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  1. #1
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    I Thought I Was Invulnerable...

    ...up until now, that is.

    Ten days ago I was fetching my neighbor's newspaper as I do every day because she is partially disabled and has trouble walking the 50 yards to her paper box.

    After placing the paper on the top porch rail, and as I was taking my first step down the concrete steps, my feet went out from under me on the ice and I landed on my back/side on the steps. For a scary moment I couldn't breathe from having the wind knocked out of me...but even worse was the ragged pain spiking through my body.

    Getting up and walking home was as painful as anything I can remember in my life. Even my many kidney stone episodes were nothing like this.

    I decided to 'tough it out', hoping things would heal. Sure enough, after a few days the pain began slowly subsiding. Although feeling very sore, I even went to two of my granddaughter's basketball games. Things were getting better.

    Then...Sunday morning I sneezed. Holy sh*t!!! Now the pain was back and this time it was really pissed...I almost came unglued and I'm pretty good at handling pain.

    Today I had my son take me to the ER.

    The results...three fractured ribs and three Transverse Process fractures in my spine.

    I had just started my indoor 2011 training at this point. Now it looks like I'll be waiting at least a few weeks until things improve (I can't even lift a leg over my bike).

    Coincidentally, The day before all this happened...my neighbor warned "Louis be careful of the ice on my steps - I can't always get out here to salt it so early in the morning."

    Of course I paid little attention to her words because I was invulnerable.
    Last edited by Louis; 12-21-10 at 11:39 PM.

  2. #2
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    Sorry to hear about your fall. I can commiscerate, since I had an episode of non-invulnerability in 2005. Doing a charity 50 mile ride, near the end, the lady I met that morning T-boned me going around a corner, and I went over the embankment--about 10 feet over, and 10feet down, before landing on my left shoulder. Broke the collarbone, shoulder blade, glenoid neck (shoulder joint), a couple ribs, and punctured my left lung. Of course, after the initial shock, I was worried about my bike, so I went over to it, and leaned over to check it, and almost passed out! That's when I knew I was really hurt. Get to the critical care facility, and fixed up as best they could--took three months off work to start healing. About four months before I could get on my bike (which was hardly hurt).

    Here's hoping you heal faster, and can be back in the saddle sooner.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Condolences - heal quickly.
    I too was physically invulnerable until recently.
    Those falls can set us back.

  4. #4
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    We're not 19 years old anymore. And probably won't be again any time soon.

    Be careful out there!
    Who is John Galt?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jiffyjam's Avatar
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    Pain and disappointment are two of the greatest teachers. Heres to a full recovery and a great 2011 on and off the road.
    Remember, not getting what you want can sometimes be a wonderful stroke of luck...

  6. #6
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    OUCH.
    Recover well.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com —— Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Huge major ouch! That was painful just to read! Get well soon!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
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    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  8. #8
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Bummer. I hope your recovery is complete and full. Next time listen to the woman!
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  9. #9
    tsl
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    Sorry to hear, Louis. Seems no good deed goes unpunished.

    There's nothing quite like the pain of busted ribs. I had three over my right kidney busted for me back in 2000. If it's any consolation, I hear breaking them is front is worse. I have a hard time imagining that.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Bummer!
    Heal well and soon, but for now, take it easy.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    you have found your 'kryptonite' Superman... it appears in the cold and mysteriously covers everything in an almost invisible glaze... heal quickly.

    train safe-
    ____________________________________________________
    avatar is on Flagstaff Mtn, Boulder, Colorado--on the fixie--

  12. #12
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    What can I add, 'cept heal soon. Best wishes.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. Elbert Hubbard.

  13. #13
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    I need to take an ibuprofen after reading that one. Get well soon.

  14. #14
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Apparently, falls are the "downfall" of many of us as we get older. The guys in my singing group are 65-80 years old. One of them fell just as you describe - ice on the driveway getting his newspaper. A couple of months later, with a new artificial hip, he was doing much better. He recently fell again, but had no injuries.

    Personally, I don't use the ladder much any more - except the lower rungs to replace a light bulb in our 10 foot ceilings. I won't get on my roof (never did like heights) and am generally much more careful about exposing myself to potential falls, as are most of the guys in my group, particularly those over 70. I also do a lot of balance training exercises.

    Here's hoping you heal quickly and those spinal fractures don't cause you future problems.

    OUCH!!

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Unfortunately, Louis, the revelation that we're vulnerable and mortal often coincides with a trip to the ER. Heal well.

    Brad

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Oh - that doesn't sound like any fun at all. Is there anything they can do for you other than wait for your body to heal?

    In a few minutes I'm taking Mrs. Grouch to the hospital for a couple of tests. She's going back tomorrow to see her 5th different (kind of) doctor in 5 days.

  17. #17
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    I hit the ground often enough mountain biking that it keeps me feeling vulnerable. Two days ago I caught my pedal on a high root just after a fast turn on a downhill. Lifted a wheel off the ground.

    One of the perils of using a cross-country racing frame ---- low pedals. You have to synchronize your pedaling with the roots and rocks.

    Got by with some missing skin off a knee. That was through knickers, but it didn't damage the knickers. Ground was frozen and relatively smooth so I guess I “scrubbed off” most of the impact in sliding.

    I do a bit of ladder work at 71. I added attachment points to the house for anchoring the ladders. I also use the more expensive rigid ladders with levelling features for sloping ground. I regulary climb a step ladder as part of my cross-training. I do about 120 rungs a couple of times/week.

    Bone/joint breakage risks can be dramatically reduced with weight training if started early enough.


    Al

  18. #18
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Damned ice! Oughta be a law against it!
    (If you take opioid pain pills, be sure to increase fluid and fiber intake.)
    Winter is the best time to be unable to ride, if that helps any.
    From this point forward, you are hereby granted Invulnerable Status.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  19. #19
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Heal up quick Louis and try not to miss any of your grandaughter's B-ball games. Get back into your training mode as soon as the Dr. allows, since one of your stated goals for next season is to beat me up a climb.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  20. #20
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    Sorry for your accident. Hope you heal quickly and that another neighbor continues to help the person you were helping at least until you feel better.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Louis, I'm really sorry to hear about your fall, and I too cringed as I read it. I also feel your disappointment at not being able to ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Apparently, falls are the "downfall" of many of us as we get older....

    Personally, I don't use the ladder much any more - except the lower rungs to replace a light bulb in our 10 foot ceilings. I won't get on my roof (never did like heights) and am generally much more careful about exposing myself to potential falls, as are most of the guys in my group, particularly those over 70. I also do a lot of balance training exercises.

    Here's hoping you heal quickly and those spinal fractures don't cause you future problems.

    OUCH!!
    One of the most frightful phrases I have ever read, by Doris Lessing, is that “Life changes fast.” Not to one-up anyone, but to recommend Dnvrfox’s admonition, a close aquaintance, and a cycle commuter of age about 63 fell off a ladder at his home and has been in a hospital since November, including on a ventilator, is currently in rehab and will be wheelchair bound. The only reasonable comment that comes to my mind was this warning at Morning Report as the police were sent out on to the streets in the TV show Hill Steet Blues, "Hey, let's be careful out there."

  22. #22
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    That really sucks, Louis. Of course, I'm sure you already knew that. Heal fast and well.

  23. #23
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Oh no.... Ice sucks and it is never good to fall down. Sending healing thoughts your way.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  24. #24
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Take care Louis, you know it takes longer to heal than it use to.
    I've been fighting this RA for 2 months now. I'm into masochism though and I'm really starting to like it.
    Heal up fast and have a nice Christmas Louis.
    George

  25. #25
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    Ouch. What very bad luck. I hope you can heal quickly and completely. Sending my best wishes and comiserations to you

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