On May 1, I woke up in a cranky mood. It was one day until Joey’s birthday and a week until Mother’s Day and I still had some shopping to do. I was concerned about what to get for Mother’s Day because I couldn’t find exactly what my mom wanted and I was afraid that she would be disappointed. We were also two weeks away from going to Laughlin and spending the weekend on Lake Mohave and I had yet to start looking for a bikini. If I thought I was cranky before, I had no idea that by 6:00 p.m. that night, I would be puking in a park and holding my broken elbow up for support.
In an effort to increase our fitness, Joey and I started bike riding again. It had been about three years since we’ve gone on a ride. In previous years, I was so out of shape that whenever I did get on my bike, my heart rate would increase and I would feel dizzy and puke immediately. It never failed. But I had been building up my strength, working on my fitness for months, at first by walking, and then by doing Zumba at home, that I felt like it was time to try again. And it felt wonderful. I was able to ride down the street with the wind blowing on my face and no butterflies in my stomach.
While driving up the bike lane about a mile from our home, we passed a large park. It looked much nicer than the one closest to us and Joey asked if I wanted to check it out. I was so excited to see if there were any trails for us to explore. Joey rode up the driveway and I followed him, only my front wheel caught on the lip of the ramp and my bike took me down. There was nothing I could do. From the time my brain processed the fall to my impact with the asphalt, I could see myself falling and thinking, “Oh no!” It was all in slow motion.
When I sat up, I could see my leg was scraped. My right arm from my wrist to my elbow hurt immensely. The feeling of dizziness was rising once again and I could feel my stomach turning.
“I think I’m going to puke,” I told Joey.
“No you’re not going to puke.”
But it was too late. I sat down and drank my water to help with the nausea.
I begged Joey not to take me to Urgent Care because I didn’t think I could afford it. I’ve had problems in my right arm for years. When I was 15, a boy at school wanted to show me his “cool ninja moves” and popped my elbow out of place. I’ve had tendonitis for the last five years, so to me, it was possible that I just upset my arm. I didn’t want to believe it was broken and I didn’t want to ruin Joey’s birthday.
Joey asked if I could ride my bike home and I knew that I could. With one hand grasping the left handlebar, we rode back to the house. I spent the evening icing and elevating my arm. I spent the night in pain and had a difficult time sleeping. When I got up the next morning to get ready for work and wish Joey a happy birthday, I was in so much pain that I puked again.
Joey had to spend his birthday with me in Urgent Care, going from the doctor’s office to X-rays and back to find out if I had actually broken anything. I had fractured my radial head, the bone that helps you flip your wrist and turn your arm over. I was put in a soft cast and scheduled to have it taken off that Friday. We we were there for about three hours total. I hadn’t taken any medicine because I didn’t want to affect the appearance of my injury or skew any test results and at this point I felt near tears with pain.
The last four weeks have been a challenge. I’ve had to learn to eat left-handed, type only left-handed, actually do EVERYTHING left-handed because until recently, I couldn’t turn my right wrist to do anything. Even now I’m experiencing some pain in the healing process. I’ve had to make adjustments to my temporary lifestyle. No more Zumba or bike riding until I’m 100 percent. I wasn’t even able to go on vacation because I needed to rest my arm.
From this experience, I realized there are things that are just not worth getting cranky over. Next time, I’ll be more careful riding up a driveway. In the meantime, I’ll remind myself that if I have all of my bones in working condition, then it’s a good day.