Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bike Accident

Monday morning found me in the dentist's chair for the fourth time this year. "You look like one of those Tour de France guys," said Dr. Michelangelo. It wasn't a compliment on my cycling ability.

The day before, I was riding my bike and went to enter the driveway of the grocery store. The next thing I knew, my face hit the pavement. I'm still wearing cement in a few of my teeth. A little girl and her father asked me if I was OK. We talked for a moment, and the little girl said, "Just walk your bike home. I fall down on my bike all the time, and that's what I do." I took her advice.

I have a minor radial fracture in my arm and a fractured tooth. The arm should heal in a few weeks. Meantime, friends and neighbors are opening cans, bringing me things I need, and offering to water the yard. Strangers helped me pull a movie out of the Redbox machine and open a bottle of children's Alleve. A cosmetology student washed my hair, which wasn't damaged in the accident. I've been applying coconut oil to my scrapes and rinsing my mouth with it to prevent infection. (See this and this.) The thing that has hurt most has actually been the tetanus shot.
Even an explosion couldn't damage Mello's awesome hair.(1)
I was worried that the orthopedic doctor was going to take a dozen x-rays, run a lot of tests, and prescribe extensive surgery. When I saw him today, he shook my fingers, and having already looked at the x-ray I brought from the urgent care center, said, "You fave a minor radial fracture. It should heal quickly. Come back and see me in two weeks." He explained a little more and got rid of my splint, but that was about it.

My teeth are the bigger problem. The fractured one can't be salvaged, but the other two beside it that were knocked loose just need to heal and have some orthodontic work. The displacement of the canine keeps me from being able to chew, so I've been eating sanguinacchio and bone marrow tomato soup. (Imagine an angry chef wielding a big knife--that was like me chopping vegetables.) I find I prefer the sanguinacchio as a warm pudding, without the xanthan gum. On the menu: LC, non-dairy, alcohol-free eggnog, pate, and egg drop soup from the Chinese restaurant nearby.

More bike riding is not on the menu. My father didn't offer any advice, but he said I was lucky. I could have had a head or neck injury, or lost a bunch of teeth. The joy of tooling around on a bike isn't worth it. What's surprising is that almost everyone thinks I ought to get back on. Avoiding a death trap that I don't need to be on seems like common sense to me, but maybe Judge Judy can explain the idea better than I can.

When I was four years old, I was enrolled at Miss Noddidge's Dancing School....I participated in all the exercises and classes. I studied ballet, tap, and acrobatics--and I didn't exactly fly through the air with the greatest of ease. After one fairly  severe injury--caused by a failed double back flip--I was excused from dancing classes until I could bring a note from the doctor. My parents were smart enough to realize that maybe dance and acrobatics weren't for me. So I was allowed gracefully to withdraw--until then the most graceful thing I'd ever done--from Miss Noddidge's Dancing School. Until I could walk again, anyway.
Failure doesn't build character. Success builds character. Whoever said, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" warped the minds of several generations of parents. People think that their children learn important lessons from failure. I believe a child can learn more in a moment of success than can ever be learned in a month of failures.(2)

I'll stick to walking and driving. I don't need another humbling experience of being unable to bike down the street without a disaster.


1. Picture: http://witegots.deviantart.com/art/251-Death-Note-Matt-Speaks-71518083
2. Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever by Judge Judy Scheindlin. Harper Collins, 1999.


tess said...

OUCH! :-( get better soon!

Lori Miller said...


Exceptionally Brash said...

oh my!