The past month has been a bit of a rollercoaster that managed to go off the rails somehow. My last update via blog came just over a month ago, but many changes have occurred since then routing my life in a slightly different direction. My intention was to update here sooner, but unfortunately my typing speed has been cut in half due to a pesky cast on my left hand. Before addressing that though, I suppose I should go in chronological order of how things went down leading to where I am now.
Shortly after my prior post, I learned that elective surgeries throughout the US were being cancelled due to Covid 19. This was a big “Uh-Oh” moment for me. My specialty as a Registered Nurse is the Operating Room, and I was set to start working at a surgery center that does primarily elective cases. My concerns were justified as I soon found out that the hours at the surgery center had been drastically cut, meaning I would not be able to start work as planned. In a slight panic, I began checking for travel assignments like I had done for the past couple of years. Except now instead of having my pick of assignments like before, I never even received a phone call from any of my submissions. And unfortunately, most places would not accept me to work in the Emergency Room since it’s been a number of years since my experience there.
So for the first time since graduating from college, I had difficulty finding a job as a nurse.
I wish I could say that this is something happening exclusively to me, but I have seen many friends and prior coworkers either being furloughed or having contracts cancelled during this crisis. I fully understand the reasons behind this, but it certainly isn’t something that I ever expected to occur. I was lucky to eventually start talks with my prior employers at St Mary’s Hospital here in Grand Junction, but then I crashed.
On March 31 in the early afternoon I was out riding my TriRig Omni cruising empty farm roads like I’ve done hundreds of times now. I always feel extraordinarily safe out there, and it was an exceptionally beautiful day. I even took a picture of some happy cows when I stopped to turn around at Baxter Pass.
At about 57 miles into the ride I was approaching a tractor as we were both heading South. I was going just over 30 mph and moved into the oncoming lane to pass as it was clear I was traveling quicker. As I was making my pass I noticed the tractor moving to the left towards me. I panicked some, but was fairly certain that the driver was looking directly at me. But it seemed to start turning even quicker into me. Realizing that I was about to get hit/ran down, I swerved off the side of the road into some dirt. After a second or two this dirt turned into gravel and I went over my handlebars, at which point I have no memory of the following 15 or so minutes.
2:22pm- my Garmin speed went to 0mph
2:24pm- a call was placed to 911 (not from my phone)
2:37pm- a call was placed to Rebekah (from my phone)
At sometime around 2:38pm or shortly thereafter I have my first memory of being on FaceTime with Rebekah. I was confused and not really sure where I was. I noticed maybe half a dozen bystanders there before noticing that EMS arrived. They helped me into the ambulance and we headed to the St Mary’s ER. Over the next couple of hours I began to remember more about what happened and became less confused.
While unfortunately Rebekah was out of town in SC at the time, our Pastor Laura was able to come meet me at the hospital and was immensely helpful over the next couple of days as I navigated things post-crash. I found out that in addition to the concussion that I got from landing on my head, I broke my 4th metacarpal in my left hand and my distal right clavicle. My left hand only needed to be placed in a cast for 5 weeks, but my right clavicle needed surgery to move part of my bone back in place to heal properly. Healing the clavicle will take some time, but if I’m lucky then it should eventually be able to get back to normal.
Rebekah was able to get back from SC in time before my surgery that happened almost 2 weeks ago now (at the surgery center I was originally going to be working at!). Things are back to looking up for the future though! Rebekah is starting work this week here in Grand Junction after some hiccups in the past few months with some other employers. And as long as my healing goes well, I should be able to start work in mid to late May. Which is also when I am hoping to get back to somewhat normal training again, minus swimming.
So that’s there story of what has happened in the past month. While obviously life hasn’t gone the smoothest, I’m blessed that things didn’t take a darker turn. If it weren’t for my old Bontrager Ballista helmet protecting my head, I would have died. It is obvious to me that my head and shoulder took the brunt of the fall, especially considering the neck stiffness and pain that followed in the days after the crash. I think I avoided consequences that could have been worse regarding my concussion, but it is a scary concept to consider what could have happened.
The biggest blessing of this is getting to spend more time with Charleigh recently though! We have been going on plenty of walks, riding her Strider bike, learning tons of new words, and I’m very excited for the next month of fun while Rebekah starts back to work!