Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Warship Sank My Battleship

Is it OK to come out and look at your leg?Ok, its been 3weeks and less than a day since my fateful meeting with the Warship's deadly wake. Alright, I can't blame him, I suppose it was my fault. Oh, I guess I better explain the event for those who haven't heard through the grapevine...

So it was September 13th, around 6:30pm and I went to the fruit loop to get some training on the road bike, to train for a 40k TT that was coming up that weekend. This was the first day I had put on the aero bars, but I have trained on them before, so I was pretty comfortable. Even so, I made sure to get out of the bars on sharp turns, just to be safe. I first warmed up by riding in a big echelon. As I rode on, I was thinking of just staying in the group for the duration since they were going at a good pace. Then I saw the warship shoot by me like we were standing still. He didn't tell me he was going to be there...I of course now had to chase him down.

I caught up and said "wassup." We continued to push the pace with a few stragglers in tow at around 25-30mph. We kept pace even after one lap, then came that chicane that we have probably done about 1000+ times by now. Warship led most if not all the way, because, well, he's the Warship. Then we got to the turn and for some unexplainable reason he lost control. In an instant, he hit the deck and I was right behind him, so I was scrambling for an emergency bail out. It didn't show its face. In my attempts to avoid his yard sale, I ran off the road and next thing I know I was heading straight for one of the wooden bollards that line the entire fruit loop course. Whack! For the next several seconds I was rolling in the sand, screaming unrepeatable explitives and asking Warship "why?!" I was in serious pain, so the first thing that came to mind was, "I broke my leg." I quickly tested it to see if this was the case, and thankfully my leg was moving properly despite the blinding pain. Several nice cyclists came over to check on me, making sure I hadn't hit my head and that I was ok. I extracted the lifeflight phone and called Mo to have her pick me up. She asked what happened and I retorted, "just come and pick me up and I'll tell you then." Apparently she had disobeyed every traffic law known to get to the park.

Warship was standing, so I figured he was ok. I then checked on the bike. It surprisingly looked like it fared the best amongst the 4 of us--Warship's ride seemed to be battered in the stays. Wasrship himself had some serious road rash everywhere, but thankfully he had not broken or bruised anything...taking a bath must have been unbearable, but at least he was able to walk away. I on the other hand had obvious problems. My leg was tight and there was some instability in my knee. I was praying to God at this point, not a torn ligament. I was able to ride back to the parking lot, but could not seat my left foot into my pedal as my thigh was too tight. It had obviously sustained a direct impact and the internal bleeding was filling up every cavern of sinousy leg.

I somehow got into the car and Mo drove me back to the house so that we could quickly get it elevated and iced. I was actually very good this time and didn't wait to ice it or anything. We pulled out my circulating icing machine and put it on my leg where it was obviously swelling up. I then took a quick nap. After a short time I woke up to unbelievable pain. My leg had ballooned to twice its normal size--it was nasty-looking. We were now in scramble-mode...it was obvious that I needed to get to the emergency room now. We called Iris then headed over to St. Luke's minor emergency room off of San Felipe. Poor Mo had to carry my ass out of bed and into the car--my leg did not want to bend anymore. In my zealousness to pray for no ligament injury, I forgot "please not a debilitating thigh hematoma." We got to the hospital and after some waiting, we took some x-rays. The doc looked at them and was afraid that I would suffer from "compartment syndrome", which is basically the swelling impacting the nerves and muscles through my leg and thus causing paralysis and cell death. Sounded pretty serious, so he forwarded me to St. Luke's main emergency room where they would be able to better diagnose it. Nice, more waiting. At least they sent me away with an injection of morphine to calm the pain a bit.

It was probably 3-4am by now and they didn't seem to think my leg was an emergency. Man, I would have hated to think what would have happened if it was compartment syndrome. One of the nurses finally saw me and put me in a room, where I pretty much took a nap waiting for the doctor. A doctor, not the one I was sent over to see, comes in and looks at my leg and basically says its not compartment syndrome. He pretty much acted like all was fine and in 5mins, my visit with him was over. Mo came back in time for the final diagnosis from a food run--it was 5am and we had not eaten dinner. They sent us home with a trifecta of drugs, but no real concrete advice on what to do next, except rest. We finally got home and I was obviously not going to make it into work, so Mo called in sick for me. Apparently word spread fast and later that day I had several emails from co-workers and a call from my supervisor wishing me well. That is what I love about Stress--that definitely wasn't going to happen at Exxon. Anyway, I was laid up for the rest of the day while I contemplated Nationals. Man, it figures. My only goal race for this year and a little over a month away from it I get into a major accident.

I'm not impressed--its just a flesh woundI wasn't going to just sit on this injury, so I called into Kelsey Sebold for Dr. Varner, someone I had seen before for my ankle issues. But unfortunately he was just a foot specialist. So they forwarded me to a doctor at their Fort Bend branch. Almost a week later I see him and he takes a quick look at me and basically says that I need to immobilize it for 4 weeks. No motion at all. WTF. That's when I realized that my doc of old, Dr. Braunreiter, was in the same area. That's when I decided to get a second opinion. I called him and he was very happy to hear from me, which was good. This was Thursday or Friday, so I had to see him the next week, which would make it 2wks post-accident. I was starting to decend into a grand funk as time was running out for me without a firm diagnosis. In an attempt to cheer me up, Mo took me test-driving on Saturday as we desperately needed another car, especially if I was gonna have to go through physical therapy. We started at Audi, with the Q7. Very nice! It is a bit big and the biggest turn off was that the back wasn't tall enough to fit my bikes in, which is one of the reasons I wanted an SUV. So, even with the sweet ride, as if I was in the A4, it didn't look good for the Q7. We moved on to Volkswagen, for the Touareg. Mo was apprehensive since she had not heard anything about it. We went in there and was happily to find out it had almost all the same features as the Q7 except that they were standard and it was cheaper. One of the coolest features is the keyless entry and the keyless start--push button! That was it. I was sold. We took home T-Reg that same day. I was happy again.

Now Monday. It was a good visit with Braunreiter, catching up, and he did suspect a sprained MCL and a bad hematoma in the thigh. He wanted an MRI to see exactly what was going on, as there is usually some kind of collateral damage when it comes to ligaments (eg, meniscus tears). So the next day I had to sit in the tube for about an hour. That was fun--I forgot how loud those things are!

Nice sliceThen came the waiting, again. It seemed to take the films forever to make it to Dr. Braunreiter's office and I pretty much called everyday until Friday. In an effort to cheer me up again, Mo took me iPOD shopping. I can't believe it has taken me this long to get on the bandwagon--welcome to the 90s, Kenny. While walking through the Galleria, Braunreiter calls and lays it down for me. He doesn't see any damage in my knee, just some residual fluid from my leg swelling. He is now more concerned with the hematoma and tells me he is going to consult his good friend, Dr. Lintner, to see what he thinks about it. Happy that there was no ligament damage, I went on to buy the iPOD and an adapter for T-Reg. Unfortunately, my suspicion about an FM-transmitter revealed itself Saturday morning as we drove to REI to check out the garage sale and get a roof rack for T-Reg--the static gets unbearable for me. So, we are now planning to hardwire my iPOD using the iDrive+Play system. Will let you know how that goes...Saturday, with Mo getting tired of my mopey ass, she commands that we drive over to Rocky Hill to support HART teams at the Terra Firma race. I go apprehensively, but it turned out to be a good decision as it was enjoyable to see everyone again after my 3wk sebbaticle. Unfortunately, there was a very bad injury--Jill had taken a fall on the bike and broke her ankle. Again, I was reminded that it could be worse for me--she has no choice for Nationals. She was in a cast. Unbelieveable. After that, I was grateful and vowed not to take my luck for granted.

T-Reg quickly gets put into actionMonday rolls around, almost 3weeks after the accident, and Braunreiter says he wants me to see Lintner. He is now thinking it needs to be drained, which would mean zero chance for me to race Nationals. I of course would defer to the 5th (and 6th) doctor in the series to see what he (they) thought. First came his understudy, who liked my Suunto T6. Then Lintner came in with my films. He said we had options: 1) draining (no Nationals); 2) waiting (slim chance of Nationals). Of course you know what direction to which I leaned. He actually wanted more MRIs done, but I said screw that. No more waiting. I tried going swimming that day, but the pool was out of order. So the next day I changed my 24hrfitness membership to everyday and started the path back. I did weights on my leg, to counteract the atrophy that had engulfed my thigh and calf and then did some cardio work on the bike. Pretty good. Yesterday, pretty much the same thing--again good. Later that night I decided to roll the dice and ran down Heights blvd on the trail. It was good for the most part, with a little pain, but the bad part was that I had just had a full dinner, so that wasn't sitting well. I had to stop a couple blocks before the finish, but was able to start up again, painfully. I did 2 miles, which is pretty good considering. Next week is when I plan to go full bore and try to get back on the bike.

So that's pretty much it. I will keep you up to date on my progress as the days tick on, ever closer to Nationals. I'm still optimistic, but there were some shaky days where I wasn't sure I would be able to hold it all together. For those who called or emailed me, thanks and don't take my unresponsiveness for lack of gratitude. Its just that going from working out pretty much everyday to not at a lick gets to you. If all goes well, I'll see y'all out at training sometime next week...


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