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Recovery from serious injury?

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby John Landers » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:04 pm

awibur77- I am sorry to hear about your injury.

I have similar experience in dislocating my right ankle and breaking the talus bone in a rocking climbing fall about 7 years ago. Thankfully, the ER doc reset the dislocation as soon as he saw me and I had surgery to put two screws in the talus bone. I was non-weight bearing for about 100 days.

PT is critical. Keep your core strong and work to get strength back in your lower leg muscles and stretch and work on range of motion.

I don’t think anyone else has mentioned it, but with being non-weight bearing for long, you run the risk of plantar fasciitis setting in which is painful and hard to get rid of. I got rid of the screws in a second surgery a couple of years ago as they restricted my range of motion and caused pain in higher top footwear. I had developed a poor walking gait with the damn things too. If your alignment is off (part of why I emphasize working on core strength) look into having custom orthotics made. They have helped me a great deal. I can give you the name and number of someone I and my physical therapist highly recommend (he has both a medical and climbing background). Additionally, if you develop tightness and pain in your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, etc. and regular PT treatment and stretching, ice, etc. are not resolving it, I would also recommend looking into trigger point dry-needling. Again something that has provided me with a lot of relief, and I do not like needles.

I hope you have a good recovery. In any event as others have said want to is more important than what the doctor may say. Don’t let anyone put limitations on you. Pain or not it is still better to go to the hills than not.

Cheers!

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby TallGrass » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:52 pm

Wish I lived in CO wrote:They say sprains and tears are worse than breaks.
I'll take a non-displaced fracture for $100, Alex. Like a cracked plate, those will heal 100% with no surgery, often full recovery in 6-8 weeks, and zero after effects (the heavier calcified "crack" on x-rays is the only sign). Soft tissue can lead to a predisposition for reinjury of the same or related nature. PT as soon as you get the green light. I'm sure you'll have some "drop foot" to recover.
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:


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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Sharky19 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:31 pm

Good luck on your recovery!!
I`m 1 year out from a left hip injury(intermuscular tear of the Hamstring and Iliopsoas, partial tear of Rectus Femoris head and posterior labrum). It is the most frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with! I broke my tib/fib when I was 7 and that was nothing compared to this! Soft tissue damage takes so much longer that bone fractures and I believe them to be more mentally damaging. It is easy to get depressed and angry when dealing with injuries, there have been many tears this past year. I did 1 round of PT and then re injured on Sherman ( damn rocks!) I had done Democrat, Lincoln, Cameron, and Bross 2 days prior and was just fine. SO I did another round of PT, to avoid surgery. I am doing very well now and I am back to running and training for a race and planning 14ers.
However, I am now in my 3rd round of PT because I have developed tendonitis in my rt ankle, from months of favoring the left leg and limping for 7 months. Definitely talk with your PT person about exercises for your non injured leg as well, so you can stay away from an over use injury! I am an MRI tech and I see these injuries a lot, they are like domino's and 1 injury can turn into another.
As far as how to know what is good pain vs bad pain, it very hard to tell, it will take some trial and error. It is so nice the first time you wake up and are sore from a good work out rather than in pain from injury!!! if my hip hurts from looking at a picture of an exercise I don`t do it or I modify it. Gradually work toward things, it will be months before I do a lunge in public bc I look so pathetic doing them, but I will get there eventually and thats all that matters.
Hang in there, it can only get better! :-D
Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby awilbur77 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:04 pm

I thought I would give an update since a few people asked that I keep this thread updated. It's been 5 weeks now since the injury, I am still in a cast, but am scheduled to exchange my cast for a boot in a week. I am excited at the opportunity of being able to do something....anything.... to actively help my recovery, and PT is something I very much look forward to. I still worry about the unknown future of being able to walk or hike again. I am still in pain at times, but much less that a couple weeks ago. The worst part of this is the depression. I try hard to not be depressed about this, but for any person who's used to being very active it's difficult. Working from home = solitary confinement to the house a lot. And even when wife and kids are around, I feel like the new house pet... always asking for water, food, etc.

I feel helpless, bored, worthless, etc. all from not being able to do any of the normal things I do. Not even talking about the fun stuff (riding the motorcycle, hiking, basketball) but just the normal stuff.... carrying a plate of food across the room, walking my dogs, showering without it being a "chore", doing chores (dishes, taking trash out, cooking, etc.) to help my wife (who has her own medical problems).

Oh well, didn't mean to make this into a bitch session, just thought I would give an update. Maybe in the future, someone will find this valuable so they don't feel like they were the only one on the borders of sanity from the "mental side" of a severe ankle injury.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Hellen Keller

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby ameristrat » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:10 pm

We appreciate the update! Praying for you man! Your perseverence will get you through, keep your head up!
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. - Rene Daumal

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Presto » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:32 pm

I can totally relate to the "depression" aspect, and wanting to do "normal" things like getting your own glass of water or plate of food (hard to do when you're hobbling and using crutches). Having to depend upon my husband (and co-workers once I was able to return to work) was humbling to say the least. I am not one to ask for help with anything.

Just to be able to drive to work or to the store to pick up a little something ... it's amazing how you don't know how much you miss the simple things in life when you're unable to do them for a period of time.

I still remember my first "shower" without needing to have a bag on my leg/foot, or assistance getting in and out.

I love to cook ... eventually, I would have the crutches handy leaned up against a counter (in case of a tip over) but would balance between the two kitchen counters trying to get dinner ready bopping back and forth like a pinball. It helped me feel useful and was mentally healing at the same time.

Once I started getting out and about (still not able to drive, and still having to use crutches with the boot on), I found the kindness of the general public to have no boundaries. People opening doors for me, letting me get ahead of them in line, offering to carry stuff for me or reach something that I could not. It will restore your faith in the common man.

Trust me when I tell you that feeling helpless, bored and worthless are common side effects of the condition you are in. And, I doubt anyone reading this thread will think of it as "bitching". Let's just agree that it is healthy venting, and we're more than willing to listen.

Take care, my fellow recovering injured one ... you will be out there sooner than you know experiencing life again and feeling even more thankful for the ability to do so.
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Jay521 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:44 pm

+1 to everything Presto wrote.... Hang in there, man. And you too, Presto!
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Rarefied » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:25 pm

Perhaps one thought on perspective and one on inspiration might help. (Both are meant only to be supportive & not critical in any way.)

On the former, consider your setting versus, say, that of a climber who has sustained an extremely debilitating, life-altering stroke, or an accident resulting in permanent paralysis, or a sudden diagnosis of a vicious cancer which will end all his hiking -- and non-hiking -- days very soon. By comparison -- and not to dismiss your incident one bit -- you have the very reasonable expectation of hiking once again that the other settings are not likely to have. If you will, you are fortunate -- you have hope.

As for inspiration, I'll venture to say that all the "mangled" stories here (including my own) pale when compared to some of the monumental challenges maimed war veterans not only face -- and this is the important part -- but conquer everyday in often astounding ways. We've all seen them and have been in awe of just what they often accomplish. In that context, broken bones (which almost always heal in a satisfactory way) seem like a relatively minor setback. Use those soldiers as inspiration ("If they can do THAT(!), then I can do ....").

In short, it's the old bit about how even bad things that happen to all of us could be so much worse. For what it's worth, I say start planning now all kinds of hikes that will define your recovery. Maybe your first 50' 8) elevation gain somewhere around the neighborhood! Then a 200' version when visiting friends who live near a hillside. Then a 400' effort. And then a .... well, you get the idea. Then go knock them out just as soon as progress lets you. But also when you plan, pick out that one which will be your "statement" that you are fully back. Maybe something on the order of 1500' to a true summit! =D>

Trust me, you'll do all that and more -- and soon! Good luck.

R

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Presto » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:33 pm

by Rarefied » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:25 pm
As for inspiration, I'll venture to say that all the "mangled" stories here (including my own) pale when compared to some of the monumental challenges maimed war veterans not only face -- and this is the important part -- but conquer everyday in often astounding ways. We've all seen them and have been in awe of just what they often accomplish. In that context, broken bones (which almost always heal in a satisfactory way) seem like a relatively minor setback. Use those soldiers as inspiration ("If they can do THAT(!), then I can do ....").


I must confess that watching television was one of the very few entertainment options I had when laying flat on my back immobile for weeks on end. Just when I was feeling sorry for myself, one of those wounded warriors commercials would come on and I would be reduced to tears of compassion for all that they had sacrificed and lost. Very sobering reality check indeed.

On the former, consider your setting versus, say, that of a climber who has sustained an extremely debilitating, life-altering stroke, or an accident resulting in permanent paralysis, or a sudden diagnosis of a vicious cancer which will end all his hiking -- and non-hiking -- days very soon. By comparison -- and not to dismiss your incident one bit -- you have the very reasonable expectation of hiking once again that the other settings are not likely to have. If you will, you are fortunate -- you have hope.


No truer words were written ... I have a relative dying of terminal cancer right now ... hospice is in her home. She is the same age as me. Her mother died of the same thing.

It is difficult, though, when you are personally going through this recuperating struggle to not get caught up in the "bummerness" of it all. I have much faith in AWilbur77 recovering completely, and appreciate his candidness in this forum.

(and, thanks Jay21 for the kind words)
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby awilbur77 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:58 pm

Rarefied wrote:Perhaps one thought on perspective and one on inspiration might help. (Both are meant only to be supportive & not critical in any way.)

On the former, consider your setting versus, say, that of a climber who has sustained an extremely debilitating, life-altering stroke, or an accident resulting in permanent paralysis, or a sudden diagnosis of a vicious cancer which will end all his hiking -- and non-hiking -- days very soon. By comparison -- and not to dismiss your incident one bit -- you have the very reasonable expectation of hiking once again that the other settings are not likely to have. If you will, you are fortunate -- you have hope.

As for inspiration, I'll venture to say that all the "mangled" stories here (including my own) pale when compared to some of the monumental challenges maimed war veterans not only face -- and this is the important part -- but conquer everyday in often astounding ways. We've all seen them and have been in awe of just what they often accomplish. In that context, broken bones (which almost always heal in a satisfactory way) seem like a relatively minor setback. Use those soldiers as inspiration ("If they can do THAT(!), then I can do ....").

In short, it's the old bit about how even bad things that happen to all of us could be so much worse. For what it's worth, I say start planning now all kinds of hikes that will define your recovery. Maybe your first 50' 8) elevation gain somewhere around the neighborhood! Then a 200' version when visiting friends who live near a hillside. Then a 400' effort. And then a .... well, you get the idea. Then go knock them out just as soon as progress lets you. But also when you plan, pick out that one which will be your "statement" that you are fully back. Maybe something on the order of 1500' to a true summit! =D>

Trust me, you'll do all that and more -- and soon! Good luck.

R


Seriously, this is a great point. Just today, I donated $200 (all my winnings from poker this past weekend) to the Susan G Komen charity after a co-worker sent me this link. http://mywifesfightwithbreastcancer.com/ Things could obviously always be worse, and I empathize greatly with people struggling with things that are worse than my situation.

So, due to popular demand, I will go back to the places on this site that the lurkers normally lurk. Sorry if my "update" coming across as a me whining.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Hellen Keller

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Rarefied » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:13 pm

awilbur77 wrote:So, due to popular demand, I will go back to the places on this site that the lurkers normally lurk. Sorry if my "update" coming across as a me whining.


As far as I can tell, no one here has made that assessment. Rather, it seems we're following the story of a guy/gal bouncing back from adversity and, to that end, have been offering encouragement. (Ex: "... start planning now all kinds of hikes that will define your recovery. Then go knock them out just as soon as progress lets you. But also when you plan, pick out that one which will be your "statement" that you are fully back. Maybe something on the order of 1500' to a true summit! Trust me, you'll do all that and more -- and soon! Good luck.")

I suspect most of us would like to hear/read the last chapter of that story. But, of course, it's your call. Either way, continued good luck.

R

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