Friday, September 11, 2009

My Guardian Angel

This week was a rough week for me. It started on Monday with progress; I only took two pain pills on Sunday and I didn't take any on Monday. I started to feel a ton better and when I went into the surgeon's on Tuesday he was mad impressed with my skillz. He said my knee looked great, and the inside was pristine so it made for a good, clean surgery. I then went to PT and while I pretty much couldn't do anything, I made progress in that I was able to lift my leg up on my own power from a supine position. Little things = big things, unfortunately (that is what I wish she said).

I slept terribly on Monday night though so when Tuesday night came, I took a percocet/oxy/whatever it is that I have. I woke up on Wednesday with a 101.5 degree fever and a headache, which I rarely get. Both my parents were at work so I just tried to sweat it out, but the fever crept up to 103 and the headache became blinding. By the time my mom got home I had enough and had to go to the ER.

My trips to doctor type people are always fun because I have to explain so much to them. No, I don't have insurance. No, I don't have car insurance, but yes, it was a motor vehicle accident. No, I wasn't driving, I was on my bike. A push bike, you know, with pedals. Employed? No, I don't have a job. How am I going to pay? Your guess is as good as mine. Now I know I am not the only one in the world right now with no insurance and no job that needs medical attention. It just sucks, you feel like you're being treated like a 2nd class citizen. Note: this does not mean that I feel bad for illegal immigrants who do not have health care.

My 4 hours in the Monmouth Medical ER were highlighted by the A/C nearly putting me down permanently (it felt like the top of Everest) and some hot nurses. In the end, there was nothing they could/would really do for me so I just left, with a fever still.

On Thursday I felt a little better but not great, and I was annoyed that I had to miss my PT on Wednesday. It's amazing how I feel like I just lose days now. And the worst part of my day is sleep. I fear it.

Today turned around a little better. Besides the hurricane going on outside, I went to PT in the morning and had made some good improvements already. I've got some kinesio tape on my knee so now I look like Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor. Then I had a good meeting with my lawyer and gave him a few running tips (he's getting ready for NYC, but is NOT a runner) and also swim advice. I should have charged him, but I'll let it slide.

As I improve I'll have many, many notes to write to people, thanking them for their help along the way. Of course my parents have been invaluable and those that know my parents would expect nothing less of them going way out of their way to help me out. Alyssa and Brennan have also been super helpful over the past week, and the messages I've gotten from some of my friends have been very kind.

But sometimes you find that you're eternally linked to another human being, and in this case it's this guy Steve. Steve was in the car next to the guy who hit me, waiting to make his own turn (right, instead of left). When I hit the deck, Steve was by my side in seconds. He even came down to the ER later that night to check on me. He's a tanned guy, looks like he might be 50 but apparently it like 65 or something. He and his wife still have a place in River Plaza but really live in New Mexico. Part of the reason to move out there was that he, an avid cyclist himself, couldn't stand the threat of being hit every day in our town.

He's also a Buddhist, which is pretty awesome.

So this was July 10th. My mom must have sent him a nice email afterwards and whatever, I probably won't see him again.

Or will I? Because at PT today my mom hears a guy's voice and thinks it sounds familiar, and she hears my PT guy call him "Steve" - so she asks if Steve lives in NM. Sure enough it is Steve, and my PT guy opens the curtain and voila, there I am. He hops off the table and comes over and gives me a hug. He says he thinks about me every day (not in a gay way, you pervs) and can't get the sound or sight of the car hitting me out of his head. He was amazed to see how good my knee looked and we chatted for a bit. It was just coincidence that he was in NJ, because he's only here every few months. How crazy is it that he goes to the same PT place I went to at the same time today?

He made a comment to me that I hadn't put on any weight, which made me laugh because I said dude you don't know how hard that was!

Steve, a great dude. He encouraged me to keep in touch with him and stop by his place in NM if I'm ever out there, he's got some bikes we can ride. I won't say I owe my life to this guy, but I will say I wish more people in this world were like Steve. Maybe when I go out to AZ for the Ironman in November I'll make a detour out to NM.

So then at my lawyer's later in the day he ALSO makes mention of me not putting on any weight. I love athletes man, they just know. I could be in a full body cast but if it looks like I didn't put on any weight, hey, sweet job, you're still at race weight.

Heading down in a little bit to Maryland for the RM Memorial 5k. A tad inappropriate, I suppose, but whatever it's all in good fun and I'm hoping the times are quick. The weather seems iffy but we'll make the most of it.

7 comments:

Ben said...

calling a dude your "guardian angel" and caring that something might be "inappropriate"? what kind of drugs are they giving you?

by the way - the healthcare plan does NOT include insurance for illegal aliens.

i will be there by 9am - ready to go. Hoping to drop a fast one in your honor.

RM said...

Good. I mean, I think all human beings should be provided with an ability to live in the event they are sick or dying or something, that's emergency care.

EL said...

but what about the death panels? Ryan definitely would have been put down.

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