Slippery When Wet

I like to start a few days a week with a 20 mile ride before I get to work.  On Wednesday (29 Jan) I set out to follow the Ballona Creek Bike Path to Redondo Beach and come back.  It’s a ride I’ve done many times.

This morning was very foggy. Coming down the path, it was common to not be able to make out the opposite shore of Ballona Creek.  There were crew teams out rowing in, which surprised me.  I was having a very good ride, though.

The bike path turns left to cross a bridge and as I took that turn, the bike absolutely shot out from under me.  The wheels had both let go of the wet pavement together and the bike slammed me to the ground like it was a mousetrap and I was sitting on the bar.  I’ve crashed before, and often remembered thinking “this is going to be bad” as the accident evolved.  This time I felt my helmet and left side hit the road and thought “that was bad.”  And it was.

The road rash wasn’t much to speak of, but I had cracked my hip awfully hard.  I managed to stand up, but realized pretty quickly that while my hip would hold me, I couldn’t take a step with it. Shortly afterward a fellow named Allan stopped and helped me get the bike out of the way.  At this point I’m lying on my side on the path.  I fish my phone out and call 911.  And get briefly put on hold.  Apparently lots of accidents happen in the fog.  Eventually we get to an operator who dispatches emergency vehicles (after another hold).

The paramedics arrived and picked me up with care and put me in the Ambulance. We worked out that I was a Kaiser member, and they took me to the closest Kaiser facility.  I’ve never done that little negotiation about where to tale an injured party based on their insurance.  It all worked out, though.

The fine folks at Kaiser ran me through the x-ray machine, and sure enough my hip bone was broken.  Pretty cleanly and in a good spot, but definitely broken.  Looks like we need to fix that. (Incidentally the only upside of breaking your hip at 46 is that everyone says how young you are.  It’s nice to hear.)

So, now I have a pin in my hip to match the one in my ankle on the other side.  I’m practically bionic.

And, surprisingly, it’s Friday afternoon and I’m home with a walker. Both legs will take weight, and I can walk pretty well with the walker, though it definitely hurts and tires me out. The doctors are still talking weeks  of recovery – and I believe them.  But I can walk around my house 2 days after breaking it.  Days of Miracle and Wonder.

Everyone at Kaiser was great, so thank all of you.

And thanks to all my friends who have been sending kind words and offers to help – including teaching my class on Thursday.

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