Friday, February 6, 2015

THE WIRED LIFE



6 weeks in now and saw the surgeon again yesterday. Slow goings on my healing and I will remain closed yet again...for another two weeks. Sigh!! If all goes well and things look good in two weeks time, he will remove all the bands and my mouth will be set free. After that, under a watchful eye, as long as things stay in place it looks like I can get the metal removed from my mouth in about 4 weeks. To say the days are slow would be an understatement. I am so ready to be back to normal 'mouth' function. On a more positive note, after seeing Catherine (our awesome dentist and very good friend) she tested my traumatized teeth and so far, they are ALL still alive. I have to have them checked every couple of months for the next year to make sure that none of them die. Fingers xd that these babies live, live, live!! Once I can get this mouth opened up I can then get all of the damaged teeth fixed. Looking forward to that so they stop slicing my tongue into shreds.

Also, this past week I started having jaw muscle spasms that are pretty intense. The spasms start in my jaw and the best way I can describe it would be that it feels like a lightening bolt shooting straight through my jaw, up to my temple and settling in behind my left eye socket. It's pretty painful and there's not a whole lot I can do about it right now. They are just going to happen.  Doc told me yesterday that the muscle that is spasiming is called the masseter muscle and it's the strongest muscle in the human body (as far as exerting force.) WOW! The reason mine has started to spasm?  I haven't been able to use this powerful beast of a muscle for 6 weeks now and now it's starting to revolt. Doc said that I can remove my elastics for a couple of hours per day now and try and open and close my jaw to work the muscle. This does not come easy however. I can open approximately 30mm at the moment and normal jaw opening range is from 45-55mm. I have to take my fingers and pry my jaw open. This is my rehab therapy and something I have to do even though it hurts like hell to stretch it beyond 30mm. The goal is to try and get to 40mm by my next follow up visit. So not only am I training my triathlon muscles, but now I begin training my masseter muscle to allow me to return to a normal life. I'll be honest, the thought of ever biting into a juicy sweet apple or a huge Chipotle burrito again scares the hell out of me. I'm sure it will come in time and I can't wait for that day!! The two chin fractures still cause some pain, but I know that it just takes time. The left side of my face is still completely numb. Can't feel a thing. Not even my nose. 50% chance that the numbness will be permanent. We shall see. 


On the flip side, my Ironman training is excellent at the moment. Something has happened to this girl and I am working harder than ever before, even with my jaws clenched together. I am finally running again and it feels really nice. My cycling is up there right where it was prior to the crash, so no complaints and I have worked really REALLY hard in my swimming (mainly breathing.) I was in really good swim shape pre-crash and spent three weeks out of water. Swimming with the teeth clenched has been tough and my first few swims were slow and steady. I had to stop my flip turns which sucked too. Each time however, I have gotten faster and faster and I actually started adapting to the way of breathing or lack there of. Today was a massive break through for me and I have never been happier. I finally was able to flip turn again (for half the swim anyway) and my pace is only a few seconds slower than my normal aerobic easy zone 2 swim pace. 1:35/100 with a closed jaw. Hell yea! It felt good and I feel lately like I have gained a third lung which is pretty cool. So, the positives in all of this? My cardio is in incredible shape!!  I think better than it has ever been because I have been hell bent on training like this and have made forced my body to play along and adapt. Score!
Also, last night I did my first brick of the season and it was a killer. Coach had me do 10x3 mins at 10 watts about my FTP (which was the one done early Dec ouch) with 60 sec recovs. The best part. I had to do a 4 mile run off of that. Quad killer then run. I did it and that bike session hurt, but when my feet hit the ground running, I felt like I was floating on a cloud. Another score! 

Running wired!
I was telling good friend and confidant Alice just yesterday that this all has been really tough, but it has changed me. It has changed me in a really really good way. I have learned things about myself that I did not know. I have learned that I am stronger than I ever realized and that my mind will never be a limiting factor in anything I do again. I believe things happen for a reason. In some ways, this was something that happened to me to tell me to slow down, rest, reevaluate, recalculate and then attack. I know there are people out there with far far worse things that they are dealing with, but I really believe that optimism in any bad situation brings great results. I have changed. I am stronger and I will always remember how hard this has been and how I tackled it all head on, head strong. 

The Scar- Abby calls it a ladybug
   
Thanks for reading.
Cheers~

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