The super-nice EMTs put me on a sling and then onto a gurney. They carried me up the ramp off the bike path to the road. One of the guys told me they'd take my bike to Firehouse 22. I tried to commit the number to memory but I didn't care much about seeing the bike again anytime soon.
When I did see it again, maybe Thursday of the following week, it looked fine. I think the EMTs, several of whom were riders, knocked an STI lever back into place. Otherwise, I took the punishment, not my bike.
Repair to the bike: $10 for handlebar tape. Repair to me: As yet untold thousands. Thank God for Medicare and the Veteran's Administration.
The EMT put an IV in me and cut off my socks, shorts and jersey. I got my helmet and Oakleys off. Everything went in a bag for safekeeping at the hospital. Maybe at that point they started giving me painkillers. I don't remember our arrival at the ER...or not clearly.
Tamar called while I was in the ambulance. She had not listened to my voice mail message so when I said, "I'm in an ambulance; I've broken my leg," that was the first she'd heard. She said she'd see me at the hospital.
I passed through the ER, the pre-op room, the operating room and the post-op room before being deposited in my own room, my home for the next eight days. From that day, I remember the ER and perhaps the pre-op room. That's all.
In the ambulance, fearing that the pain in my leg was so severe that I would not notice pain around my head or neck, the EMT put a collar around my neck. He also put an oxygen mask on my face. Wearing the two devices, I could not turn my head much. Flat on the gurney, I could only see ceilings, a square of stainless steel in the ambulance or acoustic tile in the hospital.
In the ER, maybe a dozen or 15 people worked on me. I could see no one's face. All that activity, and I wouldn't recognize more than one or two individuals today. On the way from one room to the next, perhaps to the operating room, as I rode on the gurney the walls of what seemed to be round hallways rolled around me.
When given the choice, Tamar and I opted for the complete anesthetic. I could have stayed somewhat conscious for the surgery, but we decided against it, I'm happy to say.
The drugs make you accepting and warm. Hey, whatever. As the days passed in the hospital, I tried to minimize my use of the painkillers. I was stupid. I quickly got afraid of the pain that I was making sure I'd feel. Gosh, I was hurt badly. The pain and my fear of it slowed my healing, I'm sure. If I had it to do over again...
More soon. Thanks for walking along next to my gurney....