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three strikes, nine lives

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bicycleWithin minutes of sharing breakfast at Valentino’s (‘free on your birthday”) with my art school partner yesterday, I rode my bicycle up one of our major downtown street. Festooned in bright-yellow reflective vest and holding out my hand to shift to the left-hand turn lane, I saw a car pulling out of the curb lane. In a quick-second reaction to avoid a collision I pulled the brakes and (so I’m told) flew over the handlebars to land on elbows and knees. I next watched as the Volvo’s rear tire drove over my arm.

tiresWhat followed was a flurry of concerned cell phones, the almost instant arrival of the first responder fire fighters, followed by ambulance, and police. All the while I remained lying on my back (following bystanders’ instructions not to move), observing things through a haze, holding the Volvo driver’s hand, trying to assure her that I was OK and that she ought to relax and exhale. For the rest of the morning, I was rolled through various stations of the emergency department, only to be eventually released without serious injuries.

ambulanceWhen asked by the ambulance men whether there was “someone we can call,” I requested they ring upstairs to let my hospice family know that I was on the premises, albeit in the wrong department. My manager and her manager both came down to see me through radiography and various waiting rooms for over an hour. Other colleagues took turns to come down to inquire and to carry the news of my narrow escape back to hospice.

Later that day, through last night and this morning, my body ached from top to bottom as if it had been tossed in very large cement mixer for a while: soft tissue trauma running its course. Limping about the house and then settling in to watching DVDs, sipping tea, and eating the meals-on-wheels brought by my colleagues, I felt a sense of euphoria. I felt, bowingand still do, deeply happy and aware. What a birthday present … to be alive and to be loved!

ps: this wasn’t my first bicycle accident since I took up riding less than a year ago.

pps: I’m deeply grateful to all who phoned and emailed to enquire and offer home remedies, loving kindness, and unlisted phone numbers to call anytime.

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