Monday, March 19, 2012

Life's little bumps

At the emergency room RPH

After Suregry
In the Ambulance

Saturday was one of those days I should have stayed in bed. But as a motivated triathlete that's was hardly likely . I was at Hepburn Shopping Centre before 6 and the group of us with Brad leading started off just after 6 for Death Valley which was about 30 km away and was a 34 km loop I had done quite a few times. It was my first hills ride for quite a few months.

Unfortunately , I never made it.

It was quite a fast group and I stayed at the back.Somewhere along Reid hwy as we headed towards the intersection with West Swan road ,  I went down .It look like I went over my handle bars and fell head first into the road with my face and shoulder also coming into contact with the Road .

At the time I was travelling just over 35Kph and I just remember going for the brakes as the guys were slowing down and the next thing I was on the road.I was dazed but managed to get up .The blood was just coming out and Reuben one of the riders got me to sit down by the side.. A car stopped and the driver Ray  had a first aid kit and took me to Swan Districts Hospital.

After that everything seemed to slow down. I had X-rays and the Registrar at the hospital was satisfied there were no fractures. but the cuts in the face were deep and had hit bone so they were sending me to Royal Perth hospital for the plastic surgeon to stitch me up.

I got a ride in the ambulance and through out the experience , the professional staff of nurses and orderlies and ambos were all very good and positive. It was about 12 noon by the time I got to RPH and then another routine of checking the wounds , information taking and eventually the plastics registrar having a look and deciding I needed to go to Theatre for the wounds to be cleaned and sutured properly. I got a bed in a ward and began fasting although it was unlikely I would get to the Theatre on Saturday.

By 10pm I was told it would not be done tonight but tomorrow. I could have a sandwich and a drink. I began fasting again at midnight with just a little water for some pain medication. I was on a saline drip for the whole 2 days.

It was a little dull just lying in bed with nothing to do. My wife managed to bring me my Chrissie Wellington's book and I read the book over the weekend. She has had her share of injuries in the lead up to Ironman races .But she was able to bounce back .

I took some comfort in being able to read and just be quiet for the few days .The pain was there but bearable.Sleeping was hard as I was sore and moving was painful. The face looked like I had been in a boxing match with me the punching bag.

I had my Heart Rate and blood pressure and temperature monitored constantly and I  had to explain to each new nurse on each new shift how I got there. They all remarked at my low heart rate which on one evening was 39 but usually hovered around 40 to 42.

The surgery was at 10pm on Sunday by the time I got to theatre. I just remember the injection and then it was all over and I am at the recovery room  . It was good to be able to eat something after the operation and the next day the Registrar came by and  I was allowed home.

Everything still hurts and I am on antibiotics and anti inflammatories.I probably will not be able to do much for the next week but hopefully as the swelling goes down I will be able to get back to training.

I will not be swimming till the sutures  come off next week in any event.

I have thanked the many who have assisted and sent words of encouragement.

As I sat in the dark thinking and wishing I was somewhere else  I also realised that it is pointless regretting or wasting energies  on the what ifs. Deal with the issues head on and get on with the problem. I am injured and there will be lost time but try to take the positives away.

I sent an email earlier thanking everyone and I rang the driver who stopped to render assistance and thanked him again. It was heart warming for me that so many people cared and did their best. I thanked them all the time even though it was their job in the hospital they did it well and with a lot of empathy. You can't teach that and I was most impressed.

The other positives that I set out in my email were:

On the positives ,

I could be worse . I was a Little worried as I did not have any vision in my left eye for a short while .

I will be back soon

I managed to read Chrissie Wellington's book Life without limits on the weekend. (whilst waiting )

No TV or Internet access whilst in hospital and I had to learn to just lie still. That's harder than training .

I have never ridden in an ambulance till last Sat when i was transferred from Swan Districts to RPH.The first Time in a hospital for a stay in over 40 years. the ambo officer told me of the cyclist he picked up from a crash in the area earlier with similar injuries as me .

The first Emergency Dr I saw at RPH was doing IM Melbourne the following week

never had my temp, blood pressure or HR taken so many times in my life . I now know I have a low resting HR.39 to Lances 32 but that is where the similarity ends unfortunately

Bike seems fine

Lots of Drs and Nurses at RPH know a litle more about Triathlon after the weekend as well.

What is life's journey if there are no bumps along the way . What life is about , is how we handle the bumps along life's journey. it certainly isn't meant to be a bed of roses.


  1. Take care, Cookie. There's always time to train. As Tee BT said to me a month back when I got into my careless accident, 'Let's not use up all our nine lives.' Food for thought. You'll be back stronger, I'm sure. Ironman is not just about the physical aspects, it is also about the mental strength, positive attitude and fortitude. You have proven, many times, that you're an Ironman. Remember the original trophy handed out by John Collins? A small steel structure with a hole in the head (it was actually a nut), and that's a testament to who we are. As Michelangelo described of his wonderful creations he sculptured from the block of stones: 'The statue was always there. I merely removed the unwanted pieces.' Heal well, my friend.

  2. thanks enrico well done on the back to back races both hard in their own right.
    will be taking it easy this week as can't do much with the sutures and sore shoulder and neck Just hope the swelling goes down quickly.