Friday, January 6, 2012

a letter from across the pond + an update of recovery

I got an email this morning from a guy in England who is going through the same thing - it is also my 34th birthday - this really brightened my day. 

The letter

Hi Mike,
I'll start by thanking you again for creating the website, Its been such a big help. It's been really great to know someone else is in the trenches with me and has the know how to get past it. When I stumbled on your page i immediately noticed a few similarities in that we both fractured our Tibias (a week apart from each other), have toddler sons and are very athletic individuals with a strong passion for sports and perhaps (due to our injuries) a further interest/awe and respect for sports science/human body etc..
My names ****, 25 years old, semi pro football(soccer) player & live in England, I also work in Human Resources for the a company. I fractured my tibia on the 12th November in a football match. a freak collision with the goalkeeper in a 1 on 1 situation, I scored the goal but he came out the walking victor. Had the scan at the hospital and the doctor diagnosed i had an oblique fracture of my Tibia however my Fibula was intact so advised the best course of treatment would be a above the knee cast for 6 weeks.
Fast forward 7 weeks and the Doctor has put me in a Sarmiento Cast which was a big relief as no bending of my my knee with the full leg cast was becoming really uncomfortable. However when they removed my full leg cast the atrophy in my thigh was hideous, i couldn't believe the muscle loss that had occurred?! once the worry had subsided, in a way it was quite motivational as it gave me some targets to set myself on getting my Legs back to how they looked if not better. (they werent Roberto Carlos or Ronaldo's but they were a decent knock off haha) but now my right leg looks like a 12 year old girls. I've now moved back home to my apartment after staying with my parents and started to do some of your workouts, really should've started weeks ago but was too depressed and lazy i guess.
I haven't had anyone to talk to who has the same interests or has walked (hobbled) in my shoes and understands what I have had to go through so after reading your site i knew you would be the best person to talk to. Excuse me if this email seems like the ramblings of a wounded soldier or if it comes across as intrusive as it probably would be better served in a regular convo but I wanted to know a few things about your recovery as you seem to be coping with it really well and have taken such a pro active mindset which in turn has helped speed up your rehab.
what kind of fracture did you have?
Did you need surgery, above knee cast etc..?
Which equipment/treatment would you recommend the most, ie: the rumble roller etc..?
How have your family and friends coped with your injury?
What stage are you at of your recovery?
Top 5 tips or advice you have learned from your personal experience with the fracture.
What effect on your workl-life/social has the injury had? (I noticed you returned to work really quickly)
What are your next steps, goals?
Do you have skype?

Mikes  update

Good morning man; - your email is a cool 34th birthday present!

im glad i could help a little bit ~ when i first got hurt i was so used to going 100 miles per hour that i freaked out. So i started the blog

ill try to answer your questions

what kind of fracture did you have?

I had a compression fracture, i was in a weight lifting contest and was clearing a 180 pound sandbag over a bar. i missed the clear and the bag came back at me. i had no choice (be crushed or catch the bag) as it fell. as i came down with the bag my left foot took the brunt of the impact

_ - then i fell

on my way down i heard a snap - i though shit

~ what had me scared - no pain - ive been in sports long enough to know that no pain is really bad - no pain = shock -

- so i tried to keep my head about me because this is all in the middle of a 100 contestant contest - i hopped back to my buddies car and used this stuff called K-tape, its great read about it - any way i wrapped the ankle real good and headed off to the emergency room- i metion the k tape because i think it helped me avoid displacement + surgery!

~ ended up with a compression fracture - these are painful because the bone breaks from pressure of weight - its been fun
Did you need surgery, above knee cast etc..?


1. temporary cast from ER for 3 days - then i asked all the athletes i knew who the best doc in the area was , and made an appointment

2. sports doc put me in a great knee down cast (30 days)

3. cast removed - x ray showed 100% New bone growth

a. 1 week cam walker 100% of the time - at this point i was more worn out then any point of the injury as my body began to build muscle

b. 1 week shoes inside cam walker outside - pain, pain pain

c.  week 3 ~ shoes and take it easy

Which equipment/treatment would you recommend the most, ie: the rumble roller etc..?

lets see - i think that half of this battle is to maintain mobility and range of motion in as many body functions as possible

i love the rumble roller

the 2 tennis balls taped together

the vicodin helps LOL

walking in the pool

its a daily battle for me.. i just try to serve my body with what it needs day to day

How have your family and friends coped with your injury?

family (well my wife is very pregnant) - there have been ups and downs they try - to be honest most people except for 2 or 3 close buddies just disappeared after a few weeks.

* my coworkers have been very good - im blessed to be a teacher - so if i have a doctors appointment its no big deal - my students (may of them have been in jail, in gangs, - bad kids) my students have been awesome, so nice and supportive (life is confusing)

What stage are you at of your recovery?

in drew breeses book the doctor finishes his surgery and tells drew - its up to you now.

i am in rehab - i spend about 3 hours a day on my body - its a shit load of work but i think thats what it takes, i bought a rowing machine , im getting a little soft in the gut, i know it will be about 6 months before i can sprint, jump and move at 100% again

Top 5 tips or advice you have learned from your personal experience with the fracture.

1. i had training way too high of a priority in my life, i have slowed down for the first time ever and this whole new world is opening up to me, i know i will return to training but now that i have gone without everything i know what i miss the most - i miss camping, backpacking, hunting and fishing the most. i live in LA and dont really like to be around people all the time, i love hiking and nature, i dont want to sacrifice that time outdoors just to be a little stronger.

2. Recovery time as an athlete - i train year round, never stopping resting, and letting things heal, i wont make this mistake again, from now on i will build in down time in my life (yes entire weeks off without working out). i think overtraining is what let to my injury.

3. i am only human, i am 34 - like it or not - i cant act like a 25 year old and train against fire men and lifeguards 10 years younger then me. but i am smarter then them. and now that i have accepted its time to slow down a little, i am happier

4. i have spent so much time with my son in the last few weeks. i think i took him for granted - he has been my biggest fan in all this - time with those you love is great

5. dont be afraid to redefine what "fit" is - make changes and dont pretend you are super human - i have got away with a lot of crazy behavior in my life (snow boarding - big jumps, surfing over rock bottoms, skating down hills at 35 miles per hour, driving really fast, cliff jumping) the list goes on .... i have been lucky

What effect on your workl-life/social has the injury had? (I noticed you returned to work really quickly)

I only missed 2 days of work, looking back im not quite sure how i did this - Russian stubbornness is my best guess. Socially i have done nothing, most of my social life away from family is sports and camping - so i miss all that - but i miss the camping more then anything 

What are your next steps, goals?

My next steps - this is what i have been really thinking about - at first i was determined to get back to crossfit and competing ASAP, now i dont know if i really have a desire to return,

1. I really want to go backpacking and camping - so i need to be able to carry a 40 pound pack up hill for 4 days -

2. my short term goal is this doctors app on the 12th ( if it goes well i will have the all clear - meaning that my bone is at 100% strength)

then i will start PT with a sports doc, learn how to run and jump again

my rowing machine gets here on the 11th of january

my second baby gets here on the 14 of febuary

- so between now and the end of the school year i plan to just rehab and get strong again

- i have been doing so much weight training, but i think i will change my body frame

- i was 210 pounds on the date of injury

- im 200 now

- i think ill lean down to about 190 so i have less stress on my frame (no need to be big)

- i want to climb this mountain that i climbed 2 years ago this summer - its rough about 14 miles up and you have to carry water, so thats my goal

Do you have skype?

i dont have skype but ill try it out!

thanks for the email man ! it made my day