The Sweet Smell of Irony

Oh, life...always tricky. Always keeping you on your toes.

Yesterday morning, I biked to work. It was really tough for me--I don't know if I didn't eat enough food, or if I was too tired or what, but I really had to push myself. I thought I was going to be really late, but it turns out that I still kept my regular commute time of 50 minutes, and I rolled up to my office door as my clocked flipped to 9:00am. Not bad!

On my ride home, everything was in my favor. The weather was perfect, I felt great, I was listening to great music and traffic was great--I got all green lights on the path.

I used to be scared of getting off the path and onto regular streets, but yesterday, I was a pro. I was thinking to myself about how confident I felt, how I was having my best ride yet, and how blessed I was to have my strength and to be able to experience such a beautiful day with perfect weather. I was proud of myself and filled with joy.

Then I came to a 4 way stop, where there was a car perpendicular to me. I tried to slow down, since I didn't know if they were turning or going straight, and I guess I hit my brakes in a poor way (Fuzzy had told me to not brake with my left hand on the new bike cause I could flip over, so I always brake with both hands. The kicker is that the left hand brake squeezes in all the way, while the right one barely moves, so it feels uneven when I brake.) Suddenly, I am skidding, and trying to stop myself, and I sort of maybe flipped over the bike and landed with all my weight onto my left knee. In the street.  My bad knee, too, with the history of dislocations and knee braces.  Everything went flying off my bike, and I couldn't move my leg. A woman in a car asked if I was ok, and I answered "Maybe not." Next thing I knew, she was gone. Luckily, the cars behind me, weren't that far close, so I was not hit by a car or anything. It was all me.

A nice man named Tony came and lifted me out of the street and onto the sidewalk. He collected my things and locked up my bike for me. He said that he saw the fall and thought to himself "Oh, she'll get up any time now. Ok, now. Any time now." and when I hadn't, he came over to help. Bless that man!  I called Fuzzy and decided that I needed to call 911 in case my knee was broken. I kept my calm the whole night--I was mainly in shock, but I was able to keep my wits about me.

Tony stayed with me until the ambulance came (my first ambulance ride!) and when the firefighters (Kevin and John) arrived, they asked me if I was wearing a helmet (yes), if I hit my head (no), how old I was and if I knew what day it was. "Umm...July 26th?" I said, and they were like "whoa! I didn't even know that! We were looking for 'Tuesday' so good job!" They lifted me into the ambulance and decided which ER to take me to.

In the ambulance, I was able to give them my ID and I also showed them that I was wearing my Road ID and they were really impressed. The pain was starting to set in really badly, so they gave me a cold pack. I couldn't straighten my leg. I also kept saying stuff like, "Guess what? I am a choreographer and I am supposed to teach 2 dances tomorrow!" "Guess what? I am doing a mud race on Sunday!" "Guess what? My wedding anniversary is Friday!" and "Guess what? I am doing my first triathlon next month!"  The timing of this crash is just hilarious, isn't it? I am so proud for keeping my composure.

Someone along the way had asked me if I had broken anything before and if it felt like that. Yes, I have, but when I broke my wrist in high school, it was an impaction fracture, and it took 4 doctors and 2 months to find the break. So yes, it did sort of feel like that.

Fuzzy took a cab to the ER and he was such a vision to see. I wasn't treated right away and I certainly wasn't given any pain killers for a long time. I had some x-rays done (a brusk radiologist kept wanting me to move my leg and got frustrated when I wasn't able to. I cried and shook a lot while he was x-raying. It felt like my kneecap was going to fall off.) Finally, I saw the doctor, who told me that nothing was broken, but that the soft tissues were probably strained. She gave me pain killers and a prescriptions and orders to follow up with an orthopedic clinic for the next steps. I had help straightening my leg and was given crutches (my first crutches! Even with my previous injury, I didn't have crutches) and a crash course (pun intended) on how to use them. When the nurse came with my discharge papers I asked a series of questions, such as: What about my dance rehearsal? (keep off leg for at least 2 days, so no rehearsal), What about driving? (our car has a clutch--no go.), what about the Muddy Buddy (see how I feel in a few days--I can try to put weight on it on Friday) and can I drink with my pain meds? She said yes, that she had done it before and it just got her drunker quicker. When I said that I wanted to go home and have a shot of whiskey, she said "In fact, that is definitely what you should do." Good nurse. My crash was at about 5:15, I was in the ER about 6:00, and was discharged about 8:30 or 9pm.

All in all, I am ok! I laughed all night and was in great spirits. I am thankful that I wasn't hurt worse (I kept thinking to myself that I had been there before and recovered, so I can do it again.) Today, I am really weepy and emotional. My neck and shoulders are really sore, as is my knee, of course. My head hurts. I can move my leg around more today than last night, though I have not yet tried to see if I can bend it. I hope the swelling has gone down. The crutches are annoying, but I am getting better at them. My arms are going to be really strong when I stop using them. I'm having to be creative with how to carry things--I put a travel cup of coffee in my water bottle holder with some snacks in it and carried it around my neck like a pack mule. I wish I could carry a plate, cause I am really hungry--I might just have to eat standing up in the kitchen.

We've learned that our house is not set of for injuries or crutches. Everything is sort of an obstacle course. All the more reason to keep cleaning and purging!

I am really bummed that I will have to not run for a little while. I really want to. Next week is the Terrapin 5K and I was REALLY looking forward to that (I wanted to run it as Bob Weir). I think I will try to walk it and maybe see how much my leg can handle. I hope to be free of immobilizer and crutches by then!

I think this is my 6th visit to the ER in my 32 years: 1-knee dislocation at 17, 2: when my throat closed up at 21 or 22, 3: kidney stone in 2003 or 2004, 4: kidney stone in 2005 or 2006, 5: kidney stone in Hawaii in 2010 and now this. Christopher said that I've been so much that it is my schtick.

I am grateful that I was able to get up to my triathlon distances this month early on, cause I will probably take a week or two off from training so I can heal, and then will try to punch it as much as I can in the 2 weeks before the event. I am more fired up than ever for it--now, it will TRULY be an accomplishment and a comeback story when I cross that finish line.

Also, I am pretty sure that I was the best dressed person in the ER. I was wearing my new Danskin Now awesome pants I got in SC (now they are ripped), my awesome new Gap Body cute 3/4 length gathered sleeve top, and some new Smartwool baby blue running socks that were very aesthetically pleasing, which was nice since I had to look at my feet all night. It's the little things.

Now, some photos!

ER in the ER
 ER in the ER
Sad Cry Face
ER in the ER
Swollen close up
 ER in the ER
But whatareyougonnado?
 ER in the ER
Oh Brother.
ER in the ER
But nothing's Broken!
Erica, in the Gladiator, in the great outdoors.
"You're my Blue Sky, You're my Sunny Day" Sexxxy!
Lookin' Good!

Fuzzy and Erica Me and my best friend, my darling sweet wonderful husband Fuzzy. I'm so blessed to have him. I would be lost without him.
Happy almost 5 years of wedded bliss, my love! Thank you for everything!!


Focus on just getting better and then worry about your various races, etc. Don't get down. You are fabulous.

You really were a champ last night, especially considering how long it took them to get you any painkillers.

Erica! Oh my gosh! You poor thing I can't believe it. I just can't believe it.

You are so brave and true!

And just think, maybe some of your new-found strength is what protected you and made it not so bad! You have to take care of yourself and you will probably even heal faster...

So proud of you! That IS the Ironman right there.

Bless your heart. Hope you are all better soon and back to your triathlon (?)training. Love you and a early happy anniversary to you too!

No!!! I JUST read this because I got a new computer at work and lost all my book marks. I'm so sorry this happened but am elated that you are okay. Let us know if you need a single thing....or many things!

love you lots!