Sunday, November 15, 2009

Life - Healing - Officially Healed!

The other morning I went to the doc's office for a follow up on the pelvis and shoulder. In case you've missed the rest of the blog, I managed to break (fracture) my pelvis in two spots in August, and although I didn't necessarily break my shoulder, I really messed it up. I also got a bit of road rash, although that was the least of my problems.

The pelvis and shoulder gave me problems beyond the stinging of the road rash. These injuries caused me to have to do all sorts of things, one thing which was to visit a doctor somewhat regularly.

It's funny, his "time to heal" kept changing. First it was 6 weeks. Then, when I was still limping around with a cane after six weeks, he said 6 weeks was when the bones would stitch, but that it could be 8 weeks.

At 8 weeks the really painful stuff was gone, but anytime I loaded my right leg (like when I washed my left foot in the shower), it hurt.

This meant, among other things, that I had to wash my left foot with just one hand. I used the other to hold onto various support structures in the shower.

Anyway, at 8 weeks, he told me that things would take a bit longer.

Today, at 12 weeks, he said that the newly formed bone would mature slowly over the next few weeks. That the pain I felt whenever I exerted myself was the pain from my protesting "not yet mature" bone structures.

But he said that, at 12 weeks, basically I was fine. In other words, the doc gave me the all clear to do whatever I normally do.

Not that, well, I was doing what I normally do, at least for the last couple days or so.

For example, the Sunday before, I went for the ride. After the appointment I finally downloaded the ride info from last Sunday.

Although I claimed to be reasonably weak, I actually did a big effort to clear some road construction. Jersey barriers had narrowed the road to one lane, no shoulder, and a stack of cars started to pass me. Instead of plodding along at 15 mph and acting as a mobile chicane, I accelerated to about 30, pacing the car in front of me, sprinting a bit up a hill, and eased up for the light (and the return of two lanes).

Unbeknowst to me, I did over 1000 watts for 15-20 seconds.

So although I may not feel very good on the bike, the numbers claim otherwise. And, yes, I even set the SRM before the ride, per instructions.

My pelvis, therefore, feels reasonably healed. I'll wait for some more efforts before I pass final judgment, but things seem promising.

My shoulder also progressed well. A lot of physical therapy helped, as did a lot of rest when I wasn't doing exercises. I had problems a few weeks ago lifting 10 pounds over my head, but now it's not too bad. The missus did notice a distinct lack of musculature recently so I'm probably weak. However, except for somewhat consistent crackles and pops, things seem fine there.

Finally, I'm still continuing my diet, counting calories (staying at or under 1800 per day), fat (typically staying under 50 grams of fat a day, usually below 40), and riding when I feel like it, resting when I don't. My weight loss seems to have slowed, but I figure that's normal. I'll continue to the end of the year and see where I am at that point.

Some pictures:

Ankle as of Sept 4, 2009. It was bleeding or weeping daily.

Birthday picture Sept 23, 2009, at the hotel in Vegas. It bled a bit each day but it didn't bleed continuously. Swollen still, uncomfortable, and stiff. And yes I know I have dry skin.

Nov 13, 2009. It hasn't bled for a while, but I hadn't made any notes on when I noticed it stopping. At least a month. Darker scar tissue, from some internal bruising or something.

Note how the scar is above the ankle bone. This means I was sliding "upwards" when my ankle hit the ground, pulling the skin down. What a big hole, right?

Tire mark on the thigh, which doesn't seem to be going away. It's a cool enough scar though - it's my only impact scar.

Elbow on Sept 4, 2009. I'm pretty sure I had stopped with the Tegaderm by then. Tender but reaonsably okay.

Elbow on November 13, 2009. Someone asked me if I had any scars from my "bike racing", and I glanced at my elbow. Before I could say anything, the person said, "Oh, you do!"

I would have taken pictures of my pelvis, but then I'd have to make my blog an 18-and-over one and you'd have to sign off on your age to see anything.

Actually, there are no scars there, so any pictures would be relatively innocuous.

So, with that, it's time to look forward to 2010.


YaniCan said...

glad to read you got the all clear! and those ankle pics still make me wince...

Anonymous said...

Man, that ubiquitous elbow scar... mine is triangular...

Glad to hear that you're officially healed!

Rebecca H. said...

I'm glad you're doing so much better!

Aki said...

Thanks all. I have to admit that it feels good to be back to normal, if there is such a thing.

If there's anything I learned from all this, it's how amazing the pros are to get back into the groove just weeks after big crashes. "Big" meaning broken bones. I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

ok. you got the medical clearance that you're healed, which is great and that is what everyone has been rooting for. Now onto the mental healing. you have been upbeat in the blogs which shows your spirit, but how are you going to feel when you get into that first race.
My guess is that everyone else better watch out. I hope you pull a Museeuw and point down at your leg when you cross the finishline like he did at the 2000 Paris-Roubaix!

Aki said...

Good point. It's one I've been wondering about. I hope to ride outside in a group and see how that goes. If I can sit on a wheel, or corner in tandem with a car, etc etc, I'll be fine.

Pointing at my pelvic regions may be misinterpreted though :) I'll have to think of something G-rated.