Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I had some trouble with getting motivated to ride to and from work yesterday. In the morning, I read this message from Commuter Dude. He talked about his reasons for skipping the 300K that he had planned on doing. One of the reasons was the cold weather on the day of the ride. After reading that post and looking at the temperature (36°) I didn't feel like getting on the bike. I rode to work anyway, and I felt fine once I started riding.

In the afternoon, Helen called to say the she would be nearby and could pick me up if I liked. I turned down the offer, but later I started to think about it. I had been having a mentally exhausting day at work so my motivation was low again. Later, when I had just started to get changed for the ride home, I decided to take Helen up on her offer. I called her and she said that she would pick me up in about 15 minutes.

Once I called her, I started second guessing myself. The weather had warmed up nicely and I was afraid that I would regret my decision. I decide to go outside and see if the nice weather would get me motivated to ride. After a few minutes outside, I called Helen and told her that I would be riding home after all. Once I was one the bike I felt fine, and I think that the ride home did a lot to improve my attitude. One of the reasons that I was pushing myself to ride yesterday is that I would not be riding today or tomorrow because of a physical therapy appointment and an appointment with my hip doctor.

During my physical therapy this morning, my knee and hip were feeling really good. They usually feel better after they've been warmed up with some activity. I jogged a few steps and my therapist encouraged to see what I could do. I ended up running several laps around the exercise area. That was really encouraging. I'm not entirely pain free while running, but it is a definite improvement.

I am working on a list of questions to ask my hip doctor tomorrow. I will be seeing a new doctor. The previous doctor that I had been seeing (who was not the doctor that did my surgery) left the practice. I was going to ask if I was going to be able to run soon but I guess that question has been answered. I will ask him about my knee. It got banged up some in the accident and still doesn't have full range of motion. It seems to have made some improvements recently, but I want to make the doctor aware of the problem.

I have also made another appointment to see my hand doctor. I don't feel like I have made any improvements in a while and I want to make sure that everything is healing properly. I figure it's better to be safe than sorry. I don't see him until May 13th.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back in the saddle again

I decided to ride to work today. I was slow, but I didn't have any problems. I had hoped to avoid the rain but I got drenched in a sudden downpour about 2 miles from work. The weather was great in the afternoon, and I wasn't feeling any ill effects from the morning ride, so I rode home. Again I had no problems. I stopped by Maplewood Bicycle on the way home to say hi. I'll probably looking at bikes again before too long.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Cane Mutiny

On Thursday I decided to go through my day without using my cane. I took it with me to work but I didn't use it. Things went well. On Friday, I rode my bike to physical therapy. It's only a little over a mile each way. My therapist was fine with me not using the cane as long as I am careful not to limp. If I am not paying attention, I sometimes list a bit to the left when walking. I didn't even take my cane with me to work. I don't think I'll be using it anymore unless I take a long walk.

I needed to go to the hardware store today to get some parts for the kitchen sink. I went to the True Value hardware store on Manchester because they are always very helpful. It's one of the advantages of going to a small store rather than a big box store. The kids went with me because they like the big gumball machine that they have there. We also went to the bike store so I could pick up my new helmet. My old helmet wasn't damaged in the accident but it wearing out. After that we stopped at Jack in the Box for lunch.

I almost felt guilty about driving for such a short errand. It was about 2.5 miles total. But the weather was cold and rainy and I had the kids with me so it would not have been practical to walk.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A good day

The weather was was wonderful again yesterday. In the morning my daughter Rachel and I decided to walk to Steak N Shake for breakfast. It's a about a mile and a quarter each way. Rachel, who is 7, is an excellent walker and I knew she would walk it with any trouble. I was a little worried about myself. Rachel told me that there were benches along the way where I could stop and rest. Fortunately I did not end up needing them.

A little later, Rachel, A.J., and I made chocolate chip cookies. After that, I watched the Cardinals win and then I took a nap.

Helen went to the grocery store and picked up bratwurst and corn for dinner. We grilled for the first time this year and the kids ran around in the back yard. It doesn't get much better than this.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

It's hard to get back on the bike

I rode my bike for the first time since the accident. It was hard to get back on the bike. I mean that literally. It was easy to ride but it was hard to lift my leg over the bike to get on. I ended up leaning the bike way over on its side and stepping over with my right (good) leg.

I rode a couple of times up and down the driveway to make sure I wouldn't have any trouble stopping. When I stop I put my left (injured) leg down so I wanted to make sure that this wouldn't be a problem. It wasn't an issue at all.

I rode up and down our street and talked to a few of the neighbors who were outside. Then I went to Maplewood Bicycle. The nominal reason for my trip was to look at helmets but mostly I wanted to show off my new walking and riding abilities. While I was there, I noticed that it was easier to walk without lurching. I think that the ride warmed up my muscles and joints and made walking easier.

The whole distance that I rode was about 2.75 miles. It felt great. I was slow but not horribly so. I was a little winded at the end but that was from hurrying along Manchester Rd. For the most part I took it slow and easy. I felt like I could have ridden farther but I wanted to ease into things.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Citizen Cane

I went to physical therapy before work this morning. My therapist was surprised to see me without the crutches, but she she noticed that I would lurch to the left when I walked. She had me use a cane and that helped me walk properly. She didn't want me to strain my back or develop any bad habit as I started walking again.

I also rode a stationary bike for ten minutes during my session. It felt good. It was easier than walking. Once I got to work, I got to show off my new abilities. I am using one crutch as a cane until I can get a cane this weekend. I feel really good right now because it seems like I'm making a lot of progress.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

These boots were made for walking

I went to the doctor today and he took away all of my weight bearing restrictions. This means that I'm allowed to walk! My left leg is weak so I'm walking with a limp, but I think I'm doing pretty good. Especially if you consider that I haven't walked since January.

I'm also allowed to bend more than 90 degrees at the waist so I'll be able to tie my shoes. I even have permission to ride a stationary bike and, if that works out, a real bike. I don't have a stationary bike but I'll give it a try at my physical therapy appointment tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Back at work

I have been back at work since March 14. I was talking to my brother on the phone today and I realized that I hadn't posted that yet. Work is going fine. My office is handicap accessible. Now that I am using my crutches it is easier to get around.

I have an appointment with my hip doctor tomorrow. I'm starting to think that I won't get permission to put my full weight on my leg. One of the possibilities is that I will allowed to put 50% of my weight on it. This would allow me to stand in one place but it wouldn't let me walk. That would be very disappointing.

I didn't fall for any April Fool's pranks yesterday, but there was an actual news story which I thought was a hoax: Wal-Mart backs off the Shanks. Does that count as being fooled?