The to-do list was long and detailed. I only had a few hours in which to run errands, grocery shop, clean the van and study. From carb loading to car loading, I had my hands full. The marathon was just two days away.
Viv and I geared up for a fabulous autumn ride. Heading down Johnson Drive, I was taking a green light straight through an intersection when I realized my bright orange helmet hadn't alerted another driver of my presence. And his left turn took me out.
Even before I was thrown off the bike, my thoughts rushed to the marathon. In those long milliseconds that I waited for my body to meet the pavement, my heart broke. And when the driver of the car looked down on the wreckage and asked if I was okay, I could only respond with a somber, "No."
Soon there were more than a few bystanders with cell phones to alert emergency services and offer comfort. And as they asked if I could wiggle my toes and grip their fingers, I told them about the run I wasn't going to be able to complete. The consensus among my amateur caregivers was that I'd be fine and there would be more marathons. I knew this was true, but after eighteen weeks of training, I couldn't shake my disappointment.
My usual irreverent self resurfaced -- perhaps because I realized I had an audience -- and I was able to ask a bystander to leave a message for Mark, then take a picture of the madness with my phone for blog sake (she tried, but apparently wasn't successful.) Police and EMS were on hand within minutes (I don't think I was 1/2 mile from either of the stations) and before long, I was strapped to a board, neck brace and all, and took my first ever ambulance ride.
I was able to speak with Mark shortly after I arrived in the ER, sincerely apologetic for ruining the race plans that we'd made so long ago. He quickly corrected my thinking and reiterated the song and dance that everyone surrounding me had chanted. You'll be okay soon enough. There will be other races. It could have been worse.
I tried to keep my wits about myself. When they cut my pants off, I let them know that I didn't like those ones anyway. I thanked everyone who was nice to me (and that was each and every one of them) and I surprised them with my medical tales of ridiculosity. An x-ray tech wanted to hear about my running addiction. And when she asked if Greek yogurt was a good snack, I forgot my problems for a moment and excitedly told her which brand to buy and how with honey and walnuts it is an indescribable joy.
Soon enough, the neck brace and constraints were removed and I was able to call Mr. X for a ride home (with some clothes from Em's closet). Diagnosis: Contusions. Bruises and road rash (but not much -- I was wearing the sassy leather jacket Concert Katrina had given me for my birthday.) My left hip and hand took the brunt of the abuse.
Right now, I'm unsure of Viv's condition. I didn't see her after the wreck and don't even know where she is right now. The police report isn't yet finished, so I don't know who hit me, whether or not he was insured, nothin.' I'm sure I'll get details soon. And I don't know if I'll hop back on her saddle. I'll let some time come between myself and my injuries before I make any final decisions though.
I'm hoping the next few days bring great healing so I can continue my quest to finish a marathon sooner, not later. And for those of you taking notes, I busted yet another New Year's resolution by landing in the ER.
I apparently signed up for an adventure when I entered this lifetime.