Recovery from injury

One of my longtime fitness attendees, Nedra Bean, suffered a traumatic bicycle injury five months ago. She trains in my morning exercise class, and combines her class workout with her love of the bicycle.

Having been a bike enthusiast for many years, she is used to Carson City weather and rides on a lot of the local roads. But all of her work to keep her body strong and conditioned came to a sudden stop when her morning ride in Lakeview ended with an emergency Care Flight to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.

She was on the downhill portion of her Lakeview ride when the "lights went out." One of her many injuries was a concussion with a resulting loss of memory. So there is little information available as to the cause of the accident. Both of her bike tires were flat, and the bike was out of alignment. She was found injured, sitting beside the road, and someone called 911.

Care Flight took her to Reno, where she awoke in the intensive-care portion of the hospital. She was in the hospital seven days. These were her injuries: severe skin abrasions, concussion (her helmet was cracked), six broken ribs, punctured lung, shoulder socket broken in four places, clavicle broken in three places and an injured deltoid muscle (the muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder).

It took five hours of surgery to put her back together. Her recovery was slow over the period of five months, and encompassed 20 hours of therapy and repeated doctor care. Her routine to repair the damage to her body (with the therapist and on her own) encompassed stretching, pulling, reaching, a rowing machine, walking, swimming and strengthening the injured deltoid muscle.

Nedra is back in exercise class, and we are all very grateful. For her, it has been a long five months, but every one of those rehabilitation months put her back on her bicycle and back in fitness. The only signs of her trauma are less range of motion in her left arm, swelling in the shoulder and scars front and back from the shoulder surgery. I asked her if she was going to go back to riding. She said, "Of course, I can't remember the accident so I have no fear of repeating it."

People who are active in some form of athletics will often get injured, hopefully not as severely as Nedra. In most cases, with help from the medical profession and a strong desire to achieve, you may be able to return, even if only in part, to your previous sports activity.

• Jerry Vance is the owner of Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through the Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Carson City senior center.


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