Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Loss of My Co-Pilot

     I really wanted to talk about my physical therapy appointment from today, but maybe later, I wanted to talk about the loss of my Co-Pilot.  So this past week or so has been pretty tough for me.  Those of you that read my blog regularly know that I was kind of depressed with the speed bump my recovery took.  I was just starting to get over that when the "hard choice" had to be made last Wednesday.  My cat, Harley, aka kitty, had been having eye and ear issues, so Mandy called and set an appointment at the vet for him.  He was almost 16 years old and really starting to show his age, but I never thought the day was going to go the way it did. 

     So before I go on, here is a little back story.  In 2000 I was living in Dayton, Ohio going to school for commercial photography and really wanted a pet.  My roommate at the time had two cats that I got along with pretty well, but I thought it would be hard to bring a dog into that situation.  I was planning on moving out when my lease was up and getting a place of my own and I didn't want to pay the extra fees they tack on to your rent if you have a pet and I thought I couldn't hide a dog very easily from the landlord, but maybe I could a cat.  While I was out one day I stopped into the pet store I would go to when I had my freshwater aquarium to look around, when I came across a bunch of kittens.  There was one in the bunch that responded to me being there, so I asked to hold him and he immediately curled up in my arms and started purring.  I never really was a cat guy and I never owned one, but living with the two my roommate had I grew fond of them and I thought getting my own cat would be fine to have while I was still living with my roommate.  I also thought, several of my friends in school had cats of their own and they were able to hide theirs from their landlords so I said what the hell and purchased him.

     He was your typical American domestic short haired cat with jet black fur and yellow eyes except for his left eye that had a small dark spot in it.  I took him to the vet the next day and despite his size at the time, the vet took one look at his paws and said he was going to be a big cat when he grows up, and boy did he ever.  Mandy and I use to joke because he weighed almost as much as our two chihuahuas combined.  He was the perfect companion for me, being just enough of an independent soul that he could cope with my long hours of my school schedule.

One funny story from those days was when he was a model for Elder Beerman Department Store.  Yeah you read that right, you see while I was going to school I did an internship in their photo department, where all the catalog and Sunday ads were produced.  The local humane society was to bring animals by for a photo shoot with some kids, but they never showed up.  I volunteered Harley for the job and a couple weeks later he was a famous model in the Sunday ads.

     The other story that I love to tell about him is about the night in my apartment when he sat and watched TV.  I was laying on the couch and he was laying on my side as I flipped through the stations.  Nothing was on that I cared to watch and I ended up just leaving it on some nature show on wolves.  After a few minutes Harley jumped down and sat a couple feet from the TV watching so intently, occasionally getting up on his hind legs and pawing at the TV screen and doing that thing when animals turn their heads to the side as if they are saying "huh, what is that".  When the commercials came on he would lose interest and roam around the room, but as soon as the show came back on he was right back sitting in front, watching.  This went on till the program was over and when I look back now on his almost 17 years with me, that was the only time I can remember him ever doing something like that.

     So back to last week.  I knew something was wrong the moment they weighed him; he had dropped a good 10 pounds since the last time I weighed him, and for some reason I still didn't think it was going to end the way it did.  The vet came in and did her exam and before you knew it, cancer came out of her mouth.  She pointed out that his thyroids were huge for a cat and was making it difficult for him to swallow.  I guess I never noticed, its not like they were protruding out so far, you had to know what you were feeling for to know there was an issue.  After she gave me all the options, she allowed me to decide the course of action while she spent 10 minutes with another patient.  I called Mandy and spoke with her about it.  Basically my choices came down to 1: spend a ton of money to absolutely confirm cancer and have him put down, 2: take him home and wait till he can no longer eat or drink or 3: put him down now.  I ran through my options and at the end of it, both one and two seemed pointless.  Either way she said with a large as his thyroids were there was little she could do and I thought it would be selfish for me to take him home and let him suffer just so I can have a few more days or weeks with him.  After a lot of cuddling and crying I made the decision to give him peace.

Our last minutes together

     I'll miss the cuddle time on the couch, the instant purring when I would walk in the room and a friend who was always there for me when I needed him.
Love you Harley

I had him cremated so I will have him wherever life takes me

Monday, February 15, 2016

Need a Place to Stay? GCM Host Hotels

     With the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon rapidly approaching, I thought I would share a little info for those of you coming in from out of town.  Toledo may not be the biggest city in Ohio, but with its rich history and wonderful attractions, it sure does offer some great things for tourists to do.  for driving directions to get to the starting line on race day: CLICK HERE


     Probably the most important thing is where you are going to stay while you are in town.  Well the GCM are pleased to welcome Ramada Hotel and Conference Center as the Glass City Marathon's host hotel. The Ramada Hotel is located on Secor Road minutes from the University of Toledo Campus. 

Ramada Toledo Hotel and Conference Center
3536 Secor Road Toledo, OH, 43606
Phone:(419) 535-7070
1.7 miles from 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, Ohio, 43606

     If there is no room at the inn, or you wish to venture out and lay out head at another establishment, then check out the list below for some other hotels that are reasonably close to the race.

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Holland/Toledo Area
6101 Trust Dr Holland, OH, 43528
5.0 miles from 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, Ohio, 43606


 Wingate by Wyndham - Sylvania/Toledo
5480 South Main Street Sylvania, OH, 43560
5.9 miles from 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, Ohio, 43606

 Quality Inn Toledo
3560 Secor Rd Toledo, OH, 43606
Phone:(419) 531-2666
1.8 miles from 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, Ohio, 43606

Radisson Hotel at The University of Toledo
3100 Glendale Avenue Toledo, OH, 43614
Phone:(419) 381-6800
3.4 miles from 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, Ohio, 43606

Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Toledo, OH
101 N Summit St Toledo, OH, 43604
4.0 miles from 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, Ohio, 43606

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Post Surgery Update #6

     Today was a gut check day for me.  I don't want to go so far as to say I am discouraged, but one might feel that way after having to pump the breaks on therapy.  Today was my 2nd post surgery follow up with the surgeon and since it is so close to my PT's office I scheduled my therapy session so I could go to that right before hand.  

     Since my last therapy visit I have struggled with my workout, mostly because my muscles just were not up to the challenge.  I did to much to fast and my muscles paid the price, which forced me to take a day off from my workouts.  The shitty thing is I was on such a high thinking that once today came we would be on to jumping and then, you guessed it, running! 

     I got to Alisha's office this morning and told her how my week went, in a little more detail.  I could tell she was a little concerned, which was confirmed when she said "maybe we will wait a week or two before jumping."  She had me attempt one jump and immediately I felt pain, but not from my hip joint, from my muscle.  I have this one area of muscle, the upper inner thigh, that constantly feels weak no matter what exercises I have done.  To give you an idea, think if you were to lay on your back with your legs stretched out flat and then keeping your leg straight as you raise it, that will trigger this muscle area.  Well when I attempted the jump, it triggers this muscle and as soon as I took flight I was in pain.  It was that that confirmed to her that we need to postpone jumping.

     On the other side of the coin, she was very happy with how my double and single leg squats looked just a week later, however she could see that I was still favoring my left side just a little bit.  We talked about my routine and where we would go from here.  I told her that the exercises that I am doing were working well for everything but that one weak area.  She added two new exercises with an exercise ball which will really work that area.  I could totally feel it in just the few reps she had me attempt for practice.  The down side to all this is the fact that we are going to give my home workout routine two weeks before my next in office appointment.  The next step is jumping and if I can't jump yet there is no point for me to come to the office.

     As soon as we were done I jumped in the car and headed to my Dr.'s appointment.  The medical campus was packed and it took awhile to get a parking spot.  When I got inside I had to wait in a long line before I was told the Dr required another x-ray prior to my visit.  I headed downstairs to get that done, which thankfully didn't take to terribly long.  Once I was called to the exam room and the nurse took all my vitals and info, I had about a 10 minute wait before the doc came in with two other guys.  One was a med student just taking notes and the other was a white coat that seemed to be just tagging along for learning purposes.  The doc said my x-rays looked good and my range of motion is coming along.  He asked how I was feeling and if I had any pain and I told him everything that I spoke to earlier in this post.  He told me that I would have good days and weeks and bad days and weeks with aches and pains and it will just take time.  Time, always with the freaking time.  Sometimes I really hate time.