Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Extreme Pain is .... Extremely Painful!

It was my last day before starting the new job at The Washington Examiner. Had a great time at Discovery Hour and during the worship service at church earlier in the day. First ride on the new Kawasaki Concours.

Crisp spring day, me and the bike agree right from the start. Just a perfect Sunday afternoon.

Then it happened. I stopped at my usual mid-point on the ride to drink a coke, collect my thoughts about the new bike and enjoy the day. The Concours is a bigger, more powerful sport/tourer, compared to the 600S Bandit I've been riding for a couple of years.

I go to put the Concours up on its centerstand and, being unaccustomed to its weight, I get out of rythm in the effort. The Concours is coming down while my right arm is trying to wrench the bike up on the centerstand.

Bad move. Very bad move.

Pow! Pow! Pow! Followed by extreme pain and the realization that something completely unexpected just ruined a perfect day. Claudia and Ted Grainger, a neighbor who also rides, grab a trailor and come collect me and the Concours. It goes home. I go to the emergency room.

Turns out the doc on ER duty is a biker, too, (owns an old Norton, a new Triumph and some classic Hondas), so he immediately understands the motion I describe. Takes a look at the x-rays and says he can't be sure without an MRI but it looks like one or two tendons connecting my right bicep to the bone have been pulled loose.

No wonder it hurts so bad!!! The Doc and a nurse sling my arm in fiberglass and send me off with instructions to see my orthopedic doc ASAP.

A fitful night of sleep follows and I get up bright and early, dress with great difficulty and head to downtown D.C. and day one at the Examiner. Everybody is concerned, helpful and understanding. And perhaps wondering why a 55-year-old guy was fiddling with a motorcycle, but that's another story.

Got in to see the orthopedic specialist in Baltimore in the afternoon and he thinks maybe neither of the tendons are fully severed, but he won't know for sure until he sees an MRI. That can't be done for a day or two (thanks to the insurance bureaucrats), so no definite conclusions yet.

In the meantime, I'm learning to bang out editorials with one hand. Happens to be my left arm. Does that make me a temporary Leftie?