Saturday, May 26, 2012

This way to accessible adventures

Membership has its privileged.
Week 5. When the going gets tough the debilitated bug out to California. Over the last week, my careening gate improved enough to surpass the fine tuned surefooted balance of a baby giraffe. We applied the standard COPS field sobriety test to scientifically evaluate my abilities and my wife affirmed my travel visa for a road trip. We had purchased non-refundable airline tickets some months ago. I remain convinced that travel insurance is a government/big business/Freemasonry conspiracy. Or could be I am very slightly economical cheapish. Travel insurance will run you the same price as a new pair of Newton's Gravity series kicks. I prefer to cover the risks myself and buy the shoes. It would have been a travesty to exchange the pre-paid trip for a week's worth of Judge Judy and Jerry Springer episodes. I had to break out of my cell house. So, I pitched the adventure as the proof I needed to convince the doctors to sign my work release papers. They cleared me for any movement in the boot to pain tolerance. I posited if my brevis could drive 5 hours a day and waddle through tourist traps and picturesque trails, my tendon was ready to carry me back to work. With the mobile boot replacing the cast, I wanted to test the mobile part. And true dat homes, my west coast hip hop skills were in decline. Some true chillin in Compton (or safer and more handicap accessible areas nearby)was just what I needed. 

My most ill advised adventure of the trip. Water runs uphill? Magnetism is reversed? Laws of Gravity are suspended?
Morons with bad ankles lose their mind?

Guess which one my boot resembles?
Hint: Its very itchy, smells funny,
 and is NOT attractive. It may have given
me a rash.
In the week following the cast removal and preceding our flight, I increased my long walk limp up to 2.5 miles at a blistering 2.1 mph pace. The boot really improved my mobility and started to engage some of the lower leg muscles, but kept the ankle securely locked into a stationary position. I was directed to sleep in the 9 lb aggravation until my next appointment. The velcro neoprene monstrosity is as large as a small person and made my bed look like a Fleetwood Mac Rolling Stone cover. And its probably just as sanitary. My right leg was bulking up from all of the one leg hopping bathroom drills. But the wonderful perks! I was issued a temporary passport to the glamorous and privileged lifestyle of those requiring additional time to board. With a boot, small limp, and a brave face I copied from Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol Delta twice waived their $40 seat change fees, moving us up to the bulkhead seats. California Vehicle Code Section 22511.5(b)allows out-of-state handicap placards to be used for parking and the state parks had more reserved parking then my Orthopedic's office. And to top it off, every third person we passed on every trail we attempted let me know I was "awesome bro."

Number 1 cause of injury in a Redwood forest, slipping on a banana slug. Watch your footing.

 RICE (Redwoods, Inclines, Climbing, Elevations)?
We flew into Portland, OR and drove south 1200 miles down 101 and 1 past
Monterey. We hiked Oregon waterfalls, the ancient forests in Humboldt and Redwood state parks, the streets of San Francisco and the coastal beaches near Big Sur. I conquered 2 hotel stationary bikes, an elliptical, and 2 weight rooms. I survived the drunk hillbilly engineered gravity house at confusion hill. By day 3, my ankle doubled in size and developed a slight attitude problem. I fully tested the reclining capabilities of a Nissan Maxima's passenger seat and my foot waved to every commuter from its permanent perch on the dashboard. The medical compression wraps from the doctor's office irritated my skin, so I modeled 4 1/2 pairs of Penny's knee high socks one at a time. Light purple with white stripes were my personal favorite and illicit the most whistles. Hotel ice machines and nightly elevation proved my magic bullet, returning my ankle to near normal by most mornings. Distracted by my surroundings, I engaged the tendon numerous times when I failed to watch my footing. The metal side supports performed their job admiringly, limiting the tendon's rebuke to brief shooting pains and glistening eyes I ingeniously blamed on allergies.

San Francisco: All courteousness suspended when the cable car is full.

Luckily, now able to get my leg wet.
The physical exertions were beyond my abilities, but it felt great pushing the envelope again. The gambit paid off, 2 days after our return and careful resting I was able to talk the surgeon into green lighting my return to work 3 weeks early. We retired the boot and now at 6 weeks I am in a removable air cast. The tendon should be knitted together by now, although very fragile. The white coats insisted on another week for me to get the lower leg muscles out of their state of atrophy. I return May 29. Physical therapy starts in 3 weeks. After I regain the ability to invert the joint, running will finally be on the near horizon. I can elliptical now with just the air cast/brace. It allows full ROM (range of motion) forward and reverse, but refuses inversion. I managed 32 minutes yesterday, but the resulting swelling is impressive. From my research I will be battling inflammation for 2-3 years. Its still too early to reap the rewards. I am very much worse off than before the surgery mobility wise, but I am finally starting to see the hint of the benefits. My challenge will be not overreaching. To distract myself with a goal (and because everyone else is doing it) I am playing with a barefoot return. I have started walking feet naked on the sidewalks too toughen up the skin on my soles. When I finally get to running, its going to be a slow climb back. What better way to adopt a new style that might take some of the force out of my foot strikes and baby my newly constructed limb. Besides I am intrigued by AC reinventing himself with a new running style, envious of BF Josh's speed, and I want to one up Der Scott's running everywhere in bedroom slippers (maybe I will try flip-flops and a bathrobe).

"Stumpy" and the bottom of a Redwood.

65 degree stupidity.
Present status. Scar looks great. Even the tattoo knitted up well. I was secretly hoping for at least a little gore to impress people with. Effort results in some pain the following day (3.5-5 on a 10 scale) and semi-impressive swelling (I think this is slowly improving). ROM is 85% gas pedal motion, 15% side to side. Sleep is 27 times better in the small air cast. Calf size is still very reduced, maybe by 33%. Tib anterior is overtaxed and sore from covering the peroneal's job. A lot of tension built up in the glutes, IT band, and quads on that side. I am going to start rolling again to address these issues, with my increased mobility. Now that I can address blood sugar issues with limited cardio, I can finally begin to reintroduce a higher carbohydrate diet. Blood sugars remain in good control. To date, I am down 5 lbs probably due to the decreased insulin and low carb. My upper body is larger and my core is massively improved as all of my exercise has been free weights or core based. Waist size is down 1.5 inches. My lower body is definitely reduced from the 40 miles per week days. RICE (rest ice compression elevation) approach results are noticeable now. If you have this surgery, week 5-6 looks to be the beginning of the beginning. I am tentatively considering running the Spinx half-marathon with my mom at the end of October if she will wait for me at the finish. The surgeon says its possible if I run it to finish. I would love to Galloway it in. It will be on the best case side of possibilities for me. The 4 hour finish time limit should allow me enough time to moon walk it in if my ankle can't make it. I would love to return this to a running blog. Still hoping for a marathon return to Umstead 2013.
This way to accessible adventures.

Where there's a will there's an accident.

Recovery, finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

Common sense trail.

Safer modes of transportation. But, Sally is not famous for sharing.



  1. "Awesome bro!" Just awesome! I think it's all good stuff from here on out for your recovery.

    By the way, my plan for Umstead next year is to wear a full Batman costume for the race. You'll fit in nicely with your Hugh Hefner outfit.

    1. Thanks Scott. I am anxious to start again. Your utility belt should have a compartment for Honey Stingers next to the anti-shark spray. I need a velvet bathrobe. Are pipes that blow bubbles illegal at Umstead?

  2. As a decedent of a Freemason/Knights Templar, I must as the you refrain from suggesting that Freemason conspiracies exist. The Term "Freemason" is not covered under the "DMCA" and using the term "Freemason" and "Conspiracy" in a single Blog post is strictly prohibited.....

    1. So sorry Matt. As a descendant of a conscientious objector to the Battle of Kadesh I sincerely apologize. Tom Hanks and the Vatican made me do it. Or maybe Mel Gibson.