Monday, May 31, 2010
In the meantime, I'll track here posts that are made relating to late April through May so everyone can see what updates are made and when they were backdated to:
April 27, 2010- Pre-birthday, April 27, 2010
April 28, 2010- California Day 1, April 28, 2010
April 29, 2010- California Day 2- Happy birthday to me!
April 30, 2010- California Day 3- April 30, 2010
May 2, 2010- California Day 4- May 1, 2010
May 7, 2010- Missouri/Oklahoma Adventures- May 6 & 7, 2010
May 8, 2010- Kristyn's graduation- May 8, 2010
May 15, 2010- Charity Saturday with eco-friendly towels.
May 17, 2010- What I never thought I'd wear...
May 22, 2010- The Saturday my desk threw up paper
May 23, 2010- Vices + work stress = not a good situation
May 24, 2010- Stupid achilles update.
May 25, 2010- A new hobby.
May 26, 2010- Bella May 2010
May 27, 2010- The obese twins.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Look how cute we are, feed us, feed us!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
She requires AT LEAST one hour of straight sprinting a day. A walk does not cut it. If you're walking, you better plan on walking for at least two hours otherwise she will make you pay later in the form of whining relentlessly or destroying things (AKA: the car, no kidding, this month she was left in the car while we were in Trader Joes for TEN MINUTES and jumped over the seat and chewed...and successfully destroyed... AFTER she had already exercised).
And when she does sprint, she goes straight to the stinky mud puddles so that then she is completely filthy so you have to spend another half hour washing her so you might as well have just gone on a walk in the first place to kill two birds with one stone (your exercise, her exercise). BUT, if you do walk, be prepared: the next day will be HELL. Her energy will be THROUGH THE ROOF and she will need to run for at least TWO HOURS. Oh and if her energy is through the roof given the fact that she runs 1-2 hours a day AT LEAST? (And trust me, she really does run EVERY.DAY)... Well, if her energy is through the roof, she plays the "I'll run off and you can't get me" game. Just when we think she'll listen and we trust her, she'll prove that oops, CAN'T TRUST ME, HAHA! No one is exempt from this game! And, as a sidenote, my friend who also has a boxer said that her boxer has NEVER had the type of energy level or health problems that Bella has. Well, you don't say.
AND. This month, you guys, she scared the SHIT out of my neighbor's 9 year old son. I won't go into details here because it's still freaking the hell out of me so much. But let me just say: the behavior was completely unacceptable. Completely.
Oh and the poop thing. She has to go somewhere every day because she STILL poops 7-8 times a day. I cannot even IMAGINE a dog that would only poop twice a day. The whole input/output thing, you know. Eat twice, poop twice. Not this dog. She eats twice and goes poop four times for each feeding. It is RIDICULOUS. She doesn't even eat that much! So she can't be left at home because a) her energy and b) she just can't NOT poop.
And. GAH! Another health issue. At her annual shot appointment the vet said that she has developed a heart murmur. Concerning because she didn't have one before and boxers are prone to heart problems. So OF COURSE this dog would fall into this new category of health problems. The vet was particularly concerned because not only was this a developed murmur it was a 3 out of 6 on whatever heart murmur scale. GREAT. So the solution? pay $1500 for an eco-cardiogram. Ha.
DOES THE VET THINK THAT THERE IS EXPENDABLE INCOME FOR THIS DOG?!?
Am I just cruel and heartless because I am refusing at this point? I refused to do a GI scope for her tummy issues because at least now her poop is solid and GOOD, regardless that she is going 8 times a day. And I am refusing to do the eco-cardiogram.
We pay out $200-$250 a month, AT A MINIMUM, for her to go to daycare on the days that Tim and I both work. We pay out $150 a month for her VERY EXPENSIVE dog food that she doesn't even absorb much of and shits out.... at a rate of 8 times a day. I can't even imagine what it must be like to buy a $30 bag of dog food. Oh, and add in the meds we have to buy for her on a monthly basis due to her severe allergies...and her yearly exam at a cost of $200 a pop. Just that alone is almost $5K a year for her to be "healthy." Last year? Anyone want to guess how much she cost us last year in all of her health problems? Over $8K. Not kidding.
I mean, I KNEW that a dog would cost money. Totally fine with it. But to the tune of almost $15K over the course of 2 years? No, I was NOT expecting that... I mean, that's a good chunk of money that we could probably find a lot of good uses for... Maybe I am just cold-blooded but I am done. No more tests, no more GI tests, no more no more no more. She is stable right now and that's about all we can ask for. And, more so than that, she is happy and FULL of energy. I will continue to pay for food and daycare and allergy meds but beyond that, it's going to take a LOT of justification.
I know I'm totally bitching right now but I guess I just am frustrated. And it's not just the money. It's just that it's SO much of everything... SO much time and money and effort. While I'm obviously WILLING to do it, I also feel frustrated by it because I have lots of friends with dogs and it's just not like this for them. I love her and she's a great girl and she makes me laugh BUT. She is NOT healthy, she never has been healthy. And she honestly requires a lifestyle that is often hard for to give to her...both in terms of monetarily doing test upon test for her health (without resolution, I might add, as evidenced by our GINORMOUS expenditures and zero outcomes from last year) and in terms of what she requires energy-wise and what we can give based on what we need to do for our OWN lives and jobs and other responsibilities. She would be an ideal farm dog where she could have acres and acres to run all day.
So Bella is good. Relatively. She is healthy. Relatively. I love her, I really do, and feel like I've just been a whiny bitch in this post but you know, I don't want to pretend like "oh Bella is just GREAT, doing AWESOME" when in reality, it's not always so picture perfect. Perfect to us is dealing with her every day and taking every day that we do have with her... while she is here and healthy. Perfect to us is realizing that we have a far from healthy dog that requires a shit ton (literally) of work, money, and effort. And at the end of the day, we reach a compromise. We can't always give everything but if she's happy and we are able to balance that happiness while staying attuned to our own lives, it's ok, even if that means she doesn't always get exactly what she wants in terms of running and playing for two hours a day and we can't always fork out more money to run test after test only to be told repeatedly, "We don't really know what's wrong with this dog." (Sentence that pretty much sums up our experience with vets in terms of Bella). I think that's about where we are at.
On that note, pictures from the month of May:
Sleeping with her buddy Calvin.
The memorial day weather here in Seattle was AWFUL. Absolutely horrendous. Like 50 degrees and rainy. So Bella and I went to the park and played fetch for an hour or so... wherein I got soaked and she got some energy out running through mud puddles. And I went home, cleaned her up, took a hot shower, baked and seriously contemplated starting a fire. But then the fact that it was MAY persuaded me not to.
Playing more fetch.
In the morning of memorial day, bored and whining... PLEASE COME PLAY!
And more sad eyes... I WANT TO PLAAAAAY.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I coerced Tim into going with me (not really hard as he had been wanting a bike too) and I can see this thought process going on in his head, like, "is she really serious? No way...." so he says, a little skeptically, "well, we can at least go get a bike rack for the car." Ok! So we pack up the dog and head to the rack store.
We find the rack he wanted and, score! They can install it right then. Sweet! And even better, we're getting the floor model so we don't have to do ANYTHING ourselves...just put the bikes on (that we don't have yet...) and go.
A picture of the rack in the store.
It was about a 45 minute-an hour install and we were right across the street from whole foods. So I ran to pick up a few things while Bella and Tim waited outside. Oh, and Bella decided to poop at a major cross street. This is only funny because at her annual vet appointment a few weeks later, the vet asks, "Were you guys at the corner of X and X a few weeks ago? I saw a couple that looked like you with a dog that looked like Bella picking up her poop and I thought her poop was looking really good if it was Bella!" Um, yep, that was us. With the dog that poos A MILLION times a day, regardless of the fact that it is much "better looking" poop than historically.
Anyway, after getting the rack we dropped off the groceries and headed to the bike store. I was convinced to get a specialized mountain bike because with a mountain bike, I can always switch out the tires to road tires. Plus, it's been YEARS since I've ridden (think Rainbow brite bike) so I was pretty sure I didn't want to start off on a road bike. Tim also decided to get a mountain bike as he has been wanting to ride in the mountain trails. Anyway, my bike? AWESOME. And of course all of the gear to go with them... bike shorts, helmets, computers to show how far a ride is, etc.
Putting the bikes on the new rack.
And another shot of strapping those babies in.
All in and ready to go ride!!!
Of course, when we got home, the PRINCESS BELLA was going insane so naturally she had to run first. Naturally. But, after that? First ride! Whoo! Um, let me just say. HOLY CRAP, what an awesome workout!!!! I have been missing out! There were lots of hills so that made it even tougher. But WOW at the end, I felt like I'd run a marathon and my quads were jelly. It was INCREDIBLE. And don't make fun of the running gear. It is AWESOME because it makes those silly bike seats not hurt my ass.The princess and I in front of the bikes.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I neglected to talk about it for the past few months, mostly because I have sucked at keeping this blog updated. BUT, I HAVE been treating the stupid thing. After my incident of getting frostbite at my physical therapy experience in January, you could say I was VERY reluctant to try any sort of physical therapy again. But, probably mid-February, my trainer Justin recommended me to a sports physical therapist that he knows and works with. After being able to run great for one week only to be back on the elliptical the next due to the return of the achilles pain, I emailed his contact (who my running girlfriend who also has an injury calls, affectionately, Dr. Death). I told Dr. Death that I wanted to get in ASAP because I was over this injury.
Next morning at 7am, I am in there. Justin said he would come along because he knows Dr. Death... and knew I would need moral support.
Uh? Could this be why my friend gave him that name? I laughed it off and then...
the treatment started.
CAN I JUST SAY, I have NEVER in my whole life, experienced such pain? I would do the superman stunt four MILLION TIMES versus this. And that HURT. Yes, yes, Renee, his name is INDEED Dr. Death.
I think I screamed "HOLY FUCKING SHIT" about 500 billion times. My clue should have been when he handed me a pillow first thing and said in his cute little south african accent: "you're going to need to hold on to this. Trust me." And patted me on the shoulder.
I mean, you guys, I was INVOLUNTARILY CRYING. It hurt THAT BAD.
Basically the treatment consisted of ultrasound which was ok but THEN after getting the calf muscle/achilles all loose, he took what looked like a freaking scalpel and JUST WENT FOR IT. Basically just DUG AND DUG AND DUG into my calf muscle and sore achilles. Hence the screaming and involuntarily crying into the pillow.
When that form of mad torture was over, I looked at Justin and he said, "Oh, those poor, sad, big blue eyes... told you you'd need moral support." At that point I was speechless and stunned by how freaking bad it hurt. That was followed by ice and stimulation (and I was assured 100 times that I wouldn't get frostbite this time).
Apparently, according to Dr. Death, the problem with my achilles stemmed from my calf muscle and it was a symptom of the calf muscle. He says he sees it all the time in runners and there's really no rhyme or reason why it happens and it could have been a problem for years but just decided to show up in my achilles for whatever reason when it did. Hmm. Good to know.
I was also given a "stick" in which I could work out the kinks/knots in my calf muscle tissue on a daily basis to help break it up and get better from the injury. Um, THAT HURT TOO.
Above: a picture of my bandaged leg after the first unbearable treatment... after the first time, the muscle and achilles got progressively better so the treatments didn't hurt as much.
So, anyway, I saw Dr. Death for a few months 2-3 times a week. I'd try to run and walk and the achilles WOULD STILL HURT. Eventually, around mid-April, he told me (and I actually really like and respect him, regardless of our pet name of Dr. Death), well, this isn't working. We need to get a new strategy because as much as I like you and like seeing you, I don't want to see you in my office with an injury forever.
Um, me either.
So he told me to sprint.
What? I don't think I heard that clearly.
Sprint. Run intervals. Sprinting. Go as fast as you can for minute intervals, then walk a minute, then sprint, up to a half an hour.
And I look at him like, you've got to be kidding me.
But at that point, I was getting desperate again (after NINE MONTHS of this stupid injury). So that night at the gym, I tried it.
I lasted for 2 minutes and got off the treadmill in tears. It was not good.
But the next day, I didn't even feel my achilles. Weird. So I thought, well, what the hell, I'll give it another go-around. I did the sprinting intervals for a half an hour and it FELT AWESOME. No pain, at all. WHAT?!?!?!
Following that, I ran everyday for the remainder of the month of April and got to the point that I was running 6 miles a day... still slow at a 10 minute mile pace but regardless, RUNNING, for 6 miles straight.
I told Dr. Death he was a genius.
BUT. All good things must end. I guess.
My "good" leg got a strain from all of that running in about mid-May. Apparently I hit it too hard, too fast. Bummer. And in the midst of that strain, the achilles started to flare up ever so slightly again. So, I was back to the elliptical walking it off and trying to heal. As I write this in June, I am running again (for the past 2 weeks), about 3-4 miles a day at a 10 minute mile pace... so far so good. We'll see what happens from here.... I'm hopeful that maybe, just maybe, this is the end of this injury for me, especially if I am patient and continue to start running again SLOWLY, without pushing it. The tissue all feels fine, it's just getting my body back acclimated to everything without injurying it. The goal is a half marathon in the next year and NO more injuries. I think it's do-able.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
(And, as an aside, since I'm writing this in June I can say that we successfully met the 5/31 deadline...and lived to tell about it...and were COMPLETELY relieved once it was over).
Monday, May 17, 2010
I was introduced to rain gear, hiking shoes (this was a serious testament to my devotion to being a true Washington resident), north face, REI everything. And re-introduced to massive layering. It was a FAR FAR cry away from my cute clothes that I had in Arizona when I hung out with the Scottsdale crowd and could just run out of the house at any given moment by wearing what I had on and throwing on flip flops. I quickly retired many of my "cute" clothes for comfort and warmth and LAYERS... fleece included. I also rapidly realized that living in Washington does not equal looking cute. It equals being WARM so who really gives a crap what you look like at that point? And if you were ever to visit, you'd see LOTS of north face, LOTS of hiking gear, LOTS of rain clothes. I fit in now, even though I will say, I still don't look like a total Washington person. I mean, come ON, for my sanity, I still have to wear SOME heels and cute clothes...even if it means that some days I freeze.
On the clothes note.
LET ME JUST SAY. This insanity just hit a new level last month. High or low, I'm not really too sure. Tim found these shoes. THESE SHOES. I saw a picture and I swear to god, I looked at him like, please, give me some of whatever you are smoking so that I can envision those shoes to look like cute Jimmy Choo's instead of whatever craziness you just showed me. But, alas, he wasn't smoking anything and these shoes are most definitely NOT Jimmy Choo. THE CONVERSATION ABOUT THESE SHOES WOULD.NOT.END.
It reminded me of my first camping trip (ever) that I took up here in Washington a few years ago when I was FORCED, DRAGGED AND BEATEN (ok, maybe not beaten but definitely forced) to buy Merrill's. Hiking shoes. GASP. I wouldn't even try them on. I mean, come on. They are such an ugly Khaki dirt color, why do they do this? Can't they at least make the color cute even if they don't make the shoe cute? Buying these Merril's was EPIC and it took someone a tremendous amount of energy to get me to even AGREE to buy them, much less look at them. Not mentioning names, TIM.
But these new shoes. HOLY HELL, you have GOT to be kidding me. After hearing about them incessantly for a while and how they are the new rage and they are so great for athletes ("especially runners") and there are all these blogs about how much people love them and they are so good for your leg muscles and BLAH BLAH BLAH (did I even listen after I saw the pictures? Uhhhh....yes....), I was DRAGGED into REI to TRY THEM ON. I thought I was going so a certain someone could try them on and next thing you know THERE IS A BOX OF LADIES' SHOES NEXT TO ME. I tried on these shoes, people. For 5 seconds. And promptly declared them as weird as I thought they would be and that there was no way in hell I would be caught dead with these shoes. EVER EVER EVER. Partly because I knew I would never live it down and partly because, I mean, come on, LOOK at them.
NEXT THING YOU KNOW.
"Hey, guess what? I ordered those SHOES! And some for you too!" (And a word on the ordering: no store has them in stock because they are THAT popular. Really. I know, it shocks me too).
And, did I just hear "shoes" plural? As in more than one pair? Maybe I am mistaken. Please LET me be mistaken.
But NOPE. The unthinkable:
Vibram toe shoes, thanks to Tim. Or you can call them monkey feet, I don't really care. Let me just say:
I have TRIED to like them. I have. They weren't THAT bad once I actually had them on. I mean, after they were ordered at $100 a pop, I figured I might as well just give them a shot, especially after I realized that since I have them, I might as well try. And I did some of the research on "bare feet" running myself and found that there actually are quite a few benefits. So, after deciding this, one day I decided, "I'm going to go on a walk in my toe shoes. We'll just see about this and how awesome they are."
I have never been so glad for a walk to be over. OW OW OW.
I had MASSIVE blisters all over my feet. Granted, I wasn't wearing "toe socks" so that was part of the problem AND my "breaking in" period was an 8 mile walk, which in itself was probably dumb and set me up for failure. But after mile 6, all I could think of was "What is the fastest f-ing way home otherwise I am going to sit down and cry and then I'll be the crying girl on the side of the road in north face and fleece and monkey feet." It would have been a sad, sad story and I can just see all of my cute, stylish friends in Arizona shaking their heads upon seeing the picture and going, "Wow."
So, as of right now my verdict is this: a) I can't believe I have a pair of my own monkey feet (What has my style COME to in Washington??) and b) maybe, just maybe, I'll like exercising in them someday. I actually think they could be really awesome for hot yoga, or yoga of any kind really. And I do actually think there is a lot to say for the bare feet running/walking. If I can get past the feeling of walking on rocks (there's not much padding, ouch if you have wimpy, un-callused feet like me) and having blisters, maybe, just maybe, I'll add these to my Washington wardrobe. My, oh, my how this definition of wardrobe has changed.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Aside from that excitement, that morning before I headed over the water to the university of Washington, I dropped Bella off at her daycare. And then swung by whole foods to pick up a couple of things and buy a tea for the road. While waiting for my tea, I figured I would be smart and go to the bathroom before sitting in my car for a little while. Can I just say I love the eco-friendliness of whole foods? Seriously?
In the bathroom were these "tork towels"... 100% recycled, totally eco-friendly. LOVE IT.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
A picture of my cute brother and I waiting for it all to start.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Here's Tim on Thursday night after we flew in- hanging out at my parents' house.
AND... a couple of weeks prior when we were back my mom had german chocolate cake for me for my birthday. This time, she had made angel food cake for me AND had fresh strawberries. Angel food cake ALMOST beats out german chocolate as my favorite cake.
After spending the prior night eating angel food cake and playing cards, I went on a run the follow morning through the woods by my parents' house. I ended up running about 5-6 miles and walking about 3 miles. It was a nice workout and MUCH needed before spending all day in the car driving to Tulsa. And yes, HOLY CRAP, I was running. I'll update on the stupid foot in a later post one of these days. On the run, there was a deer! Cool!
And another shot of him (her?) It was moving fast so picture is a little blurry.
I did get a great shot of the nice white tail. So cute.
Later in the day, we made our way to Tulsa. Somebody was worn out.... This picture cracks me up. I think he probably caught a few flies.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
After breakfast, we wanted to head back to our hiking trails to hike more. And since we now knew what they held, we had enough time to do a pretty extensive hike. So, after a stop at Starbucks in Laguna, up into the hills we went. That day we ended up hiking probably 10-12 miles. And WOW some of the trails that we found were INTENSE. We were tired by the end...and sun burnt! Whoops, sort of forgot about the little thing called sun when it's been totally MIA in Washington.
After hiking, we had a few snacks with us that we noshed on while we rushed down to the beach. We had to get a few more hours of beach time in before heading back to cold Seattle.