Terii’s Cycling Babble


January Wrap Up
February 1, 2015, 7:12 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

After the awesome ride on 24th, the weather stubbornly remained uncooperative. Jens had to travel so all of Loke’s walks fell to me. Cycling him on Monday and Tuesday (26th & 27th) was a no go. Too many errands. Appointment with the doctor on Monday, the need to drive to Stockholm area for more reindeer for Loke, vet appointments and such. By the time everything was done, there wasn’t enough light to go ride.

At least the vet and I settled on a treatment for Loke’s foot which didn’t involve antibiotics. She took a careful scraping to look at it. Instead of finding the expected yeast, she found bacteria. It would seem that the anti-fungal shampoo was doing it’s job, but germs had moved in to keep it from healing up. So, she gave me a tube of antiseptic cream.

Jens was back on Wednesday. By then I was desperate to ride. In spite of eating better, my cholesterol levels were up. In a ‘healthy’ non-stroke prone person, they wouldn’t even bother to treat it, but in me they want it down. Since my diet has improved, the only other reason I can think for it to happen is I’ve been riding so much less. I’m guessing walking for more than 1 to 1.5 hours a day isn’t enough to counter pedaling for 3-6 hours a week.

So, on Wednesday, with no major errands to attend, out the door I went for a ride. Loke was thrilled with it. Me less so. It was above freezing and raining pretty good. Of course, the weather being what it’s been if I keep letting it stop me…

So out I went. Miserable from the get go. The 6-8 inches of snow covering the slope up from the storage was an obstacle. Holding as much water as soaked sponge, it was hard to push the trike through to the top of the ramp. Even my awesome Icebug boots slipped. Gave me images of Sisyphus and his boulder.

Once in the parking area, the rain increased. Such a delight to sit on a plastic bag over slush while wrestling with all the things necessary to save my feet from frost bite. It kept my rump out of the icy mire, but not my legs. Damping and shivering from 35 F rain, I was finally ready to go.

Miserable, miserable, miserable

Miserable, miserable, miserable

It was a hard slog. All the ice and snow packed down on the streets and paths had turned into a thick slush. In most places, it felt more like pedaling through damp, churned sand. I had to work hard for every foot we covered, my studded rear wheel slipping several inches for each turn. The rain pattered against my helmets brim and wind pushed droplets onto my glasses.

Bless his furry cuteness, Loke did his best to help. The rain was enough to aggravate me, but for once, he didn’t seem to mind it. He was just too happy to be out and moving with the trike. No sign of limping from the little wound the infection had made on his foot. With less than 24 hours of treatment, it was hard to see if was working, but at least he hadn’t worsened.

Free and clear!!

Free and clear!!

The bad surface conditions just sucked the strength and will to pedal out of me. I cut it shorter than I’d intended and made the turn back toward the storage. It was going to leave us with less than 3 miles. At least the last half mile along Svartbäck’s Road was blissfully clear of ice and snow. Rather the cycle path on the western side of the road was, the other had the same layer of sand-like mush the rest of the ride had been plagued with.

Arrived back at the storage and put everything away. After locking up, I started digging for my car keys as I walked. No key. Panicked, I went back into the storage and looked through every bag in and around the trike, looked over the floor. After carefully emptying the handlebar bag where I knew I’d put the key, the sinking realization it must have somehow fallen out.

During this panicked frenzy, Jens called for me to pick him up from the trainstation. I had to admit the loss of the key. Given I’d already had lost my house keys earlier in the day, he was peeved. Me? I was in full blown panic.

Panic gave way to resignation. I locked back up and started to plod through the rain, my eyes scanning along the areas I’d ridden. Jens called back and asked where I was. He was surprised when I answered, ‘Walking the route to look for the key’. Of course, he wondered why I didn’t just ride it again. I couldn’t handle the struggle getting the trike back out. It would have taken me 20 minutes or more and meant sitting in slush to do the shoes again and… I just couldn’t do it. Besides, walking was slower which meant less chance that I’d miss spotting it.

I found it about .75 mile from the storage. It was laying on the side of the cycle path in the soggy snow. I picked it up and started trudging back. The walk back was when my body really started to complain. At least Loke was happy. Running back and forth on the flexi-leash with plenty of time to sniff for other dogs and small critters. To say, Jens was shocked I found it is an understatement.

To add to the aggravation of the loss was that I had very carefully tucked the key in the same pocket with my phone and wallet. The area it had fallen out was no where near where I’d taken the first iPhone photo of the ride. Generally, I just chuck the key in a random pocket on my handlebar bag, often forgetting to zip it shut. It often seems that when I try to be careful of something, disaster happens. Be neglectful and careless, all is good. *eye roll*

After that difficult slog with a laughably short ride followed by hellish walk, I decided to take a couple days rest. I was going to aim for another ride on Saturday for Loke and I. Maybe even see if we could talk Jens into driving us for some where fresh to roll around.

Fate had other ideas. Friday had been a nice quiet day. A few walks with Loke as Jens had flown to Denmark (or was it Finland?) for meetings over the day. The fuzzy was as bouncy as ever and still thrilled to death to be chomping on boiled reindeer for each and every meal. Jens came home about 6 pm and we walked to the local grocery for us to get something for dinner. Loke still was fine and got into nothing during the walk.

About 10 pm, we began to get ready for bed. In the kitchen, I was scooping more reindeer in Loke’s bowl, when Jens commented from the livingroom, ‘Loke’s not in there watching you.’ I turned to look and sure enough, empty kitchen.

I took the bowl into the living room where Loke sat, looking rather miserable. I held out the bowl, ‘You want this?’. He turned away, with a sort of swallowing motion. If he’d been a person, he’d have been saying, ‘Oh, GOD no! Please! Take it away before I hurl!’

I set it down in case he felt better later and wanted it. 50 minutes later, he threw up. His dinner was still untouched in the bowl. I got up to clean it and went back to bed. About 1:30 am, he threw up again. Jens got up and cleaned it. Most of the night, I could hear him doing the swallowing thing, trying not to be sick again. His stomach made the loudest noises. He had trouble settling, which I think was because his stomach or intestines hurt.

I woke around 5 am because it was so very quiet. Getting up, I found Loke utterly flat on his side and he didn’t so much as blink as I came up to him. I’ll admit to a bit of fright as I gently shook him and finally blinked while swiveling an ear. Took him out for a walk and he seemed to perk up a bit. Oddly, he’d kinda swerve in front of me and stop to look into my eyes. I think he was trying to tell me, ‘Something’s wrong. Make it all better.’ He’s always been the sort of dog who comes to me or Jens when he has problems. Gets tangled in his leash? He stands quietly and looks at us until we fix it. When we would give him a Kong, he would nose at it for a few minutes and then drop it in our laps to get the goodies out for him. Chewing a raw hide? He’ll bring it over to us to hold when he couldn’t get a good grip on it to chew.

We walked to the end of the median but when I turned back, he wanted to cross over to the little park. So, we did. On the walk back home, he suddenly had it from both ends. Even after it was over, he stopped a few times and would try to sit or lay in the snow which is unusual for me. It was clearly uncomfortable, even painful.

Back home, woke Jens up. As we talked, Loke still would try to sit or lay, but just couldn’t settle. Poor furbaby was groaning and sighing. It was only 8 am and the clinic didn’t open until 11. I was too worried to wait.

So, Jens called the Uppsala University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. They could see him right away, even recommended it as Loke was lethargic as well as nauseous. So, Jens dropped me off at their new building. No reason for both of us to be there. The vet nurse asked if it was okay that a student would see Loke first. I didn’t mind. Loke wasn’t in severe distress, just uncomfortable. Taking a little time to let the next generation of vets get experience was no problem.

The student made friendly overtures to Loke, which he warily ignored. After that, she took copious notes as she asked about the progression of his current difficulties and also showed she’d looked at his files by asking about his allergies. She gave him a look over and then went to report to the vet.

The vet came in. A very nice woman. She also examined Loke, asking questions which I let the student answer from her notes. I hardly had to add anything. The vet wanted to admit Loke. IV hydration and 24 hours without food along with some meds (anti-nausea and pain) to make him more comfortable. She wanted to run tests, though that would have to wait until Monday as all their labs were closed over the weekend. Most important of those was a very detailed ultrasound to check his intestines. She asked if they could have some of Loke’s reindeer for later Sunday to feed him rather than risk an abrupt change to his diet. I also had Jens bring Loke’s foot medication.

So, that’s how things stand now. I hope the vet calls today. I may have Jens call them to see if they need yet more reindeer for the fuzzy. Part of me feels a bit better about him being in the hospital. They have more direct access to specialists than our vet clinic. Steena has been trying to get a response from specialists via phone or e-mail for over a week. Maybe we can figure out what has been plaguing my fuzzy for over a month now. Get it fixed. He’s not a young dog any more. It’s harder for him to bounce back from illness than it was 5 or more years ago.

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