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Recovery from serious injury?

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Tortoise1 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:29 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 9:55 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 awilbur77 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:21 pm

Another update: It's been almost 8 weeks since my ankle injury. I am still on crutches and non-weight bearing for another 2 weeks. 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. My right leg (calf, quad, and every other muscle) has atrophied badly. My right leg muscles are tiny compared to my left leg. My PT is very limited for now until I can bear weight. I am starting to notice more range of motion, but the ankle is stiff, and the soft tissue (ligament) damage is still painful at times. I still have a fair amount of scar tissue in the ankle (and two bolts) that are hindering mobility a bit. For the most part the pain associated with the broken bone is gone. The only pain I have now is when I am working my ankle for PT and it's bearable pain vs. the pain from the first couple weeks.

I still have some worries about fully recovering, but mostly I am just stir crazy, and sick of crutches. To avoid going totally nuts, last weekend I went out and shot 18 holes of golf on Saturday. I took every swing from one leg. I was about 10-15 strokes worse than normal, but was still good enough to beat the 3 other guys (all with two legs) that went with me.

I still think my plan of a 14er summit in July is doable, and I would love it if I could recruit some good company for a "recovery climb" in July. Once I can walk ok, I will start some easier hikes around Boulder to regain more strength. Also, in June, I think I am also going to drive my Jeep up Antero and hobble the rest of the way to the summit just to cure my need for elevation.

Shoot me a PM if you are interested in joining in a recovery climb in July. I haven't decided which mountain yet, but probably in the San Juans. Also, shoot me a msg if you are interested in joining me for some easier local hikes in the Boulder / Lyons area.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Hellen Keller
http://awilbur77.blogspot.com/

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Presto » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:24 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 5:01 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 10:07 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 9:00 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 awilbur77 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:41 pm

I thought it would be appropriate to end this story on a happy note. Today I hiked my first 14er in 126 days since breaking my ankle.

IMG_8452.JPG
IMG_8452.JPG (111.17 KiB) Viewed 216 times


I've got plans for many more this summer and I will eventually get my way with winter nemesis Humboldt too.

Thank you all very much for your support and kind words. They truly helped me at a tough time in my life.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Hellen Keller
http://awilbur77.blogspot.com/

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby DaveSwink » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:23 pm

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

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby summitstep » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:20 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 7:48 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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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby titaniumjim » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:37 am

awibur77, Congrats on your summit and your recovery. I had my left knee replaced in April 2011 (hence my screenname) and climbed Beirstadt in August of that year. Did Capitol and Maroon pk last summer and, God willing & weather permitting, will will finish my remaining three this summer. Thanks for the encouragement and I hope you find some in my story. I know we're not all as fortunate to recover as well from a serious injury or condition, so I have to remember to stay filled with gratitude.

Question, Is that the summit of Uncompahgre in the picture?

Climb on!! Jim

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