Well, this week has sucked, big time. It should have been great, starting with a long weekend as it did. But, except for Saturday, which was OK, it has really been a stinker. I'll start off by saying I went for an easy 4 mile run on Saturday morning. Pretty slow for me at an 11:15 pace, but I hadn't been for a run in almost two weeks and I let a generally slower runner in the club just carry me along. I wasn't disappointed - it felt good, with no pain or difficulty. I didn't have any particular plans for the weekend. I was probably just going to hang out, maybe do some cleaning since I was so busy last weekend and hadn't been picking up after myself. The really bad stuff started when Shannon, who has been a bit reluctant to jump up onto things, actually started to have a definite limp in one of her hind legs. I looked and poked and didn't see a definite injury. She just didn't want to put her full weight on that leg. It seemed to get better as the day went on, but was worse when she just got up from a lie down. I thought perhaps it was a touch of arthritis. I spent most of the weekend going back and forth about seeing the vet. We were just there two weeks ago for a sonagram on her heart. It was bad news. Her heart is worse than it was six months ago. But she isn't really showing any symptoms, so the vet is not recommending anything yet. I just wasn't ready to get another serious diagnosis and was hoping it would just resolve itself. Sunday I woke up feeling like death warmed over. My head was pounding and I had a sore throat. Just great. The same thing happened over my last three day weekend. I think I'm doomed to spend my holiday breaks with some kind of nasty bug. I spent most of the day lying on the couch and catching up with some of the television shows I've recorded on the DVR. So after a full day of feeling awful, I took Shannon out for her evening walk. She was feeling peppy even though she was still limping. But when I wasn't paying attention, she saw one of the local feral cats that she likes to chase. She took off like she totally forgot her leg hurt. When she stopped, her left hind leg was hanging. After a minute, she started to use it again, but it was definitely worse. I called the vet Monday morning and they had me come right over. After an exam, I was told she had probably torn or damaged her cranial cruciate ligament, which is a similar injury to the ACL injury that football players are always getting. The vet explained that they would do an x-ray to confirm, but that was what he thought was wrong. There were two roads for treatment. The more conservative one would entail wrapping her leg in a bandage splint for 4 - 6 weeks to immobilize the leg. At the end of that time, hopefully, the ligament would have repaired itself. This method would be easier on her but probably would not result in 100% use of the leg. The other choice is surgery. From what I've read, this has a better chance for full recovery of the leg, but would take months and is, obviously, much harder on the dog. The vet felt that the bandage was a better option and if it didn't work, we could always consider surgery later. So Shannon spent the night at the hospital, since they had to sedate her to do the bandage and the vet wanted to keep her under observation to see how she reacted to the cast. She came home yesterday morning and I've been a nervous wreck since. I've had to watch her to make sure that she doesn't hurt herself while she gets used to maneuvering the cast through the apartment. I also have to watch her to keep her from jumping onto or off of things. So I've now taken an additional two days off of work, but haven't really been enjoying my 'vacation'. I'm still sick and now I'm exhausted. She's not happy and has a tendency to stand and sway in the middle of the room while whining. She wants up on the couch and on her chair, but then I worry that she will hurt herself trying to get off. I really hope this works, because if it doesn't I don't think I can take the additional recovery time that will come with the surgery.
I had a ball at the expo today. I was handing out bibs - if you had a green bib in the 7000 range, you may have seen me today. The expo itself was nice - not so many deals as I've seen in the past and I only walked out with a small bag of freebies and promo material. Some of the races advertising there were fascinating. I'm intrigued by the idea of doing 3 races in 3 days in Bermuda. And the Disney booth was cool - they give out such great medals for their races. I managed to see the video feed for the finish of the Olympic trial while I was in the expo hall. Ryan Hall is amazing. Such an easy win in only his second marathon. He broke the Olympic trial record by 1 minute 17 seconds. He was so happy as he came through the last mile with over 2 minutes on his nearest competitor. Congratulations to Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell, who also made the team. Unfortunately, the news spread through the expo that someone had died during the race. Ryan Shay, a 28 year old runner, who is, coincidentally, a good friend of Hall, collapsed less than 6 miles into the race. He was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later. The photo to the right has Shay in the center. What a terrible tragedy.