Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
My PT showed me what exercises to do to rehab my shoulder. It was up to me to do them. Did it hurt? Heck yes! Did I do them? Heck yes! Once I got through the first ones, I went back for more to continue strengthening my muscles.
I found the e-stem to be very helpful.
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.
Your doctor obviously believes PT is still all about exercises. Perhaps he needs to get some current information. If electronic stimulation after a badly sprained ankle can get you on your feet tomorrow vs. on crutches for two weeks, it's not for wimps. It's for those who need fast results.
I worked in physical thereapy for 5 years. It can benefit everyone, wimp or tough guy. Some of the toughtest athletes in the world have used PT to recover faster. There are still some old school doctors out there who don't believe in it, and some who won't prescribe it for insurance/financial reasons.
Anyway, I hope that you are well on the mend by now Pika. Getting hit from behind has always been my worst nightmare. In my experience the folks who recovered the fastest were the ones who were motivated and I'm sure you have no problem in that department.
_________________________ If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*
* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.
I want to thank all of you for your encouragement and best wishes. I am getting better. The first two weeks after the accident I really felt lousy. Lots of the by-products of tissue damage in my blood, plus drugs, plus an infection in my left foot made me head-achy and nauseous. But after the first two weeks and after the infection was handled, I started physical therapy and also started feeling better. It helps to drink a lot of water.
It has now been almost exactly four weeks since I was hurt. This morning I walked a bit over a mile with my dogs and then went for an easy 5-mile mountain bike ride. I still tire easily and if I push too hard things start hurting. The broken bone in my left ankle is healing slowly and causes some exquisite pain if I am not careful. I have not yet gotten back to my weight workouts but I plan to ease into them next week. I tried to do 20 push-ups this morning; got to 12 and decided that I need to work my way back. I am hopeful that within a couple of months I will be back to where I started.
The guy who hit me has been charged with one class-two felony (leaving the scene of an accident in which you caused injury or death) , two class-three felonies (aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon) and three class one misdemeanors involving DUI and damages. An example of a class-one felony is premeditated murder. I get the impression that the prosecuting attorney is taking this incident seriously.
My wife is doing reasonably well while we wait for donor lungs. At least I can take care of her again which makes both of us feel better.
Again, thanks to all of you for your encouragement; it has meant more to me than I can say.
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I missed your first post about the accident and was stunned when I read it just now.
Since it doesn't hurt any extra for you to read I'll prattle on for a few...
From my experience working with quads and paraplegics that were injured in accidents I can tell you that you'll keep recovering as long as you keep working at it. Even serious spinal cord injuries keep healing and mobility increases if you keep up your rehab routines. (as a side note, I always thought that Physical Therapy was a part of rehab, so I don't quite understand what Jim's doctor was thinking.)
The worst sprain I ever had I cured by walking 2 miles to get home. There was no way I was going to call my mother to come get me, that would have been way worse than the walk home. I was amazed that my ankle stopped hurting by the time I got there and I've done the same thing for sprains ever since. I walk them off. So, I do agree with Jim's doctor as far as that goes.
As you pointed out, you're already doing better so I expect you'll recover nearly all your losses from the accident.
Pika, I've said this before here, but I'll go ahead and say it again; Take a tablespoon of raw honey everyday. I take mine in the morning. I suspect I broke an index finger a little over a month ago and if I forget the honey I can feel the difference that day. Whatever is in that stuff, it has some amazing healing properties.
And hey, I'm a big fan of pain pills too when I'm in pain. Opiates are the best. For me, they don't do a thing except relive pain. I don't get a buzz off of them at all so I have no desire to take them unless I have a pain causing injury, and I don't take them for that unless it's pretty serious, but you certainly qualify now so I say take them as needed and be thankful God provided those wondrous Poppies
I don't ride my bike anymore. I never road a "Road Bike" on the streets as an adult because of stupid car drivers and I quit mountain biking when I moved here because of the razor sharp Chert that paves the trails.
I do consider you a friend, and so I will ask that you consider giving up riding on the streets. It's not because of your age, I have no doubt that you'd smoke me on a ride, but because I've seen the results of too many automobile accidents.
I hardly even drive anymore, and when I do I drive like everyone on the road is trying to smack into me. I don't trust any of them, or their cars, and I don't completely trust myself either, or my car.
And I love your mention of your "Guardian Angels". I am certain that we all have them, and are sometimes used by them. Yours are certainly watching over you. I'm sure there is good reason for that.
Heck my doctor didn't say PT was a waste for most people. What he said was that I was too much of an animal already to send me to PT, instead I was ordered to rehabiltate LESS. I was told that the body has amazing healiong powers for those who can overcome the pain and the associated laziness that comes with it. I didn't need PT.
For example, my achilles tendon contracted while my leg was in the Alazarove device and he wanted to take me into surgery to straighten it out under general, instead I took 2 vicodins, stood on my toe, bounced, and felt the tendon suddenly stretch half an inch - exactly back into position. My knee was locked at 40 derees from straight. 2 vicodin, a long hot bath, full weight on knee, and in one minute - straight leg. Most people would require months of PT or surgery. The point he was making was that if you work consistently on rehab, you don't need a PT. If pain stops you, then go to a PT so he or she can hurt you. Jim YMMV but I know you PIKA, yer tough as a boiled spotted owl, so just take it esy, it will take time, but if you keep at it, it will heal.
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
I've been too wrapped up in my own little world to visit the board and read posts, so I'm just now coming into the loop and reading your original post. I am so very glad that you came away from a potentially lethal accident with such (relatively) minor injuries. I am glad the physical injuries are improving as quickly as they are. I hope that the emotional trauma is on the mend as well. Don't forget to work through all of the emotions that I'm sure this has evoked in yourself, your wife and your son. I think sometimes that we work so hard to heal physically, but forget to heal emotionally, and then we start to pull away from the things we loved for fear of it (or something else) happening again. My thoughts are with you and your wife... I didn't know she was so ill. Someone was certainly looking out for you during your accident, I'm sure there was a reason for that.
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.
Loc: Portland, OR
Emotional healing is an excellent point, mns. Although I am not a licensed therapist, I think I can give a few useful pointers on this.
In the midst of traumas or crises we are confronted with heavy, but conflicting, demands. Such events not only arrouse a massive emotional response, but they generally require us to suppress those emotions in order to deal with the situation as calmly, crisply and effectively as we know how.
Later, when the need for direct, immediate action has subsided, we still carry those suppressed emotions, but now there's no obvious time, place or way to express them. The event they are connected to appears to be over. We desperately hope it is behind us forever. No one in their right mind will happily dredge up those buried emotions and consequently relive the trauma that caused them.
But, to heal from them, that is exactly what you need to do.
In my experience, if you are really going to do that, you need a few elements in place. You need to set aside a time (an hour or two) when you are free of immediate responsibilities. You need to be with someone you trust, who is willing to watch you crumble with grief or explode with rage, and understand this is not a problem, but a solution. Lastly, you need the courage to revisit your trauma as completely as you can and to allow your facade of being "OK" to drop.
At the end of your allotted time, you need to reconnect with ordinary life, recall that what you have been undergoing really is in the past, and reemerge into the normal events of the day as fully as possible.
You may need to do this many times to get through it, especially for very old traumas, or very big ones.
Pika, as someone who is also a long term caregiver (just entering my 25th year of it!), I recognize this is going to be extremely difficult to pull off, but it's a lot better and more effective than just letting a mountain of suppressed feelings pile up. You are no doubt strong enough to put this off for years, if need be, but I swear to you, you'll be a happier man if you do some ongoing maintenance, even in the midst of your many duties.
Hang in there!
Edited by aimless (07/10/1003:17 PM) Edit Reason: added an important detail
Hello Pika, I just came across this post and send my reguards. Hoping all is well you and yours. Not easy to care for others but it's something a persons gotta do, especially when it's someone you love. Although every situation is different, I think the best thing any caretaker can do, would be to take care of themselves as well. Tough to do in certain situations. My wife and I had to go through it a few years back with her parents and it was the toughest hike of our lives, mostly her's. I was able to find an out in my job and of course this site. Best wishes
Daryl, thanks for your interest. I don't really have too much to offer in the way of wisdom gained from the experience other than the next time something like this comes up I think I'll delegate. I was able to "get it back", or at least most of it--eventually. It was a lot more work than I expected.
What surprised me was how long it took to recoup even though I felt that I was working hard at recovery. For the first few months after the hit-and-run, I was mostly healing and doing physical therapy. That and getting over a lingering MRSA infection that I picked up in the emergency room. Then, I found that riding my bike was a lot scarier than it had been before the incident; I paid more attention to my rear view mirror than to things ahead of me. So I wasn't riding as long or as hard as I had. I am still kind of paranoid while riding but am either getting over it or getting used to the paranoia.
About 2 1/2 months after my accident, my wife was called for her double lung transplant. The surgery went extremely well and her donor lungs were an excellent match but, even then, she was in and out of the hospital for the next 2 1/2 months. A lung transplant is not simple surgery. She is doing exceptionally well with her donor lungs though. She was in her early 70's when she had the surgery and has recovered better than do most of the younger recipients. Usually the surgeons won't do a transplant on someone over 65 but she was unusually healthy for her age and for someone needing a transplant. During her recovery, I didn't have much opportunity to work out and wound up in fairly poor shape for the 2011 season.
This past winter I was able to develop and stick with a relatively aggressive aerobic/weight workout routine. It has helped a lot. I just finished a 4 day, 40 mile trip in the Rincon Mountains near Tucson and felt pretty strong. So, I guess I'm back about as far as I am going to get. I am planning on hiking the JMT next summer and have a fairly ambitious hiking schedule for this summer in the Sierra, Grand Canyon and Scotland.
Old Ranger, The first day, I hiked Tanque Verde Ridge to Juniper Basin; a long hot slog. The next day I hiked to Manning Camp and the day after that from Manning Camp to Happy Valley Saddle. BTW, the campsite at HV has been relocated and now has a composting toilet. Then from Happy Valley Saddle I retraced Heartbreak Ridge and then on the Devils Bathtub/Grass Shack trail to Grass Shack for the night. The last day I hiked to Cow Head Saddle and down Tanque Verde Ridge to the car, this was a long last day. In fact, I was out five days; I meant 4 nights, actually, in my other post. I had to haul water because I wasn't sure whether the springs and tanks were still wet; in the event I was able to find water at all of the camps, some of it pretty green and lively. On the last day, I saw the granddaddy of all Mojave Rattlesnakes; I would estimate him (or her) to have been nearly 5' long and as thick as my wrist. It was claiming the trail as personal property so I had to detour around the critter through a patch of shin dagger. My trail runners were not enough to prevent punctures. Ouch!
Loc: San Diego CA
To be honest, I had to go back to the beginning of the thread to remember what had transpired. Very inspiring! Good job! Sounds like you got it back all right. The hoof up to Manning couldn't have been too easy. You were able to refill your water supply at Manning Camp, right?