Friday 25 March 2022

A month has passed

Sitting at the window

It's been a month since that fateful ride. The longest period I've had off the bike since I started cycling as an adult.

I seem to be recovering faster each day. My leg is no longer swollen, I've had my stitches out and an appointment with a physio is scheduled for Monday.

I won't be able to do much until my x-ray and meeting with the consultant next month. I'm hoping they will tell me when I can start riding again.

Bruising is still showing and I do get hip, knee and ankle pain occasionally, so it's not all great news. But I can live with it because of the progress I feel I'm making.

The surgery will leave an eleven cm scar, but that should be the only lasting evidence. 

The worst part is the improving weather, I look through the window and wish I could get outside.

Missing cycling

I have lost muscle mass and I suppose fitness, it's why I have altered the Solstice ride in June. My biggest worry is that I won't be given the okay to do it.

My bike is being repaired by one of my cycling club, Oxted Cycling Club. They have been great, a whip round will pay for the repairs, plus a new helmet and clothes damaged by the crash. They have been checking in with me.

Family, friends and neighbours have also come to my aid. Marcia's carers have increased their support too.

Colleagues have bolsterd my spirits.

And work has given me the time to adjust, and continue to support me.

And of course the NHS. I large number of people have been involved: from the intial 999 call through A&E, x-rays/CT scanning, and the surgery team. Everyone on the ward, plus physio, cooks and cleaners. Patient transport to get me home. Then the district nurses, and my own doctor. Everyone involved with my visits on Monday and next month. And the contining physio I'll need. I have never taken it for granted, but it is easy to forget how well the system works.

I am very lucky to have this around me, it makes a big diference. 

It all means the dark periods are less troubling, and I emerge from them far quicker.

Sunday 13 March 2022

A change of plan

gps tracker watching the dot

A change in circumstance - my bike crash - has meant a rethink about my June challenge. I potentially face another couple of months off the bike, hopefully it will be less. I was confident I could ride 250 miles in a day. Now I think it's maybe 50/50. It depends on getting the all clear from the hospital to start walking and riding. Then building strength and fitness in time. Will the hills be too much for my hip? 

I decided to break the journey at Stawell, a distance of 150 miles leaving a little over 90 the next day. This second section of the ride is the hilliest, I'll have more time to climb them.

It does mean less time with my sister, I know she'll understand.

The family were a little rattled by recent events, so I'll be carrying a tracker, with an emergency button.  I can send them a link so they can follow my progress and it will call for help should anything happen.

I may do the same for the long rides I have planned in the coming years. 

I hope my present and future sponsors don't mind the slightly less epic single day distance.


Recovery update.

I am in less pain and the swelling is much reduced, but the bruising is now blooming. 
It's like Andy and his technicolour dream leg.

Saturday 5 March 2022

Harder than I thought it would be

zimmer frame

Sunday morning of the 27th Feb, a gentle ride to marshall a sportive. An early start; I left the house around 7 a.m. Nearly to my post when I encountered some black ice. The roads until then had been dry and safe. This one had a puddle surrounded by the ice. I didn't appreciate that fact and went down hard. The driver behind me asked if I was okay, I knew I'd done some damage, I didn't know straight away how much. I tried to stand to pick up my bike, I was also sat in a cold fairly deep expanse of water. I got as far as being upright, but my left leg was weak and very painful; so I sat down very quickly.

The driver asked if he should dial 999, my immediate answer was yes. 

A runner was next on the scene, she organised some extra layers to keep me warm; a coat from the driver and a sheet from a delivery van that has also stopped. 

The ambulance arrived within about twenty minutes, it may even have been quicker. I was soon breathing in gas and air as quickly as I could. Some morphine helped when they lifted me onto the stretcher.

I was at hospital in no time being assessed. After many x-rays and a CT scan; the news wasn't good. The radiographer had to take two snaps of my chest because it appears I have extra long lungs. A broken hip would mean an operation and a long recovery, damn.

It all happened very quickly, I was waking up from the surgery by 6 p.m. The recovery started as soon as my walking aid was delivered on the Monday. I was given a competence test and cleared for moving around the ward. I also had physio moves to do whilst stuck in bed.

Six weeks on the zimmer frame with no weight on my left leg. Then hopefully two months on the exercise bike and I'd be on the road again. I'll need to build fitness and strength for the Solstice ride.

After a few days I have started to adapt to a life of hopping about. The self administered blood thinning injections cause a little anxiety. 

My family, neighbours, and friends including the newest from my cycling club are rallying around; it is truly moving. 

Somethings I have learned:

Using the zimmer frame is tiring, more than I thought it would be. It's good for building upper body strength though.

Using a small shoulder bag means I can carry stuff.

I now wear a cycling jersey, the three pockets on the back are great. Easily accessed and not compressed when you sit down.

Everything takes longer than expected.

My balance on one leg is getting better.

You will have dark days when it all seems too much. A quote present in the books I read is very true. It never gets worse all the time. The situation will improve.

When people offer help; accept it. It comes from a good place and you know you'd offer the same if the roles were reversed.

It takes time to heal, so celebrate each small improvement.