It has been an eventful couple of weeks which has involved zero training because of my injury but I’m feeling extremely positive about my progress. In my last blog I told you that I’d further complicated my problems with a fall and that I was in agony, yet here I sit with zero pain (I’m even smiling typing that). So how did I get from A to B?
I went to see my physio James and he couldn’t even place his fingertip on my kneecap without me wincing in pain, it had gotten so bad that I couldn’t even wear jeans as the material touching my knee hurt so much. James was rightly concerned and thought that I’d possibly broken my knee cap, so off I went to the x-ray department. After much debating, which involved 3 radiographers and a doctor it was decided that I had broken my knee cap and I hadn’t. Confused yet?
It was no longer broken but it had been. The knee cap and the top of the tibia showed signs of a healed fracture, an impact injury that had healed and as a result I now have extra calcification on both bones which look like little lumps. However because my patella tendon had been damaged at the same time my body had treated it bit like the broken bones and thrown calcium at that as well causing the tendon to calcify, which had caused my original problems back in March when I had to give up running. If you think of the patella tendon as a big elastic band that holds your upper and lower legs together and allows them to move, expanding and contracting and moving back seamlessly into place. Mine is now partly rigid and grating on the extra bone, hence the pain.
So how the hell did I fracture my knee and leg and not notice it, am I a hard man, do I have a huge pain threshold, nope I’m bloody stupid and stubborn. I racked my brain, bike crash, fall whilst running, these were all side impact falls, my injury was caused by a head on impact to the area and then I remembered an incident two years ago, about three months before the Outlaw 2011. I was helping a car reverse into a space outside our house and stupidly as they were getting close I stood directly behind them to tap the back window when to stop. I did that, and the drivers foot slipped on the accelerator pinning me at knee height between the two car bumpers. I screamed in agony and as the car pulled forward, I crumpled to the floor in agony. My left knee swelled up like a balloon and I lay prone on the sofa for a few hours with an ice pack on. Em wanted me to go to the hospital to get it checked out but I was convinced that it was just bruised and as I could limp around on it I figured there was no serious damage. The swelling went down after a few days and I was running again within a week, it hurt, but then again it was my left knee, and it always hurt. It was not unusual. I had an Ironman to train for and just had to deal with it.
See told you I was stupid. I should have listened to my wife and got my arse to the hospital and then I wouldn’t be where I am now. Also the fact that I completed three ironman races ( Outlaw 2011, Outlaw 2012 and Ironman Lanzarote 2012 ) before the fractures were discovered probably didn’t help.
So the knee was taped up, I was popping anti inflamatories and given some crutches to take the weight off. James said “I bet I don’t have to tell you how to use these?” with a grin on his face, I just laughed “Nope, I’m an expert!” I worked hard on my stretches, basic Pilates moves such as clam shells and cat stretches designed to strenghen my pelvic floor, core and hamstrings as I wanted to get off the crutches as soon as possible. I still have them but only if I start to get pain, and after 10 days I’m pain free. I walked the two miles home tonight, working up a sweat and had no pain at all. This is a massive improvement. I’m so happy.
I’m convinced that a combination of the physio sessions, my determination to do my “homework”, the taping of the knee, and the belief and desire that I have to be racing again next year stronger and faster than ever will get me through this injury. I’m positive, and I’m pain free for the first time this year and in future when I’m hit by a car I’ll listen to my wife because the reality is she knows me better than anyone and as any married man will recognise, she is ALWAYS correct even when she is wrong 🙂
Train smart, race well and enjoy the sunshine everyone.