Friday, October 31, 2008

The Unbearable Lightness of Titanium, or, Eat My Dust

The last time I went to see Dr. Merkhottie, I asked for pictures of my collarbone, before and after, and he intuitively understood that I needed it in order to show the little people just how much I’ve been through, so that they could marvel and seek to emulate the impossible. So they threw them on a disc for me, and though the pictures needed a special program to open, I discovered just how great it is to have friends who are doctors since Jillian managed to get them open. And I would like to note here that Jillian, a doctor may I remind you, had the following to say about my pictures: “Wow, I’ve never seen a break like that before – that’s fierce! I’m surprised there wasn’t muscle or soft tissue damage – or maybe there was and you being you are just sucking it up. Very impressive. You are a total rock star.”

Okay, so I paraphrase just a wee bit, but you get the gist of it.

But before I post those pictures, I also found on my camera the following picture of me, Jillian and Deanna the morning of the Dairyland Dare. Clearly we have no idea of the total chaos that’s in store for us.

And then there are the collarbone photos:

Dr. Merkhottie left one of those perpendicular shards as apparently it was too hard to remove, and of course I trust his genius. I look at this picture of the before and I think wow, they sure gave me some good drugs. And I realize that if one is ever going to be in a bad bike crash, make sure you get a concussion at the same time. Because seriously, if there was major pain at the time or afterwards, I don’t remember it at all. In fact, except for that last week before surgery when the achiness was keeping me up at night, the collarbone actually wasn’t too bad. Of course, the oxycontin could have had something to do with that.

The thing that’s great about having a broken collarbone and the ensuing scar is that now for all the guys who are too intimidated to speak to me at bike rides and triathlons and such, because they don’t know what to say or even where to begin, well, they’ll have an automatic opening. Instead of the usual “oh, you’re that really witty person, the charming one, so athletically gifted which is obvious by even looking at you from a distance, and so practically perfect in every way, and and and and..... aaaaaaaaAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" And then they run off screaming –it’s been known to happen, people. The intimidation factor is HUGE. But now? A jaunty “hey, cool scar, how’d you break your collarbone?” will suffice, because then I get to talk about the horrific crash and the months of rehab, and yet how even in the face of that, here I am, doing the Dairyland Dare again, not the least bit afraid of going screamingly fast down any big hills, no way, because that’s just the kind of person I am.

Of course, I may “accidentally” forget to mention that I don’t remember the crash AT ALL, and so being scared of descending wouldn’t make much sense. Not sure how that part would even be relevant though.

Deanna has told me in so many words that she’s scared of the additional speed my new titanium collarbone will give me, so she’s upped her swimming from 6 times a week to twice a day. Poor dear. In the meantime, I continue with my dryland training regimen, which has worked so well for me in the past.

In other news, I would like to note a grave moral dilemma I faced yesterday while on my way to PT. I stopped at the 7-11 for coffee, yet when I went to grab a medium cup, as usual, I noticed that the only medium cups were bright red John McCain cups. I took one, put it down. Looked at it – WTH? They’re doing some kind of “count the vote” thing. How cute, and yet utterly stupid. I pick up the cup again, put it back. Pick up, put down. Pick up a small cup and compare the two. Nope, small won’t do. Pick up and put down the McCain cup again. Do they really only have these damn McCain cups? I walk around the counter, notice the end-of-aisle display explaining this malarkey of “vote independent! Vote Democrat! Vote Republican!” – yet even on the display, there’s only a big stack of McCain cups, nothing else left. Shit. Do I really want to pay more for a large coffee, which I don’t really need? Apparently I do, as I walked out of there with my large coffee. Is this election over yet???

In a final note, when I get to PT these days, there’s usually some kind of news or sports show on the big tvs. A minute later, by the time I’ve taken my coat off, the channel has been changed to Paula Deen – and no one would dare try to change it, as one foolish person once did. And at radiation, we have an understanding that while I’m there, it’s a Huey-Lewis-free-zone.

Life is good.


Missy said...

You go girl! Buying the large coffee is exactly what I would have done. My husband is working very hard to change my mind before Tuesday. I feel like I'm in Guantanomo Bay!

Colleen said...

While you might not remember the pain your collarbone caused you, you'll perhaps now understand why we all guffawed every time you rubbed your collarbone and said "this just doesn't feel right." This, of course, was during your teflon-memory period. We all kept saying "of course it doesn't feel right, your collarbone is sticking straight up." Sure enough, a few minutes later, you'd be rubbing it again and informing us that something wasn't quite right. The moral of the story is that if you do have a concussion in conjunction with a collarbone break, be sure you have a bunch of friends with you to remind you of all of the things you said. Hours of amusement for the whole family!