The technical terms that were used were “comminuted sub-trochanteric femur fracture,” meaning that the thigh bone had shattered into a bunch of different pieces just below the ball joint of the hip. It wasn’t your average geriatric fracture, where the ball of the femur snaps off from osteoporosis. This was the thickest part of the femur, crushed into several disorganized pieces. I had really fallen hard.
When I arrived in Galway, I packed all my stuff onto the bike just so I could carry it all, even though I hadn’t installed the chain or derailleurs or pedals. I had already had a chance to hammer the wheel straight enough to pass through the fork, though. I found I could sit on the saddle and coast almost everywhere, even with a big air-cushion boot on my broken foot. (more…)
I crashed while coming down a hill on a desolate rural track, somewhere in the Silvermine Mountains South of Nenagh. The fifth metatarsal of my right foot fractured and broke through the skin; my bicycle frame fractured in two places and the front wheel bent like a taco. It wasn’t until I was left alone in the Accident & Emergency at Nenagh hospital that I realized what this meant. I tried to keep a positive attitude, though; positive thinking is one of the most important parts of healing, and it’s never good to mistreat the medical staff when you’re at their mercy, just because you’re feeling sorry for yourself. So sure, I shed a few tears when I was left alone. But by the time I was moved to Limerick for orthopedic surgery and moved into the trauma ward, I was sure, somehow, somewhere deep inside, that I wouldn’t be stopped by any mere broken bone and broken bicycle. (more…)
“It’s time to face reality, Charlie. Time to swallow your pride. You haven’t a choice – you must go back to America.” The social worker at Limerick Regional Hospital had taken on my case, and wanted to see it to a resolution. But going home was all she could offer.
I had to disappoint her. In fact, she was so worried that I’d be stuck on the streets, I had to use the phrase “moral objection to flight technology” just so she’d be convinced I was a lunatic beyond help, and be able to sleep at night. (more…)