Ella was diagnosed with Syringomyelia and taught me more in her short life about how to live life to the fullest, love with all your heart, and learn from each other.

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The moment I first held Ella, my world changed. She has touched so many people giving love as a therapy dog but now it is time to give back. No matter how hard she tries to give, her eyes show sadness and pain.

Monday, April 19, 2010

There is no cure for syringomyelia

A couple of things today made me realize that some people may assume that if a dog has surgery for SM then that is the end of it. This is not correct. I keep hearing my mom saying to me when I picked Ella up from being away at work the same words "she is fine. She doesn't need medication. She was having so much fun chasing the birds." I have seen Ella get worse and today I asked if that time she ran in the yard at moms caused her to get worse. He told me I can't worry about what is already done, but we have to change medication and hope for the best. It's the assumptions that things will be fine, that can mislead people.

Don't assume that if you opt to have surgery that things will be back to normal. Most dogs will have to continue on medication and it is not a cure. I did not assume everything would go away and that I would not have to worry about her having too much activity. I will always need to monitor her activity and notice how she is doing. Yes Ella has symptoms again but I can not look at the past but I want to clear this up to others.

Sometimes when people would say "look at her play and how happy she is" questioning why I would hold her back and not let her play. I learned that people can be critical but I know more about Ella than any other person.

I have heard one too many times that Ella had surgery so why is there still an issue. I heard today someone tell me I should have another MRI. This really puzzled me because why would I do that when I know what's wrong with her? I am still puzzled and I don't know how to respond to that. My mom was taken a back when I told her that Ella will always need to have limited activity.

I am confused as to why I feel like I'm the only one that knew there is no cure for syringomyelia. Just because Ella had surgery does not mean she will no longer have to fight this condition. Her neurologist told me that things may get better but she will have good and bad days. She will have nights like Friday when she has an episode and would not stop scratching. She chewed on her feet and I was scared. I picked her up from her neurologist and it looks like something is stuck in her hair above her ears. Is this blood from her scratching? So to anyone who think ella's battle is over it isn't. She could live with this for several years. I cherish the good days and get scared when there is a bad one.

What I will not do is give up. She has a long way to go and it doesn't stop with her. To me, this is so much more. I will not stop trying to help once Ella is gone. I don't care about just her. Yes she needs help and I will make dog cookies to sell, make harnesses, wash dogs, etc. So I can pay for her treatment, but i want to help others. I want people to buy "for the love of Ollie", I want her neurologist to speak to people to educate them about SM, I want to get people to donate to the charitable trust, and I want to make sure that I will remember for as long as I live how hard this is. I know I will never forget and I would like to do what I can in the future to maybe help it be easier for others.

Thanks to those people that have helped me and truly cared for my precious "pooh"

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