Saturday, June 18, 2016

"Wow What a Ride!" - 2 months later

As an update to my last blog post "Wow What a Ride!" this past week has been a whirlwind of change, pain, and practicing acceptance. What started as a simple orthopedic doctor visit on Monday afternoon to follow up on the healing progress from my skiing accident in March and my mountain bike crash in April, turned into a One-Two Punch of bad news. Just after 5 PM Dr. Kramer studied the x-ray of my broken right clavicle, which he had hoped would be mending on its own by now. It was clear from the picture that the bones were still disjoined, so he asked "How do you feel about surgery?" And then came the question, "How do you feel about surgery tomorrow?"

After gulping, but before answering, I asked about the MRI I just had on my left shoulder from my skiing accident on March 19th.  I have been going to physical therapy regularly and experiencing some improvement, but went for an MRI after still having limited range of motion and sharp pain at night. And my left arm is my "good arm" (non-brachial plexus injury arm) that I rely on for everything.  After studying the MRI, Dr. Kramer wound up for the second blow; "Your rotator cuff and labrum are both torn and you definitely need surgery on your left arm as well."

I've been fortunate to make it through my 4½ decades of life so far without a single surgery, and now I am preparing for two! So back to the question about surgery tomorrow…?  Sure, why not. Let me just look at my calendar and start re-arranging my schedule for the week, next month, and the rest of the year to allow for recovery. :-) 
Post-op w/clavicle plate (Jun 17th) Pre-op (Jun 13th)
Arthrex Distal Clavical Plate installed with 8 screws on June 14
No more mountain bike races or triathlons this year and my hard-earned spot into the Leadville 100 in Colorado this summer just evaporated, but at least I have my coveted belt buckle from completing the race last year. Although some other plans and international travel adventures will have to be canceled, I feel incredibly grateful for everything I still can do and for all the good things in my life.

First and foremost is my amazing wife Denise. She has been an incredibly positive and caring nurse and I will be even more lucky to have her when her Florence Nightingale aura shines twice as bright after my second surgery on my left arm, sometime in the coming weeks.

There are so many other things I am grateful for especially my friends and the inspiration from countless CAF athletes who have far more significant injuries to overcome than mine.  On Tuesday after the surgery "waking up" from a general anesthetic (a first for me) felt like a small miracle and made me appreciate life even more. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you, and for the continued support.
Jun 18 - four days post-surgery, far less pain.