05.28.12 – Time to put all the fixes through the test

3 Jun

Well it’s no secret to anyone, I’m clumsy, I do dumb things, and often times just generally clueless. That’s led me down a path of a very interesting life. One filled with all the high’s one could want, but also some pretty damn low times. But I’ll tell you what, I adopted a new motto in life, “Life’s too short not to love everything about it.”

Over the past three years I’ve somehow managed to break or damage a large part of my body. But as one friend put it, you’re half made of metal, so you’re really only like 2 years old. Whereas the half made of metal is a little stretch, I got the point. I’d also like to add that I do a pretty sick robot now, my dance skills pretty much end at that.

I’ve also had a few people ask, how do you know your (insert broken body part) is healed? That is a good question, I never actually thought about that. The ear, well there’s audiograms to show my left ear still sucks, but the arm, back, hip, face, there is no real objective test for that. So, how does one know if they’re healed after breaking something?

I’m not sure I know the right answer, but my answer was this, because I was stupid enough to do another Ironman and finished without anything breaking or even hurting. And what better place to do one that in Brazil? Yeah, that’s the plan.

Obviously if there was anything still wrong with any of the various injuries, I would have broken them in the 3-4 month prior that I was able to start training. Don’t get me wrong, the training was painful, I started off from basically ground zero at the beginning of the year, barely running a mile (if you can call it running) and not able to sit on a bike due to the back being sore. But through this year, through the help of a good buddy of mine and his amazing massage/therapy (Paul Cocker Whiting), through just sometimes pushing through the pain (Dr’s said to expect that to start), and through some awesome friends to keep me motivated to do it (Chris, Fernando, and Laura), everything started falling into place. And on the evening of May 27, 2012 after I crossed that finish line, as I lay out on the grass overlooking the beach (kind of), I started welling up, overwhelmed by everything. It’s done, it was a long day, but it’s done. During and after the race I thought about some other close friends of mine, and what everyone’s gone through, Mo and her terrible bike accident, Tom and his battle with cancer (he won!), and the loss of one of my best friends Pete. My thoughts went out to each of them, and all the family and friends, but that also gave me strength. It made me realize how amazing my friends and family truly are, how we’re there for each other, and how we always will be. Without them I know I would be in a much different place than where I am now. Now I know I’m ok, now I know it’s time to move past. Now is the time to put the last couple of years behind, we’re starting with a clean slate.

What’s crazy is that, although by no means was this the fastest (I had zero expectations of time, just of finishing) but it was the easiest. Maybe it was because it’s been 3 years since I’ve done one, maybe it’s because I didn’t have any expectations, or maybe it’s because I just didn’t care about anything but crossing the finish line. I can honestly say, even in the best shape, I’ve never felt so great after the swim, never felt like the bike was easy, although with the heat that run sucked (and the major lack of run training.) But that didn’t matter, I just kept the legs moving even when they locked up, finally figured out how to ask for salt in Portuguese, and even though I pretty much walked miles 16-22, I did finally recover and got back to running those last few miles. Who cares though, I finished, it’s over, and I’m healed. During the race not once did I have any pain, the hip felt strong, the back never ached, the elbow stretched out fine on the swim, and the face, other than being a wee bit uglier, never affected me at all. Take away my quads completely seizing up from lack of salt and I’d say the race actually went pretty much perfect in my head. All I can say, thank god that’s over…

What’s next, not much, still a little healing to do in the face. Braces are forthcoming to straighten out the jaw, however it’s a constant negotiation with the orthodontist. It’s a back and forth dialog we have where she says she wants to “fracture” my jaw to make it easier/quicker to straighten things out. I cringe, say hell no, ask for plan B. Plan B, big metal braces, I say no, that aint going to cut it, plan C. OK, invisalign for a little while, then transition to ceramic braces towards the end. OK, now we’re sounding a little better.


6 Responses to “05.28.12 – Time to put all the fixes through the test”

  1. Anonymous June 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Your strength, determination and positive outlook on life amazes me! Keep it up and there’s nothing you can’t do!

  2. iman0l July 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    My father suffered an accident 2 days ago, he had similar fractures in his face and I needed to read a real testomony. I found your blog and I’ll read every single day! I wish I can talk to you someday

  3. Naomi March 18, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Thanks so much for this, I’m in my 4th week after bike accident broke jaw in 3 places plus elbow & hip. Really interested in your experience re numbness, odd feeling chewing, teeth seeming ok. Nearly another year on I’d like to know how things are going.

    • Anonymous March 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

      Hey Naomi, sorry to hear, sounds like a terrible accident. My elbow, hip, and back are 100% healed with no strange effects, just a little numbness in my right leg, but other than that feel physically 100% better. The jaw is a little different. Due to all the fractures in the jaw and face it’s taken a bit longer to heal, I still have numbness in places, but slowly it’s all still coming back. I probably have 80% of the feeling back, and luckily have no lock jaw issues. But the gums still feel a little strange being numb and have a retainer now that’s constantly moving my teeth back into position (they’re about 95% back in place) so chewing is tough and a little sensitive, like what you’d expect having braces or a retainer. By the 1 year mark the fastest healing was done, it’s been a slower improvement ever since, but the surgeon has told me that it takes up to 2 years for things to heal, if they are to heal back to normal.

      Your chewing should feel normal once the teeth stop moving and reset into the jaw bone, other than that the other strange feelings you just get used to and then slowly ignore. Trust me on that, I was skeptical but now can’t tell =)

      Best of luck in your recovery!

      • Billy Hannah September 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

        Hi mate I had a bad accident in April suffered lefort 3 fractures needing 11 titanium plates. My jaw did not heal correctly and I’m looking at braces then refractureing of the jaw and lining it up. I can’t say I’m happy about it at all actually I’m really scared.

  4. Anonymous September 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Sorry to hear that, it’s one of the worst feelings to think the surgery repaired everything then healing that it didn’t heal correctly. Mine did somewhat the same thing but I’m just going to live with a slightly crooked (bent inwards) underbite. It’s not worth another surgery to me for what I feel is cosmetic and would require a couple years of braces after. They wanted to split my upper jaw in the middle to widen in, then fracture the right side to move the teeth back out, then braces. The thought of that just killed me. I did use a tension retainer to move most the front teeth back in alignment, it’s the molars that are slightly bent in, don’t think I’ll ever go there unless it becomes a functional issue. Best of luck in your recovery!

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