Friday, November 30, 2012

Biting the Dust

Since I became a cyclist, I have broken my right hand, shattered my left scapula, broken my left clavicle, cracked my right humerus, chipped my right scapula, and picked up road rash on both elbows, both hands, both knees, and both hips.  To that all-too-long list of dubiously honorable injuries, we can now add a broken right radius.

Here's the x-ray:

And here's the cropped and edited version:

The radius, or radial bone, is one of the two bones in the forearm.  Essentially, I broke the bone by shoving it into itself; the dark section that I circled is where the bone is overlapping itself.  This diagnosis makes sense to me since my upper forearm has felt "jammed" since I hit the ground last Friday.  I believe that I probably broke it by reaching out with my right arm to break my fall as I was going down. 

I was riding mountain bikes at the time with Kacie and her little brother, Patrick, at Raisin Woods in Whitfield County.  It was my first time on the mountain bike that I bought from a friend over a year ago.  In fact, it was my first time ever mountain biking, period.  One day of mountain biking = One broken bone.  I could probably be talked into selling you my mountain bike pretty easily.

Alas, it's not QUITE as stupid as it sounds.  Or more accurately, I'm not QUITE the klutz that this might suggest.  There was a seesaw near the beginning of the trail, like this one:

I went over it a few times successfully. Patrick did, too.  I was trying to convince Kacie to give it a shot.  In retrospect, I was probably trying to make it look easy, and I was definitely not paying close enough attention.  On my fourth time over it, rather than riding off the back end as you see in the video above, I lost my balance and fell off the right side of it, almost exactly like this:

(Ha, ha!  What a noob! Oh, wait, that's what I did . . . )

I waited for a week to go to the doctor because I didn't think that it was anything worse than some bruising.  After a few days, though, I still couldn't straighten or bend my arm entirely.  That's when I decided it was time to get an x-ray.  In addition, even though I told myself that it was probably nothing, I suspected that I might have a small break or crack in my radius.  For one thing, in the immediate aftermath of the spill, my arm felt the way that it had after I cracked my humerus and chipped my scapula in 2010.  (That was a car's fault, not mine.) For another, I learned in Ms. Love's health class in 1989 that the radius is the bone that is affected by the forearm's twisting, and twisting motions--such as turning a key in the ignition or removing the top of a jar--hurt a lot.  I wish that my suspicions had been unfounded!    

All that being said, if the universe felt that it was time for me to break another bone, this is the probably the best-case scenario.  I don't have to wear a cast or get surgery (for now) since the bone is not out of place (for now).  Moreover, I don't have any major competitions for several months.  There will be plenty of time for this to heal.  The only real drawback--besides the whole being in pain thing--is that I can't swim or lift weights for a few weeks.  Swimming and lifting were to be my primary foci for the next few weeks.  Doh!  This definitely complicates my efforts to make myself  a swimmer!   




  1. Okay, I'm never getting back on my bike. Ever. You're scared me away.

    1. No, no! Get on your bike ASAP! Clearly, I'm soaking up all of the stupidity and bad luck.