Rehab – part one

Yesterday was Olive’s first rehabilitation appointment. The first one was included in the cost of her surgery, and was 90 minutes long. The doctor came in to do some measurements, and to check her range of motion. While she’s doing quite well, she has lost about 4cm of muscle on her bum leg, so we have some work to do to get it up to match the other leg. They also noticed that her hip flexors were quite tight, so they did a little bit of ultrasound to help warm, and loosen, them up a bit.

We were taught several exercises that we’re supposed to do with her everyday to help her start using her leg again. While she walks on it just fine most of the time, she’s still really compensating by putting most of her weight on her other three legs. And believe me, we want to do everything we can from having her harm the other back leg! The tech also showed us some massage exercises that will help her muscles from being quite so tight. She’s just like me with those tight hamstrings!

One of the last things they did was laser therapy. Apparently the day of her surgery, they went over to the hospital and did the same procedure as they did last night. We had to wear special glasses to save our eyes from the laser beams, and Olive had to wear goggles. It was my favorite part of the whole day! She looked so hilarious. 

The laser apparently helps her muscles, and cells, to repair more easily. She was such a good girl the whole time we were there, and while we know that we have work to do with her, they were also very impressed with her, too. 

We’re going to try and keep up weekly appointments until her 8-week check where they take x-rays to see if the bone has healed correctly. We take her back on Monday to try hydrotherapy – I can’t wait to see that! -and she how she does. We want to be able to see how she takes to the water as opposed to “land” exercises similar to the ones we were taught last night, and then choose the direction of therapy. 

She was pretty jazzed up last night afterwards, and had a hard time settling down. They did say that she’d be quite sore for about 12-24 hours, so hopefully during the day today she’ll get some good rest so Nick and I can work with her tonight. Most of the exercises seem to work best with two people as it’s helpful to have someone ready to go with the treat, and the other making sure she’s doing the movement correctly. 

I’ll check in next week after her first hydrotherapy appointment!


Olive update – part 3

I made it through the week without Nick! But man, oh man, was it good to have him home last night! Not just for dog duties, obviously, but it was good to “share the load” so to speak again! Olive was very happy to see him, and he’d even gotten an earlier flight home, so everyone was excited!

We took Olive back to the surgical center today for her re-check, and to have her stitches removed – no more e-collar, yay! We talked to the doctor (not the one who did the surgery, she was unavailable today), and she seemed amazed at how well Olive was doing. She said that if she didn’t know, she would have guessed Olive to be 4-6 weeks post op, instead of just the 2 weeks that she is! She doesn’t get x-rays until 8 weeks post-op – that’s when they check to make sure the bone has healed correctly – so we still have to carry her up and down the stairs, and use the sling when she walks on slippery surfaces. But after hearing what the doctor had to say, I’m REALLY praying that at 8 weeks, everything will be super awesome so she can start resuming more of her usual activities. Thankfully, we were told today that she could start walking outside a little more if we feel like she’s getting a little too squirrely inside, so that was good. Until today she was limited to 2-3 five minute walks in addition to 2-3 bathroom breaks. It will be nice to get her moving a little bit more. We have a physical therapy/rehab appointment on Wednesday, so I’m anxious to hear what they have to say, and how we can best get her up and “running” again!

I’m so thankful that she’s doing so well! We’ve been REALLY diligent about making sure she doesn’t jump, get too excited, or run around the house – even though she really wants to! And honestly, I really think that her v-dog, and turmeric and coconut supplement, are really helping her heal faster. The body recovers a lot easier when you put the right things into it!

So tired after going to the vet this morning! We’ve been calling her shaved leg her “tofurky leg”, haha!

In case you missed it, you can catch up on part one, and part two!

Vegan Musings

Nick and I have been vegan for almost 6 1/2 years now. We first went vegan due to watching “Forks Over Knives”. I remember the day like it was yesterday. We had gotten the documentary from the library after I heard some clients talking about it at work (I was a receptionist at a hair salon at the time). We were already living a healthier lifestyle than most, but we were still eating a lot of organic dairy and meat. “Food, Inc.” had previously made a really strong impression on us, and we were doing our best to eat local, organic, and the least amount of GMO’s as possible. 

I remember when the documentary ended and Nick turned to me and said, “We have to do this.” (side note: Nick has a family history of high blood pressure and cholesterol. I have both of those in my family as well, but hadn’t yet exhibited any signs of them like he had.) He continued, “If I can change the way I eat, and not have to take pills my whole life, and lower my cancer rate crazy low, then I’m all in! You with me?”  I was. We immediately went upstairs and cleaned our our refrigerator and pantry. We threw out everything that wasn’t vegan – we did donate what we could – and we soon realized we weren’t left with much. For the first several weeks, we didn’t really know how, or what, to eat! We ate a lot of stir fry, veggie burgers, and pizza without cheese. But after a trip to the library for some vegan cookbooks, and lots of Google searches, we soon had so many more options at our fingertips. 

I wouldn’t change our decision for anything. Not only do we feel great, but Nick’s numbers are well below normal, and he’s now running half marathons! I’m not so much the runner like he is, but I’ve recently discovered that Pilates are my jam! You just have to find something you like, and that you’ll stick with. 

While we originally went vegan for health reasons, we’ve definitely educated ourselves, and are now in it for the animals, and environment as well. The meat industry is horrendous, and just the thought of the amount of animal cruelty that exists makes my heart hurt. No living creature should have to endure what they do on a daily basis. When I look at Olive, and see her personality, I truly don’t understand how we can love some animals, but torture, and eat, others. I lived most of my life with that disconnect myself, and I’m so glad that I finally made the connection! 

Caring for Olive throughout this whole process has made me think about how happy I am to be vegan, and how lucky and Nick and I are to have the opportunity to love and care for her. And most importantly, my desire to care for my body, the animals, and the earth, is the perfect marriage with my faith. I believe God gave us this earth to care for, and that He doesn’t desire for any of His creation to be mistreated. I’m proud to be doing my part.

It’s been a week…or two.

Wow, that’s all I can say to start with.  It’s like at some point you just take a deep breath and wonder how in the world you’ve made it through some of the crazy.  One of my friends from work, Chrissy, put it great on her blog just over a week ago, there are just those days where you’re like WTF.  I’ve had several of those at work lately.  You know, it’s seriously so frustrating and so hard sometimes knowing that most every single problem that we have comes down to poor communication.  That being said, Jacks has gone so above and beyond to make sure that I’m able to unwind a bit.  Ever since I got home last night, it’s been fantastic for just getting relaxed.

We went out for some Indian food at Choolah Indian BBQ in Sterling last night.  It’s one of those fast/casual restaurants much in the style of Cava or Chipotle.  We got a ton of food really cheep, and it was quite tasty.  We sampled some tofu and veggies along with some yellow dal and chana masala.  We also tried the samosas and got whole wheat naan.  It was awesome that everything was marked so clearly as vegan.  My favorite was the chana masala.  Jackie’s favorite item was none of the above.  She was in love with the automatic hand washer.  It really was rather nice.  You just shove your hands in and it’s like you got a nice water massage.


Afterwards we met our friends Jeremy and Kaitlin for some coffee before heading off to Escape Room Loudoun.  We’d never done an escape room before.  Talk about a great time.  This one was themed around escaping from a creepy doctor.  We worked super well as a team, nobody got edgy with anyone, we all had gifts to add.  Jeremy was very good with the spacial puzzles.  (Seriously I sat there for 5 minutes and he got it in like 30 seconds).  Kaitlin was good with the word puzzles.  Jackie killed it on getting our locks undone and noticing things out of place.  Me?  I don’t know, I just added the engineer mind, I don’t know, it was super fun.  We escaped in about 54 minutes… Oddly we could have been out about 2 minutes earlier, but apparently I’m special with the locked door.  Here’s a great picture of us all.  We really couldn’t ask for having better friends, and they’re right next door.  Bonus.


It rained all night and a fair part of today, but it’s left the weather perfect.  70ish and a nice breeze.  I’ll take it as a respite from the typical July weather.  This morning I set out for a long run.  I didn’t know how far I was going to go, I just knew I was going to go.  I slept in without an alarm (SO Rare for me any more) and got out there at about 6:45.  I started on a trail that the girls (Jackie and Kaitlin run together) went on yesterday.  Then I crossed Evergreen Mills road and went into the newest section of Willowsford.  I found an absolutely amazing trail system back there.  It gave me a great feel for my 15K that’s coming up in a few weeks.  Because of the rain I got to run in a ton of mud, forded some creeks, saw some deer, but sadly not the bear that has been sighted here lately.  Just short of 11 miles later I ended up back home.  I was either consistent with pace or had negative splits almost the whole way.  It seriously made my day in terms of just relaxing and getting moving. I did particularly love the caked on mud at the end.


My secret lately for enjoying my runs is the Rich Roll podcast.  If you haven’t heard of Rich before, he’s an ultra athlete that’s plant based.  His book Finding Ultra is one of the better books I’ve read in the last year.  I love that he’s open to hearing about most anything, he just looks for the movers and the shakers of the world.  Whether it’s about how we treat each other, how we can be more compassionate, or looking more at the plant based life, it’s really engaging and makes me feel like I know more after I’m done.  I’d highly suggest checking it out.

After the great morning we headed out to Maryland to hit up Roots Market and grab lunch at Great Sage Vegan Restaurant.  Check out this Jackfruit BBQ sandwich. It was amazing. I haven’t really cared for jackfruit, but this changed my mind. Finally one that wasn’t overly sweet.


What a fantastic morning.  You want to know my favorite part of all that?  We didn’t play the radio once, Jackie and I had a lot of great conversations about life.  It’s awesome getting to spend time with your best friend.  So now I’m in a better place and feel much more relaxed than I have in awhile.  I’m curious if you want to leave a comment as to what you do to relax?

Side note of what’s been going on in the past two weeks other than work… We did hit up Green Fare organic restaurant for lunch last Friday, that was a really great meal as well.  We managed to FaceTime nearly all our family last weekend, which was nice.  It was especially great to watch Amalia running around.  I can’t wait to see that little chubber again.  Jackie had bible study on Wednesday’s per usual.  Church has been great, good messages and it’s great to serve.  We hit up Trivia at Blend Coffee Shop, where I also had my weekly Men’s group.  Tried to find some time to play some games, grab some coffee/tea and just keep living life.  I did finish Proteinaholic, which was fantastic, definitely check that out.  Oh and obviously, we’ve spent plenty of time walking Olive and making sure she has a great time.



I think it’s about time to start thinking of some recipes to get up here again.  Or at least a product test Tuesday or something.  But for now, I’ve rambled enough.  Thanks for reading!