"A man can get discouraged many times, but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else and stop trying." John Burroughs
I like this quote because I feel it is so easy to blame others and even yourself and with Chiari Like Malformation and/or Syringomyelia it is so easy to get discouraged and stop trying.
When Ella was first diagnosed with CM/SM, I asked myself questions that I am sure many others do as well. Why her/me?, Why didn't the Vet notice earlier?, What did the breeder know? (However I am very lucky to have read http://www.fortheloveofollie.com/ where it had a letter from Ollie's breeder explaining their point of view). Did I miss any symptoms and should have caught this earlier?
Then after I went through the many questions on whether or not to have surgery and what type, Did I do the right thing? Then I blamed myself when she developed scar tissue and I wondered what would have happened if I went with something else. Although it is important to ask questions when deciding what surgery, all of this blame did not matter. It is now almost a year since she has been gone from me and I am so very glad that I did not spend too much time blaming others but enjoying each day. All of that did not matter but I still think about all the others with these conditions everyday. I read forums, try to read research (even if a lot is over my head) and I know I am not doing enough.
Where is my effort going to?
I felt the only way to help or do anything was to share Ella's story but now that she is gone, what am I doing? It feels like nothing. There are some wonderful people like Sheena Stevens who started
FOETAL TISSUE RESEARCH. This has caused some great break throughs. There of course is Sandy Smith who wrote For the Love of Ollie. There is Mary Beth Squirrell who blogs about her cavalier Mylee with symptomatic Chiari Malformation on her blog embeecav.blogspot.com. There are so many more but a lot of these people never say anything but just do.
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.