Above: Photo of hematoma resulting from muscle tear (semimembranosus) and various studies of leg anatomy *
________________________________________________________________________________________ "Hammy, How I Love Ya, How I Love Ya, My Dear Old Hammy!"
Back around the eleventh of July when I succeeded in bicycling to the top of Glacier hill via the steeper side, I began conjecturing that I had recovered a member of the hamstring group. Like the quadricep and gluteal groups, these are comprised of power muscles. Compared to the long, slender muscles like the gracilis and sartorius, which function to stabilize movement, these guys are short and bulky to provide power for movement. So, when I started feeling a swell in my thighs and a thrust to the pedal stroke, I concluded that at least one of the hamstrings I'd lost had come back to life. But which one?
Viewing the left leg in profile showed little change from before. The back of the thigh fell in a straight line from the hip with the flab flaring at the knee. Looks a little like a baggy elephant foot. In a healthy leg there would be a convex curve peaking at the middle of the thigh and tapering to the knee, this made by the bulge of the semitendinosus and biceps femoris; so rule out those two muscles. That would leave the semimembranosus, which I've previously called a peek-a-boo muscle as it lies close to the femur partially obscured by the other members of the hamstring group. To see it fully, the overlaying muscles have to be cut away.
To see if my guess was right, I flexed my leg and pressed my fingers into the back of my thigh. Sure enough, they went in only so far through a layer of flab, stopping well before reaching the bone. What stopped them? That would have to be the semimembranosus, flexed and hard.
Two years and three months after the nerves subserving the hams were knocked out, some communication has been reestablished and at least one member of that muscle group is responding. I confirmed this beyond a doubt with an Ultrasound exam, Friday.
Yeah, about that. It seems I tore that muscle my first day in Judo practice, two thursdays ago. Unfortunately, I don't get feedback for pain in that part of the leg, so I didn't know anything was wrong. I continued my routine of hill climbing and Judo, and started working out on the Marcy home gym. At one point I even took a spill on the bike avoiding a dog, which likely contributed to the injury. It wasn't until after that that I saw the massive hematoma on the inside and back of my leg. I thought it was from the bicycle seat hitting me. But, I found out differently this past Friday when I decided to have it checked at the ER. Good thing I did that, or I'd have undone all that hard work.
As it stands, I'm on forced rest for ten days, or so, alternating ice and heat. No cycling or Judo. Bad news is I tore a hamstring muscle; good news is I have one to tear! I'm also aware now that I don't feel pain in that part of the body, so I'm better prepared to respond to potential injury with an abundance of caution by checking things out medically, rather than shrugging them off.
Love my hammy. Miscellaneous
: While I was in the ER, Friday, they hooked me up to a machine that monitored my vitals. After a time I looked at the monitor and checked out the readings. It showed a resting heart rate in the 40s! Of course, the second I saw it my heart rate jumped into the 50s. LOL. Have to say that the machine is far more accurate and consistent than the staff.
A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats a minute.
Good diastolic BP in the 60s, but the systolic was ridiculously high and took some time to come down. I think that's because they take it at the same time they ask you recount (and so, relive) the trauma that brought you to the ER. So, of course you're BP spikes.
Adults aged 60 or older . . . 150/90, which sets a higher bar for treatment than the current guideline of 140/90, according to the report, published online Dec. 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association
* Some time ago when I was attending Saturday classes at the Kubert School I had a conversation with an instructor who said, "You never learn so much about anatomy, until you get an injury." I did these little studies long before the injury, but now I see how much more precise I could have been.
HILLCREST TALLEY (temporarily suspended due to injury)
16 August - Back to bicycle riding today, no hills. Well, no big ones. Then, PT this afternoon - ultrasound, electrical stimulation and whatever exercises they suggest. A week or so of that, then, quickly move back to where I left off.