Thursday, November 11, 2010

October 10 Kissing The Frog or How To Fuck Up A Perfect Day or The What, Why & How

It started out as a perfect day. 80 degrees and sunny in mid October in Chicago. Unbelievable. Who knows if we'll have a day this nice again until May 2011. So I decide to go bike riding at Sweet Woods. That's me. Always thinking about me, me , me. I haven't been riding in a few weeks. Damn, I have a flat tire. (This is a literary technique called foreshadowing or something like that). I change the inner tube in the front tire and off I go. It hasn't rained much lately and the main trail is very dry and even sandy in some places. I stop twice to check my rear tire which feels like it is slipping somewhat. I find no problems and figure it is just the extremely dry trail with loose dirt.(more foreshadowing) It feels great riding through the woods. Then I find a frog in the middle of the trail. I stop and put him in the grass off the trail. I continue on not realizing how quickly my perfect day was about to take a very serious turn.
THE WHAT.....I was cruising along at a pretty good clip for my limited skill level. I went down a ravine, crossed the pile of sticks and branches placed at the bottom to smooth out the transition to the uphill side. I start pedaling hard to make the climb up out of the ravine. I do not notice that the chain has popped off the foot still on the pedal slams down onto the ground.....I think to myself..."motherfucker that hurt". It was an incredible bolt of pain in my lower left leg. I figured I pulled my calf muscle. I stretch it, the pain subsides to an ache... my extensive medical training tells me that riding some more will make it feel I ride on. After riding two of the side loops, the increasing pain in my leg says to go home.
THE WHY...I was barbecuing dinner while hopping around on one leg...I already had halibut defrosting so I decided not to waste it...I began to do what I do best...beat myself up....I wonder why this happened to usual I have to answer myself...because I had options today...I could have watched my friend Debbie run in the Chicago Marathon today...or I could have gone to a family get together for a baby shower...but NOOOOO!!!! I had to go riding...why???...because I wanted's all about me. After dinner I did what you are supposed to do for a pulled it and elevate it. Now what the fuck is 15 minutes my left leg below my knee down through my foot is three times the size of my right to the ER I go.
THE turns out I have a ruptured popliteal artery in my leg and I have compartment syndrome too. So at two in the morning, the cardiac team is coming in to surgically repair my leg. The surgeon can't believe my story. Neither can any of the other 50 or so nurses, doctors and aides that I talked to during my week  in the hospital. The term freak accident is said repeatedly. Usually the artery is damaged when the bone breaks in a real accident like a car crash. The next day, I ask the surgeon how did this happen. His best guess is that maybe I hyper-extended my knee or even dislocated my knee and it damaged the artery. Then I relocated it by slamming my foot on the ground. The other possibility is the compartment syndrome crushed the artery also a freak occurrence. As I was anesthetized for the surgery it all seemed like a fairy tale and I thought to myself have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.

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