Breaking Bad

It has been quite the trying year for Sarge…he’d been kicking ass, though, and powering through it all. He was getting in great shape, ready for his century ride. And then it was Sunday…

The weather was finally dry and he was thrilled to get the bicycle off the stand and onto the road. Perhaps too excited, he was gone for only 20 minutes or so before the TV showed an incoming call on the home phone – usually ignored, we don’t even have one plugged in. But it was his number calling – I rushed to put the end in the jack but missed the call. I called back but the line was busy.

I waited a few moments when finally my cell rang. His voice made it clear – trouble. He didn’t have to say a word as the quaking tone was sufficient…just the hint of tremble in his usually authoritative style told me…but his words were few – in essence, I am hurt, I am at this general location, get here now. I’d made the brief drive to the same area before for minor problems so I was familiar but his tone put the taste of iron in my mouth – adrenalin, maybe – and I just grabbed the keys and bag and launched.

As I made my way down the road, I kept looking for him, expecting the exasperated appearance of the past. It was the Horse With A House road – we name them to aid my feminine “mapping by characteristic” method. Yes, there is a horse that lives in an old house there. With a guard dog. At any rate, I knew the road was a favorite for his hill climbing practice. And it was just at the crest of the first gentle drop that I caught a glimpse of the yellow jersey.

He stood by the roadside, bike leaning on him and his left hand cradled against his chest. He had a swollen left eye, abraded left arm with an accompanying bloody slit near the elbow, and just a mess of dirt on his clothes. Before I could even put it in Park, he threw the bike into the bed of the truck one-handed and climbed in. He kept the hand out of sight as he tried to buckle in. I reached over, aiding him, and trying to see him more clearly. He spoke in a rush of how his wrist really hurt, and that he’d fucked up his bike, oh, the bike…he was angry but could not say much more about what had happened. Cognizant enough to give me the all clear in our backing up and turning around, I was fairly confident he was oriented but hauled ass for home, anyway. I asked him his pain level and he said a steady 6…

Once home, he leapt out of the truck and snatched the bike back out before I could even tell him I’d do it. He carried it in and leaned it out of the way then sat on the couch heavily, cradling the hand again and saying his wrist hurt pretty damn bad. I got the ice pack from the freezer and a towel – he put it on his hand, again keeping it out of sight. I ran for clean rags to clear the wounds with so that I could see the true extent of the injuries there – road rash, mostly but the thin short slit was deep at the elbow. A stitch or two, maybe, I thought. The requisite package of peas annointed his left eye and I glanced at his helmet – not much there for damage – some minor scratches at the very edge…but the questions kept coming – where’s my bike? Right there. What happened? You had a wreck. Where’s my bike? Yessss….concussion: confirmed. Wheel taco’d. Handle bar smasharoonie’d.

After Ranger came up and started cleaning the leg wounds, Kota got on the sofa and lay down very quietly. They could smell his injuries, of course. They knew it was bad when Dad wasn’t moving. He tried to resist my looking at the hand but finally I managed to get him to reveal it – nothing horrific, mind. But the swelling was already pretty bad and I could see the malformed back of his hand. Yep, the Sunday ER trip was ahead. I found a button-up shirt and pull on shorts for him and began the job of coaxing him into the idea that he was not going to shake off this one. The pain finally made it clear – no choice.

We have a preferred hospital – nothing in our small town available – but it is a 20 minute ride at least. We considered the in-town trauma locale but I knew it’d be a madhouse. No, our efficient and clean option was best so the bag of ice was prepared and a towel wrapped around it and off we went. I did every bit of the 80mph limit on the toll road, too.

Once there, the process was quite simple and speedy – no waiting, really. But they did just have a software upgrade/change so everything was a headache to input. Fortunately, the ER seemed to be better trained in it…a shot for pain came after the doc peeked at the hand. Broken, yep. Our very good friend was on an assignment with only a day trip home – he had been on the road to get back to it when he got my message. He arrived at the hospital not long after we did and a good thing, too. Their brotherly affection and gallows humor kept things light. He really hasn’t any idea what happened to him nor how long he was injured. He doesn’t remember calling me nor the ride home. A blessing, no doubt, though he still wants to perform an accident reconstruction of the scene…sigh…

Would you like to see a sample pic of the kind of break he has? Look!

His is only the middle finger, not all of them, but the same splintered, lengthwise break is present. I believe it is far more splintered than this one but I only had a quick glance at the film. They did look at his head, too, – the CAT scan showing no problems. Phew! His side bears a large bruise akin to this. New word! Ecchymosis! And, yes, a black eye, too.

The repair? Oh, something akin to this per his surgeon…

Yes, permanent screws and whatnot. Poor fellow. So we wait now for the swelling to go down, then surgery early next week and another 6 weeks after to heal. But he may be able to work light duty – maintaining the paperwork and whatnot. No driving on the pain meds, of course. Which has meant his tolerating my driving which is VERY difficult for him. (He’s a driving instructor, you know. Ask. He’ll tell you. Ahem.)

Not only is he a forced passenger, he is a dictatorial one. I am not a bad driver at all but he is sensitive to my very cautious approach to the art. He is an offensive driver and I am a calm defensive one. I can change lanes after the guy goes by – no need to speed up and do so. But it grates on his nerves…

And that, dear friends, has been a small snippet of the goings on. I am very fortunate that my job permits great leeway in absence, home work and the like…so all will be well one day. Now, just a few more chores and I can get to bed. Another long day tomorrow…a chiropractor appointment that is likely to help. Now, if I can just get him to quit trying to scratch his arm beneath the bandages with a chopstick…

6 responses to “Breaking Bad

  1. Oh no! Please tell Sarge that I said he must listen to you and obey your commands at all times. Holster an empty weapon and standby to duty load.

    Of course if I was there I'd also tease him unmercifully. Well, I should anyway.

    I hope the surgery goes well. Tell him that he'll feel a lot better afterward and that new sun dress he always wanted will look absolutely fabulous on him 🙂

    He only did this to have an excuse to upgrade his bicycle.

    Skin grafts are nature's way of telling you to get a recumbent.

    Hey, the only way to deal with such as this is to laugh because it just hurts too dang much to cry.

    We'll keep a good thought out for you guys.

  2. Six, you crack me up!! He is doing much better now – cast off and scratching possible. And he is back to cursing at the work laptop which is also a sign of progress and healing. Thx, friend!!

  3. Ow. Reckon its better than a leg wound. Hand injury he still coulda walked outta there on his own to get help. Bet that hurt like a sumbitch, though.

    I like that he had the presence of mind to take care of his gear as this was going on.

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