Thursday, May 27, 2010

Surgery

Ugh, I didn't want to have to write that word on here. But, at 4.5 months after the crash, my collarbone has yet to heal. A CT scan last weekend confirmed this and it also revealed that there is much less healing that we had thought based on the x-rays. This really isn't what I expected as I knew it wasn't fully healed when I went down to Arizona, but my range of motion was perfect and I was basically pain-free (apart from overhead activities...). Coach Darren and I decided to give my shoulder a big rest from anything aggravating. So, for the past six weeks I have not gone anywhere near a pool that isn't kidney-shaped, wearing nothing that resembles a 'real' swimsuit. No cap, goggles or paddles in my hands, just a plethora of trashy romance novels. That relaxing environment, in addition to the vitamin D overload, was what we were hoping would help the healing progress. That's all we were looking for, some progression. But, it looks as though my body has given up trying to heal this fracture. What I do find amazing though, is that I am almost symptom free, yet my collarbone still has a 1cm gap between the bones with a whole heck of a lot of 'floating' movement. However, if you ask me to lift some dishes out of the cupboard, put my bike up on the wall bike rack, or take a swim stroke, well, that isn't exactly symptom free. But it is amazing that my body has adapted the best it can to having the clavicle in two distinct pieces.

Surgery at this point wasn't really a question. The decision to move forward was unanimous between my very cautious, yet fantastic doctor, Dr. Keeler, surgeon Charles Nelson, and well, me. I'd like to swim again one day, please!

Surgery will happen on Tuesday (yes, in just 5 days). I am excited and nervous. Definitely more nervous though. The operation might involve a bone graft. When Charles (and Dr. Keeler who is assisting the surgery!) get in 'there' and clean out the fracture ends, they will make the call. If the two ends of bone don't fit together snuggly, they will take some bone from my iliac crest (hip). This bone will be added to the fracture site to fill in the gaps and promote healing. The plate and screws will then be drilled in and I will be stitched up. Sounds simple, right? I'm sure it is straightforward to an orthopedic surgeon, but whenever I picture the process I get really queezy. Charles even went so far yesterday as to describe the type of drill he will be using. My hands went right over my ears, earmuff style, singing la-la-la-la-la to drown out his voice. Sorry, but there are some things I just don't want to know.

Right now I am packing up for the next three months. Adam is working in Vancouver for the summer so rather than recover alone in Victoria, I will join him and my family. My goal is to make it to Europe to spend the month of August in Switzerland with my new training group. I realize this is only 8 weeks after surgery so I won't exactly be doing a heck of a lot of training, but it would be a motivating environment and I would be able to spectate three of the WCS races.

But for the immediate future, it's all about preparing for Tuesday. I need to get my hair cut as I know from past experiences that I will not be putting it in a pony tail myself and I'm not sure I want to test the strength of our marriage by asking Adam to assist with this again :) I've also pulled out my sling which I had hoped to never see again, my 80's style bandeau bras, and any top I have that can be pulled on from the ground up or zips open. I feel like I am preparing for another bike crash! UGH!

I'm off for another rainy bike ride, but I will not complain about this as this might be my last chance for awhile :(

6 comments:

Lindsay said...

Sorry to hear about the surgery :( Good luck with the recovery...hope to see you racing again soon!

Gregwh said...

Best wishes...you will win this and come back more determined than ever. Your persistence is inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your surgery and get healthy soon!!

Mark said...

Sorry to hear about your surgery Lauren. You will be back stronger than ever!

We'd like to have you and Adam over for dinner one day since you are in town :)

dreaming over the ocean said...

Lauren,

I have read this throughout your injury and recovery (or lack of). I commented a while back (and felt able to relate with what you were going through), with a small story of my own "two broken arms" injury. I had a surgery with a hip graft, into my wrist. My surgeon failed to warn me about the pain that it causes in the hip muscles.

But, all of that to be said, my wrist barely feels like it was broken, with full function back (and beeping every time I go through security!)

surgery is hard, but healing, and function is great! Good luck. YOu will swim again!

gusgreeper said...

good luck! i went in for the same surgery and they found two pieces of bone sticking straight up into my arm they sawed them down and i ended up not needing the bone taken from my hip. fingers are crossed for you that once they get the area open it doesn't need the extra bone either. either way you will swim again! i also remember not feeling a lot of pain with it only to go an pick someone up *wrong* and have the pain smack me in the ass. kept forgetting the darn thing was broken!

hope it goes super well!!