Thursday, 3 November 2011

Plans, Poorly Pup and Purple Pee

Had quite a stressful few weeks with a very poorly Albert. After our last trip to the Lakes he started randomly really yelping. It was obviously something to do with his head but neither we or the vet could figure out what it was. After 5 days of him still really crying with pain even on painkillers I took him to a friend of mine who's a vet specialising in orthopedics. A suspected disc problem was diagnosed and we were sent home with different pain killers and steroids for another 2 weeks, and orders not to let Albert run, jump up or go up or down stairs. Mmm, that'll be easy. Albert, doped up on Tramadol sat in the back garden looking at the lovely sky, the lovely birds, the lovely grass for hours. He normally sleeps upstairs on a sofa but wouldn't settle downstairs and spent ages headbutting the stair gate we'd set up, not good, so we decided to sleep downstairs. How long could it take? 5 weeks later and I'm still on the floor in the living room...Anyway, X ray and MRI confirmed that he'd got a fractured cervical vertebra (mainly congenital with a mis-shapen vertebra) and a ruptured disc with the disc material pushing on his spinal cord. Surgery planned with my friend Graeme, the vet, explaining that in extremely rare cases the disc material can stick to one of the arteries next to the spine, which can rupture when the disc material is removed causing an arterial bleed, giving 2 minutes before the dog dies. Yes, Albert had an arterial bleed which was quite spectacular by all accounts, but Graeme stopped it within a minute using a gauze he'd only used once before. That was 3 weeks ago, so far, so good, he has quite an impressive scar and my naughty Albert is slowly returning.
Not being able to leave him for very long I haven't been out for any real mileage, just a few 5 milers and some speed and hill sessions with clients. I have started doing daily circuits which include a lot of plyometrics and bodyweight exercises; there's been a lot of sweat and swearing in my kitchen, and Dave's away. I'm also back on the daily beetroot juice which I've been drinking for 2 years regularly and do think it helps my breathing, although what comes out the other end is probably visible from about purple.

Trying to make plans for 2012's races, but nothing's really grabbing me. I was so completely focussed on the L100 this year, don't seem to have the same obsession for anything so far. I'm really pleased to be running for Team 9Bar again next year. I'm addicted to 9Bars and they very kindly provide me with training/racing kit and great nutritional advice from Liz at 9Bar. I was thinking of the Fellsman but it's on the same day as my Gran's 90th Birthday party so better not, eh? I'll be at the L100 again but cheering and beering Ant, George and the Fairy who've entered the 50, and Dale who's coming back for seconds in the 100, yay!