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January 29, 2006

Massage

More work, more stretching, more doctors, more physio and for the first time - massage (sports, not the relaxing type).

I wondered into my physio yesterday evening and met the masseuse, a fairly short thin vaguely wirey lady in her late 40's. I was ushered into the massage room in the back, complete with blinds on the windows and heavy drapes on the door. The conversation went something like:

> So Ed if you just get changed and get under the sheet I'll be back in 2 minutes.
- Ok, I've got some shorts (holds up pair of swimming trunks)
> Erm, well if you strip down to your briefs its a bit better, we use alot more oil in massage
- ok
> In fact if your comfortable with it its alot easier for me to work on your glutes if you strip completely.
- ok, thanks.
> So I'll see you in a few minutes, I'll knock before I come in.

So given that and about 116.5 seconds I was stark bo****k naked lying face down under a thin sheet and a thinner blanket, Praying that a) it didn't hurt and b) I didn't suddenly get an unfortunate attack of gas (not that I do, but these things have an unfortunate habbit of just appearing at the most inoppertune moment and knowing my luck in things like this, I'd be the guy it would hit) anyway, I'm rambling.

So there began 45 minutes of rather intense sports massage. At times I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or just pass out from the various sharp shots of pain and general ache from a woman probably stronger than Arnie in his hayday bending muscles, tendons and ligaments in ways that I'm sure they're not meant to go.

For the first 30 minutes she worked the back from my leg.. Everywhere. From low ankle *all* the way up to my lower back - often in one continuous move... certainly an experience.

Just as I was getting used to that relevation she asked me to tun over onto my back. Help!

15 minutes of quad work followed, no fig leaves in sight but thank god for the carefully positioned towel...

Post session I was sore, really sore, more sore than I think I've ever been. Although I didn't get it measured it was as close to 0* and flat as I thought possible. Certainly an improvement!


I've got more physio on monday and I might go for another message session mid-week.

85 cm of snow are forecast for the next week, I'm aiming to be on board ready for it.

As you may have gathered, My mental state is starting to suffer from not being on a board

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2006

*It's the Final Countdown*

No, not some god awful song by 'Europe' from the 80's but the recovery time on my know infamous knee.

Chinese whispers at work have elevated my injury to the heady height of either a dislocated knee or a fully torn MCL, so some people have been rather disappointed to see me walking let alone without an entourage of constant carers.

Just got back from physio for another bout of bending, twisting prodding and EMS. I'm down to 6* only ~10* to go... Karina 'taped' it up at the end, bit confusing but all you need to know is my knee cap is currently covered in surgical sticky tape. I expect you'll hear the screams in England when I remove it tonight...

My quad is getting a little stronger (you can at least see it now) and generally bending my knee is feeling a lot better.

Today I mustered up the courage to ask (for the first time) *the* question, the one every obsessed sports person asks their doctor/physio when injured... How long ? I was told 4-6 more sessions - which equates to just over 2 weeks, which is pretty good news.

The weather in Whistler today can only be described as gorgeous! Clear blue skies and a slight rise in temperatures have made conditions on the hill amazing. SK is currently up boarding away, Ben is at work and I'm inside about to start to watch Lost series 2 and 24 series 4. Damn I'm sad.

My Christmas 'stocking from home arrived yesterday after being sent by surface mail - thanks Mum :o) All toys have already been greatly welcomed :o)


Those more sad astute amongst you will have seen the additions to the photo album and video section. Some pictures and video from my MRI scan looking through my knee. Nothing gory I promise, just black and white photos/video :o)

Anyway, more drivel when it happens

p.s. Hello to all those in Ski school who have started to read my blog having found out this site isn't blocked by the new company firewall - get back to work!

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2006

10 Degrees and Atrophy...

Went to my Doctor yesterday morning for a check-up on my knee, she seemed pleased that I had made some improvement but was still a little anxious that there was still a way to go. Doesn't look as if I will need any one of the multiple surgical options that were still open to me - manipulation under general anethsetic sounded the most fun :oS

She pointed out I've got some quite serious muscle atrophy (wasting) on my quad. I've been given a lots of exercises to do and some physio to help with recovery.

Finally she told me to step up the amount and level of stretching I'm doing and gave me some new ones to cause further pain *gulp*

She also gave me a CD with all the images from my MRI scan on it, there are about 100 different sequential 'slices' through my knee. I'll sort through them and get some on here soon.

After that my day was spent wondering around the village looking at snowboards in Summit and having lunch.


Another physio session beckoned in the afternoon so another hour of EMS, stretching, bike work and having Karinas elbows dug bone deep into my hamstring. Afterwards I was down to 10* - only 15* more to go...

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 08:52 AM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2006

11 Degrees

Tuesday - day off, more Physio, more massage, more EMS and more IMS - which incidently is infinitly less uncomfortable second time round.
Although my physio did needle me more times so my calf and hamstring are feeling quite raw this morning.
At the end of yesterdays session my leg was down to 11*, which is encouraging.

I went for a walk in the morning and took some photos, these are in the normal place.

Today - day off, Ben and SK both up the hill with respective work mates. I'm sitting at home watching clearing blue skies over the mountains. Bugger.

Tomorrow - another day off, I've got another physio appointment in the afternoon so the morning will be spent in the hot-tub I think.

Still no snowboarding allowed, but the various strains and bruising are recovering quite fast so fingers crossed...


Ben looking happy on the slopes

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2006

Physio - III

So a crazy day at work today with 27'000 people up both hills skiing - the highest number this season - so things got a little manic at times. I raced out of work at just after 5 and got to my physio appointment at 5:15.

Initial measurement showed my leg was still at 18* - which was good.

The session started with a warm-up on the bike and some bending and stretching of my knee, followed by some massage and ultrasound on my MCL.

Next came IMS... it involved me lying on my stomach with my leg proped up so it was fully relaxed. Karina then hunted down my calf muscle loking for knots, upon finding one she took an Acupuncture needle and stuck it into my leg to 'aggitate the muscle nerves'. Once suitable aggitated the muscle spasms, which breaks all the nasty cross fibres which have formed and allows the muscle to relax further than before. Which is good.

IMS however, is sore. 2-3 crazy muscle spasms have left my calf with that feeling of just having an injection - but all over. A hot bath afterwards has helped - and to her credit it does feel a hell of alot better.

I'm continuing my gym regieme of Hot-tub and cycling machine as much as possible. I went last night but the tub was occupied by 4 of the illicite children of Jabba-the-hut and Chewi, so I didn't feel much like sharing... tonight hopefully will be better.

Karina thinks the source of my problems is my incredible knotted hamstring - so IMS on tuesday could be fun.

I'll keep you posted

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 11:43 PM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2006

Physio - part Deux

So I had my second session of physio yesterday afternoon.

15 minutes on the exercise bike to warm up revealed my knee was down to 18* restriction. Wooo!
Sports massage was the first port of call and showed my hamstring and calf muscles had more knots than a boy scout meeting. These were promptly (and rather painfully) removed by Karina and her thumbs.
I was given EMS on both my hamstring and calf which further loosened everything up. I did some stretching - which wasn't so successful - and then finished with some icing (of the water not sugar variety).

I've been told to continue with my hot-tub/stretching regime so I'll wonder to the gym later today.

I have another appointment for Saturday when Karina is going to start IMS - oh goody, needles...

SK and Ben just left to go up the hill. There was a further 30cm of snow last night and its still puking down so the hill is going to be in amazing condition.

I think I'm going to have a bath and give the house a tidy :)

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2006

Physio Begins

So I spent from 8am-3pm yesterday up in the alpine hut/office. The IT department recently hit the wrong button and opened up the Internet, so I spent the whole day surfing the web and listening to streamed music - made it a little easier to take that everyone (including the instructors) was coming in saying how the snow was some of the best they'd ever seen. Great.

At the physio clinic the conversation went something like:
"Hi, I have a 3:45 appointment with Karina"
"For sure, have a seat *checks schedule* ohhh you're the one with the knee, We've been looking forward to seeing this"
Oh Good, already a reputation.

So my Physio, another Physio, the placement student and the receptionist (also fully qualified) had a look and a prod. Each agreeing that it was very strange, that they had never seen anything like it and that showed an excellent example of something I didn't have (meniscil block).

Just as an idea of what state my leg is in I can't get the underside of my right knee lower than the top of my left knee cap - I'm missing 28* of motion allegedly.

General loosening was first to stretch out my ligaments. My shin bone was twisted, pushed and pulled all manner of ways - including sideways :os
Sports massage on my hamstring followed, 5 minutes of kneading my leg (very relaxing I must add) revealed a knot of muscle the size of a walnut. This was dealt with using a heat pad and muscle stimulator.
Some ultrasound treatment on my MCL and some electrolysis followed then 10 minutes on an exercise bike to keep my knee moving.

Post session my knee restriction was reduced to 14* - which was quite an improvement.
I have another appointment tomorrow when I think Karina is going to try "Acupuncture & IMS" (more the latter) - I'll let you find out the meaning ;o)

Fingers crossed - should be fun :o)

I've been given some things to do in between physio sessions, these can be summarised as follows:
- Sit in hot-tub
- Stretch
- Get on exercise bike
- Repeat ad infinitum

Still unsure when I'm going to be back, I'm not allowed to Board becuase of the bone brusing I have and I'm not sure of that recovery time.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Today SK and Ben went for Fresh-tracks with some friends, 4" of snow last night and a quiet resort is a good combination.
I'm going to start my exercise 'regieme' at the local gym (yes, I am joining a gym...)

More 'exciting' drivel as it happens

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:04 AM | Comments (1)

January 09, 2006

The Update

So here is the aforementioned update:

As you have read/knew I fell over about 7 weeks ago and hurt my knee. Post accident it never swelled up or hurt, but I could never straighten it.

I thought it was just something to do with tight tendons so didn't do anything about it. Having snowboarded, walked and run on it for a few weeks I finally got fed up with it an went to the Physio on the 30th Dec.

After an hours playing with it they couldn't improve it and were quite worried so referred me to a doctors the next morning.
On the 31st the Doctor had a look, again was worried and sent me for X-Rays. These came back clear so the Doctor anesthetized my knee and 'manipulated' (very rough physio) it to try and improve its motion.
This didn't work so she sent me for an MRI scan in Vancouver on the suspicion it was a torn meniscus.

- pause to allow for googling -

I at this point was rather depressed, looking at the prospect of rather serious surgery with a 6 week recovery time wasn't what I wanted just as the ski season was getting good.

Anyway, today was 'results day' from my MRI scan. I went to the doctors and was told... my knee has nothing wrong it at all.
> Ligaments are intact - MCL has a grade 1 sprain (that however is nothing)
> Bones are intact - slight bruising on lateral tibial plateau (again nothing)
> Menisci is intact - MRI is 90-95% accurate for detection - but there are no tears or pieces floating around.

In short my knee is completely fine, it just can't straighten.

My doctor has referred me for some aggressive physio on it this week and asked me to return next week for another checkup. If there is no improvement I will probably have to have an arthroscopic inspection to see what is actually happening inside.

I've been given some anti-inflamatories and some stretches to do which will hopefully loosen everything up.

I'm still not allowed to snowboard on it, hopefully however it won't be long - especially as 35cm of snow fell last night alone!!

I'll keep you posted in the meantime I'm staying cautiously happy.

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 11:25 AM | Comments (1)

January 04, 2006

Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all etc etc. I hope the festive period was good and everyone is now refreshed and ready for the new year...

Sorry for the lack of updates however I have had a lot on my plate recently which I will let you know about in due course.

The snow has started to fall with vengeance - 130cm in the past week. So the resort is starting to look a little more normal, however certain areas on the hill do need another meter at least, although that should fall within the next couple of weeks :)

Ben has a friend visiting from home for a couple of days as part of a larger world trip. So we took him and one of Bens' work mates to Mongolie Grill last night.

This morning the 4 of them headed out at 6:30am for "Fresh-tracks". You catch the lift up the hill at 7:30am, have an all you can eat breakfast then get the first run down the hill when Avalanche safety have given the clearance.

Each morning this week at about 8am the dull thuds of the safety team carrying out avalanche clearance explosions could be heard - always a good sign of a lot of snow :)

Anyway, I'm having a relaxing day on the sofa today so I'm going to get back to my toast and orange juice breakfast.

More news soon :)

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)