Ankle mystery solved

My left ankle has been weird since last August. And I haven’t done much about it as there were enough things to keep me busy besides bike riding.

But the lingering pain finally made me revisit the hospital to get it sorted. The worst case scenario I had in my mind was that an immediate surgery would be ideal due to some major damage to the bone or ligament, which would mean I’ve let the past half year completely go to waste.

After MRI, it turns out that my ankle bone has necrosis in part. I got injured riding my bike, where a fail bail led to a harsh landing on foot and the impact load against tibia crushed the talus bone, along with its cartilage layer. No wonder it hurts. The area of necrosis seems as large as half a quail egg. Bone graft is an option, but not before giving a shot at natural healing for a year or so.

Now I’m glad. At least no time was wasted in the process, and it doesn’t hurt that much when I ride. It may be common knowledge, but bikes are far easier for your body than walking or running, even if you are talking about bikes for street actions.

For walking and riding, I got prescription ankle braces. For some reason I don’t know, I ended up ordering two to cover both sides. Seriously don’t know why I did it but my ankles must be happy.

Story of troubles on the last day of the year

I came to a stop right by a tram station as I was driving to a hospital. Then came a tram car, onto which a lady with a guide dog boarded. Seats were occupied, and she had a hard time finding a rail to hold on to after climbing the steps from the door of the tram car to its central passage. At one point she almost lost the balance and reached over to the glass window on the entrance door. Offer your seats right away instead of just watching like some dumbasses, you retards with serious disability only in the compassionate system of the brain, I thought, which I could have made heard if I rolled down the window on my end of the world, but I refrained in order to avoid greater confusion.

She seemed to finally get a seat before the next stop. But the situation was a bit dangerous as she could have fallen into or out of the tram door. With the steps separating the door and floor, reaching beyond that space to rest your hand on the door is like taking off on a jump without seeing the landing. People around her must have noticed what was going on; some 4-5 passengers were staring at the dog from the very start, which showed a major lack of any sense of risk in their empty heads. Some may not have noticed it was a guide dog, but ignorance never makes excuse. It is plain guilt.

Anyway, I arrived in the hospital. Why? To have a check on this crazy swelling on the part where a lipoma was removed half a month ago. Verdict: immediate recut to drain blood. Seemed like the staff on duty gave up at first and then a dermatologist reported to work just to do it on this end-of-year day. I was super grateful, but well, it hurts… Anesthesia is not working properly… Really seriously hurts when you cut my flesh, burn my veins, and sew my skin… And nurses are sketchy… This whole place is more like a field hospital… Is that really xylocaine?

Just as symbolized by the ordeal at the very end, this past year was filled with weird health problems, but I could survive it and then some all thanks to your help and support. Hope the next year will be an even better one for us all.

Decapoison

Day 1

Fishy Peperoncino & Chicken Salad. Taste awesome and look healthy!

Day 10

Feels like my guts are being minced. Body weight going down, good things go first.

Food poisoning sucks. It was apparently a bad idea to keep boiled chicken in the fridge for two days, then consume it on salad without reheating. Only good news is I didn’t make anyone else suffer. The season is not over for uncooked meat incidents at BBQ and so on, so stay safe, everyone.

Slam, snap, shatter

A little while ago, I unintentionally slammed a table with a lot of energy and ended up snapping a bone in my left hand. Too much excitement is a bad thing.

This 3D CT image from the palm side shows the shattered 5th metacarpal bone, the one at the root of the pinkie. The side view is like this:

The fractured part is a bit misaligned, like obvious enough in this picture. Then, when I went back to the hospital 10 days later, the gap was way bigger somehow. Having expected some magical healing power of mine, I was doubly shocked.

It plain sucks to get injured while NOT riding the bike. I’ll take good quick care of it so I can have a proper bike injury soon again.

Back pain diary

Now the sudden autumn thunder and rain are over, but I haven’t been riding much this week due to a lower back pain. It may be because of too much desk work, too little sleep, slacking in crunches, practicing on my bike nonetheless, or probably all of the above. It was even interfering with my daily life but is finally getting better after some days.

So let me talk a bit about back pain prevention, though I guess it’s rather common knowledge. To start with, the causes of back pain are said to be the lack of enough muscle strengths for your activity level or unbalanced status thereof, which constitute the underlying cause, and the bad body movement that pulls the trigger.

For the former element, it’s commonly said that the bad balance between the abs and back muscles causes it. From my experience, abs tend to stay dormant while back muscles have decent stimulation from daily life, shifting the balance towards the “abs < back” status. Therefore, you better do at least crunches if you are a natural athlete who don’t hit the gym often. By saying “for your activity level,” I mean that: If you experience back pains in daily life without sports, your muscles are weak so you want to train; and if you do sports that entail hard impacts or high loads, you want to train hard to match up.

I do feel the pain there – it is surely unreasonable that we need to make that much effort to just stay alive and kicking. However, it’s the fate we started to bear when we started walking on two feet. On the other hand it gave us the intellectual quality, civilization and bicycles, so I kind of feel it’s a fair trade.

As for the latter, more direct cause about the body movement, the typical error is to pick up something on the floor without bending the legs, just by bending the back. This is so easy to do and causes no problem if you are fully healthy and the stuff is light. But it’s the most common way to start your career of slipped disc problem if something goes wrong. Due to the intensive pressure on the discs between back bones in this position, it can crush the discs and cause permanent damages quite easily.

To avoid this, you need to bend your knees and ankles while keeping your back straight when lifting things positioned low. Just like in deadlifts, you need to take that jocky position. If you have ever experienced sports that entail precise body movements or done serious deadlifts, however, you’d rather never do the casual, dangerous way of lifting things. Being the two-legged creature that we are, athletic is the only way to survive.

Just for your reference, here’s a deadlift footage.

YouTube Preview Image

(In the case of broken link, search on YouTube)

It’s impressive how he does it smoothly all the way until he puts the bar down, despite the heavy bar weighing around 460kg. He’s my hero.

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