Category Archives: Crash March 2013

I crashed on my commuter coming home on 06-Mar-13 – these are posts that relate to that crash, and my subsequent recovery.

2013: The Year of Injuries and Broken Bones

The main recurring topic of this year has been injuries, including a few broken bones. The reality is that this probably isn’t being unlucky, but more a lack of care and an increase in activities which have accounted for them all. So, what has been happening this year?

  1. 15-Jan – bike tumble, broken finger
  2. 06-Mar – bike crash, broken wrist, broken thumb, dislocated humerus etc
  3. 27-Jul – right foot injury, out of action for 5 weeks
  4. 25-Aug – toenail falls off, lolz
  5. 25-Aug – left foot injury, out of action for 10 days
  6. 15-Sep – broken right forefinger, swimming, lolz
  7. 13-Oct – left foot injury, out of action for 3 weeks
  8. Mid November – broken rib, caused by eldest daughter putting her full weight on my ribcage via her knee

Yeah, I’m hoping this doesn’t become a regular scenario. Lessons to be learnt?

  1. Don’t go round corners on my bike too aggressively when it is wet
  2. Learn to swim properly so I don’t punch the hand rail because my technique is so poor
  3. Run less, or at least shorter distances
  4. Don’t wrestle with eldest daughter

No doubt I will find other ways to injure myself, but what’s the alternative – staying in and doing nothing?

LimbO: Waterproof Bag for Limb in Plaster Cast

castAfter my crash, I needed one arm put in plaster. Well, the hospital wanted both arms in plaster, but I wasn’t up for that idea. There are many problems that are presented when having an arm in plaster, or indeed, any limb, and one of those problems is how to wash yourself. You’re not allowed to get the plaster cast wet, you see.

Most people start off with a plastic shopping bag and an elastic band (or in our case, a hair bobble, volunteered by one of my daughters). It’s enough to protect your plaster cast if you’re really careful, but it’s not really a good long term solution.

Instead, the wife suggested she get me a LimbO, which is basically a bag with an elasticated end. Much like a Tesco shopping bag with an elastic band, I thought. How good would that be?

LimbO

The LimbO

Answer: much better than expected. Yes, this is basically a plastic bag with an elastic band on the end, but this thing has clearly been properly designed.

Firstly, they come in a range of sizes. I’m an athletically built person, so you’re not going to find people that much thinner than I am, and I was initially thinking the thing was going to be massive. But it wasn’t – we ordered the smallest size, and it was perfect. They also do different sizes for arms and legs, so don’t go thinking that you’ll get something massively long to fit your leg when you only need it for your arm. Double bonus.

But the best thing about the LimbO was the elasticated bit. Unbelievably, it clings to your arm and prevents water getting into it, but doesn’t hurt in the slightest and leaves no mark on you. It’s really quite extraordinary. I had expected one or the other, but this thing clings to your arm really well and I never had a single drop of water get inside the thing despite using it in the shower on a daily basis.

Arm in LimbO

Arm in LimbO

According to the instructions, you can even use this thing in the swimming pool. And I can believe it, although I didn’t try it. Therefore, I figure this means that the makers are confident that, even fully submerged, you’re going to have a completely waterproof covering of your plaster cast.

One way that I was able to get a really good feeling that this thing was going to work was when I put it on, and discovered that there was loads of air trapped inside. I waited a few seconds, and it stayed the same, just like a balloon that had been blown up. Getting rid of the air is easy; you just pull the end open a little, press the LimbO to eject the air, and then let go of the end. Air gone, and no more air can get inside.

Any issues with it? Well, the only real issue is that you now have a bag between your hand and whatever you are trying to hold on to (soap, sponge, shampoo bottle etc). But let’s be honest – what else is going to be possible? You need your hand covered if you want your cast covered, so you just have to get on with it. On a scale of 1 to 10 for this being annoying, it’s a 1 – not really annoying at all. The fact you can shower without having to constantly worry about whether your Tesco bag is letting water slide through is a massive bonus.

So if you’re looking for something to keep your cast dry when you need to get wet, the LimbO gets my vote.

Another day, another wrist / thumb bike test

Went out for a spin on the bike today to see whether it would be possible to ride my road bike now that I’m a little less broken than before. 13 miles later, and the answer is a qualified yes. It’s a little sore, but I’m putting it down to atrophy more than anything else. Also, the hoods are now squint on my bike, so sorting that out should make it less painful.

Which brings me to my next post…

Freedom

Cast I got my cast off yesterday. Thankfully, I didn’t have to have another one put back on again. Had 6 x-rays done, four of which were of my wrist, to see how the break is healing. The good news was that it’s healed enough to not require another cast, although the doc made it clear that there is still a break there, but it’s now much smaller than it was before, hence I didn’t need another cast.

This is a relief, as tbh I was starting to go a bit mad with the thought that I might need a cast on for another 6 weeks, potentially. I now have had the delights of being able to have a shower, amongst many other things, in a normal way.

The wrist is still sore, mind you, due to it not having moved for 6 weeks. Therefore, I will still be in some pain for the next while, but this can’t be avoided, after all.

ThumbI also got x-rays done of my thumb. It looks really quite bad, much worse than the first x-ray I got of it, but the hospital seem to think it’s ok. It’s now much more clearly broken in the new x-ray, and it’s going to stay like this forever, meaning I can’t bend my thumb back as much as I did before. Apparently, that isn’t really a problem, since I’ll still be able to close my thumb, which is the important bit. It is now significantly less sore than it was a few days ago, so definite improvement there.

It is not possible to cycle with a plaster cast on your arm

OK, so I was being overly hopeful at the weekend when wanting to get back on the bike. I did go out for a short 4 mile spin round the block, and initially it seemed that it is indeed possible to cycle despite having a plaster cast on my right arm, from below the elbow to my knuckles. Alas, although I could brake when at a slow speed, I couldn’t brake effectively from a faster speed, as I can’t tighten my right hand enough to brake very hard. Therefore, I had to accept that cycling really will have to wait until this thing is off my arm.

That should happen Friday. There’s a risk that they take it off, x-ray my wrist again and discover it’s not healed enough yet, but quite frankly I’m not going to let them put another one back on my arm because my skin is now massively irritated by the cast and it’s causing me serious psychological damage. They said last time I was at hospital that I would get it off and might have to use a splint for another couple of weeks if it was still sore, and the good thing about a split is you can take it off. And it isn’t the same material and is significantly less likely to irritate my skin. But mainly, being able to take it off will be wonderful. So I need to focus on that being the goal… just two more full days of this damn thing to go and then it’s off…

As for the cold, it seems to finally be disappearing. Hurrah.

Fixing the bike. Cold not shifting.

I’ve had enough of this cold. It’s still showing no signs of going away.

Got the bike out, as spring arrived finally today. Thought I’d just need to put the chain on, since I crashed on the non-drivetrain side, but alas the brakes needing adjusted so the wheels could actually move. Not the end of the world. Seems to be in working order. I’m going to go out on it now, to see how I get on cycling with a plaster cast on my arm, because quite frankly I’m pissed off waiting to get it off, and if I can ride a bike somewhat safely and stick to quiet roads and bike paths, I should be ok.

Yes, I’m trying to convince myself.

Irritated

I can’t help but feel irritated by my current state of health. I also know it’s probably a taste of things to come in later life, when things stop working with less obvious external notifications, but they stop working all the same. But right now, with this brokenness, added to which I’ve had a stinking cold that is showing no sign of letting up after 6 days, I’m solidly in cabin fever right now. My right thumb is now really sore due to the plaster cast having a really hard, rough edge that has been giving me pain since the 2nd day the thing was put on me, and the pain has been getting progressively worse with each passing day. And there’s still 10 days of this thing to go before I get it off. And damn, I’d better get it taken off… if I turn up at hospital and they refuse to take it off, I seriously might saw the thing off my arm myself. Frustrated is nowhere near strong enough a word for my current mental state.

Itching to get out

Aside from contracting a stinking cold within an hour of returning home from France, I’m itching to get out for a run or a ride. It’s 2 weeks to go until I get this cast off, though, so surely to goodness I can wait that long. But it’s tough. I’m also still browsing Wiggle and Chain Reactions repeatedly, but so far have managed to resist spending cash.

Continued Recovery

Things are continuing to get better on the recovery from my crash early last month. First, I’ve not had the black splint on my left hand for about 4 days now, at all, and it’s not caused me any problems. I even managed to bash my thumb yesterday in a way that would previously have had significant pain, but it wasn’t sore at all. Therefore, I’m coming to the conclusion that the break is definitely on the way to being healed. I’m still taking it easy on the thumb, don’t get me wrong, and there are many, many things I can’t do with it still – indeed, there are only a few things I can do with it so far. But I can use my left hand much more than even a few days ago.

The left shoulder is also dramatically better. I hardly notice any pain at all, and there’s only a couple of things that cause discomfort in my day to day activities, so it’s almost back to normal. It’s amazing what a difference a couple of weeks can make, as back then, I still could hardly move it without incredibly pain.

The right wrist, well, there’s not a lot I can do about that, since it’s in plaster. Two weeks tomorrow, though, it should be coming off, at which point I will no doubt have muscle atrophy to deal with, but that’s better than a plaster cast.

Going back to the physio today re: the shoulder. I don’t think I need to keep going to see her about it, so will tell her I ain’t coming back. No doubt she will have different opinions.