Thursday, October 9, 2008

On the Road Back...Slowly This Time!

Well, I've started my rehab. I was given clearance from my orthopedic doctors to start riding the stationary bike and elliptical as tolerated, starting with no resistance and no elevation. Was also given a consult to start Physical Therapy to help get my knee and ankle more mobile and to strengthen my quads and calves...and freedom from my crutches and leg splint.

A week ago Wed was my first trip to the gym in eight long weeks of little to no activity. My first challenge was actually trying to get to the gym. Since my right leg was the one that was fractured and healing...my gas and brake pedal foot...I had been practicing for a couple of days putting weight on my right foot and moving it back and forth...like pushing on the gas and brake pedal. A couple of ladies from the gym had already offered to take me to the gym when they went if I couldn't drive so that option was always there. I wanted to go in the morning when there wouldn't be too many people at the gym and my gym mates of course worked during the day so hence my practicing. So with all the practicing completed I hobbled out to the truck and drove to the gym and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I was extra careful to allow plenty of time to brake and keeping my distance from other vehicles. It was great to know that I was freed from the bonds of immobility now.

The drive to the gym was no problem and I pulled into the nearest handicapped space by the front doors...I was able to get a temporary handicap sticker...so that was very helpful. I hobbled through the doors and was greeted by the staff and a couple of folks that I hadn't seen for what seemed ages. After about 15-20 minutes of greetings and talking about my incident, I climbed onto the stationary bike and started my first ride in a long time. I started off slow with no resistance and no elevation but just the rotational movement and flexion on my right knee and ankle was stiff and uncomfortable. Even pedaling mostly with my good left foot and leg and letting the right foot and leg just cycle through the motion was uncomfortable but bearable. After about five minutes I was able to use both legs with equal effort, still with tightness but more bearable. I completed seven miles in 31 minutes on the bike and moved on to the elliptical thinking that since I'm all warmed up, I could put in at least 5-10 minutes. But the movement and pressure from the elliptical was to great on my ankle and shin and I got off after just one minute. But, not bad for the first time in almost two months of nothing.

I got home, showered and notice my ankle and lower leg was painfully swollen but with some ice and elevation while I worked out my rehab training plan, the swelling went down. My plan is to build on the first day with only working out every other day for the first few weeks increasing the time/distance in small increments. So this was last weeks rehab/workout:

Wed: 31 min cycle at 0 level, 0 elevation; 1 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation
Thu: Rest
Fri: 32 min cycle at 0-2 level, 0 elevation; 5 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation
Sat: Rest
Sun: Rest...actually I hobbled around the pool scrubbing the sides and bottom...it needed it and it was a good work out.
Mon: 31 min cycle at 0-3 level, 0 elevation; 12 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation
Tue: Rest
Wed: 36 min cycle at 0-5 level, 0 elevation; 12 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation

Not a bad weeks worth of workouts, considering. My discomfort levels are more bearable each time out and my hobbling is slowly becoming more like normal walking. Got to remind myself to take it slow and easy, those old bones aren't mended yet.

Yesterday, Wed morning was my first PT appointment where they took baseline measurements on flexion, extension and strength and explained what type of exercises I was to do there and on my own and how to do them. I also saw my ortho doctor and they fitted me with a pair of support socks...looks like knee high stockings but they help my ankle and lower leg swelling...and I got clearance to go back to work starting Monday...well actually Tuesday since Monday is a holiday! Life is looking good again!

Happy training!
Charlie

9 comments:

Steph Bachman said...

Way to go, Charlie! I'm so glad to hear you are on your way again. : )

Nat said...

That is great news! I know it is tough starting over and frustrating but soon enough all this will be in the past. And I think I need some of those stockings! Take care, heal fast.
Nat

cymrusteve said...

Fantastic to see you back at the gym and working out Charlie!

Take it easy, remember the tortoise and the hare story.

Keep up the great work...

--Steve

LetsRoll said...

Charlie,

You motivate a lot of folks. Keep up the good work. Hey, it's OK when the girls at the gym want to drive you to the gym. Watch out when they want to drive you home. Chicks dig scars...it's true!

You're on my mind a lot. Are you sure you don't want to handbike the MCM?

Keep posting. It's good therapy. And good for us readers, too.

LetsRoll
2008 Miles of Hope

Charlie said...

Thanks all!

It is nice to be able to work out some.

I can't see myself doing the handbike thing especially for a marathon with such a short time to prepare. You are amazing Paul to be able to do those races with hills. Great race report on the ATM. Sounds like you had a great and enjoyable race!

Have a great race Steve on the Stonewall Jackson 20 miler this weekend!

You all have a great weekend,
Charlie

LetsRoll said...

Charlie,

Keep us posted on your progress!

LetsRoll
2008 Miles of Hope

Charlie said...

Hi Paul,

Yes...I do need to update this, even though it seems like I have done nothing worthy of comment.

Great job on your MCM marathon!
Charlie

LetsRoll said...

Charlie,

Sometimes the smallest gains are our greatest accomplishments.

Read your DSS post again--where you focus on the next runner in front, passing one by one.

Focus on little goals...collectively they're a big inspiration to us too!

LetsRoll!
2008 Miles of Hope

Steph Bachman said...

I hope you can run with us Charlie! I'll keep my fingers crossed. : )