Slumped with my arm in a sling, Netflix in the background, I scrolled mindlessly through the internet, looking for some words of encouragement about recovering from a broken collarbone. What I’ve learned is that everyone has their own break and their own experience. But, in case it helps, here is the potted summary of mine.
Week one: I was still reeling from the fact that someone had broken one of my bones. More than one as it turns out, though I wouldn’t discover that til later. I still don’t really remember whether I hit the van but I know that, as I rounded the corner into Byres Road, it was parked and I was staying well out from it in the fear that the driver might open their door on me. A mid-collarbone break, without too much of a gap. It was a good prognosis. Just put it in a sling for three weeks and you’ll be fine.
Getting dressed was a bit of a struggle. I would grow to hate those three outfits – the only ones that I could manage to pull on. Thank goodness for spaghetti straps and advice from friends on how to put on a bra. I even made it back into work after a few days, though I had to get one of my colleagues to put my hair in a bobble for me.
Week two: Progress. I could lean right over, prop my arms up on my knees and put my hair in a bun. Maybe I’d be able to start doing turbo sessions soon? I was walking a fair bit but still taking lots of painkillers. I was learning to live life at a different pace and appreciate the sunrise in the Botanic Gardens.
Week three: A return visit to A&E as I realised my finger was also broken. They’d given me a plaster on my original visit. This time it was sentenced to a wee plastic prison for 8 weeks.
|After two weeks of me prodding it and asking friends if they thought it looked broken!|
By the end of the week I had my sling off and I’d tried a short turbo session. Best of all, I was back coaching the youngest group in the Glasgow Riderz, albeit walking rather than cycling with them. It was just great to be back outside.
|Enjoying coaching with the Glasgow Riderz, though after week two they got a bit fast for me to keep up without a bike!|
|Still able to indulge in cycling snacks, even if no cycling.|
|Redisovering bike riding, with a broken finger.|
Week four: So very grateful for the great Watt bike facilities at the University. I became a permanent fixture there every morning. And managed a very gentle pedal on my mountain bike on the canal path. Was a bit nerve-racking to be honest, but still good. And I was managing to get by without painkillers.
Week five: More spinning. Some yoga. Coaching the Riderz on a mountain bike. And even a walk up a hill. Now I was starting to feel more like the real me.
Fast forward to week 9 and I’ve done an overnight bikepacking trip to Millport, a walk up Ben Lomond, some gentle mountain biking in Mugdock and even a 65mile road ride on my birthday. So things are looking up. My shoulder is still very weak and I can’t even manage a press up on my knees. But I’m making progress every day. Hoping to soon be back mountain biking though I think it will be a while before I’m comfortable on steep stuff or flinging myself on and off a bike in the midst of a cross race. I haven’t started commuting by bike, partly because the commuting bike got trashed but also because I’ve got used to walking into work, listening to podcasts. I’m doing yoga or pilates every day. My collarbone is still causing a bit of pain but it’s more that my back has seized up and everything just seems to be a bit stiff.
12 weeks in and I can finally do a press up, so the collarbone must be healing.
I'll be back in for surgery on the little finger on Friday.
So here I am. Not quite in the position I'd expected to be right now. I should have been writing a blog about a mountain bike trip to Georgia. The closest I'm coming to that right now is learning Russian on Duolingo.
Instead, I've spent a lot of time over the past few months with great people. Friends and family who have made me smile again, after both broken bones and broken heart. There has been some good cake and cooking and I'm starting to plan adventures for the future.
|Time to explore new ingredients and recipes|
|Catching up with friends and remembering how to be a roadie|
|How to be a roadie - important part!|