Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cast off!

Half  Flowbee half Jaws of Life. It did get warm, but as promised no  blood.
My peroneal brevis repair one month review finds me a bit tired of everything and very aware of the passage of time. In a word, I am a malcontent. The European Journal of Social Psychology suggests it takes an average 66 days to create a habit. Added to more than a months rest before the operation I fear my running addiction is broken by definition. My mood is not helped by my murky understanding of my recovery timeline. Everyone heals differently and the surgeons have radically different approaches to rehabilitation. Can I start to run at 3 months out? 6? 9? Icelandic Hákarl cures for 4-5 months after fermentation. If rotten shark is ready after 120 days, why not my rotten tendon? I have challenged this process at every step, pushing to the edge of my limits. Early out of open splint, early out of cast, early into boot. With this much focused exertion I expect a sub 3:30 marathon. My best efforts, to date, have yielded me a time to my mailbox that I suspect puts me slightly ahead of my Grandmother. Unfortunately, at 83 she is not in my age bracket.

What, me worry?

Butter side up. My cast is past. I wore this  accoutrement for a mere 3 weeks, yet I soon hated it more than Häagen-Dazs hates vegetables. The persecution incited by accumulated skin cells, dried sweat, goat hair, and lost spatula pieces was finally soothed after a terrifying medical encounter performed with what I am sure was a Sawzall. The crazed mechanized saw wielder assured me that the razor sharp, titanium, diamond encrusted alternating blades were perfectly safe. They will apparently cut through fiberglass, sheet metal, and concrete, but remain safe for cheese cloth, wet Klenex, and human skin. The fiberglass shell was sawed off in L shaped cuts and discarded. Then the gauze and filler were scissored away with a straight center cut. Just like that, my desperate skin was reintroduced to fresh air. The nurse did not allow me to bring the steel wool and sandpaper I attempted to smuggle into the cast room. Otherwise, the following scratching was the height of pleasure. 

26.2% less muscle. With the muscle tone of an 11 year old girl, my left leg is no longer able to
attend rated R movies unchaperoned. 

Swelling was within parameters, but apparent. The wound itself looked a bit chunky to me, but its hard to tell what is under the scabbing. It is dry and shows no sign of infection or complication. The steri-strips are to remain on until they fall off. The Franken-boot has been replaced by a Robo-boot that is only to be removed while bathing. It turns out that sleeping with a cement block styled 8 lb rig on your leg is just as comfortable as orthodontia and slightly more convenient than changing your cable company. My calf is no where to be found and combined with the swollen ankle makes my leg look like a stick hangman drawing. The Hermes tattoo looks surprisingly good. Maybe a bit molted. My weight is stable. Lost 3/4 of an inch on the calf. Gained 1/2 in around the ankle measuring just above the malleolus. Blood sugars still controlled with core and upper body work in concert with low carb diet. Just had my physical and posted a 5.3 A1c.

If you peer closely you may be able to see the stink in this picture of a
four week unwashed ankle. Here the  iodine stain is still present
immediately following cast removal.

I am very excited to get back to some kind of cardio that does not involve sit-up, free weights, pull-up circuits. I am cleared for the bike, elliptical, and to a lesser extent hobbling as long as I wear the gear. The boot keeps the ankle anchored and completely immobile. I have already tried a stationary bike, but am experiencing some issues with atrophy (which I will dispatch with shortly) and clanging my size 16 E medical cowboy boot on the frame occasionally. I am still not cleared for work, but am remaining positive about a quick restoration. My next appointment is May 23 where I expect to be placed in a smaller, more mobile brace. I have airline tickets for a previous to surgery planned California road trip that my wife deems too dangerous. I have one week to prove myself not too wobbly. Successful completion of that adventure and rehabbing on the hotel exercise equipment should bolster my case and get my return to work release papers signed by the surgeon. Fingers Xd. I have abandoned all running magazines, blogs, races while condemned to the cast. I hope to catch up as I read through my upcoming bootcersizes. I miss the crazies. I miss all of you wonderful crazies.

4 weeks post surgery. Swelling and degeneration comparison.



  1. Congrats on the uncasting (I know, not a word)! Did you get a good whiff of the earthy funk growing inside that cast?

    1. Thanks. I was very pleased there were no truffles hidden inside.

  2. congrats on the cast removal. here's to better days ahead!

    1. Don't get too fast for me. Next time we run I think you should carry a 16 oz bowling ball.