'Put aside your crutches and walk'
Yes it's been all rehab for these last few weeks, exercise after exercise from my physio which if I'm being honest I haven't completely followed to the letter, some exercises I've followed some I haven't so much because they are so bloody boring. Three weeks ago I had my consultant follow up who looked and squinted at my CT scan from the week before, walked over to the other side of the room all of 3 yards away, held his hands out and said 'walk'. I put down my crutch and slowly, tentatively hobbled over to his outstretched hands. It was a weird feeling, I had forgotten how to walk and had to think what I needed to do and worried that I was about to collapse in a big heap on the floor, it didn't happen, my limp was huge but I managed the task and I was elated. I jokingly asked about riding my bike and was really surprised when he said that I can ride around the block but I could see he wasn't 100% about it...
So with the permission to walk, over the next couple of weeks I reacquainted myself with the dogs lead and with the assistance of my daughter (assistance needed as we have a big strong Dobermann), we walked the dog; initially around a small field then ever increasing distances over the following weeks as my leg woke up and the pain held off and this is where I'm getting most of my exercise atm.
My limp is only slight but it's enough for me to want it sorted. Analysing my limp by comparing my gammy leg to the gait of my good leg I could see that I wasn't straitening my gammy leg out fully like my good leg and where pains occur during the walking motion I rush those parts resulting in a visible limp. So to remedy this despite the pain I try to walk as normally as possible not rushing through the hurting bits and straitening my leg fully. It's strange where my pains are; the top of my foot, my lower quads, my glute (arse) and not so surprisingly around the break area in my hip.
He did give me permission to get on the bike for a 'block' and during this initial euphoria of being crutch free I resisted the urge to get my leg over the bike so I waited for a couple of weeks before I felt I was confident enough and strong enough to have a go at riding a bike. I'm not worried about being out on the road, what I am worried about is not getting my foot out in time from the clips in the event of a sideways fall but on impulse on one nice day a couple of weeks ago me and the Mrs loaded our bikes into the car and headed out into the Cheshire countryside where we managed 10 very slow miles, slow because the Mrs refuses to go faster than 10 mph. I still wasn't confident about the spd's so wore a pair of trainers just in case, not that it was needed, it was 10 miles of uneventfulness but at least it broke me back in and no pains or strains - no issues.
My first 'proper' road ride
A few days later I went out on my tod to ride a local route of 20 miles the main reason being I was due to ride 30 miles with a fellow club mate the following week so I wanted to be sure I was up to it beforehand. My first challenge was to get on my bike, I now find it difficult to get on the bike by swivelling on my gammy leg which by habit is the way I previously got on, I have to get on the other way around which feels wrong. Anyway I set out and clipped in which was scary but constant clipping in and out for a minute put my mind at ease that if it came to it I could unclip that left foot without any problems. So far so good, 5 miles in no muscle pain and an average speed similar to one of my slow rides on this route, 10 miles in and I have to stop and catch my breath, I'm knackered unsurprisingly after so long off the roads and disappointingly I have a strange hard to describe pain around my hip, I can't decide if it's muscle or bone pain but it's a pain I get post break when I'm getting to my limits and now I feel this pain again. I've slowed right down and headed for home knowing that next weeks ride is well and truly off, I'm really unfit and have little strength in my legs, its back to square 1 again...
It's been an eventful few weeks, one week with crutches the next crutch free, then came the walks to build up some strength and the concentration walks where I 'walk' through the pain resulting in a much improved gait. My cycling after the initial couple of rides has taken a back seat to getting fit through other slower means. I think I need to take to the turbo and build up strength and stamina slowly over the next couple of months with the odd bimble on the road when the sun shines giving time for my hip and arm to heal before rejoining the club on the road.
Oh yes, my arm, I forgot about that. If you've been reading this blog you will know that I broke both of my lower arm bones, the ulna and radius with the ulna being by far the worst, it was a complete break. My consultant told me that two thirds of my bone in the break area was missing and the only thing holding the two parts of the bone together was a thin metal strip which if subject to too much pressure will snap, so no press ups, no heavy lifting and when I'm riding my bike I can only hold on to the bars with my left arm for a few minutes before it gets painful and stiff, it's quite uncomfortable. The missing bone will in time fill in with new bone but who knows how long will that take, and then there's the clicking thing going on in my elbow...