|Emergency room x-ray of my comminuted left clavicle|
I picked myself up, initially hoping that the clavicle was intact but soon realizing that that was only wishful thinking helped along by the sudden super-dose of adrenaline that our bodies produce in such a situation. A Good Samaritan in a pickup who happened to see me going down stopped and transported me home. I somehow wiggled myself out of my cycling kit (believe it or not, neither shirt nor bibs are damaged--the helmet of course is toast), gathered my insurance card, ID, and VISA, and then was driven to the Emergency Room by my neighbor, Janet. Since she had some urgent business to attend to I told her to just drop me off. Luckily, there wasn't any pain, well, not really bad pain.
|The elbow was my major point of contact with the asphalt|
The next day, I posted my x-ray on Facebook, asking my friends for input. The response was overwhelming. Man, it seems that everybody has had experience with broken clavicles; the top two places are occupied by longtime friends who have had six (three bike related and three during karate) and eight (two of them surgically repaired; all bike-related) fractures, respectively. Wow! General consensus among amateurs and those in the healthcare field was that this break would never properly heal by itself and that I should consult an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible. Easier said than done as the accident had happened on Friday at about 1 p.m., and over the weekend all orthos are playing. Thanks to my cardiologist buddy I was able to get an appointment right after the weekend.
|The TSA will have to "wand" yet another area of my body ...|
And so I have been spending the past two weeks trying to mend. I am so glad that I had surgery. For a week now I have been able to fend for myself, being able to take showers and get dressed and undressed and cooking for myself. During the first week, Janet, who lives two doors down the street, was at home and she invited me over for nightly dinners and helped me with all of those "life tasks." She left for a vacation a week ago and will return tomorrow. I owe her big time.
|Two days after surgery|
Obviously, I had to cancel my trip to Europe, and my bicycle trip to the Argentinian wine country in November dissolved into thin air as well. Luckily for me, American Airlines and United as well as various hotels and a car rental company where we had prepaid our car in Croatia all issued full refunds, without change fees or other hurdles. Only our return flight from Dubrovnik on Transavia could not be refunded, and we lost about $200--it could have been so much more expensive! I would have preferred not to spend my cash on medical bills, but thanks to a supplementary accident insurance that impact will be softened a little. Overall, everything could have been so much worse! Still, did I really have to pick up that chipotle that day?
|Two weeks after surgery--internal stitching! Cool!|