Thursday, May 29, 2014

Update and Decisions

I'm actually feeling quite awesome and in the driver's seat right now with what's going on. Ya the wrist fracture put a wrench in my plans, but I'm not going to sit around and whine or mope. I'm doing what I can! As I said in my last blog, I started exercising again 4 days after the break. Well, I went on to workout 10 days in a row, averaging ~1hr per day (with some days ~45min, some ~90min). I can't say that it was "training," but, quite frankly, I think that was the best approach for me. All the workouts I did were extremely enjoyable and even though I definitely feel the de-training effect setting in, I wasn't stressing it. I only used my HRM like once, and power meter a couple times or so. I think my bike fitness has held up better than run fitness; however, since none of my rides have been long I'm sure my bike endurance blows.

Oh yea, I tried swimming on Saturday too. It was in the ocean not pool, and, no, the decision to go ocean was not because I was being a dumb athlete ;) Mostly because the ocean was looking awesome, calm as a lake and it's my happy place... and our pool was closed (and is closed for 2+ weeks). How'd it go? let's put it this way: It took John and I longer to put on my wetsuit than we spent swimming. Ha! Next time I try to swim I'm going no wetsuit, I'll just suck it up, which is easy to do in ~65degrees. So really though, how did it go? It hurt in the area of the break soon after starting. We swam maybe 10min total with frequent stops, and it was more like "moving forward" rather than swimming. I was not about to F it up more. I did some single arm (with my good side) and also found that making a fist on fracture side helped relieve the pain a bit. But I wasn't "swimming," and that brace certainly isn't an advantage for swim technique. Thankfully it was awesome in the water, though, and that made me happy enough.

So Tuesday of this week marked two weeks post-break, which meant time for more X-Rays. Sucky for me is that the new ones looked virtually the same as the first set of X-Rays in terms of the radial fracture (was hard to tell if a hard callous is forming yet, with signs of fracture still clearly there). However, since swelling went down, my doc was able to rule out any additional breaks, including any fractures at the wrist joint (like scaphoid), which was great news because usually those breaks require surgery and bolts, ew.

This week I also did an interesting podcast with an osteopathic physician, Ben Rawson, and covered some great grounds on bone health and fracture healing. Uploading it today. Among the many topics covered, I basically got two big messages from that show:

1) You can't really speed up bone healing, or, at least, it's not proven that you can via supplements etc (even the PEMF stuff is promising but not guaranteed). On the flip side, you can delay bone healing for whatever reason (poor health, re-injure, etc). At the end of the day, the body and the bones know what they need to do to heal and the process just has to play its course. Takes time. So all those supplements and things in previous post -- well, they certainly don't hurt, but they also won't turn me into Wonder Woman. Or at least not yet (n=1, n=1. n=1). Bwahaha.

2) The inflammatory response is your friend. This is not earth-shattering news to me. I preach this all the time, and is one reason why I'm so against using NSAIDs for injury. But in my case it seemed that Dr. Ben (the expert) was, in a nice way, telling me to not overdo it even with the all-natural anti-inflammatory stuff because that can potentially block the inflammation response needed for healing as well. That was good news for me because I then admitted that I hadn't been a perfect angel with daily nutrition/supplement stuff -- man that's a lot of stuff to take and sometimes I get lazy, forget just don't want to obsess over it. And while I'm admitting things, I also didn't cut out alcohol and caffeine either to help the healing process. Nope. Sorry not sorry, as they say. Haha.

Where does that leave me with a Wrist Progress Report?
Well, like I said, I have been working out regularly, and that is feeling totally fine. A as of this week I have a few new tricks up my sleeve:

12-15 days post break:
-I can open a can of sardines by myself (surprisingly hard with broken wrist lol)
-Can do light resistance band exercises at gym (with brace on of course) like pull-aparts, some external/internal rotation, scap pinches, etc, while not applying too much force/pressure, but enough to activate shoulders/back muscles. Man, that felt good!
-Hold a light barbell with both hands for 2 X <1min be="" because="" br="" hurting="" it="" not="" safe="" started="" time="to">
-Able to move around and set up much more equipment at the gym
-Further increases in wrist extension and flexion, and even some light pronation/supination now doable without pain
-Brace is off much more often at home and I'm able to do many things just carefully -- typing feels totally normal, showering I can use it with even more normally and with force (still not 100% though)
-Figured out a system to put on compression socks by myself, aw ya.

I still can't do:
-Some basic household things like hold a pan or hold a full pint-size mason jar with left hand alone
-Swim (see above - tried saturday, no bueno,. haven't tried since)
-Half Ironmans. Yup, it's looking like Eagleman won't happen. Just not worth it in my state; complicated and not worth the risk with the break still so fresh. I know I can't race it at full capacity, and with so many 70.3s available, I'll have plenty more opportunities to get out there again. I gotta look at my health and healing first and foremost... and it's not like we're talking a world championship/once-in-a-lifetime event here.

But I'm still headed to the East Coast to watch John and a couple of my athletes race. And I'm excited to have one hell of a trip, now with a much lighter load of luggage ;)

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