Looking Up, Looking Down

Bike crash recovery isn’t going exactly as planned.  I had no idea the knee injury was this big a deal until I started asking questions like, “when can I put weight on it without pain” and heard that the answer is probably never.  The PCL is gone and the MRI showed that the MCL is also damaged and the kneecap has some fissuring, which sounds the scariest but apparently is the least of my concerns.  Now I’m wondering if I have some kind of stress fracture in my foot, which was so far behind the rest of the injuries in terms of severity or pain that I ignored it, expecting it to heal on its own.  It hasn’t. Or, you know, it’s foot cancer.

Don’t you wish we had those Star Trek devices that could be run across a body and instantly and precisely diagnose problems?  What if we could run something like that across our brains or hearts and determine how to best heal them? 

At various times just this week, my heart has broken for others — it’s been a very hard week for some people I love — but my brain has failed to come up with how best to help them.  I can speak up, I can show up, I can listen, write, and thank.  

How best to help myself is to ride, but I’m struggling, struggling.  My answer to “why don’t you wear a brace” has been, “because I want to feel it — I want to feel when it’s hurting too much so I can stop” was accepted by doc and PT alike, but I think it’s time to pull one on. At least a sleeve would help keep the knee from wobbling all over the place when I try to pedal, it would help me direct the force downward like I’m encouraged to do.  Pulling backwards and lifting up are still too painful.  The hope is that my quad and calf muscles can be developed enough to take over and that at some point, I’ll walk and cycle, maybe not normally, but tolerably.  I had a readjust my goals a bit without letting myself plummet into despair.  I did plummet into a bag of Arby’s roast beef sandwich, a side of potato cakes, and a jamocha shake last night.  Sorry, Whole 30, I hardly knew ye.  Mo money, mo problems?  I say mo problems, mo carbs!

Riding scared the crap out of me last Thursday –er, a week ago Thursday.  I rode on the trail, less than 30 miles out and back to the new Taco Ride — the BBF Taco Ride that’s every other week at the Bellevue Berry Farm right off the Big Papio Trail.  I actually thought, in my head, “this isn’t fun” and “I want this to be over” and even, when it was time to ride back, “I don’t want to do this.”  I was so demoralized, so down, I didn’t ride for over a week.  Last Monday, in another form of giving up, I rode the e-bike on a group ride about the same distance but on the Keystone, i.e., also flat.  That hurt too, and I’m really not sure why.  I called it another form of giving up there, but that’s not fair.  I showed up, damnit, in the best way I could.  
In training, you do a bit, push a bit, it hurts a bit, then you come back and can do a bit more next time.  Healing from this crash hasn’t worked out that way.  It’s often felt more like one step forward, two steps back.  But bit by bit, a lot of things are changing and bit by bit, I am choking it down.

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