Week 23 – Good signs
Looking back to where I was a week ago, both me and my doctors are a bit shocked really. To put it into context, for someone my age, I should be looking at immobilisation for 3-4 weeks, then regaining movement for a couple of weeks at around 5-6 weeks, and then another 4 weeks for full strength to return, possibly a bit less. Now whether it has been, the way the fracture was with the two ends touching, diet, all the sleep I have had, fitness, genetics, or more likely a combination of all of them, I had the first bits of movement back in just over a week. By the time I went to see the doctor after a week and a half, I had a fair amount of movement back, and he thought from my injuries that the accident was 3 weeks ago! Now at the end of the week, I have full movement backwards, well above horizontal sideways, and approaching horizontal forwards, all unaided. With a bit of force/help from my good arm I can get close to full movement back in my shoulder. Things are looking very good. By the end of this next week I should have full movement back in my arm. I am already out of my sling, and noticing things getting easier each day, such as reaching for the tap in the sink, or washing my face. Things that were impossible at the start of the week I can now do pain free. This puts my recovery well ahead of schedule, and I might actually get some training in before my Ironman! With the rate I am going, I will be back on my bike in another 2 weeks, and possibly running just before. I could be on my bike by the end of the week, but for once in my sporting career, I am going to be cautious and make sure the bone has fully healed, because if I fall on it again and it is not healed I will miss my Ironman. This week I can begin some intensive physio on my shoulder, to build up my strength again and get the rest of my flexibility back. Due to the crash, my collar bone has basically been pushed out of my shoulder in a ‘V’ shape, so I have lost about an inch from my collarbone, making my shoulder shorter and meaning everything has moved around. This shouldn’t cause me any problems in the long run, however it means I have to get my muscles used to their new positions, and new ways of working, and effectively I have to relearn how to use my shoulder again. It is the weirdest feeling in the world trying to lift my arm. It doesn’t hurt, I know how to do it, I remember how to do it, I just physically can’t do it. I tell my muscles to lift my arm up, but they just don’t know how. It could make swimming interesting… However, all in all, I am very pleased with the way my recovery is going.