The night of Sept 10, 2013, my partner and I changed rear tires (after a busted interior). We tried several times to undo and redo the tire as “something” kept the wheel from turning smoothly each time. Obviously, none of us really thought it was serious matter; I was more excited to knock off early, wake up at 3AM, and start riding at Camp Aguinaldo at 5AM. For weeks now, my time was clearly divided now between running and biking. Like two different lovers hustling for my attention. At that time, biking was the “new lover”, as I craved for more and more time learning to ride fast confidently. I wanted to ride as comfortably as I drove the car. I wanted it so badly.
Sept 11 started like any other day. I was already well into km 12 when I reached the downhill road leading towards gate 2, past the St Ignatius chapel. It was my second “round”, there were very few people or cars in the street. I looked ahead towards the gate, just to note that is no vehicle build-up or red-alerts, glancing briefly at my watch, 28kph speed, hands loosely touching the handlebars on freewheeling mode. And then it happened.
(In most cases, I try not to cry through emotional events, but I’m crying right now. Perhaps, it is delayed reaction since I didn’t shed a tear throughout the entire ordeal. And my tears, they are not of pain or suffering. They are tears of fear. Of an unknown. Something I haven’t known for years.)
When I came to, I was lying prone, turned to the left and saw the asphalt road “lying” next to me. On instinct, I stood up and started to pace slowly, still feeling dizzy and jittery, knowing I took a hard fall. Someone came up to me and clutched my body, saying I shouldn’t be up yet and trying to help me sit by the road. On instinct, again, I surveyed my neck, head, legs and then arms, everything seems to be working…except for….here it was….an almost protusion in my left collarbone. As soon as I found and felt it, I couldn’t move my left arm anymore. Panic started to creep its ugly head into my spine. A camp soldier helped me get back to my car at the driving range, as I requested the friends who came by to bring home my bike in the meantime. (On hindsight, I was told that one should have the presence of mind to check the bike’s condition after a hard fall, as this will clue in on what transpired…)
Every second that passed, the rest of my body struggled to maintain its remaining strength….omg, WHAT HAPPENED? What fucking happened? After a while, my partner called to let me know that a golfer-friend would be fetching me to bring me to World Citi Medical Center. I tried so hard to think straight and start planning ahead – what to bring, how much money was in my wallet, should I contact the kids – I wasn’t in much pain, but I couldn’t move which was harder to fathom than the pain.
An xray confirmed a badly fractured left clavicle. The ortho-surg convinced us it would be better to put an ortho plate to ensure 100% of union and expedite recovery. When we bought the plate, I made a joke about how expensive a titanium implant costs, much more than my bike Harley. Shortly, I was scheduled for surgery. After a battery of tests, I got my cardio-pulmo clearance. Hardly slept the night before, I was hungry, cranky and in pain. Just before I was wheeled in the OR, I became a bit emotional and childish, wishing I could see my partner and Jason and Aimee…the what-ifs (I die in this operation?) had me going for a while. I didn’t want to cry but I needed to say good-bye.
Thank God for general anesthesia, I was back in my hospital bed after 5hours, all stitched up. Now i had a problem. I had my left arm (where my left collarbone was operated on) on a sling, and on my right, I was attached to a goddamn dextrose-needle. Everything I ate 12 hrs post-op made me nauseous, dizzy and feel really stupid.People came to visit soon after which made it difficult to show how sad I felt at being bedridden this way.
My partner, for the first time in our love affair, stepped up and was ever so dependable, I felt a tug of guilt when it came to the hospital bills. There were uneasy times, him sitting by the bed, not knowing what to do or say to me. It was the 3rd day I didn’t bathe, after the accident, and I didn’t enjoy people being mushy and kissy all over me. But I missed him. Missed our privacy. Missed our little world and especially our special time after daily workout.
My daughter Aimee, also stepped up. I know she was very worried (another first) but she bravely put up with blind obedience and attending to my every need. The hardest thing a mother can experience is NOT BEING ABLE to perform. Cliche as it sounds, it
After 3 days, I was back home but rendered immobile by my surgery and the need to rest some more. Tried hard not to think too much, for making me use my brain caught on to the rest of my body, and soon I was tidying things up. Let go, I told myself, just for now.