Bike Accident Recovery Update: Day 15
It’s been a solid 2 weeks since my crash and I’m healing. Slowly. I won’t lie, it feels like watching paint dry.
I went back to work last Wednesday, and I was so happy to focus on something else besides what was on TV, or the book that I’m trying to get through, or all the rides my friends are taking that I am unable to participate in. But at the end of the day on Friday, I was really hurting, and felt like maybe I’d undone some progress. My shoulder was aggravated and I had random spikes of pain, and my rib ached with each breath–something that had really improved in the last couple of days.
In terms of what’s happening inside my body, I found this pretty cool video of how bone heals.
With 2 weeks into healing, I should have a lovely soft callous formed, with bridges built to join the broken bones together. Next step, very simply put, new bone will be interwoven into a hard callous. So I’m between stage 2 and 3, and getting fully to 3 is probably at least 2 or 3 more weeks away. See the stages nicely illustrated below.
By mid August, I should be into the 4th Stage, bone remodeling. This is where things get really firmed up.
I had my walk Saturday morning, and my rib was hurting…..the pain level just a click below “let’s not have a walk today.” I pushed on, and by the end of 3.5 miles, my rib actually felt better. I spent the rest of yesterday (Saturday) doing relatively little, and being quiet and still. Now it’s Sunday morning and I feel back on track. But with a 5 day work week ahead of me, I’m thinking about the ways I might change up my workstation so I don’t push my shoulder into a subtle position that feels innocuous at first, but cumulatively feels awful. I don’t want to undo any progress made.
My goal is to be back on a bike by September 1. I feel this is a reasonable expectation. Of course, all my expectations and plans could be redirected after my checkup on August 14th, where x-rays could determine surgery is needed. But if it’s not, and my healing is going well, I hope to start riding on flat smooth surfaces–taking it easy as everything firms up. That’s the textbook 8 weeks from injury. I expect to take another 4 weeks before tackling rougher surfaces, and another 4 weeks before attempting cyclocross racing. I know a good crash could set me back tremendously, but I haven’t crashed all year until this mishap. Cross racing means crashing and falling. I’ve done the math, it’s highly probable. So I’ll want to be 100% sure I’m out of the woods before racing. I’m not afraid to fall, I’m not afraid to crash. I’ve crashed so many times over 17 years and this is the worst injury I’ve had, I’d say that overall–I’m doing alright.
Smaller efforts: I’m taking a calcium/bone health supplement daily and consuming as much dairy as my lactose intolerant body can take (thank God for Lactaid). I’m eating healthy. I ‘m taking my walks daily, and this week I hope to start pedaling on a stationary bike. I expect to hate it, but beggars cannot be choosers. And something is better than nothing. I’m living through everyone else’s adventures online. It helps me cope with being on the sidelines. I’m happy for others who enjoy the pleasure of cycling in it’s many forms. Savor it! And be safe out there.