2 Week Check Up – All Good So Far

Yesterday I went to see the surgeon who repaired my shattered patella – 2 weeks post operation.  As usual, the Plaster Room at the U of A hospital was packed and it took me 2.5 hrs to finish my visit.  The longest wait was to get an X-ray – some 50 mins from once I entered the que…

So my patella was busted into 4 main pieces, which Dr. Bury wired and pinned back together, starting with the top portion & working down to the bottom.  So question is, why not just put an artificial patella in?  Well, firstly, the patella is connected to your body w/ soft tissue and blood vessels – so if they can save the patella, they will.  You see, my shattered p-bone was still connected to my body, so by wiring and pinning it back together, it still gets blood and O2 delivered, which enables it to heal.  So this is my un-expert reasoning as to why I did not receive an implanted patella.  If they can save the real one they will.  Eventually I will require surgery again (in 9 to 12 months) to have the pins and wire removed – as most patients elect to do so.


Anyways, the doc is happy with how my knee is healing & I’ve been given a couple of assignments for the next 4 weeks.  I need to start bending my knee letting pain be my guide.  Basically bend it ’till it hurts.  It’s quite a weird sensation as there is not pain but rather resistance to my leg bending.  It’s like I’m stretching my muscles just to bend it like a normal person.  Amazing how little time it takes of inactivity for your leg to ‘freeze up’ like this.

The second exercise is to statically flex my quad.  Simple enough eh…we not totally.  Since my quad has been inactive for 2 weeks, I can’t even flex it!  I try and it’s just mush.  So I’ll have to work on that too.


I still need my crutches to get around, which makes matters quite a bit cumbersome.

The good news is that I’ll be riding my bike again in no time.  Race this year?  Well, that may be a stretch as it will take a while to rebuild strength – but we’ll see.  I’m in no rush to getting back to competing but I’m sure in a hurry to ride again!  I was very relieved to hear this as you can imagine how difficult it would be to hear that you cannot do the activity you love to do again.  Funny as the doctor told me I’m going to have to buy  a bicycle for my rehab.  I smiled as I proclaimed “I think I got that covered” 🙂

Do you think the extra pins and wire in my knee will affect my power to weight ratio?



Battling Boredom

It has almost been two weeks since my surgery – which means I only have 4 more weeks to go until I’m all healed up from my patella shattering hockey experience.  I can honestly say I don’t have any desire to get back onto the ice anytime soon.  I may have very well played my last game of hockey.

Anyways, my spirits are hanging in there due to a lot of encouragement from my awesome wife and my wonderful family.  This immobility is just short term so soon enough I’ll be back to my regular life.


I go to see the doc on Monday – and then I’ll know a little more as to how the surgery went (it was only supposed to be 0.5-0.75 hrs but it took 2hr!) and what my road to recovery will look like in the coming weeks.  Honestly, the most important thing to me is to hear that I’ll be able to ride again.  Funny how much that riding a bike means to us “bike geaks”.  My best wish would be that I’ll make a 100% recovery and back racing my MTB this summer.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

So my days now are filled with finding ways to beat boredom.  I’m not mobile enough to return to work and I rely on crutches to get around the house, so there isn’t a whole lot of things for me to do.  I keep thinking of ways that I could wrench on my bikes as I have a lot of wrenching to do, but I haven’t been able to figure that out.  I’m pretty much out of movies to watch (at least ones I want to see and have yet to do so).  Visits from friends have made the days go by quickly too.  The Tour of California has been broadcasted live on the internet, so I have been checking that out daily.  Also, I’ve been strummin’ my guitar a little bit too in order to pass the time.  Of course there are always naps…


Why does everyone laugh at my “reacher”?


Blogging From a Hospital Bed

I’m writing this entry from my hospital bed. Unfortunately, my racing plans for the year have drastically changed. You see, I fractured my remaining patella into numerous pieces Saturday afternoon playing hockey. No more racing for me this summer – now I’m shooting for a high level of healing and rehabilitation.

So the accident itself was kind of freaky in nature. I was skating full speed for a loose puck, went to turn hard, and had nothing. I fell onto my side and in a quazi-fetal position I slammed into the cinderblock reinforced hockey boards. I remember it like a fun shot going off in my body. I didn’t move.

I had to be powered to the dressing room by 2 teamates and helped by another to get all my gear off. To my horror, my left shinpad reveled a deformed knee – instantly swollen. I touched it and I could feel parts of my shattered cap. I can admit it – I was really scared. (this wasn’t the first time my patella had been shattered. I was 16 and in a MVA where I lost my right cap.)

I was man-lifted by Winston to the awaiting Jeep Peter (teammates extended 4×4). In my gut I knew it as bad, so I decided to go to the UofA hospital as it is a world class facility and it is close to home. Liesje met me in the ER shortly after I arrived and Pete & Willy (who likes accurate weather forcasts) we thanked and dismissed.

I was scared because I think I knew deep down what the DX was, even though I was hoping and praying will all my might for the opposite outcome. The ER doc confirmed it was busted in at least 4 pieces, I would need surgery to repair it, and most sadly, I was not going home that night.

I laid busted and restless for one and a half days waiting for my surgery. An eager Ortho Resident brightened my day when she was excited to hear that I had a patellaectomy on my right side and was impressed at my recovery from that accident. Obviously well enough to play hockey!

Finally late this morning (monday) I had surgery to repair my patella. The plan was to piece it back together using pins and wires and seethe single incision right down te font of my knee back up. Horray, matching scars here we come! Surgery was 2 hrs not 0.5 – so it was more complicated then originally anticipated. I have never been in that amount of pain ad I was there after I work up in the recovery room. That was. Awful.

So I’ve got six weeks of recovery and 6 to 9 weeks of rehab to get back to ‘good as new’. Now instead of thinking about intervals and weight training my days will consist of worrying about pooping and peeing. Thankfully family and friends have been helping me emensly by visiting, emailing, facebooking, testing, and calling. My Sweetie Liesje has been my angel, taking care of me and loving me always with her beautiful smile.

We can only look forward not behind – so I’m not going to get a sore neck too by attempting to do so. Knowing me as some as you do, here is the bright side to this unfortunate accident:

1. More time to practice guitar
2. More time to read (may be I’ll finish Life of Pi – whom I kidding, maybe I’ll start alive of Pi)
3. More time to devote to Alberta MTB Racing to bring you even awesomer races – yes, awesomer!

Most importantly, this was a reminder to me identify and enjoy the important things to me in my life. Nothing lasts forever; do enjoy it while it lasts or don’t sweat it cause it’s not with you forever.

I’m going to be here in the Hospital for a couple of days, so my office is currently accepting visitors. Send me a text and I’ll let you know what room I’m in.

What’s the record for worlds largest blog entry with an iphone?


Ice Ice & Porcupine

I decided to fight the cabin fever and brave the icy elements (it rained a lot about a week ago and ever since then the trails and bike paths have been super icy) by heading out for a little training on the MTB.  Sketchy is a understatement.

Most well traveled bike paths were decently non-sketch, but some singletrack was unwalkable let alone rideable.

Now I was clipping along the north side of the river heading back home when I came up to a section of the gravel double track that turns down to the left towards the river.  I cautiously approached the turn and lucky that I did, because there was a huge porcupine right in the middle of the trail – quills all fired up and ready to launch.  Scared the pejeabus out of me!

So I waited a bit, waited some more, then started throwing snowballs to encourage Mr. Porci to move along out of the way…but eventually he did.  Bad news was that my hands were now wet and cold from the snowballs.

A day in the life…

Can porcupines shoot quills?