The Long Road Home

It could be far worse. That’s the take-out from yesterday’s physio meeting: there’s still a ton of damage in my elbow joint, and until that heals, I’m mostly off anything overly physical. I’ll be writing this and walking to the Gym again today to go and organise a Rehab plan with my PT: I can still cycle, and do core exercises, so that will be the plan going forward. I suspect resistance work will come into play too, and there’s a good chance if I can keep myself healing fast by sensible eating and lots of sleep, it could well be less than a month before mobility returns.

The last thing I want to do is be moping about, feeling sorry for myself.

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It’s also time to stop making this blog material. Assume I’m getting better, working hard and not dwelling on my own stupidity, and as of Friday, I’ll start writing about stuff that is far more self-centred, because that’s also what this needs.

The time for navel contemplation has passed.

Better Days

Today is Physio Day. I’ll need to make this reasonably quick as a result as it’s still taking a while to get dressed. However, last night in bed, there was some movement in places where it has not existed since last week. Hair can now be put up (but its still painful) so in that regard, it is definite progress. However, I doubt I’ll be lifting anything for at least another week, possibly more. That means watching my diet like a hawk, doing extra cycling to keep the calories in check, and not getting depressed.

My biggest concern is that my arm still won’t fully straighten: it’s definitely more mobile, but until I can lock my elbow without pain, a lot of exercises simply aren’t doable. My wrist is also being problematic so I might have to fork out for a full hour today to get everything looked at. I should probably get in a bit earlier regardless to see if I can locate my PT, and see if she’d like a coffee tomorrow so we can start planning some kind of rehab programme.

See you in a bit.

Throw It Away

Last night, the last of my daughter’s old stuff was summarily ejected from her room, and we entered a significant phase in domestic harmony. This afternoon, I am able to write whilst she and Dad attack the house with a new sense of significance. Minimalism is not a lifestyle I know a lot of people either ascribe to or embrace, but it matters to me as an environmentalist. Trying to get more stuff in the house recycled has been a point of contention for years, and now this is being extended to include personal possessions. It began on Friday when we rationalised the contents of our kitchen cupboards, and (I hope) will now spread across not simply existing possessions but those purchased in the future.

Finally, an awareness of environment is becoming apparent.

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Eventually, persistence will pay off. It can be hard work, and often quite emotionally draining, but convincing others that your ideas have value is worth the trouble. It means there’s more space in the house and things will be easier to keep clean. It will allow for a larger understanding of how my children will have to live in an adult word which is a long way away from the same place I inhabited. Mostly, life should not be about things, but moments, stuff that will never be bought and cannot have a monetary value placed upon it.

Let’s see if other stuff changes as a result.

Run

I write every day for many reasons: sometimes there are things to say, other days it is about helping my brain deal with circumstances around me. Occasionally there are big issues to address. Other times it’s the details that destroy a moment.

Today, I need to start again.

We’ve made as a family some significant and far-reaching decisions on how domestic life needs to change in the next six months. None of this is bad, far from it. What has come from this discussion, and others over the last few weeks, is that I’ve become terribly predictable.

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Therefore, I will need some time to consider what’s been told, with love and understanding, and react accordingly.

Leave this with me.

Run for Home

The last couple of days have shown that even if I’m not able to lift heavy shit for a while, my legs still work fine, and I can continue to train on the bike without (too many) issues. Therefore, this morning I entered my first group event on Zwift.

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The first item of note here is that this is not a race against anybody but yourself. I can tell you for a fact that a bunch of people did make it a race, at speeds that frankly I’d be lucky to maintain for a minute, let alone ninety. There’s an important fact to be registered too, whilst we’re here: cheating a cycling simulator by lying about your weight and power in order to increase speed, or using other means to drive your trainer to give the impression Bradley Wiggins is a slowpoke… who are you fooling, exactly? Cheating a virtual game’s a waste of time in exactly the same way cheating is wank everywhere else. You don’t get to go and cry in front of the cameras as catharsis either. Seriously, nobody cares.

For me, this is the longest I’ve ever cycled virtually, and it has taught a lot about how physical strength has improved in the last three months.

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The killer was there’s a hill (actually a volcano because FIERY DOOM IS BEST DOOM) in this route, twice: brain and legs did it once and then decided between them that the second time would be easier, albeit about thirty seconds slower. I used gears effectively, rested between the hard bits, and as there was enough in the tank left to sprint for the line there’s the understanding that pacing rides is beginning to become a habit. Once it became obvious that I’d be doing the whole thing alone, too, I stopped stressing about other people.

Mr Alt was a star and stayed with me for the first climb, before pushing up to finish a very impressive 75th (the field ended up as 180 people) He’s taught me a huge amount around gearing and planning hills, all of which was massively useful this morning. I could find myself wanting to do that route as enjoyment, once I’m able to hang onto both handlebars and stop worrying about weight on my left arm. Before, that gradient of hill would be a concern. Now, I’m wondering how much time I could take off the climb. There’s a change from three months ago.

I have two benchmarks to hit in terms of recovery that matter far more than being able to lift again. I want to be able to stick left index finger in my mouth, and put up my own hair. Once those two things are possible, I’m honestly not fussed how long it takes to get everything else up to scratch. I’d also like the pain in my right thumb to bugger off too, and then we can never be that fucking stupid and trip over our own feet again.

I blame BST for all this stupidity. LOOKING AT YOU GREENWICH.

Bang, Bang :: Day 3

When this injury stops dictating my entire existence, I’ll be happy. This morning I had adult help to dress, and my hair is up. I’ve not been able to do that since Tuesday. The swelling is down, but lots of places hurt that haven’t, and it is not pleasant pain. The physio told me that the real extent of damage will begin to present once the soft tissue damage recedes. It is time to remain optimistic and continue not to be stupid.

The biggest problem is not the elbow, but wrists and thumbs. I cannot freely rotate my left hand at all, but the movement’s considerably better everywhere else. Despite all this, I’m back on the cycling training programme for the next four days, and even if I cannot exercise the top half of my body, lower portion will continue to get a run-out. Typing is now two fingered and pain-free, and that meant yesterday I was able to pile through a ton of novel related stuff… and maybe, just maybe…

The only way to see if this is possible is to stop blogging and start writing.

Bang Bang :: Day 1

I slept. It wasn’t great, but with arm on a pillow, it was doable. I was up at 6.30 and everybody made it out, and after that, there were two hours extra kip. I’m taking paracetamol, nothing stronger. There’s a bag of frozen onions doing sterling work as an icepack in 30-minute bursts, and the swelling is going down. The biggest problem right now is wrists and thumbs.

So much of life is around digit and wrist mobility: opening and closing stuff, gathering up my hair, putting on clothes. This next week will be an education and is gonna end up in a fiction at some point, because all of this is good practical research. Now all I need is actual movement back, and we’re golden. Even without the painkillers, it’s less stressful than yesterday.

Let’s hope everything keeps improving.