Bet y'all didn't know that my husband, Cliff, is a hoot. He doesn't blog, but on occasion he writes about special events. Mostly, his stories are about one of his bike rides or triathlons. Well, back in July of 2010 he had a grand opportunity to document one more monumental event. I've had a couple of requests to post this story and he agreed to let me share it with you. Although, I shouldn't have to ask his permission because as you will see shortly....this story is about me. I started to say, hope you enjoy. But, heck, I know you will. His sense of humor is beyond funny.
One day, I'm going to write my own version. Maybe on the anniversary of said crash. But in the meantime, I present Cliff's version of "Nursing a Crashee".
Warning: If you wear Depends, double up or at least go potty first. And for Lord's sake, be careful what you drink while reading. I would hate for you to spew coffee all over yourself.
Disclaimer: Cliff makes up his own words; he is not ignorant. I promise. A little retarded, maybe, but not ignorant.
Nursing a Crashee
As you may know, on the last Saturday morning ride, somewhere in the far reaches of the Collins Creek loop around about 8:40 in the a.m., as they approached a stop sign at a “T” in the road,
Laurie turned the way Mary didn’t turn and they intercoursed. They, well, gravitated. You know, to the ground and stuff. They precipitated. Like a clap-crash, a dip-dive, a droop-drop, you know, a pitch-plunge, a stumble-slump, a topple-todder. Ok, ok, in the vernacular of the inlet, they busted their @$$.
As I was passing behind Waccamaw hospital on Old Kings, my phone rang and I jokingly told Iron Man Chuck he had a phone call. My phone was in my jersey pocket inside a two-handed, camlocking, waterproof kayak pouch – very difficult to get out and impossible to get out quickly so I never try to answer it while riding. For some reason, that particular day, it bothered me a little that I didn’t make an effort to see who called. And little did I know it was Mary with news of the thump-thud.
We took the right on 707, crossed 17, and went right on
Murrell's Inlet Road heading for the last leg and at that point, Tim answered after getting multiple calls and stopped me. I was at the Waccamaw hospital within 5 minutes and about 20 minutes later, the ambulance arrived. The back door opened to show a set of size extra long sneakers. It certainly wasn’t Laurie but it caught my attention a guy wearing spandex shorts but no shirt. With those shoes I assumed he was a runner but I would later learn this poor guy was riding in one of our groups and had his own version of a slip-skid freefall and was KO’d in the first round.
The 2nd ambulance arrived 2 minutes later with Mary in the front seat smiling and waving like she was on a parade float and that instantly made me feel a little better. She had completed an excellent job of comforting
Laurie at the crash site and then seeing her to the hospital riding shotgun on the meat wagon. The back doors opened to show Laurie on the gurney in a full supine position complete with backboard, cargo tie-down straps, and a block-head neck immobilizer. Reminded me of Hannibal Lecter.
As always, ER was slow. In all their ingenious wisdom, the hospital had one doctor on duty for Saturday July 3rd - the height of the Grand Strand’s Sun Fun tourist season. With that noted, I have to say the doctor and the staff were excellent. The women staffers were continually discussing the temperature and one, who said she has ridden with our group, had to keep going outside to get warm. For me, I felt naked with my sissy little spandex shorts and with that, along with my near-zero body fat (my skinny @$$), I was freezing to death except for my right hand which was continuously fanning
Laurie with a laminated medical chart because she was having flash-overs right there on the gurney. I think the nurse was a little scared of me because on that slick tile floor, my cleats kept making me do a moon walk. I even much almost needed ER services myownself when one foot skidded in something wet – probably some type of body fluid from the last patient – and I did an involuntary Chinese split.
IV pain meds were administered, X-rays showed a couple of fractures of the head and neck of the humerus, a referral package was assembled complete with x-ray disk and 4 reams of HIPAA junk, and she was discharged with a “sling and swathe.” Oh yeah, and some nausea from the pain meds.
The traffic was, well, normal, and Whitney arrived to pick us up about 10 minutes after we were discharged. I wanted to wait outside to thaw out but we waited in the lobby - in the air conditioning - but I was already pretty much flash-frozen anyway. A small group of brothas and sistas were sitting across the lobby from where I parallel parked her wheel chair beside the information desk. Of course, Murphy had the nausea wait until we left the ER and arrived to the lobby and when the first “ooourrrrghhk” of her technicolor bellow echoed through the lobby, you oughta seen them brothas and sistas scatter. Except for the poor guy working the information desk right beside us, we instantly had the entire lobby for ourselves. Of course, even though it was exceedingly noisy, she only blew Gatorade and she still had that pink barf-size toss-tub from the ER so no harm done to the lobby carpet. I don’t know why everybody freaked.
Arriving to our little beach getaway on the eve of Independence Day, she needed constant attention. With 2 fractures of the upper arm/shoulder stabilized only by a soft foam sling, pain came very easily with any movement. I constantly needed to adjust the sling and the pillows supporting the arm. She needed to keep changing positions from the couch, to the recliner, to the bed. That, along with the pain meds which brought some nausea if the correct food wasn’t taken with perfect timing, kept me very busy.
So, all broke up, fresh from the ER, plenty of pain and nausea, and now we gotta wash hair! Yep, now. It’s gotta be now. Ok, well, what-the-heck-ever. The bathroom was clearly out. She was weak, in pain, and seein’ double on pain meds so I wasn’t going to let her take the risk of falling. So I did what any normal husband-turn-male-nurse would do, lay her on the counter-top with head in the kitchen sink. So, with the sink hose and great care, I gave her a salon-quality head massage and fingertip laser wash. Of course I managed to get the phone and take a quick picture while she was vulnerable but I was duly threatened with blunt-force trauma if I showed it to anyone.
Next of course was to get washed up from her earlier cycle-slog. Removing the shirt was a bloody good challenge but I managed to get-r-done and without the scissors! It wasn’t a picnic either but after the house-special exterior wash (with undercarriage pressure-rinse), I installed a button-up shirt slipping it gently around the arms and other parts and we were basically good to go. All the simple movements getting the shirts on and off and putting the sling back in place was painful for her but for me, it was kinda fun. And hey, that reminds me of a neat Hoosier professor of geography I had in college. Other profs would tease him; “Look, here’s geography boy - he knows every place on earth. I’ll bet you take your atlas to bed every night.” He would respond by saying; “No, I take my wife to bed, she has much more interesting places.”
I reckon physical discomfort can be affected by the general atmosphere and what better atmosphere for the woman-of-the-house than a clean house. So, during her short naps, when the meds would put her on mute, I cleaned the bathroom, washed the dishes, emptied the washer, tidied up the den, and washed, dried and folded all the clothes. I even much washed the rugs! Everything worked out good except for a brand new pair of Hanes 34 I put in the wash with some red shirts. Now I got pink underwear. I’ll have to be careful not to wear them to HealthPoint because that pretty little dude that’s been peaking at me through the steam room door might take that as me being eligible.
Anyway, gotta run now – under her arm is itching again so I gotta go find those plastic chop sticks.
Well, that's it. Hope you enjoyed Cliff's version of the bike crash. Yes, I'm all healed now and the only thing left bruised was maybe a little of my dignity. Ha!