Two months ago, when I broke my collar bone, I thought it might be possible, but as the weeks have passed and my worsening relationship with the turbo has left my fitness to wane, I couldn’t escape the singular fact – I wasn’t going to be strong enough to race this Sunday’s Circuit of the Fens support race. It is a big disappointment, and if I had still held any lingering hope in the days before, Thursday’s fracture clinic appointment would have squashed them. I’ll still be there though, sat behind the wheel of lead car one, with a police escort, leading the riders across closed Fen droves.
The best bit of Thursday’s clinic was the X-ray. A petite radiographer ushered me into the zapping room and asked me to remove my top (this wasn’t required at my last visit and it didn’t look like they had installed new cotton sensitive equipment). I obliged without fuss then stood in front of the plate. You’re tall she said, moving the machine a little higher. I stood a little straighter and a he had to move the machine up again.
After the X-ray I went to see the consultant. A nurse pulled up last months X-ray, realised her mistake and pulled up the new one. Hmm, that doesn’t look any different, she commented. She double checked, there were differences, but they were subtle. A month on and my collarbone appears to have progressed little in its healing. The bone is joined, but where the halves have overlapped and partially fused, the X-ray still showed a gap.
Of course the X-ray doesn’t tell the full story. Today I have full, pain free movement, although I do get an occasional clicking and if I’ve laid badly overnight, an ache. I can drive and this week I’ve started using Boris bikes, for the short hop from station to work and back again. It’s been fine, next week I plan to return to a more normal level of cycling, but sadly I don’t think I’ll be heading up to Rockingham Speedway again this year. I have the consultants blessing; activity is good, but I’m to avoid the weights. Well I’ve never been one for bench presses.
The plan B I’ve been working on is to start regaining my fitness for the cyclocross season; to vent my summer frustration on some mud. But the consultant said he wants to see me again in early September. He then went on to tell me, in great detail, the next likely step for if the bone hasn’t fully healed. Realignment and plating, namely rebreaking the bone and jiggling it around the muscle into a new position then bolting it together. I would be left with a scar and probably numbness around the cut. He didn’t make it sound an attractive option. If it comes to surgery then plan B may have to be dumped for plan C – telling the stories of my other scars from a hospital bed. The radiographer might like to hear them.