A cool June morning, a perfect time for cycling, traffic had yet to build up, school busses were not buzzing around like busy bees scooping up their little charges for another school day. I’m feeling great, heading into the final stretch to home, thinking about the day ahead, a trip down to the Cape with Janie, a visit to a friend then maybe take in a new brewery or two. She was taking our Jack Russell, Auggie, to the kennel since we were staying overnight. All was perfect, then it happened, a car door quickly opening as I passed by, going down hard I could only remember hitting the pavement, thinking, “damn, something’s broke.” A blur of activity, a young woman’s voice, saying, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see him” you could hear the fear in her voice, then surrounded by people, “Can you roll over?” “Did you hit your head?” A flurry of activity, the sound of sirens, in my head I’m trying wonder why sirens, it’s nothing more than a bad bump, I’ve had worse. So, why can’t I straiten out my leg? I try, but it won’ cooperate, then a wave of pain washes over me, I have never felt pain like that, ever. It’s the pain that nauseates, and I feel my world swirling around, suddenly hands on me, strange, I think, why are they blue am I being whisked away by the Blue Man group? Questions come, “What’s your name?, Address? Do you remember what happened.” I begin the shake, I’m so cold, and tears begin, I’m totally helpless, dependent on these blue handed people as they take my vitals and plan the best way to transport me” A scoop, a gurney, I’m on an ambulance staring at the ceiling, again the questions, name, address, a neck collar is put on, I feel like I’m in some kind of Medieval torture device. I.V. Is started, morphine injected, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, “no shit” I say, “We’re in Massachusetts!” Arriving at the hospital I’m quickly surrounded by doctors and nurses, where’s George Clooney, but soon I am again being questioned. “On a scale of one to ten, how would you describe your pain.” “About a ninety”, I yell as they turn me to inspect my back. I’m still so cold and shaking, suddenly I burst into tears thinking about Janie, in just a few moments our lives have been turned around. Doctor’s come in, surgery is talked about, good news, I’m told both orthopedic surgeons are in, and one specializes in traumatic orthopedics. I’m so floating on the painkillers they could have said Dr. Mengele was my surgeon and I could have cared less.
Its another flurry of activity, off to be prepped, drugs given, forms signed then comes the anesthesiologist who takes me to the operating theater, then all goes dark. As I wake I wonder if this was all just a bad dream, I feel lost, I don’t recognize anyone, am I talking, everything is so surreal, a sixties drug trip gone bad. Slowly I gain some mental footing, I begin to remember and now I realize that this was serious.
It’s been three days, three days of marking milestones on the way to recovery, bodily functions working, eating regular food and finally walking with the aid of a walker. Slow, baby steps for one who is not patient, but maybe this will be a reminder that at times slowing down is a good thing.