31 December 2011

Appearances: Worsening to Get Better

As I said in my last post, there has been a lot of improvements lately. That said, sometimes to get improvement, you have to go through what others see as *worsening*. This whole concept is hard to explain to people- hard to make them see the big picture.

The best example of this is taking place with Thane's coat right now. A lot of Thane's coat had changed color. His normal auburn red had become more rustic red. Though it was pretty and some, but not all could have been caused by sun and a natural product used for flea treatment, to complete the healing process restoring his natural color, that hair has to come out.

In theory it would be nice if this occurred in a slow manner: lose some, gain some, lose some more, gain some more. That's not really what is happening however. Not much had fallen out recently until after his bath and grooming. He held onto his hair through his bath but then grooming him was another story. It was hard for me to take at first, until someone told me he looked a bit darker today. That to me was a good thing to hear, but then at the same time there was the comments about how thin his coat was.

This is a superficial thing I know, but after the roller coaster ride I was on with Met for so many years with his coat which at the time seemed to be due to excessive veterinary intervention with his hypothyroidism (but could easily have been Lyme as well) it's just a real emotional thing for me to handle.

Its rather laughable that something like his coat would have me in this downer mood today. I mean when I look at everything we have come through in regards to his Lyme symptoms why on earth does his thin coat give me so much pause and angst?

I know that losing coat means that more *fuzzy bruises* will be on the horizon for us. When his coat hair is just beginning as this dark auburn root, it seems like bruises to me, but what it really is, is further healing along our road back from Lyme.

We are living with, working with, and watching Lyme recede. It has not been a great six months in terms of the partnership I dreamed we would have this year, but we are still together and he is still alive and fighting back. I've had moments (too many) where I wondered about the longevity of our partnership; wondered if fighting to stay together like this was the right call. Thankfully, it looks like the answer for us may be many more years of a redhead at my side. Honestly, I don't know how I would have coped with the other side of the coin, but should Thane have needed retirement, I would have done it because I will ALWAYS put his needs and welfare first in this partnership.

I gotta say though, despite how down I have been feeling about some of this the last couple days, his guiding us home in the pouring rain yesterday solidified that we are destined to work together- at least a little longer.

Now, lets get that coat to grow back- auburn, thick, and beautiful- huh?

25 December 2011

Progress- the Greatest Gift of All

There's been so much going on that I often find it difficult to get to my blog to post. There's been some really pawsitive changes in our fight against Lyme disease lately.

Though it will be a while before we run labs and can see this in black and white, I see the results taking place. Thane's energy will be something we have to deal with- finding ways of extinguishing some of it before he gets into harness. It is still a very positive thing because it by itself was a signal that Lyme was receding.

These other things are not as visual to folks who are not partnered with Thane so when they hear about them, their first response is to retire him right here, right now LOL That said, I find them rewarding (though not while taking place) because they show me his true self- they show me the dog that slowly slipped away from me- and that is well- beautiful!

Thane's desire to pick the route we are going used to be one of the most infuriating things I had to deal with in working with my little *hard headed redhead*. I will admit, when it all, but disappeared as Lyme took over, I found myself really missing his determination to do things his way. I don't have to miss this part of him any more because it has come back with a vengeance! This is definitely something we are working on and probably will be working on for a while. It is though a sign that Thane has the cognition he once had. It also helps show me when I am not giving him the amount of variety that he needs in his working hours.

Another area where there has been drastic improvement is in our home life. thane has been wearing an e-collar a lot at home. Spirochete's love collagen  In an ideal situation, they would only take an amount that the animal or person can easily replenish. For the most part, especially prior to diagnosis, that has not always been the case when it came to Thane's skin health. Once I was able to understand what was taking place (after his diagnosis), it was so much easier to more properly address his skin needs.

Just understanding why he was being so self-destructive was part of the battle, but the other part required finding the right collagen supports for him. Through Stephen Buhner's research as well as my own further research coupled with my knowledge of homeopathy, I put together a protocol specific to Thane. Though some things did not pan out for his use, other things have worked really well. The result on this front is much more free time out of the e-collar

When people mention collagen, they usually think of one thing- joints. Collagen is so much more than joints though. It impacts joints, skin, hair (fur), and even the eyes. I began noticing visual changes with Thane's eyes about 1 1/2 years ago. No one but me seemed to notice what was going on. Of course the Veterinary Ophthalmologist locally is crap when it comes to thorough exams to diagnose an actual problem. Not only did she not thoroughly evaluate the retina's with dilating his eyes and all, but she turned around and put him on a supplement known to increase histamine response. You do not put a dog with known allergies on anything that increases a histamine response. Her reasoning for prescribing it was that it would fix his non-specific retinal issues. No, it did not. All it did was send his allergies into such overdrive. His issue was not non-specific at all. It was LYME.

Today though, things are looking brighter with his eyes. He has eye drops that I use as needed. They are difficult in the best of circumstances to do, but with my hands and vision- LOL I've found though that with all his improvements this month, his eyes are one of the best. When we have worked some of his energy down, his choices in his guide work are spot on. What I mean is that through the mini guide's vibrational cues to me, I agree with the choices Thane takes all the time once he has burned off some energy,

Where his work is concerned, we are doing a lot of backing up on some basic elements. It seems to lie in the fact that he is so full of excessive energy now, that he has to remember how to slow down and focus on his job better. There are also aspects (even full tasks) that he lost amidst the neuro Lyme symptom picture (which the symptom part is thankfully behind us) It's been over five months since Thane's last seizure and I strongly believe that they are a thing of the past. I've got a good solid history with canine seizures from my previous service dog. I am glad that for Thane, they won't be following him the rest of his life.

I don't know what tomorrow will hold for us, but if its anything like the present, these *guiding eyes* will be at my side for many years to come.

Something I am enjoying so much is watching Thane learning to play independently again. He can be so funny. Laughter really is one of the best medicines around!

15 December 2011

Facing Lyme Each Day

Thane and I continue to work the journey of Lyme Disease. It has not been an easy six months, but the reality is that he is so much more the dog I knew two to three years back.

Its required a lot of patience over the years- testing one disease after another before Lyme was diagnosed. It's taken even more patience the past six months from diagnosis through all of this treatment- bringing him back from chronic late stage disease.

One of the hardest areas for me to be patient with right now, is the return of coat fur, coat health, and coat color to what it was originally. The process is beginning, but anytime my mom comes for a visit, I am destined to go through a funk because she always has a knack for pointing out the negative. He's either too thin or his coat is sparse or something. This isn't just since he got Lyme either, but it makes it especially hard when I am trying to focus on the improvements which are many and she always has to point out where there is a problem. I guess I am *the glass is half full* type of person while my mom is *the glass is half empty* type. I'm trying not to focus on the things she had to say too much, but it is hurtful when she is rarely around any more and when she is, absent as she has been from our daily journey, she says negative crap.

I will admit we are struggling. Thane's energy has come back and most symptoms have resolved, if not completely, they are pretty diminished. There are however still some symptoms that I really need to be on my toes with as we work through them. This kind of thing definitely makes one feel like they are back working a green dog again.

There has been a lot of positives with the collagen supports I have implemented with hopefully more to come as die-off continues.

There have been some negative times too. As we work on the right additional protocol for Thane, some things have not been good choices. Recently a very small dose of a good Lyme protocol ingredient had some tough side effects come forward. Its too bad that it caused heightened senses and acted like a diuretic. I was taken by surprise by these symptoms after how thoroughly I researched it. The diuretic effect was discovered only after Thane stood inside the door releasing  his bladder all over the carpet while I was putting his turfs out for him to busy. Before anyone judges him or me, this isn't typical of Thane. I was shocked and pissed at the same time.

It had already been a very long day. Cleaning up his bladder dump and steam cleaning where the last thing I needed to be doing, but when you own a service dog, sometimes these are the kinds of things you have to deal with. While I was cleaning it up, I was thinking about how nice it would be to not have carpet.

Thane's journey is not over. The vets are getting impatient and my vet seems to have an attitude about my finances. If Thane is not negative when the med refills are gone this time, they are stopping his meds any way. That is scary stuff. Stopping meds when the disease is still there will just allow it to come back.

There are other things I can do if it is not gone and the meds are stopped, but it's a really uncomfortable feeling with all the knowledge I have on how this disease works.

For now, I am thinking positive where it comes to Thane's status with Lyme. I am nervous about some symptoms that have not gone away and seem to volley back and forth, but I continue to tell myself that with patience they too can resolve.