Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Adventures in Cycling

I had a Christmas party of a co-worker to attend this past Saturday.  It is a short 1.3mi to the co-worker's house and I had the bright idea that I would ride my cross bike there.  It was cold, around 34F when I left the house around 7pm for the short ride over.

On the way over, I saw that there was a bit of wet pavement (mixed with the pine straw) near the edge of the road at Barber Mill, and made note of that - not to ride in that area on the way home.  The party was great - good friends & food.  I left around 11:30pm, and did just fine - the light on the bike is super bright.  But, I totally forgot about that mental note I was supposed to remember.  :(  Took the turn a bit to cocky/brave/fast, right through the pine straw and wet road.  I assume it was ice there because I know the temps had to be lower.  Whatever.  It happened very quickly - down I went on the left side.  Landed on my left shoulder and head.

I lay there for a little bit, thinking "boy, that hurt like hell", got back up on the bike and rode the 0.5mi on home.  I was pretty sore already, had a bit of trouble getting the sweater off but finally managed to and went to bed.  The next morning, I was really sore.  Couldn't move my left arm a lot and my right thumb was tender in the area closer to my wrist.  I waffled about going to urgent care on Sunday or waiting until Monday to see my normal doctor.  Finally decided to go to urgent care.  The doctor took x-rays and told me the bad news.  I felt like, after spending most of Sunday researching, I had an AC Separation, probably grade 1 and was really hoping just a sprained thumb (it didn't hurt near as bad as when I broke the left one in January).  No such luck or so that doctor thought....

The doctor told me that I had broken my collarbone and thumb.  The x-ray of the collarbone did look bad - like a diagonal break, almost a compound fracture.  The thumb was a bit harder to see, but eventually did.  (They didn't take very good x-rays at the urgent care).  So, I left the urgent care with a splint on my right thumb and my left arm in a sling, with a prescription for Vicodin.  

Made an appointment with the ortho Monday morning...Dr. Curzan at Garner Orthopaedics.  He looked at the x-rays and said there was no break in the collarbone - it looked fine.  He said that I did indeed have a Grade 1 AC Separation and broken thumb.  There isn't much to do for the AC injury - RICE and then exercises to regain ROM and strength.  The thumb was not cast either.  He said as long as I could wear the brace, he felt that would be sufficient.  Will go back next Thursday to check the shoulder and x-ray the thumb to make sure it's aligned properly.  I should be good to go in about 4wks.

That is such a relief.  I was all bummed out Sunday evening after the urgent care doctor told me it could be anywhere from a minimum of 6wks to 12wks for the collarbone to heal.  That would totally screw my AoMM training up.  Fortunately, I will be able to start my training the middle to latter part of January.

I have an appointment to see my PT on Thursday for 1 or 2 visits to get me started in the right direction for regaining ROM and strength in the shoulder.  Off the bike (outside I suppose) for 3-4 wks, but will be on the trainer doing some fat burning base miles/time.  I'm also planning on getting out to Umstead for some hiking and do some core workouts to build up the core a bit.

So, seems like I dodged a bullet this weekend....no more riding to parties for me!  I'll stick to normal rides from now on.

Here are the 2 x-rays from the urgent care:


this is a zoomed in view of my shoulder....the doctor explained that the difference in the image color was due to the densities of the bone.  The part that looks like it's getting ready to poke out of my shoulder is not a break - the other end of the bone is just a lighter image, making it seem like it's broke.  Or so says Dr Curzan...


Nic said...

Holy cow dude! Glad your head is okay!

At least it happened now and not mid-June (trying to be optimistic...)

wolfpack said...

yep, appear to be fine except for noted injuries. i'm able to take the thumb brace off so that i can work on moving the it around. joint was really stiff when i got the cast off, so hoping to avoid this.

shoulder hurts when i try to move overhead, but that'll go away as it heals and i gain more ROM.

shouldn't put the training too far behind either. planned on starting sometime in January/early February, so i should be all healed up by then. :)

skiffrun said...

I was thinking about posting something about being hard-headed providing some advantages, sometimes.

But I'm not sure I should.

wolfpack said...

LOL @ skiffrun. :)

Yes, I am hard-headed, but I don't think my head would've been tough enough to handle that fall.

Very glad I had a helmet on....I rode TO the party with it strapped to my camelbak.....