Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Upside Down

This whole week turned upside down. Friday night Zac and I came home late to find one of our greyhounds missing and not greeting us at the door. I ran outside and found Bella lying on the ground in the dark in the yard, struggling to get up. She only has 3 legs as the front right leg had to be amputated due to osteosarcoma (bone cancer, common in greys). We carried her inside and her back left leg wasn't working. Off to the emergency room where they did X-rays and didn't find anything broken, but felt it was a spinal thing. The neurologist in Tucson wasn't supposed to be back until Monday. We took Bella home, where she drank lots of water but wasn't going to the bathroom. This time we went to the emergency vet where the neurologist works, so they could evaluate her for a second opinion and see if she was having bladder issues. Her bladder wasn't full yet (most likely she was dehydrated) but they kept her there as the neurologist was probably going to come in as 3-4 more cases showed up. That night he put her under anasthetic and did a dye scan and found some issues in the spine. Most likely a contusion from a fall.

We have her back home, and have to help her get around as she isn't stable on 2 legs. Recovery will be slow, and we have PT we can do on her to help her recovery and hopefully she'll regain the use of her back leg. This, of course, throws a huge wrench into the Tahoe plans. Given race fees and non-refundable condo rental, I couldn't walk away from that much money. I began to scramble and make a new plan. Zac will stay home and take care of Bella, while I fly to Reno on Thurs night. The bike was my main issue. The bike box we have is too large (95 linear inches) and all the airlines have changed to either 80 inches, or 115 (for $100 - $125 each way!). Fedex and UPS were $130 - $150 shipping each way. I made a quick call to Kyle Justice to see if they still had the TTG bike box, and he was kind enough to measure it for me. Turns out it was about the same size as my box. So I called Liane and asked when their departure and return times were. I didn't want to saddle them with an extra bike if they were going to be on vacation the week after the race. They have to get back early as well, so Liane awesomely accepted being able to drive my bike up there. Whew! Huge stress relief there. I made my plane and car rental arrangements and should have everything set. I'll get back Monday afternoon, and will take care of Bella the rest of the week during my planned vacation time. Zac is running low on vacation, so he'll have to head back to work. But he has a huge sinus infection right now, so it's probably best he doesn't travel anyways. The rest of our schedules after that are up in the air right now, and will depend on how well Bella is doing.

So it appears I will be following a 3-4 week taper plan, given my head cold earlier this month, and now a sick doggie. I will be going into the XTERRA nationals very undertrained, but they always say that's better than overtraining, right? I just want to survive the course and finish, and given I can't remember when I last swam, biked, or ran, it will be interesting.


Holly said...

yikes, not a good week for Bella. She's in our thoughts, mostly Alex's (her doggie is Bella, too). Have a good race, at least she is in good hands until you return, tired and whipped and hopefully smiling :)

Joyce said...

I hope Bella is feeling better soon! And best wishes in Tahoe - at least you'll be well-rested before the race!