Friday, September 21, 2012

Injury Update

Seabiscuit's injuries have been declared superficial and cosmetic by the good wrenches at Austin Bikes.  What a relief!!

I, however, am not so confident about my own status.  The road rash is doing what road rash does.  It's healing the messiest way possible. But, all things considered, it is not torturing me much as it goes about it.  My legs, neck, and back all feel pretty good.  The contusions on my hand are proving to be a non-issue.  My ribs... well, this is where the news gets less cheery.

Yesterday, because my pain levels have been completely manageable and with DW's blessing, I went for a run.  I started off okay.  My ribs hurt with every breath but not at an unmanageable level.  I left all the technology behind so that there would be no pressure to ignore the signals coming from my body.

About a mile in to the run, I had to go up a little hill.  I was not pushing it at all but it did increase my respiration slightly.  That was all it took.  In an instant, the pain levels returned to 30 seconds after the crash, all of the air was forced out of my lungs, and I hyperventilated right there on the trail.  When I had finally recovered my breathing, I started walking back to the car.  My pain at this point was about an 8/10 but I could breathe, sort of.  I had several more episodes where I started to hyperventilate but was able to recover and keep walking.

For the rest of the day and into this morning, my pain levels have suffered a significant set back.  My frustration levels have gone through the roof.  I came to terms in the car with the fact that I will not even attempt my last two races of the season.  The bottom line is that if I did that on the bike, I would crash and if I did it in the water, I would drown.

This is not something I can push through.  I am not sure exactly what is happening in my body but it feels like the intercostal muscles are seizing up and clamping down on my lungs.  I can't breathe through the pain.  I can't breathe at all.  It feels exactly like when the wind is knocked out of you and I wind up with a hyperactive pattern of fast, shallow breathing (what I have always known as hyperventilating).

It's the third and fourth ribs under the pec that are affected.

The ER doc said that it could take months for the ribs to heal.  At least my other injuries will get the R&R they need.  I am going to give it a few more days and hopefully I can revisit the issue.  I need to at least find out what I CAN do, even if it's just minimal.  I realized when I stepped on the scale this morning and another pound had crept on, bringing the total to three since the initial injuries and consequent disruption in training consistency, that I am going to have to start keeping a food journal and get fairly restrictive with my calories if I expect to get through this without a major weight gain.

To keep my mind on track, I have gotten involved with a local tri group.  Ok, in honesty, since I can't do anything incrementally, I took over organization of a  large local tri group.  This should keep my mind busy and my brain in the game until my body is willing.  This morning I am meeting with a few people that want to see this group develop into more than it currently is and discuss it's organization/direction.  I am looking forward to it and the potential  social and networking opportunities it could provide.  It is always nice to keep a side project that lets me be a part of the human race.  I just hope that I don't try to cluck to anyone, feed them carrots, or put them in crossties and play with their hair!!!


  1. Oh my goodness! Praying for a quick healing! And while I know the sting of missing races, you are absolutely correct in knowing what you can push through and what you can not.
    Stay strong, friend. Look up costrochondritis. I had this earlier this year. It was awfully painful. Your description brought my experience back to my mind.

    1. I know OCD all too well. It is a common crippling ailment for horses as well. I had a filly who's career was over before it started due to that ailment. I haven't often heard of it in humans but I can imagine it is just as debilitating.

      Usually when there is an injury, there is some wiggle room. If you can put up with some pain you can still get something done. With my IT band, I frequently run through it (not totally smart) and have been able to keep going while treating it. With this, it is total shutdown. There is no sport or athletic activity I can do without breathing and it is a non-negotiable level of pain. I don't know what to do here. I don't do well without at least some activity and I don't want to lose my good habits and momentum. :(