When I was 5 years old, I spent my Sunday afternoons biking with my neighborhood friend, Cassi. One Sunday in particular sticks out from all the rest. My dad was in the living room watching the Browns game (back when they were worth watching) and could see me on the sidewalk from his La-z-boy. All of sudden I got the strong urge to try to pop my first wheely. The plan failed to the nth degree. I flew headfirst over my handlebars, stopping my fall with my face. I knocked my front 3 babyteeth from the place they should have remained for at least 2 more years. My lip was swollen out past my nose. My forehead was bleeding. It was an absolute nightmare that is indelibly etched in my memory.
All that to say this: I had a near repeat of this incident today. It is supposed to be rainy today so Kevin asked me to drive him into Wayne. When I got home I decided there was no reason I shouldn’t still hit the road on my bike for my beloved form of exercise, all the while looking forward to stopping at the chem building to say hi before returning home. All was going well. Too well actually. I didn’t have to wait to cross any streets. Green lights graced my path. I was speeding blissfully along when I came to the section of sidewalk that is known for it’s dirt, decomposing leaves, and other foul smelling material. Typically the dry crap on the ground causes no problems, but today it was moist from the early morning rain. I barely slowed down, not caring if I sprayed my back with mud. But then I realized there were 5 fat pigeons in my way not in any hurry to move before the last possible second. I swerved to avoid running them over and before I knew it my bike tires had flown out from underneath me and I was hurled to the ground off to my right. This not only meant that I had mud and bird poop all down my leg, tennis shoe and right arm, but I was quickly reminded that below the compost was cement. And cement is cement no matter what covers it. The car that was stopped in traffic and saw the whole incident rolled down it’s window and the guy asked if I was ok. I said, “Yeah, the mud just caught me” (or something equally brilliant to avoid my pain and tears…feeling like a 1st grader having fallen on the playground…trying to be brave.) I somehow got back on my bike to “prove” I was ok and stopped a little ways up to wipe some of the dirt off. I was wreck by then, feeling every stinging cut, calling Kevin in tears to tell him the story. I had no idea what I looked like, I wasn’t sure how much dirt was on my face or if my lip was bleeding (it was stinging badly). I kept my scratched sunglasses in place to avoid all eye contact and made my way to the chem building after repeatedly reminding myself, “You can get there. Come on. You have to get there.”
Kevin met me out front with bandages and I went inside to clean myself off in the bathroom. I was pretty shook up for quite some time and had trouble wiping the worst off of me. My left hand has two small but quite deep gouges–they were the worst sorce of blood. My right hand has another gash under my pinky but the most painful spot in on the palm. It’s not as deep, but there are quite a few cuts over a quarter-sized area. I have tried my best to clean it out with water (which stings) and peroxide (which stings even more) and still have some black spots of dirt or gravel imbedded. I have covered all the wounds with neosporin and bandaids, and would like to clean it more thoroughly but I find myself constantly reminded of my woozy tendencies. It took me 20 minutes to get it as clean as it is, taking multiple breaks to sit, bring some color back into my face, and slow my breathing. (Oh, the days when I wish my Mom, R.N. was here.) My lip is swollen and a bit cut up and my right cheek is red with scrapes.
Now I pray nothing gets infected and that when Kevin comes home I will be able to hold back my light headedness enough for him to clean me up better.
But boy…that 20 minute bath I soaked in helped soothe me more than I could tell. :)