Thursday, March 17, 2011

This and That and The Other

Having an injured back has been a very enlightening experience, reminding me that all experiences -- no matter how dreadful -- can have meaning if we are open to receiving it. Or maybe that is just a rationalization to try and cope?!

No matter -- I choose to find meaning (or make it up :), and the meaning I have found (made up) is a really interesting awareness of how pain/suffering creates kind of a vacuum, sucking all of one's energy/attention inward. It is just hard to feel available to anyone or anything else when one is trying hard just to cope with all the experiences of an injury/illness -- I had not really understood this before, and so it has been a valuable learning experience for me.

That said, I am happy to report *some* progress on my back (and my emotional availability). I have two related injuries. First, I have muscles that got torn -- this is the part that is better!!! Not 100% but definitely better :) :) Since those darn muscles were VERY hurty, this is great news.

The second injury is the three discs that are now bulging -- the symptoms from those are more related to activities, and so I can mostly manage that by paying attention to what I am doing. However, I will have to give those discs time to get back to where they should be, and that will take about 18 months.

Yes, 18 months of my life impacted because someone ran a stop sign -- she didn't mean to do it and I am not really mad at her because we all make mistakes but still -- 18 months of my life (at least) that I will have to be mindful of the need to not squish those discs like jelly do-nuts (that happy image is from my physical therapist :).

At this point I do not know what to think about all that -- except that it seems like a long time for a relatively low speed collusion -- and so I am focused on the happy reality that the muscles are no longer quite so pissed off (another excellent analogy from my excellent physical therapist)...

And so I have been doing what I call "adaptive agility" which is just designing sequences with limited running for me, and I have been tracking with Asia on very aged tracks so she won't pull so hard. Obedience is easy, and draft is as well as long as the dog is already trained. All that is to say that yes, we are doing some training in preparation for the Specialty.

Driving is one of the things that is hard -- sitting is not really a happy back activity, it turns out. So we are doing the drive to the Specialty in two days instead of one. We will leave on Friday, April 1, and so it is coming right up -- 15 days! Yikes!!!

Halo absolutely, positively LOVES to work -- she is happiest when we are training. At the Specialty Halo will be doing obedience, agility, brace draft (with Asia), rally, brood bitch class, and Veterans Versatility -- and that is a reduced schedule from what I originally planned for her! I took these pictures yesterday -- notice that the snow is gone and we can once again train in our arena!

Montana Mac is not going to the Specialty this year but he is going to be in his first ever agility trial in April so he is getting ready for that -- he is such a great athlete and SMART!!! Every time I train him, I tell Dear Husband yet again what a great working dog that Montana Mac is...

This is Montana Mac just running up the hill to the house -- he thinks the Montana lifestyle suits him quite well :)

I have re-discovered the need to be gentle with people -- we never know what they are dealing with in their lives. What seems to be distance or rudeness may only mean that all their little life soldiers are needed to cope with some unseen injury/illness/concern, and they do not have any left to tend to whatever needs we have.

I hope that you are having an excellent week but invite you to reach out and help someone else have an even better one...


  1. Hi Mary-Ann,

    I know I've mentioned this before, but acupuncture for the back, I swear by it and it will shorten that 18 months...

    Terri and Peaches who will do her first official trial this weekend!

  2. Thanks Terri and GOOD LUCK this weekend -- please let me know how she does and send pics for the Blog :)