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.