Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Life - Recovery, Continued

I've been quietly and slowly recovering from the crash over a month ago, but today I'll post an update.

See, early this morning I went to physical therapy for my shoulder. I did a few different exercises, nothing too strenuous. I'd done some of the exercise routines in the past, in my uninjured life if you will.

Now, before I go on, I should admit something. When I first saw the stacked-weight machine at the PT office, I thought it was a joke. I mean, come on, the first weight on the pulley machine was actually just a hollow plastic shell, it couldn't weigh anything.

Or half a pound, as it happens.

Although officially not really injured in my shoulder area, it hurt enough that I couldn't lift my arm at all for the first week or so.

Now that seems back in a somewhat distant past.

Because, ta-dah! I can lift that joke of a weight. I can now move my arm laterally pulling 3 pounds of weight. That's double what I did last week, at 1.5 pounds, and six times what I did the week before that - a whole 0.5 pounds of weight.

Yep, I struggled to move 0.5 pounds with my arm.

To put it in perspective, I'd do about 40 or 50 pounds with my left arm.

I also did some rows, for the second week (the first week I pulled with my left and hung my right hand on the bar). My normal range of weight for rows is 140-160 pounds, with 200 pounds being on the higher side, maybe for just a rep or two. I once did a whole stack, 240 I think, but that was a one time thing just seeing if I could do it.

Last week, the second week of PT, three weeks after the crash, I struggled with 10 or 12 pounds, one plate.

This week I could do about 15 or so pounds, and could do three sets of 15.

So a big improvement.

With all the time I get to spend with my arm, I've learned that the top of the shoulder, one rotator cuff, and some muscle that goes down the inside of my triceps all hurt like the dickens. If I use other muscles, fine. If I try and use those three areas, it hurts.

I still wince when I try to reach my back pocket - my wallet, the two times I've carried it, sits in my left rear pocket. I still feel protective of that arm, holding it to my side like I have it in a sling. I try and let it hang, casual-like, but I catch myself frequently holding it up and close to my chest.

My pelvis seems to be doing better. I think this every morning. But then, after I walk around a bit (figure 200-300 feet), it feels like I pulled a groin muscle (that's the quad side complaining) and my glutes feel like I have a deep down bruise (that's the hamstrings complaining). The two sets of muscles complain because they're connected to bone pieces that are still not quite connected to other bone pieces.

Then I get kind of grumpy and stuff as I feel like I've made no progress with the pelvis.

I still get insanely fatigued in the middle of the day. I sleep through the night, though, unlike before. The fatigue is weird, just bang, like I hit a sleep wall. I figure it's my body, recovering, so it can't be a bad thing.

My ankle still hurts. It's crazy, 4 full weeks after I fell on it and it still stings like I cut it yesterday. It's literally a pain. I took a cell phone pic of it but it's kind of grainy. I need to retrieve my regular camera so I can take a proper picture.

Finally, I mentioned the clots in my right calf in my last injury post, and I guess they'll be there for a bit. A worried friend called me a few days ago - as he pointed out, he lost two close people recently due to strokes. And strokes are caused by clots.

I called my doctor to make sure that I wouldn't be another statistic, and not only did he say I should be fine, he also, eventually gave me clearance...

To ride the trainer.


I'm already figuring out what to hold on to when I try and get on the bike. I don't want to fall just trying to get on the bike - that probably wouldn't be good for my pelvis.

You know how when you're training, an easy day is better recovery than a totally off day?

Well, I'm hoping that doing a bit of pedaling will help stir things up in my body, mix things up a bit. Maybe it'll get better sooner.

Whatever, at least it'll get my heart rate over, say, 80 bpm.

It's a bit late now to ride, but tomorrow I'll see what happens.


crispy said...

Your attitude through this whole ordeal is amazing. Keep it up dude.

Aki said...


It's hard to complain, really. No significant permanent damage so far (okay, some scars, and probably some aches 20 years down the line), off season, a loving and supportive missus (and confirmation of that under the most demanding conditions), and 7 cats that, well, think I'll give them treats if they hang out between 3 and 15 feet of me (ha).

It's definitely made me appreciate things like handicap access for wheelchairs (like getting over the metal strip under a main door is a real pain), people walking (slowly) with canes, chronic pain, etc.

I've also learned some other stuff.
I can see now how someone with a chronic injury could get used to taking pain killers, for example.

So the fact that it's temporary for me (at least at this time of my life) is really kind of nice.