Monday, July 18, 2011

Our "Inspirational Tails" Blogger Matthew Reports One Year After His Diagnosis

1 Year diagnosis Anniversary
JULY 17 2011
By Matthew Johnson of Waggz & Whiskerz

Today marks year one since I was diagnosed with Bacterial Meningitis. Despite all the writing I've done over the past 9 months, I don't have words to properly explain the emotions and experiences through the ups and downs. The diagnosis, inpatient therapy...sleepless nights...endless physical demands, physio therapy, speech therapy, learning to walk talk and move, vestibular therapy and facial physio.

Last Friday I had my one-year MRI. It was a crucial MRI, as my last one was in May and my doctor's try to keep the MRIs on a 4-month schedule. However, when you're in my position all control goes out the window.

One year ago I could not walk or talk or even sit up! It was a living hell or however you want to describe it. Bottom line: it sucked. But given that I had no experience facing bacterial meningitis, I had nothing to compare my MRI to . This week I got something to compare it to. After the MRI, my neurologist pulled the current results up on one screen and the year-old results on an adjacent screen. The result? My brain is in healing mode! All the physical/occupational/speech's all played a huge part in recovering.

Let's use an analogy to describe what's happened. Say my brain is a volcano. It's been around for a long time, but it's just been sitting there. Not doing anything, not hurting anyone. Then one day it started to steam. Then another day it started to bubble. Then there were tiny earthquakes, after which nearby residents took notice. But before the volcano was able to erupt, experts were able to relieve some pressure and return to the volcano to its pre-symptomatic, dormant state. Where it will hopefully remain for a long, long, LONG time. Any time I get sick the brain resets and I have to start all over again. So lets hope for the best !

Whats next? We've got solid therapy programs on the horizon to help others with the use of therapy dogs, I have a Radio and TV show in the works on therapy dogs and Waggz & Whiskerz is making some big upgrades ! Woofie and Benji are thriving and making life way easier!

Which brings me to my next year of blog posts. Woofie will be attending physiotherapy of her own, that’s right my therapy dog who helped me learn to walk again is now going for physio for some hip arthritis and ligament problems in her left hip. During her one year stint of physio (which will be held weekly at the Canine Wellness Center)

I will be now focusing on her as a blog topic and tracking her progress and all the adventures we have during this period. Starting Aug 1st I will be commencing this new blog topic, while also still touching on my own therapy and others whom use therapy dogs.

It's time to get on with life. The bi-weekly therapy, monthly and bi-monthly speech and facial therapies and vestibular therapy visits are constant, but they can't dictate my life. Instead, they're providing me with the tools to continue living my life. It's hard to change perspective and not be worried all the time, but I just say life’s bitch but it’s a high class one I know I have a good sense of humor. Stay tuned for more on Therapy dogs, Physio for dogs, amazing programs and more….