Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Can't See Clearly Now.

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All those hilarious posts I've been writing in my head at the grocery store, or while in the shower, or while Baby D is up to insane fuckery will have to wait.

I feel sick inside. I'm not sure where else to turn so I'm gonna just pour it out here.

We have two dogs, the little shit Ella (a Lab/Satan cross), and our big, blind boy Schultzy (a Great Dane). Many of you may know his story. Both dogs were rescued. Schultz came to be our boy in January of 2009. On the way home from his foster mom's place, we got into a car accident. A deer decided it didn't like the passenger side of our car, in mid-daylight, on Highway 401. My life flashed before my eyes, but we ended up okay. The car was bashed up, but Schultzy just sat in the back, cool as a cucumber, as shit went down.

His second day at our old house in 2009.

Anyway, needless to say things started with a literal bang. He adores the Hubs. He's broken windows, (probably hearts, too, with those stunning good looks and likely past of being a stud dog), he's eaten his fair share of feces (you know, before he FINALLY accepted that we were going to feed him regularly), he's dabbled in soap bars, razor blades, and Lindor chocolate (I shit you not, the dog has a varied palate, but I agree with him on the chocolate).

He had issues around his neck being touched. He could be aggressive. We've tried (mind you, not hard enough) to train him via various trainers, nose halters, leashes, muzzles, tactics, techniques and treats.

Back in Ontario he was really into nail care. But I refused him a shellac UV dryer.

He's had surgery on his bum. He's been gravely ill with a bladder infection. He's come through it all fine. He's a motherfucking champion. He's currently somewhere between 9 and 10 years old, which is "super-granddad" age for a Dane.

We knew his vision wasn't great, and when we finally moved to Western Canada in 2012, it became painfully apparent in the new surroundings on the drive here that our handsome beast was truly blind. Then came his fear.... of stairs, of the unknown, of the stressful changes. He still rocked that shit, but it was so sad to realize his world was totally dark.

Some time has passed. His eyes were cloudy, we knew he had cataracts. But then the red third eyelids started showing in his eyes and he just didn't seem right. So, since Saturday and yesterday at the vet's we've discovered:

- He has painful glaucoma, with at least 55 pressure in his left eye. At best, he has the feeling of a constant headache. But he's a champ, so it could be worse and he is just tolerating it.
- He will not, at all, allow any more eye drops. He shakes, he backs up, he slips on the floor. He can sense it and smell it, and both the Hubs and I have barely hung on to our composure trying to drop him and calm him.
- He has to have at least one eye removed. This upsets me far more than it should.
- He may have the other eye removed, but will be assessed before surgery on Thursday morning.
- He's gonna go to a specialist who does eye removal more regularly. Our hope is that if they know what they are doing, they will have him under sedation as little time as possible, and do it right, because if the local vet fucks up they have to go back under sedation to have fluid and more stuff taken out.

The biggest freakin' scare? He's old and Danes are known to have weak hearts. We can do $600 of pre-surgical diagnostic testing, but in the end, regardless of the results, he can't reasonably live with the glaucoma pain. And even clear results don't mean he will be okay under anaesthetic. It will only worsen, and he now refuses drops. And he is strong enough and big enough that he continues to win that argument.

Instead, we can do $225 of blood work to at least determine what kind of drugs to give him to sedate him. So it looks like we will.

Don't ask how much the surgery costs.

I hope to hell our sweet beast of a boy does not react badly. He could very well die on that operating table, in a strange new clinic, with staff around him and no family. I don't want to play God with him, but after long discussions, me and the Hubs can't find another reasonable option.

He still has quality of life. He LOVES his walks. He LOVES anything with cheddar powder or sauce. He LOVES his Grandmas. He even wags for pets when he's in the mood. He's mellowed significantly in the last few years and can tolerate a houseful of people and toddlers. And pain medication alone can't combat the pressure and pain from his eye lens.

Wait, what? My couch smells like dog? Nooo, you must be mistaken...

I'm not a religious person. I just hope anyone out there who loves dogs, or, hell, can say they like me (I'll even take "I can stand her"), to please put out some positive vibes for my guy on Thursday. I can feel a panic attack coming on as I type this.

He's been dealt some shit cards. I just want him to be happy and loved and not hurting.


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Thursday, June 26, 2014

That time, at Tough Mudder...

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So yeah.

It happened.

And I lived.

But my knee and hip are clicking, the blister on my right baby toe is eating my entire foot, the bulging disc in my back is screaming "YOU BITCH!!?!" at me, and my knees are swollen and bruised to hell.

I finished Tough Mudder Whistler. All but my hubby went on ahead. I went through cold water, and ran up at half pipe, and crawled underground. I walked most of it, to make sure I had a chance at finishing. I crawled a fair bit. But I got it done.

My soft, mushy, non-running, non-athletic ass actually succeeded at something bigger than I ever thought I could do. I keep trying to talk it down in my head, like it didn't count because I didn't run it, and I didn't complete the wall-climbing or carrying obstacles (my chiro said NO WAY, because I irritated a nerve or two and had disc issues from a back injury a week before the race).

Anyway, I still suck at blogging. My girl will be 13 months old tomorrow. I'm hurting. I'm out of shape and my body goes berserk when I try to exercise. I need a physiotherapist.

But I F*CKING FINISHED a 19.2km race (12 miles), with a 2km walk to the start line, on top of it, and a 1.5 hour wait to even begin the race.


For once, I didn't quit. I didn't let my body talk me out of it.
Thanks Momma, for encouraging me to do it, even injured.
I count this a very proud achievement in my life, especially in light of the illness, infection, surgeries and nerve damage that has comprised the last 13 months of my life.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tough Mudder Whistler: It Was Nice Knowing You All

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So... yeah.

I am not fit.
I am fat.
I have no muscle tone.
I get dizzy walking up the stairs.
I had surgery in February that resulted in nerve damage in my abdomen.
It hurts to lift things and carry things and I'm not supposed to exercise using my ab muscles.

Oh... and I signed up for Tough Mudder Whistler.

I paid my non-refundable $160ish before I had my follow up with the surgeon. It goes without saying that I didn't quite expect the news he delivered to me.

Since signing up, I've seen the course profile. It is, in a word, terrifying. In several words, it's holy shit what I have I done I'm pretty sure I won't live to see my baby again.

Um, hi 16km mark. W.T.F.!?!???!??!

Look at his face. Now imagine what his balls must look like.

I wanted a challenge. My other Mama friends had decided to give 'er a go, so I thought it would be an excellent goal to work towards. A reason to run some of this baby fat off my frame. I'm not saying that I weigh only 10 pounds less than when I was 8 months pregnant, and I'm not saying that I still mix in maternity pieces into my wardrobe... I'm just saying that not being able to use my abs, coupled with all the health issues in the past 18 months, has rendered me quite... {{soft}}.

What's the big deal, you ask? Well, there are also obstacles along the course. So, barring the fact that my current treadmill record is 5.2km and 19km will likely kill me, all along the route energy will be expended doing things like swimming through a massive container of ice water (the "arctic enema"), getting electrocuted ("electroshock therapy"), and having to crawl facing the sky, in water, breathing through chain link fence. Seriously.

This is f*cking terrifying.

I actually lose sleep at night over it when I think about it. I really want to accomplish something that says I am strong again. My body works again. I can push past the obstacles, both physical and mental. And, you know, likely not walk right or be able to lift the baby up for the next two weeks as I recover in an ever-refilling bath of epsom salts while drinking some malbec straight out of the bottle. #ClassyMom.

You can bet your ass it's going to make an awesome blog post, even if it's "Hey, our car broke down on the way", or "I twisted my ankle putting my shoes on at the start line"... but still.

Anyone ever completed a Tough Mudder race? Tough Mudder Whistler? I'm mostly excited about bunking in a condo with two other couples and their babies. I'd say my priorities are in order, no?

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