Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Road Ahead

Being one-handed has been ok -so far. It's been an interesting experience. Rewarding, even maybe? Yes really! Let's face it. We take so much for granted. The majority of our lives are mundane, routine, and boring. Now, try it one handed! Suddenly life is full of challanges that require your thought and creativity. In a strange way it's stimulating. But... it's only fun if temporary. The novelty is falling away in a sea of inconvience. But for now I'm making the best of it.

My stitches are out...

Out of my splint for a week, reveals a glimpse of the road ahead. That road is going to be difficult. Rehabbing has proven to be difficult and slow. There are good days and bad days. I had woderful movement on Friday. Only to awaken to an elbow that's stiff and only mobile with pain. It's not unlike weightlifting. Strong workout, followed by soreness, followed better performance.

I've been measuring progress by the grout lines in my shower. Last week, I could lift my hand two lines. Last night four lines! But I can't touch my nose yet. Which would be a great milestone.

Because progress is so varied there's no way to predict how long recovery will take. I'm trying to not set a timetable... just do as much rehab as my body allows.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Better XRays.

These were taken on Friday. You can clearly see the olecranon fracture on this one. The lag (long) screw going right through it.

They look better on my Flickr account. Click the pic to go there. You can get larger sizes there aussi.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Visit With Doc; Great News

Visited with my surgeon today. We take off the splint. Whoa nelly that felt great! "I make a lot of friends this way" says the tech. Wound check is good. No sign of infection. A relief. I lost a co-worker two years ago to staph after "routine" surgery. Doc and I debated on suture removal. He gave me a choice: remove the stitches today and keep the splint, or come back next week to remove stitches and move to a movable brace. That's a choice? Let's get it movin!

I'm now in a removable brace. Halley-looo-ya I can remove it and shower normally. That's a huge QOL improvement! Right now my arm is stiff. Including my uninjured wrist. This is from some (little) swelling and immobilization. Joints like to move. The elbow range of motion is pretty small. I've got exercises to do. I played around with it for about an hour and it's improving already. Although the ends of my motion range are kinda painful, the middle is pain free and smooth. Doc said "Not to brag, but it's a great repair." I don't mind him bragging.

I'm out of the splint, but the arm's pretty useless. No movement restrictions, but I'm not allowed any weight. But considering I'm 11 days out of surgery and out of immobilization is pretty awesome. I'll have more to report physically, and philosophically over the next few days.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Elbow, Olecranon, Tomaytoe, Tomato.

This is what my elbow looked like right after my crash. As you can see... that don't look right...

Technically I broke my Olecranon, and had Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF) Surgery. Here's some tech info on the surgery. First how they flense and filleted me. Warning surgical pictures!
Elbow - Surgical Approaches from

Not sure if the first or second approach was used. I'll ask on Friday. A couple concise outlines of the operation:
Plate Fixation of Olecranon Frx
Olecranon Fracture ORIF

And finally a
Nice Presentation

Ortho surgery is cool. The way you have to take into account structural loading and repair, it reminds me of auto body work. If I were to be a doc, this is what I'd want to do.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Post-Op Update

UPDATE: Picture > Here <

Surgery went smoothly on Monday. I wish there were more to say, but there wasn't anything remarkable. That's a good thing when having surgery! Seven screws and one plate has me back together. I'll have pix tomorrow after I go to work and scan them in.

Very little post-op pain. They place a nerve block in my shoulder. This was a teeny tube connected to a pump that continuously pumped novacaine on the elbow nerve. Supercool! I kept that until Wednesday morning; I pulled out the tube out. No pain medicine since Wednesday night.

At this point its more inconvience than pain. Everything takes longer. Showering is an hour plus event. Dressing no longer takes 10 minutes. More like an hour. Prepping food is a feat! But I'm making it okay. Just slowly.

Now the healing begins.

Friday, November 6, 2009

It Was Bound to Happen Sometime

I recall a conversation I had sometime ago with a former pro-racer about crashes. His advise was to accept them as inevitable. They are just part of the sport. And you need to accept their consequences or consider other sport. I've firmly kept riding, so you know my decision.

Tuesday the inevitable happened to me. I was riding, after dark with poor lights, while fiddling with my phone in my jersey pocket. Focused on getting my dang phone put away...I looked up and was surprised to see a curve 2 yards ahead. No way to make it, I took evasive action by trying to tail skid around. I locked up the rear wheel on the bike. I steered into it, then ran out of talent - I high-sided the bike and landed mostly on my elbow. Don't worry, the bike made it through fine.

Being almost 20 miles from home and alone... I gathered my wits and rode about three miles to the nearest gas station and called a cab for a ride home. I cleaned up my roadrash, and iced my now engorged elbow. I had no trouble moving my arm, and it didn't hurt any worse than any other fall. But there was a distinct 'clicking' when I moved a certain way. Worried things would get worse... I drove myself to the ER.

When I walked in there was a lady that made "that" face. You know... that face your mom makes. I told her "hey don't do that! Makes it hurt". We shared a nice laugh over it. I had only a short wait until the Xray tech took me back. Kathleen was supercool. She looked at the growing hemotoma, shrugged, and said "with the way you're able to move that, you may have just hit a blood vessel. Hope! She left and quicky returned and said "You've completely f*cked up your elbow". Here she's pointing to my bone which is supposed to be attached to the horizontal piece...

They splinted me, set me up with some pain killers and sent me home. Obviously surgical. By the time they got around to splinting me, the swelling was worse. I could no longer bend my arm. The splint had my arm pretty straight. Put it this way, when I stood iy looked like I was gabbing my crotch. OK for standing and lying, but horrible for sitting. My shoulder was hurting more than my elbow(!) because of all of the ackward positioning.

Fast forward to today... I met with the surgeon today. First words out of his mouth "lets get you out of that splint!" I let out a "hooray!!" He had me lay down, cut away my splint and told me to relax my shoulder. I hadn't enven mentioned it was tight, but he knew from an across the room glance. He bent my arm and said "feel better?". I like this guy! We took some better xRays, and went over the gameplan. His surgical block time is on Thursdays, but he's scheduled me for Monday. Hoorah. I'm anxious to get that part over with.

So here I am. First broken bone, first surgery looming. Already I miss riding. But I'm trying not even think about how to bouce back. After surgery, and good bone healing will be the appropriate time. Time... fot once... is something I suddenly have plenty of...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Getting My Dirt Fix In

Today was one of those days you don't want to end. Perfect weather. Trails in perfect shape. Legs feeling fresh and spicey. Regretting not driving up Saturday and camping out. Expected the place to be packed, but it wasn't (?).

I'm happy. I spent the majority of my awaken hours this day outdoors! And I can look forward to commuting on bike all week according the weather man... I hope he's right!