Alex: So… Is it too early to start calling you “Dumbass”?
From my Admin guy, as he drove me to the emergency room Tuesday morning.
i rode the motorcycle to work – gorgeous day for it. Took a carefully planned route, not a bit of trouble. Felt great. Went to park it in the motorcycle lot, and as i did a slow u-turn to park it? Dropped it. Managed to jump off in time.
Turns out? it’s a heavyfuckingbike, and there was no way i was going to pick it up myself — doesn’t mean i didn’t try a couple of times.
Fortunately, help arrived soon — the organizational motorcycle safety rep pulled in and helped me get it righted. He stayed with me for a few minutes. Because he knew i felt like a total dumbass, he proceeded to tell me of all the times he’s dropped bikes and said it’s part of the learning process. i was just embarrassed, and furious at myself for the fuck up…
Collected my gear and got to my desk by 8:30. Walked downstairs and grabbed coffee, cleared some e-mail, yakked with some folks. Felt a little dizzy a couple of times. Didn’t think anything of it. Figured it was the adrenaline leaving my body.
Somewhere around 9:30, i noticed that my left sock felt sort of wet. Went to the bathroom to check it out. Boot was full of blood, and there was a rather disgusting, and large, gash on my left shin. Bleeding. A lot. i didn’t look closely, but thought i might have seen bone.
A brief aside: i am horribly squeamish. “Pass out” squeamish. Well-characterized “pass-out” squeamish. The sight of my own blood? Known to knock me down like a feather.
My initial reaction when seeing an open, gaping wound on my leg? Put down the pant leg. Go to the sink and wash out the boot. Yes. i will need to clean up the boot so i don’t make a mess on the floor at work.
i took off the boot, without lifting the leg of my jeans high enough to see the wound. Sock? Bright red. When i lifted the boot to the sink to rinse it out, blood poured out. Bits of skin sticking to the laces.
i decided that perhaps this wasn’t the best idea. Put the boot back on, stuffed some paper towels over the gash.
Walked right past the elevator, and down a flight of stairs. Went to find Alex, who is one of my closer friends at work, and the first guy i want at my back in a crisis. He was with the division chief, helping her sort out an issue with her computer.
daisyfae: Hey, Alex — when you’re done, i need a favor.
Div Chief: Hey, why don’t you stick around? I’ve got some things i want to discuss with you about the branch chief job.
daisyfae: Ummm – i kinda need him to drive me to Urgent Care. i have a cut that probably needs attention.
Div Chief: GO!
Alex went to get his car, and said he’d meet me at the parking circle. i walked back up stairs (yes, again past the elevator) to grab my wallet. Settling into Alex’s car, i explained what had happened, and what i’d seen on my leg.
He requested that i just keep that pant leg down, as he’s just about as squeamish as i am. And didn’t want blood on the floorboard of the caddilac. He drove me to the emergency room at a local hospital instead of ‘doc in a box’ at an Urgent Care center.
He offered to wait, but knowing it would be awhile, i sent him back to the office. Thirteen stitches. Tetanus shot. Antibiotics. X-rays to make sure i didn’t hit bone (i didn’t). Doc said “park that motorcycle for at least 2 weeks”.
daisyfae: What about bike riding? Elliptical? Horseback riding?
Doc: I had to pull that skin very tight to get it back in place. If you rip these stitches out? We’re talking skin grafts.
Alex came back at lunch, took me for beer, called me a dumbass, and explained that he’d already worked a plan to get my bike home by truck… Even had a back up plan to have one of the other office bikers drive it home for me.
He put beer in me, made me laugh, dusted me off, patted me on the head, and brought me back to the office. Where i made it through the afternoon. A little battered, and stitched together – but mostly looking at a heap of my shattered confidence swept into a pile in the motorcycle parking lot.
What happened? The left foot peg scraped my left shin as the bike fell. Amazed that i felt nothing. For an hour. Other than a wet sock. It didn’t hurt — must not have a lot of nerve endings in the ol’ shin.
Studley drove me home, but i was pissed off about leaving the bike. So i had him drive me back that evening, and i rode it home, with him following in the chase vehicle.
i needed some mojo recovery. Didn’t want to have anyone else drive it home, and couldn’t leave it there through the weekend. Was a little shaky, but i did it.
Studley stuck around as i washed out the boot. “Holy shit, that’s a lot of blood! Amazing that you didn’t pass out!”
Lesson learned? You’re not off the bike until you’re off the bike. Get back in the parking lots and practice those “Figure 8” slow turns. Over, and over, and over.
i’m fine. Could have been a lot worse. And i can’t wait to ride again. Off to buy some leather chaps… and practice some “Figure 8’s”.