“Sure, you can ride your bike again.” These were the last words my surgeon uttered today as I left her office and they continue to ring in my ears as I type these words. This was only the last piece of good news I received today. It turns out that my diligent adherence to my physical therapy regimen has paid off. Apparently, I even surpassed my doctor’s expectations both in terms of range and strength during today’s evaluation. Whereas in an earlier appointment I heard her say “that’s not what I wanted to see,” today it was “wow, that’s a homerun” and “look at you!” What a perfect way to ring in the first day of spring!
The prognosis looks brighter and brighter. My doctor was especially pleased to see both my increased range of assisted motion (65 degrees more than during the evaluation) and my increased muscle control. Most impressive (to both of us!) was my ability to hold my left arm extended above my head after slowly bringing it into position with the help of a cane. Apparently, this indicates the potential range I may have down the road. What a goal! While I thought I was shooting for comfortable handlebar use, it now looks like I may even be able to hang paintings and put dishes away on high shelves before this is all over. As for physical therapy, I now have a modified prescription to focus on extending overhead range and strength. Major strength building is still unnecessary at this point and can wait for years without any ill effects.
So it’s now three months after my most recent surgery and seven months after the accident and I will return to riding on the open roads this week. Since I’m a little nervous about just how weird this might feel, my inaugural spin will be on the “Hudson Valley Rail Trail – Walkway Over the Hudson” so I can get my bearings without worries about traffic. I may also ride my single speed so I can throw on a set of flat pedals for good measure.
Photo: Tom BKK, Creative Commons