Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It's been about 72hrs since my ankle surgery and and things are going well. Being completely laid up has not caught up with me yet. I have many small challenges to conquer first, things I never even thought about. I'm not allowed to put any pressure on my left leg, and doing so results in immediate, sharp pain. Ironically, the most painful of my leg fractures is where the fibula broke just below my knee. This area was not surgically treated. Sometimes the slightest muscle twitch causes some movement in the not-yet fused ends of the fibula. I made it upstairs last night and slept well. I don't dare navigate our carpeted stairs on crutches, so I used the butt approach.

Cathy went to work today, so I had to fend for myself. I brewed a cup of coffee into my everyday mug, then realized I had no way to carry it some place to sit down and enjoy it. I dug out a travel mug for subsequent brewings. Things like preparing a bowl of cereal are even challenging. I cannot risk having to "dab" with my left leg to catch myself. Fortunately our kitchen has an island in the middle, so there is something to grab behind me should I lose my balance. You can't carry a bowl of milk and cereal on crutches either.

Some bloggers I follow stoop to poop stories when there isn't much else to talk about. You have to put something out there for the readers during lean times, right?  I found mangling your ankle and putting gory Xray pics up is good for blog traffic.  I still have to talk about poop though, or lack thereof.  I've been taking Percocet since getting out of the hospital, a fairly light dose actually. Those who've taken this med before know it can back you up. After not pooping since Sunday morning, I started getting concerned. To be sure, my food volume was cut maybe in half, but not purging in 72hrs? I've never gone that long. I was even taking an over-the-counter med to help in this department. I was excited this morning when the urge to purge finally came upon me. What happened next gave me greater appreciation for what women go through in giving birth. I was quite certain I'd see a baby elephant in the bowl when I was done. That was an unpleasant experience, but a victory no less.  More aggressive fiber intake needs to be added to the diet until I'm off that stuff.

I'm starting to think about when I can bring some aerobics back into my life. This will be at least a week, maybe two away. I've been in contact with Concept2 about their ski ergometer product. Their demo video shows it can be used by injured athletes in a seated position.  Josh from Concept2 mentioned national team members Kris Freeman and Morgan Smyth used their ski ergs to rehab injuries. Duncan Douglas used a ski erg recovering from a broken pelvis too. I have a spin bike in my family room and plan to use it as a platform for poling, as demonstrated in this Smyth video clip:

There's a good chance I'll order one of these. They are made in Vermont and can be at my house in a day or two.  My ski club is putting an order together for a different type of ski erg, an Italian unit called Ercolina. It must mount to a wall, and the only place I'd do that is in the basement. I don't need more stairs in my life right now. The Concept2 can be built up free standing and comes with a power/kilojoule display, kind of like PowerTap for the arms. The Ercolina boasts other versatile features, but electronics is not one of them. The price is not much different between the two.

Several readers have recommended I get into the pool as soon as I am allowed too. Swimming with some floatation support can provide superb aerobic workouts. I utterly suck in the water though. I'll need some work to get started.

What I don't know yet is what kind of ankle I'll have when I get out of a cast in 8-10 weeks. I see the orthopedist on Monday and hope to learn more when he swaps my splint for a longer term cast.

I appreciate the comments and numerous emails I've received. A number of readers have been in my current situation, and it's reassuring to know they've pulled through.


Jonny Bold said...

Ya we've all been injured before, hence the sympathy. It's good to hear your mind is going a million miles an hour tho.... He's Back!

Congratulations on your baby elephant. Did you name him? Reminds me of the recent Ben Day article on velonews.

If I didn't have so many stage race plans ahead I would have taken you up on the Italy trip. Any luck recovering some of your costs with a fill in?

Luke S said...

With a wierd hip and a sprained ankle, I've been hitting the SkiErg here at Colby as much as possible. That thing is quite a workout, if you use it right. Very good core workout.

Hill Junkie said...

So I found that Ben Day story. "William the Worm." Yuck. And I thought I shared too much information.

Brett and I haven't had luck finding a replacement for me. Thomson Tours is working with me on this. They won't leave me totally hanging, as they know most of their customers come back. There's a chance I could recover most of my cost. Not the $1300 airfare though.

Big Bikes said...

Doug, I miss a day and you go get all messed up, that SUCKS!

Having broken several ankles, mine and other people's (it was for work, so it was OK) NO, Having broken both my ankles multiple times in my past incarnation as a skateboarder/snowboarder/kid who jumped off eight foot high wood-piles I literally "felt your pain" during your description of the accident. Your words caused a shooting pain to emanate from my left ankle (the more abused of the two). So what I'm saying is: I'm suing you for mental anguish.

Man, I don't think I ever broke it that bad though. I am so sorry Doug.

Oh, and the poop thing...
after back surgery I didn't poop for a week. My midnight "date" with a nurse to get a suppository put in was one of the most horrible experiences of my life.

OK, I'll shut up now. heal up man, stay sane.


CB2 said...

Congratulations on your evacuation.
The lead up gave me visions of "Train Spotting"

Steve G. said...

I've got a row erg you can borrow. Alternating between those two machines will make you a core monster! Then after you can put weight on your ankle you can help me build my stone wall. That will set you up nicely for ski season or anything life could throw at you...

BillT said...

Doug - best of luck for your recovery! You may know that I cracked three ribs/punctured lung at the Providence cross race last October. Had surgery with a tube in my chest for three days. Good times! You'll come back as strong as ever. We'll miss your attacking style this summer but I'll try to carry on for you! Hope to ski with you this winter too!

rick is! said...

stoop to poop. that's what my blog should be called!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to read about your accident. Good luck with the recovery. If you want some outdoor cardio while on the mend you might look into a hand cycle.

Good luck.

Soups said...


Sorry to hear about your injury!
I broke my Fibula last year at Providence and it looked just like that. Fibulas heal fast.

And you will come back with twice the motivation you had before!