29 February 2012

Timmy Mason Trust

I was sent this information from a friend in the UK:

Recently, I found out that one of the UK's most talented surfboard builders, Tim Mason and wife Kate, lost their 7 year old son, Timmy, to terminal cancer. Timmy was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare solid tumor, in June 2008 After 3 years of intensive treatment Timmy sadly passed away on the 11th October 2011. Anyone who has met Tim will know that he's one of the most honest and nicest people in surf culture. As a testament to this the Mason family have started a trust in Timmy's name to help other children and their families when they most need support.

Not only do i think that's an amazingly benevolent act but Timmy is an inspiration in himself. Tim was quoted in a BBC article as saying;

"He never cried. His spirit was very much to help others," Tim said.

This little boy is twice the man I am.

Tim continues "When Timmy died our battle against cancer did not stop. We wanted to continue fighting cancer. That way we did not feel the battle had been lost."

"We hope to help as many as we can, as best we can, and know this is exactly what Timmy would have wanted."

At the moment there are three auctions for surfing collectables where all money received will go to The Timmy Mason Trust so that Timmy's legacy may live on, helping other children when they need it most. This is the vital bit. In order to become a fully fledged charity in the UK Timmy's Trust needs £5000 in the bank through donations to achieve official charity status. So any money raised through this auction will be a great help in establishing the Trust and most importantly getting the money to this children and families who are suffering.

It would be great if this could be achieved as soon as possible, and Tim and Kate know children who a suffering a great deal and have but months to live, so the sooner these donations can be released the greater chance their remaining time can be spent as positively as possible.

The auction link is here.

25 February 2012

Getting Rid of the Frankenboot

Yep. I threw it out.

Okay, no, I didn't. I took it off. Therein lies the beauty of these horrible boot things they make you wear when you break an ankle. The boot is adjustable and removable. You can't say the same is true with casts. I did have a cast after my visit to the County. I guess if I had my druthers, I'd choose the boot over a cast no matter what the situation was.

So, at this point, I'm a little over a month removed from surgery. I take the boot off several times a day to move the foot up and down, which is what the doctor directed me to do. What I've started doing on my own is try to leave the boot off for an hour or so. Then, I sit wiggling my toes, trying to help the circulation in the foot (which is a bit swollen and stiff—yeah, that's what he said!!!). As for the ankle movement, it seems minute to me. I'm told, however, that it's gotten better each day.

I'm not sure that I'll be back in the water six weeks after surgery. The doctor was shooting for that. I don't think my joints are ready; I've lost too much muscle tone at this point. I need to rebuild the muscle that protects the bionic knee and the muscle that helps to stabilize the ankle. I'm not completely certain this can all be done by a few weeks from now. Then again, it's always nice to have a goal.

The ankle is feeling good at this point. It's stiff and there is pain if it moves the wrong way. I nonetheless feel like things are going well and I'll be back in the water before summer.

20 February 2012

As if the Fractured Ankle Bones Weren't Enough, I've Now Contracted Paipo Fever!

I've got a serious fever. And the only prescription is paipo. I suppose there are worse maladies that one can catch.

The ankle seems to be healing nicely. I saw The Shit last week. He's still on a mission to get me back in the water six weeks following surgery. Although the bones haven't healed completely, he's directed me to remove the big Frankenstein boot several times a day, and move my foot up and down. I'm not allowed to move it from side to side since the bones that I broke would be affected by that motion. Those bones have yet to heal completely. I realize, now, that what we're doing is beginning the rehab early. In addition to getting some movement back in the ankle, the doctor has also told me I no longer have to stand with my foot off the ground. He's directed me to put the foot on the ground and put a little weight on it while I'm standing with the crutches. Of course, I've done it a few times without the crutches; I simply keep the bulk of my weight on my good leg.

As of tomorrow, I'll be one month removed from surgery. I can now foresee a return to the water. I'm not sure when that will take place or how, but I know it's coming. I won't see the doctor again for a week and a half. At that point, he'll take an xray. That will tell him how well the bones have healed and where we'll go from there.

In the meantime, I've been keeping somewhat busy. I wrote something for The Skateboarder's Journal and I've got two Liquid Salt interviews in the works. As of today, I began lifting weights again. I've yet to do anything for my legs. This is strictly upper body stuff for now. I'm really not worried about losing my fitness since the crutches are actually a great deal of work.

Perhaps I'll be able to paddle out again before the summer commences. I would like that.

16 February 2012

The Other Competitors are Lucky I'm Injured

My dance parties for one know no bounds: shoes, bare feet, flip flops. However, it's kind of hard to shake a tail feather with crutches and a foot that's still not supposed to touch the ground much.

The rest of you need to enter this competition since I cannot. Make it happen!!

13 February 2012

Even With a Plate and Screws Holding it All Together . . .

I still won't be able to do that!!!

10 February 2012

What Do Scars Say About a Person?

This question pops into my head each day as I ponder the new additions to my scar collection. I've got minor road rash scars from skateboarding as a kid. Those were bested by the couple of major road rash scars I collected from years of serious road cycling. Those scars pale in comparison to this bionic knee of mine, the one that's gone through arthroscopy, reconstruction and, eventually, replacement. That knee has some stories to tell!! I suppose much of my life could be narrated by the scars on that knee. And they are sexy scars too . . . not!!

Sitting quietly, watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, while the child and
his friend run wild at Mulligan's

Now I'll have two more scars for my quiver. I swear, this left leg of mine is the one that tells the tale. What tale? Well, I think the first permanent scar came from a skateboarding fall at 12 or 13. The most recent scar will come from a snapped ankle at 48.

And what do they say about me? I'm not sure really. I know that when I'm old and tired and ready to sit quietly, I'll tell one and all that the scars give me bragging rights—about surfing, skating, cycling and an athletic life well-lived.

I'm more than ready to bring the scar collecting to an end. The collection is, for all intents and purposes, complete. If anyone else would like a turn at collecting scars, feel free. This is not a competition. And if it is, I'd like to come in last!

08 February 2012

I'm as Patient as I Must Be

This is because I have no choice but to be patient. People keep saying things like, "It must be killing you that you can't surf." No, it really isn't. When you do some damage to yourself, your focus must be to heal. It certainly wouldn't be fun to surf in pain. And it wouldn't do me any good to try to rush the healing process.

So, I saw The Shit on Monday. He's a funny one, that doctor. After surgery, he made it clear that I wasn't to put any weight on the foot. What did he do when he came into the room for the last appointment? He took a good hard look at the bottom of my boot; he wanted to make sure I hadn't been walking on it. That just made me laugh. He must deal with patients who look him in the face and lie. I am not one of those people. You tell me not to walk on it, I won't walk on it. Period.

He took the boot off in order to remove the dressing he'd put on after the operation. I got pictures of the ankle, ostensibly to put on the blog. But I decided not to post them. They are a bit gruesome. They don't bother me. When I had the knee replaced, I took a picture of my leg while the staples were still in—all 33 of them. I eventually decided not to post that picture as I figured it would be a bit too much for some folks. The ankle doesn't look half as bad as the knee did. However, it's still a bit much. You can all thank me later.

The Shit said I'm to come back next week for an xray. If the joint looks good, he will allow me to start putting weight on it. After this last appointment, he's told me I no longer have to keep the foot up all the time. I'm now allowed to rest it on the ground while I'm seated. And if that doesn't hurt, I can rest it on the ground while I'm standing.

Yes, I'm still on crutches. I haven't fallen yet. I came very close today. I managed to bonk the ankle a bit. I worried that I'd done some damage. All I did, as it turns out, was scare myself to death.

Surf's up today. I saw it with my own two eyes. I would not have braved it on a board. I would have paddled out into that stuff on a mat. I could see how the mat would have drawn some pretty good lines on those that weren't closing out.

I miss my mats. All three of them. I think my 4GFs miss me too.

04 February 2012

A Tale of Two Cultures—Surf and Skate

The DL is as Good a Place as Any to Sit and Wait

This is what I do these days. I sit and wait. It's not difficult. It's not even as boring as it sounds, especially when you understand that the sitting has a purpose—that purpose being to allow the joint to quietly heal. I'm still not allowed to put any weight on that foot. The crutches are always near. It's difficult to like crutches. They are not house-friendly. However, they are what allow you to move around, so I accept them and put them to good use,

I go back to see The Shit on Monday. I'm certainly ready for the next step. My hope is that it literally involves a step or two. This big snowboot thing is incredibly heavy. Getting pants over it? Impossible. I've spent the last one and a half weeks in shorts and skirts.

Surfing? Matting? Skating? I think about them, yes. However, I am patient. All of those things will still be there a month from now. I've been to the beach often, but I can't get near the water yet. I don't think crutches work well in the sand. My doctor probably doesn't want me getting my boot filled with sand. So, I just watch the water from afar. That's enough for me at this point. I know it's there. Seeing it in person still makes me happy, as does seeing the crew each morning.

The one thing that is calling to me? The Paepo (or Paipo). I'm trying to ignore the call, but I swear it's getting louder each day.

I'll pray for surf for all of you!!