My life took a sudden turn the Monday before Christmas.
Many of you know that I commute to and from work by bicycle. Well, on the way home from work Monday night, I was hit by a car. He was heading west and ran a stop sign at a four-way intersection as I was heading north.
The good news is that the accident could have been much worse, bicycle vs. car accidents usually are. The bad news is that he has altered my life significantly at least short-term, and perhaps long-term. Only time will tell at this point.
When this gentleman hit me, he crashed into the right side of my body, I rolled up on his hood, and then landed on the asphalt. My right leg is shattered, I have multiple fractures in my tibia and fibula, and the ligament connecting my tibia to my ankle is torn. The pain that accompanies this injury is, in a word, excruciating. It is easily the worst pain I have ever been through, and I count childbirth in those experiences.
Luckily for me, an off-duty EMT happened to witness the accident and helped me at the scene until the paramedics, firefighters and police arrived. Another bicyclist stopped and called these good people, who arrived in what seemed like no time. I knew right away that my leg and ankle were damaged because of the pain, the inability to move, and the abnormal curve of my leg as it reached my ankle. The paramedic treating me cleverly used a cervical collar to brace my leg and ankle, and minimize any jostling, as they transported me to the ER.
Once at the ER, a series of x-rays showed just how bad the damage is. I had actually remained fairly calm and in control up until this point, even joking with the paramedics. But when the attending physician told me that I would need surgery and a metal plate installed in my leg to screw my bones back together, and further that they wouldn’t be able to do anything until Friday (4 days away) because of the holiday schedule, I completely lost it. My leg was throbbing painfully and the idea of remaining in that situation for 4 more days just devastated me. Little did I know that things would get worse.
I was sent home Monday night from the ER with a prescription for Percocet and in the care of my parents. They helped get me into the house and into bed. My mother had to help me use the bathroom. They made sure I took my pain pills and cared for my dog as well. The Percocet, by the way, was terrible. It didn’t control the pain well and it kept me awake all night long.
On Tuesday, around noon, the orthopedist called me and said “I just looked at your x-rays from last night and I need you to come back to the ER right now.” What? Well of course we jumped back into the car and raced down there. The orthopedist didn’t like the way the attending had set my leg in the ER the night before so they completely knocked me out with some propyphol and re-set my leg. When I woke up from that ordeal, the pain was even worse than before. I was sobbing in agony while they quickly loaded my IV with morphine.
Then once again I was sent home with my parents, this time with a prescription for Vicodin, and instructions to return for surgery the following Tuesday. There was too much swelling and they needed to allow time for that to go down.
And so here I am, 4 days post-accident and 4 more days until I have surgery. I am completely immobile at this point. I can’t drive, I can’t walk, or indulge in any other sort of movement. Per doctor’s orders, I have to rest at all times with my right leg elevated above my heart. I am only able to get up to use the restroom, with the help of crutches. For someone as active as I am, this is complete agony.
Unable to care for myself, I’ve had to temporarily move back in with my parents where they feed me, help me to bed, and even help me shower. This of course means that I’m also unable to exercise my creativity in the kitchen. And, because of the pain medication that I’m on, I can’t even have any alcohol, which of course includes wine.
I am sharing this with you, my dear fans and followers, because my recovery from this accident will impact the focus of my blog for now. Since I am unable to get into the kitchen, I won’t be crafting and posting recipes for a while. And ditto for my wine pairings.
Instead, I will use my blog to update you on my progress as I seek to heal and recover from this unfortunate accident. I will try to remain my positive, upbeat self, which I am finding difficult at present as I struggle through intense pain, boredom, and embarrassment at the intimate care I now require from my mother.
I am waiting with a mixture of anticipation and nervousness for my surgery. I see it as the first significant step on the path to recovery, but I know that the pain I will go through after the surgery will be even greater than what I have already endured. And that frightens me to no end.