My story: Daily training with injuries
For those of you who have or may in the future get hit by a car and have to deal with the injuries, here's a bit of what I've learned from my experience. I got hit in late June 05 by a car and had a compound fracture of my left tibia (the big bone near the foot), my left heel was torn off, and my right shoulder was cracked. Immediate surgery sewed my heel back together, had a Ti rod inserted in the tibia with two screws top and two screws bottom, and iced the shoulder. Over six months later and the skin has healed up fairly well. Through many hours of physical therapy and lots of determination I walk without a limp unless there is pain, which happens a good amount. So I don't like to walk anywhere but thankfully have found that cycling is much lower impact than walking, gives me about as much pain as walking, and gives me plenty of exercise as well as a much better mood/life outlook.
Every day I ride, the two top screws on the rod move around and start to hurt a lot, especially if rising off the saddle or climbing a hill which is frequent here in S.F. This is the only pain I feel now, as the bone isn't giving me as much grief as the first five months (it hurt a lot, first real hospital visit and painful injury). While I'm weezing up the monster hills around my house I have more energy than my leg allows. Hopefully when a year has passed since the surgery, I can have the rod and hardware removed permanently to ease the pain.
Rides as of this week consist of at least half an hour a day going up and down hills as much as possible. Today I put in an hour of recreation/training in the morning and an hour of commuting to school. Both times I hydrated with an electrolyte mix in water, Gu gel, and lots of food. I can feel I've lost weight and built up the muscles in the leg that atrophied while in the cast for a week.
This was my first goal: to build up the muscles that I lost due to being incapacitated. My new goal as of today is to maintain the muscle, continue to build endurance, and drop from ~215lb to 180lb. To meet this goal, I've cut intake of saturated fat and cholesterol to a bare minimum (also I have cholesterol of 210 so this meets another of my fitness goals), have reduced lean meat intake to 5oz/day, and a whole host of other healthy choices from eating fruits/veggies to eating lots of fiber.
I'll keep you BF members posted on my results. I felt really unhappy about life after the accident but riding the bicycle again after four years hiatus and training properly have given me a reason to be happy every day. The pain doesn't go away completely. But you can manage the pain to a certain extent and force your mind around the thoughts of pain. It's hard to not think about the agony of an injury and keep going anyway, but it's possible if your mind, body and soul are working together at the task.
In closing, do you have any tips for this beginner to bike training? Any way to ease the leg hardware pain?