Monday, October 24, 2016

Stella Ella Recheck number who knows

We are officially in remission again.  Well, without confirmation from joint taps or blood work, but I think KSU knows how much this has been costing me, so we are going off of symptoms alone.  I did see the same Dr and student again today which was very helpful.  While everyone has been awesome, it has been quite the roller coaster seeing different people each time.

Andrew went with me and was quite the help.  He even talked with both the Dr and the student extensively about his Stella Ella.  He walked her around the building, sat with her, and took her potty for me (with my supervision although I had to pick up the poop:).  I see 4-H with stella in his future for sure.  

The plan moving forward is this.  Taper one drug at a time starting with Pred.  That is fine by me, I hate the crazy symptoms.  I would rather pay more money for a drug with less symptoms, than a cheaper drug that makes my dog a demon.

Let Stella set the pace as far as exercise.  I casually mentioned she wanted us to throw the ball constantly now, so we are going to try leash walking again and some ball throwing.  If she is sore, we cut back.

I will go back in three weeks and see the same attending and hopefully the same student.  I really like consistency.  We are all on the same page and it helps so much.

I really hope this is the final push to her being well again. The spark is back in her eyes again, and the Dr. mentioned the fact that she went back into remission so quickly, that that is a good thing.  The funny thing was, my actual appointment was for friday and I totally spaced on it and had her old appointment in my phone, so showed up at 10 like normal.  When they couldn't find me in the system ( and did find me for friday) they quickly moved her over to today so I wouldn't have to come back.  That is service for you!  Thanks KSU Vet Med!

T minus 2 weeks till my second 50K attempt!

Another week closer to 50 K number two!  We are in another epic heat wave (hello fall, where are you?).  I just feel like summer is never going to leave.

Monday:  Rest day.  Said good bye to my mom and stepdad.  Thankfully andrew didn't really understand they were leaving, so he wasn't too upset.  Hopefully soon he can go visit them in Tennessee by himself!

Tuesday:  Planned 6 miles with hills.  Woke up with a not so happy tummy.  Since both of my favorite hills are in town with no places for a pit stop, decided to just do my 6 out on the country roads and sprinkle in some fartleks.  Sadly to say, that didn't even happen, as my tummy just wouldn't cooperate with the plan.  Made one pit stop and had to run like hell to get home in time for pit stop number 2.  Got my 6 miles in, but no speed work or hills, unless you count the fast finish to the bathroom as speed work.

Wednesday:  Bike ride!  Chasing the sun since it sets so early.  Major sad face.  I am not ready to put my bike on the trainer again!  Add on the early sunset and the fact that it is still the harvest meant lots of big grain trucks on the road bringing the soybeans in to the Co-op and scaring me to death.  I need to get my bike outfitted a little better to handle me riding in lower light.  I need a blinky light for the back and big lamp for the front!

Thursday:  6 miles planned.  Got up and it was rainy and cold, so I opted to go back to bed, which meant I had to run post work.  Usually, that is no problem, except in my new lab, I was completing a project that had time points where I collected samples every 30 minutes, and our growth chambers are upstairs.  That meant all day I was running up and down two flights of stairs every thirty minutes.  To say my legs were dead was an understatement.  My legs were super toast, and it took a lot of convincing to get them to behave for 6 miles.

Side note: I am continuing to run with Deuce, and he is doing so well!  I am so proud of him for being able to step up and hold on to this mileage.  Before, he would run beside me or even behind me.  Now that his fitness is up, he is always right in front of me, just like his little sis.  Now if I could just quit calling him Stella when we run #mombrain.

Friday:  Cross training/strength training.  Does holding a four year old while standing in ridiculously long lines waiting for five pieces of halloween candy count for something????

Okay, let me back up.  It was homecoming for the KSU wildcats this weekend, and it was trick or treat down in Aggieville too.  If you don't know, Aggieville is the bar section of manhattan, and is where I lived in graduate school (kidding, sort of).  They have a trick or treat session around Halloween, in which some of the businesses hand out candy.  You stand in the longest lines ever invented with toddlers/little kids/babies and collect candy.  After standing in line for over an hour and getting four pieces of candy (and andrew was super good at waiting, I was not) I told andrew I would buy him a whole bag of candy of whatever he wanted, just so we could  not stand in line anymore.  He agreed, so we got a prime spot for the homecoming parade, and he got to burn off some steam by running around with other candy infused kiddos in the closed off streets pre parade.

The parade was fun but long, but he got even more candy and got high fives from about every girl in every sorority walking behind their floats.  Let's just say the red hair is a chick magnet.  Post the parade, we headed down to fuzzy's tacos to eat, and then we had some ice cream from Cold stone for desert because well, us parents hadn't gotten any of the candy, so we deserved something for waiting in those horrible lines.  I am just sad that Halloween has come to this.  

While I am super grateful to the communities for holding these types of events during the day, where kids can trick or treat safely,  it makes me sad that Andrew will never get the joy of going door to door and getting everything from popcorn balls to pennies, to full size candy bars that the little old lady down the street handed out. 


Anyway, as we were leaving, we caught the beginning of the band pub crawl, which is my favorite part of being down in aggieville on a game day weekend.   Andrew got a high five from willie the wildcat, and got to run around with the silly band kids!  I am secretly hoping he will be a band nerd just like me!

Saturday:  Planned 10 miles.  

I may be smiling, but it was forced.  I had yet another not so good run.  My legs still feel like they are running threw goo and my body just still seems tired.  I have yet to have that magical run really that I normally have that signals I am recovered.  I know the last race/run was hard, even if I count it as a glorified long run, so it will take longer, but I took time off and didn't run and then slowly returned.  Maybe not slowly enough:(

Post the kind of crappy run, we headed to the pumpkin patch.  Andrew had been with his class, but we wanted to go as a family since it is so much fun.  This is his I am over doing photos face. 

We had smores at the patch and we decided they were so good that we needed to have them at home as well.  It was a perfect night with fire, marshmallows, good friends, chocolate, and little bit of beer :)  Fall (I think) is finally here and we are surely enjoying it!

Sunday: Planned 5 miles.  Had to do this one later in the day, around sunset to be exact.  It was another beautiful fall day and we took full advantage of it by working outside all day.  Again the run was just eh, despite the nice temps and no humidity.  I am ready for magic and unicorns.  Hopefully that will happen on race day!!!!

Another week of kind of running and kind of tapering.  27 total miles of mostly not so great runs.  One more week body and then you get some time off this time I totally promise.  Of course this is my favorite time of year to run and it is getting darker earlier so hard to hit the bike post work, but I will do whatever my body needs to get it into a better position for marathon training for my April marathon.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

T minus 3 weeks till 50K number 2

Time to get down to business!  Back to training for my new 50K.  While this will be kind of like a super long taper rather than training, I would rather arrive slightly undertrained than injured.

Monday:  Rest day.

There is a giant pumpkin at the entrance to Hyvee that we HAVE to take a picture with every.single.monday.  I was hoping they would sell it by now, but they took the price tag off of it so thinking it isn't for sale anymore.  

Tuesday:  5 easy miles with melly.  This was her first run back since the race and my third. My legs are starting to have life again, and it feels great!  What doesn't feel great is getting back into the groove of getting up at 4 am.  URGH.  I do love the alone time and the time to get stuff done around the house, but pass the caffeine!  My body sure was loving the extra 3 hours of sleep every day.  Funny story.  SO there is a river near our rural road we run on.  We can hear air boats and geese down there at times.  We were running and heard what sounded like a whole ton of geese taking off from the river.  It was so loud that we stopped running and realized, that wasn't the sound of geese, but the sound of a HUGE pack of coyotes!  We picked up the pace considerably, and then a pack on the other side of us starting answering.  Holy moly there were a ton of coyotes in both packs, and we were surrounded!!!!!  Let's just say we ran with purpose the whole way home!

Mom hand made andrew's costume

Wednesday: My parents rolled in to town to take Andrew to the pumpkin patch, and to hang out with us this week.  I had planned on doing something, but we ended up just hanging out and eating.  There will be much eating when they are here, and I will probably gain back all the weight I have lost lately.

Thursday: Planned 5 miles post work.  Melly and I headed out to run in her hood and get some hills in.  My legs are really starting to feel like normal finally!

Fascia busting is no joke

Friday: We all split up and went separate ways.  I went to KSU with stella for her recheck and to my chiro for my recheck, and mom and my step dad headed to the pumpkin patch with Andrew.  I will write a separate post about Stella, but basically KSU has changed their minds and they do think she is in full blown IMPA again.  She is going to go back on high dose steroid AND cyclosporine, which I quickly found out is very expensive.  I am super upset, as I have already borrowed money once and now am loading up my credit card, but her health is more important than anything else right now.  Even though it was raining lightly, I think Andrew had a ton of fun with grammy and granddaddy.

Saturday:   Planned 5 miles.  What a day.  First, we got up early and loaded up to head to Marysville to see a real steam engine.

I read about this on someone else's FB page.  This is the 844, and it is traveling to ironically, TN.  We couldn't see it at any other time Saturday, due to soccer, so we had to get up and head out to catch it.  While it was slightly earlier than it was suppose to be, and left much earlier than it was suppose to, we saw it pulling in while driving up, and got to see it leave the station.

Steamies have LOUD whistles!!!!  It was so cool to see a part of history this morning.  After seeing it leave, we loaded up and headed back to Wamego to soccer.  This was our last game.  Bittersweet for sure.  While I have been frustrated on how to motivate this age kiddos, we have had some fun, and bonus, andrew even scored a goal today!

The best part about this soccer season is that all of the kiddos improved in some form or fashion.  I hope they all have great seasons this spring.  Will have to see what Andrew wants to do about next year when it is closer till time.

Sunday: 12 miles planned.  It was super humid, like 100% when I headed out.  I meant to get out at 6 am, but it was more like 6:30 before I finally hit the road.  

This is the picture that I sent my coach.  Even though it was in the mid 60s, it was super humid which totally zapped me.  I hit the end of 12 out on the road about a mile away from the house and yes, I had my mommy come and pick me up:)  That is how bad it was.  

I decided to take a chance and take Deuce with me and have my hubby on standby if he needed to be picked up.  He did AMAZING!  He did get in every puddle he could, but whatever kept him cool was fine with me.

Someone got some extra special love while I was gone.  Grammy love is the best.  Unfortunately, she is lame on her rear leg again.  I guess the disease was affecting the front two, and the rear could possibly be an injury.    One TPLO coming up when I can get a second loan.  Sigh.  

Post run we headed to the zoo for a morning to see the animals.

This was the last day to have my parents here.  I am very sad for them to leave.  I just wish they would move to KS!!!!!

Well, another week of "training" in the books. I say that loosely, because i am not really sure what we are doing or what we can accomplish at this point.  27 miles total, so I guess you could call it a super long taper?

Have a great weekend and next week!  One more week of "training" and I get to taper yet again!

Stella update.....It's back. Why I hate IMPA

Remember how i was just at KSU vet med with stella about two weeks ago for her monthly check up?  Remember how she was lame on not one but two legs?  Remember how we all thought that this was NOT a flare up (me included).  Remember how she spiked a fever not once but twice once we tapered her to 10 mg every other day? Well, after consulting with KSU, they upped her pred back up to 20 mg, once a day and asked for a recheck in two weeks.  Two weeks was roughly this last friday (october 14th).  The vets at KSU now think that she is in full blown flare up, as she is now limping in not one but three legs.  I honestly don't know how she is motoring around some times, since it is one back leg and both front legs.  Here is the plan thus far:

1.  Back on 20 mg of pred for an extended period of time.

2.  Codeine for pain, even though it makes her supremely loopy, but as needed.

3.  Add in another drug, Cyclosporine.  One week of this stuff was 88 bucks.  Sigh.  I have no clue how I am going to pay for this other than the credit card.  We did source a slightly cheaper version but it was 80 bucks for 30 pills.  That is 15 days worth, so 160 bucks a month just for this pill.  Apparently,  this is a second immunosuppressant that is suppose to be milder than pred on her body and with side effects, but I have yet to notice a difference in the pred hangry and the peeing, so the jury is out on that one.  Maybe we will see it happen when she goes lower on pred???  I honestly had a break down in the waiting room, while I was waiting for them to bring her back.  I am at my limit with Tony trying to get his new business off the ground and us trying to buckle down on our budget.  This blows our budget out of the water honestly.  This was also after we had to buy a new bed because the springs were poking out on Tony's side of the bed.  

4.  Another recheck in 2 weeks, which means another day off of work and more money.  Friday's visit was 200 bucks, and I am sure they left something off  of the bill as they always do.

5.  The only good thing about this visit was I did get the same attending as the last couple of visits, and he did come into the room yet again and talk with me.  He reminds me of Alan Rickman, but don't tell him I told you that.  I asked if he would do a sit down consult with Dr. J (stella's PCV) and I , but he said he only does phone consults.  Whatever, I just need my vet to know what the plan is.  He did agree that checking the protein values in the urine is probably mute right now, so there is one less test we have to do.

6. No joint taps this time, but will probably have to do them again before we reduce the level of pred and or cyclosporine.  They did a CBC to look for general inflammation, but I have yet to hear the results of that.  I probably scared the poor student with my emotional break down and she doesn't want to call me and have me blubber in her ear.

I just want stella healthy and not lame again. I don't care if she ever runs again or catches a frisbee, I just want her happy and healthy and I will sell my right kidney to finance this.  Immune mediated diseases suck big time and i know that this is all a big guessing game.    That is all.  Time for a long run and some meditation.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

I am not really sure what to call this week

This week has been all about recovery...... and Beer.  Well, I have to de-stress somehow if I don't have my running to help!  Don't worry, I am talking about one a night, and not every night, so don't worry just yet:) Fall is my favorite time for beer, because I am one of those odd people who really does love pumpkin and harvest flavored beers.

Yeah, haters going to hate.  

Does anyone really know what a harvest tastes like?  Anyway,  my plan was to take this week off from running with a few bike rides sprinkled in.  So far, I have gotten two bike rides in and two runs in.

I hadn't planned on running, but Friday was GORGEOUS, and I just had to get a few easy miles in.  Fall is FINALLY here and I hope it stays.  I LOVE this weather!!!!!  

Plus, I need to start getting this guy up to speed since he is going to be subbing for stella.  Stella seems to be doing better with the IMPA, but now she is back to being lame.  I feel like the steriods give her a false sense of pain reduction, and she over does it, and then hurts again.  I hope KSU is right and that she really does just have an "athletic injury", and that it is just going to take time before it gets better.  I hope we are not dealing with erosive IMPA.  Leave it to stella to be that 1% of the dog population.  

Got another slow run in on sunday.  4 miles again with this big dude since the weather is nice and cool.  He got the zoomies a few times, and I just had to laugh.  No pain per se but a few little twinges of what was and what could be if I am not careful.  

A little side note about shoes.  I ran in my lift shoes that have two stabilizers for Konza, and that is when my foot really started hurting.  I decided to run my 50K in my regular Kinvaras with no lift and no stabilizers.  I had little to no pain, but was also taped quite well.   I ran my first slow easy run in my kinvaras.  No pain per se, but the shoes feel like they are done.   My feet are craving a little bit of cushion right now.  Today, I ran in some other shoes that I have that have both cushion and stabilizers.  The cushioning felt wonderful, but the stabilizers really aggravated the side of my foot.  I think even if I need stabilizers and a lift to correct my imbalance, for whatever reason, I am going to have to heal this injury in regular neutral shoes.  Here I come my beloved Saucony Iso Triumphs!  

I am getting fairly nervous about how we are going to structure the next couple of weeks.  I have exactly three weeks of training as I type this.  I feel like I am still in recovery mode, and may be for the next week as well.  I don't want to push it and possibly anger any of my old injuries that I have been nursing.  I have not had an ache or a pain post run last sunday, and I have been super shocked at that.  I want to keep it that way.  When I did my run friday night, the tibialis anterior tendon was tight and kind of sore. Nothing bad, but I have been icing just in case.  I am heading back to the chiro next week and am seriously considering needling.  I know, I know, I said I would NEVER do that again but if it could help, then maybe I need to get melly to come and hold my hand and grit it out.  

Friday, October 7, 2016


thanks to Lindsey for posting this one on my wall as it is perfect!

Okay, so I thought long and hard about this one and well, here goes.  I need a redemption race.  I know I can do this distance (50K that is) so I need to prove to myself that I can finish and finish strong.  I talked with many of my friends who are more seasoned runners and they all said GO FOR IT!  I also consulted with my coach and chiro.  Well, my coach was supportive and I think my Chiro's words were something along the lines of you are crazy, but I think i prompted him to call me crazy, so there is that.

This was the original race I wanted to do, but it didn't fit into both Mel and I's schedule.  I have decided to give the 50K distance a second chance and try this race.  It was a bit pricey to enter late, but I just can't end this year without a success in this distance that I have trained so hard for!  50K take two!!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Stella update

Just a quick update.  Stella has slowly started showing symptoms of a flare up.  She spiked a fever the first day we were on the every other day pred dosage (10 mg every other day).  I have called KSU and they have upped her dosage back to 20 mg a day to see if that takes care of her fever.  I am sick to my stomach with worry about her.  We were doing so well and then this.  I hate seeing my very active little girl reduced to nothing.  She is so sore and stiff, and I am sure scared.  Well, I am scared too.  Scared this nightmare will never end.  On one hand, we know how to treat this.  On the other hand, the symptoms on high dose steriods are horrible in there own right.  Just after taking the higher dose of steriods, her fever had come down, but she is still very stiff and immobile.

An update to an update:  Meant to publish this last night.  At 1 am stella was panting so bad that I had to lift her off of the bed and carry her in the bathroom to lay her on the cool tile.  I don't think her fever was higher but laying in the bed with all the covers was making her very hot.  I got her some cold water and she seemed to cool down. I left her laying there and went back to bed.  At 4 am I awoke to her standing over me (had gotten in the bed by herself) staring at me willing me to feed her.   She seems back to normal this morning and back to being pred hangry. Three lakes of pee downstairs (Which may have been an assist from Harley as well).  Will keep everyone posted.