05 May 2013 by Rachel Andrew
Over three months since my accident and life goes on. I have had further surgery to remove two k wires that were moving and in danger of actually coming out through my skin. The range of movement is still pretty poor, but the situation with the wires was stopping the physio being able to properly work on it. Three weeks post surgery and they can really start to have a proper, and very painful, go at it.
Conference season has started, so I’m travelling quite a bit, which brings extra challenges in negotiating airports one handed, and trying to dodge enthusiastic hand shakers. I do get to tell my story and show off my scars at speaker dinners – discovering just how many really squeamish people there are.
The lack of movement isn’t the joint itself, but actually the muscles around it. I was lifting pretty heavy before I did this, and have strong arms, with the trauma of the accident and keeping my arm in a bent position for weeks my bicep in particular has shortened. That shortening is preventing me straightening my arm. This, while not ideal, is at least something I can work with to improve. I have started swimming – a gentle shortened breaststroke, and with a float held out in front of me – in the hope that this will encourage the muscle to relax and lengthen.
However my big news is that at my physio session on Friday I was cleared to run again. After three months there is enough healing that I would have to fall very heavily to rebreak it. A fall wouldn’t be ideal so no crazy trail races for me, but nice safe road and towpath running in daylight isn’t realistically more likely to cause me to injure myself than day to day activity. I was given this news at 5.30pm on Friday. I was in running gear by 6pm. It wasn’t the fastest 5k I have ever run, but it felt so good to be back out there.
Other runners will understand how much of a milestone this is in terms of getting things back to normal. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sometimes putting a brave face on this. That there are not days where I could just sit and cry in frustration, and sadness about the stuff I can’t do. However being out on the roads, in the sunshine makes everything look so much brighter.