Saturday, September 27, 2008

Begone sickness, slugitude, and sloth

I am feeling much better. My cold is completely gone now, although my arm is still broken, alas. That didn't stop me from running today. Well, I call it running, though most of you would call it a brisk walk. Still, it was nice to be outside on such a nice fall day. I figured that I've lost significant fitness ground to sickness, slugitude, and sloth, to say nothing of pain.

So I wanted to start off nice and easy, with 10/1 very slow x 5. Walked before and after. My heart monitor was giving me some weird numbers at first, but then it settled down again. Most of the run was mid to upper zone 2, and when it got above that, I slowed down. There were a few niggles here and there. Hips had some creakiness for a little while, and my left knee let out some complaints. But mostly things felt good, and it was nice to get some fresh air.

Physio appt next week to work on range of motion. Given my previous experience with physio, I expect to need a tylenol the size of a baseball afterward.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

good news, bad news

Well, the good news is that they don't have to put me down, or amputate.

The bad news is that there is no new wonder operation with a squirt of magic glue to put it all back together again and take away the pain.

So for the next 4 weeks the bone will heal. My part in this will be to gently work on range of motion, drink lots of milk, take multivitamins, and try like hell not to hurt myself. That's an interesting thing, because I'm good up to a point, then sudden painful failure. Then for months after that, the bone will continue to harden, and the soft tissues will continue to heal.

Swimming will be right out for a while. Biking on the trainer is ok, provided I'm careful getting on and off. And getting Estela in and out of the car. Running should be good, providing I don't jar anything, or fall over, or run into anything. Some yoga is probably ok, but downward dog, for example, is going to be totally effing right out for months. Just the thought has me whimpering here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I thought about running today

I really did. It was so beautiful out. Then I realized how tired I still am, and decided not. Just walking around Millarville market had me ready for a nap. And nap I did this afternoon. We got some immunization shots for our vacation travel, and the nurse mentioned these could give some aches and really mild flu-like symptoms. Not like I'd notice....

I'm still tired after the nap. I think it's a chest cold I got, and it's mostly over now, still some coughing, and poor sleep at night. I sent a note into work on Tues or Wed saying I was home sick. That just about made people's day. They said that nobody that knew me, reading that note, could doubt that I was sick. I'm so glad I amuse people.

Dentist appt went well on Friday. Things are healing up as well as can be expected, but the jury is still out on the one tooth. Might need a skin graft. I'll be back in a couple weeks for a followup. My dental hygenist has a wonderfully soft touch, and didn't hurt me at all during cleaning and scaling. She'd seen the photos, heard part of the story from my dentist, but wanted THE DETAILS. I told her I fell off my bike and did a belly flop onto the pavement. She rolled her eyes and said that's what my dentist had said. Reminds me of the time (this was a while ago) I told my Granny that Linda was out of the hospital and doing fine. Two days later a letter arrived from Granny, addressed to Linda, asking for details, and bitterly complaining about the incompetence of men at remembering the simplest details about anything. What's to complain about? I'd given her the important information.

Oh, and my dentist loved the blog comments about the photos and says you're all a bunch of weenies for being squicked out, he has much worse. He grinned when I told him I'd posted a screen shot of the x-ray, and said he'd check it out.

I've got an appointment next Tuesday to see a specialist for my arm. At last! It's beginning to ache more and more. I can't do some of the stuff I used to be able to do. Pulling my wallet out of my right back pocket is so painful (and not because I'm cheap!) I had to start putting it in the left pocket. Cellphone has been in the left pocket for several days now. Even reading the paper today was a bit of an ordeal. Sigh. Typing is becoming a painful process, so it's a good thing I didn't switch to the Dvorak layout.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Updating for the sake of updating

The purpose of this update is to bury THOSE photos one post deeper. No training. Arm is feeling better, slightly better range of motion. Still haven't heard from Dr re: specialist, but will call this afternoon. All scabs healed, mouth is doing good, though I still can't bite anything tougher than a ripe banana.

The less said about the last couple days home sick the better.

Monday, September 15, 2008

X ray evidence

Doctor's appointment today, and in the tradition I've established, the evidence is attached below. And no, Susi, I don't think you'll gag on this. Just a nice clean x-ray image. You've seen hundreds, perhaps thousands of them. Think of this as a crack, or perhaps a lamination flaw. Not a manufacturer's defect, no corrosion, no icky bacterial growth. Pity they can't open it up, seal it with epoxy or equivalent, and carry on like new.

But still, it's fairly easy to see, look for the left hand smooth ball. Just underneath that, look for the smooth white pad that it rotates on, and look for the dark crack toward the right side of the pad. That's it, that's what's causing all my arm pain. As soon as the Doctor saw the bruise on my arm and I described my restricted mobility, he didn't believe for a second I hadn't broken anything. It just took a bit of hunting to find it.

There are several other images, and after a bit of a struggle to find a viewer that worked, I've taken a look at them. None of the other images show it as clearly as this.

What next? Well, my Dr is trying to book me into a specialist for this sort of thing. I guess it's on the borderline of doing something about it, or leaving it alone. As long as I don't do anything painful, it should be fine in the short term. That means, for the moment, living with restricted mobility. Riding a bike outside is totally, right effing out of the question. Sigh, and it's supposed to be so nice for the next little while. Given that I can't extend or straighten my arm, have essentially zero strength in my hand, and can't move my wrist much, swimming is pretty much out for a while too.

I still have my nice, husky, sexy voice that makes women go weak in the knees. Even when I'm talking work, and datbase stuff. Who knows what would happen if I were single, whispering sweet nothings into her ear, all alone in a private place??? At my age I probably wouldn't live through it anyway, but what a way to go!! I digress. The doctor says the only way to see if there's actually anything wrong with my voice box is to drop a tiny camera on a fiber optic (steady on, Susi!) cable down my throat and take a look. In living colour, no less. He suggests giving it a few more days, since it could be co-incidence. There's a lot of throat hoarseness from stuff going around right now. He thinks it's possible, but unlikely that I strained it in the fall. Not impossible, he admited while fondling my neck, shoulders, and jaw muscles, so keep an eye on that.

So I get to be careful for a while. Considering that my favourite cousin got cancer for a 50th birthday, my most serious injuries before this come down to strained muscles, scrapes, cuts, bruises, a tiny chip off one tooth, and a bit of flirting with heatstroke, all in a pretty active life with a few close calls. All things considered, you won't hear me complaining. Life is still good.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Can't swim, can't bike, soooooo

I ate chocolate!!!

Well, no. But I did go for a run this afternoon. It's a beautiful day out, and my feet were getting itchy. Since this is unstructured training, I decided to go out and do what I felt like doing. That turned into a nice run around Woodbine. Mostly it was nice and easy, with some faster sections here and there as I felt like it.

You can see from the map where I went. I felt strong and steady for the first 45 min or so, then faded a bit. I had to push myself to keep going. The loop I was doing is 8.2 K or so, and I did 8K in an hour. That's pretty good for me, especially since I was out for an easy run, and wasn't trying to push the pace. For most of the first half, my heart rate was mid 120's, then was mid 130's for most of the last half. Up hill and all. Walked about 5 minutes before and after, and did some stretching after.

Not as many people out and about as I thought there'd be, although I saw two idiots without helmets. I'm still trying to decide how to deal with these people. Do I heap abuse and invective on them? Do I just shout, hey buddy do is a favour and wear a helmet! Or do I hope they crash, take themselves out of the gene pool, and drive the average IQ up slightly? But wait, they crash, and they take up valuable medical resources. hmmmmm.

My mouth is still sore and I have to be careful how I eat. The scrapes are just about healed, and there's a spectacular bruise coming in under my right elbow and forearm. The mobility is my right arm is better, but still limited, and it feels very weak. I couldn't ride a bike, since my arm won't support my weight in that position. Trying the swim motion leads me to believe going to the pool isn't a good idea just yet. I do have an appointment with my family doctor on Monday. I'll go over what happened, what seems to be ok, and what still hurts, then we'll go from there. I suspect there will be at least some followup medical stuff.

OK Susi, carefully now. Scroll down slowly. There are 3 paragraphs in my previous blog entry, then the fatal sentence, "I think you can figure out the before and after." Right after that are the photos you don't want to see.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More ow!!!! Graphic followup.

I've had a few days to think about my crash on Friday. Looking over the damage to the helmet, the faint scratches on the left front corner of my eyeglasses, and the pattern of scrapes on my face, I've come to the following conclusion.

I'm one lucky cyclist that was smart enough to be wearing a helmet. Without the helmet I'd have certainly ground my eyeglasses into my left eye. Part of the frames might well have been driven into my temple, as the side of my head and cheekbone took the brunt of the fall. There is no doubt in my mind that at best I'd be recovering from brain, eye, and facial reconstruction surgury. It isn't a stretch of the imagination to picture a shard of my eyeglasses or a small lump of pavement or construction debris being forced into my temple to leave me a drooling idiot or dead.

Other than my teeth, the rest of my injuries are trivial, at least so far. But I'm very fortunate to have the best dentist in the world. He took a couple hours out of a busy family life to fix me up after hours, and he does damn fine work! Public thanks to Dr. Brian Walsh. Sorry about the graphic pictures, and hope that I didn't upset anyone while drinking their morning coffee. Feel free to show them to anyone you love who thinks they don't need to wear a helmet.

I think you can figure out the before and after.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

BBQ and ow!!! followup

Last night was the long awaited Team Legend BBQ. Greg brought lots of beer and burgers, and helped me drag the BBQ out to the patio. The beer was put into a cooler under some ice, then people, salads, and desserts started arriving. Yum! Lots of people here, lots of stories about the various ironman races, lots of people getting caught up other stuff that's been happening. We did get a photo of everybody, look for that on Greg's blog. Everybody seemed to be having a good time.

Even me, unable to drink because of the steady supply of Tylenol in my system. Even me, having to eat really, really carefully and all of it looking so good. Yes, Julie and Susi and Greg, I iced the elbow before going to bed, and again this morning, and will do it more later. Slept really well last night. Lots of general achiness and creakyness, but more range of motion in my right arm, and my mouth hurts less than it did. Brushing teeth left-handed while trying to touch the 4 four top teeth as gently as possible is a good trick.

Bike helmet is garbage. No cracks I can see, but an amazing scrape just above my left temple. See photo below for those that didn't see it last night. The hybrid seems ok, but from where the hand grips are ripped, the smashed bell, and the scratched up bike computer, I think the bike was right upside down for at least when it landed. My water bottle was found 10 feet away. I'm still not sure what actually happened. Still, things are healing up, and I'm feeling better. Thanks for all the good wishes!

Friday, September 5, 2008


The occasion is my first reasonably serious bike crash. The problem is that I don't really quite remember it all.

There I was, riding home from work on my hybrid, not pushing hard, just having a good time. Then, just coming into Heritage Park, suddenly. I remember passing a lady walking two dogs. She was all in pink, and was over on my side of the path. I stayed there, and she moved over. Went past her, not going terribly fast, and started slowing down a bit more to go through the parking lot. They keep changing the path through there.

I'm not sure what happened. There was nobody around me. I don't know if one of my brake hands spasmed, or my brakes grabbed, or what. Suddenly I could feel the bike stop under me, and I kept going forward and off to my left. I had time to relax, and try to roll, but I think I did a belly flop on the pavement.

Minor scrape, maybe palm sized on left thigh just above the knee. Good scrape on right shin. Another big scrape, more serious on right knee. A couple of tiny pinpoint rips in shorts on right thigh. Several good rips in my jersey, right at the bottom of the zipper. I haven't looked at my chest to see if there is a scrape, but I wouldn't be surprised. Light scrape on left forearm, and left little finger ripped up a bit. Little blood, though. No marks on right arm particularly, but right elbow and arm hurts like hell. The Dr. at the walk in clinic fondled it pretty hard and said if anything was broken, I'd be screaming. Good sized scrap on left jawline, and on chin just underneath my mouth. There's a good scrape buried in my moustashe, right under my nose, but not on my nose itself, and yes, I'm wondering about the geometry of that. Most seriously, I bashed 4 upper teeth. My dentist came back after hours and worked on me. He doesn't think I'll lose any teeth, though the bad one is hard to say. All things considered, it could have been worse. My feet could have stayed clipped in and I could have needed a proctologist to get the bike seat out of an important orifice.

I want to say thank you to the guy from the construction site nearby that came over with a first aid kit. Fortunately all I really needed, or could use from his kit was a roll of gauze. I decided that riding any more was right up at the top of the stupid things to do list, so I called, and Linda came and got me pretty promptly. The cellphone just paid for itself. The Braeside walk in clinic was empty, and I didn't even get a chance to sit down. The nurse was really good cleaning and bandaging the scrapes. The Dr fondled my elbow a bit, told me nothing was broken, looked in my mouth, and told me to find a dentist ASAP. Linda will look me over more thoroughly before bed tonight.

I haven't given the hybrid a thorough going over, but I know the bell was smashed, and bike computer has some scrapes. Not sure what else. My watch has some really good scrapes.

That wasn't the ride home I was hoping for. The timing is about as good as it could be, given the season just ended, but I'm not a big fan of pain. Nothing besides right elbow hurts yet, but the freezing is only just beginning to come out. No wine for me tomorrow. I had a routine dental appt for next Friday, and that has now been co-opted to do followup on this.

I'd planned to do a swim tomorrow morning, but I think not now. The lifeguards are so fussy about people oozing bodily fluids into their nice clean water. I guess I'll just have to hang around and get prepared for the BBQ. First two guys that arrive get to roll the BBQ onto the front patio. Or if Susi gets here first she can tuck it under one arm herself. All that weight training has to be good for something! Looking forward to the Legend Team BBQ tomorrow, even if I really shouldn't drink any booze.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nice swim

First pool swim in a while. Started easy and relaxed with a couple other people in the lane. Gradually sped up a bit till I caught one of them, then picked it more to drop him. Pushed nice and strong for a few more laps, then settled back to easy. Rested a minute, then did an all out 50 m, then a couple more lengths to cool down.

Swim felt fantastic in a way it hasn't for a while. I felt smooth and strong, although I wasn't wearing a watch and didn't count lengths. I suspect I swam 1000 to 1500 m, but I don't really care. Really worked on my entry, and keeping my elbows up.

Chatted with my swim buddy Deb that I often see at the pool. She was in Chinook too, and has signed up for IMC. She's really excited about it, so I expect to see her working out in the pool regularly.

Hoping to see lots of you on Sat!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Emerald Lake

There was a nice week long break in the fitness workouts after Miquelon. Sure, I went for some walks around the neighbourhood, but no, like, workouts. Till Sunday. I'll get there. But I want to say how much I enjoyed readying the stories about IMC! You guys are all champs! Enjoy your rest!

Yoga a week ago was really good, stretching things that needed stretching. There was one balancing pose I didn't do. The massage on Tuesday was really good, mostly working on my back, but included a bit of everything. The massager-seat-thingie as I think of it, has been installed in my office chair, and hums and whirs periodically. It's been helping a lot.

Overall, I feel way better after this half, with only light twinges every now and then. There's been some discussion about my next race, and I'm being encouraged to go into the the Last Chance Half marathon on Nov 9. That's only a month after getting back from a month in Europe, pigging out on pasta. hmmmm.

Linda's birthday present this year was to be a weekend stay down at Kilmoray Lodge in Waterton, but it was full full full for all our possible dates. Then I remembered people talking about Emeral Lake Lodge, and checked it out. Wow! It turned out the Labour Day weekend was a good time for us. It's beautiful. That's all there is to say.

Saturday morning, after a buffet breakfast that couldn't be beat, we started around the lake, counter clockwise. Linda had expressed the desired to hike to Takakkaw Falls. This side of the lake is the BC vegetation side. It's a Susi happy place on steroids. Once out on the alluvial fan at the far end of the lake, we found the trail for Yoho Lake, and the falls. It said 10.8 K to the falls. That's not bad, said Linda. I didn't point out there was a mountain pass between it and us.

Up we went, and up and up and up and up and up. I soon had my rain jacket off, and then my fleece jacket. It turned into a nice, sunny day. The trail is mostly heavy gravel winding between rocks and trees. And up, don't forget that. We stopped a few times to enjoy the view of the lake and down the valley, as well as the two smaller waterfalls. We got back into the trees again for what we thought was the last bit of up. We didn't think we were very far from the top of the pass, but it's hard to tell and we were getting pretty tired. We enjoyed the view some more and went back down, then around the rest of the lake.

Back at the lodge we found a map with elevations on it, and it looks like we were up about 500 m, and we walked maybe 14 Km over 4 hours or so.

Sunday turned out to be a nice day as well, so we strolled around the lake again, enjoying the peace and quiet of the morning. On the way back, we drove up to Takakka Falls, to see what we missed. Very impressive! But just as well we didn't try to walk there and back. That side of the pass looks much steeper. No wonder the Manager's Tour is a hike to the falls, and a ride in the shuttle bus back. Snow in Banff on the way back, wet and rainy. Today is looking nice here, maybe I'll go for a ride.