Thursday, March 31, 2011

look ma, no Stitches!

My friend Lynne was nice enough to take out my stitches this week - I was worried about getting them out, but being at friends house and having 2 lovely Vizslas to distract me, made things all better :)

I also started physio this week - well I have been doing real basic things for the last 2 weeks, but I am now doing more. Stretching 3x day and one time a day of Strengthening. And icing 20 min. after every time. I'll be strating back on my upper body and core workouts right away too. It's a pretty big commitment but I am determined to be strong.

Gyp is doing great too - so between the 2 of us, it's around 1.5 hours a day of strength training and stretching, but I am seeing results already with me - and she is also doing fantastic. We have also signed up for Susan Garrett's Brilliant Recall course - a great program for us to start back training together, and a great educational tool I will always have - I thought the timing was great (especially for when i get my invisible puppy)!! I'm excited to start, we've spend the last 3 days playing the Critical Core games :)

For something less gross looking than my knobby knees ... it's Jane - she has been feeling spunky and doing really well these days ... let's hope that continues, we still cherish every day with her, especially the good ones.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When flat-coats attack.

In Kaleb's world there is one person above all else.

His Grammy ... for that matter all of my dogs love her more than anyone else!

He moves in a little closer for a little more love...

The kisses begin ...

Grammy's face is now getting a little wet.

Uh oh, he's moving in for the KILL.

There he goes ...

No turning back now....

And, that is what happens when flat-coats attack.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Driving Miss Daisy

One of the most annoying things about this recovery, is not driving. On the upside I'm saving $50 a week in gas ... but I like to do what I want, when I want .... so I am hoping that with the help of Jane, Kaleb and Gyp, maybe we can get back to hitting the road? Though I'm not too sure where we'd go ... seeing as I can't go too far anyway.

Pete did take Jane and I for a fun outing yesterday to the Pet Store, Pharmacy, Gas Station, and grocery store. I know how Jane feels now when she has to wait in the car when I go into stores, it's sort of boring - but people watching is fun!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Look what I can do! Look what I can do!

• This week I went for lunch with Liz, my first field trip in 9 days - it was nice to be among the living - tomorrow another field trip with Jane and Pete ... to the Pet Store!! How exciting :)

• I can go up and down the stairs, one leg at a time, while holding a glass of water, that my friends is what I call, awesome.

• I can get in the shower all by myself :)

• I can put the dogs on the Treadmill, while I do my physio - multi-tasking at it's finest.

• I can also put the dogs on the Treadmill while eating Caramel popcorn, drinking coffee and chatting with a friend who brought it over for me :) they are getting so good on the TM ... 20 mins 5 times a week now + Pete jogging and walking them everynight + strength work 5 times a week.

• I can do Gyp's caveletti's back and forth, while sitting on the ball doing my own core exercises

• I can now put Gyp on her peanut ball and do all the exercises, and balance her myself (not Kaleb yet, that requires my whole body and balance)

• Who knew I would miss housework so much .... I can Vacuum (the main level)! I can put the dishes away from the dishwasher! I can clean the bathroom! I can dust!

• Next week maybe I will conquer laundry ... nah, I think I will milk that one as long as I can.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.

an apple a day :: 11/52

Since Thursday, I have felt like someone was squeezing my head in a vice, stomping on it with a big boot, then spinning me around and punching me in the gut. Sounds fun eh?

I feel so detached from the real world and my regular routine, it is not a fun feeling at all.

But the good news is - my knee feels great!! YIPPEE!!

I had to hide for 2 days in my bedroom with the curtains closed, and could only come out to the rest of the house when it got darker. Like a friggin Vampire - but not the cool kind, the ugly scary kind. I am still not sure if it was the Flu, bit more than likely a side-effect from the Spinal Epidural I had. A small amount of Spinal fluid can leak and then wreaks havoc with Nausea and Killer headaches, especially when sitting up or standing. I could only lay flat without feeling like shit. Not fun. Do you know how annoying it is to have to lay still? I am so sick of laying horizontal.

Pete has been amazing - jogging with the dogs because he knows how important it is for them to remain fit - and he secretly enjoys it too, he has done all the housework, cooked for me, fed the dogs, held my hand, rubbed my feet, made me tea. I think I'll keep him.

Today is 100% better, and last night even went to friends for supper last night - and thankfully they had a nice recliner and dimmed the lights for me as the headache was still lingering :) It felt good to get out of my house. I am going a little KOO KOO for coco puffs.

Thankfully I get to look at this face all day long ... I have it pretty good.


Introducing ... Franken-knee!!

Here's hoping for a better week ahead.

Friday, March 18, 2011

me, myself and i

me, myself and i :: 3/12/Gyp, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Gyppie still can't do free running, so while I was playing ball with Kaleb poor Gyppie had to wait and watch ... but being the good Border Collie she is, she stays put in one spot ... she just enjoys barking her head off in frustration. So do I.

We'll continue rehabbing together, and we'll be back in the ring, better than ever!

Gyp has been on restricted exersize since November due to a groin pull (Psoas group of muscles), she now has the go ahead to do more extented strength and endurance exersizes and we'll see how her muscles holds up. It's been hard work, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Even with my surgery I am still able to do all her stretching, and thankfully I have the best guy in the world who takes her and Kaleb jogging everynight :)

I do my exercises 3 times a day right now, so Gyp and I do ours together - Kaleb does them too, to keep him in shape.

I feel pretty good - there is really no pain at all in my knee, it hurt worse last week before the surgery.

I was able to bend it another 4" yesterday compared to day 2. So I'm hoping in the next day or two I am able to bend it another 2 or 3".

I stopped taking the Tylenol 3s on Wednesday after barf-fest 2011. Now I am just taking Advil, and actually just Advil Cold & Sinus as I have a wicked head cold.

It was a good day yesterday, Pete's sister dropped me off an edible Arrangement made of fruit that is dipped in chocolate, presented as a bouquet .... ya I ate it all. My neighbor brought me over a fruit basket which was super nice, and Kaleb proceeded to jump at it, grabbed a Banana and high tailed it to the yard - it was classic Kaleb. I think I must stink because my mom brought me some new lounging clothes, apparently wearing the same thing for 3 days isn't a good thing?? I like visitors .... it makes the days go much quicker.

Well back to the couch I go - today I am getting back to some work - which I am actually looking forward too, now that I have my brain function MOSTLY back.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The big "knee-veal".

Yesterday was spent like this ... ( today is pretty much the same)

last night we took off my bandages to see what was underneath
... drum roll please

it'll be nice to see my knee cap again one day ...

there are 4 incisions - not the 3 I was hoping for. I'm thinking he wasn't able to get at the area where the tear was so the 4th medial incision was made, it is right in the spot were the majority of the locking and pain came from, here's hoping it helps.

This morning I resumed my physio routine
... and it's a good thing I have such a supportive and loving coach.

"mama rest your leg right here"

"you can do it mama", lift that leg a little higher

"good job mama"

"you did good mama, way to go"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Surgery Day

I have to thank all of my great friends and family who called, sent me emails for extra support - the bottles of wine and flowers were nice touches too, you know who you are :). You have no idea how much easier it made it for me. I am lucky to have such a big support group of Family and Friends, it makes life so much easier. I have an army of nurses and friends who have been through similar things, so by the time I went there, I knew what to expect.

The nurse came to check my vitals, and I was so calm that the Nurse asked if my heart rate was naturally so low. And that was before I took an Ativan LOL. I honestly put my mind in the same state I do when running Agility at a big event - there was no turning back. I was freakishly calm.
I have a goal - I don't want to be in Pain anymore. Poor Pete had to listen to my songs on the way to the Hospital but he was so great. He held my hand the whole time. I use humour as a coping mechanism, and I am glad to say I had the Staff laughing :)

Dr. A came in and signed my leg, couldn't figure out what "SLA" meant. I thought it meant "Stupid Leg Attached", but I figured out it was his initials...

You have no idea how many fears I conquered yesterday:
- I got my first IV (and it didn't hurt and I didn't cry)

- I didn't faint at all when the Surgeon came it to talk about what he was doing

- I didn't faint when the Anesthetist talked about the options for my sedation

- I chose to go for the Spinal and took a needle to my back (so I was numb from the lower back down) ... boy I could use a tan.
- AND you won't believe this ... I watched my surgery! It was cool to see the inside of my knee and see my Meniscus just hanging there, my altered Drug induced state made it possible for me not to panic.

The deed all done.

The Surgeon said he was very surprised at how much my leg moves laterally, and he is surprised that my leg doesn't give out on me more. He's never able to get a good feel for it when I'm awake - as I have the Art of guarding down to a science. So when I meet with him in 2 weeks, we will be discussing further surgeries, and I am OK with that. Well at least I think I am, could be these wicked painkillers not making me think straight however.

My Therapy dogs helping me stay sane while I'm having to rest.
Also never out of reach are Ice Packs (icing every 30min) and Tylenol 3s, I'm poppin' those bad boys every 4 hours.

The beautiful flowers a friend sent over, I was greeted with them when I got home.

I'm now on the road to rehab, and I am looking forward to the Journey. I will be better, faster and stronger than ever. Look out, here I come!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hey Doc, i'm ready.

i'm ready., originally uploaded by sarah ....

Sort of like packing for an Agility Trial ... but not nearly as fun.

Crutches. Old gross Teddy Bear named Odie that I've had since I was 4. My playlist on "iKaleb", pretty slippers and cute pants (thanks for the tip D), a good book, and an obscene amount of wine.

age is nuthin' but a number.

age is nuthin' but a number., originally uploaded by sarah ....

9 years young, and still giv'en 'er. 63 in dog years that is.

I hope when I'm 63 I can still run like that :)

I go in for knee surgery this week, so I am cherishing my last few days of running with the dogs, and looking forward to when I can go "balls to the wall" again, as they say :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

9 lives

9 lives :: 10/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Today is Kaleb's 9th Birthday! Hard to believe it, really.

I say 9 lives because of all the things we've done together - travelled to both coasts and swam in each. He is a Regional Agility winning dog, and has taken me to the National Podium twice, he has more titles on his name than I can even remember. He lived through Torsion and came back better than ever. He is my Iron Man. My buddy, and the best face washer ever.

Here's to many more lives, buddy.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We'll be back.

If there is one thing I know I'm good at, that is living in denial. We go back years. I guess it is a coping mechanism, not sure.

Anyway this Tuesday is my surgery and oh boy, am I looking forward to that. I am scared shitless. I have issues with hospitals, it goes back to the days of Pete being in the hospital for a month and went through 17 hours of surgery, when he broke his back. I was traumatized. Although I have conquered that fear somewhat this year, by being tough getting my blood taken, and having my bro there to hold my hand :) and having to see see Doctors for my knee etc. has helped. I also went with my mom both times for her Cataract surgery, and I didn't faint or vomit, so I am getting better.

I am trying to use some of my methods I use for when I run Agility at a big event. Trying not to think too much about that actual day, and just getting my mind in the right state, right now. I am listening to music that is motivational and uplifting - for me that really helps. Music has always been there for me.

I am hoping my hard work with Gyp's rehab and mine will pay off and one day, we'll be able to run together again, I miss running her more than is probably normal. Gyp had her last treatment 2 weeks ago and got the go ahead to do more. I've upped Gyp's exercises and her muscles are holding really well, no spasms, no tightness. We do ball work every other day, Cavallettis at 4" on the opposite days and jogging everyday, with 10 minutes of stretching over the day. It is a big commitment, but it is paying off.

I'm feeling strong going in to my surgery, busting my ass in workouts is a good way to get out frustration, and having my knee hurt is an honest reminder of why I am doing this.

I am not sure what we will be doing in 2 or 3 months form now, hell even 6 months from now. I am coming to the realization that 2011 is the year of rehab, and well I am not thrilled about that, we'll make the best of it.

On another note, Jane is doing well these days. We are going on a date to the Pet Store today and for a little granny walk at the Park, now that it has warmed up.

Hopefully this will be us again one day ...

This song is often played to remind me of what I am working for and why I am doing it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Agility Gods didn't strike, phew.

By nature I am not a religous person, I didn't grow up going to church - but I did hang out with friends of various beliefs, and I always found it interesting, and respected it. I am what you might call Agnostic. I think the same applies for me in Agility - while I believe there is a higher power, I don't believe in just one thing. There are parts from certain religions I find quite interesting, which I why I can't bring it upon myself to embrace just one of them. Same goes for "systems". While I think I train more under the Derrett school, and have been trained to do so, I just can't help but to do things my own way sometimes, or adapt something from other methods, even if it means I might have sinned. I see people who seem to have their own methods with all of their dogs, and it works for some - others not so much. I see some people handling under systems and the dogs are amazing - and others confused, it seems to me people sometimes forget to FEEL their dogs and get too caught up in the hoopla.

Do you get where this is going?

There is the whole system debate ... and what I take from any system is consistency - and making sure the dog gets it, and has FUN while doing it. Above all else with my dogs, I try to stay as consistent with them, I have very specific positions etc for crosses and where I want my dogs to jump, I believe in clear arm changes etc. I just can't convince myself that one thing works for all dogs - in order to get the best out of that specific dog. I have trained 3 very different dogs, and while I generally walk courses the same for them, there are slight differences based on speed and physical ability of that dog. I also see this dogs and people I help to train.

Well I'm always one to try new things, I normally embrace change. So here you go ...

seems like these 2 dogs understand this ... again there is nothing else for them to take, I would never do this if there was equipment behind them to lock on to - I believe in not taking my eyes off my dog - so this is REALLY out of my comfort zone. But, hell it got a tight turn, so why not live on the edge a little? And the way I think about it, I can't really screw Kaleb up, he's already as nutty as they come, and so am I ... we make a good team.

He was amazing this weekend!!!! It was my last hurrah before my knee surgery and I had a blast. Kaleb was only 1 of 8 dogs (out of 60) to Qualify in Challenge and Masters Gamblers. He ran 4/4, whatta guy. These next few months will be hard not running Agility, but I ended on a high note, so that makes me happy.

I also got to run Blue Eye Skye in Mast Jumpers, we Qd - she a gorgeous Tri BC girlie ... so much fun, and I miss running Gyp so much, this sure helped :)

Our group was amazing this weekend ... so many awesome runs, lots of Qs and some new titles.

I'm off to repent my sins, have a great week everyone.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Top dog.

i'm not worthy :: 9/52

Kaleb might be getting 52 Weeks for Dogs on FLICKR to himself this year,
but let's not forget who the REAL top dog is.

9 weeks later :: 3/12/Jane

That's right bitches. I'm #1.

Jane continues to amaze us. It's now been almost 6 months since she's been on her meds and dignosed with CHF - we know she is in advanced stages of the disease, but she's like a Timex watch "Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin". After her bad bout a few weeks ago, she has been raring to go. A combination, of her regular meds, some chinese herbs, vitamins, gentle massage, and doing some training to keep her upbeat (which she loves) seems to be doing the trick.

It's been interesting trying to figure out what she wants to eat ... usually cooked chicken and veggies, but now she is actually eating faster than the other dogs.

I made her something I call "Janey's Magical Meatloaf"

1 lb extra lean Ground Beef
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup Pumpkin
1 egg
and 1/4 tsp of Cinnamon

... I put them in mini muffin tins and cook 'em up, and she gets one per meal - or more if she feels like it. She friggin' loves them.

If anyone has any hard to resist healthy doggie meals with lots of calories (and not fat)... let me know!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

-30C, and I'm running in my shorts

How nice it is to go for a run in my shorts with my little pal at my side :)

One of the best investments we ever made is our wicked awesome treadmill. We bought it last month for those days that are so awful you just shouldn't be outside. And as well for my rehab ... and well, Gyp's rehab too!

I never saw the need for a Treadmill, and NEVER thought I would put a dog on one. And it also MUCH easier on my knee than running on cement. Why use a treadmill, when I can run outside? Well -30 windchill sucks ass. That's why.

It has been a process to get Gyp on the scary noise-moving thingy. Knowing she would be hesistant about it, we started out just by treating for going on it. Then I did a few short sessions (30 seconds) with it at a slow walk. Gyp would plant herself to the floor. Finally we got up to 2 minutes at a walk, with me strattling her while standing on the sides. Then EUREKA! I fit beside her. From that day on, it's been smooth sailing. We built up to 10 minutes at a walk (while she did a light jog) and she did great. Now we do 20 minutes and she can do a nice extended trot and I can do a light jog. I usually have the incline anywhere from a 3 - 6. Just us, side by side, me and my little buddy. When we are done, we stop and feed her on the treadmill a few treats for her good work, then an OK to release and we do her (and my) stretches. She is doing so well with it, it is amazing. The pay off has also passed onto elevators, for our past 2 visits at the Seniors homes, the elevator hasn't phased her at all - she no longer thinks the sky is falling.

Then there is Kaleb ... he took to it right away, the dog has no fear, and thinks everything is a game ... he gives'er on it. And as an FYI I keep him and Gyp on a lead just layed over the arm of the treadmill, so they will never get hung up on it - they can jump off if they had too.