It’s been a year since the bike accident at Ironman Arizona. A lot of things have happened and a lot has stayed the same. The biggest change has been learning about how much I depend on and take for granted my body and being able to move when and how I wanted. I went from being very confident to scared in a matter of seconds. My injury was very minor in comparison to what a lot of other people have had to deal with. I was lucky in that I was able to recover fully and can function normally again. It could have been very different and I know that.
To be able to move forward I need to look back at last year and process through the last year. This will be a long post and is more for my personal needs than anything else.
A year ago, I was having a great day at IMAZ at mile 80 on the bike when I went through a wet corner and my wheel came out from under the bike and I landed on my left side. I looked at my bloody and numb hands and thought- I wonder if I can ride 32 more miles this way. Most of the skin was gone from my palms and I didn’t know that I had broken fingers at that time. The policeman came and tried to lift me up so I could get out of the intersection. When I tried to put pressure on my left leg it hurt really bad. I told them to put me down and I sat back in the intersection with other racers riding around me. I finally told them that I could scoot out of the intersection on my butt and then did so to get out of the way. It was raining and I was very cold and going into shock at this point. The policeman took off his jacket and covered my head and shoulders with it while I waited for the ambulance. Then the Ironman staff were there and they started asking the can you continue with the race questions? Are you sure you want to quit? You know if you stop you can’t finish the race and won’t be an Ironman. At that point I was pretty sure as my hands were useless and not going to be able to shift gears and my hip hurt really bad. I’ve done several other Ironman races and the “being an Ironman” thing isn’t important to me anymore.I told them I was sure and they put me in the ambulance and took me to the hospital. On the ride over I just remember how bad my hip hurt and had them prop pillows under it. I was also shaking and dripping blood every where.
Meanwhile Brian and Buffy were just sitting down for a nice lunch in Tempe. Brian later told me that he’d seen my splits not changing on the Ironman tracker and knew something was wrong. They’d just ordered lunch when I called from the hospital. I told Brian what had happened and he asked me about how the bike was. I had no idea how the bike was nor did I care at that point. Later when I asked the nurse why it was taking my husband so long to get to the hospital she said he probably figured I was okay when I started yelling and and cussing at him when he asked about the bike that I was okay.
After the accident we flew home and I went back to work heavily bandaged and walking without crutches. My hip hurt but it was manageable with pain medication. I took my post two weeks of recover and also went to visit Chandler in San Jose for Thanksgiving. When it was time to try running I was unable to get 1/8 of a mile before knowing something was very very wrong. I knew that my hip wasn’t broken from the x-rays taken in the ER. I turned into Dr. Google and started researching what could be wrong.
I sent my coach this email-
Steve, Do you know or coach anyone who has
torn their labrum/FAI and had
No. I’m going to suggest staying off the Internet and wait until
your doctor gives you a diagnosis.
On Dec 7, 2015 6:20 AM
The diagnosis and what happened next can be found over the last year on my blog. After several contrast MRI’s and doctor visits we learned that my labrum was torn and would require surgery.
Music is something that I’ve always used to express my feelings when I couldn’t find the right words. Also if you haven’t already noticed writing isn’t exactly my strength.
The entire month of December after my diagnosis was spent feeling like I was living in a nightmare. I was barely functioning at work and very depressed. I was also in a lot of pain and came home every day and went to bed at 5. When your labrum is torn it throws off everything in your entire body. Add in trying to teach PE to that and just intensifies the pain.
I’m normally a very upbeat and positive person but the possibility that I would never be able to run or move normally let alone participate in races was more than I could handle at the time. I also had no idea how I would be able to continue to work until I was able to get surgery or if the surgery wasn’t successful. Everything that I read on the internet was basically a nightmare story of labrum/FAI surgery failures and ruined lives. The only good thing about reading all of those posts was they brought out how important it was having an expert in the field perform the surgery.
The month of December was spent feeling like this:
Here are some songs that were important to me at different times of the year. I think they do a good job of expressing my feelings. Surprisingly the Foo Fighters are pretty prominent in my year.
January- Starting the new year and going into surgery
Stay tuned for PART 2 in a few days as I wrap up 2016.