Prior to my Injury I was working with an amazing Physical Therapist at Positive Energy Physical Therapy named Sean Ryan. Together we worked on my run, in attempt to turn this little fish out of water into a fierce chetah on land. Well, at least that was the goal. But of course, whenever things start working out it never seems to last very long. Cue hitting a bump in the road, literally!
One day, riding my bike, I was riding in a group ride and going fast. Out of nowhere, I hit a bump, and I hit it hard. [Read the full comically tragic incident on my previous blog post.] Nonetheless, the many steps forward I had made with my running form, glute activation, and strength work, turned into even more steps backwards after my crash.
To sum the worst of the damage: a chunk of muscle/tissue disappeared from my knee and painted over the asphalt on which I skidd down at about 30 MPH. As a result, I couldn't bend my knee. I couldn't even walk. Every simple movement became a struggle. No longer would I take things like sitting down and standing up, for granted.
Fortunately, not long after the crash, Sean from PEPT arrived at my house [neighbors] and aided in carrying my torn fragile body up my house stairs. His expertise helped decide which room I could most easily get around in, with a couch, bathroom, and the kitchen nearby. My placement in this room allowed me to be more self sufficient throughout my healing process and move about safely.
My left leg, fully braced, needed to remain hyper extended or would otherwise cause excruciating pain. I began "walking" backwards, then sideways, then after a few weeks could peg legged forward. This was a huge feat at the time.
Once I was able to function, somewhat normally, Sean insisted that I work with him every other day. Thanks to his persistence and expertise, my atrophied leg slowly began to gain strength. But due to the scar tissue in my knee/leg I couldn't bend it more than 90 degrees.
Stem, ice, quad activation, and forced bends were the first remedies to getting healthy. Everyday, little improvements we noted little improvements. For instance, one day I could walk up stairs, and a week later I could walk downstairs (although it wasn't graceful).
This injury forced me to sit still for a long time, something I wasn't used to at all. But lucky for me, my fantastic family and friends came to entertain me daily. They escorted my crippled booty around town, out to get fun, or for long gimpy hobbles on the beach, which kept me entertained and happy. I truly believe this was crucial to my speedy recovery.
Sean remained persistent, he worked with me on a regular basis for hours. As my knee bend increased, we moved forward with strength and stability work. His patience, diligence, and positivity was reassuring when I felt impatient, discouraged, and down.
Day by day I noted more and more improvements. Single leg swimming wall touches tiptoed to double leg push-offs. Not long after, I began vigorously chasing TV screens on the elliptical. Then, a few weeks later, I was able to bend my knee enough to hop on a bike! Yikes!
But don't worry, the bike was stationary, and I was under the supervision of Sean at Positive Energy Physical Therapy. Of course a bit of PTSD from the accident kicked in briefly, but passed. After all, I was safe from falling on the indoor bike. Each pedal stroke seemed to loosen my leg and after a while, it felt pretty good. And then I after a few months, I could run again. I was back at it! Well I was "tri"ing at least.
The healing process continues, and my body still isn't quite back to normal. But it will get there, and I will embrace my tough-looking scars. However, I must attribute my speedy recovery to Sean Ryan at Positive Energy Physical Therapy, as well as my amazing family and friends who also kept my energy positive. Without all of you, I would not have gotten up so quickly after hitting that not-so-little bump in the road. Go #TeamSpeedySpivey
Learning how to use my leg again, after walking backwards for 2 weeks. The right image shows the max I could bend it 2 weeks post accident.
At this point, could force/stretch leg to a 90 degree bend at most. After a month, I was able to elliptical. Finally!
Thanks to Grandma Spives for letting me borrow her walker. Attempting to walk normal without the peg leg effect. [Don't worry, I gave it back. Isn't she the cutest?!]
Almost 2 months after, I was able to bend my knee enough to bike. Due to PTSD from the crash, stuck to a stationary for a month.