A (forced) relaxation week

Posted on July 3, 2016 with tags . See the previous or next posts.

This was an interesting week, much more so than I expected.

The start of the week was the usual: on Monday a run, although at an easier pace after Sunday’s longer indoor bike ride, on Tuesday a 30Km outside bike ride (flat, on road, with a mountain bike so not fast at all).

On Wednesday however, I had a planned “intervention” at my dentist—bone reconstruction (or regeneration, not sure what the right term is for the implantation of scaffolding). The dentist told me I won’t be allowed to do sports, especially in the first few days after the procedure, so I knew I will have to take it easy; easy bike rides are fine, but not anything more (e.g. especially not running).

The procedure went well and after that I went to work (the dentist looked at me in a funny way when I mentioned I’m not going home but instead back to work). There was a bit of pain a couple of hours after the local anaesthesia went away, but the painkillers did work, so I was able to function somewhat OK. Laughing was the only thing that caused pain, so I tried to be very serious; didn’t work well…

On Thursday morning however, I did feel funny and when I looked into the mirror, I got a shock. The affected side of my face was heavily swollen, and I was feeling as bad as I looked. I had a followup checkup at the dentist, so I went there, and they told me “Oh, this is normal. Bone reconstruction is much more difficult on the body as opposed to extraction, since the body actually has to rebuild stuff, instead of just healing the wound. And yes, you should just go back home and take the day off!”. OK, logically that explanation makes sense, but my dental extraction had a very predictable pain/recovery curve (spike right at the extraction, plateau for that day, then slow recovery that went to faster recovery after a few days). This procedure was very different, with the first day easy, and the second day much worse. The dentist continued “Oh, and by the way, expect this to be worse in the morning, as the body can work all night; also, this should go away by itself over the weekend, so let’s meet again on Monday.”

At this point I realised than “I’m not allowed to do sports” is not by doctor’s orders, but rather “my condition doesn’t allow me to do sport”. Sad panda ☹

Friday was even worse; my face was swollen in a different way, such that I looked even more like a monster from the Witcher games. I had to stay at home again, not being able to do much, as the painkillers I got were mostly ineffective. From my usual ~10K steps a day (or more if I run), my Friday was a paltry sub-2K step day. The only thing I was able to do was watch anime. I found Log Horizon to be a pretty interesting anime, much more so than what the synopsis said; the ramification on politics and how to interaction between the two cultures unfolded was much more in-depth than I presumed. Didn’t finish it yet, so this is a partial but very strong recommendation for it. Besides watching stuff, I also went to the shop to buy some food, which turned out to be an excuse for “junk food foraging!”. The pain took my willpower away and instead of the planned and short grocery list, I found myself with lots of chocolate and ice cream on my hands. Funny how the brain works…

On Saturday I was a bit better; the swelling went partially away, so if you squinted you could pretend I look my normal-ugly, not the monster-ugly from before. I was able to go outside of the house, do some shopping, etc. so I was able to go back to a ~9K steps day. I also stopped taking painkillers since anyway they weren’t of much help, and kept myself entertained with movies and other stuff (cough cough Grim Dawn…, since it’s a mindless click-kill-loot-repeat ARPG that one can play even when only partially functional).

Today (Sunday) was swelling was slightly worse; however, I was feeling well enough to try to go back on the bike trainer (the first three days of “no sports” were over), and planned to do a slow/relaxing one hour Zwift ride. Right, as all the people who ever tried this, it works as long as only fast people overtake you (since you can’t catch them anyway), or as long as you don’t get to sprint sections. I did slightly improve my Watopia 300m sprint personal record (29.20s → 28.29s), which was good enough. After the first lap I took it easier—as in had to, since I was not really in shape. I was in any case very glad about ending my 4 days long break from sports!

So, my dentist was right indeed. The swelling did by and large clear up over the weekend (although I’ll have to see how tomorrow will be), and was also right about how much more difficult this was. On one hand makes sense (growing bone does sound complex), on the other hand, I couldn’t imagine that the body works so hard that it puts you out. The dentist was however slightly wrong with the “you should not do any strenuous activity, especially in the first three days”; they should have said, “ha ha, you’ll be flat out for the first days, take it easy and enjoy the painkillers” instead.

Looking forward now to get back into my regular routine; relaxation is good, but only when done by choice—like most things in life ☺