Sunday, April 28, 2013

Back on my bike

5 weeks tomorrow, post spinal fusion.

As I went into physio yesterday, a lady was coming out from her appointment with my therapist, and my therapist remarked that we ladies were similar. We had both had similar surgery, although she was further post surgery than I was.
I don't know her story, I don't know how bad her pain is, so really, I shouldn't judge her, but talking to her was hard work. It made me realise that despite feeling a bit low last weekend, I see my fusion as the beginning of a new and eventual pain free chapter in my life and I can't wait to heal, get strong and start doing everything I love (and even things I don't love!) again.
The lady I met was not on my page, everything was very gloomy from her perspective, even though she admitted she was in less pain than she had been.

Is pain a perspective? Am I in pain? Do I recognise it? How is it 'easier' for me than someone else? Is it actually easier? Yes, sure, things ache, stuff hurts, yada yada yada, but everyone has pain - mine is getting better.

I don't have any of the answers, but I do know that my heart soared when the physio cleared me for light exercise bike action (this includes my beloved turbo -if I can get my leg over..!) and gentle treadmill usage. She has even cleared me for swimming, however she isn't sure if I will be able to maintain posture this early on. Breaststroke is over-extending my spine the wrong way, as I keep my head out of the water, and front crawl is twisting. Neither are impossible, but swimming may be a case of deep pool walking to start off with, who cares! I am so eager to try!
The physio has cautioned me about road cycling in the long term.. She talked to me about cycling posture and that try as I might, my spine is actually fused.. That did deflate me slightly. Of all of my 'sports', cycling is my absolute fave and I adore 'Amy' my road bike. To swap from my road bike and go to something more upright is difficult to consider. I liken it to giving up my porsche in favour of a more comfortable car. Pfffft!

Surely, If I (and by 'I', I really mean Paul!) get some upright handles, adjust it all accordingly, and just gingerly get back on Amy, taking it steady steady steady, it will become the norm. My body will adapt.

If I don't even try, how can I go forward on a 'lesser' bike, knowing what it was to cycle in total freedom beforehand?!

This is one of the many articles we have been reading - this doesn't sound to hard to achieve! How-to-cycle-with-lumbar-fusion 

So. Anyway.

This morning I made my own porridge (yet another first!), and managed to explode it everywhere, before Lucy picked me up and we went to the gym. I was so excited. It was all so familiar and normal.

I was embarrassed to have my stick in the gym, but Lucy insisted and actually it did come in handy at the end. It also mades me think about the people you judge in the gym - I didn't really break a sweat this morning, but was I working any less hard than anyone else in there?

I sat on the exercise bike for 15 mins and without effort cycled 3.75km, then walked on the treadmill for 15 mins, before getting back on the bike for another 15 mins and a further 3.75km. There was no pain. A GREAT START!

My playlist was sorted by my personal DJ, Vikki. She writes the sound track to my life and I hope she will continue to do so. I love the playlists more than I think she knows. The thought and care generally make me cry. But then everything does!
Can you see the theme!
My goal three goals for this week:
1) Ditch my stick in the house. I do not want it, I do not want to need it. If I can go round the house without it, I can start to think about walking outside without it.
2) Put my own socks on!
3) School run. I can walk the distance now, I just need to be brave enough to be in charge of an unruly 2 year old who I can't carry.

Come on Sarah, you can do this. You rule your own world.


  1. Good to read :-) Could you borrow a float for now and swim that way? If you have your arms over the float and did a gentle crawl kick? You could have face in water and turn to side to breathe to avoid arching your back? Or similar on your back, holding the float to your chest? I don't believe for a minute that you not get back to road cycling. Doctors have to be cautious, I guess it's a matter of weighing up the risks and assessing how far along the scale you are? xx

    1. Good suggestion re the float! The children have woggles, and I will definitely have a go with one, fab.
      And yes, I totally agree re cycling. How can I consider not getting back to it?
      Thanks Jo xx

  2. Oh yes woggles would be good too!

  3. I'm absolutely inspired by how positive you are, you are amazing!

    1. Thanks Rebecca, you are kind :-) x