It’s a new year and that means it’s time for PMC 2017!
Skip all the rest of this nonsense and show your support
What is the PMC?
The PMC is a very large sports based fundraising event where 100% of the proceeds make it to Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. We bike to show our commitment and to enjoy the ride with thousands of like minded people dedicated to our cause.
I bike to preserve the memory of my niece and help others win their battle with cancer.
I was enjoying skiing a bit too much this winter and managed to shatter my collar bone a few days ago. It will be 2-3 months before it is near 100% so training is going to be a bit tricky. Even worse, just riding where I need to go will be difficult. However, in the last three years I haven’t driven a car to work once and I don’t plan on breaking that record now!
We’ve had many biking adventures
Christmas Tree By Bike
We Did Some Running
And Some Skiing
And probably lots of other fun stuff happened too. OK, perhaps it wasn’t always fun, but life is what you make of it, so why be down about things you can’t change?
OW, MY BONES!
Last Wednesday, February 15, my employer took the company on a ski trip to Loon Mountain. I have been skiing, instead of snowboarding, this season to help teach Molly how to ski. Up until last year I have snowboard most of my life. It is what I know. It is what I am good at on snow. Unfortunately that confidence may have carried over into skiing and made me a bit to careless.
Here’s what happened.
A small group of us skied into the small terrain park. I stopped at the top to look at the features. There were ramps, rails, and boxes all over the hill for fun or avoidance, depending on your personal aspirations. My plan was too look for some relatively small jumps and avoid the gnarly metal objects completely.
A friend went ahead and hopped over the knuckle of the first slope and it looked like fun. Instead of following my original plan to scope things out, I followed him. What i didn’t know is that he had just barely missed a ground level “feature” pipe that was buried in the fresh snow.
I did not miss it.
As i jumped, I must have clipped the pipe. I’m not 100% on what happened next. I know I went higher than I was planning though. I must have also been knocked off axis.
When I hit, I hit hard. My back right side took the impact, but not well. I yelled as the air was knocked out of my lungs but I didn’t recognize the real problem right away.
After I regained my breath, I heard someone ask if I was alright, which was nice of them. But I wasn’t alright. I raised one finger as an indication to wait while I tried to determine the answer to their question. Sitting in the snow with my skis still on, I moved my left hand slowly over my right shoulder until I felt the bone.
I dropped my hand and said, “I broke my collar bone.”
They turned and quickly skied off saying, “I’ll get ski patrol!!”, while some others stayed behind. My vision blurred a bit and I didn’t try to get up. I asked one of the guys to take my skis off while I sat and waited for the ski patrol to rescue my butt from the cold snow.
I was pretty impressed with how quickly they arrived and thanked them many times. They asked me all of the does-he-have-a-concussion questions while I tried to lay in the snow and take a nap. Perhaps that was why they kept asking me the questions. I knew I hadn’t hit my head, but I was likely exhibiting some “shock” symptoms. I did know my bones had snapped and I was trying to focus on not letting it bother me. Also, it takes a bit of focus to tell your brain that your right arm should no longer be considered a useful part of your body.
About twenty minutes, a ride in a led, and a WW II style cloth sling later, the ski patrol medic says to me, “Well, that’s about all we can do. You should really get yourself to a hospital.”
“Can I get a beer first?” , I asked.
“I can’t recommend that, but if it were me in this situation, I probably would.”
So I had a beer, snack, and a couple ibuprofen with my left hand while we worked out which hospital to patronize. Luckily someone was leaving a bit early and was able to give me a lift to Emerson Hospital in Concord. We arrived in the ER about 6:00PM to more skeptical medical staff.
“What’s going on with you sir?”
“I broke my collar bone.”
“Has this been verified?” “Yes.”
“By whom, sir?
“Would you like to see the bone?”
“OK, the doctor will see you shortly.”
A few more hours of waiting, talk, and x-rays later I was released with the not so great news. I don’t have a “simple” break. The bone shattered into several pieces and some of them ended up perpendicular to their natural position. Usually, a simple break is left alone to heal all by itself. Mine is the case where they use surgery to piece the puzzle back together.
Yes, it is weird that I left the hospital with bones trying to punch through my shoulder, but apparently that’s how all this doctoring stuff works. I wasn’t in any immediate danger, so they scheduled the surgery for a day that worked for them. It is now 4 days later and I’m still walking around with broken bones. As I’m learning, this is just how collar bones are handled.
My best advice for those of you reading this is to not break your bones. I was stupid and I am paying the price for it. My family is on their way to the ski vacation I’ve been looking forward to all winter. It makes me sad that I can’t be with them and I’m angry at myself for creating this situation. The best thing I can do now is work to recover as quickly as possible to be with them.
I can promise you that this will not stop me from riding. It may slow me down and hurt the whole time, but it won’t keep me from PMC 2017. I’m hoping for less hurting though.
I almost forgot. Max and I have been practicing the piano. Whether or not you want one, we’re going to play each and every donor a song. We’ll try to anyway. It always gets tight near PMC time, but we can keep playing long after!
I can never tell you this enough. Julie and I could not do this without your support. We have a lot of money to raise in a very short period of time and you have pulled through for us every year.