Author Topic: Back home from hiking in AZ  (Read 3953 times)

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Offline AQB24712

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2016, 09:15:17 AM »
I'm actually a wimp. I cry a lot and I complain constantly. But life without outdoor activities such as hiking and flatwater kayaking would not be worth living. So I do the work my physical therapist gives me, and I follow my doctor's recommendations for health (e.g. weaning myself off of narcotics) so that I can resume the activities which (in the absence of someone to have sex with) are the only things that make life worth living.

Don't you argue with me, mister.  The fact that you're in pain and yet keep working through it to achieve something valuable to you proves that you are indeed a badass and a rock star.  Also, crying and complaining are part of the process; in fact, they can be a very useful part of the process.  You don't have to be a stoic John Wayne thing to be a badass and a rock star.  **swats daniel1948 on the butt** 
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2016, 08:41:21 PM »
Another update. I had my three-months-and-a-week follow-up with the orthopedist's P.A. I've never actually met this orthopedist, since the surgery was in AZ. I don't even know if the orthopedist here ever sees my x-rays, though I think he probably does. The P.A. told me that my bones are healing well and on schedule and that he doesn't need to see me for another two months, which will likely by my last visit with him.

I asked him about a few things:

When will I be able to travel? I use a backpack as my carry-on, so I'd need to be able to wear the backpack, which clearly puts stress on the shoulder. He thought I might be able to do this in a month, but when I added that I don't want to take any chances with my recovery, he recommended waiting until spring. I'd have liked to visit my friends in South Dakota before winter hits the northern prairie, but it looks like that's off the table now.

Am I really healing on track for full recovery one year after the accident? I have considerably more mobility than I did a month ago, but hardly any more strength at all. I thought I should have some strength back by now, three months out, if I'm to be fully recovered after a year. My physical therapist always tells me my mobility is improving, but I have almost no strength at all in that muscle. But the P.A. told me that with this kind of injury, they don't expect to see any return of strength before the three-month mark. He also said that it's at three months when the pain begins to lessen. He definitely thinks I am on track for full recovery by June of 2017, one year after the accident.

What about the bulge on my arm? He was uncertain about this. The P.T. says its a hypertrophy at the deltoid tuberosity due to the atrophy of the deltoid muscle at the proximal end. But he doesn't seem all that confident of this. I asked if there's anything I can do about it, or if I can expect it to return to normal as I continue my therapy exercises and the deltoid muscle regains strength. He said Yes, but seemed more like he was trying to make me feel better than actually expressing an opinion. The P.A. basically did the same. Unsure. Yes, it ought to get better by itself as the muscle recovers.

Can I see a plate like the one in my arm? What's it actually like? He didn't have one to show me, but he said it's about the thickness of a couple of credit cards, and curved to match the curvature of the bone. It's maybe 3 inches by 2 inches (my guesstimate of how far apart he was holding his fingers). It will stay in me for the rest of my life. It should not set off metal detectors.

In other matters, I'm off the oxycodone or nearly off it. I took none at all on Sunday and Monday, then at 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning I had to take a half a tablet (2 1/2 mg.). Wednesday and so far today I have not taken any, though I'll take another half a tablet if I wake up at night and can't get back to sleep for the withdrawal symptoms. I have pain, but not nearly as bad as a month ago. I've been smoking about 1/40 gm of pot most evenings to help me sleep. I've gone through about half the gram. Once I've shaken off the last of the withdrawal I plan on quitting the pot also. It's pleasant, but I prefer a clear head. I'm happy that it's available while I need it. I voted in favor of legalization. But I don't expect to continue using it once I'm able to sleep normally.

I'm sleeping lying down most nights, at least for most of the night. Sometimes I still have to sleep sitting up, but not often any more. Lying down, there's only one tolerable position, flat on my back with the arm straight down at my side, and that becomes uncomfortable after a while, but a month ago I could not even maintain that position for more than a couple of minutes. Lying on my side or my stomach doesn't work at all.

The weather has turned cooler. Not as pleasant for those long walks. So I'm stuck with the exercise bike, or walking on the treadmill. I tried jogging, but after about a minute the shoulder started to get sore from the movement. So walking uphill is all I can do for now on days when I cannot abide the bike. I listen to music on the bike, as I cannot focus on podcasts while cycling. On the treadmill I either watch a movie via Amazon Prime, or I listen to music while watching a nature video with the sound off. And of course I do my arm exercises.

Last summer my hiking was painful due to the hernia, which was repaired when I got home. This summer there was no hiking because of the broken arm. What will happen before next summer? I'm close to 70 years old, and my body is failing. In the absence of female companionship, life would not be worth living if I cannot hike, and kayak, etc. But I lack the courage to off myself. Maybe I'll get lucky and the next incident will kill me outright rather than just cripple me. I want to cross the glacier again with Florina. I want to return to Grizzly Lake with Charlotte. I want to stand on Saas-Fee again. I want to paddle a kayak from Makenna Landing to Molokini Island again. But two months after resuming cardio exercise, I'm still not back to my pre-accident cycling pace, and I don't know if I'll ever have the strength for those things again. I'm on the downhill slope. It's just going to get worse from here.

I think the reason the world is so messed up is that anybody with an ounce of sense kills themselves before they're 20.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline AQB24712

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2016, 08:53:28 PM »
I'm on the downhill slope. It's just going to get worse from here.

No way, man.  I was reading along and thinking, wow, he's really doing well.  Three months plus a week is no time at all for this kind of recovery, and two months after resuming cardio.  I understand your impatience, and your being severely unhappy and discouraged about the unwelcome restrictions on activity, but your report describes real progress. 
"There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."  Kurt Vonnegut
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2016, 11:49:04 AM »
I'm making progress on the broken arm. But my fitness level can only decline from here. I'm 68 years old and unless the House of Abrasax decides I'm a reincarnation of one of them, I won't be getting any younger. I'll be slower and weaker with each passing year, and this year is a total loss. Grizzly Lake, Saas-Fee, and the Molokini challenge all strained the time available. The second and most recent time I did Grizzly Lake (my favorite hike ever) we were so late getting back that if I'm any slower hiking, they won't let me do it again.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Online jt512

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2016, 09:41:08 PM »
I'm making progress on the broken arm. But my fitness level can only decline from here. I'm 68 years old and unless the House of Abrasax decides I'm a reincarnation of one of them, I won't be getting any younger. I'll be slower and weaker with each passing year, and this year is a total loss.

Don't be so pessimistic.  By the end of this month, Seuk Doo "Sam" Kim, now 79 years old, will have climbed the tallest peak in the San Gabriels, Mt. San Antonio (10,064 ft), 200 times within 9 months.  A few years ago, Sam climbed Iron Mountain, generally considered the hardest peak in the San Gabriels, 100 times within 8 months.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 09:43:45 PM by jt512 »

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2016, 04:35:33 AM »
Yeah, dude, don't be so pessimistic.  Ya gotta help hold up the side for all of the outdoor seniors.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2016, 10:23:16 AM »
I'm making progress on the broken arm. But my fitness level can only decline from here. I'm 68 years old and unless the House of Abrasax decides I'm a reincarnation of one of them, I won't be getting any younger. I'll be slower and weaker with each passing year, and this year is a total loss.

Don't be so pessimistic.  By the end of this month, Seuk Doo "Sam" Kim, now 79 years old, will have climbed the tallest peak in the San Gabriels, Mt. San Antonio (10,064 ft), 200 times within 9 months.  A few years ago, Sam climbed Iron Mountain, generally considered the hardest peak in the San Gabriels, 100 times within 8 months.

This is a logical fallacy. I'm not good at naming logical fallacies. In fact, I'm terrible at it. But I can sometimes recognize them.

When I started jogging around the age of 35 I soon decided I wanted to run a marathon. There's a common notion among runners, or at least in running magazines, that anybody can run a marathon. But as I discovered the hard way, not everybody has the knees for it. Pointing out that one 79-year-old is stronger and more fit than 99.9% of the entire population does not demonstrate that anybody can achieve his level of fitness in their old age.

In fact, though I am in better shape than most American 68-year-olds, I am very clearly in decline, and have been for the past decade. In my 40's I jogged 9:00 to 9:15 minutes per mile and once ran a 10 K at a pace of a couple seconds better than 8 minutes per mile. In my 50's I was jogging 9:30 per mile and had had to give up running 10-K's because my body couldn't handle it. During a very short period about a decade ago I went from 9:30 per mile to 12:30 per mile, and since then even completing three miles has become more and more difficult. In the past couple of years I have run 3 miles without a walking break only a handful of times.

Ive been on a downward decline since my early 50's.

There's a guy my age to the year, who was working trail crew at my favorite hiking lodge the last two years I was there. (2014 and 2015) He had breakfast and was on the trail two hours before us hikers, and spent all day swinging a pick, and shoveling dirt, and grooming trail, and got back to the lodge two hours after us hikers. Pointing to him as an example of what I could be is ludicrous. I'm not him and I'm not Seuk Doo Kim. I'm me. And I'm in that inevitable decline that we all reach if we live long enough. Getting old is the shits. I don't have that many years left that I'll be able to do the things that make life worth living, and my own stupid clumsiness has deprived me of a whole year of that short remaining time.

I think it's been 4 days since I took a narcotic pain pill. I'm taking NSAID's, but they're worthless. The pain was nowhere near what it was, but I wake up in a fair amount of pain, and I have pain most of the day. Pain sucks. The trade-off is I don't want to be addicted. And the pain is no longer intolerable, so I tolerate it. But I don't know (in spite of the assurances of the doctors) if I'll ever have the strength and mobility in my shoulder to kayak again, and I don't know if I'll be fit enough at the end of another year to do the long hikes I love. I honestly think I'd have been better off if I'd died. I would have been spared all this pain and might not have lost anything, if I'm not going to be able to do the activities that make life worth living. Nobody is dependent on me. A handful of people would say "Well, that's too bad," at news of my death, and my money would go to people more deserving of it than I am.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2016, 02:29:22 PM »
I located the EOB from my insurance company for the claim from the hospital in Arizona.



Some of the items are downright criminal. They billed over $2,000 for pharmacy services, which consisted of three days worth of narcotic painkillers. Those painkillers are just nowhere near that expensive. The same stuff from my pharmacy after my release from the hospital was a dollar or two a day.

They billed $1,500 for occupational therapy. That therapy consisted of one half-hour visit where they gave me a few exercises to do, and a separate ten-minute visit to repeat the same information.

For the rest, I have no idea what would be reasonable, but based on those two, it's no wonder that our health system in the U.S. is broken. We really need a universal, single-payer, not-for-profit health system.

That said, I will say that the hospital provided absolutely excellent, first-rate care.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2016, 11:46:21 AM »
Big step backwards. I managed to run a mile and a quarter without stopping yesterday morning (which I mention because I don't know if it played a part in what follows) and felt pretty good about that. My shoulder was sore before and after, but felt okay during the run, and was no worse after than before. My daily arm exercises which I did some 6 hours later, however, were very painful, enough that I used the gel cold pack afterwards. Later that evening it became clear that the pain had intensified greatly. In particular, the tiniest little movement the wrong way resulted in very brief but excruciating pain. That situation continued overnight, and this morning the shoulder is extremely sore, a constant ache, and those occasional little (very little) movements the wrong way cause a brief excruciating pain.

And of course this came on last night (Friday) and so I will not be able to phone the orthopedic clinic until Monday. If I went to the ER they'd just tell me to phone the clinic on Monday.

I think I described two of my exercises in the Twitter your Exercise thread: Lying on my back in one case, on my side for the other, raise the right arm toward to ceiling. These are extremely painful, but I do them through the pain in the belief that they'll help. And before yesterday, the pain subsided after a few minutes. Now I don't know whether to keep doing them or take a break until I can speak to the P.A. I'm concerned I may have done some internal damage to the joint. Or if the jogging is the real problem and I need to knock it off until the shoulder is better. But I really want to be able to jog. And the shoulder felt okay while jogging, whereas the arm lifts are extremely painful when I am doing them, which points to them rather than the jogging, as the culprit.

I still have some oxycodone, but I really do not want to get back on that. Last night I had a puff of pot to help me sleep, but the pain was so great it didn't seem to help. Of course, there's no telling: Maybe it would have been worse without it.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2016, 02:25:56 PM »
Just walk...
"The home of the brave and the land of the free; the less you know, the better off you'll be"

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2016, 06:41:29 PM »
Just walk...

Walking is good, but does not get my heart rate into the cardio zone. I walk a lot. I like walking. But it's jogging that controls my depression and insomnia.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2016, 08:30:37 PM »
Just walk...

Walking is good, but does not get my heart rate into the cardio zone. I walk a lot. I like walking. But it's jogging that controls my depression and insomnia.

Walk uphill.  Your aerobic zone is maxed at 112 BPM (180- age).  I was able to do it easily.
"The home of the brave and the land of the free; the less you know, the better off you'll be"

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2016, 10:53:08 AM »
Just walk...

Walking is good, but does not get my heart rate into the cardio zone. I walk a lot. I like walking. But it's jogging that controls my depression and insomnia.

Walk uphill.  Your aerobic zone is maxed at 112 BPM (180- age).  I was able to do it easily.

I don't know where you get those numbers. I use 220 minus age for maximum heart rate and 65% to 85% of that as the aerobic zone. This puts the top of my aerobic zone at 129, not 112.

At one time I used a personal trainer to try to develop resistance work I could do with my bad shoulders (which have been bad for a decade). He advocated a different method for calculating the aerobic zone. Instead of 65% to 85% of maximum heart rate, he advocated 65% to 85% of the range between resting pulse and maximum.

For a resting pulse of 58 and a maximum of 152, the difference is 94. 65% of that is 61, add back the 58 for a lower end of 119. 85% of 94 is 80, for an upper end of 138. But these numbers have never worked for me. I definitely feel anaerobic at the top end by that calculation. So I still use a straight 65% to 85% of maximum as my aerobic zone. On a day when I'm really tired I don't mind being in the lower part of the zone. Normally I'm okay being in the middle, but jogging always gets me near the top of the zone, and I'm much happier with that.

I do what I can, and that's all I can do. But it's a pisser when I'm finally getting strong enough to jog again and the damn arm may prevent me from it.

I do walk uphill sometimes. All part of the mix, and yes, it's a good exercise. But it does not get my heart rate as high as jogging or even as high as the bike does. It also hurts my hips sometimes, which the bike does not. The bike just hurts my butt.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2016, 02:51:03 PM »

I don't know where you get those numbers. I use 220 minus age for maximum heart rate and 65% to 85% of that as the aerobic zone. This puts the top of my aerobic zone at 129, not 112.



I got it from the most successful endurance racing coach since Arthur Lydiard, Phil Maffetone.

https://philmaffetone.com/180-formula/
"The home of the brave and the land of the free; the less you know, the better off you'll be"

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Back home from hiking in AZ
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2016, 05:14:35 PM »

I don't know where you get those numbers. I use 220 minus age for maximum heart rate and 65% to 85% of that as the aerobic zone. This puts the top of my aerobic zone at 129, not 112.



I got it from the most successful endurance racing coach since Arthur Lydiard, Phil Maffetone.

https://philmaffetone.com/180-formula/

Interesting.

This system would prohibit me from jogging at all. If I'm in a jogging cadence, no matter how slow, my pulse rapidly goes above 112. But when I'm healthy and well-rested I can pass the talk test well above that heart rate. At 80% of maximum (121 for my age) I am feeling comfortable. When I'm not suffering from a broken arm, that is.

The article looks to me like another of these guys with his own system, insisting that the whole world is wrong. I am a proponent of slow running. But I'm already running as slow as I can go and still be running.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

 

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