Friday, February 27, 2015

Bionic Woman?

It was October 12th, the skies were clear and the crisp air was perfect for a leisurely ride in central NY with a friends and riding mates, Jonathan and Pete.

The plan was to round out the day with 90K or so before old man winter settled in for the coming months. This was a minimal to NO testosterone ride, until I decided the the draft from Jonathan's  over sized cruising tires was too good to be true, so I kick it into high gear, and attempt an all out sprint for the Cazenovia city limit sign. 
Bad idea!!
As I put pressure on my drops to give it the Le Tour field sprint a try, my left hand became suspended in mid air, gripping a detached handlebar. 

 A surreal moment, of "OH CRAP!" What can I do to save the inevitable dissension to the pavement, that my only thought was steer solely with the right hand.   Too little too late, and I knew it was time to tuck and roll as much as I possible could to prevent my face and or head from splatting to the ground.  As I tumbled and crashed around a bit, it was amazing and quite fortunate that Jonathan and Pete were not involved in any type of collision or mishap!  Needless to say, I never even reached the city limit sign!  No points for me.  Sitting there a bit stunned, Jonathan, our Village Chiropractor, knew just what to do.  He gently assisted me off the road,  as I remember scooting to the edge. He held my shoulder and arm in place to provide me support and the least amount of discomfort. When I felt the top of my shoulder, I cried, "I have a swim meet next weekend!" Jonathan's remark to me was to the effect of, "That's not important right now."   Humm...I guess he's right?

The most interesting fact and coincidence about the ambulance, was that one of the ENT guys on call was in his house across the street from where we were sitting!  They were there pretty quick too.  The ambulance carts me off to the Hamilton ER room, and Jonathan and Pete complete their lovely ride. Pete called Russ, to let him know what had happened. He was on the back 9 of the golf course, so the news was a game changer for him. When Russ arrived to the ER room, I was very happy to see him.

 As you can see from the vest that the nurse is holding, my clothes were essentially ruined.

 Ripped clothes, along with a cracked helmet, I guess I am one lucky lady! Despite the fact that I am in no hurry to get on the bike, it is in need of some major repairs!  Along with my AC joint!

Cause?  It's called caustic sweat!  It's hereditary, my dad has it too!

Call me 'Egor!' Yeah, it doesn't look that pretty,  but I have full range of motion!  Wearing sundresses will be aesthetically challenging.  The pain after the crash was not so much the shoulder area, but more in my chest and upper thoracics.  Bad, bad pain. Hurt to breathe. Probably broken ribs. Muscles were in major spasm.  The ortho says, well, you have a very unusual Grade V A/C separation. Nothing is holding the collar bone in place.  Not to be confused with shoulder dislocation.  It's a complete separation, with a superior detachment of the clavical.  The ortho explained how he would do surgery, if I wanted to go that route.  He have to cut the collar bone and reattach it with wires and pins.  First,  he said, wait and see how I heal with rehab and time.   I signed up for rehab at Hamilton for about 2-3 weeks, followed by self rehab at home. I made a few attempts to swim after 3 weeks, and that was very very painful. I could hardly lift my arm over my head in the water, which made it difficult to demonstrate how to swim, and I was teaching PE swim lessons to students at the time!  I'd say it took about 4 weeks or so till the pain in my chest and back eased up. What helped the most was having my chiropractor adjust my ribs, after I explained and demonstrated to him exactly how I wanted him to adjust them.  He had never adjusted a rib before, and since I use to do that, it was easy to explain.  Over time, I was able to swim more and more each week with less pain. Continuing the shoulder rehab exercises with bands and weights was important to the healing process, as well as to prevent frozen shoulder. The good news?  Since there is not much left to the joint, that chances of developing arthritis are highly unlikely.  

I was determined to resume some sort of swimming training so that I can start racing again. With the new total hip prosthesis done in March 2014, I am not suppose to run. Besides, swimming feels SO good!  Two months later, I was able to swim about 2K a workout, and teach yoga.  Three months later (1/11/15) I was competing in a USMS swim meet in Skaneatles, NY.   

Now that there is enough snow to cross-country ski,  Jonathan, Pete and I find other ways to entertain ourselves!  Even if we do fall down, it doesn't hurt near as much!  Additionally, I am happy to report that the bike is looking like new again!  I will take a picture and post it in my next post. Jonathan striped the frame, examined it, and determined that it is safe to be rebuilt and ride for another 10 years. Thank you Jonathan!

Bionic?  Not sure about that, however, one my friends commented to me one day, "Shannon, we call you the bionic woman."  

I am thrilled to be able to swim again, which has provided me motivation to sign up for the USMS Spring National meet in San Antonio, TX  April 23-26.   I was inspired to write this blog about the crash, and about my recovery because with that I will try to continuously document my swim workouts, in hopes to inspire others who want to train and compete or simply to stay fit!

Due to pool availability and schedule I swim on M/W/F and Sat/Sun.  Pool is closed this weekend. Today's practice goes like this:

Warm: 500 choice
Pre set: with fins 50K/50S (no board)
4 x 500
#1 by 100 - EZ/F
#2 by 100 - F/EZ
#3 pull w/ buoy, band, paddles (breathe every 5 for 200, every 3 rest)
#4 pull w/ buoy, paddles (breathe every 3)
Snorkel & fins (3 x 300)
200 swim/100 kick
150 swim/150 kick
100 swim/200 kick
cool 300 back/free mix

Happy Laps!