Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The injured.

My poor little peep (Katie) started limping around Saturday night and looked worse on Sunday. To refresh every one's memory and get all new visitors up to speed, Katie (our girl dog) had surgery in May 2005 for a cruciate torn ligament (ACL) and a dislocated knee cap. So we need to be careful with her, watch her weight, and give her joint vitamins.

For whatever reason (change in weather or taking off sprinting after an animal at the dog park), the previous injury has acted up and I will not be able to bring her with Sunday even though she would really love to go.

Sunday evening when Harley and I left to the watershed for a 1 hour training hike, Katie and Jake were overjoyed and jumping around as they thought they were going to come with us. Even though she tries very hard to hide it, I had caught her hobbling around when she thought I was not looking. Despite her eagerness and enthusiasm, we decided it would be best to leave her home to rest. I did not want to leave her behind alone so we did not take Jake and I do not think he was too happy about it. When he saw us getting into the car instead of the truck, he gave her a childish swat and look like he had just non verbally communicated to her that she ruined his fun time. (They are silly like that and share a great deal of nonverbal communication through looks, gestures, and mannerisms.)

At any rate, it was very obvious they were disappointed.

On Monday Katie did not seem much better and was limping like she had before her surgery. I gave her the full day to rest and when it came time to take a walk, it just pulled at my heart strings to not bring her because although she was hurting, she really wanted to go. She is a tough little girl and I have learned much from her perseverance in dealing with my own medical ordeal.

Jake loves to go out and even run too. He had waited all day for me and he did not get to go on Sunday. I could not punish him by leaving him at home when I had to go anyway. In order for Katie not to feel so bad and left out, I gave her a huge rawhide chew for her to busy herself while we went out for a walk. This seemed pretty effective the first day but was not as successful yesterday.

While doing dishes in the kitchen a couple hours before sunset, Jake jumped up to peer at me in the window behind the sink as if to say "I am ready mommy! We have to go or it will be dark soon. Don't forget me." So I definitely could not go without him yesterday either. He has been with me training for over 3 years (during my recovery after radiosurgery, imbalance, brain surgery, and for the Seattle marathon 2006 and the hike on Sunday). He deserves to come with as he too has been dedicated, has worked hard, and has been a loyal companion.

At first when Katie's injury developed over the weekend, I was thinking we definitely could not bring the dogs. I did not want to leave her home all day by herself because I knew she would be very hurt and know that she was left behind. We are all very bonded and it would not seem right to leave her out of such an important event for us. At the same time, I felt incredibly guilty to not take Jake on our journey. It was a difficult mix of emotions where I felt "between a rock and a hard place".

When Monday rolled around and Harley was training on the treadmill at the gym, his ankle began spasming again with sharp shooting pain. This had happened earlier in our training when we were intending a long hike but had to cut it back to 6 miles. He was wearing a high top hiking boot so we thought a low top comfortable training shoe would do the trick. Apparently, there is something greater going on and he will need to have a doctor look at it.

Therefore, Harley will not be able to join me on this adventure. He is disappointed but I do not want him to do irreversible damage to the injury by trying to do this 31.5 mile trek. This situation makes me feel better about taking Jake with me now as Katie will not feel so bad if Harley is home with her. Further, I am now considering taking Jake along for the entire first half of the trek to where the trail ends and meets the road as he has the endurance and stamina to handle such a distance. Originally, the plan was to limit the dogs to 10 miles because the next access to the trail was past 12 miles and I felt that would be pushing Katie too hard.

It will be interesting to see how he reacts come Sunday morning as he did not want to go without her yesterday. Make no mistake, he really was eager to go out and train but he wanted Katie to come too. Every time I prevented her from going up the ramp into the truck, Jake would jump back out of the truck bed. I tried giving her a bone but she brought it with her from the yard to the parking lot. Then as soon as I would try to put the ramp away Katie would put her front paws on the tailgate and try to jump up while Jake jumped back out again.

It killed me to say no and pry her paws off the tailgate. Imagine telling your kid he/she has to stay home while you take your other kid out to the movies, the beach, park, or wherever. Not so fun, eh?

I had to block the back of the tailgate with the dog ramp standing on its side so Jake did not jump back out again. When I managed to close the tailgate and was shutting the canopy window, Jake gave me a puzzled look as if he were wondering why I was not bringing Katie too.

One final injury to report:

Yesterday afternoon I got a sliver in my heel in a spot where I could not see to extract it. After poking and prodding my callused heel with a pin and tweezers, I was not having much success. So I soaked it in the bathtub in order to soften this skin and try to encourage the splinter out.

I managed to pull out half of it but the other half had broken off and was deeply embedded in my heel. When I took a walk last night, the heel was sore after an hour and I was concerned about infection. Therefore, this morning I assigned Harley the task of digging it out which was not a joy to experience.

Afterward, I soaked it in Epson salts and dabbed it with hydrogen peroxide in attempt to make it heal faster. It is a gorgeous day out and I would have a hard time adhering to the rest schedule which is today. So I guess this is God's way of making me take it easy to prepare for the big day and also creating a brick wall for me.

Are brick walls bad? No. As I learned this morning while reading "The Last Lecture", brick walls are a way of testing us....a way to force us to confront what we really want and how badly we are willing to pursue it.

I badly want to complete this hike. Why? Because people are counting on me. It is what I said I would do in exchange for your support in finding a cure for NF2. It is how far I am willing to go to get this started so that someday we find a way to stop these tumors from growing. I and others with NF2 will be able to stop putting everything on the line....... our lives and quality of life will no longer be at stake each time we face a treatment. That is why. All of this is my brick wall which I will find a way to climb over.

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