Sunday, October 5, 2008

I fell over, again

3 saturdays back, on a dirt bike day with the family, i took off from camp, and road away a bit fast. yearning for some speed and that thrill of excitement that my dirt bike give me, i went up a hill near where our staging area was. I had just been riding with trey on the front of my bike, and had been going slow, and needed some speed. Up the hill i went, twisting and turning, and pushing the bike just a bit, that i was on the edge. Its a great feeling to be on the edge. Sucks to slip off it, but awesome to ride up close to it. Up the hill i went, and then down. The downward slope was easier than the uphill. I had the impression that i shold turn around and reverse the path i had just followed. But i ignored that idea, and kept going down. I hit the bottom and made a turn to the left, onto a quad track. around the bottom i went, and started up the shallower side of the hill i just climbed a short distance away. on the top of this hill, i remember there was a rock on the trail, and i had the thought that i needed to ensure that i missed it.

As i crested the top, i saw the rock, and realized i was a bit closer than i had wished. I missed the rock with the front tire. Apparently i didnt miss it with the back tire. I went down, and went down hard. My right shoulder must have gone down first, and then i rolled onto my back, and skipped like a rock gliding across the surface of the water for a couple bounces. I distinctly remember bouncing. The thought went thru my head that i was glad that i had my chest protector on, and was being protected on my back as well. When i stopped moving, i was a bit hurt, but worried i'd pass out or something, if it was worse, so i yelled, screamed outloud. This was to make sure that my family and friend Kevin could hear me, in case it was worse. Now i got mad at myself. I had gone down again... i hate wrecking and making mistakes. I hate getting hurt. But love to ride, and ride hard. Its an eternal struggle us suffer and enjoy.

I got up, and started to brush myself off. I went to my bike and tried to lift it. My right shoulder hurt, and i couldnt use it well, so i lifted with my legs, chest and left side. I got the bike up, and leaned against it. At this time, Kevin rode up and asked how i was... I lied and said fine, or i told the truth and said i was hurt. I really can't recall, as a wave of shock was overtaking me, and my breathing was starting to freak out. I asked him to get the kickstand, because i didnt think i could walk around the bike, and hold it at the same time. I continued to go into a mild shock. An interesting feeling when you are aware of its approach. Kevin looked at the rock i had jolted out of its hiding place, and mentioned, as he rolled it off the trail, that i had moved it some 3-4 feet. I started pulling my gear off, so we could look for signs of damage on my body. I actually tried to take the chest protector off, before my helmet. doh! i got my gear off, and we loked around, me looking in the front, he looking on the back. He laughed and pointed out that my jersey, which is full of venting holes, had made am impression on my back, and i was pockmarked with little holes. This was thru my garment that it had been pushed, and made its impression. I had a couple cuts and some road rash on my back. So, thru the chest protector, thru the jersey, and thru my garment, i had hit hard enough to gain road rash. Wild.

My arm was ok, but my shoulder hurt a bit. i lifted it and moved it around to test it. seemed just a bit sore... but i had a bump on my shoulder. I looked up and saw my kids and wife approaching. In an effort to be brave, and strong, i put my gear back on and got back on the bike and drove it back to camp. Telling them as i passed them that i was fine. I lied again. Apparently i wasn't fine, but still in a bit of shock. I got to the trailer and stopped my bike and got off. I had to walk 40 feet to a chair to rest, and knew i needed to rest a bit. As i walked to the chair, i realized that i was not going to make it, and i sat down about 5 feet from my bike. When i was ready to move again, Kylie had gotten back to camp and was near me. I asked her to help me to the chair over there, and she abliged.

I sat down and started taking my gear off. As i unclipped my boots, i found i was unable to pull my feet out, since i had nowhere to put my socked feet without getting them dirty, so i just kept them in the boots, but slightly elevated. I was still experiencing a mild shock and my breathing was wigging out. Soon, my legs and arms started to shake. My legs more wildly than anything else. As my daughter approached, she noticed this and asked what was wrong. I told the truth this time, and said i had no idea. She pulled one of my boots off, and that leg stopped shaking. I realized that i had simply been elevating my foot, and it was just a muscle twitch. Whew. Kevin loaded up all our bikes (1 wr250f, 2 ttr 90's and 1 pw50) and the rest of the family loaded up the rest of our gear. They put all my gear into my bag, knowing nothing was in the correct location, and that it would kill me later that it was all unorganized. I knew that this was true, but was unable to assist and organize it.

I simply sat in the chair, looking out at 5-mile pass to the north, alone, with all the activity occuring behind me. When we were all loaded up, they all cmae to get me and put me in the truck. I asked Kevin to give me a blessing, and my family gathered around as he performed this blessing on me. Then I went to the truck and tried to get in. I wish i had a lift at that moment that could pull me in, as i had a heck of a time getting into the truck. I got an ice pack from Kevin and put it on my shoulder. At this point, i realized i had done some damage and possibly broke something in there. It hurt tremendously at this point, and my body was wigging. Luckily Kevin had held onto a pain pill form one of his previous accidents, and had one with his moto gear. I took it, and im sure it helped curb the pain. Though i really couldnt tell, as the pain was pretty intense anyway. With much help from Kevin and my family, we were loaded and ready to go home, or to the hospital. The decision would be made en-route. We took off, and i felt every bump and hole in the road, which were many until we actually got to the road. As we went out of 5-mile pass, i recalled the accident i had there close to 2 year prior, but this time i was sitting up, in my own vehicle, and able to watch out the window, instead in the back of an ambulance. We went home.

It was a Saturday night, and i had church meetings in the morning. I needed to get some help to unload the bikes, as my wife and children couldnt alone. I needed to know what to do about my shoulder and other injuries, and needed to see someone about them. Along the way home, i made some calls to home teachers, to see if they could meet us at our house and help unload. I called one of the counselors in the bishopric to report on some task i had to perform. I then called our former home teacher, current chiropractor and bishop. I told him what had happened, and asked if we could stop by his house and have him take a look at me. He agreed.
We reached our home, and it was real hard to sit in the truck and let others unload my gear and bikes. I felt weak and helpless. But then i remembered that i was in pretty severe pain, and wouldn't be able to help much anyway. Once all unloaded, we ushered the children inside with instructions for the rest of the night. We took off to see our neighbor and friend, to let him look at my bones and suggest what happened, and what to do. After looking at it a bit, and referencing the interned, he told us he thought it was a torn AC joint in my shoulder. He proceeded to call another member of the neighborhood and ward, a doctor of anesthesiology. He came over and agreed. He had just gotten off a long dirt bike ride, and we talked about that for a bit, and it was the best i had felt since going down earlier that night. I actually stopped hurting for a bit, as we discussed his long bike ride, the different bikes he had used, my bike, etc. An effective painkiller, i would have never guessed, talking about dirtbiking was. He suggested writing me a perscription for a painkiller, and we agreed that in the morning we would retrieve the script and get it filled. We went home, and i sat on the couch. I took some alleve and a sleeping pill i had left over from my previous bout with dirt bike induced pain. I have slept on that couch, and spent a lot of time on it for the next few days. I put ice on my shoulder for a few days, on and off, and took pain pills on a regular basis.
Being that i was on-call at work, and that Monday was going to be a big day of tasks, some of which were assigned to me, i was loathe to skip it. I went in a bit late, after 9am, and got busy working. I could scarecly drive, as i was only able to use my left arm. But i made it, and got to work, and got setup at my desk. I had to move the mouse closer to me right arm, and was successful in using it, as long as i didnt move my right arm much. I sat still and started performing my tasks. I was real tired and sore in short order and really couldnt work much more. Luckily, my coworkers and boss noticed this and sent me home a bit later. I had a dr appointment around 1ish and i swung by to get him to look at me.
I got x-rays and saw the doctor pretty quickly. He showed me on the X-ray and on a model what i had done, and how it would heal. My sweet wife had swung by and gotten me pain pills and a sling earlier, and i was using both these presently. The doctor complimented my sking and said it was perfect for what i needed to be doing. Keep the arm still, let it heal. Come back in a month, and we'll look at it again, he said. He gave me another prescription for another pain pill. I took it, and went home to sit on the couch. I wasnt allowed to go to work the next day by my wife, and the next day my boss said he didnt want to see me there either. So i had 2 days of sitting on the couch and watching everything i could on the TV and DVR. I got pretty bored, but was unable to do much else but sit and prop my arm up, and try to sit still. I slep on the couch/lazy boy.
When i went out, i put on the sling. I could drive, but with some difficulty. Showering was ok for everything i can reach with my left arm. But some things were unreachable. Drying was equally difficult, and i often needed help with both these tasks. Dressing myself, especially my shirt, was next to impossible, and i needed assistance with this as well. As the days went on, i measured my new movements and abilities with how much further i could reach in the shower, and once i was able to put deodorant in my left pit, with my right arm, you'd have thought i'd won the lottery. within a week, i was able to do most of these things by myself again, thought i greatly enjoyed and appreciated the assistance my wife provided. Everything is still a bit hard and energy consuming. My arm gets sore from being held still, and the muscles in my bicept and tricept seem to get sore from inactivity and imobility. I tend to have to stretch them out and rub them a lot, but not move the shoulder much. I've gained a lot of movement, and i can feel the bone in my shoulder sticking up where it shouldnt be. My arm can be lifted a lot more than the first week, but stop before it hurts, unsure of how far i should push it. 1 more week, and I'll see the doctor again, and hopefully get some answers. I have stopped needing the heavy pain pills at night, and stopped taking them during the day by the end of the second week. I have almost stopped taking the extra strength aleve and tylonol during the day, most days. I had to take some today, for example, but its not every day.
In any event, i feel that i am on the mend, and cant wait to be good enough to get back on the bike again, and see how she faired. The handlebar is bent, and may need to be replaced. The radiator gaurd on the right was bent, but now looks like the left side, from a previous accident. The bark buster is all busted up, and needs to be readjusted. But i want to be able to ride before the snow hits. I hope that i can.
So, moral of the story... stay on the bike. Unlike everyone that keeps telling me i need to stop riding, i answer them by saying i need to stay on the bike and stop falling off. Truth be told, i need to slow down a bit, find other ways to experience that adrenaline rush and high from riding, and stay a bit further from the edge. I love it, but being hurt during riding season sucks, even more than simply being hurt and unable to apply my own deodarant to the left side of my body.

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