Well the Geelong Club Tour didn't go to plan. We had a nice place booked in Geelong for the weekend, enjoyed some evil Nando's for dinner Friday night, and we were looking forward to dinner on Saturday night with a few of the guys after some hard racing. Stage 3 was almost at our front door, I was planning on rolling out of the door with the number pinned on ready to race!
Stage 1: After a number of attacks in the first laps that got reeled in, I was 2nd in the first intermediate sprint after a rider was relegated for crossing to the wrong side of the road. For the second intermediate sprint I was up the front, but got swamped by four or five riders. Only having one side of the road I couldn't contest so I sat safely on the middle of the road and hung on. Some genius behind me was also boxed in and had no clear run at the sprint decided to cross to the wrong side of the road (he overtook me on the right). The rider to my left saw this move and went to jump on this guys wheel.... in the process he chopped my front wheel out from under me... and at 55km/h I had my arse handed to me.
So that's the story in short. Next up - the response from the other competitors, Geelong CC marshals and race supporters was amazing. A few other riders came down but were off the road, I was sprawled somewhere near the center line and unable to move. In no time at all 000 was called, ambo on its way, my neck/spine was supported, and I was comfortable, given the circumstances. I could feel my left collar bone was snapped. I thought I'd dislocated my leg as the inner part of my left leg was in an arse load of pain and I couldn't move it. A few riders stopped to help out, and were later given bunch time (that was a great thing to do, thanks), people first, racing second. This is what I like about club level racing. Shaun Gilbert, Steve Young, Lindsay Tunbridge, Von and a few others made sure I was alive, breathing, and able to ask about how my bike looked. The ambo arrived in about 22mins and I was soon on the good stuff! The morphine doesn't take away the pain, but it takes the shock response away from the body.
So instead of smashing the stage 2 time trial (my main objective for the weekend) I was smashed up and getting treated to multiple X-Rays and pelvic CT scans. Result: Left collar bone clean snapped in half and a fractured left pubic ramus in two places. The collar bone wasn't much of a problem, bolt it together.... but the pelvis isn't so straight forward. The first Doc told me I could weight bear on my left leg as the break was below the hip joint, he had me standing up and trying to walk.... trying... and going nowhere, weight bearing was fine but the adductor muscles that were connected to/through that area had other ideas. Back into the hospital bed, I was there for a few nights......
That night I had phone calls from both Shaun (Geelong CC) and Lindsay (Kosdown) making sure I was being looked after and offering to help in any way they could. Thanks guys. Von even managed to sneak in Steve Young, his Mrs and son, and Stu and Matilda Vaughan. It was good having them drop past for a chat... not sure what I was chatting about.. it was all fuzz.
The orthopedic surgeon was happy to operate on my collar bone the next day so I had to fast from 12am that night. The nurses on duty thought I should just keep fasting... so every time I was hungry I asked for more pain killers. Not ideal. At 11pm there was a shift change and I talked the new nurse into getting me some food. She found three plates of sandwiches, two serves of ice cream, jelly, biscuits, and she had even made me a Milo and milk. It may have been shitty hospital food - but this was the best meal I have ever tasted! Von was back at the apartment we had for the weekend and was happy to receive my "I HAVE FOOD" message with an attached photo of my feast:
Clavicle surgery was done on the Sunday, no issues. I love general anesthetic. Drugs go in, out to sleep, wake up later to confusing sounds of beeps and machines not knowing what the hell just happened. By Sunday night I just wanted to go home..... but a few attempts at standing up and walking were unsuccessful. By Monday I was standing and the physio had me shuffling with a single arm walking stick thing. A pair of crutches would have been perfect but my left arm was out of action. He needed to see me walk at least 10 meters and tackle some stairs before he gave me the OK to go home. Pumped up on more drugs I put on a great show for him.... I was moving around, slowly. Shift change and nurse "get shit done" was on duty. He was like Dr Karl - knew his stuff, and wanted me out the door! He went about getting me sorted and within the hour I was heading home with a swag of painkillers. Maybe a little too soon. The 49 stairs at home were a hurdle (I posted a descriptive Facebook status on this), and the first night at home was nothing short of utter hell.
My new pet caterpillar:
Week one at home: Shitty sleep, lots of pain, lots of sleeping. Home delivered banana bread and my work laptop was a highlight (and the mac has been on my lap ever since). Von's mum went into food over-drive and dropped in a weeks worth of food for us - awesome! Lots of visitors and phone calls to keep me entertained, it was good to catch up with Jono Lovelock (who's also done his pelvis not long ago) before he flew out to Europe for four months racing. He put me onto all the best people to get me back on track.
Week two: See week one.... Week three: See week two... The collar bone is going well, my hip is still giving me major issues. I'm walking, slowly, with a fair amount of pain. The left adductors are the issue. These muscles seem to be used for three things: walking, sneezing, and turning over in bed... all these hurt like hell. It is getting better on a weekly, not a daily basis. The follow-ups with the specialists have all been positive. The common response being, "time, it will heal in time". I have physio this week where I should get a better idea about recovery time and what I can and can't do. I've been more mobile in the past two weeks, we even got up to Ballarat for the long weekend.
So a long road ahead, no race updates for a while, so I might post on my progress over the next few weeks. A big thanks to everyone, Geelong CC, people who have emailed, called, Facebook'ed, Twittered, dropped around. And most of all to Von - an amazing person - who has been on carers leave and working from home for the last four weeks, feeding me painkillers (to shut me up), and sorting out the paperwork and specialists. Best live-in nurse ever! ;)