October 23rd, 2015, Scottsdale, AZ. I know that I’m a very lucky man. I woke this morning at 6:15 am. Rae and Ian were at the bedside with a Starbucks cappuccino for me. Most people with this kind of fall would have broken other bones and at least their collar bone. This is generally caused by putting their arm out to brace the fall. This hasn’t been an option for me for some time. As Ian pointed out, the way I fell was dictated strictly by the laws of physics. I fell on my arm. I broke my arm. I could have broken a lot more. I could have broken my leg. I could have broken my back, oh wait, I did break my back. But I walked out of the hospital today less than 24 hours after the accident with Lynny, Ira , Ian and Rae by my side. The nurse that admitted me yesterday was the same nurse who discharged me today. She said that she had to escort me to the elevator but she knew better than to offer me a wheelchair.
I spoke with my mum and sister in England. The phone is not the best form of communication for me but they seemed to understand most of what I said. I’m a lifelong mumbler so I know when people are just nodding and smiling to be polite. These day it seems half the time I can’t even understand what I’m saying myself. But this morning my voice was a little clearer to me. Wouldn’t it be great if a blow to the head was all it took to hit the reset? As long as you survived, that is. The place we’re staying has a hot tub. I think my body had forgotten what it felt like for me to be kind to it.
I know that I’m a lucky man. Lynny and Ira’s friends, Linda and Fred in Scottsdale became our next road angels and provided a place for me to recuperate. And we are now all sitting by the pool, eating sandwiches that were delivered from a local bakery and paid for by the nursing and midwifery staff of Labor and Delivery at Carle Hospital where I used to work.
We are all a long way from home. And a long way from our goal. I will never ride my road bike again (for more than 6 miles on a Wednesday). We are probably going to ship it home so that we have more room in the car. I thank everyone for their offers of tandems and recumbents, but right now sitting and lying down is painful. Friends and strangers alike are asking if they can help. And do I have a plan. Lying in bed in the hospital I was making a plan. Although it has been modified a little since the morphine wore off. But there may be a way at least in spirit that this ride can be completed. Everyone else on the team can still ride. And everyone reading this, no matter where you are, can be part of completing the journey by riding and donating miles. Stay tuned. At present we plan to leave on Monday and still follow the route to St Augustine.
Peace, love and midwives