Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Road to Recovery

Below is an excerpt from an e-mail I sent this past weekend to one of my training buddies. I post this to inform others of the correct, but often difficult steps that need to be taken in order to properly recover from a serious, chronic, or recurring injury. I can assure you that I am one of the most stubborn athletes around that regularly carries on training in a total state of denial without regard to injuries that need looking after. Well, that has changed. I most likely delayed my recovery and return to training by ignoring the severity of my injury for two weeks as a result of not getting the proper evaluation on a timely basis. Oh well --- life lesson learned. That will not happen again. The good news is that I'm back on the road to recovery with the hope of, as Willie Nelson sang, getting back "On the Road Again" ---- yes, just can't wait to get back on the road again!

The recovery/rehab is going very well. I had my first two physical therapy sessions this week and feel really good about how much this is going to help accelerate my recovery -- in a smart and safe way.

When I had my second session on Thursday, they put me on the stationary bike for an 8 minute "ride". This was truly the highlight of my day and definitely was a turning point in now knowing that I'm really on the road to a full recovery. I didn't have a heart rate monitor on but it sure felt nice to get the heart pumping again during what was my first cardio exercise in almost 4 weeks.

The therapy is kind of cool with an ultra-sound treatment (to align the muscle cells for proper healing) to start, followed by a great calf and ankle massage (to promote blood flow and circulation), to the series of 7 exercises that I also do twice a day at home on my own (for strength and flexibility re-building), to an electric stimulation treatment (to promote muscle healing activity) while simultaneously being iced down. As I mentioned, in the 2nd session they added in the stationary bike. Perhaps they'll move on to the treadmill for some easy walking at the next session.

Yesterday, with the physical therapist's approval, I jumped in the pool where I live and swam for about 20 - 30 minutes. That also felt real good.

I'm still hoping for a return to participating in events with St. Anthony's on April 26. I have a few more weeks to go before I'll know if that's feasible and smart but for now, I'm going to keep up with the physical therapy, strengthening exercises and I'll continue to get back in the pool and work on my swimming. We'll see what happens from there but I'm now beginning to see light at the end of this "injury tunnel". And I almost forgot, I'm also hoping to still participate in the MS 150 although I'm sure it will be more of an easy cruise for me or possibly even just a one-way ride. We'll see.

1 comment:

Jen Jones said...

Sounds good, John! I actually found pool running easier on my calf than the bike, believe it or not. But, it was very mind numbing--the longest I made it was 40 minutes. The bike really hurt, for some reason. I just couldn't prevent flexing the calf too much, I guess, I'd end up with some blood pooling (calf bleeding still) down in my heel. In the pool I was able to control the motion of that lower leg better.

My PT was identical, I did also borrow a laser light thingy from my PT for home use (I don't know if it helped or not), to help with additional blood flow to the area.

Good luck getting back to it, you sound solidly on your way!