Elly and I did a very short unladen ride on Sunday 15 July (maps of there and back again), and I resumed cycling to Napier occasionally. I couldn’t keep my left foot clipped into the pedal without feeling pain in my left calf. Keeping my heel on the pedal was tolerable, but cycling over bumps and cobbles felt like my calf was being hit with a hammer. I also had to drop into the middle gear range on the slight hill up to Merchiston, thus breaking Velominati rule 90.
Meanwhile, my thigh and buttock continued to spasm at night and deprive me of sleep, despite the valium, anti-depressants and topical and oral painkillers, thus breaking Velominati rule 5. Walking was still a trial but if I walked slowly and concentrated on how I walked, it became much less painful. I still obviously limped, though. Quite often, my heel felt as if it was in a vice.
This Sunday, Elly and I did roughly the same very short unladen ride (maps of there and back again), but went on to Halfords in Seafield to buy a tow-rope. (Check out the contingency plans below!) I could clip in for a while and I could put some effort in through my left leg, even when my heel was on the pedal.
I couldn’t go ‘full gas’ but I could maintain over 10 mph on uphill gradients. (Before then, I’d been dropping to around 5mph on any slight slope. Anyway, my full-gas speed is a club cyclist’s dawdle, while Lev’s normal unladen cruising speed is about 15mph.) Today I cycled to work in the big ring, albeit slowly. If I concentrated on placing my heel on the pedal when starting off it didn’t hurt, but if I missed so that my heel twisted there was pain.
Walking is still improving, although I still limp a bit most of the time. The nocturnal thigh and buttock spasms have almost completely gone. However, two of my left toes tend to feel as though they have been wired up to an electric fence at night, so I’m still missing a lot of sleep, and the vice effect still happens, but with much less frequency, intensity and duration. So it’s getting much better, and I believe the symptoms will go before we start the honeymoon cycle. Huge thanks to physiotherapist Kaylan O’Meara and massage therapist Carole Andrews for their amazing work which has caused this improvement!
- Plan A: I live on painkillers, valium, anti-depressants and coffee.
- Plan B: I buy an elektrofiets [wikipedia].
- Plan C: I buy a scooter with pannier racks.
- Plan D: we trade in the bikes for a tandem.
- Plan E: Elly tows me if and when pedalling is too painful.
- Plan F: we trade in the bikes for a cargo-bike.