Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Learning To Walk...

Have you ever given much thought to what it must have taken for you to stabilize your legs that first time and then plant your feet one at a time, just hoping not to fall?? Honestly, until Tuesday I took it all for foot in front of the other, always hitting the ground, never painful.

Well I will never take it for granted again. Late Last week Paul and I started to notice that Daisy wasn't putting her leg with the cast on the ground to use it as much as she had. So, innocently, during her cast change I asked if I could take her for a little walk before they put her cast back on. Words cannot describe how ill-prepared I was for how my sweet girl reappeared in the waiting room. Her leg, with scars up and down, was completely deformed. She was hopping toward me not understanding on 3 legs. I walked her outside, and before I could gather myself I came in a sat on the floor of the vet's office with her in tears. The surgeon came over to me and said that she was a little concerned, but felt like physical therapy was a good option for us. She had no answers, and God I wish I had my wits about me to ask the right questions.

I was handed a card for the PT, Sandra, and we were finished in that office. It felt I took this risk of a surgery to save her leg, and look what I had left her with.

I must have sounded a little panicked when I called Sandra because she phoned me back and told me I could come right over to meet with her. I called Paul; I was desperate.

I would like to say that I went over to Sandra's office and magically Daisy is back to her old sweet self. No, but I see the road we will have to travel. Dog's are amazing creatures, Sandra explained: They hold no baggage; they don't hang on to what happened yesterday; they start new everyday. The only challenge with that is that as the time passed Daisy just starting living as though she wasn't going to be able to use her leg. So now she will have to re-learn. We will have to teach her how to place her foot, how to use her leg, how to walk...

Sandra said this more than once, and it keeps sticking...everyday from here on out is a GIFT with Daisy. I am a gift to her and she is a gift to me. She said that she will not over-work Daisy to make her better, but take it slow and let her lead the way.

Watching Daisy learn how to place her foot; slowly massaging the muscles in her paw; watching her fierce determination as she is in water on a treadmill...just trying, trying, trying. (next week I will take pictures of her at PT, but it was all just a little overwhelming yesterday and today) All of this makes me appreciate every step I can take, every run I can go on, and my two feet that land flat on the ground.

It's become so much more than these gifts of strength that my sweet dog gives to me. It reminds me that there are human beings out there with these exact same struggles, and I feel for them in a way I never could. I now can see a glimpse of what their fight must be like, and just how exhausting the will to walk must be.

I have faith...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sun, Wind, and a 5K

OK, so 16mph winds aren't that strong...I was hoping to report that we ran this morning in 30mph winds. Nice try.

I was so excited to be part of the Got Guts 5K this morning. If you have ever read my blog, you know that I am not a short distance runner and don't really have any speed. So my expectations were low, but it was a trail 5K and it was for a great cause: Celiac Disease. I work with a number of clients that have Celiac Disease, and my client was the race director so I was thrilled to be out there supporting.

I ran into a bunch of fun people right when I arrived: Julia, John, Brenda, Dan, and Brent. I then saw Charles. I tried to convince him to run a pre-race loop with me, but he has already done so. Off I went for a loop around the course...a great grass/dirt cross-country course: 1 hill in mile one, and a good climb from about mile 2-2.5. The weather was not overly warm, but the wind was stirring. I was happy to not be on the road. Before the start, Paul arrives on his bike to cheer. How fun to have him there! I told him to get by the last climb and yell at me there :)

We lined up for the start, and I met Kristen who runs with Charles. Just from what Charles had mentioned I knew that she would be too fast for me, so when she asked if I was running fast today I said, "not fast enough for you." I suggested she take off with Charles and then pass him later. Whistle blows and off we go...a bunch of people totally sprint by me, and then like 2 minutes later slow down. I quickly go from about the 10th woman to the 3rd. On the only up and down where you can see the front runners, I see that I am about 45ish seconds behind Kristen and Charles. She seems awesome! Not long after we turn a corner, I see Charles not too far ahead. I catch up to him and run behind him for a minute. Then I go around him. Then we head downhill before the last climb; he passes me there... I stay just close enough behind, and stay right behind him on the climb. As I come up to the road for the last 1/2 mile, Paul yells, "go get him." Well, I did but probably because he needed a second to back off so he wouldn't have his usual 5K finale (he told me about this right before the race). All in all it was a fun time! Did I mention that Paul loved the Gluten-free treats and we enjoyed the box of muffins I took home. (Brent and John took a box home too!!)

A few things I realized: cheering and thanking the volunteers is not the way of 5K running...I should probably run harder; my legs actually don't mind the hard running; and I have probably overdone it just a tad for having strep throat earlier this week.
Wednesday - got antibiotics (felt terrible)
Thursday - rest, work, rest
Friday - 18 a bit quick + work
Saturday - Felt the 18 after being sick (throat, everything hated me a little)
Sunday - 5Kw/up + 5K (21:08, not bad, but might have run better if I could breathe??)

OK, I get it long report for a 5K...but it was actually fun to push like that. And just a side note, I took my friend Catherine with me the entire run as she is in Houston. I am thrilled to say that my family and friends are safe and making due without power!! I am very thankful our prayers were answered for them to be safe!

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

One of the Best

Yesterday Paul and I both took moments to reflect the loss of a very good man. For those who knew him, or have met him, the tragedy stung. He was a skilled athlete, a doctor, and a great person. Every encounter we ever had with him was positive.

Here are some words he had posted:
"My Goal in life is to fill every minute of my available spare time with as many fun things outdoors as possible, during the time I have left on this Earth."

Here are the final words he wrote in the registers at the tops of the peaks he climbed the day of his death, as recounted by a lady up in the mountains:
My husband and I helped look for David Boyd the morning he was found. We were climbing Little Bear. We were asked to look for him after we crested the ridge of Little Bear. They told us we were the first ones up there and what we should do if we saw him. Unfortunately, we saw the Search and Rescue folks lowering him down by rope as we descended the peak. He did summit Little Bear on Sept. 3rd and wrote in the register "3rd peak today!". He summited Ellingwood that same day and wrote in the register "Hammer Time!". And, he summited Blanca too, on Sept. 3rd and wrote in the register "Cool Place!". We climbed all three of the mountains on Sept. 5th with such sadness and regret.

As he was alone in on the mountain, we will never know for sure what happened, but here is what we know:
They think that Dave fell twice, once and maybe broke a leg or ankle and sent the 8 signals, then tried to move and fell the 150-200 feet and what ultimately killed him was his rib punctured his lung.
Dave activated his distress signal o/a 9:18PM on Wednesday.
The search and rescue did not get notified until 9:30PM on Thursday, a full 24 hours later.
The rescue team found him ~ 10 hours after that.

In Memoriam: Dave Boyd These photos are just a small account of how tough he was...

Paul said it perfectly: We're so independent and sometimes under-appreciate the value of the buddy system.

Catherine, yesterday, found a cross and flowers and put it in his yard. The cross said "God Bless This Family."

What a great man, what a sad ending...