Susan dug out the Concise Book of Muscles this morning. As I limped around the house for the eighth consecutive day making short sucking sounds that mimic air being let out of a tire whenever I stepped wrong, I thought it might be a good idea to try to identify the issue. Last weekend, in my post Old Man Takes a Hit, I recounted my high mechanism of injury bike crash.
Do you know this term—mechanism of injury? I didn’t until I took a first aid class developed specifically for mountain bike coaches last May. It’s a medical term for the manner in which an injury is sustained. The paramedic that taught the class suggested if it’s a high mechanism of injury crash, the coach needs to step in and make an assessment of the rider. So how do you know if it’s a high MOI crash? If a fifteen-year-old boy would watch it over and over on YouTube, you’re in the ballpark.
This is what we did the other evening. Eli hooked a PC up to our TV and played videos of bike crashes. Well, really, he showed videos of downhill races, but being a highlight reel, half the video was crashes. In one particularly gnarly crash, the rider hit a rock, endo’d up onto his front wheel and flew over his handle bars head first. He managed to twist his body at the last second and landed on his side instead of flat on his back. “Wow, that looks familiar.” Susan looked at me, eyes wide. “Is that what your crash looked like?” Really, I’m lucky I walked (biked) away.
The past week was rough. As the swelling in my thigh reduced enough to walk down stairs, when the scab on my elbow stopped bleeding through my shirt, as my bruises settled into angry purple stains ringed by jaundiced clouds, I gradually became aware of a lingering pain that I wasn’t able to identify earlier. There were too many other injuries to pinpoint the source. There is something wrong along the edge of my right pelvis, near my hip. It hurts when I stand up, it hurts when I sit down, it hurts when I lie in bed, it hurts. It’s a dull ache, except when I’m changing position and then it’s a sharp pain. When I touch it lightly with my finger, it produces a slightly nauseating feeling.
Right now, someone is going to suggest appendicitis. No, this is in my leg, not my abdomen. Plus, I had my appendix removed twelve years ago… at the beach… in the middle of a vacation (maybe another blog post someday). As I limp past my coworker Vicki a dozen times a day, she recommends seeing a doctor. I think it needs to linger far longer, months longer, to warrant a doctor’s visit. I really whacked myself, it’s supposed to hurt. But for now, it’s keeping me in a really bad mood. I’m hard to be around.
I’m sure a big part of my mood is enduring a week without exercise. I haven’t done this since that appendectomy I mentioned a minute ago. And probably an underlying fear of being laid up for a long time. And of course, there’s the pain. Crappy mood, seriously. Not a great way to enter Christmas week.
Something I intended to explain at the start of this story is why we have the Concise Book of Muscles in our house. When our kids were little, Susan operated a thriving massage therapy business. She was a favorite with the local triathlete crowd. They constantly arrived with obscure muscle injuries. Between their weekly appointments, Susan would study the muscle book and devise treatment plans—massages, stretches and exercises intended to get her clients back to training as quickly as possible. She hope to spend some time on me tonight.
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One hour has passed:
Susan just turned her magic on me. She found a crazy tight muscle pulling on my hip causing all of this pain. The muscle was overcompensating—picking up the slack—for the muscles I injured in my crash. Before I sat back down, I walked around the house testing my leg. I feel like a new(ish) person. Maybe now I can quit snapping at everyone and stop dwelling on my misfortune. After a couple of weekly massages, I might find myself back on my bike or out for a run. Far sooner than I expected.