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Recovery from serious injury?

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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 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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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Tortoise1 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:29 pm

Long ago I had a badly broken ankle, bone chips in the joint. I could walk OK but couldn't run for about a year. I used to dream about running. That was my fantasy dream - just to be able to run effortlessly across a field. I finally had surgery to clean out the bone chips and eventually could run as well as ever. Ah, the things we take for granted.

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby pills2619 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:55 pm

Take what the doc says about recovery with a grain of salt. They do their best to fix you but if they come out and say your going to have full mobility and walk within two years like nothing ever happened and it doesn't happen, well they might have a lawsuit and any doctor knows that pt is incredibly important but pt is completely in the hands of the patient. You can have your engine replaced but if you continue to neglect changing the oil, well your not going to have a very good engine.
They forget that some crisis is necessary to hone skill. "Near misses," those brief encounters with the reality of mortality, are great learning tools if properly approached. -Denali Climbers Guidebook

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Presto » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:24 pm

Woohoo! =D> I was going to PM you the other day to see how you were doing. Sounds like it is all going well. Thanks for the update. Happy "future" trails! :-D
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 TallGrass » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:01 pm

awilbur77 wrote:My right leg (calf, quad, and every other muscle) has atrophied badly. My right leg muscles are tiny compared to my left leg.
It'll come back, but it takes time as well. Pain and soreness are par for the course with regard to PT, just make sure you don't get too ambitious and re-injure or undo healing. Range of motion is the main thing as strength/muscle will return once use does. Glad to hear you are starting to see/feel some progress! :-D
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 blondeyakker » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:07 pm

First post but have been lurking for a while...
Take this for what it's worth..... Was non weight bearing for 93 days due to an ankle I should've broke.... Would've been a faster recovery!
The pool (swimming) became my friend (with dr ok). Gave me something to do plus work muscles in a non-weight bearing way. It's a long road to rebuild but have been back up at 14k!!
Good luck!!

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Rarefied » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:00 am

awilbur77 wrote:Another update: Two weeks ago I was moved from a cast to a removable boot. At that time, I started some PT to gain range of motion back in my ankle. ... I am starting to notice more range of motion, .... I went out and shot 18 holes of golf on Saturday. I took every swing from one leg. ... but was still good enough to beat the 3 other guys (all with two legs) that went with me.


This is excellent news! ‘Sounds like you are coming right along. The bit of beating your two-legged buddies on the golf course was just too funny! I can just see them trying to reconcile that among themselves! #-o

awilbur77 wrote:Another update: .... My right leg (calf, quad, and every other muscle) has atrophied badly. My right leg muscles are tiny compared to my left leg.


Don’t worry about the atrophy -- it, too, will readily reverse. When my hip cast finally came off after a year, my lower leg/calf literally looked much like a old broom stick! I’m serious -- it was essentially just bone with, otherwise, virtually no definition. In terms of size, it was maybe only 30% of my good leg. But once I was mobile again, daily usage & exercise brought it back around. The same will happen for you.

Keep up the progress .... and thanks for sticking around here. :)


R

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby DaveSwink » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:23 pm

Congratulations! What a come-back picture. =D>

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby summitstep » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:20 am

WOW!!!!!! What a victory story! Congratulations on slogging through the hard times to get back to this point. Well done! Climb on! \:D/ =D>
"In this high country that we love, trails are steep. We climb each mile, breath by breath, and at the threshold of pain, bliss overtakes us."

"It's called CRAZY. And somehow, when you are bent over your poles, staring at your boots- heart heaving and trying not to cough your lung onto a rock= you look up...and you are looking down over all those beautiful mountains....and you wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

"For all the richness of normal, everyday life, it is good sometimes to trespass high in the sky, and live with uncommon intensity, experiencing something that gets close to the sublime."

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby TallGrass » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:48 am

Very cool. 8) =D> Many aren't even walking much less summiting 14ers at four months, and there's plenty of summer to go! \:D/
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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