For those of you that don't know, I developed some pretty serious back issues late in 2009 that carried over to 2010. I say serious for me because as a 30 year old active woman, having to spend nights sleeping on the floor and not being able to stand up straight (let alone ride a bike!) is a serious issue. The back flared up in April after the 6 hour race. And I decided to get this thing figured out so I started seeing a physical therapist. Sure enough, I was walking around cock-eyed and not even close to being level. My QL muscle on the right side was contracted constantly, which was forcing my left side to over compensate and it was tired. My poor back was just not happy.
Therapy helped. A lot. After about three weeks I was feeling good--back on the bike and excited to prepare for Kelly's and mine first attempt at a 24 hour race as a duo. But then, on May 4th I had an accident on my bike. A really, really bad accident. The kind where thankfully, you do not remember the fall b/c the force of it knocks you unconscious. And you wake up (kinda) in the ambulance but not really until the nurse is trying to shove a needle up your arm and on the back of your hand four times. Four times before they got the IV in!!!! Unfortunately and fortunately, Kelly saw the whole thing. Something happened (I can't say for sure b/c I do not remember) but I was flying down a section of road that we had ridden many times and I flipped over my handlebars aka 'endo'd' and landed face first on the pavement. I cracked my helmet...bye bye helmet. My big front tooth and the smaller one next to it were shoved back and not flush anymore. I had a cut under my nose that was open through to my mouth and it appeared that the skin near my left eye was completely gone. What else? I had a severe road rash/burn on my left shoulder as well as two nasty spots (that would take FOREVER to heal) on my right hand. I also had a nasty scrape on my right arm and I guess I was complaining of pain in my right hand and elbow b/c they took x-rays of both. Thankfully, nothing was broken. But my little face was very battered and bruised.
My time in the ER was interesting. I had never had morphine before. Hopefully I never will again. I had never had stitches in my face before. Hopefully I never will again. Can I just say that taking them out hurts like hell! Oh man, did that hurt. I do remember that when they numbed the spot under my nose, my tongue also got numb....guess it was curious to see what was going on up there inside my mouth.
Needless to say, I did a very good job of scary Kelly half to death. But I cannot continue without saying that he was the absolute best nurse anyone could ask for. And so was my Mom. She had actually gotten in to town the same day for her annual Mother's Day visit. I was so thankful to have both of them there to take care of me.
The easy part was getting released from the hospital around 2 am that next day. The hard part was the first few days after and realizing that I was pretty helpless. My left eye swelled shut and my lips got so swollen that I couldn't close my mouth. I'm sure Kelly and Mom both remember the lovely sucking sound I made every few minutes to keep from drooling all over. Yeah, it wasn't pretty. Between keeping ice on my face and then having to peel it off over all of my road rash and then reapplying the bacetracin, I was a handful. And eating didn't happen for a couple days thanks to my teeth not being in the right place. Let's just say that laying in the dentist chair and feeling Dr. Marin force my teeth back into place wasn't a good feeling either. To this day, I am still wearing the plastic guard she made for me 4 days after the accident. I still wear it so that as my teeth heal, they will heal in place so that I don't need braces again. What a disaster this whole incident was.
But, to see me know, you wouldn't know that it had even happened. My plastic surgeon was able to save the skin around my eye. And the new skin that was road rash has grown back nicely and the same color as my other skin. I was told to religiously wear sunscreen and a hat b/c if the new skin were to get burned, it may become slightly darker than my old skin--that was not happening! I am a girl and yes I am vain.....my face is the first thing that everyone sees. And I had liked it before my accident!
Yes, I have been back on my bike but unfortunately our attempt to race The Burn did not happen. We went to the race and Kelly attempted to ride it as a solo but some things just don't go as planned. Oh well--we knew so many people at the race this year. What a difference a year makes. I didn't get a race participant t-shirt, but I got a volunteer one! All in all, May was a month of suffering and then recovery but I'm happy to say that its all good now and I still love to ride my bike, especially with my husband :-)