This morning we drove this girl to “doggy boot camp” also known as Board and Train with my friend’s Service Dog Program. She will be staying for a full month of confidence building, PA skills, and some task work. Stay tuned for updates and some big news on happening here.
What better way to celebrate, and get some training in, than at a local Mardi Gras parade and carnival? Terror’s Roller Derby Team participated in the parade again this year. I was definitely not able to skate or walk the parade but Yarrow and helped out at the booth handing out flyers and talking about Derby.
Yarrow mostly laid on her mat like a good girl while we watched the booth. We had a couple of snaffoos. There was a gentleman who would not take “no” for a answer when asking about petting (the public really needs to learn about service dog etiquette) and she had some puppy moments with a team mates dog who looks a lot like Freyja, but hey, she is still a puppy. It was a very active and stimulating environment for her so there was a lot to take in. Walking around, or should I say rolling around, was a little intense for her. A little boy rushed us with his light saber and glow sticks and that was a little much for both of us (nearly made me jump out of the chair). She decided blocking the chair so I couldn’t go was the best move LOL. But we got a lot of compliments on her behavior. A Police Officer stopped me to tell me what a wonderful dog she is, he just couldn’t stop saying how great of a partner I have. Made me really happy. We watched Tim in a Crawfish eating contest. Yarrow was a little put out he didn’t share with her (and he totally could have, he didn’t even win… poor puppy). I got to eat a crawfish stuffed baked potato which was excellent. I also experienced how people treat you in a wheelchair. It is different, very much like you are a child. Still we had a great time. I don’t know what the future holds, either for me, or for Yarrow. But I am hopeful.
Being a Spoonie my life is pretty full of medical appointments and procedures. Last year I was diagnosed with MALS (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome or Celiac Ligament Syndrome). The recommended treatment for this is a rather invasive abdominal surgery (6inch incision from my rib cage to my belly button). I do have a rather complicated medical history and my cardiologist is loathe to recommend surgery. As a final test I was sent for a Celiac Plexus Block, to see if my pain abated at all.
It is a relatively simple outpatient procedure, performed in a surgical center under general anesthesia (Zebras don’t react well to numbing agents). During my procedure I also had Sacroilliac injections as my SI joints are loose and deteriorated. The goal there was similar, pain relief. My block was performed on February 14th, Valentines Day.
If the block worked I should have been able to eat pain free for at least a day, maybe even a few weeks. The block did not work in my case, I had the same gastric pain as I’ve always had. Further confirmation that surgery is not a good choice for me. Good news and bad news I suppose. Unfortunately the SI injections caused a nerve reaction in my hips and I have had an increase in pain since the procedure. I have been working with my PT in an attempt to resolve the damage and regain mobility. Lesson learned. In the meantime I have been spending a good deal more time in the wheelchair.
Yarrow is 50weeks
Some new gear arrived so we tried it on. She is definitely growing, I had to adjust her harness. She hasn’t worn it since the Day of the Dead event, all of her outings have been in her other vest. I think the cape suits her well. It will definitely look nice at Ren Fairs. The halter is also new, she tolerates this style much better and it should make working alongside mobility equipment safer.
Some days I need a little bit of help but the wheelchair is too much, or just inconvenient to use. Enter the rolator. We purchased this primarily for use in places like Scarborough Fair where trying to use the wheelchair would be almost impossible but walking all day without help is almost impossible for me. Poppy thinks I bought it for her of course, she loves rides in the “wheely chair” and now on the rolator seat. I will be working on Yarrow’s heeling next to the rolator.
Well after waiting for 6months my chair finally arrived. Here is my super helper demoing it for me. Custom fitted, made just for me. Yarrow is not at all afraid of it, she actually works very nicely next to it. I am struggling a bit accepting that I need a chair. Some days I can still skate, other days I can barely walk. I know I need to utilize mobility aids to help save my joints on bad days.