So, I've been doing this thing...riding my bike for the past year, which I've previously mentioned. And doing this other thing...reading about bikes via a local message board for a few months which I have not yet mentioned. I don't know how this fact has managed to escape a blog post so far, as my mere presence on that board is ripe with WFIs. I read every thread and every post and grow more acutely aware of the ways in which it is entirely inappropriate that I post there. But the truths of it are:
1. I know how to ride a bike, a basic requirement.
2. I do ride just about every day.
3. It moves way faster than any other board I currently post on, therefore is nearly endless entertainment--especially when getting lost in a google-induced clicking vortex trying to figure out whatall bikey things they're talking about.
4. I only joined an internet message board about bikes cause I wanted to make friends. If that's not a WFI, then I don't know what this blog stands for anymore.
Why I felt the fervent need to find some bike friends, I'm not sure. I have friends. My friends have bikes. However, in true my friends fashion, they don't mix bikes (or physical activity beyond croquet/badminton/frisbee) and friendship. But the ride to and from work was getting boring and lonely and here on this board were people that rode their bikes for no reason at all! In groups!! To hang out!!! And I found that interesting. So, as soon as another new girl signed up for the board after me, I asked her to go for a ride. Now, if I were Sasha, you could *insert lesbian joke here* but I'm not Sasha. You can tell by the coherence of my blogging.
This other new-to-the-forum girl and I decided we'd ride on Sunday. Sunday is brunch day. We'd have brunch and then bike! And we'd invite other people. It was an intensely unusual experience for me that first Brunch and Bike, but I persevered beyond my awkwardness and various incapabilities and kept going. In the following weeks, I started to remember people's names and minor facts about their lives. And when I see them on other days that aren't Sundays, we say hi to each other. I'm even friends with some of them on facebook. I can't quite say this all means we're friends, but it's a damn good start! So, I like the Brunch and Bike thing. It's good fun.
This most recent Sunday, I hosted the brunch part at my house. This was by far the largest gathering (lots of new people) and perhaps the most productive when it comes to food contributions. Everyone brought something really awesome and helped cook or clean and it was, with the amazing weather and not having to leave my house initially, altogether, my favorite gathering so far. We rode out through Roslindale to Stonybrook Reservation. No one had ever been there, including me, but we found it and rode through the paved trails in the woods. It was really beautiful and there were some stupid hills, but for the most part it was very rideable and fun. I wanted to go to Turtle Pond, so we headed down the hill to find it. And we did! This is the WFI.
As we approached a small pond, I was unaware it was, in fact, Turtle Pond, our destination. I was second to last in our line with one person quite a bit behind me. This is where things get fuzzy. I know I looked behind me to see who was there. I know I noticed the pond. I just don't remember when I looked forward or what I saw because things just happened so fast. I imagine as people started to slow, with no one calling a stop, it forced the bikes out of line, moving more left and aligning horizontally into the road. With one kid moving in front of me to avoid hitting someone else, the only one calling "STOP!" and my only warning to brake hard, I screamed a bit like "MIIIIKEARARGHUHHHGHH!" as I collided from behind with his left side. We both flipped over, a tangled mess of limbs, bikes, and blood.
Everyone was super great after that and, note to self, always crash with other people. They will move your bike, help clean your wound, give you bandaids, offer good advice, and somehow make you not feel like an asshole who just ruined everyone's good time. Mike was hurt as well, but he was wayyyyy more cool about it. I had involuntary shakes and was nauseous. I didn't cry though!!! That is a first. We sat around on the dock in the sun for a while, socializing.
We went home when it started to get colder. My ride was a little stiff, but I wasn't too worried. I figured I'd scab up, no big deal, and take unreasonably long to heal completely like always.
The rest of Sunday was fine. Monday was a lazy, rainy day, but scabbing over well. Tuesday, I resumed regularly scheduled activities: bike to gym, train, shower, go to work. The shower softened the scab on my hand so that it split open and began to ooze again. No worries, I thought. I put a bandage over it, a glove, and gave the first facial of the day. WORST. FUCKING. IDEA. Water got inside my glove and under the bandage = SEARING, BURNING, STINGING PAIN! I replaced the bandaid, new glove and I toughed it out and waxed a few people. On a break, I knew I had to clean the oozy scab. WORST FUCKING IDEA. I swabbed it with alcohol = SEARING, BURNING, STINGING PAIN! I replaced a bandage and waxed my next client, a surgeon. Before we started her facial, I had her peek at the wound which had grown increasingly pink and hot and began spreading a pink line up my wrist along my vein. She said it was nothing and maybe make an appointment with my PCP and get an antibiotic. I was still worried, so I canceled the rest of my facials, moved my waxes earlier, and went to the emergency room right from work.
I checked in, showed the nurse the wound and sat down for what I imagined would be hours judging by the fact it was 1. an emergency room and 2,3. there was a heroin overdose and a broken hand waiting before me. But, surprise! I was called almost as soon as I sat down and expedited straight to the second waiting area. Broken Hand was right behind me and I was still called before her again AND people who were there before me. Total wait time at the emergency room: approx. 20 minutes. I started to think I had some serious business going on. A doctor came in,
looked at it for a minute and asked a few questions and then informed me I have cellulits, I'd be getting an IV of antibiotics and staying overnight in observation, and should be released in the morning. WTF WTF WTF!!! Should? Should be released?! WTF does that mean? Oh, well, if the infection worsens, or spreads deeper into your wrist or nerve endings, or you have an adverse reaction to the antibiotics.... ENOUGH. That's enough, I told him. Get me the IV. Then I was told someone would come in to talk to me about being part of a study and someone else would come in to start the IV. The IV happened first, so I had to sit around with shit sticking out of the top of my left hand next to vials of my blood. This is either gross or cool. I can't decide. I eventually agreed to be part of the study and waaaaaaaaaaaaited. And waaaaaaaaaaaaaited. I tried to focus on the magazine article I was reading but couldn't help glancing at the blood vials. What do they do with them?! Where is my blood now? Hopefully in a lab somewhere making really cute blood babies...
This is where a whole host of of BFIs start happening. A man came with a wheelchair to wheel me up to the observation floor. Apparently, a skin infection on my wrist meant I was not allowed to walk. I laughed the whole way and he made fun of me the whooooole way. Then I met my nurse who was totally rad. She gave me pajamas and footie socks, set me up with the tv, and asked me if I was hungry. I said yes and imagined what I would want. I thought turkey sandwich and frozen yogurt would be awesome. She says, "How about a turkey sandwich?" "YES." "And maybe I can get you some frozen yogurt. Is that ok?" "I was just thinking those two items would be my dream meal, so yes. Yes, that is ok." Moments later she was back with a bag full of turkey sandwich, apple juice, apple sauce, ice cream (no froyo, oh well), and graham crackers. I fucking LOVE the hospital. Then I watched CABLE! Fuck yeah! I watched a creepy show about pageants on TLC. Then the nurse practitioner came in and checked me out, asked me if I was in pain and do I want a percocet for the SEARING, BURNING, STINGING PAIN? Uh, YEAH! Moments, later I was on percocet, scooping ice cream with my graham crackers watching Sex and the City.
When I finally got the IV started, it was instant relief. Before the whole bag was
finished, the red streak had calmed down. I was just about to fall asleep when I was moved to a private room with a really nice view and some more apple sauce. The hospital was like a mix between a luxury condo, a hotel, and a spa. I loved every second. I got a new IV bag every four hours for one hour each which means I had to wake up 4 times, but it was all very nice percocet sleep, so I can't say I minded.
I called my mom at 5:30am when I woke up to tell her I was in the hospital and freak her out. Mission accomplished. In the morning, a doctor came in, said I was all better, that I shouldn't go to work, that I can't do any facials and breakfast should be in any moment. It was all bittersweet news. All of that was good. I'm going to live! I don't have to work! But I had to go home!! Nooooooo! After watching some Rachel Ray and some Martha, pancakes, oj, and cheerios with a banana, I signed some papers and reluctantly got dressed.
The only thing to do with my time today was get wicked good food and lay in bed all day watching American Idol and writing this blog, taking 4 pills (2 rotten egg tasting ones, and 2 sour milk tasting ones) every 4 hours. That's my participation in the study. I have to keep a diary about if I have diarrhea or not too. I have to do this for 7 days and then I get $50. Wish me luck!!!
I can't say I loved having cellulitis. But I can't say I didn't love it either. Oh. Who am I kidding?