A more positive post and update — the pelvis recovery seems strong. Continuing with an aggressive PT schedule at Langford has really helped, and I am able to be back on the mountain bike (still on slicks) and have started both crest climbing again and solo runs up South 14. Rides are up to 2-3 hours, 15-40 miles, and over 2,500′ of climbing. This is at 5 months from surgery, and things should continue to improve. Trying to get the left leg as strong as the right with one legged squats (rear leg elevated), balance exercises on shifting platforms/airex pads, and single legged deadlifts. There’s a few pops, snaps, and crackles but nothing painful.
(So if you’re reading this in the ‘how am I going to get better’ vein — you can. 🙂 )
People do keep asking if the plates are ever coming out. I give them horrified looks.
More news on the voice and larynx issues shortly, as I await time with a specialist at the Mayo Clinic for updates
This is a sad (and sadly belated) post. One of the big recovery drivers was getting back on a motorcycle — and back to racing — and I did that over a month ago (riding, at least, first on Heather’s CRF250L and then on the Mutley) it wasn’t all that good. With the damage to the orbitals still healing, and the hip not that solid, it wasn’t a terribly entertaining experience, and I just felt worried and not in control the whole time. Not sure what the prognosis there is, but I was pretty close to selling off all the bikes except maybe the RC8R and just keeping that as a conversation piece.
We will see. I definitely think racing is further out than I thought.
I was warned that progress would involves ups and downs as I got to walking, and there’ve been a few downs. It has, however, mostly been up.
Just over a month since I was weightbearing, and walking is much easier and with less of a lurch; there’s some lack of control in the hip that we are working on in PT, and it’s about 50% as strong as on the uninjured leg. There’s a little bit of a struggle in walking more than half a mile or so, but I can make it around the block here, and the times are dropping notably (showing progress). Most of the pain is in the scar itself from the surgery, though twisting on the hip is decidedly uncomfortable.
I’ve had the mountain bike on the trainer since a couple of days after I was weight bearing as tolerated, and while stepping over the sky high top tube was a pain (literally and figuratively) it’s been a good training tool. I’ve hooked it to Zwift via the Tacx turbo trainer, so can get some realism and then, March 8th, I took it out around the street to see how I’d do. It wasn’t too bad– you can see the Strava log:
I’ve managed to make a few more road rides, with and without Heather and even in some traffic (though I’ve yet to dare Tramway, where I was hit). Definitely glad to be back on a bike.
Yesterday was 12 weeks since I was hit at the intersection of Lomas and Tramway by the hit-and-run driver in a white SUV. Through this process, there’s been huge support from my partner — who has been there every day for me — and from my family both with visits from the UK and electronically.
Here’s a progress timeline for 3 months, from lying in the ICU struggling to breathe with everyone in huge doubts as to how much brain damage to being back at work and functioning.
- 1 hour later I was in the ER with extensive trauma and ‘in acute pain due to trauma’
- 1 day later they performed emergency surgery to restore my airway and manage the facial, laryngeal, and jaw breaks
- Lots of double vision from the orbital breaks and the muscles around my eyes not working
- 6 days later they performed ORIF surgery and fixed my hip and pelvis breaks
- On the 9th of December (11 days) I got out of bed and to a chair on a walker for the first time
- On the 13th, the tracheotomy and NG feeding tubes were removed
- On the 14th, I was released from UNMH to a rehabilitation facility, still on a walker
- Heather’s care increased here, since my jaw was wired and I was both anemic and malnourished. Their feeding did not help this
- On the 18th, I returned home
- The freeway trip was terrifying, as the double vision was so bad.
- On the 2nd of January, I started more formal PT and range of motion, strength, and other exercises for the pelvis.
- 8th of January the jaw wiring was removed and further checks on the vocal cords. Still paralysed, but I was louder
- PT continues, including cycling on a stationary recumbent bike. It was 2-3 hours a day or low impact static exercises, but I was out on disability leave
- 31st of January, additional surgery was performed to medialize the paralysed vocal cord and inspect it better. This restored some, but not a lot of voice
- Early February I drove for the first time; the double vision so reduced as the breaks around my eyes healed more completely. Driving was not an issue
- 13th of February I got permission to ‘weight bear as tolerated’ from my ortho surgeon. I was able to tolerate walking out of his office.
- 14th of February I drove myself to PT and was able to get weight bearing exercises and walk without crutches around the house. In fact, I’ve barely used crutches since then. That’s almost exactly 11 weeks since the accident.
- 14th of February I was able to return to work, and to use a regular bicycle on a turbo trainer.
I’m looking at 3 more months of PT, but I’m happy with the progress. Heather’s support has been amazing. I’ve had a good PT. And I’m the luckiest unlucky guy alive — no brain damage, no cervical damage, and my surgeries have all gone well.