Today is the 60th day since I had my accident. It’s hard for me to believe how far I have come from that day when I was laying on the pavement knowing that something was seriously wrong. From being scooped up into the ambulance, to being admitted to the trauma unit, having surgery, physical therapy and now trying to get back to my normal self. It has been a long journey, not one I would care to repeat but although it has been tough I have also come to learn more about myself. I am resilient, the damage to my hip was serious enough to require titanium rods to be placed into the bones so that they could heal. It wasn’t easy taking those first tentative steps, with a walker, at the hospital. I was afraid, scared that the hip would give way, thinking that I would never be able to ride my bicycle ever again. Yet, I persevered, fighting off the fear and the doubt telling myself that the road to healing was through the pain and soreness of the therapy. Each day brought a new achievement, from the walker to crutches, learning to navigate stairs, good leg up, bad leg down became my mantra. Dealing with the embarrassment of needing someone to help me put on my right shoe then tie up the laces, once simple tasks becoming mountains to climb. Slowly, with determination and gritting my teeth through the hurt I began to regain some control over the small things. I put on my own shoe even though I couldn’t tie it yet. I began to get in and out of bed without having to assist the right leg and could accomplish the exercises I was tasked with doing.
Outpatient physical therapy felt daunting, here I was faced with using weight bearing machines and having someone manipulate my leg, stretching out muscles that had grown weak and were still healing from the surgery. It wasn’t until I went to my third appointment that I finally felt some relief. At that time the therapist had me use a stationary, recumbent bike. I sat down, put my feet into the pedals and began to cycle, slowly at first but soon building up some speed, nothing like I had done, but here I was, cycling. I was flooded by emotions, tears welled up in my eyes for I began to see a light, albeit a flicker of a light, at the end of this long, dark tunnel.
Now it is day 60, I am no longer on crutches but able to use a cane, I can even walk short and I mean really short, distances. I can fend for myself, make a sandwich, get something from the fridge, tie my own shoe. Small, incremental steps rather than great leaps. It still gets sore, I still have some pain at times and Tylenol is still part of my daily routine. Yet, each day I can feel my hip regaining its strength, each day I make some progress even if it is small. I now can drive my car, get into the office and get around better. Most of all I feel not only physically better but also emotionally and spiritually better. I have discovered a deep well of inner resourcefulness that carries me through, even during the most difficult of days.
There is still a long road ahead before I can say I’m healed. Although I am up to doing 10-15 minutes of stationary cycling and getting around does not mean I am where I want to be. I know that when I finally get back to outdoor cycling, especially that first ride, it will be hard. Fear of another door or of just having a crash will be lurking in the dark recesses of my brain, but like that surfer who was attacked by a shark and a week later was back in the water, I know that getting over those fears is part of this healing. My deep faith and the love of my dearest wife and partner is the foundation that helps to carry me each day towards my full recovery.