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Monday, March 14, 2011

Take it easy.

"Take it easy," he said, "and wear a helmet."

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!

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