Friday, September 7, 2012


We went to the rally on Friday. There was riding:

Thanks to dear friends who loaned Tank a bike and me a back seat!

There were glow sticks:

Everything is more fun with glow sticks.

There were other recreational activities:

"Did you have a complaint?"

There was much drawing on & signing of the cast in various states of intoxication:

Signatures from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ontario.

Fortunately, it was so loose that it didn't need to be cut off, so I can keep the ultimate rally souvenir. Unfortunately, this meant it wasn't supportive at all, so I was intermittently in astonishing amounts of pain (which I promptly drowned in copious amounts of alcohol).

You mean it's not supposed to do that?

New life as an ornament on the wall of shame.

Back to the ortho doc on Wednesday (September 5th), and this time I actually got a waterproof cast! Dr. Bischoff is still trying to urge me toward surgery, as the radius is now shorter than the ulna, and my hand is rotated down slightly. He makes his case poorly, though, when he insists that I'll have a pretty good wrist either way, says the surgery only might make things a bit better, and goes on to tell me that I may heal just fine anyway. He's a bit concerned about me being able to flex my wrist back, but agreed to just re-cast it and see. 

Sarah wrapping me in Gore's waterproof cast liner.

In the most passive-aggressive move I've yet seen in modern medicine, he then goes on to tell Sarah (the kind lady who does the casting) that my hand should be immobilized in a slightly flexed position. I have to overhear this, and tremble at its implications.

The lining is kind of like a high-tech quilted diaper.

This meant that I ended up learning that, in addition to a lovely smile, Sarah has a grip like an iron vise. She gently wrapped me in the liner, gingerly wrapped the fibreglass tape around, then clamped down exactly on the break with both hands and forcibly wrenched my hand back, holding it in place while the shell hardened. After a few minutes of agony, I was left looking like my cast had been whacked by a baseball bat on the back of the wrist, even after she wrapped another roll of casting tape around it to minimize its appearance:

Whatever happened to "do no harm"?

Not to mention a set of fingerprints in the palm that make the surface very rough.

Getting an idea of the kind of pressure involved?

I was sent on my way with an appointment in 4 weeks' time. October 3rd - 3 days after Tour de King.

My constant companion for a month.

Wednesday night, I managed to get out for my first run in 11 days. You know how they say it takes 2 weeks to lose fitness? They're a bunch of lying pricks. I panted. I heaved. I managed to urge my flabby body into something resembling a trot for just shy of 25mins while Tanker exalted in chasing me around on his new mountain bike. I decided to keep it short and flat to start with; I wanted to see how the arm would react without subjecting it to too much pounding yet.

It went ok, so Thursday night it was time to get a bit more ambitious: a 29min run with some elevation change, then a swim! Too bad I missed the last chance to hit up my beloved Harry Class pool - no more outdoor lane swim in the area, and I miss watching the sun set breath by breath. The Johnson Centre is, however, back to their regular schedule. I got there late, but only planned to do a short swim anyway.

On the bright side, I managed 900m, I can still flip turn and crank out 100's without killing myself, and I think swimming will actually prove to be decent rehab therapy for the wrist. On the not-as-bright side: it is damn near impossible to wrestle your way into a polyester one-piece swimsuit one-handed while sweaty from a run; it's not even easy to put on a swim cap & goggles without hurting a broken wrist; the "rehab therapy" effect translates to "really uncomfortable" when pulling; I can barely make forward progress trying to do 1-arm drill with the cast, and I'm not entirely sure that the limited range of motion isn't going to promote development of poor stroke mechanics. But still, I swam!

As much as I just want all of this to be over with, it's still going to take some time, and I must try to be patient. While my running is horrible right now, I got a real lift out of a girl saying "you're fast!" to me last night as we passed on the sidewalk. The cast might be insanely hot while running, hold a lot of water after a swim (there was serious dripping going on for almost half an hour after I'd showered and dried off), and feel very awkward for both running and swimming, at least I can get a bit of training in. The cast may catch on everything when I'm dressing or undressing, but I have a collection of old race shirts that I don't mind if they develop a few snags. I want to ride my new mountain bike, but at least I should be getting my cyclocross bike back from the shop (Snorky needed re-cabling and a new bottom bracket) so I can be comfortable on the trainer. I may not get to race Lakeside, but at least I can drive, operate faucets and put up a ponytail again, meaning I'm probably in decent shape to go volunteer. I might not have the cast with all the love from friends on it with me at all times anymore, but I've got a pretty sweet flame job planned for the new one!

Prototype flames.

The biggest bright spot I can take away from Mine Over Matter 2012 is that my work in the pool in the last year seems to have paid off. I was a full 3 minutes (on the nose) faster in 2012 than I was over the same distance at the same venue in 2011, despite going wildly off-course in 2012. Now if I can just work on my navigational skills, I might really be getting somewhere with this race!

That and, of course, stop crashing.

1 comment:

  1. Yow!!! I winced just reading about the cast.

    Hope it heals quickly.


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