25 November 2008

23 going on 3

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my first of many, many followup visits. He took out the stitches on my chin, so those aren't itching anymore, and took another X-Ray of my mouth. Not just the old school xrays; no no, I stand in this contraption that then rotates around my head, pausing occasionally to extend some sort of plate. Its like a mini bone scan. The images showed tons of wire all through my mouth. Kind of scary. He also explained why he didn't want to have me admitted to the hospital and instead come directly to his office the following day - if I would have been admitted, chances are he wouldn't have been able to get a surgery room until Tuesday or Wednesday to do the surgery. No thanks... I'm glad he kept my costs down! I go back to him on Tuesday morning for another scan. He's guessing I'll be wired shut for at least 3 more weeks, then the wires will come off and I'll get rubberbands to start strengthening my jaw. I can't wait for the rubberbands... even though I'll feel like an awkward teenage with essentially braces and their mouth in rubberbands (glad I never had braces..). I'll be able to sneak extra tiny pieces of food in. I miss meat the most, but not enough to blend it (yet).

I was excited to be able to brush my teeth today. That's the type of thing that brightens the day of a girl with her jaw wired shut. My doctor gave me a baby toothbrush to brush with. Gee. Thanks for making me feel 3 years old.

Smiley faces... nice touch.

This is my current toothcare - a baby toothbrush, complete with smiley faces, Crest Pro-Health rinse, and salt water rinse (featured in a dixie cup). Do you have any idea how much I wish I could brush the OTHER side of my teeth? Ugh.

I'm home in Akron through Thanksgiving. Mom drove me home last night since I'm still on a few pain killers unfortunatly. It's snowing here, and that makes me happy.

View outside my window.. I guess we had 8 inches earlier this week

Safe travels to everyone for Thanksgiving!

21 November 2008

New Grill

Not as much bling as some in hollywood... but its pretty shiny in there.

I took this last night. Lots of the bruising is going down, and the road rash is healing. My neck is still massively swollen, and although the picture doesn't show as well, I have very dark dark bruising from where my chinstrap for my helmet went.

I'm going nuts being in bed. I just want to go out and run, or swim.. or even ride my bike. You would think that laying in bed eating pudding all day would be pretty glorious. Its not. It gets real old, real quick.

Unfortunately I don't have the energy to do much else right now. Maybe by next week. Es dropped off some books for me to read though, bunch of endurance books. I should be well read on all things triathlon by the time this is over. :)

Not too much else to report. I go back to the oral surgeon on Monday. Not sure for what, but I'll be sure to report back.


18 November 2008

Now that I'm coherient..

Here's the full story:

Sunday morning I joined up with the team for a quick 20 mile recovery ride. Nothing big, I've been on this route a few times before. It starts at Falls Church High School, and heads through some of the local back roads. Some are busy, but most have a very forgiving shoulder to allow cyclists plenty of room. Harriet, Robin, and I set out on our journey just after the "A" riders.. and lost site of them, apparently when they turned at we didnt. We realized our mistake after about a mile, since we had all made that mistake on the ride the previous time. Turned around, grabbed the right road, and continued on our way. Met up with some of the 15 mile riders, and chatted it up with them. I passed the girl who was borrowing my old bike, and Nelson and Kate decided to ride with Robin, Harriet and I. We got to a 4 way stop prior to a car, so we took our left turn. Well, this crazy old man slams on the horn as he's running through the stop sign... turns, and proceeds to yell at us for running a stop sign. Nelson clearly explained that he ran the stop sign while slamming on his horn. We told him he was a grouchy old man, and went along on our way. I almost had a dog run into our group, after the owner was checking us out as we rode by.. pretty funny. :) One part of the ride featured an out and back around mile 13 or so. We saw the "A" riders heading back, so we decided to cut out the hill and join back up with them. Tagged along, and I was the last to turn around so I was bringing up the tail end. We headed up a hill, and Robin and Harriet spotted Luke, another teammate on the side of the road waiting for a SAG vehicle. They were slightly ahead of me, so I assumed they would have regained speed from the downhill as I approached, however I don't believe they had. Here's where things get fuzzy. I'm not sure if I just clenched on the brakes to hard and went over, or if I was braking and hit something in the road, losing control and going over. Either way, I went over the handlebars around 25mph, skidding past Robin who was still riding, while I was on my face. I don't remember much other than crawling on the ground for a minute, gasping for air, spitting out blood, and Luke saying he was an Army EMT(?). Then nothing again for a few minutes, until being loaded into the ambulance, refusing to be backboarded because my ribcage and neck hurt. I remember Ed knocking on the door, and just waving to him through the window as I was bleeding everywhere. I don't remember much of the ride to the hospital, but I remember being wheeled through the ER. Then the questions came - "Do you have your insurance card?" No. "License?" No.. I was running late because I fed my friends cat and forgot to grab them and put them in my saddle. "Where do you live?" I umm.. 7706.. no thats not right. 23.. no, thats not right either.. oh my gosh I can't remember where I live (in my defense, I just moved about 3 months ago, and have had about 8 addresses in the past 3 years). They start checking my vitals and hooking me up to a saline drip. Finally I remember and just blurt out 6614E! They looked at me like I was nuts, but then realized that I was repeating my address over and over through my blood-gushing mouth. Coach Ed and Robin came into the ER to see how I was and fill the doctors in with info I was missing. They told me my helmet was cracked, and I showed them my now ruined sunglasses (who knew so much plastic could be shaved off and STILL not bust. Thank you, Smith sunglasses). I was wheeled off to my CAT scan, where I had to try to explain to a nurse how to get all my piercings out with a jacked up mouth. Finally, I got everything out, and was able to be scanned. Returned to the ER, then was wheeled off to x-ray for my face, neck, and chest. The doctors come back in amazement that I didn't have a concussion, no skull, neck, or chest damage. I didn't break my clavicles either. Instead, I broke both hinges of my jaw, broke directly down the center of my jaw, shattered the plate behind my upper lip, and rearranged a good deal of my teeth, chipping most of them. I have stitches in my chin. So the painkillers flowed, as a good 10 or so people from the team came to the ER to visit. I have never been so overwhelmed with feeling than seeing people come in and out of the room to see me. Special thanks to Robin, Sebastian, Ester, Jason, Ed, and all the others came through. And especially to Coach Ed, who almost puked while they stitched my chin closed. My roommates came to pick up my car and bikes. OH my bike! The only damage it sustained was a bit of scratching the brake levers, and the right aerobar is a little out of whack and scratched up. Apparently it was the second question I asked Coach Ed - is my bike okay? He called my mom to suggest she come out, and her first question was did I look okay.. and the second? "Is her bike okay? I know that meant the world to her right now and I don't want to think about what happens if that bike is totaled". Ed came in the room laughing, telling me it was my moms second concern as well. My mom knows me well. :)

I had my jaw wired shut yesterday. I'll most likely need some new teeth, as they've already pulled one, and they don't think a few others will reestablish their presence in my mouth. I'll be wired totally shut for the next few weeks, then rubberbanded so I can start doing some PT on my jaw.

Overall, I'm damn lucky. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes.

17 November 2008

The Bike is Okay

But I'm not...

Full story this evening after I have my teeth fixed and jaw wired shut.

13 November 2008

Missing Posts

I'm not quite sure how I deleted my last post, but I did. So, I did have a post between November 4th and now, but its forever gone. Simple rambling about how I can't dye my hair successfully.

I still can't dye my hair successfully. I attempted to go a medium auburn color, with some different highlights. I headed off to Sally Beauty Supply and picked up what I needed... mixed up all the chemicals which surely will kill me one day, and went to town. I have a few good friends who are hairdressers, and they taught me how to properly dye hair (ie, NOT out of a box from CVS). Most of the time, they bleach the color out of hair, and then apply the desired color. I skip that step, because the one time I've ever had my hair professionally colored, they did this.. and then when the color didn't hold to my hair for more than 2 weeks, I was left with extremely light blond hair, even more so than my natural color. Anyways, I finished everything up, washed and dried my hair, and admired the results. Not as dark as I wanted, but still a pretty color.

And then I went swimming the next day, and lost almost all traces of color.

This year is officially the year I give up trying to color my hair. Its blond, and its not going to change no matter how hard I try. Maybe I'll start investing in wigs.

My reasoning for delaying posting, is I keep wanting to put pictures up. Unfortunatly my camera cable is MIA, and, until I find it... I can't add any pictures. Last Friday I had off work, so the P2C and I went adventuring. Since it was gorgeous out, I took advantage and hopped on my bike by 11am. I set out on the W&OD for a while heading west, and then after about 15 miles, decided it would be a PERFECT day to go to Gravelly Point. This is one of my favorite places in DC, when its not busy. I turned around and headed towards the city. Along the route, I think I was on the Custis by this point, I spotted The Italian Store. I became a huge fan of this place after going there often with a guy I was dating a while back. So, I stopped in, picked up a small Milano Sub, and a little container of the Veal Tortellini. I was able to fit both in my jersey pockets, and continued along my way. Along the Potomac, I captured some great pictures of the fall colors with the Monument and Jefferson Memorial in the background. If only I could show them to you right now... grr. Anyways, the park was mostly empty, saving a few other cyclists taking advantage of the 65+ degree weather and sunshine. I laid down on the hill facing the runway, and enjoyed a solitary picnic watching the planes land and take off. I never get tired of that. My return trip was equally as relaxing. I wasn't training, I was just having fun. I did have two pretty good looking cyclists come up and tell me I had a hot bike. Pretty much made my day, and I instantly picked up my speed, stayed with them, and continued to chat. Unfortunatly, they were splitting off to go the opposite way on the W&OD as I was, so thats all the further I got with them. Bummer. I had another guy admiring my bike when I ran into Spokes... I came out and he was standing infront of my car which creeped me out for 2.2 seconds, but then I realized that he was staring at my bike. I just laughed and said "yeah.. its shiny and new, and I love it." We talked for a few minutes, and he asked me how I could maintain that steep of a position. Luckily, I was a dancer for most of my life and have a lot of flexibility and generally good core strength.

Sunday I ran a local 5K with a friend of mine. Nothing too exciting, I didn't "race" it... I just went out and we ended up chatting up a storm the whole run (yep, I was one of those people). Kept a rather pathetic 9 minute mile... but it was fun to catch up with my friend. I rode my bike a bit more on Sunday. I was still sore from my long run and a few intervals on Saturday... so the run and the bike hurt a bit. I finish up Sunday night with swim practice. We were working 4x 100, x 200, and 4x 400's, with focus on form, stroke count, and consistant times. I kept a 6:07 400 for my zone 2 work. Got booted up a lane for the Sunday swim class (in a different pool with less lanes). I was with some people that are definitely faster than I am (ex college swimmers), so it hurt a lot towards the end, especially with already dead legs.

I recieved some very very exciting news yesterday. Unfortunatly I can't really say what it is due to some people that may or may not read this blog. In the coming weeks though, I'll be following up on this, but for now, I can't disclose publicly (if you're extra curious, send me a note and I'll tell you). Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping everything goes in my favor, because I'm stoked about the possibility of this happening.

Thats all for now.

04 November 2008

PSA, great companies, and generally good stuff

Public Service Annoucement:
We are lucky to choose between who we want to lead our country. Exercise this right that so many other countries do not have!

(End PSA)

I went this morning and hopped in line for voting. I was AMAZED at the turn out... there had to be at least 250 people infront of me at George Marshall HS. Impressive. Actually, shocking! It made me smile though - its good to see such a turnout for this election. I'm excited to see the number of voters that actually turned out, in comparison to previous years. It is a historic race to say the least. I am, however, ready for the end of the political nonsense plaguing the airwaves. If I see one more commercial regarding who to vote for, or which candidate is trying to screw over the country, I might scream. I'm so glad these are only once every 4 years.

I skipped swimming this morning to vote though. I'll have to make that up this afternoon, most likely followed by some running. I have some new plans of attack regarding my training and my plans for the upcoming season... but I'm keeping those a secret for now. They are written on a piece of paper that I keep on my nightstand, which have my general "self improvement" list. Being in plain sight, I'm able to constantly scan over the list as a reminder. I got the idea from a guy I used to see. I've never let anyone read the list though.

I have to give a huge thumbs up to the folks over at Beaker Concepts, makers of the Hydrotail H5c. I recently purchased the hydrotail and mounted it on my new steed Sunday. I had read a few reviews of people mounting it upside down, which effectively changes the angle at which the bottles sit. I liked this setup, and decided on attaching to my bike this way as well. During bike ride number 2 of the day, I hit a fairly decent pothole, which almost threw me from the bike (note, do not get mesmerized by leaf colors). I stopped immediately when I heard a nice *crack*. Instantly panicking and almost tearing up, I hopped off my bike to see what I just broke. It was my hydrotail (THANK GOODNESS!). I wrote to Beaker Concepts this morning, to let them know what happened, and that they should consider doing some testing on the product in the upside down position (which was actually mentioned as a way to mount on their website), as my tail broke at the u shaped juncture. Within an hour, I had a response back, and it was not a generic response. The following is what I received (I'll forgive for the misspelled name):

1st, thank you for letting me know this! Many people tend these days to just blog their disgust before asking the manufacturer about it. Yes, I believe you are correct and I have some tests going on now. The website which has been plagued by a rogue person this summer does not show the position anymore as well. The unit was meant to be only used in the low position till it was pointed out that it could be turned upside down. But it is not perfect there and is being redesigned along with a complete new style unit for the Spring. Please give me your address though as I will gladly send you a new unit if you desire. Also what color. Again I am sorry this happened to you and thanks for letting me know what happened.

Send me a free replacement??! Talk about PHENOMENAL customer service. I had full intentions of buying a replacement unit and mounting it in the original manner, but this is just awesome. So, A++ in my book for Beaker Concepts. And, don't mount them upside down.

Adjusting my nutrition is going to be a big task. I used to have a variety of nutrition drinks for biking, so I didn't get tired of just one. All of them contain gluten, which I have to minimize intake of while on meds (which, I'll most likely be on for a few years.) I don't get bothered so much eating gluten products during meals, but I found out Sunday, using only gluten products on the bike is not going to be an option. I was doubled over in stomach cramps for a good hour after the ride. Not fun.

All for now. Cheers (well, not really because I can't drink much anymore.)