Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another Great Ride

Unfortunately, I wasn't on it. As my recuperation continues, the beautiful weather just keeps coming out in Fulshear. Debbie sent along these pictures.

I actually considered getting up and driving out to Fulshear on Saturday morning as if I were riding. I would pick Jim up at his house, drive and drink coffee from my thermos as usual and unlimber his bike in the City Hall parking lot. After the usual 15-20 minutes of conversation with the group in the parking lot, I'd sag the ride. I tried to persuade Ken to join me, but he declined. In the end I stayed in bed until 9 on Saturday and caught up on some much needed sleep.

My sleep has been slowly returning to normal as my leg heals. This week, for the first time, I am sleeping through the night and not waking up several times to shift my throbbing leg. Satchel is returning to his routine too. Now that I am staying in bed all night, he is resuming his 7:30am wake up visit to the bedroom.

Ken is still recovering from his December 22 accident. He hit a large dog at speed and then hit the pavement. He developed a large hematoma on his upper leg that seemed to defy the best efforts of his doctors. It's finally giving up the ghost now and Ken has targeted Saturday, March 8 as the date for his first ride after a two and a half month absence. Ken and I have been riding together for 6-7 years now and I thought it a strange coincidence that he would suffer an injury and be sitting out rides at the same time as me. Now I would like to close the circle by returning to the road with him on the same day. So I'm going to use March 8 as my training target for my first ride. If this goal proves to be too optimistic, so be it. I'm not going to start riding again until I'm ready, but it helps to have a goal.

My in home therapy ended this past week and I start outpatient therapy on Monday. I'm going to miss Tracey. She took me from an inert, painful leg to much stronger, mobile one. We exchanged email addresses so she can follow my progress. Meanwhile, I'm trying to ride the trainer everyday and gradually increase my time. I had a few twinges in my knee the first time I got on the bike, but that has disappeared. Now my pedalling is deligthfully pain free. My biking muscles seem to be largely intact. I guess this is because the muscles damaged by my fall and surgery are all high up and on the outside of my thigh.

Although my passion is riding tandem, I plan on staying on the V2 and Tour Easy for a few hundred miles until I get back physically to where I was before the accident. I want to be sure I can ride strong and ensure the safety of my stoker. While I am on that topic, I have changed my riding protocols as a result of my January accident: no more riding on wet roads. I believe the wet pavement contributed to my fall. Added to that, several of our group have had falls on wet pavement and at least one of them has resulted in a broken femur. I did a couple of online searches while I was house bound and found lots of discussion of recumbent biking accidents on wet road. Perhaps I am being too conservative, but I would rather miss a ride or two than suffer another broken bone and miss several months of rides.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Up and Running

No, I'm not back on the bike yet, but I am walking. I saw the doc on Monday and he said everything looks as good as it could for six weeks post surgery. He says the fracture is 80% healed now and I can go to full weight bearing. Boy, that was music to my ears! As soon as I got home I started putting more weight on the leg while using the walker. That sure made things easier. On Tuesday my therapist, Tracey, came and told me it was time to start walking! I was soon hobbling around with just one crutch! It felt great! I am a bit wobbly, but there is no pain from the fracture site. Only now do I realize just how awkward the walker was. We've been able to put back all the furniture we had moved around in the house to make it walker accessible. Also, all the doors we removed have been put back on their hinges.

This afternoon I fired up the trainer on my V2 and pedaled a few miles under the watchful eye of my stoker. I was very relieved to find that I could pedal without any pain from my hip or the surgery site. I did have a few twinges in my knee, but I figure that's just from disuse. So, finally I can start getting ready to ride again.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Progress Report

My friends and family have been great during this healing time. My daughters, girlfriend and Mom have been patient caretakers. We've had several dinner-domino parties and my friends have taken me on several outings. My spirits are high as I near the time I can go to full weight bearing.

I'm four and a half weeks post surgery and I continue to make slow, steady progress. I used to dread the arrival of Tracey, my home therapist because the exercises were difficult and a little uncomfortable. Now I look forward to physical therapy. The exercises aren't painful anymore and when I've finished I feel like I've had a good workout. Uppermost in my mind while I'm working out is the fact that I want to walk again soon and these exercises are a step in that direction.

I haven't used my pain meds in a week and a half and I have very little pain. The problem area for me now is sleeping. I am a side sleeper all my life, but sleeping on my side is probably the most uncomfortable position for me since my injury. I can sleep on my back or my stomach without pain, but those positions just don't feel right. The first couple of weeks after the surgery I couldn't get on either side at all. Lately I've been able to roll onto either side, but it's not really comfortable. Anyway, sleeping on my side has been improving very slowly and I am hopeful that I will eventually be able to sleep as I used to. I'll never take a good night's sleep for granted again.

Speaking of progress, I drove to work yesterday by myself for the first time. If I were a "one foot" driver like most people I wouldn't have tried it, but I have been a "two foot" driver all my life. Right foot brake and left foot on the accelerator. Once at work, I parked in the handicapped spot, got out and sidled on one foot to the back of the Tahoe where I removed the folded wheechair. I had a work mate meet me in the garage in case there was any problem, but there wasn't.

I'm getting better every day.