Terii’s Cycling Babble

It’s a Bitter Thing – Regret
March 13, 2013, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

Yes, this is going to be one of those gloomy posts.

Regret is not something I’m accustomed to. I have enough hang-ups and difficulties without adding that one to the list. Disappointment. Anguish. Fury. Frustration. Sorrow. Plain ol’ depression. I feel them all and even combinations of them

I’m not sure why I’ve been able to excise regret from the repertoire while others cling on like a combinations of duck tape and super glue. Or, maybe, I have felt it, but it’s come and gone like a flash of lightning. Bad decisions, even ones that bordered on life-ruining, I accepted as painful lessons. Learn from it, try to remember the hard knock and resolve to avoid it in the future. But clinging to the misery of it? Wallowing in the endless strings of ‘how could I?’ or ‘I never should have?’ or obsess about how desperately I want to change the past? It simply doesn’t happen and its been that way even back when I was barely in my teens. I recognize the past is past and cannot be changed. What was the use in wasting energy on it when my plate was full of things in the present to be dealt with.

Yet, now, I’m getting a taste of what other people deal with.

What brought this on?

Sunday, as I strolled through a grocery store for dinner fixings, Nadina called. She wanted to let me know that the results from the sample the other vet had taken from the wound when removing the stitches. The bacteria was a common sort, with no special resistance so the antibiotics would work fine. She still wanted to see us for a follow up, was Tuesday okay?

I’d begun tentative plans to go with Jens to the southern part of Sweden. It would have been a business trip for him, but a new area for Loke and I to ride. However, getting and keeping Loke healthy takes priority. So, I told her Tuesday was fine.

I sent Jens off on the train and arrived at the clinic at 8:30.

A little odd looking...

A little odd looking…

I didn’t have a long wait. Nadina immediately checked Loke’s toes, had me walk and trot him around the waiting room to watch his paces. Then we settled into an exam room. Nadina wanted to outline Loke’s status in full and discuss it all.

The bacteria that had infected his foot was the same which had caused his severe ear infection. It is an extremely common sort indigenous to the skin of most mammals. The virus which caused the bone tumor? Also very common. The fungus? It turns out it wasn’t really fungus. Their detection methods were giving a false positive for fungus because all other tests to get it to grow or find out what sort it was resulted in nothing. It was simply a product of a bacterial infection, probably resistant to meds, packed around the tumorous bone.

Then she drove to the heart of the matter. The root of all Loke’s problems is his allergy which has wrecked his immune system. In any living creature with a normal, healthy immunity, the bacteria and virus would never be the cause of the infections he’s suffered. Nadina even appeared certain the difficulties with the furball’s anal glands could be traced back to the same immune system problems. She said he’s probably so sensitive to the triggers now that any amount might send him spiraling into a series of infections. We need to be very careful what we feed him or what dropped bits he snatches up.

Once that part of the talk was done, I mentioned that Loke sometimes seems a little hesitant to put his right foot down. She immediately checked it and then moved on to test the range of motion in all his joints.

My lovely furball is starting to show signs of arthritis. She said it was very slight, but recommended we start him on supplements to slow the progression. She also assured me that for a dog his age with the type and intensity of his activities, it’s not unexpected.

The news of the arthritis is what’s pushed me into the shadow of this dark cloud of regret. It didn’t hit right away, but now it’s sitting perched on my shoulders.

Loke’s beginning to get old. I knew it had to happen. I thought I was ready for it. Yet, suddenly I feel the regret of things I wanted to do with him and didn’t. Never mind that often it’s been because I was treating his ailments or mine. The weather too hot for him to run without potential heat-stroke or too cold for me to sleep in a tent. Or, that I simply lacked confidence in myself, Loke or the trike.

I wanted to cover and miles of Sweden with the furball trotting beside me, nights camping out with the lingering light of the sun never leaving the summer sky. His antics and company keeping me smiling as maybe we rolled through parts of other countries.

I think what’s deepening the feeling that all of it is out of reach is the fact Loke doesn’t seem to be bouncing back from this whole episode very well. He ricochets around the apartment. He’s thrilled to death when I start getting the trike ready. He woofs and yodels when I’m too slow to get my gloves on. In less than a mile, the little hitch in his step worsens almost into a limp. He doesn’t pull. He doesn’t want to run much after the initial craziness. The long hill toward the river used to be where he’d stretch out into a good run 17-21 mph. The past 2 days, he’s barely broken 8 mph going down it. He’s never run so poorly even after 4 months of near inactivity when I couldn’t use the Trice in the winter.

It saddens me more than I can say.

Yet out the door I went again today. Partly sunny and 24 F. The March sun is wonderful though. The thin watery light of mid-winter is gone and warmth pours from the heavens like honey now that we’re having a bout of clear weather. With Jens in southern Sweden on business, I was glad when it warmed enough to go for a ride. It spared me from walking. Loke was bouncy as I got dressed, following me around like a second shadow as I took everything out.

Yet, within 200 yards, his fire settled and he hitched along at a trot of about 6.8 mph. Maybe it’s boredom, but I won’t know until I have a chance to ride somewhere new… or at least less familiar.

We’ll see. I need to shake this melancholy I’m in.


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