Archive for June, 2015

I’m a hardcore athlete.  I get really bored sitting around waiting to heal. I started out post ACDF surgery walking my dogs… A lot. Then I started back on the bike on an indoor trainer.  Boring but when it’s snowing and cold out you do what you can. Then there were these two really warm weeks in February, and I was like, hmmm I wonder if I can ride my bike to the mailbox a mile away?  5 miles later I knew I could. So I continued to ride outside building up time in the saddle. Stretching out rides up to 2 hours and throwing some gravel roads into the mix. Nothing to bumpy even though I was on a full suspension mtn bike I still knew my limits. 

On my 2 month post-op follow-up appointment my doctor, who knew my level of fitness pre-op. Told me “I should go ride”.  It was raining outside and he probably meant to add “but take it easy”.  Well I will claim that all I heard was Go Ride.  I’ve been riding like I’m training for racing ever since. 

Let me explain before someone reads this and calls me names for not wearing a neck brace 24 hours a day for the first 4 months or some other Restrictions that they were told they need to abide to. I rode with a brace on the first couple months, and I did my best to not have to lift anything >XX lbs. just to be clear, I had a multi-level fusion of C5-6. The focus was on maintaining fitness of my cardio and lower body strength while healing.  Maybe you happened upon this post to see what other people do after surgery and what the recovery is like.  Everyone heals at different rates.  Nutrition and overall health play a big roll in recovery.  There are positive studies out there on increased protein intake aiding in the formation of bone growth (magnesium too).  My X-rays at 2 and 3 months post op showed signs of fusion. A good sign as full recovery was forecasted for 12 months.  

Fast forward to 4 months post-op.  I’ve been riding off road on singletrack as much as I can. I’m an expert rider and I’m overly cautious and run techy rock sections at times where things “could” go wrong.  For the most part I have been riding at a very high level, both physically and technically.  

Memorial Day weekend… MOAB. My first time there. Holy crap this is the most sustained technical riding trip I have ever been to. Step up ledges by the dozen, rough slick rock, exposure, AMAZING!  

  
I rode like I was fully healed.  I think it was because I was so relaxed and having fun pushing the limits that I knew I was in control. That I wasn’t going to be carted off to a hospital.  Oh there were trail sections that I walked.  Many spots on the Portal Trail come to mind. 

  
But after each day my neck was sore.  I found the simple cure, an ice bag.  To say that this 20 minute post ride ritual was an eye opener would  downplay it a bit.  It was the antidote for post ride pain.  I would literally wake up the next day with no residual pain/soreness in my neck from the previous day. It was purely muscle, tendon, and ligament discomfort. Hallelujah, I can deal with this.  It’s only temporary while everything gets used to their new roles. 

 
In a week I see my Dr for my 5 month post-op visit. I think I’ll show him this photo of me without BASE jumping gear

 

Hang in there, 

Wyo

  

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