Terii’s Cycling Babble

Where Has It Gone?
December 26, 2019, 7:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m not sure where my passion for riding has gone. I’m hoping it’s just buried under the burden of watching Loke’s decline into the final days of his long (for a husky) life. Every year since getting my Sprint 26, allowing me to ride through the ice and snow of winter, I’ve bolted out the door for a roll on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, often both. Same for New Year’s Eve day and New Year’s Day.

Not that snow and ice are a common problem the past few years. This year, started to look like as if we were going to have a real winter. Now, except for daylight hours of less than 6 hours, I could be sitting in Mississippi on the Gulf Coast in the States. Quite a few days have been in the ‘summer’ range. I’ll grant, it’s a cool summer range, but still completely plausible for Swedish summer. Hazel pollen is out and causing havoc with Loke.

But, I degress. I’ve just not been feeling the riding vibe or much else. I’ve felt apathetic about pretty much everything. Jens, bless him, has been trying to get me motivated to choose a Christmas gift, probably a computer monitor as the one I have has been through 2 or maybe 3 computers. It’s gotten kinda dim in a way that turning up the brightness doesn’t correct. A yellowish tint to what should be crisp and white. Something a little larger would be nice to facilitate my 3D work.

Also, still haven’t gotten my big 50 years-on-this-planet gift either.

I’ve been hardcore slacking on my gym attendance for more than a week too. It’s a sort of ‘meh’ triggered by the holiday hours. I don’t feel the pull to go to the old gym location which lacks the machines and tools I use for my current workout routine and the larger location I’ve become accustomed to hasn’t been opening until 8 am. Sloshing around in a workout with smoothie in my tummy or starving until 10 am, neither appeal.

My energy levels are down, a result of cutting out animal products from my diet.

I never thought there’d be a day when I’d be able to say, “I’m trying to be a vegan” with a straight face without following it up with a howl of laughter and ‘APRIL FOOLS!’

My husband’s youngest sister found out yesterday while talking with her parents. ‘Jens and Terii are coming to dinner tomorrow and she’s trying to be a vegan!’ Becca couldn’t believe it. “Terii? Seriously?!”

When she came over to get something out of storage to take back south with her, she was very effusive in her amazement and even how proud of me she was that I was making the attempt. That was very nice to hear.

Don’t get me wrong, Jens has been incredibly supportive, but not verbally so. When I started dabbling my toes in the whole diet shift, he came back from a shopping trip. In his bags, he had a meat substitute made from peas for me to try something with and a big can of chocolate protein powder for me to toss into my smoothies. So, while tight lipped about my choice, he’s been a man of action to show his support. Come New Year, he’s been talking about joining me.

I’m trying to expand my diet within the vegan parameters. A bit tricky as I really detest beans except for split pea soup. Oh and curry. I despise curry to the point I’d rather chew a bar of soap liberally sprinkled with lemon peels. I would probably dislike the taste less. Just something about it tastes bitter and unpleasant. Yet, seems about 90% of the vegan recipes I find are curry. *shudders*

But dinner yesterday was tasty with my in-laws. My darling mother-in-law made a batch of meatballs from scratch from a soy meat replacement. Mashed potatoes with the dairy replaced with oat substitutes. With some lingon preserves on the side as I would with the same dish made in traditional fashion and I could hardly tell the difference. Was awesome really.

When I get back into riding, I’m not sure how much of an impact the diet change will have.

I do have a determination to get back into riding at some point. Still, I miss staring out the window, imagining how it would be riding that road or spotting places that would make a good space to camp if I were cycle touring. Wondering about alternative routes if the road is unsuitable. I’ve not been doing that.

But we shall see what the New Year brings.  I suppose, a lot of it comes down to Loke.

Fading Echo
December 10, 2019, 4:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yes, again I’ve been very silent of late. Truly, it’s because I’ve not been riding. I could say it’s the weather and such, but that can be overcome.

The Rugby was fun to watch, but frustrating as New Zealand wasn’t able to pull off the hat trick to walk away with the cup again. Just too lackluster and I don’t think they’ve jelled as a solid team since the retirement of a slew of their best after the last cup.

I’m simply in a funk. I guess that isn’t really so simple, but there it is. I have no energy for even daily tasks and have to bully myself for pretty much everything. Just getting laundry folded is a titanic struggle and that’s necessary. I can go without riding. Throw in short daylight hours.

It’s harder to drag out of it now because I think I’m in a Christmas funk. Christmas has had a lot of bad to it over the years of my life. Jens has worked hard to make sure my Christmases are quiet and pleasant as possible though we don’t open celebrate, but the stuff still lingers.

Mostly though, I think a lot of this is Loke. I feel I have to be here for him. He can’t be left alone for long. Many days, I feel bad enough when I have to go shopping while Jens is at work and I make sure he’s only left alone for perhaps 2 hours at the absolute most for one time during a day. It’s hard to watch my furry, constant companion fading.

He still has good moments. Going on walkies on a new route I found. He especially likes it when Jens takes him the full length where I drop them off at one end and pick them up at the other 2 miles away. A pretty good distance for a 14+ year old dog with neurological issues. It takes them a while because of Loke’s pace, but he still loves it.

Then there are the bad times. One entire day where his hindlegs just wouldn’t cooperate. He’d try to get up and manage it on the front, but the back wasn’t cooperating. I thought that was going to be the end, but as usual, the evening rolled around and he improved though he stayed sluggish and lethargic, at least he was able to function.

He has also become even more sound sensitive, so bad at one point he couldn’t eat his kibble out of his bowl because the noise of the hard little bits rattling on the metal made him jerk around as if being electrocuted. I had to dump it out on the floor for  him. Snapping fingers. Sound of a door lock turning. Crunch of gravel under foot. Let’s not even get into what crumpling plastic or paper does to him, but that one has stayed consistent.

Sunday, December 8th, Jens and I were going with him for the walk and as we were pulling into the parking spot, he began to give these soul wrenching howls. It only lasted for 5 seconds or so, nothing obviously wrong. He’d stopped by the time we got over our shock and Jens got the car parked. He wasn’t stuck in some weird, painful position in the car. He moved as well as he ever does once we had out of the car. No explanation, but it had me sick with worry right up until I picked them up at the other end.

Most days, he’s sluggish, weak, and unstable, but evening rolls around and he finds energy and strength to be a PITA.

In all this though, I’ve noticed one thing. The good is never as good as it was in the previous days and if one averages out the bad in a given week, each is a little worse than the week before. If the sound of an echo was his good moments and the silences between were the not-so-great or bad, he’s fading into the silence.

The good is never as loud and clear as it was the time before. The bad is always a little deeper and longer. It takes a toll watching this happen as I care for him in his decline. So much energy and combined with the fact that I can’t bring him out for rides and I save the time to leave him alone for necessary things like buying food or appointments, I just haven’t been riding.

I guess it’s also possible deep down, I feel it’s a sort of betrayal to leave him to do what he used to love so much when he could be enduring a seizure alone in the apartment.

It comes out sounding so bad on here, but really, Loke’s not in pain near as I, and the vets can tell. He has good appetite. Mornings and to lunch maybe sluggish and unstable, but in the evenings, he’s bright-eyed and relatively strong. He’s still happy to go on walkies most of the time, though yesterday he seemed less so. Perhaps another fading.

As long as there’s more good and it’s of acceptable quality, than there’s bad of pain-less, then he’s still with us. It can be just so hard.