Today at 2:10 PM, I’ll go to visit my neurosurgeon, Dr. Johnson. I have every reason to believe that he will tell me that I no longer have to wear my neck brace. Since my hand cast came off a couple weeks ago, that would mean that today the visible reminders of my May 22 accident will be gone. For months I have looked forward to this day, but this morning I realize that while it is an end of one part of my recovery, it is the beginning of another.
I’ll confess. I have cheated. I didn’t wear my brace a whole lot while on vacation last week.
I knew that when the neck brace came off it would be pretty painful. While the bones have healed nicely, I still have had a bit of neck trauma from the accident coupled with weeks of immobility. The bottom line is the muscles in my neck are a wreck.
The hope was that by taking the brace off a bit more last week, I could get a head start on the recovery. I knew that the bones were healed because we had originally scheduled my appointment during that week. Had I not been on vacation I could have removed it then.
Whew, when I first went several hours without it, I realized that just getting the brace off didn’t mean I was healed! The tendons in my neck were like hard rubber. Used to be it was the brace keeping me from turning my head right and left. Without the brace, it was the muscles.
By the end of the time without the brace, I had a headache and I was physically tired from holding my head up. It is kind of a weird feeling. You typically don’t think about your head. It is just there. However, when you go through a neck injury like this, you get reintroduced to the weight of your noggin.
Now for the good news. I have seen progress. If I can keep reminding myself to relax, I have found I can go longer and longer without the brace. I think I have gotten a weeks head start on recovery. I need it… the 2010 Ride for Mike is less than two months away!
My ace in the hole is Dr. Mruz of Eastside Chiropractic. At the beginning of this season I had quite a few issues due to a pretty bad crash at the end of last season compounded by overdoing it on the Challenge to Conquer Cancer ride that October. Dave took me on as a special project and he is one of the reasons why I was able to see such success during the first part of this season.
He is determined to get me moving again. He is going to be an important team member for a successful event this September. It all starts today once I leave the neurosurgeon. I’ll then head over to Eastside Chiropractic and start the road to strength.
It is a road I’m ready to ride up!