Taking little steps with big smiles

11th August 2019

Taking little steps with big smiles

So, I havenít blogged in a while. Mainly because I wanted to blog when I was feeling a bit more upbeat and also because rehabbing my collarbone (complicated by a frozen shoulder) doesnít leave much free-time.

Iím now 14 weeks post-op (20 weeks since the break). Pre-op, all I wanted was to be back riding my bike. Post-op, I had to quickly re-calibrate my hierarchy of needs.

Pain and Sleep: I was totally unprepared for the level of pain. Unfortunately for me, I had really bad side-effects from all the strong painkillers I tried. So, I had to settle for ibuprofen and paracetamol. I was also totally unprepared for the lack of sleep. Anyone that knows me well, knows how much I love my sleep! 9-10 hours please! Post-op, a typical night for me has been bed at 10, then awake midnight, 3 and 5 to take painkillers, mobilise my shoulder and heat up my beddy-teddy for comfort. Then, up at 7 to face the day, bleary-eyed and spaced out. My body reacted with constant cold sores and mouth ulcers. Not the best!

Hot tub and Love Island: Getting a hot tub has been great as I can do a daily hydrotherapy session in the privacy of my own garden (I look a total dork at the swimming pool). Hydrotherapy is physiotherapy in a pool and involves doing various weird-looking exercises. I would say this has definitely fast-tracked my rehab. Rehab exercises get very dull without distraction so, Love Island has been my guilty pleasure. Donít knock it until youíve watched it!

Bike riding: I got back on the turbo at 4 weeks. Initially, riding in a (very sweaty) sling and then slowly but surely my arm had enough mobility to reach the handlebars! Yey! 10 weeks post-op, I started running (with a slightly weird asymmetrical arm swing).

Racing: I plan to race a 2020 World Champs qualifier at the end of September - a road sprint duathlon. Iím not quite sure what form Iíll be in but Iíll have to race with what Iíve got. Bike-wise, Iím pushing nice wattageÖactually really nice wattage. Running-wise, itís all still quite ploddyÖbut I'm enjoying getting endorphins in the Kent countryside.

Another operation: I need another operation to remove the hook plate, so I will be sliding quite spectacularly back to the bottom of the mountain I'm slowly climbing ☹. 

hookplate

The consultant reckons 18 months post-the next op to get strength and mobility back to close to normal. I can well believe it as even with all this rehab my mobility is depressingly poor and Iím currently using 2 kg weights and thatís an effort. The hazy days of bench pressing my own body weight of 50 kg are well in the past!

So, the goalposts have changed a bit since the original diagnosis from the consultant who said 4-6 weeks full-recovery; all very straight forward!!  ???

Anyhow, for the moment Iím enjoying taking little steps with big smiles. Onwards and upwards.

Author: Claire Hitchings

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