We Rise Again.

I’m fairly confident I made the right call with my shoulder. I’m just over two weeks in and I can take my sling off for periods and quite easily put my hand on my head now. I put the sling back on as soon as I have to move about, or I forget and, for instance, grab the handrail going down the stairs. That is definitely not a good thing to do. The way it’s going I’m fairly sure the doctor will sign me fit for work on the 10th. My shoulder droop is no longer so pronounced. I’ve still got a lump and my poorly shoulder is a bit lower than the other one, but now it isn’t so sore I can come to attention and the difference isn’t massive.

In other good news my sister’s sciatica seems to be on the mend. She’s got a hospital appointment with a specialist in Liverpool on the 10th of February as well. Hopefully they’ll be able to numb her up while she fully mends. She wants to get back to work. She’s been stuck at home since November, until recently too done in to get out. I’d have gone mad. She says her back isn’t bothering her anymore and the electric shocks up her leg are really improving. She said her leg is 50% now. That’s good. I’ve told her I’ll go running with her to build up her back muscles. She wasn’t enthusiastic.

I’ve been keeping up with my bike training. It’s not fun, like The Sufferfest. They were shouting at you, encouraging you and making in-jokes. Trainer Road is just a bunch of boring blocks.

The blocks are the power, or more accurately, the resistance. The horizontal line is my maximum sustainable power (FTP). The yellow line is the power I’m putting out, the red line is my heart rate. So you ride along for 2 minutes at, say, 120 watts, then it goes up a step and the trainer moves the resistance up to 140W etc. The big blocks are 95- 98% of my FTP, the spikes which are only 5 seconds on this particular workout, are 150%. I looked at this one and thought “That looks do-able. 5 seconds!Ha!” Another one that nearly killed me. The 5 seconds burns your legs then you have to carry on at more or less your maximum for 2 minutes then do it again. By the final block I was hanging on by a thread.

But this is how you improve. And how I stay sane while I’m housebound and can’t do anything with my arm.

We’ve been getting weird symptoms again. We went for a Covid test, but it was negative. It could be Long Covid, or some weird other bug. It keeps on giving us sore throats and bits of weakness, with the insatiable hunger. Though the last could just be my bored gluttony. On the bright side, it’s nothing like the wipe-you-out bouts we were getting. It’s just weird and unpleasant.

I’ve read more books in the last two weeks than in the 2 years prior. It seems it’s not the internet shortening our attention spans, it’s badly written books not engaging them. The one book that was really good I got at dinner time and had finished the next day. The other was meh. And the one I’m 450 pages into is OK, but it’s aged badly. It was only written in 1982, but they say nothing ages faster than the future. The tech is obviously sub par, but it’s the attitudes that really date it. I thought it was a ’50s book. Women are there to cook and mend, for the men to protect, and to be a romantic interest. It’s a bit creepy. Before these books I reread The Lord of the Rings. It feels wrong to say it about such a great story, but all that forelock tugging, knee bending, king worshiping, and purity of blood stuff was hard for me to bear this time around.

This is a generally strange time. I can’t do anything, but as soon as I’m well I have a bunch of time sensitive jobs that all need doing at once. Which makes the waiting around, doing nothing, even worse. Ho hum. That’s tomorrow’s problem.

The plus side of being bored witless is I’ve not missed a thing on Twitter.

The Trump / neo nazi coup attempt rumbled on.

Back home the Tories got tough on Covid.

But sadly too little too late.

But the home schooling parents took it well.

Another Tory scandal was the free school meals for the most desperate of kids who would otherwise have to do without. The Tories stopped giving out vouchers and gave one of their mates a contract to supply the kids with food. The company promptly stole 80% of the taxpayer’s money and left the kids to starve.

Twitter went into meltdown when the pictures started circulating.

Even Sir Keir tried jumping on the bandwagon. Unsuccessfully.

Captain U Turn took about 3 days to be shamed into reinstating the vouchers. Finally Twitter being a force for good.

But it wasn’t all horrible.

Random Twitter was fun.

I like that. The gal’s got a terrible memory, to which I can relate, and I like the wistful melancholic air.

“I only know that summer sang in me

A little while, that sings in me no more.”

Right, out of here.



2020 and a bit.

The spirit of 2020 is lingering on. Normally by this time I’d have done a blog review of the previous year and another, fresh and optimistic one for the next year. You’re spared that at least. Breaking my shoulder just before the new year is dragging 2020 out for all of this month and half of next. I know it’s only a token date with no real significance in the grand scheme of things, but it is a bit of a downer.

Sad panda.

On the bright side; I had my one week check up and the doctor was pleased with my mobility. I’m starting to be able to let my arm rest out of the sling for periods, but I can’t use it. And the best news, for me, is that this is the first time I’ve been able to rest my hand on the keyboard to type! Blessed joy! How I’ve missed typing with two hands!

The other joy is that I looked online, (well, Wendy looked online to tell me not to) and they said there was no reason why you couldn’t, carefully, continue training on a static trainer. I was already going to give it a go, but that was a green light. After 2 days of sitting around counting the seconds, with nothing to do except eat or try to sleep, I was going nuts. Wendy was looking forward to going back to work to get away from my miserableness. By the third day I knew I had to try something. So, after Wendy discovering it was safe, I strapped my arm to my body and had a go on the bike.

I text my sister and said “I’m giving it a go. I’m going in!

She replied “In sane.”

Success! I have to sit upright and put all my weight on to my left arm, but I can train. It doesn’t injure my shoulder and it burns off my agitation and misery. Happy, happy bunny.

Some ex druggie, now running fanatic, told Wendy “Well, it’s either that or drugs.” Whoa. That was a bit insightful. Anyway, the upshot is I shouldn’t lose any fitness through this episode and I have a tool to get me through it mentally, so it’s win win.

The iffy news is the doctor said my shoulder break was an in funny place. He said there was a 90% chance it would heal by itself, but if not I’ll have to get a plate screwed in. He offered me the plate now, but warned it had potential complications as it’s over a nerve cluster, could restrict blood flow to my arm, and would limit mobility. The only real plus to it being that I know it’s done. I’m going to wait and see if it it heals. At worst I’ll lose another 5 weeks off work then have to have the plate put in anyway. At best it heals, and I start rehab physio.

I was talking to a guy on Twitter who got smacked by a car on his pushbike, smashed his shoulder and had to be plated. I asked about mobility. He said they told him he wouldn’t be able to lift his arm straight above his head. He said he can. It’s an effort, but he can. Just about. After 7 or 8 months, including physio.

I think I called it right. That would just about finish me for triathlon. My shoulder doesn’t look right yet

and it might set funny, but I can already, gingerly, put my hand on my head. I wasn’t doing that for fun by they way, the doctor asked me to. I’ve got to go back for another X-ray in 5 weeks and hopefully get cleared to return to work.

I’ll ask him at that appointment, when I know for sure which way it’s going, about what comes next. Is it as strong as it was? Can I swim straight away? Will I ever play the piano again? The usual.

Or I get plated and start again. Either or. He said it’s 90%, those are good odds. And, unless I move it, it doesn’t hurt. I just took my first painkillers of the day at 21.00 just because I move it when I’m asleep.

I was kicking myself for a while afterwards, obviously. I’ve got a low pressure, fat, wide tyred gravel / mountain bike there. And I rode to work on a skinny, high pressure, no tread tyred road bike/ racer. On ice. Hindsight is 2020 and utterly pointless.

A brief summary of 2020 then, for posterity: It sucked.

My hopes and plans for 2021: keep on keeping on. I can’t plan anything more concrete than that at the moment.

Anyway, here’s some Twitter.

Neo nazi Trump supporters tried to violently overthrow democracy. So the police let them. People rightly compared it to Trump’s response to the Black Lives Matter protest.

2020 was even getting to the stores

Some Dinos.

Bozo announced that his populist, moronic, policy of letting everyone mingle at the peak of the lethal second wave of a global pandemic so he could claim to “save Christmas” has resulted in an incoming tsunami of death. As every single person with a brain cell predicted.

The tories were shamelessly pedaling the line that the 92, 000 they’ve killed (New Zealand dead: 25) were those with underlying health conditions who would have died anyway.

But aside from the ongoing political evil, there was some fun.

And some sports stuff.

I was wondering why my cycling shoes, which are supposed to be wide fit, were still killing me. After a race I’m nearly crying with them. Someone suggested a really obvious test. Take your insoles out of the shoes and stand on them. Tiny. My feet well overlap them. So they are crushing my feet for 112 miles.

Here is what they look like compared to my trainer (blue) insoles.

I’ve tracked down a brand that do measured, wide fit.

Other sports news:

Just because it’s such genius, the Loch Ness Marathon logo

And my favourite:

Right, out of here.

Shoulder held up to the typing. Splendid.



So Close…

I thought I’d taken my kickings for 2020. As my mam reminded me, I’ve already had the plague and been sacked this year. It’s only two days left until the symbolically optimistic fresh new start of 2021. Ha!

The last two days it’s finally turned cold. Snow that hasn’t fully melted away, rain, and sub zero overnight. Yesterday I had 04.00 start and that was quite bracing, riding through frozen snow ridges and tiptoeing over ice patches. Today was worse. The ground was a sheet of ice. I normally hop on my pushbike right outside our door, today I pushed it out and across the road before starting. The wheels were slipping out as I was pushing. In hindsight I should have sacked it off then. Asked Wendy for a lift, or walked in.

I gingerly started pedaling in, got about 300 yards and the front end slipped out. Somehow, in the second before I slammed into the ground, I had the presence of mind to decide to do a tuck and roll. Usually forearm, shoulder, hip. It was too late to get my hand down so I just went on to my shoulder. Huge mistake. I landed it completely wrong (normally there would be forward momentum, this time the movement was straight down) and the corner of my shoulder took the full impact.

Wow, did that ever hurt!

Some guy walking his dog came up to see if I was alright. I was really struggling to understand him, my brain was so absorbed with the pain.

After a minute or two I realised I wouldn’t be going in to work so pushed my bike back home.

Luckily Wendy was starting later today so was still at home. I took my coat and T-shirt off to see if there was any damage. That was enough to have me shouting out with the pain. I rang the agency and told them, then Wendy took me to the hospital. They thought it was dislocated at first, which had me quite hopeful, but then the xrays came back and they said it was a fractured clavicle. I thought a fracture was like a crack in the bone, not a break, so while I was waiting to get transferred to the right department for treatment I rang the agency and told them I probably wouldn’t be coming in tomorrow. That was a tad optimistic, as it turns out.

The breaks department showed me the xray. Clearly snapped. Super. They gave me a sling, some cocodomol, and an appointment with an outpatient doctor in a week. The nurse asked what my job was, I said “lorry driver”, “Well, you wont be driving any lorries for a while.” How long? 6 weeks.

Well, isn’t that wizard.

I’m an agency driver, so no sick pay. I can’t return to running, and I don’t know if I’m even going to be able to train on my indoors bike. AND I’M HAVING TO TYPE LEFT HANDED! The pain just keeps on coming.

Talking of, that’s one good thing. If I don’t move it, it’s not too bad. I’ve had one of usual headaches most of today and that hurt more. However, I took the sling off to try and adjust it. Oh yes, it’s broke alright. That made me sweat!

It’s annoying though. The irony of a lifetime of crashing motorbikes, coming off at 70mph and pushing it home etc, then breaking my shoulder falling off a pushbike at 2mph was not lost on me. Nor the fact that had this happened 3 months ago I would be taking the next 6 weeks off on full pay. We are where we are, but if you wanted to look at it as a series of unfortunate events it wouldn’t be hard.

On the bright side, the NHS were fantastic. You appreciate what you’ve always taken for granted when it’s about to be taken from you. And the pain is really mild until you move it. I’ve never broken anything before, but everyone seems to think I should be in agony. Happy not to be, thank you very much. And because it’s so hard to type left handed, this is going to be mercifully brief. You’re welcome.

I was making great gains on my bike training, but by the time I get to write about it I fear it will be lost.

Ho hum.

Rest, heal, come back stronger.

Right, I’m out of here.

Stay safe, people.