The Claw,  don't let physical conditions limit your fun

September 9, 2017

 

 

Riding a motorbike can be challenging enough sometimes,  throw in a couple of physical limitations and it changes everything. 

 

Around 2002 I badly dislocated my left wrist, a standard manipulation and plaster, 6 weeks I was back on the bike,  doing everything with no sign of any problems for probably 8 yrs. 

 

Suddenly,  like almost over night,  my hand just stopped working and within 2 weeks, the muscle and fat had started to waste away.  

 

It took months for the orthopedic specialists to determine it was rooted,  no chance of recovering, that was a serious blow. 

 

To make it worse,  a 2 1/2 page report found if my hand/wrist had of been checked properly, scanned after the swelling split the first cast in a day,  it would of revealed the ulnar nerve was compressed and the ligament between my hand and wrist was nothing more than a matted mess, detached and curled up into a tumor looking lump in my wrist.  If that had been done,  a simple surgery would've seen a great outcome. 

 

I ended up being told, that now,   only the top surgeon in Australia was prepared to have a crack at relieving the nerve pressure,  but that's all he could do,  but the damage was done,  advanced osteoporosis and degenerative muscle/tissue was it. My hand was in the top 2% category so I was told,  we've got no idea what'll happen. 

 

After the surgery and 26 pills a day for pain relief,  morphene and whatever else they could jam in to stop the aches, 3 years off the bike,  no feeling in my hand, unable to hold a screwdriver or do basic shit,   I'd almost given up. This was the start of my downhill slide,  and nerve medication is like anti-depression meds,  the opposite of what's needed for my bi-polar. Shit got out of shape,  fast. 

 

My mental state wasn't good, carpal tunnel alone is well linked to depression, and here's my hand now just a passenger...how would I be able to work in my trade again? How would I just tinker in the shed? How would I ever ride?  Why did they overlook all of this and not do what the surgeon say's should of happened... A proper scan at time of injury should have been done.    the medication was doing harm,  I had to take tablets to stop my stomach rotting from all the other tablets for the pain. 

 

So after 3yrs of no riding, I'd had it... I was determined to ride. We used velcro on the bars, but that wasn't enough and eventually I gaff taped my hand to the grip in an effort to 'force' it to do what It was told,  and after a few weeks of plodding about, it started to work... Not well,  but it stayed on the bars and I could get the clutch working,  sometimes. 

 

I kept at it,  then one weekend I was leading a ride,  hit a small windrow at 90 and when the wheels hit the ground my left hand blew off the bars and down I went. An ambulance ride,  and now some steel plates and screws in the top. 

 

6months rehab,  and back on the bike. 

 

Anyway,  my left arm is pretty rooted now,  but since the last surgery I've managed about 30,000kms on the bikes, from single track on the 450 to outback roads on a couple of twins. I've had to change how I ride, new techniques and ways to do things,  but I'll never stop riding. 

 

Oh,  and now my right hand needs carpal tunnel surgery,  not ideal having one hand that's stuffed and the other one that goes numb. 

 

More than the pain,  it's the restricted circulation that causes long term conditions, I've learnt a bit now and won't be just 'toughing it out'....i need at least one hand to ride :)

 

 

Anyway,  just thought this might help anyone that feels they mightn't ride again because of an injury right now,  but you will.... 

 

I've had to pull up for the day,  the cold weather has once more left me with a locked up hand,  it'll be right by morning. 

 

Keep riding,  see you out there

Happy Trails. 

 

Darren

 

 

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