Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In Which I share my second worst birthday experience ever...and you laugh at me.

It's my birthday today and Facebook has exploded with messages from all my friends and family. Times like this are a big part of why I LOVE social media (and Facebook in particular). It's a party right here on my computer screen! Which is all the party I need, really. One of my cyber friends left this message: "Happy Birthday! Go out there & do something crazy... *<|:-)". This one made me laugh out loud, because I tried this once and it did NOT end well! Would you like to hear about it? Sure you would, I promise it will make you laugh!

"My 39th Birthday Adventure" or "The Reason Why I Hate Bicycles"

It all started out innocently enough. We wanted to get in shape and so for the hubby's birthday we decided to purchase bicycles. This was in the spring of our 39th year (well, he had just turned 39 and I would in August. But "the spring of our 39th year" is such a cool phrase I had to use it. Dramatic license you know.) and we were looking for ways to get out of the house (1st mistake) and spend some time together. So, we bought bikes. Everything was fine at first. We rode around the neighborhood in the evenings, huffing and puffing all along the way. Like I said, fine.

Now, fast forward to August. I am looking around at my life and I think, "I want to do something different this year! I want to make a change!" (2nd mistake). And what better day to roll out this change in my life than my birthday? But what did I want to do? After much thought I decided I wanted to go on a nature walk. Notice I said walk. A nice, sedate, slow, leisurely walk. I am not really certain how it happened, but somewhere in the planning of this walk it turned into a bike ride. (3rd mistake, if you are counting. I am) I do remember joking with friends that I thought the sweet hubby might be trying to kill me and that if I didn't show up for work on Monday they needed to call the cops. But I was joking. Really. 

My birthday dawns bright and clear (and HOT) and we are up early. We load up the bikes in the back of the truck and head out into the middle of nowhere to this lovely little state park. We unload our bikes and start out. Once again, things are looking good, all is well. I am winded, of course, but having the time of my life. It was great, right up until the moment it wasn't. See, there was this rather steep downhill slope (drop off may be a better description) and I was tired and not paying attention (4th mistake). The hubby was in front and he navigated it fine but knew I would have trouble. He tried to stop me but it was way too late for that. My bike was already committed to this death encouraging feat of madness. I say my bike because my brain had already seen how this could end and tried to put the brakes on. But the bike was having none of that! So, down the hill we go, end over end. Thank goodness this was there to break my fall...


 ....and my arm. Yep, you read that right. My arm. Snapped it about an inch above the elbow. So, here I am laying on the ground in the woods in the middle of nowhere with a broken arm. And I am not moving! (5th mistake) The hubby tried to get me up, but I was adamant that I was not moving until help arrived. One problem with my plan, spotty cell service. That meant that hubby had to leave me laying there while he trekked back up the path in search of service and help. Once he had called 911 I made him call my mom because she worked for the local Sheriff's department and I was afraid someone else would call her and tell her that her only child was laying in the woods injured. Not news I wanted her to get from anyone else! Once that was done I just lay there thinking of how crazy this whole thing was and what a great Facebook post it would make. No kidding, I really did. We will blame it on the shock.

It took a while, but an ambulance finally arrived with a lovely entourage of "lookie-loo's" who stood around and asked questions and made sympathetic noises (their mistake!). At least they did until they realized that they would have to help the paramedics haul my fat butt back up the hill. That shut them all up pretty quick! By this time my arm had started to swell and it was incredibly painful to move. I have to give credit to the paramedic, she was wonderful. I am sure she was cussing me in her mind the entire time, but she was nothing but sweet. She propped my arm up as best she could and they got me on a backboard and hauled me out of there (me apologizing the whole way for being stupid AND fat). Once in the ambulance she was able to give me some pain meds to try to make me comfortable for the very long and bumpy ride back to the hospital. I should add here that my sweet hubby was my rock through out it all. He took wonderful care of me, all the while apologizing for not protecting me from myself. 

For the whole ride (between 40 and 50 miles that felt like 1000) my arm was sticking out from my body at an odd angle, stuck that way from pain and swelling. Let me tell you, I felt every single bump on that road! Once we arrived at the hospital I got even better pain meds and things become a bit more blurry. I do remember the xray because the tech was a jerk of the first order who was not the least concerned with my pain level and I had to go back and see him again because when the nurse cut off my bra (always a fun thing to do, especially on your birthday) she left it under me and the small metal ring on the strap showed up in the xray, causing the doctor to ask me if I had ever been shot (apparently it looked like a bullet?!?). So, 2 visits to the xray tech (with my hubby fuming not so quietly about my treatment) later they finally said "Yep, it's broke", wrapped it up and put it in a sling, gave me meds and the number to a few orthopedic surgeons and sent me home. 

Almost 2 weeks later I had surgery to place a plate in my arm so that the bone would heal straight and then I spent another 3 weeks or so at home until I was able to drive myself to work. 

That's me in my recliner/bed that I slept in for most of my recovery. I was not able to lay flat for the longest time! If you look close, you can see my CPAP machine set up on the side, between my sonic cup and my fan. And my poor hubby had to help me in and out at all hours of the day and night, since the handle for the reclining part is on the right hand side of the chair! And before you ask let me tell you that my bike is parked in my carport, exactly where my husband placed it when he brought it home that day. It has not moved 1 inch in 3 years and if it ever does than it will be because someone else moved it! My bicycling days are DONE! 

Thus ends my story of my ill-advised, ill-fated 39th birthday. And hopefully explains why my butt will be parked on my couch for the remainder of the day while I watch movies and check Facebook for birthday wishes. It just seems safer that way. 



  1. LOL you are too funny! I myself have a bike that we got for a "healthy lifestyle change" a while back. Never rode it once and have no plans to... this big ol' butt of mine would put a serious hurtin on that little thing. Can't bring myself to do it. haha

    1. Take my advice, don't do it. Those things are a death trap!! ;)

  2. About seven years ago, I bought a bike to get exercise in my new town in Bali. I used to ride a bike in the previous town with no problem. It wasn't so easy in the new location. The thing is, the first town was fairly flat. In the new one, no matter which way I left from my house, it was downhill. Meaning, of course, that coming back, it was all uphill. I passed my bike on to the children's home where I worked. Let younger people ride it.

    1. Yeah, they are definitely for much younger people! :)

  3. Well, guess you can say that from here on out, birthdays can only get better! Broken arms are no fun - ironically, I broke mine while hiking, too. In California. And the doctor there said it was just a sprain, splinted me, wrapped me, and sent me home. Which involved getting on an airplane. And dragging my luggage through the airport (two, I had a layover) one handed. At least that was my Christmas and not my birthday!

    Happy Belated Birthday my friend!

    1. Oh, OUCH!! That sounds worse than my story by a long shot! At least I was home by the end of the day, safely tucked into my recliner! :(


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