K and I have followed the doc's and vet's orders, taking numerous short walks near our house.
Yesterday afternoon, the skies darkened and snow fluttered from the sky, sticking to the bare aspen twigs.
On one walk, we spotted our elk herd, milling around nervously in a golden meadow.
Something scared them, perhaps us, and the herd moved like an amorphous organism, flowing across the meadow.
Each time that the bulk of the herd accelerated, the lagging members would sprint to catch up. For such huge animals, they can move fast and gracefully.
The brace that I have to wear 24/7, including during all of these walks, prevents rotation or tilting of my head in any direction. It also supports the front and back of my head so that my muscles can rest. A model is showing it off below. She looks much happier about it than I am!
Although I can reach things on the floor, it's not easy or graceful. So, I've called K back into duty as my retrieving dog who picks up things that I drop. She loves this job, except when I ask her to pick up a metal object, like my bunch of keys. We practiced that yesterday.
Oops, I dropped my keys. K gingerly grasped them in her teeth.
She hates holding the keys so much that she'd just keep her head down if I didn't add another cue. In this case, I asked her to look in my eyes. That action brought her head up high enough that I could take the keys from her. What a good girl!
This morning, we hit the trails early for a walk while the sun still hovered just above the eastern hills.
The golden light seemed to highlight K's chocolate fur.
K rolled on her back repeatedly on the rough and crusty snow. You can see her abdominal incision, held closed by 25 staples, in the movie. She seems to be recovering well.
Despite many stops to look at interesting tracks and to take rests, we made it to a lookout point. I thought that it would be much longer before I'd be able to walk this far.
So far, my recovery is speeding along faster than I expected. The most surprising thing is the exhaustion that I feel. I tried to post yesterday but kept falling asleep while typing. I discovered that when I doze off, I always press the 'e' key. So, I had whole paragraphs of "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...". I took it as a sign that I needed to rest rather than blog.
The pain has been manageable with the use of pain-killing medications. And, I'm capable of caring for myself to a greater extent than I expected. A very surprising result of the surgery is that my leg pain has abated. The docs had said that it was possible, although improbable, that the heinous bone spurs in my neck were pressing so hard on my spinal cord that they were creating my leg pain. Only time will tell if the wondrous lack of leg pain is long-term.
As the days go by, I'll post on days when I have the energy and skip days when a nap seems more important. I apologize in advance if my blogs get goofy - I'm a bit out of it right now.
I honestly cannot thank all of you enough for your good wishes and good vibes. You are certainly keeping my spirits high!