Wednesday, November 25, 2009


As most of you know I have been recovering from an extruded disc these past two months. It started with a very sore leg that I first noticed when I got off a long flight from France. I hope it ended on November 1st when I quit feeling any pain in my leg.
My recovery started with a visit to my friend Dr Steve Ireland. He did some quick tests, asked some questions and sent me over to the MRI room. Sure enough an extruded disc. I am thinking surgery, he says no. Go get a cortisone epidural shot right to the spot (L-4/5). So then it is to Dr James Nelson. He is another doctor I know as he was in my ski class a few years back. In we go to the procedure room and in goes the needle. WOW! That was very painful. I have to say that James was great. He talked me through the pain, and when it was done I felt a lot better. The pain was pretty much gone but my right leg felt as if the muscle had been removed, back to Steve. Dr Ireland explained to me a nerve will repair its self about 2mm per day. My nerve was from my back to my calf so that is about 200 mm. That would mean 100 days. Ok time to be patient. It is hard to be patient when all year one race was on the top of the list, US Nationals on Dec 10th at 2:15. But patient I was (mostly anyway). I have been on my trainer doing exactly the same workouts I would have doing out of doors. I started on my trainer before I went to any doctor and each time I did a workout I felt better. I could walk around for around 1/2 hour, instead of 2 minutes.
I put Nationals out of my mind and put my mind to healing. I asked Steve to prescribe both acupuncture and Physical Therapy. He told me I would heal anyway but if I wanted to try those he would accommodate me. Thank you Steve.
I then started three days of PT with Tim Evens at Rebound and two days of Acupuncture with Almine Barton every week. I asked Almine about healing and acupuncture. She told me that she had seen statistics that said it would help me heal 65% faster. That would be about right for me. I was thinking three months is how long it would take so this would mean it would take about 2 months.
I have done all the exercises Tim has given me. I have ridden out of doors three time since October 1st. I have had no pain for 24 days. I have decided to take some steps to see if I am ready to race. Steve nor Tim agree with me, but as I said in my last blog I have realized it is my decision.
Today was the first test. I ran over 2 barricades 5 times (10 total) and then I went and rode the Nationals course 5 times. Right now I feel great, tonight when I sleep will tell the tale. That is when I always feel the worst.
I know this is a gamble, but every time I go for a ride it is a gamble. I do jumps, ride some pretty crazy stuff for a 58 year old. I will be extra careful though. I do not like what I have gone through and I really can't afford to do all this therapy again. In my next blog if you see a photo of me riding with a big smile then you will know all has gone well.
Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

andytrailfettler said...

Hey Don,

How are you feeling now? Hope it is all good.