Sunday, September 06, 2009

Life - Crash Recovery

Last week I had a few follow up visits with various medical folks regarding my wounds and such.

First came the shoulder. Once the physical therapist started having me move my arm, I realized that in certain angles I had absolutely no strength. In others, I was almost fine. It seems that one of my rotator muscles is banged up pretty good. It's swollen between two shoulder bone things, and rubbing against the bones when I move my shoulder.

I started doing exercises for it, but it's been slow going. Although it feels much better than, say, two weeks ago, my shoulder still feels extremely sore and tender. I feel like I need to crack it, or pop something, but it's just the banged up muscle squeezed between two shoulder bones.

(I had no idea I had two layers of bone in my shoulder...)

My hip, well, I can walk with a cane, but the top of my hamstring and quad get very tender, very sore, very quickly, and I get all sorts of pain alarms going off after a bit. When I asked the doc about this, he told me that those muscles anchor into the fractured bone, and that I'm feeling the muscles pulling on that bone.

Oh.

So I figure I'll skip doing squats, leg lifts, and the like, even on the sly. I have to admit I was tempted to do something, but forget it. Okay, I may do some seated weights with just my left arm, because that seems to be the only thing that is fine right now. Look, if Levi skips a race because his wrist is still knitting after 6 weeks, well, my bones don't heal any faster.

And I'm not a pro. I don't make money pedaling my bike.

I had another ultrasound done on my leg after meeting with the doc, to check on the two clots from last week. This time I was moving visibly easier, and the tech commented that I seemed to be doing much better. I could get myself on the table without the tech's help, even pulling my pants down without wincing.

It's the little triumphs in life, you know?

The tech covered stuff up with towels, tucking them here and there, and squirted warm lube everywhere. She tickled me a bit with the initial checks, but as she moved down from the sensitive "top of my quads" (ahem), I drifted off and fell asleep. I jumped with a start when she touched my ankle gouge (I had socks on, and a protective dressing, but it still hurt), but then fell back into a pleasant semi-conscious stupor as she checked the underside of my leg.

Finally she finished up and wiped the now-chilly lube off my leg. She didn't call in a doctor this time, nor a pulmonologist, so that was a good sign.

Doc told me to keep taking aspirin to keep my blood thinner, though, so I will. The swelling in my foot went down about 2 weeks after the crash, and it took a few days of aspirin for the tightness in my calf to dissipate (the clot apparently). To be safe, I'll be on aspirin for a month, both for its blood thinning properties as well as for pain management.

My road rash is almost better. I no longer have to dress my elbow, but it's still healing (I stopped dressing it a few days early because, frankly, I ran out of Tegaderm). There's a minor thin scab on it and it should be just a scar in a week or so.

My ankle still hurts. I'm using a terrible substitute for Tegaderm. I bought this other stuff to try, and although it may work fine for a kid's skinned knee, it's terrible for my ankle. A hint of moisture when you put it on and it won't stick. Luckily it won't stick to a wound either, and I'm on Day 6 of this stuff (each patch lasts 4 days). I figure I have another patch or two left, and I'll use them up before the ankle is healed. Deep gouge still, has to be deeper than a nickle's width.

I still fatigue extremely quickly. Walking a bit is very tough, and it seems that each time I eat (other than breakfast) I quickly doze off. I hope this is my body trying to recover, and not me with Lyme or something.

Finally, although it seems weird, the biggest thing is that my skin is becoming normal again. For a while my hands were peeling skin, like I was a snake shedding its skin. Skin sloughed off my hand consistently for weeks. My nails, too, were soft and looked like I had soaked them in water. I ripped one by accident, just a nick, but it made me realize just how weak my nails had become.

Then, just a day or so ago, I realized my nails had firmed up. My hands weren't losing skin. In fact, they looked pretty normal.

Doc says two more weeks, and right now it's been 3 weeks and 5 days. He seems to treat this 6 week "bone knitting period" with some amount of inflexibility. That means September 22nd. Unfortunately that's when I fly out to Vegas. I hope to get back to work for a bit prior to that date, maybe the 18th or so (which is kind of the date he hinted at during our meeting).

I guess when I get back from Vegas, the 26th, that'll be when I can start trying the bike a bit.

Arg. Can't wait.

1 comment:

Dorothy W. said...

I'm glad you are making progress!