. He just acts real off for at least a couple hours after his antibiotic dosage. In case you are not in the loop, this is not typical. It was not until I gave him his regular generic from the pharmacy and he did not react like he had been that I realized he must have been dealing with some filler sensitivity.

I'm no novice when it comes to filler sensitivity. I deal with it in respect to certain groups of medications, but my previous service dog had it about as bad as one can. He nearly died when a pharmacist chose to ignore my and the vets warnings about not changing his brand. They knew I was visually impaired at the time and did it anyway- no notice whatsoever.

I was at home thankfully. It was a Sunday and there was no way for me to get him care. It was a living nightmare going through seizure after seizure with him because some idiot changed his brand violating the written prescription to begin with.

Needless to say, I learned to take filler sensitivity very seriously.

With Thane though, the changes have been subtle things- stubbornness, high strung behavior, refusal to follow commands, startling easily, restlessness I'm sure there are some things I am forgetting, but as you can see they aren't as concrete as it was with Met who began seizing out of control after getting just 30mg of the medication.

As soon as Thane got a dose from the pharmacy though, all of this went away. He has been great today and it feels so good to have him feeling more himself again. Some could argue the stress of the past week could be at play here, but despite my venting through the keyboard, I kept our home atmosphere very fun and laid back- so nope its not the answer.

Its nice to have those rough days behind us. I look forward to more *normal* days ahead as I research where to go from here with his care.

24 November 2011

Looking for Answers

Following the results coming in, I did not hear back personally from the specialist. In its place, I got a fax from my vet that Dr Franklin wants Thane to be treated for three more months- then if his titer has not improved to stop treatment. Now anyone that has had Lyme or understands Lyme knows all too well what will happen if you stop the treatment before the bacterium has been eliminated- yup we will wind up right back where we were in June and July. This battle we have gone through will all be for naught without anything learned from the experience

With my finances frazzled at best, this is NOT the answer. Not to mention that Thane should not hve to suffer because even the specialist is being impatient/ expecting changes to happen overnight in an individual who was presented to him in end stage chronic Lyme. sigh

It was bad enough when it came time to getting his meds refilled this time with the specialist having turned his case back over to his regular vet. In most situations she is quite affordable, but her resistance to calling the meds into Bi-Mart was surprising to me. I've been paying eighteen bucks a month for his meds- affordable because I budget for them. The vet thought I was going to hand over the plastic and pay her seventy-five dollars a month- oh yeah and they had the gol to call that inexpensive! Of course I refused so in order to get his meds, I had to go out by myself in horrible weather conditions, as Thane can't work in that kind of weather yet nor would I have asked him to anyway, pay the vet ten dollars and sign some waiver nonsense, in order to get them to call the prescription in to Bi-Mart. This med is not anything unique. It is your typical GENERIC Amoxicillin! I'm still shaking my head at the stratosphere that dollar tag was in for just 60 doses.

But this all aside, I'm very uncomfortable with this treatment plan- ie the part where we will stop treatment if his titer has not gone down. I've finished the Healing Lyme book I was reading (other than the index which I don't need to read grin) so have been putting feelers out for more Lyme books to learn from. I stumbled across this one, which is right up my alley: The Homeopathic Treatment of Lyme Disease by Peter Alex. I'm not nieve enough to believe that homeopathy all by itself is the answer for Lyme Disease, but it's an avenue to research and add one more Lyme book to my collection and Bookshare's. This next book also sounds really good: Insights Into Lyme Disease Treatment  This last one also sounds quite good written by someone who suffered from Lyme for 8 years before getting a correct diagnosis The Lyme Disease Solution

Realistically of course, I can't buy all these books right now, nor could I scan them quickly with my chronic and often times excruciating nerve pain, but hopefully I can implement some protocols or individual aspects of protocols from Healing Lyme as well as choosing the best book to tackle next. My head is saying to choose the Homeopathy one since I have so much knowledge in that area.

Irregardless of what takes place when Thane's labs are run again in a little under three months, if his titer does not place him in the Lyme negative range, I will not stop the supplemental protocols which I have plans of implementing for him. I'm being a bit vague here because I want to research the items more thoroughly before I make my final decision on implementation.

I am nervous about it all, but not as nervous as I would be each and every day if his antibiotics are stopped before he is Lyme negative.

19 November 2011

Results are Here

I got Thane's results yesterday afternoon. The lab changed their format though so it took me a while to be able to read them. Where would I be without my good friend John!

The news is very good from my perspective. Though the journey is not over, there is indeed reason to celebrate. In just five months time, Thane's Lyme titer has been cut in half. When looking back at just how sick my special boy was, this is truly a magnificent thing.

I look at it this way (even though its probably not an accurate analogy): It took Thane two years to get as ill as he was. In the past five months the titer was cut in half- therefore we cut one year of spirochetal invasion from his system. Now theoretically that's probably not exactly how its interpreted, but it helps me- so who cares how its really analyzed smile

I knew realistically before the labs were drawn that we were not done with the treatment phase. There were still symptoms that had not subsided. The checklist is long though of those that have been resolved in this first phase of treatment.

We opted for a much more intensive tick borne disease panel this time around. I have learned just how common co-infections are when one has Lyme. His test this time included eleven co-infections and all of those were negative. This is really encouraging because from what I have heard through some canine TBD sources, not all TBD's can be cured through Amoxicillin. Lyme happens to be one that can though.

For now, we continue on as we have been. I was rather looking forward to having the ability to sleep in on cold mornings which his med dosing prohibits, but one day we will get that ability back. For now, we celebrate this huge step forward at conquering such a tenacious disease.

But really, why must my dogs all have *MEDICAL* lessons to teach me? LOL

17 November 2011

Phase One of Treatment Comes to a Close

On Monday, I sent a fax to Dr Franklin, Thane's Lyme specialist. He is about to finish his last refill of his antibiotic treatment. I thought (incorrectly, mind you) that he was supposed to finish the meds and then testing would be done. With just three day of meds left, I felt panicked when I learned I had misunderstood the process. Dr Franklin was awesome and so was Dr M at our regular vet practice. Not only did she see us first thing the next morning to draw labs and evaluate Thane, she gave me some substantial discounts (including a week of antibiotics free of charge)

Dr M was really happy with Thane. She said just his attitude and energy changes were remarkable from when she had last seen him five months earlier. She had not seen him since drawing labs that brought about the Lyme diagnosis- not after he collapsed completely, not after he reacted horribly to the Doxycycline- not since that fateful day when we were gearing up for the possibility that Thane could very likely have this tenacious spirochetal activity destroying his insides.

Thane was bouncing around like a silly man and excited to see her when she came in the door. Thane loves the vet, but last time he went off in the corner of the room and just laid there- let her examine him, but was not into the playful activity he normally participates in with her.

Tuesday was very different. He was back to his own bouncy self with her. I had been going through a funk with regards to where things stand symptomatically with Thane- especially regarding his coat. I really felt encouraged by getting Dr M's perspective. With all the new dark hair growth coming in- albeit slower than I'd like, things really are positive.

After my communications with Dr Franklin, I already knew that the med course is not over. The goal from his perspective is BOTH symptom free (which he is not just yet) and negative TBD test results (which we are waiting on results from).

I'd love to have him done with antibiotics and ready to take on the world Lyme free, but I also know I have to be patient a while longer. We have come through multiple system symptoms- leaving so much behind us, but we still have some skin, coat, and eye symptoms to make it through. There is definitely marked improvement in these symptoms as well and one day I will be writing that Thane is in remission from Lyme, but right now I have to keep being patient.

Gosh Patience is one of the hardest things to come by when you've been dealing with a journey that has taken months out of your normal partnership already. Yes, we are working well together most days, but we are not the team we were before Lyme took over just yet. I am for the most part optimistic about our future, but with the noticeable issues present on overcast days, I do at times wonder what the future holds for the two of us.

I'm not giving up- just being a realist. grin