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Anatomy of a Crash (Part Two - The Injuries)

What a fine figure of a man. So this was taken about 5 miuntes ago, today on Monday. Its a mirror reflection, so that is my right leg not my left leg. As you can see things don't look too bad. A lot of bruising on my upper thigh, my ankle is still swollen but a lot of range in movement means I'm off out on my bike when I finish this post.

Last Tuesday, the day of the crash, I looked around the internet to try and get some feeling for how serious my injuries were and how long I'd be off the bike. I didn't really find anything useful. Most of the pages were about sports induced injuries rather than from falling off a bike and largely they put the fear of god into me. Talk of 6 weeks here and season ending there made me quite miserable.

So, here is a brief breakdown of the last six days and how I've gone from feeling really low and assuming La Marmotte was written off to today, 6 days later, where I'm wondering how hard I should go in the hills this afternoon!

The motto for the week: Don't stand if you can sit and don't sit if you can lie down!

Tuesday Night (Day Zero)
Visually - Grazing and cuts very visible, very very swollen but no bruising.
Physically - My right leg had zero range of movement or strength. I walked by swinging my right leg round. Under compression I was fine, but I could not lift my knee at all. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't do it. I ached like hell and had the strength of a kitten.
Mentally - Mixed bag, happy I wasn't dead but miserable that I had been so stupid. The internet sites I visited made me feel like I had a serious hip-flexor strain and was gonna be out for weeks.

Wednesday (Day One)
Visually - Little change, ankle slightly less swollen. 
Physically - Very, very sore. No change in the range of movement, unable to walk or raise my knee. Tuning over in bed is a major military operation and getting up after being seated is hellish.
Mentally - Resigned to a lay-off from the bike, but more positive that I had a lucky escape. Could have been so much worse - like whoever got airlifted off Sa Calobra that day. Noticed a few other casualties around the hotel who must had had similar experience. Didn't feel quite so foolish.

Thursday (Day Two)
Visually - Bruises have arrived and swelling is reduced.
Physically - Ouch. It really hurts now but I have limited range of movement, walking is slightly easier. Manage 30 mins easy spinning [with no resistance] on a gym bike without pain. Walking still very difficult but 100% improvement on day before. Getting up after being seated still nasty, but passes after a few seconds.
Mentally - Up-beat, seems like its not so bad after all. And I've only had 2 enforced rest days.

Friday (Day Three)
Visually - Bruising is fierce and scabs have appeared on exposed areas. No visible swelling.
Physically - Pretty good range of movement. I can lift my knee, but it is very painful to do so. I can feel pain where my hip flexors meet the hip and there is some yellow bruising there, on my inner thigh. Turning in bed is not a problem. Getting up after being seated still a bit achey.
Mentally - Chipper. I'm gonna be ok. Hell, I'll even take a rest day, cause I can catch up on training over the weekend. My CTL is now 94, which is pretty darned high anyway this far out from my main event.

Saturday (Day Four)
Visually - No change
Physically - Excellent range of movement, no soreness or aching just the odd twinge every now and again which catches my breath. From feeling tender to feeling ok'ish. Manage a 40k ride and whilst I have no topend power and out the saddle is difficult and at times painful I still manage lower tempo power. 
Mentally - Normal - can't believe I've had such a good result.

Sunday (Day Five)
Visually - No change
Physically - Almost back to normal, still painful on the grazing on the outside of my thigh, which is now almost 100% covered in one mother of all bruises. Can walk with ease and twinges still come and go but they are dull aches rather than sharp or piercing. Ride out with Samantha and out the saddle efforts are fine. Still difficult getting up after being seated for a while but wears off once I've stretched out a bit.
Mentally - Positive. Watching Paris-Roubaix and understanding the pain of those crashes!

If you've had a nasty fall like this and feel that its the end of the world, just check this post and see how quickly you will recover. The human body is an amazing thing!

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