What Went Wrong

I broke my arm on June 22 along with my collarbone. It was gory enough to keep me sidelined from blogging and whatever else I would have been able to do this summer. The arm break required surgery in early July which seemed to go well. I slept through it. The collarbone, well there is nothing that can be done besides let it heal itself. New bone forms to connect the collar bone to wherever it ended up. I found out from a friend that’s called remodeling.**

Not that grate!

Not that grate!

On a new bike heading down the hills of Tewilliger Blvd around the VA hospital, I clipped the edge of a sewer grate in the bike route. I was trying to get around it but I didn’t make it. I went head first into the asphalt managing to turn my head in time to bear the brunt of the fall on my shoulder. My numb, dead left arm and a knot on my collarbone were the result.

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The kid is all right.

After the crash, I got up and wanted to be all right but I but I’m no Chuck Norris. There had been no cars or joggers around when it happened but then a line of cars materialized, slowed down and a driver spotted me hunched over sitting next to my bike. He could tell I needed help. I confirmed this. “I need to go to urgent care,” I said looking up at him. This stranger, who later became known as Scott, was willing and able, with a bike rack on his car, to take me and the bike.

The bike was fine. We had to take the wheel off to get it home.

The bike was fine. We had to take the wheel off to get it home.

Scott was one of many people who have helped me along the way to recovery. Whether it’s been doctors, nurses, X-Ray technicians, occupational therapists, friends offering encouragement and food, calls from my parents and brothers or other family members delivering jelly beans, the attention has been humbling. An accident with a two to three month recovery time is a drop in the bucket compared to other accidents I read about: A bicyclist in a head on crash with a car that ended up in a coma and Bono from U2 whose bike accident in Central Park required two surgeries. He also sustained eye socket damage (glasses failure?) and a mucked up finger that might threaten his guitar playing abilities.


Nothing calms pre surgery nerves like gift shop displays.

View from my hospital room, seeing the flag was much appreciated.

The view from my hospital room. The flag inspired me.

The accident taught me that I should never have taken for granted a fully functioning left arm and collarbone, whatever a collarbone actually does. I had a faint memory of reading about the dangers of grates. Now I was living proof. Here’s a bit of advice I figured out after the pain killer fog lifted. If you’re flipping on your bike make it a full flip.

Recently I unearthed the manual from my new bike. It was covered with warning signs and urgent pleas to read it before riding the bike which I neglected to do. It had me recalling that profane acronym RTFM. I’m not sure it if it mentions bike flips or sewer grate hazards. It might be time for me to contribute a chapter.

**Shout out to Mike Blau, who I thought could have been pulling my leg about my collarbone remodeling. (Too much kitchen remodeling on the brain.) I’ve yet to research it but since he’s practically a Rocket Scientist, I’m sure he knows his stuff.

Back next week with the long awaited follow up to my Pole Art piece.


Jelly beans having healing properties.


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