Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Four Weeks After the Day of Surgery

I think my doctors are more than a little surprised how much Atticus and I have been walking so soon after surgery. (After all, they weren't so sure I'd be leaving the hospital when I was at my worst.) Yes, as I reported last night, the tube and the surgical site still hurts and I have to be careful when I move. However, we're out and we're active. And if Dr. Battle and Dr. Tilney were surprised by how much we were walking before, I've got another surprise for them on Thursday when we meet to decide if I need more surgery or not. This morning we climbed Black Cap.

Now Black Cap is not the area's biggest mountain nor is it difficult to reach. But it is a good little workout even when I'm in shape. We've been up top several times before but today was a little different. I couldn't wear my hiking shoes. That would mean I'd have to bend over to tie them and that hurts a bit too much. I also didn't fasten the straps on my pack. That hurt too much as well. We went a lot slower than I've ever gone but I'm told by a friend we brought with us that she couldn't have gone much faster herself. And that's something else that was different: we hiked with another. As you know, Atti and I usually fly solo, but today I was a bit insecure and if I got into trouble I wanted someone there.

Happily there was no trouble. My side ached and this tube is causing it to throb as I sit here hours after finishing. But all-in-all it was a success.

For the past four weeks I've been living under other people's some extent. Today I took back some control and it felt good. There are times you just need to get out of your head and out on top of a mountain.


Jemk said...

I know what you mean by living under other people's rules. After having my gallbladder out & my herniated stomach fixed, I'm only allowed to eat soft food that is baby food consistency for four weeks! Fortunately I only have 3 weeks left.
It's good to hear that you & Atticus are out hiking some again.

Anonymous said...

Tom, it's so great to hear you and Atticus are out and about. Being a fellow minischnauzer mommy of 2, I can relate to the unconditional love that my canine babies (Bailey and Lola) provide for me in a time I have been down. I have had 2 major back surgeries in 2 months (at the ripe old age of 32) and have been laid up in my bedroom for 4 months, now. When I see my girls faces, Bailey and Lola, it makes me smile and laugh when all I've wanted to do lately is cry. I have had 3 surgeries in a year (my other being Gallbladder surgery, as I can relate to Jemk's comments above) and have been literally in a physical rut for most of the past 12 months. But when I have my girls cuddle up to my side, it's almost like my pain starts to subside a bit and my worries merge into little bits of happiness.
On another note, I am sorry to hear of the passing of your father. I lost my mother November 2008 to cancer. I so much enjoy reading your blog posts that show the love you had and continue to have for your dad, and the memory you continue to create on behalf of him through your writing! I have started a website on behalf of my mother that I have been working on in relation to Anal Cancer Awareness. I hope my mother can look down on me and be proud in the life that I live that is her legacy; as I know you have done for your father.
Please give Atticus a big hug and kiss for me. Just looking at his picture warms my heart. God bless you both and good luck on your continued recovery! Shana