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Old 12-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #91
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Nice!

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Old 12-07-2013, 05:39 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Rex Nemo View Post
Have fun with those wheelies, man, just keep your head, keep that foot over the rear brake, wear good boots, don't chop the throttle or turn the bars! The DR350 will come up just fine with a little practice. Ask me why I know...

I intend to get a set of Crossfires, but no boot can protect our fragile human bodies from all the crazy perturbations of physics we riders throw ourselves into. My awesome and supportive GF is, in part, such a good support because she knows exactly how it is to be in my place: she has a pair of Crossfire TAs that she's broken BOTH ankles while wearing (lowsiding a DR650 in sand and thick, floury dust over hardpan will do that). Nothing removes all risk.

I am continuing to do 50% weightbearing, assisted by crutches. What a workout! My greatest distance so far is 2 miles...I intend to wear that dang boot right out. Doing all the PT's suggested exercises, of course. I swear it hurts a little less than when I started. A little. Also, with partial weightbearing the foot is less swollen; my theory is that the pressure of part of my weight on the ground pumps blood and lymph through the foot more efficiently. Either way, less swelling is a lovely thing. I've recovered, according to the therapist, 1 degree of ankle flexibility in 2 weeks. It didn't sound like much, but she says it's significant; 5 degrees past neutral allows for a normal stride.

As for the pegleg thing, it is called an iWalkFree, and it looks as if they just came out with a new, cheaper model, making it more accessible to the average schmo like me. Wonder if it's as good or better than the original?

The scooter has been passed on to a friend of mine with a non-bike injury; he just tore his achilles tendon at work. Poor dude, he needs surgery to re-connect the thing. Rough year on feet and ankles!
Rex, thanks for sharing your story and hope you continue to improve. That is quite a serious injury, good thing you have a great attitude. Hang in there.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:53 AM   #93
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Walking.

WALKING.

WALKING!


The surgeon took a look at my foot and my x-rays today, and said, "good job, your bones are all healed." And he cleared me to walk, once again! He apologized for the hospital's miscommunication of last time, said he knew that getting to walk and then having it yanked must have been psychologically difficult. Well, yes.

Turns out I have lost all the padding on the bottom of the left foot, "just like little 75-year-old-ladies do," and have the 3rd metatarsal head dropped down so that it makes immediately painful contact with the ground. We'll see how much I am able to remodel bone and flesh; but in the meantime, he says, the solution is likely pain management, custom orthotics, and physical therapy. Except that, Highland being a public hospital, they don't DO custom or therapeutic orthotics of their own. I asked about private practice prices, and they're out of reach for now...$500 or so a pair. That is saddening and sobering, but something I can work on over time. The most important milestone, 234 days post injury, is simply that I get to stand and move on my own two working feet.

Such a precious thing, simply to walk, even to stumble along with sore bones and creaking joints and atrophied muscles. The best Xmas/Saturnalia/solstice present a girl could wish for.

Of course, I went to the physical therapist, too, and she and the surgeon have this sort of good cop/bad cop dynamic. :laughing Surgeon says, sure, bicycling is fine. PT, on the other hand, she fixes me with a withering stare and says, "what, you want to wobble along on your atrophied muscles and fall and get a malleolar fracture on top of everything? Why don't you wait?"

She also praised me for doing my PT so relentlessly--I have a visible tibialis anterior muscle now, and a tiny bit of calf definition, where before it has wasted and withered to the size of one of my arms. My strength is improved, and the foot's range of motion dramatically so; when I saw her last, I'd achieved a single degree of dorsiflexion (pulling your foot upwards towards your shin) above neutral. This time, I showed 10 degrees of flexion above neutral. She also cut some adhesive felt into a horseshoe, applied it around the dropped metatarsal, and assessed pain and pressure on a pressboard. "We'll see if we can't find you other options vs. expensive orthotics," she said, "when I first started here, I had to use cut-up magazines on people--we had nothing. I know how to do a lot with a little." Now that is appreciated.

She advised me that lots of people end up with fallen arches when they return abruptly to physical activity--she pointed out the force vectors on the bones and muscle, and how they get overwhelmed. So, she added arch-strengthening exercises, sort of squinching the big toe and arch upwards, and suggested that while walking around the house in a supportive shoe is fine, on longer walks I'd do better to use either the crutches or the cam boot. Arrgh. I'd thrown my back out horribly last week, and in a vicious circle, using the crutches exacerbated it. Still, I can reduce their use, if not completely eliminate it. But progress, one aching step at a time.

I kissed T wildly and exultantly in the elevator, and we went home; I put on an old hiking boot and tottered about, feeling all the strange pain and instability of walking after such a long, long wait. I have 2 hiking boots on now, in fact. And I can stand, and move, and look the world in the eye.
YES.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:37 AM   #94
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Good going Girl!! I'm really happy to hear this progress and wish you the best in the walking phase. These footbeds seem a little better than Superfeet for me. Maybe they offer a little more custom fit.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:57 PM   #95
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Yup, even the surgeon suggested hiking/athletic insoles as a possibility. An insole and the felt horseshoe got me goin' ok on a walk with a friend and her dog this morning--glorious day, too.

234 days between injury and really walking again, what a long strange trip it's been! I keep wanting these theatrical moments, but instead it is a slow, steady, sometimes unpredictable climb--a lot like life, I suppose.

Photos of the latest x-rays--looking sideways on, you can really see the dropped 3rd metatarsal almost in direct contact with the ground when I put pressure on the foot. That will definitely be a problem to work with. The plantar view looks darn good, considering it was, after all, what the surgeon calls a "pretty horrible injury." I have a perverse with that I could see how the bone looks after healing, though; if only I could lift up a flap and have a peek without all the blood and pain.





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Old 12-20-2013, 07:03 AM   #96
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I'm no expert but wonder if the horseshoe might exaggerate the problem by pushing up on the surrounding structure. Can you make a footbed that is recessed for just the pressure point thus maintaining natural loading for the rest of the foot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Nemo View Post
Yup, even the surgeon suggested hiking/athletic insoles as a possibility. An insole and the felt horseshoe got me goin' ok on a walk with a friend and her dog this morning--glorious day, too.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:33 AM   #97
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I agree--I just needed some relief from the intense pain of the dropped metatarsal contacting the pavement before any other part of the foot. It felt like walking on a knuckle. OUCH. The PT mentioned it as a concern as well, and so I tried walking without the felt donut after a couple of days. At first I could only stand an hour or so without it, but gradually eliminated its use.

Now my main difficulty with walking seems to be painful ankle instability--another thing the PT predicted. Unfortunately, when I was about to head over for my appointment yesterday, she called up exasperated and said that the new insurance provider (the Affordable Care Act has now gone into effect) ordered her to cancel ALL her appointments until they review and approve each patient. GAH. So no more PT until some faceless bureaucrat gets around to each of us and decides our fate. Fortunately the PT was able to give some good phone recommendations, and my GF has been very supportive about helping me get out and walk, which is the main thing I need to strengthen the eroded bones.

One truly amazing thing I experienced in the last couple of weeks, though: that pesky, dropped third metatarsal, the very one that gave me fears of permanent lameness and eternal pain management? IT MOVED. Seriously, it was very sore, but slowly moved back mostly into line with the other metatarsals, leaving only a slight bony prominence on the bottom of the foot. I'd estimate the motion at 5 mm or so, which is a fair bit of a ways for bones to go on walkabout! I'm astounded at the healing power of the human body all over again.

Next up--photos from our gimpy Baja and Anza-Borrego New Year's trip...
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:35 AM   #98
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fuck ---- that looks painful

heal well !
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:02 PM   #99
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Inspirational Story

Having too been a victim of my own stupidity once, also resulting in broken bones, surgeries, and PT, I anxiously read through your story hoping for a happy ending.

After seeing the initial pictures and x-rays, I was relieved to finally find that you are again walking and on your way to recovery. Great surgeons, nurses, and therapists aside, I'm convinced your recovery is due as much to your positive attitude, as it is to their efforts.

You have an infectiously vibrant spirit. Thanks so much for sharing, and may good fortune shine on you during your continued healing. Maybe I'll see you on the Pacific Crest someday.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:47 PM   #100
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Hell yeah! I'm seriously considering trying the John Muir Trail this summer/early fall, if I can swing it. We'll see what my cranky physical therapist has to say about that. She's been spot on with all her exercises, prescriptions and warnings so far, even if she doesn't want me to do NEARLY as much as I want to do just yet.

I took my sweetie (well, she took me, in her truck, though I can now drive a stick for short distances) to Canon Guadalupe in Baja for a Christmas-to-New-Year's getaway. We camped and shared meals with the cool folks who helped rescue my gf and I last year when she busted an ankle on the road in. Disaster can bring new friends! They were a great bunch of folks to camp with, and the springs were sublime. Our spot had its own hot tub, a rickety palapa, and a spot for a tent--perfect.

Moon from the edge of the palapa



Home sweet palapa



The campground is in the middle of a big, lush desert oasis up a canyon in Baja.



The view from our personal hot tub at dawn



All the rock scrambling was quite tough on my foot, and I slammed a great deal of ibuprofen controlling the foot and ankle pain. The whole foot, ankle and lower leg, as the PT warned, were malleable, unstable, stiff, and quite painful. But I was just careful enough, and pushed the envelope as best I could, and soaked that sucker in the hot spring while sipping beer when it ached too badly.

Barrel cactus, fruiting



Hiking among the cactus and granite boulders



There was an amazing, spicy-scented Torote tree growing from a nest of boulders at our campsite. Unforgettable scent, and gorgeous twisted trunks and foliage--turns out it's related to the frankincense shrub.



The mountains at dawn, looking almost bloody with sunlight



The Tooth, looming behind the campground. Someday I'll climb it.



T finally got a whole week to read, soak, and lounge about, instead of taking care of my sorry butt and working her own off.



Midnight at the oasis--we and our cool camp neighbors had a good ol' NYE.

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Old 01-10-2014, 12:56 PM   #101
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On our way back through SoCal, we stopped for a night to meet a different group of buddies in Anza-Borrego. We camped in Split Mountain Gorge, and explored Fish Creek Wash, with all its amazing geology. I missed hiking hard, climbing and rock scrambling, of course, but the beauty of the place, even from a truck window, is pretty intense.

Split Mountain Gorge, our home for the night



Driving up Fish Creek Wash





Thorny Smoke trees grace the washes here at Anza-Borrego



A gorge made of layers and layers of marine silt, deposited when this was a shallow sea.



These silt-deposit cliffs look like melting ziggurats.



The painful miracle of WALKING! Stumbling my way to the Elephant Knees in the Carrizo Badlands



T found a dessicated barrel cactus that left a thorn-nest mummy of itself. Cool!



I heartily missed being able to explore the desert on a bike, but I know it will be a long way in terms of retraining, re-strengthening, getting and practicing on a smaller dirtbike, and restoring my skill and nerve before I can get in there again. I'm grateful for the access I do have, and looking forward to getting back in the riding game.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:42 AM   #102
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present

Looks to me like full participation on the planet.
Nothing beats beauty, friends and gratitude for smoothing recovery.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:23 PM   #103
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I've now moved up to doing 3-4 hours or so of physical therapy every day. I WILL be whole again, will be a free human being exploring the world on two legs.

Hiking in Sibley Regional Park with Terma Gant



I was able to put down the arm crutches at last, though I do still use a cane in public--otherwise I get nearly run down as I limp across the street, or knocked down on BART, or left standing on the lurching train while young whippersnappers text furiously, sitting in all the handicapped spots. My disability is now invisible--and it has forced me into empathy with everyone whose bodies aren't as fast, pain-free, and spry as the average gal's. Oh. I begin to get it now. I will never again have the luxury if being the casual asshole I was about other people's pain. :afm199

I've got exercises with the TheraBand from the physical therapist, and since I got a YMCA membership, and I've been doing pool exercises in the lap pool or the deep pool, not to mention lots and lots of walking or hiking--up to 3.5 miles, now. I get in the water with the little old ladies doing their aqua aerobics and do my exercises; never mind that they make me look like I'm performing an underwater version of the Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks skit.

It's pretty entertaining, and I have noticed distinctly less pain and more mobility than I had before getting in the pool; I'm down to about 800mg of ibuprofen a day, from 2000mg or so in Dec.-January. I also appreciate my friend Jay for teaching me how to use all the crazy pool noodles, float belts, foam water weights and other toys to rebuild strength and flexibility. Yesterday we had a pool-noodle rodeo (stand on the noodle, work your core to try and keep your balance, then paddle race) in the deep pool. When you fall off, the pool noodle goes shooting up out of the water and hits you or your fellow racer in the nose and chin.

I also, now, own running shoes--Brooks Addiction 10s. The sheer aesthetic indignity...whatever, after what I've been through I could give a damn :laughing. They feel good and I can walk farther with less pain than before. It was a novel experience, going into La Foot in Berkeley to get my stride (limp) analyzed and do a bunch of shoe fitting, but the PT recommended the place, so off I went. I'd borrowed some friends' stick-shift car, and driving around mashing in the clutch made traffic a little...exciting. Also, I discovered that my wounded foot is wider across the toes than before, but shorter than the other foot by an entire shoe size. I guess all those broken-off metatarsals reduced the overall foot length. :wow

In any case, it was worth it. At this point I will do whatever the physical therapist tells me to do--she has proven herself so damn RIGHT about everything I've experienced that even as I growl and complain at her, I comply. The other day she grinned at me and said, "I think your ankle is out of alignment, but your bones are strong enough to handle me re-aligning 'em." And with that, she gave a great yank and a cracking twist and I about went through the roof, pain-breathing hissing between my teeth; but when I stood up again, the shooting pain that caused a hitch in my stride every time I tried to flex my ankle was gone. She's not a nice person, the PT, but she's good.

At they PT's office, on a leg machine



Well, I almost always comply. :p I had a little something else to take care of, emotionally, that trumped absolute physical safety.

I strapped on Terma Gant's Sidi Crossfires, which no longer fit my newly-reshaped left foot very well, hobbled out to the old DR350 that had been my downfall, and pulled off the cover. It never was the easiest bike to kick over, and I was curious to see whether I'd be able to do it again. My knees wobbled just contemplating it.

Cleaning the carb helped me hedge my bets, of course, though I'd put Sta-bil in all the bikes' fuel tanks. I went through the starting routine: petcock to On, kill switch to On, choke on, key on, decomp lever in, stand on the pegs and kick through 3 times til decomp lever pops out, feel for TDC, and then, BOOM, kick through.

Ow. Nothing.

Repeat the process, foot really aching: Nothing.

But the third time was a charm: pain shot up my leg but the old bike thrummed to life, and I was so surprised I almost fell off. Yee Haw! I jumped off and gave Terma Gant a gigantic hug.

Trying...



Houston, we have liftoff!




Staggering off the bike, I had to lie down and ice my foot for an hour while it throbbed. Still, I'd done what I'd meant to do. Before I sold that bike, it felt right to start it again.

I started the bike every other day, and eventually got up my nerve (and my confidence that the left foot would, just barely, hold me up); finally, I eased the clutch out and rode a few circles in the back yard. My heart fluttered, my foot was clumsy and weak and painful...but I did it. The huge trauma that has been lurking within, growing with every day I haven't gotten back on the horse, gave a growl and a lurch. But every day, just a little more; every day, the kickstarting grew easier...

After a few more days, it was time. I zipped on my stiff, long-unused jacket, buckled on the painful boots, and pulled the now heavy, unfamiliar helmet onto my head. I wasn't supposed to be doing this, and I was alone. I felt my breath coming quicker before I even touched the bike; felt the buzzing in my brain. Got myself grounded with some deep breaths and a grin, knowing I'd planned some mischief. I opened the gate, climbed onto to the DR, kicked her over easily, and sat trembling on the bike. Could I even do this? Would my weakened foot just flop over, sending me sprawling onto the ground, injuring myself all over again? Worst-case scenarios flooded my skull.

Instead, I let the clutch out slowly, reveling in the familiar-yet-new sensations of the handlebars, the saddle, the brakes, the throttle, the bike moving beneath me...and rolled out into the street. Palms sweating, heart racing, I rode to the end of the street and back, feeling the footpegs grind against the remodeled bones of my Danger Foot. Such a mixture of fear and excitement! I rode down my block, around the next one, up my block again, just a little faster. I could feel the exhaustion and the pounding in the foot setting in already--time to call the experiment a success. I rode, (RODE!) back into my backyard, climbed off, and peeled out of my now-sweaty gear, wobbling back up to my house. All of 4 blocks, and I was wiped.

That night, and for several nights after, I dreamed of riding.

The circle was closed, the cycle complete; I was ready to sell the bike.

A few nights later, a solid-seeming guy came over and looked at the 350, kicked it over on the 3rd try, rode around the block, and made me a good offer. Fair enough. With a heart roiling with mixed feelings, I signed over the bike, took a handful of cash, and watched him ride off over the slick, shining streets.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:14 PM   #104
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end of a chapter?

I'm sure all the detail of this episode makes a book. Looking forward to the next one in the series where all the pain, poverty and PTs are left behind.

Good old DR350s are great deals when you find them. That's a tough chapter to close yet I expect there's a new inmate to participate on the DR350 forum.

Meanwhile, post 350, keep us posted on improvements in your foot. Is that 3rd metatarsal lining up better with his buddies? All that jostling for position can't help but hurt and swell. Agreements are being made down there.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:20 PM   #105
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This thread reminded me of Kyle Partridge and his foot dealio couple years back.

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