03 December 2008

12 Days.

Until they cut the first set of wires binding my jaw closed. I'm stoked.

I went back to the oral surgeon for my week 3 checkup yesterday. No x-rays this time, just a glance at my teeth, asked me to try to open my mouth (Umm.. buddy, you wired me shut remember, I cant. I'm guessing he was checking to see if it needed to be tightened at all), and told me to set up an appointment around the week of December 15th to have the wires cut. Apparently my eyes must have grown wide with excitement, because he quickly stomped on my dreams of cheeseburgers, noting that I still wouldn't be able to open my mouth much. I'll have rubberbands replacing one set of wires so I may begin strength training in my jaw. Needless to say, I scheduled for 9:30 on December 15th - the first possible appointment.

Feeling brave and adventurous, I went to swim practice last night; my first physical activity since the accident, unless you can count walking to the fridge for another Ensure as activity. As I pulled into the parking lot, Coach Ed was walking to his car. Before I could gather my towel and such, he was standing outside my car door, asking "Are you here to see me for something? I'm heading home since we have 2 other coaches on deck, and I'm swamped with paperwork for the fiscal year." Nope. Here to swim sir. He was impressed that I was already trying to get back on board, and as he admired how much better I looked that last time I saw him, and how phenominal the healing has been I think I saw a slight tear in his eye. Awww.
I was extremely nervous to get in the water. Will I be able to breathe? What if I can't.. I'm just going to get frustrated and dissappointed. How much will I have to throw my form off in order to breathe? How much slower have I become since I've been out of the pool for 3 weeks? And, with that, I slid into my normal lane with Matt, Sebastian, and Fabrice. Iwan hopped over the lane divide to give me a huge hug when he realized I was back in the pool. And so began swim practice. I was a bit late after talking to Ed in the parking lot for a while.. so I missed most of the warmup. Matt suggested we add a little time to the w/u so I could adjust. Good call. The first 50 yards might have been the scariest lap I've swam in a long, long time. We're talking since I learned to swim with my face in the water, circa 1991. I found it easier to attempt to breathe on my left (weak side..), because I have a missing tooth from the accident and am able to suck air in a bit quicker on that side. I had to really focus on the glide part of the stroke, so I could leave my head turned upwards long enough to breathe. It was difficult to get used to turning my head high enough to have my lips completely clear the water. I have very little feeling in my bottom lip-post accident, so I couldn't make my lips do the strange contorted movement we all normally do when breathing during freestyle.

The first set was Kick, Catchup Drill, Tarzan Drill, Fist Swim, 4x100 (we're on a recover week) Kick, no problem. Catchup, no problem, Tarzan.. okay starting to get tired, having to breathe more often = sucking in more water = starting to panic inside my closed jaw, Fist drill... Pass, I'll just kick instead. Each set of 100 lost another drill off the end, so the final set I was just doing pure kick drills for 100. Luckily, I LOVE kick drills, and stay on pace with the guys doing the other swim drills. We then started a set of 800 Z2. Since the four of us suck at counting after a while, we rotate every 200. I mentioned I probably would just hang in the back - they don't want me leading, I'm going to be pulling the pace down. Sebastian looked at me and said "Nope. You're going to have to lead sometime!" I focused on staying as calm as possible during the first 600. Somehow it worked, and I actually stayed on Seb's toes until he peeled off and I lead the final 200. I felt very accomplished, and I'm glad Seb pushed me. We had 3 more sets of 800 prior to climbing out of the pool for the evening, and I only skipped 1 lap after sucking in too much water. Not too bad. I felt like Darth Vader trying to swim though... Not the easiest thing to do, but I guess I'll have excellent breath control once this is all over with.

Nothing else too exciting is going on. I'm not tired of Ensure yet (surprisingly), and I'm excited to get a new flavor sometime this week - mixed berry, to add to the stash of high protien Chocolate, Vanilla, and Banana currently stacked in my room. Mashed potatoes are slowly losing their appeal though. I find new smoothies to make daily, keeping the taste buds happy. I have yet to attempt making any common food into a smoothie - I'm not that desperate, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I don't think you'll see me drinking a processed steak.

Off to get ready for that thing I was extra excited/nervous about a few weeks ago, that was supposed to happen the day after my crash, and they were kind and understanding enough to move it to today. :)


Sarah said...

You are doing so awesome! Way to get back at it.

Maggs said...

Okay, this posting seriously motivated me to swim. I'm going tomorrow!

Rainmaker said...

Nicely done on the swim. Plus, that missing tooth may help out with a slight breathing advantage after all!

Hope the 'thing' went well!