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Every Day Camo…

So today, I’m sitting on the couch watching Off Road to Athens and eating a salad. Disclaimer: I’m not normally this big of a slob, but I happened to be reclined with my leg up.

As I get up, a spinach leaf tumbles off my shirt. It must’ve been there for a while and I didn’t notice because… TA DA, I was wearing camo!

This is fantastic! How about camo for all kinds of situations, like dress shirts that have ink stain or coffee ring patterns. 

Notice how the foliage blends into the natural curves in the tshirt…

Note: This is a dramatic re-enactment of the actual event

Matt Taylor is a star

Matt’s artificial whitewater course is about to launch! Matt, Kiki, and the 4 kids moved up to western Maryland back in August, and I can’t believe how long it’s been. I think I miss those two more than anyone else.

Matt was featured on channel 9 news in DC. He’s so cool and articulate.

Article and video here

Missing my cycling buddies…

I got out of the house last night and needed to go no further than my neighborhood to see Marc Hirsh, Forrest, and Mark Baldwin.  I’m starting to realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many great people who tolerate all my quirks and inconsistencies.


Molly dropped by to see me for coffee today, which made my morning. She also dropped off a bunch of cycling (and zombie) movies. Aimee and Robb came by for a visit tonight and we chatted for an hour. Again, great people.

From there, they dropped me off (around the corner) at Fellini’s, where I met Jono, David and Artur Sagat, Mike Harris and Matt from Atlanta Cycling. I’ve known the Sagat’s since they were barely teenagers tearing up the junior divisions. Obviously, Mike and Jono and I go back years. It’s like we grew up together here. We talked about all the great times we’ve shared riding, all the shared experiences from some very memorably GAP and 24 hour races, and all the people we’ve known and where they’ve gone. We’re laughing like idiots and they’re watching me practice my “crutch stand” techniques.

Ed Moredith was actually in town and seated at the table next to us! And Mike Kotzen came walking by with his dogs.

I have all the best people right here at the streetcorner, and I don’t often think I appreciate enough. Got Eddie O a phone call away. On top of that, I have Blaine and Scott constantly calling to see how I’m doing (and make fun of me.). I don’t think I could be any luckier than I am now.

Bad Dreams and Scary stuff

The recurring nightmare theme I’ve had is that I do something to sabotage my recovery: get my cast wet, fall, or forget that I have a broken ankle and walk on the cast.

Today was especially freaky. I woke up to the smell of smoke: specifically, the unmistakable smell of burning wood. I got up, grabbed my phone and keys, and started checking out the usual suspects: the outlets, the kitchen, etc. I wasn’t freaking out but was more than highly concerned. If I had any time to grab something, what would I grab? How would I get myself and the cat out of the house? What would I do if the stairway was impassable? Throw myself out the window?

We’d had electrical problems before, and I paid special attention to the outlets. I went outside and milled around. My sense of smell is so bad that I couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from.  

Since Molly was on her way over, I asked her if she’d mind looking around the neighborhood to see if there was an impending fire. Her sense of smell is unreliable too, but she’d heard on the radio about how the shifting winds brought smoke from the fires on the Georgia/Florida border to Atlanta. Apparently, the whole city is under a blanket of smoke.

Parents in Town for a Short Stay

My parents were gracious enough to come down and stay with me for the first week. Jen had to leave for DC, so without my parents, I would’ve been on my own. 

By the end of the week, I was able to make very short trips out of the house. I’m actually fine with the crutches, but my leg has to be constantly elevated or it swells immensely. My cast must weight 6 lbs, and the weight of it also cuts off my circulation. Can’t wait to get my new cast on Thursday.

Revvy likes her new chair
Revvy commandeered my parent’s foldable chair. She’s actually still sleeping in it now.

Jeff and Louis at Dr. Bombay’s, right before he passed out.

At my dad’s friend’s house.

World’s biggest dog looking at the world’s smallest dog

Great Dane wants attention
Big Dog wants to know what’s going on…

Running with scissors

I’m getting around really well, though technically I’m not supposed to be up for more than a few minutes each hour. I feel really good whenever I get up, though I can feel the blood pooling in my ankle, which means it’s time to sit back down. Still, the lack of activity is killing me.

I’ve already watched ROAM at least 3 times in two days.

I get up to go to the bathroom, go to the kitchen, and then back to the couch. When I need to carry something with me, the dilemma is whether to give up a crutch arm and hop, or carry the object in my mouth.

crutching with scissors

Post-Op: Surving Day 1

I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night, and finally took some Advil. The ankle felt fine, but when the epidural wore off, my back was felt very sore as if badly bruised. My quadriceps on both legs were really straining and sore. I initially put a rolled-up t-shirt under my back, and that made it feel a little better.

I felt fantastic upon waking and realized that staying sedentary is really going to be the hardest part of healing. My ankle isn’t that painful. I really think the shooting pains of sprains are so much worse than the dull pain of breaks. Plus, I’ve lived with a broken bone for 4 months, other than the sutures there’s not a whole lot of difference.

The boredom is a killer though. I happened on this site for other people with broken legs. Right now, I’m a lurker, but I may have to signup and hit the forums.

After reading a few stories, I really feel for some of these people. One guy had a near-fatal accident and is so depressed, he wishes he’d died in the wreck. Another guy has had multiple surgeries after nearly severing his leg in a backyard constuction accident. I couldn’t even continue reading that one.

I guess this is one of those web 2.0 microniches I keep reading about. Not that I’m not aware of what’s going on in the cyber world, but until I got injured, I could find my micro-niches in the offline world.

Hospitals and the strangers you meet.

I was first on deck at Northside, which everyone tells me is an absolute blessing. It sure didn’t feel like one when I got up at 4:30. Nonetheless, I’m not dependent on anyone else’s surgery schedule, so I was basically assured to be first in, first out, and on the road before rush hour traffic.

I was given a few options for anesthesiology, and I always opt for the least invasive method. I truly believe the recovery from the drugs is often worse than the procedure. In this case, I received an epidural injection, a popliteal block (a block on the nerve behind my knee), and some sedation so that I would shut up during the surgery. I did drift in and out during the procedure, and I distinctly remember hearing the doctor ask for a scalpel, then ask about his drill. I mostly remember not really caring.

recovering from talus surgery 

I spent an hour or so in a shared recovery room looking to my left, right, and across at the other patients. I’d had a relatively uninvasive procedure and hoped they were so lucky. I saw one woman wheeled in unconscious. She looked to be in terrible shape, but I realized she was still out. I heard faint muttering from the nurses of a masectomy. I couldn’t help but feel terrible for this woman and sincerely hoped she’d make a full recovery. I later learned that Jen had been in the waiting room conversing with two women. These were the same two we encountered at 5:30 am and had them witness my living will; I was so rushed to get all my paperwork signed, I’d barely had a chance to read any of it, nor to share more than the most basic smalltalk with these two who were signing a document that said the hospital must legally deprive me of food and water should I fall into a persistent vegetative state.

Jen had talked with these two at great length. She said their mother was back in the hospital for treatment of cancer that had spread into her lungs. I mentioned that I’d heard something about a masectomy, and Jen confirmed that the woman had fought breast cancer and was now seeing a relapse. How terrible I now felt. These two women had been so seemingly concerned when I told them I was in for ankle surgery. How foolish I now felt.

The hospital staff was excellent, and I was finally moved to a room. Our nurse was great, and it turned out her husband was a local cyclist for a rival team. We talked at length about healthcare, cycling, hobbies, and I received more than one lecture on how to and how not to rehab my ankle.  There was also a list of criteria I’d have to meet before going home, including having the epidural wear off so that I could bear weight on my other leg, as well as demonstrating the ability to eat and pee. 

beef stew 
I opted for the “surprise” plate and requested no red meat. They sent beef stew.

I talked quite a bit with the nurse while Jen ran out to get Percoset, aspirin, and some gas. Our nurse is a traveling nurse like my friend Erick, meaning she can pretty much get a job in any city. She’s on for three 12 hour days and then off for 4. She has a 2 year old and a husband who is recovering from being hit by an SUV. She went into nursing because she loves people, which was clear to me. I’d told her how I thought I received excellent care from all the physicians, who were no doubt experts in their field. But I realized that I really couldn’t have ever been one, because they don’t have the time to spend more than a few minutes with their patients.