Monday, 16 June 2014

Hmmm...let's see. Which doctor is best for me?

My brain keeps protesting "But I am not left handed!" Using my left arm just doesn't seem right, but these days using my right has very painful consequences.  Dems da breaks. 

Still, you know that's not going to stop me.

Sure I miss wearing proper makeup sometimes. Never mind I've been too lazy of late to wear it much anyway.

Sure I miss laying whichever way I like, and I miss typing with two hands. I miss having a good sweat, and more than anything I miss riding my Ti Baby road bike as hard and fast as I can, but hey. Even though I can't chop, I can use a paring knife.  And as much as I hate typing singlehandedly, at least I can still text normally. It's okay. Bones heal.

And at least these legs still go. 

I make quite a spectacle lately, what with the sling and all of that roadrash. (This pussy-cat has definitely changed her spots.)  People keep stopping me, saying "What happened?!" I answer as best I can, though I'm not entirely sure what happened myself, except that we were really moving fast and I caught a wheel.  Bill very kindly noted how when the body is pushed to its limits, sometimes the brain gets a little less oxygen than might be optimal. And you know this particular brain needs all of the help it can get. It was well into the ride, and I was working hard, for sure. It was beautiful.  The. Best. Ride. Ever.  If the worst had happened and I'd died, I would have shuffled off this mortal coil a very happy woman indeed. But who knows? Perhaps if I hadn't pushed my limits, I might be riding intact today...

... instead of hobbling along at a snail's pace cause I feel every single bump in the road.

The doctors in hospital said it would be the end of August before I fully recover to race again, but I wrote a rider into that little deal. It's definitely going to be a long haul, this heal, but at least I can hop on Bea bike to get around the neighborhood if I have to. Y'know, the whole 'bike as a wheelchair for addled roadies' thing. It was a bit dodgy at first, but then one gorgeous soul moved my shifter from the right to the left hand side, and now I can cruise along just fine. As long as I keep it to a snail's pace so there aren't any bumps, that is. Cause it still really hurts to breathe.  I expect I cracked a rib or my sternum or something, but there's no point in having another x-ray to find out, cause it wouldn't change anything. (BTW - to detox undue radiation: 1c sea salt, 1 cup soda in a bath soak 20 min, 3x per week.  Needless to say, I make a habit of it.) This is a brutally painful injury, that's for sure, but I'm very lucky to have some pretty amazing doctors on my side. That means I can rest easy knowing I am getting the best possible care.

The first man my pain demanded I see was Dr Fred Meinzer, chiropractor to the BC Ballet. He's divine.  

His treatments are always gentle and magical and unbelievably healing and freeing. I always always walk away from Fred feeling blissful in the momentary suspension of tension and pain.  He's the very best, the Fred's Fred  and the day after I returned home from hospital, I reflexively called for an appointment. Fred is better than morphine, and equally addictive.  (Some dependencies are better than others, don't you think? I am a creature of habit who relies upon her healthy addictions.) It was way too early for me to get out and about, though, so I reluctantly cancelled the appointment, and waited a few days, hurting all over. When I did get there, he was so incredibly good, everything I dreamed of.  He always is. Though he didn't do any traditional chiropractic manipulations, he carefully re-aligned my poor banged up body with his little tapping machine, providing relief from the relentless pain.  I love Fred. People with my condition have to be particularly careful of neck manipulations, and he always treats me right.  I trust him with my life.

I've been seeing Dr Hal Brown at Integrative Healing Arts for years now. He's a powerful healer with an incredible education.  He should be called Drs Brown. He has a gift for diagnosis unlike any other health professional I have ever known, and you know I've met way more doctors than has your average Fred. Hal is a naturopathic doctor, a chiropractic doctor, and a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine.  He has a whole wall full of degrees and certificates and and he uses prolotherapy to stitch together my sad, weak, painful joints,with remarkable results.  I trust him implicitly, too.  He taught me that healing includes movement, a continuation of the regular athletic routine, to the greatest extent possible, because a healthy lifestyle fuels the body's ability to heal itself.  He's brilliant, Hal.

Dr Brown was concerned that I needed more comprehensive care, and so a couple of years ago, I went on the hunt for a good MD.  You wouldn't believe who I found. Of all of the many doctors I've met over the last dozen years or so, only a couple even knew what prolotherapy was.  So imagine my surprise to discover Dr Jeff Stein, a traditional doctor of western medicine who not only knows about it, but who actually offers it as a part of his practice! 

Dr Stein is a gem. He is a man ahead of his time, standing head and shoulders above his peers. He was the Olympic Freestyle Team physician, and he wisely has a number of great professionals on staff in his offices. You'll find a naturopath, a physiotherapist and orthopaedic surgeons, among others, all under one roof at the Stein Medical Clinic. Everything an athlete might need. I can't tell you what a relief it was that I'd have all of the follow-up care I could hope for at my GP's office.  I was not looking forward to the trips down to Richmond to have the staples removed from my surgery incision and have my rehabilitation monitored. This is ideal.I know that I will have the best care possible from a team of professionals who know me well.  I'm a lucky girl.

I love my life, even when it hurts.

One kind soul who loves me well recently asked "Has anyone ever laid a curse on you?" My breath caught for a split second and my heart skipped a beat before I realised that yes, yes indeed someone has. Fer real. Yer prolly laughing. That's ok. It's exactly what I did at the time, too. It happened years ago.  The person who cursed me is a scientist, a physicist with contempt for my Judeo-Christian perspective. He called himself a Thelemite, and one day he informed me dispassionately that he had placed a dark curse, a curse of chaos and entropy, upon my head. I figured if there was anything in it, love would protect me, that if I forgave him, and lived a life true to my highest purpose, that nothing like that could touch me. I shrugged it off, and forgot about it. But since then, I've had a lot of 'dances with death'.  

My kind friend, who has never displayed even a hint of a belief in God, the occult or the paranormal, suggested I do whatever I can to have the curse lifted.  So I also saw a witch doctor this week, someone to ensure that my path is a little safer in future.  That's right. A witch doctor, a light-workeer who claimed to shift my physical frequency so any curses on my head will no longer be able to find me. She's lovely, a gorgeous red-headed woman whose warm and friendly personality certainly soothed my soul if nothing else as she performed her quiet and understated ritual.

 days without my bike are always a little dark
Despite my trials and tribulations, I've long held the conviction that luck is what you make of it. Misfortune always conceals a gift, a prize of equal portent. My genes, which have created so much pain in their expression, have in so doing also made me the fit and healthy athlete I am today, and that's important to me. My body showed  me how strong muscles support weak joints, and how movement sustains happiness and well-being. 

Who knows what benefits this trauma might be hiding? Injuries are a part of sport, though I've definitely had my share of serious trauma. I learned a lot about being aware of everything happening around me in a peloton. In trying to live with this difficult situation, I've also learned something about the nature of fear. Opiates don't take pain away.  They make it not matter so much.  That's what makes meditation such a powerful weapon against pain, too.  Meditation makes it possible to experience pain without the emotional response to it.  It negates the effect of fear.  I've learned a few things this time round.  Who knows what else this healing journey might bring?

One thing I do know for sure: I'll be back on my bikes, riding hard and exploring this beautiful town again as soon as can possibly be. I hope to see you out there on two wheels, too. 


  1. Heal well and enjoy the ride!

  2. Wow, you are really ambitious in your healing. When I broke my collarbone I just wore a sling for a while. But I'm not a race. I'm glad you've got all your bases covered.
    Red haired female witch doctor makes me think of "Game of Thrones." She doesn't talk about the Lord of Light, does she?
    Your comment about the brain reminds me of how dumb I get on long rides. I can't remember names or sometimes even words. My brain gets starved, I think, because all the nutrients are going to my muscles.

    1. OMG I think you're on to something! My muscles are in a constant state of contraction in their effort to keep my weak joints in place. That has something to do with why I'm so muscular. And the concomitant lack of oxygen to the brain explains why I am ever and always slightly daft.

      Aaaaaaaah. I see! :D

  3. Glad you're on the mend. Not surprised you're right back on the bike! =P

    1. Thank you! :D
      And naturally... it would be silly to stay away from my happy place!

  4. I'm married to the"witch doctor" and no ... not much of that kind of talk. She's just your everyday professional psychic, energy worker, counselor, healer & Rosicrucian adept with a black belt in Kung Fu.
    She's not perfect, of course.
    She can't tan. Redheads just burn.
    The shadier of my male buddies claim I am a brave man or very sure of my own fidelity to choose a partner with that kind of abilities. I am, thank you.

    How I see it is that I get to live at Hogwarts and it's great fun.
    Sometimes CSIS or RCMP comes by with personal items belonging to missing persons, sometimes we clear a building or an area - often with very (for a scientist) VERY interesting side effects. When I met her, I would probably have boasted of having an "open mind" - but living it is quite different.
    As an example, when we first dated we were slumbering (in a platonic way) and spooned (I was the naughty spoon). Suddenly she, while asleep, discharged some sort of energy, which blew me right out of my body - and for a second or two, I looked at myself from the back. She just apologized for "not grounding" after she had done some work earlier. That takes a bit more than the theoretical "open mind" and certainly a bit more than they taught me at University. Redheads are always a delightful challenge, but I certainly have my hands full.
    If you find one like that, be warned ... they HATE the process of brainstorming. Why not just skip to the result? The powers of the intuitive mind is still a bit of a mystery to me ... it's like those old computers in Donald Duck back in the 70's where you just put in a question on a piece of paper and the answer comes out on another piece of paper. I argue with my GPS on a daily basis ... but intuition is a FEELING and feelings are always right (in their own right).
    I have certainly learned a lot so far. Maybe I even got a bit more balanced between my Animus and Anima.

    1. Thank you for sending her out to me, Kent. She's really something, it's true. She was right, too: I did need to sleep a lot. Still do. I sleep seven or eight hours a night, and then an hour late morning and another late afternoon. But I do feel better today in many ways. It's as if I've turned a corner. :)

      Um. One thing? I find it amazing how many of my acredited scientist friends (and physicists in particular) are adept at matters of the occult. What IS it with you guys?! Hmm? Certainly it's not all of the scientists I know, but the correlation is striking.

    2. The curious mind goes there at some point.
      Once you reach the realization that while giving judgement the benefit of the doubt is easy, giving discernment the benefit of the certainty is much harder. The things we have DEFINED as right are almost unbreakable and we can't see the negative space.

      You leave the area where a solid bottom line can justify beliefs and decisions - but for people who try it out, it becomes clear that there is a whole unexplored area outside of science that still works. The area is governed by the HEART - and there IS no well defined right or wrong. Sometimes you can only do the right thing justifying it with the words "it feels right" - or "that's how I walk".

      The knowledge of the workings of the World traditionally belonged to the adept, the Alchemist or whatever the path of the Sage would name him. The problem was that this knowledge can not be passed on in a simple way - the apprentice can only be guided towards the knowledge. Then came along Francis Bacon and wrote the book "New Atlantis" in which he sketched a system of deduction/induction, which scientists could use to build on each others results. The Royal society took up the idea and defined the limits of science, which would enable this method.
      With this, the Sage lost the intrinsic, intuitive understanding - and became a Scientist.

      Over the last 350 years, we even forgot that there is PERSONAL knowledge, which can not be quantified or proven beyond doubt. There are a-causal phenomena and things that can't be replicated within a controlled/observed environment ... because the control affects the outcome. We even know that from quantum physics.

      To the "old fashioned scientist" who are in the game to KNOW, the area outside the box is extremely fascinating.
      I guess the confidence one gets from a scientific education allows oneself (rather, the Ego) to engage in things that people may deem unscientific or silly. A scientist who is not afraid of being silly, but who IS curious, will go there quite naturally.

  5. Seems like you're "walking (riding) this off". Get better soon but carefully, OK?

    1. Yes, thank you, I am! And I have to be exceptionally careful, cause every little bump registers in pain. I am hoping my bike is fixed super soon, cause the best thing for me right now would be a good, safe, bump-free sweat in my living room on a trainer. Keep your fingers crossed for me, mkay? :) xo

  6. Good to see you back on a bike. I felt so good when I got back on my 24" BMX after my little off - even if just for a burn up to the local dirt jumps to watch the kids doing what I loved 30 years ago.
    Bill is spot on.. you push yourself and at some point your judgement is impaired and the risks of a stack increase significantly. Especially in a bunch.
    When I get like this I deliberately hang a good few feet off the back and then if I can't hack it I drop off.
    Keep on keeping on and take care.

    1. Hmm... yes, good thinking. Thank you. I need to ride, and I need to push myself to my limits, but I also need to ensure I'm not risking all to do so. I love my life and have plans for my 100th birthday!

  7. It's not how many times someone gets knocked down that counts. It's how many times we get up from the canvas. Congrats.

    1. Thank you. There's something in it for sure: adversity makes us stronger. LOL! Ha! That's funny. At this rate, I'll be a super-hero before you know it!

  8. Hi Ms. Babble,

    Reading you over the last months I know you are a good custodian of yourself. You will take the best rehabilitative paths.
    I think some benefit will come from your photography as the pain may 'steer' you towards a different, not obvious at first, sets of subject matter.

    I LOVE those clouds and gloomy days in general (hate glare, maybe I'm part vampire! haha).
    Was out on the old boat last night in super calm conditions trying to burn off last year's waterlogged gasoline. Love the pre-storm calmness, all the potential waiting to strike.
    Anyway, glad to see the progress!!

    vsk / Brooklyn, NY

    1. Funny. I was just lamenting having to spend so much time resting, and was dreaming of the places to take the Electra to over the weekend, in the hopes of finding something photoworthy. I love Snobbers' street scenes, and I enjoy the great photography on Cycle Chic, so maybe somehow, someway, I will find myself out with a camera at hand in the next few days.

      Is yours an old yaucht, or a retro-sailboat? Or is it an antique schooner? ;)
      Speaking of photos, you should send some in to me! You ride and boat through some pretty iconic places... C'mon. Share Share, Sugarbear!

      Re: the rehab process? Thank you. :) Very kind of you. I've started riding a trainer now. OMG is that ever boring!! It is nothing at all like riding a bike. Nothing. I miss my bike. But at least I am catching up on all of the television I have always had too much of a life to watch...

    2. er... yacht


    3. Hey Happy Monday!
      I tried to Link In with you but was unable due to not knowing a good e-mail or something?
      I should have gotten a trainer over the winter, that would have guaranteed great cycling weather instead of the snow and ice we were subject to continuously.
      I have a 1970 32' Luhrs flybridge twin engine powerboat. Fiberglass hull with a wood cabin. It is in Jamaica Bay Brooklyn. I am working through some old stale fuel issues but otherwise it came through the winter OK. The wood keeps me busy tracking the rain leaks and painting etc. The fun trips are Sandy Hook / Atlantic Highlands, NJ, Jersey City, NJ, The Worlds Financial Center marina (North Cove), and some of the gritty industrial creeks and estuaries. It can normally cruise about 18mph, not too fast when it's calm but just fine if it's rough out. I have memory chips full of sunsets, buildings, other boats, little marinas, birds, airplanes, big ships, The QM2, New York Police helicopters doing their thing, etc.
      I am going to try to get some of the folks from the vintage bike club out for a ride to the marina and a quick cruise. Just have to get some good storage for the bikes, or they can bring them on board if not too many come.
      Jamaica Bay has some great history, Deep Creek Yacht Club's website used to have some great links. I am right across the street from Floyd Bennett Field, a historic old airport that now has campgrounds on its property if you can believe it.
      Anyway, good luck with the mending. Talk to you later!

      Victor K.

    4. Hello! Thank you for trying to LinkIn. Try

      Ha! Everyone I know with a boat finds themselves with a plethora of projects to keep them busy all year long! It's ever so much fun when you DO get out on the water, though, isn't it? It makes it all worthwhile...

      A friend of mine is working hard to get me to join the sailing club just down the road from Kits beach, and I might just...

      Good luck with your ride - how about asking someone at the Marina if you can store the bikes on their boat for the time you're all out on yours? Oh! And you know I would welcome photos... :)

  9. So how are managing to stop Electra using one hand? Be careful..

    Thank you for sharing your medical experiences. I had a recent discussion with my GI/GP who is a Fred's Fred even if he isn't by name. I was explaining that when winter sets in and my rides decrease, my GI issues strike. He just smiled and read off a list of benefits of bicycling for the body, but didn't seem interested in discussing a direct tie between my issues and cycling.

    The curse? The red headed witch doctor? Very interesting exchange about a realm forgotten in the daily modern life.

    Your silver lining approach to the injury/healing reminds me of the old saying - never let a crises go to waste...

    1. Right?! It's a part of finding inner peace. Like happiness. I'm pretty sure happiness is a personal decision, to a large extent, and that while we can't necessarily control all of the circumstances in our lives, we do have complete control over what we think of them, and thus how we react to them.
      Re: stopping: Thank you. Yes, I am careful It hurts too much not to be! I am just riding verrrrrrrrrry slowly. It's the front brake, so that's good. I can't travel at any velocity right now, anyway, because the bumping and jarring that happen at speed still make it feel like my shoulder is falling out of the socket.
      Re the GI thing... that's odd. Does your diet change seasonally, too? Does anything else change significantly?