did you know that when God made us he put an ear in our gut? some may call it intuition, some may call it e.s.p, others may call it a "knowing" that is not evidenced by sight, but can sure be felt. it hasn't happened much in my life, or at least not to such a degree that it's memorable to me. until the evening of october 11, 2012, that's right, 10-11-12.
hubby has started working out. he's not happy with his shape. i offer endless emotional support, like, "hey, i like round." he hates walking, even more than running. he thinks he's too old for raquetball or basketball, but the boy's luvin' his golf. he's getting used to the courses around here. back home they were shorter and easier to walk. he dropped over 20 pounds over 6 months just by walking the courses. here, the courses are much longer and the holes are alot farther apart so he doesn't walk as much, though he will walk when he's by himself.
in an effort to shake up his exercise routine, hubby went out for a bicycle ride after work instead of working out on the machine of torture (some call it a bowflex). he donned his (my) helmet and headed out on his (my) bike.
'long about 6:15 i glance out the window and see that's it getting darker. he's been gone about 45 minutes. those two things sniffed of trouble. there's the first tug of my "inner ear", the one in my gut. i went out to the driveway to watch for him, you know, so i could scold him for being out on a bike at dusk. i thought maybe i should go look for him. but then i thought that when i'm turning left, he'll be turning right and we'll never catch up to each other. i waited about 5 minutes, but, patience not being one of my strong suits, i went back in to the house to call him.
when i got into the house his phone was ringing and i thought, "great, he didn't take his phone". i never answer his cell. if they're calling for me, they'll call me on my cell. i glanced at the phone and saw it was our area code. there was the second tug at my "inner ear" that said, "answer it - it's dark, he's on a bike, and he's been gone over 45 minutes." not knowing how to work his phone slowed the process down quite a bit and, of course, i missed the call. what seemed like an hour later, i was able to figure out how to check his voicemail. the message was a woman's voice saying her name, then saying she was calling for me, and that hubby had told her to call me. while it was trying to listen, the phone started ringing again and i couldn't understand the rest of the message and lost focus because now i was trying to figure out how to answer the new incoming call, also with our area code. now i'm in full-on panic mode. i'm pressing all of the buttons yelling "hello? hello?" until someone finally says hello back.
it was a social worker from our local hospital, the hospital my husband works at. that's right, he was now a guest in his own emergency room. in my pre-hyperventilating state i asked two questions: have you seen him and does he look ok? she answered "yes" to both questions. ok, so he's not dead and i can assume road rash hasn't taken his face off.
i imagine it's the same for everyone: in an emergency everyone and everything is moving so slowly and you are the only one moving at lightening speed. the drive to the hospital took for--freakin'--evuuurrr. i got in my car at 6:45 and got to the hospital at 6:55, okay 10 minutes, with red lights, so maybe not forever, but a frustratingly long time. the whole time i'm driving to the hospital i'm just hoping the person responsible for this damage to my man is there so i can let the sh--t fly. the can o' whoop is about to open all over your ugly as--. oh yeah, it's f--kin' on, b. i'm gonna tear you a new one. in fact, you'll be thankful you're already at the hospital dawg. and i'm gonna be your insurance company's worst nightmare.........oh yeah, it is soooo on. i go blazin' in to the emergency room with both barrels out.
omg, he was so small on that big ol' hospital bed, and all those tubes and hoses everywhere, and that boy was doped up! i approached him very carefully not knowing exactly what hurt and bent over and kissed him softly on his forehead. i glanced over him quickly to see if anything was missing or out of place. except for a little road rash on his elbow and knee, he didn't look bad at all. wow, they really treat their employees well -- lots of dope for a boom-bee on the elbow, wonder what they do if they see blood?
he had eyelids at half mast and a little squeaky voice that came out of him very slowly. "hi honey", he squeaks out, the words sounded like they were coming out with fuzz on them. "i zo zorry i di' diss." oh my gosh, he's apologizing for getting hurt.
at least i think that's what he said.
at least i think that's what he said.
"don't apologize honey," i softly whispered in his ear, "it was an accident". i wanted to hug him, he was so dopey and cute. and alive.
"it was zo ztooopit." his eyes were drifting back and forth and i could tell he was recalling it in his mind's eye.
"that's ok, honey. you got hurt, but you're going to be ok now." i glanced around the room, looking for police, e.m.t., a doctor, someone of authority. i wanted them to point out the dead man walking that did this to my husband. i noticed we were next to a room that had very low lighting, filled with computers. there were men in there quietly talking, doing paperwork, and working on the computers. one turned around and i saw a badge. "okay", i thought, "there they are. they're getting things organized and are going to come in here and explain what happened. i squinted my eyes, looking fervently for someone in handcuffs.
whispering in his ear i asked, "what happened?"
he got a dopey smile on his face and said, "i fell uf da bike."
"what?" i asked.
"i went ova da 'bars and fell uf da bike and landed in da streeeed."
"what? i asked.
" i'z goin' down a hill and tried to go around a speeeed bum and hit some dry leeefs. an' i over currectid an' crashed."
the crickets were deafening at this point.
the crickets were deafening at this point.
"were you hit or bumped by a car? i asked slowly.
"no." he said, smiling his dopey smile, "it wuz jus' me bein' ztooopit."
i glanced around again, realizing no one was coming in to explain anything to me. it was just an accident. no bus, no car, no vicious dog attack, just my husband and gravity. i slowly holstered my emotional weapons and stood down.
a few moments later a nurse came by to check in his vital signs. she was carrying a cup of water and a straw as the drugs were making his tongue very thick and fuzzy.
"was he hit by a car?" i asked the nurse, hoping she knew the answer because i needed an explanation right then.
she gave her best sympathetic smile, the kind you give to someone right before you say " oh, bless his heart", which is what we say back home. it means "forgive them, they're an idiot". "no", she said. "apparently it was just the road that came up to greet him." again with the smile.
it seems it was just as he said. he was flying down a hill in our subdivision and intended to avoid the speed bump by going between the speed bump and the curb, but the tires hit some dried leaves in the gutter. he lost control, over-corrected and went over the handlebars. end of story.
there had been many witnesses on the street walking their dogs and jogging. one person was a nurse and stayed with hubby until the ambulance came, which was a stone's throw from the scene. he had just passed the driveway of the firestation.
hubby spent 4 days in the intensive care unit. you'd think he'd been dropped from the sky: 7 broken ribs, broken collar bone, punctured lung, concussion.
it's been three weeks since that fateful evening. he's still on pain meds. new xrays show the lung is in good repair. the collar bone looks nasty, but the doc says it looks good. if you say so. he'll probably be able to return to work in about a week, right about when the shortterm disability would have kicked in. it's amazing how fast you can blast through accumulated time-off. he won't be earning a paycheck for about two weeks. the good news? looks like we've met our deductible.
but the best news is that he's alive. he's going to be okay. look at this picture below. if he hadn't been wearing his helmet, this story would have had a different ending.
the damage to the helmet was caused by him sommersaulting over his handlebars and landing in the middle of the street square on the back of his head. the impact tore off about 20% of his helmet.
a seemingly simple ride around the block. you just never know. WEAR YOUR HELMT AT ALL TIMES. it will always be the "ztooopit" stuff that gets you first.
update: went back to work february 12, 2013. this boy was hurt.
ambulance bill - $2,289, hospital bill - $79,665, husband living and breathing - priceless.