Surgical Dislocation and Debridement of my left hip 1st August 2013

On the 1st August 2013 my life changed forever. As dramatic as that statement maybe its an honest and sincere judgement. I had been waiting for nearly 5 years to get my left hip fixed after finding out it had started growing extra bone. The doctors and the surgeons I consulted with have no idea why this happened but it meant I would no long be able to run! no rugby, no basketball, no touch, no running!!! I felt like my life was over. I had been given two additional options of activity but quote “you wont be able to compete at a high level” I was gutted… my options were swimming or biking… I wasn’t keen on either. After some thought and consideration (a bit of despair) I decided I needed a new challenge and I picked both, with cycling as my key focus. A journey in itself that had many ups and downs. Not long into my riding I was hit by a car, dislocated shoulder, broken ribs, fractured head of my humerus, farked neck and confidence blown out the window. Fast forward 5 years and I think I did ok… considering my hip was functioning at around 30-40%, learning a sport and having a bit of success along the way.

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Day 1 – successful surgery and feeling none the wiser… Fentanyl helped make sure of that, being that is it approximately 100 times stronger then Morphine and I was able to get a wee hit every 5 minutes for the first 24hrs I was awake. The Surgery did go really well but it was a bit of a rough ride, they had to knock me back out post surgery due to my pain, not ideal so I was loaded up ketamine and out to it once again. Once I did come round the next week was a blur… off the fentanyl and onto morphine for 6 days… my life was a blur… At the time I felt like I was functioning well but upon reflection I was useless… I would stay in a state of ‘useless’ for the next 3 months, reliant on my friends and family to help with everything.

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The spare bone from my hip which was inhibiting my ability move my hip (currently lives in the freezer)

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Pre Op 1st August 2013 - look at right side…

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Post Op 2nd August 2013 - yup thats my new hip…

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Day 4 – up and dressed for the first time and out for a wee adventure on my crutches, it would be more then 9 weeks before I’d get rid of them and to add to my dismay I also lost 6kgs… for those of you that know me I can’t afford to lose weight, I felt so weak and ashamed of my gammy wee leg… no photo’s sorry too depressing.

My wound and its healing… I’ll get to live with this wee guy for the rest of my life. I was extremely lucky in regards to bruising. The bruising you see on day 2 was as bad as it got. Apparently with some people after a hip dislocation the can be black and blue from there grown to knee.

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Day 2

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End of week 5

Week 6:

post op appointment and the all clear to start rehab!!! wooohooo! first task increasing ROM and learning to walk again. Still on crutches. (reading this statement 8 months on, the wohoo didn’t last long… I learnt very quickly that just because the mind is willing the body does not always follow)

week 7:

63 degrees flexion first Physio session, first pool session of walking ten lengths and swimming ten with a pool buoy and 30mins massage. Still on crutches but can now weight bear. Had to back off with swimming due to increased pain. Back to just walking and no swimming.

Week 8:

65 degrees flexion, the joints feels like it wants to open up a bit more. Had a pool specific physio session, it was good. Walked for 5 mins in the pool swam 3 lengths and will build on that each day until the pain tells me to stop. Still on crutches.

Week 9 – Month 7:

what a farking journey! learnt to walk again… threw toys… became a puzzle master… movie critic… bored shitless restless impatient horrible person… 7 months off work and my brain has shrunk immensely… feeling stupid… I think the part of my rehab I hadn’t anticipated being so hard was managing the drugs and understanding that I wasn’t going to be functioning that well mentally as well as physically, that part was tough… tired all the time… loss of appetite… lack of concentration… unable to do simple tasks such getting a drink or going to the toilet! fark it was hard allowing people to look after me… But I must say my parents were amazing… my friends in CHCH, Wanaka and even Canada, truly amazing! thank you to all of you that helped me…  time is the most beautiful gift one person can give to another. In person or via Skype I had so many people there for me.

Then I started riding my bike a wee bit, then a wee bit more… then I decided I’d enter the 2014 Motatapu MTB race… IDIOT… oh well, cramped like crazy, placed 14th overall in ladies and 4th and age group not as good as my 3rd overall last year but its a start. Then two weeks later I raced the local King and Queen of Sticky Forest annual MTB race and defended my title – STOKED! it was a tough brutal course and Ailsa Rollinson kept me very honest, working hard right till the end of the race.

Almost 8 months:

Structure in my rehab has been very up and down but motivation is coming back…

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A quick trip to Canaidia before my Hip Op

This was my first trip to Canada but will most definitely not be my last. The purpose of this trip was to attend my very good friends wedding followed by a bit of work which involved riding my bike… wooohooo!

First up was a couple of days in Calgary where I checked out the Calgary Stampede before catching the Greyhound night bus down to Fernie. The stampede was pretty cool, well over my head but extremely entertaining. I got to see the bull and bronc riding, and barrel racing topped off with my favourite event the ‘Wild Pony Riding’ which involved three children all padded up, helmets on and a wild pony on the end of a rope. The objective was to get one of the three on the pony – hahahaha awesome! it was fantastic. My next favourite was the ladies barrel racing, wow! those ladies had mad corning skills which has me inspired to ride my bike around corners the way they ride their horses.

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The View of the Calgary Stampede for the Calgary Tower

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScvisYq73H0 add movie!!!!

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                                                           The Calgary ‘Peace Bridge’

Next stop was Fernie after a 6 hour bus ride which had me arriving in Fernie at 4.30am in a desolate town apart from one lodge (not mine) which allowed me to bunk down in the lobby till the sun came up and I could check into my own accommodation.

My first day in Fernie revolved around wondering the streets, checking out the local sights, having coffee and resting up for the following day which was a day I will never forget – Jenny and Steve’s wedding!

Wedding day was fantastic, a 4 hour hike up into the mountains (The Three Sisters) arriving at the most amazing location… words can not explain how spectacular it was and even more so the moment and day itself.

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Me leading the way up the back of the Three Sisters…

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Steve and Jenny pre wedding smiles

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A massive congrats to Jenny and Steve! What an amazing day.

The next 5 days in Fernie were all about riding and checking out the trails. I was stoked to have good friend Ailsa Rollinson join me for the week. Ailsa is a bit a legend really, she decided she would just bike over to see me from Nelson, BC to Fernie, a nice wee 260km of epic climbs, gravel roads, main highway and for good measure in amongst the wilderness Canada’s famous bears, moose and cougar… fun times.

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Looking out over Fernie

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This trip was a bit of a reccy for some future work and I cant wait to return and check out what else Canada has to offer.

A massive thank you to all those people that helped me out,

especially my sponsors:

wildside

                                                  http://www.wildsidetravel.co.nz 

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                                                         www.basicbikes.co.nz

mg

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2nd at 3D MTB Race Rotorua 2013

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After some serious down time and rest after having some injury issues I decided to fly up north for some fun. The 3D is predominately a mutlisport race bringing the best of the best that Australasia has to offer together in both the mens and women’s races’. A big part of my motivation to head north was to not only have some fun and ride my bike but to also support friends Ailsa Rollison, Simone Maier, Emily Wilson, Dougal Allen and Jess Simson that were racing the premier event – A 50km race combining a paddle, bike and run that bought together these amazing athletes fighting it out for top honors. Im proud to say that Simone and Dougal both raced with great determination and passion claiming victory on the day! Awesome effort!!!

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Simone Maier celebrating a convincing & victorious win!

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Dougal looking extremely focused early on before claiming a narrow victory over Richard Ussher a couple of hours later!

As for my race I was there for fun… I had already decided before leaving Wanaka that I would be only taking my play bike (2013 Pivot March 5.7) so the thought of putting myself in the box and pushing hard was not an option, but smiling and having fun was guaranteed. The course was fantastic, nothing too technical but plenty of corners and jumps to keep me entertained. Mikey Northcott had been kind enough to show me around and even lead me some tires to help me make the most of my day out.

The race was great, plenty of riders on the start line, some good chat and off we went… I was happy to be chilling on climbs and loving life on the descents, a very new style of racing for me and I was even more happy to roll over the line in an unexpected 2nd place – not a bad effort off the couch! (lets hope I can get these injuries sorted!)

As I finished my race the elite multisport boys were just coming off the water from there paddle which meant I had some time up my sleeve to get a good spot to cheer them on as they rolled the bike course. It was super exciting watching Dougal and Richard Ussher battle it out and even more exciting watching the ladies race unfold. Sophie Hart lead off the water with plenty of girls between her and the winner to come Simone Maier. I believe Simone was around 7th off the water and down by about 5 minutes. By the end of the Bike she was on Sophie’s tail and soon to the take the lead as she entered the run. Simone dominated the run early on and her lead grew from there, claiming the win by over 2 and half minutes – not a bad effort!

Rotorua is such a fantastic place to play – great riding, awesome Zippys coffee! and some great friends to hang with, old and new. Thank you to everyone that made this trip extra special.

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Pre race – checking out the MTB course with Ailsa, Simone, Emliy & Mikey.

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Pre race – All smiles after rolling down ‘Corners trail’

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Simone & Mikey ordering some much needed coffee at Zippys

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Post race recovery in Taupo with Simone and Mikey

A massive thanks to the race organisers and all those competitors who raced over all catagories. It was a fantastic day out :)

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8th at Contact Epic 2013

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Wow! 125km MTB race… What was I thinking?!

The Contact Epic was another hit list race that I wanted to tick off, and while Im happy to say that I have ticked it off and pretty adamant that I will never be back again! This race for me was full of massive highs, massive lows and few holly fark moments!

The race started in the cold and finished in the cold… now for those of you that know me, Im not the most well covered person, in either fat or muscle… i’m tall, lanky and determined to beat the odds. The first 30km of this race is on the road and I was ok with that. I had a great spot on the start line amongst the other 4oo odd riders and was glad to not have to deal with muppets trying to take me out due to their own inexperience. The road was interesting, lots of cat and mouse and moments of settling. Once I was settled and happy with my pace I started thinking of what was to come… what was I doing? 125km in the cold… but oh well Im here now and determined to give it my all. Now, my first ‘Oh Fark’ moment was on the road… happy and settled and next minute smashing down a descent to only be claimed by the speed wobbles… what?! I had changed the set up of my bike and put a short stem on… I managed to roll it out but the thought of hitting the tarmac at 60km an hour was not high in my priority list for the day!

We then rolled onto some 4 wheel drive track where the bunch I was in split and I ended up riding with 2 other guys who were great, up for some and chat and helping each other. A little later on I caught up to Sia Svendsen, a very good friend of mine, it was awesome! We chatted for the next 3 plus hours catching up on the latest happenings and keeping each other company. Sia is a fantastic athlete who I respect dearly, so being able to ride with her was awesome! There were many climbs and descents to come, plus a few river/water crossing and a couple of laughs to keep things fun. After the crossing the main river at the top of the course it was becoming more apparent that my tall lanky frame does not enjoy being cold but I had faith that I would warm up – this wasn’t to be!

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I was still happy enough at this point… but the cold was soon to get to me…

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At this point I was beyond cold… but determined.

Sia and I rode the bulk of the race together sitting in 4th and 5th… but as we got closer to the end of the race I had to let Sia go, I was cold… I had run out of food and water with only 20km left… Luckily I came across two very good friends not far apart from each other, Sarah gave me a couple of gels to help me on my way while Rick helped me out with some very much needed chain lube and a bight of an apple pie! what a champ… At this point I had two ladies roll past me dropping from 5th to 7th but I figured I could battle it out and survive. Well, I did survive but dropped to 8th – I have never been that cold in my life, we had snow falling above us, a head wind and was not in a happy place. At times I just wanted to stop and sit on the side of the course… but I knew better… I finally made it to the finish where the ambo’s were convinced I need them. But I had good friend Jo Stock come and grab me – thank god! I was that cold I couldn’t take my gloves, shoes, anything off! Jo saved the day and got me sorted. Its ridiculous to think I paid to put myself through that but it was worth it… and now I never have to do it again!

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So happy to be finished… but just wishing I wasn’t FROZON!

A massive congrats to Kath Kelly for taking out a very convincing win over second and third places getters Sia Svendsen and Jo Williams respectively. And Also to Dougal Allen who had only just returned homefrom China winning a 4 day adventure race and then turning around to defend his Contact Epic title… A true Champion with impressive talent!

Thank you to all the volunteers, race organisers and competitors out there on the day, a massively successful day all round.

And as always thank you to my sponsors:

B.A.S.I.C Bikes (CHCH) and Mike Greer Homes.

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mg

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2nd at 2013 Motatapu

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Race report to come…

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6th at Karapoti 2013

An exciting day out with some amazing riders! 4 punctures and not a single fark was given hehehehe!

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Race report to come…

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1st at 4hr Summer send off

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Race report to come…

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Craig smashing out another hot lap…

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