I've been thinking a lot about the other side of pain. For every action there is a reaction, and the world has a way of course-correcting and balancing itself. For every hill you drudge up, there is a lovely ride down. The duality of pain is interesting, two sides of the same coin...how can we truly be happy unless we know what it's like to be completely miserable? How can we know what we've got until we lose it? To really appreciate the full spectrum of emotions, we have to climb up hills so we can appreciate the glide down.
When I tell my clients about my wreck, I hear some people say "I used to bike, but I fell off once and it scared me into never biking again." I guess I just don't get that mentality. Getting into bike wrecks makes me appreciate my body even more. To know that I (usually) have a fully functional body, with functional limbs and a functional brain...that is just amazing to me. To have it taken away so abruptly really makes me appreciate what I have when I have it. It makes me want to ride even more, so that I can fully appreciate this vessel while I can, and use it to its fullest extent! To think some people live such sedentary lives seems like such a waste. We are capable of so many things, it really is incredible.
I guess I've had a bit of a rough month. I am dredging up this hill of life. I had this wreck, and have had some other personal stuff happen...my house, job, and love life have been stressing me out. It's been so long since I've slept soundly. I just keep telling myself to keep putting positive energy out there and it will come back to me on the other side of this hill. I just have to keep pedaling (figuratively, of course, I'm still "taking it easy" for now).
It sucks when your stress outlet is taken away from you, which for me is usually biking. So I've turned to the guitar lately. We are old friends, me and the guitar, but it's been a while since I was really into it, so we've got some time to make up for.
I think I somehow turned my art blog into a blog about biking, so I'm going to post pictures of recent projects to keep this more art-friendly.
This is a painting I made of my dad for Christmas. I made one of my mom too but don't have pics yet.
And various candids:
And this is entirely unrelated, but quite indicative of how much I hate being cold:
And that's it for now. See you on the other side ;)
It's impossible to ride as often as I do and not encounter the occasional bike wreck. About two weeks ago I hit a patch of gravel in a turn and hit the ground pretty hard on my left side. I fractured my collarbone and sustained a mild concussion. I was taken to the emergency room and after an MRI scan and a few hours later, I was released with a prescription of hydrocodone and specific instructions to "take it easy."
Which was easy enough at first because all I wanted to do was sleep anyway. Everything wore me out. I took naps at work in between clients. But even though sleeping was all I wanted to do, it didn't come easy, and I woke up in fits of pain and couldn't get comfortable. I still can't get comfortable, and I've regained most of the mobility back in my shoulder. So I do my physical therapy exercises every day, take hot baths often, and ice my shoulder down after work. And I pop a lot of advil (I ran out of the hydrocodone about four days ago). But now I'm finding it very difficult to "take it easy" because in spite of it all, I still just want to hop on my bike (helmet on!) and ride around.
So I walk. A lot. Everywhere.
At least I got a cool scar out of the deal.
This is the day after the wreck.
I was completely out of it this day. Definitely still reeling from the concussion, my boss said I was very zombie-like. I just remember sitting up front and staring straight ahead, having absolutely no thoughts. I was in a daze.
2 days after
3 days after the wreck, and by far the worst day of them all. The swelling started to go down in my shoulder, my endorphins were long gone, and bruises started popping up all over town. My joints were achey, and for some reason the area beneath my eye just puffed up and I could barely see out of this eye. Sleeping was almost impossible.
5 days post wreck and the outskirts of my road rash started receding.
8 days post wreck and my face is ALMOST presentable to the outside world.
10 days post wreck and I almost feel cute again.
And here I am today, 15 days post wreck, and in good spirits:
I gotta say, a week into it I was feeling pretty blue. Nothing gets me down like forced laziness. It sucks to have no energy and to get worn out so quickly. The last time I went running I ran five miles and then went to a party. A few days ago I walked two miles and had to take a thirty minute nap. If I could give any advice on dealing with a bad bike wreck, it's this:
1. Wash your road rash with soap and water every morning.
2. Douse your road rash in neosporin after cleaning it and wrap it up in nonstick bandages for half the day.
3. For the other half of the day, let those suckers breathe! They need to dry out. Sleep without bandages on them. The next day, repeat 1-3.
4. For broken/fractured bones, if you can stand it, save the strong stuff for night time, you will need them to get you through the night, sleep is KEY! If you can handle it, just alternate advil and ibuprophen during the day. Tylenol is bad for your liver.
5. Physical therapy, hot baths, and cold packs are your friend.
6. TAKE IT EASY!!!! If you're like me, this is the hardest one to follow.
Of course this would happen two weeks before SXSW. Fortunately I live close enough to downtown I can walk to everywhere I want to go. Thank god my legs are okay! I've definitely learned my lesson, helmets are to bikes what seat belts are to cars. Message received, universe!