Tuesday, August 27, 2013

broken wing, punctured lung

last time I whined about getting hurt when I fell on my bike.  (I didn't really fall off it, as I was still clipped in when I landed.)
I whined about broken ribs, my broken wing, my separated shoulder, blah blah blah.  it's hard to sleep, it's a pain, it keeps me from riding my bike . . . all of that.
and all of that was nothing---well, possibly not nothing---compared to what came next.
what came next was this:

12 days post accident I return to the orthopedic surgeon who fixed my clavicle (back in 2010) for a follow-up appointment, to have new xrays taken and to decide whether or not surgery could best fix my scapula.
we go over the xrays, and he shows us the CT scan taken right after my accident which is a mix of creepy and freaky.  we decide that the bony ridge of scapula that is dangling in a funny place in my back is harmless---at least at this point---and unless or until it bothers me, we are best off leaving it alone.
whew!  no surgery!

twenty minutes later I'm home, excited to start a load of laundry and do a little cleaning, ready to have the accident in the past and move forward.  I sip a cup of coffee and am putting clothes in the washer when I hear my phone ring.  never mind, can't get there fast enough, I ignore it. when I push the "start" button on the washing machine and then move to pick up my phone, I recognize the number as one from the orthopedic office.   no message.
while I'm pondering the phone rings again and it's my surgeon, who says,
in reviewing your films, I see that your left lung is at about half capacity.... I can't believe you're doing as well as you are, and can't believe I missed this while you were here.  will you please make your way to the emergency room?  we'll need to check your oxygen levels and maybe insert a chest tube . . . 

so off to the ER I went, and into the hospital I was admitted, and within a few hours I had two chest tubes inserted and oh my goodness I thought I hurt before . . .

I won't bore you with the next 4 days, and will just jump to returning home yesterday late afternoon.
home is a lovely place to be.
being free of chest-tubes is a lovely way to be.

a friend (?) today suggested that as we age, it takes longer to heal.  hmm.
all I know is that I've gone through many thoughts, feelings, and soul-searching self-questions about how much more pain I'm willing to endure, and at this point, that level is quite low.   quite low.

but as they say about childbirth . . . one tends to forget the pain and difficulty when love enters the equation.  today, it's hard to imagine that I'll ever ride faster than 10 mph on my bike, ever, again.
tomorrow that number might increase to 10.5 mph.
and soon it will likely slip up to say 12 or even 13.
but today, as I showered and re-bandaged the holes in the side of my body, I'm thinking 10 is okay.
and that walking is a lovely sport.

and that's really all I have to say.

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