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Old 10-07-2014, 01:06 AM   #121
Rex Nemo OP
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Benduro, that's awesome! I'm glad Evil Yoda was able to help put you back to rights. She's sure as hell not there to hold your hand, but I have learned more about anatomy and muscoskeletal dynamics from her than anyone else, ever. I'm hoping to get one more string of PT sessions with her once my screw holes have healed up enough to work hard again.

Nightfalcon, CRPS sounds like it is bloody terrible. How do you manage it, especially with riding? I know that the head surgeon and the PT were both watching carefully for it with me, to the point that they asked me not to do any reading or research on it, because thinking about it can become a causal factor.

As far as boots go...my GF and I are Serious Boot Testers. She's busted both of her ankles in her Sidi Crossfires, and I destroyed those Gaerne GX-1s as if they were tissue paper.

Sadly, I'm not sure my experience supports the hypothesis that good boots are the key to avoiding injury, though; I had darn good ones on, frequently mentioned as a quality choice on this very forum--and I was severely injured anyway. I'm not even sure that it was any particular shortcoming of the boots (though an inner bootie style might have helped a bit), just a fact of physics that some incidents simply generate forces too great for protective gear to withstand. Still, I think that constantly striving to make better and better protective gear is very worthwhile indeed. You just can't win 'em all, or armor every square inch of your body--but it is worth wearing quality, highly protective gear.

Since I don't fit the Crossfires very well anymore, I'll continue the search for truly good dirt boots that fit. I'm very happy with those Forma Adventures for the street and mild gravel roads. I ended up getting my GF a pair, too, in black, and she was delighted.
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:49 AM   #122
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Did you get your job back? Or a better job?
And yes, J.F. is the best PT I've ever had or seen. We really hit it off and are still fb friends. I should drop in on her sometime.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:28 PM   #123
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Nightfalcon, CRPS sounds like it is bloody terrible. How do you manage it, especially with riding? I know that the head surgeon and the PT were both watching carefully for it with me, to the point that they asked me not to do any reading or research on it, because thinking about it can become a causal factor.
CRPS is awful. Pain killers work to a degree but distraction tends to work the best for me. If I'm busy and active it takes my mind off it - riding my bike is actually therapeutic! Its worst when your trying to rest -pressure bandage with a heat pack in winter and cold pack in summer helps with sleep. You dodged a bullet not getting it - BIG TIME!
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:27 AM   #124
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Night Falcon, oh man. You are a true badass for enduring CRPS and riding, too; it's the syndrome that rates higher than anything else on the McGill Pain Scale: 42 out of 50 possible. Worse than childbirth or amputation, in some cases. Have you tried the experimental ketamine therapy? In any case, I hope it helps to know that up to 50% of cases go into spontaneous remission, especially if treated early.

Benduro, yes, we have J.F. in common. I'm truly fortunate to have gone through physical therapy with her, and she offers a real touch of whipsmart-yet-human experience in the midst of what can be a really dehumanizing encounter with institutional health care. She even helped me navigate some of the Highland bureaucracy and gave me tips for dealing with my insurance. Plus I'll never forget the training sessions in which she stood at the bottom of the stairwell made fun of me until I could go down the stairs properly.

"Okay, so you're remembering needing to limp down the stairs, and you don't have to do that anymore. Don't let your feet stick--go faster."

"Ok." *picks up feet, goes down the stairs more quickly*

"Now you're prancing down the stairs. Stop that. Plus it doesn't look very butch."

"I'm not fucking prancing, OK?!" *Gets mad, comes down stairs*

"THERE you go!" *laughter*

As for work: No way can I stand on my feet all day and push bikes around the shop, in and out of the freight elevator, and on and off the lifts. SF Moto folks were very kind and keep checking in periodically to see whether I'd like my mechanic job or a service writer job back, though. I miss life and the folks in the shop, as intense as it was. Fortunately my oil-recycling job has expanded, and has been just enough to keep me going. I've been going to motorcycle events to push oil recycling, and teaching local oil change and basic maintenance classes at places like Piston & Chain and Cycle Gear. Meeting with the OHV program head honcho on Thuesday to see if we can get some oil recycling tanks and classes in at the local dirtbike parks soon, in fact. Somehow I managed to finagle a promotion to manager while hopping on one leg.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:37 AM   #125
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I was very insistent and managed to get my bone screws back, as well. Man, those suckers were surprisingly big!





They're titanium, 1.5 inches long, with a 6.5mm diameter at the threads. The hollow core and the triple cutting jaws look pretty wicked. No WONDER it felt crowded in there.

I had to go through my tool chest and find the allen wrench that fit the heads; 7/64", as it turned out. Strange to think that orthopedists and mechanics have some overlap in their tools. Ooof.



It's very strange indeed to roll those screws around in my hand and remember running the pads of my fingers over the bumps formed by their heads, riding just below my skin.



I'm grateful for your support, bone screws, but I'm glad you're out of me.



Now...what to make out of the screws? Hmmm.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:20 PM   #126
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Hi Rex, just wondering how it's going post hardware?
Just for grins, how bout taking your Crossfires to a ski boot fitting shop that is capable of reforming the shell?
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:13 PM   #127
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Now...what to make out of the screws? Hmmm.
Dangly earrings of course
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:10 PM   #128
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Dangly earrings of course
Would go well with those nails.


Regarding boots, would you say you might have had to amputate had you not had a quality pair on? Just a thought, as I always thought gear was meant to reduce injury, not prevent it.

I kind of doubt any boots would suffice short of a pair with hardened alloy steel that would weigh about 15 lbs per boot and doesn't allow any ankle movement at all.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:05 AM   #129
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Ski boot shop for re-forming the Sidis! Hmm, not a bad idea to try, as while I remain very happy with the Formas for street riding, I will need dirt boots when I venture off road again. I do have a beloved pair of Wescos (not really riding boots, just fancy boots) that I was able to have stretched by a local cobbler; I was very pleased to be able to save those. I will try to get my nice Mammut hiking boots stretched to match my new broadened foot as well.

In the meantime, my Brooks Addiction 10 running shoes (in men's sizes--my left foot is now too wide to fit most womens' shoes), a new pair of Keen Voyageur hikers, and a whole bunch of Powerstep and Superfeet green insoles (the Powersteps are both better and cheaper, turns out) are allowing me to walk farther and farther in greater comfort.

I am LOVING having the screws out and have no regrets; even the physical setbacks and the weeks of Versed-induced surgery flashbacks I had when falling asleep were quite worth it. In particular, I do not miss those special, unpredictable moments when a tendon on the medial surface of my foot would get stuck on the head of one of the screws, then slingshot loose suddenly as I took a step. ZING! I also do not miss sticking my foot in cold water and feeling the deep ache of the metal vs. the rest of my flesh and bones. The downside is that my foot is fragile while the bone fills in the spaces left by the screws, and gradually remodels itself into good strong cortical bone. At my followup at the end of October, the surgeon cleared me to ride, but warned me that if anything happened, the first metatarsal would snap like a breadstick. I've started riding a little, but am pretty wary yet.

My next step is to get some more dirtbike training. As soon as time and money allow, I'd like to work through some of the trauma and rebuild physical skills in a controlled and supportive way. Alameda County Sheriff's dualsport course, Rich Oliver's Mystery School, and hopefully, eventually, Jimmy Lewis courses are all on my list.

As for boots...still not sure. It's entirely possible that I would have lost the foot entirely without the Gaernes I was wearing. On the other hand, the unusual dynamics of the wreck meant that the boots' best protective qualities were bypassed. In any case, the compartment syndrome was apparently even more dangerous than the broken bones, and that is apparently a rare wild card.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:21 AM   #130
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Because Highland is sort of the Wild West of hospitals, and I was to be traveling on the East Coast for most of October, we convinced the doc to let us pull the stitches ourselves.

When I unwrapped the bandages, I discovered that instead of cutting me a nice long zipper scar, they'd done very minimalist, neat work; my incisions were very small Xs cut just over the heads of the screws. I do appreciate aesthetic minimalism.



My very esteemed GF helped me pull the few stitches.



She did a MUCH faster, less painful job than the clinic med students had with my last stitch removal. Thanks, darlin'.



There's playing doctor, and then there's this...





I was only non-weight-bearing for three days, then spent the next four weeks in a cam boot. After that my foot was deemed stable enough to stuff back into regular shoes.

In Connecticut, at my GF's family farmhouse, preparing for her mom's huge estate auction...I did a hell of a lot of manual labor hobbling around with that cam boot on, but dodged mishaps and came out of it without so much as a stress fracture. I've got a musk ox skull in the pack basket, here.



Sure is lovely in New England in the autumn.





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Old 11-10-2014, 05:18 AM   #131
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I have so much progress to report! For now, I'm a touch perversely proud of being a minor footnote in the annals of Science. Here's a poster presentation given on my case recently--glad I could help my surgeon and several interns advance their careers a little, and hopefully treat trauma patients a little more effectively in the future.


My wife suffered a Lizfranc injury a few years ago. I couldn't help but notice her surgeons name (Mark Myerson) listed in the reference material. Small world. I know it's a bitch of an injury so I'm glad you are healing ok. Keep it up. :)
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:00 AM   #132
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Sounds like great progress Rex. Long trip but it looks like you're achieving the best possible recovery. Perhaps one day we can ride trail bikes that don't out weigh us.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeoMLAmfR_k
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:40 PM   #133
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Small world indeed! How did your wife get her Lisfranc displacement, and how's she doing now? Glad that Dr. Myerson helped her out. It's quite an injury, one of those things that can permanently alter the

psmcd, I actually got to briefly test a buddy's prototype electric trials bike in August. It was just a few trips around a big parking lot, but it had me dreaming and scheming of possibilities. I want one! And so stealthy quiet! That's the sort of thing I need to get on to try wheelies in a super-slow, controlled situation once more.

I'm tentatively planning a very gentle, mellow Baja bike trip with friends in January, so I'm gonna take my Crossfires down to the local ski boot shop in Berkeley and see what they can do about possibly stretching and re-forming the shell to match my customized skeleton.
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:38 PM   #134
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Hi Rex, just wondering how it's going post hardware?
Just for grins, how bout taking your Crossfires to a ski boot fitting shop that is capable of reforming the shell?
You know, I had a couple of hours to lark about yesterday, so I took the boots in to California Ski Company in Berkeley to see whether they might be able to stretch my Sidi Crossfires. I ended up talking to the owner, and he was a little dubious about the whole affair. He mentioned that the boots might be ruined by attempting to stretch them, and I accepted the risk.

He did a fitting with me and marked all the pressure points, then took 'em into the back workshop, heated and stretched them, and brought 'em back.

It WORKED! Who knew? Psmcd, thanks for the great idea. Never would have thought of it myself. But the ski boot guy was able to stretch them across the newly widened base of my toes/heads of the metatarsals, and the pressure points are gone.



First day on the dirt is scheduled for Dec. 13th. Better put my little DRZ-250 dual-sport back together...
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