Dr. Johnson walked into the room and immediately said, “Well, the x-rays look great!” My heart leaped. That was what I wanted to hear. Now there was only one more thing I wanted him to say… “You can get back on the bike.”
Actually, the best I was hoping for is that he wouldn’t say anything about the bike. I knew from earlier conversations that I wouldn’t be getting an enthusiastic endorsement of the idea of riding again. However, if he didn’t mention the bike, then I wouldn’t feel guilty about riding it.
It was not to be. “I guess you haven’t been riding the bike,” he said. “It wouldn’t be very comfortable with that brace.” He continued as I wanted to plug my ears, “I wouldn’t want you to get back on the bike for another month.” My heart sank. “We’ll get you back in here in August and take some final x-rays and we’ll be able to let you go then.”
August 22. That is the day that I should be able to take the bike back on the road. That gives me less than one month to get some long rides in for the 2010 Ride for Mike.
I have mixed emotions. I’m very grateful to be out of the brace. I’m disappointed that I have to wait that long to be cleared to ride.
The deal with the neck is that I am healing very nicely. The bones are fusing and for the most part I don’t have to worry about damaging them. The issue is that the neurosurgeon does not want me to put the process in any risk until the fractures begin to form a calcified layer. He anticipates that to be underway by our next appointment. Even then the bones will not be “completely” healed. That won’t happen until probably November.
Does this mean that things have to stop? No. I remember that I did the majority of my winter training on the stationary trainer. I came out of that in pretty good shape. I’m just going to have to get back on it and do it. The doc had no problems with me doing that.
Thing is, I should have stayed on the trainer back when I started the Tour De Basement. Had I done that, I would be well along. The problem is that I just lost the desire. One of the reasons was because I had it in my mind that I would soon be back on the road and that once there I would be able to catch back up. “Ah, I don’t have to do the trainer,” I said to myself. “I’ll be able to get back in shape in two months.”
Well, I have two months to get in shape. One of those is going to have to be on the trainer. That is the bad news. The good news? I won’t have to be wearing a neck brace. The best news? I will ride again and will be back 100%. I realize that not everyone who has broken their necks can say the same.
Suddenly, that trainer doesn’t look so bad.