Saturday, November 10, 2012

Early Recovery

"The body is an amazingly resilient beast--and if we let our mind be resilient--then positives will prevail." --Professional Triathlete Meredith Kessler 

Three weeks after my bike wreck, I am working on evaluating how my recovery will take shape. My injuries included numerous abrasions to my right side, including ankle, knee, hip, hand and shoulder; at least five broken ribs, plus other cracked and/or bruised ribs; four breaks to a now surgically repaired clavicle and breaks to the scapula. I also had a minor bruise just above the forehead.

 As of my first post-surgical follow-up appointment, my doctor was satisfied with my recovery to date and considers me to be ahead of his anticipated recovery timeline.  These photos are from this first follow-up appointment, which was 10 days after the surgery. My primary treatment regimen at this point involves significant amounts of rest, an effort to wean off of narcotic pain medicine and keeping my upper arm immobilized as much as possible to protect the repairing of the broken bones of the collar bone and shoulder blade. I am hoping to regain full use of my right arm after my next scheduled X-ray on December 6th.

As for a return to training, I will learn more after that Dec 6th appointment but I am not expecting to be cleared for any return to training until mid-January. This would allow me to return to training in time to begin the early base work before Ironman Texas, which is on May 18, 2013.   

Before I close out this post I want to revisit one of my injuries mentioned above. The small bruise above my forehead was the result of a serious head impact to the ground. The protective padding of my helmet has multiple cracks running through it now as a result, several of which go completely through the width of the padding. There is no doubt in my mind that this helmet saved my life, or at a minimum saved me from much more serious and potentially lifelong injuries/disabilities. If you take no other message from any post of mine I ask you to take note of this and wear your helmet properly every time you ride your bike, and if you won't do that for yourself then do it for those who would have to care for you in the event you suffered a tragic brain injury because you were not properly wearing a helmet. Please!


Adrienne said...

I'm hoping and praying for a good 12/6 followup!

Whatever company who made your helmet deserves high praise.

K said...

My comment was eaten. Booo.

December 6th is just around the corner. It will be a great day to celebrate your birthday! A rebirth from a contemplative season of healing, to an gentle season of action.

You will come through both of these seasons with a new perspective that I know you will use to help others. There is a reason for all things and blessings come from even the most difficult of situations.

And we will sing for joy for the day that the Lord has blessed us with! Because each day is another chance to become all that He desires us to be!

Raina said...

Hi! I came over from Adrienne's blog and was surprised to see the Xray. Glad you are OK, and I appreciate your message about helmets. My uncle suffered a head injury in a bike wreck which took him out of his career. Thank God you had yours on!

corinnak said...

Wow - that's a wild and crazy scar-in-process, Richard!

I always tell people to always wear their helmets. You only get one brain and they are not that easy to fix. So glad you were wearing yours and that it did a good job for you.

Rae! said...

Glad you're healing!

Amanda said...

Thank god you were wearing your safety gear - it really is important. Even if you think you'll never crash, you can't be sure there aren't other people out there that will cause something to happen. I am glad to read that you are healing.