Terii’s Cycling Babble

And The Results Are….
October 27, 2015, 8:54 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

… in of course or I’d not be writing this yet.

Loke’s recovery from the emergency surgery has gone smoothly. Just a bit of tiny little whines a couple times the first couple days. The sort that are so faint I’d stop, tilt my head and wonder if I heard it.

For a couple days, he was fairly calm. Happy to go out and glad when I or Jens decided we weren’t so distracted that he had to have the cone on so he wouldn’t sneakily try chewing the stitches out, yet content to be a rug otherwise.

I have to say, Loke’s finally gotten a high level of skill navigating our small apartment with the cone. He avoids most obstacles quite deftly. When he does scrap and bump it, it’s because he’s trying to determinedly wedge himself into a tight space. But door frames and furniture edges at the fringes of the more open spaces of our living space, no problem.

Some weeks, Jens works from home a lot. Last week (19th to 23rd of Oct), not so much. Being unable to leave Loke alone with or without the cone of shame meant, I couldn’t ride. The days are quite short now, so even once Jens got home, I didn’t feel I could go for a ride.

Friday he worked from home and I was poised to take advantage of it. Looking out the window around 8:15 am, the views were all blue skies and calm trees. It was even above freezing. I waited. I was going to ride, but it was going to be with purpose beyond ‘miles’. I was going to turn it into an errand day so I was going to wait until the time shops started to open.

Annoyingly, by 9:45 when I started getting dressed, the sun had disappeared behind a sheet of clouds. It was utterly gray when I rolled out.

I waffled about the route I wanted to take as I set out along the first leg of the River Loop. Part of me wanted to go through the countryside, but didn’t feel like taking the available ways between the shopping area out in Stenhagen to the City Forest. I settled initially for the more direct route along the rail tracks.

From there, I started tending to some of the errands. Conditioner which also let me tell the woman who does my hair about Loke’s most current health scare. She’s been friends with my husband’s sisters since they were all young girls, so she’s more than ‘my hairdresser’. She said she would ‘hold her thumbs’ (literal translation of the Swedish version of ‘cross my fingers’) for a good result.

Then it was onward to other things. I popped into another HemTex (Home Textiles) location to look for flannel sheets (no luck) and for bath towels. I found some I liked the feel of… and of course, they were white and only in white. I don’t want that lack of color, so the search continues. Also popped into the American food store. Neither Charles or his wife were there, but one of their ‘partners’ instead.

After the errands were done, I zipped through the train station area to connect with the cycle path between parkland and railtracks.

The ride had been going pretty brisk, though I was making an effort not to hammer the pedals too hard. Loke has always done a good job at that. He pushes me for frequency and, since the stroke, greater distance than I might otherwise, but tempers my speed and, therefore, how hard I go.

My body was doing his job for him that day though. My hips especially were uncomfortable no matter how I wriggled around in the seat for good position.

It’s quite annoying how random that is. Maybe it’s something to do with the neurological damage since the stroke. Some rides are fine. No pain in the feet or hips or anything. The ride on Sunday, October 18th on the 3rd leg of the Mälardalsleden was like that. A few knee twinges on some of the steeper climbs, but hips and feet felt great even by hour 7.

Friday, October 23rd, my right hip ached with each turn of the pedals with twinges in the left. My left foot felt like it was on fire and threatening to spasm into a charlie-horse level cramp. I pushed on through it.

As I crossed town and was nearing the area my husband’s parents used to live, the edge of the cloud cover was inching across the sky from the north. I sped along the cycle path there, under the limbs of the trees clad in gorgeous yellow as the sun began to emerge once more. My plan to go more directly past the mall at Granby to get home was diverted by a tangled mess of construction. Forced to turn back, I added a bit more distance by detouring up through parkland between residential areas and emerged out by Vaksala Church.

Vaksala Kyrka

Vaksala Kyrka – April 2010

Vaksala, one of the premier landmarks on my rides in the Uppsala area. I smile every time I see it’s spire rising above the trees whether rolling in the vicinity of it on the trike or car.

Of course, I do that with most every church in the area that I consider ‘an old friend’. Gamla Uppsala, Vaksala, Börje, Danmark and others. If it’s a church I’ve never ridden to, I feel wistful and ‘one day’ whispers in the back of my head.

Past the church, I rejoined the cycle path that ducks under the busy roads in that region. It was quite exciting to go speeding down one of the underpasses. It’s got a small series of tight curves and it felt as if my tires were just holding the pavement as I whipped around them at velocities I can’t do with Loke.

Sheep watched blankly as I rolled by the 4H grounds, trying to figure out of they shouild run with or away from me. I had another moment to laugh breathlessly at the sharp descent from there to the parkland that lays between the 4H area and a dense cluster of apartment blocks.

It's a Green AND Gold Way!

It’s a Green AND Gold Way!

By the time I was speeding through the greenway toward Vattholma Street, the skies were once again clear.

The sunlight shining through the yellow and gold autumn leaves was breathtaking. I slowed for more time to admire it.

This has been the most glorious autumn we’ve had in years. I can’t remember when we’ve had one with so much color that hung on for so long. The previous 4 or more autumns, it seemed like the moment the green took the slightest tinge of yellow in a few leaves, all of them would plummet from the trees at once. From green to yellow to bare limbs in 2.4 minutes.

Not this year. It’s been yellow and gold with splashes of orangey-gold that has clung on to the limbs with astounding endurance. I’ve reveled in it.

By this writing, we’ve had a windy day or two, so now some of the trees are heading to the bare side, but quite a few are still wonderfully colorful for a few days more.

For non-Swedish speakers - Walking and Cycle Tunnel close for repairs

For non-Swedish speakers – Walking and Cycle Tunnel close for repairs

On the opposite side of the school grounds on the way back to the storage, I stopped to scowl at something set to one side of the underpass beneath the 55. That section of cycle path and the underpass is a major throughway for me on about 90% of my rides. There are other ways through, but they are more complicated and somewhat less interesting. Well, except for the Grave Mound path. Only half of that is less interesting, the other is very interesting. Adds a couple miles too.

I arrived back at the storage with about 12 miles exactly. 12.03 if I were to be nitpicky.

I’d started out under gray skies, but had about half of the ride under sunshine and blue heavens. Going fast down some of the hills made me smile in spite of the ache in hips and foot.

I had missed Loke though. Several times when I made turns, I called out the direction. Others I found myself reaching out with a hand to ruffle fur. Those moments left me with a pang of sadness and worry.

I should have gone for rides on Saturday and Sunday what with Jens’ job and restrictions about Loke being unable to run or be left alone, but there was just too many other things to do. Not to mention watching if the All Blacks (New Zealand) was going to make it to the Rugby World Cup final. Which they did. Go All Blacks!!

We’re now 8 days since the bloody incident and surgery. Loke’s starting to get twitchy. He’s still fairly quiet for the most part. At least with me he is. But now, every time he hears something at the door, he’s lurching to his feet, clearly hoping for something to happen. Once Jens gets home, he’s a bit pushy with him. Poor hubby being bossed out the door by a bored husky.

Waiting for the results has been hard. One of our neighbors who has a darling little dog saw us walking recently, asked how we’ve been. I told her. She immediately hugged me and said she’d ‘hold her thumbs’ for good results. I asked if she’d like me to come tell her when I got them. Her answer was an emphatic yes. We’ve been talking for years when our paths cross several times a week and we know and adore each other’s ‘fur children’. Of course, she’d want to know if Loke was going to be enduring cancer.

A rare cuddle moment made sweeter by unknown biopsy results...

A rare cuddle moment made sweeter by unknown biopsy results…

Yesterday evening, while I sat on the couch, watching TV, Loke hopped up and flopped across my legs.

Those moments where Loke joins me on the couch without me asking are rare. Once a week if I’m lucky. He’ll walk by and lean against the side of the couch for some attention fairly often, but up on the couch to cuddle, not so much.

I enjoy each time, even when I sigh in exasperation because he’s trying to occupy the same space as my laptop. Still not knowing if it was a dangerous tumor made this time even sweeter. I took this photo and shared it on Facebook, saying as much.

A short time later, the house phone rang. I lurched to my feet to answer, disturbing a snoozing Loke when my legs were so rudely yanked out from under him. Only the fact that the animal hospital still has the landline as the primary number got me moving to reach it before they hung up. Really should get Jens to change that. He’s listed as Loke’s primary owner, so only he can do it especially since I still have my maiden name.

Yep, it was the animal hospital. A different vet than I’ve spoken to before. This woman had an Indian accent to her English. The biopsy results had just come in. It was a tumor and… BENIGN! My vision got all blurry with tears.

The exact term of the tumor type tripped blithely from her tongue. There were abnormal cells and some necrotic (dead/decaying) tissue which was why it ruptured, but absolutely NO trace of malignancy at all.

She asked how Loke was doing, happy to hear he was fine and the wound was healing cleanly. I explained that I’d try to call to book an appointment, once early in the day and again around lunch time, but no call back. Was it possible to book a time then to get the stitches out later in the week? Her computer wasn’t set up for it, but she would have reception call me. And they did. Friday, October 30th at 3:45 pm, Loke’s stitches will be out and I will take him for a run Saturday!

I gave a huge sigh of relief and went to hug Loke. When I looked on Facebook to share the good news, I saw someone had asked on the Loke photo when the biopsy results were coming. I answered, ‘About 41 minutes after I posted the photo’.

So, it looks as if there will be more Sundays with my furry. 100, maybe more, and I will make as many as I can as wonderful as the one on October 18th, 2015. Here’s hoping for at least 2 more years with my cycle partner!

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