This summer, I'll be bicycling from Chicago to San Francisco. It'll be an epic adventure, and all of the details will be chronicled here, at followdanny.com. I hope you enjoy the photography, videos, and writings that I create along the way. Maybe you know me already, maybe you don't. One thing's for sure, by the end of this journey, you will.
Saturday Would’ve Been Lift-off
So this Saturday was the day I was planning for my launch. This was before the broken arm. Which is doing quite well, actually! Hopefully in two weeks I can permanently say good-bye to the splint and being the strength therapy to get things back to normal.
I am planning a bike trip from Chicago to Nashville, TN with some friends this fall. That should be a nice test run. I wish I could do the cross country trip this year, but once I’m rehabilitated to the point where I’m comfortable, it’ll just be too late. The summer goes quickly in the rockies, and it would most certainly be a very cold and uncomfortable ride.
One of the points of my going across the country was to take my time with the journey. I didn’t want to feel “rushed.” That’s exactly what would happen if I were to leave mid-Summer. I’d feel rushed by the inevitable turn of the seasons. So I’ll wait patiently for my next window of opportunity.
Due to the breaking of my arm and hospital bills, I’ve decided to delay my trip until Spring of 2010. I’ll be updating in the meantime with gear purchases and other what nots. Keep in touch!
In related news, the arm is healing really well. Every day is easier. Stronger every day. Thanks everyone for your support.
Curve Balls and Delays
Well what can i say? life has a way of throwing you curve balls. Things never go exactly as planned.
On May 5, I had a bicycle accident. I was headed to work and hit some strangely angled railroad tracks. There was a gap next to one of the rails and my tire slipped right in to it, throwing me helplessly off my bike. The weight of my body landed on my left forearm, snapping it instantly. I instinctively hopped up and off the road to avoid any cars. it didn’t take long to notice the bone pertruding from my skin. Horrified, I pulled down on my wrist, just to pull it back inside, then collapsed to a sitting position.
Once sitting, I pulled my phone out of my bag and called 911 to request an ambulance. while i was waiting, to keep my mind occupied, I sent an update to Twitter and snapped some pics on my camera phone.
While i waited, a truck stopped. two very nice gentlemen from the city stopped and talked to me. kept me calm. they also took my bike back to their yard, gave me a phone # and address to retrieve it later. Very nice of them. Then the ambulance came.
They put my arm in a splint, i climbed in to the back of the ambulance and we were off to Rush hospital.
The next several hours was a process of waiting in various rooms. i was moved a couple times. it took about 3 hours before i received my first pain medications. they were very welcome. at around 11am or so i went through a very painful x-ray process that involved me moving my exposed arm in a variety of positions to get the best shots. afterwards, i sat and waited again.
i saw the x-rays. both bones that ran down my forearm were snapped like twigs. fortunately everything else was fine. just some general cuts and road rash. they told me i needed surgery to clean out the wound and pin the bones back together. I took it all in, knowing all too well that this is going to be expensive, being foolishly uninsured. i knew i couldnt turn it down.
My surgery was scheduled for “around 3.” they kept the pain meds coming, and though it only somewhat dulled the pain, i was very glad to have it. the next few long hours leading up to the surgery were blurry. i was in and out of consciousness. I was awake when they explained that they’d prefer to do a “block” surgery instead of putting me under. this involved numbing the arm and putting up a barrier so that i would be awake during the surgery. the benefits were that there would be less pain immediately following surgery and no complications that can arise from anesthesia. fine, i thought.
I remember being prepped for surgery, but evidentially passed out just before they started.
i woke up in recovery next to a nurse and with a new cast and no idea where i was. this part was very blurry, but i vaguely remember being transported to my hospital room. they were to keep me overnight. I slept.
i slept until about 3am. i woke up with sensational pain in my arm. the numbing shot had worn off. i remember a nurse telling me how to use the morphine button attached to the collar of my hospital gown. i could press it every 8 minutes for a dose, but i was out and so when 3am came, i had no painkillers in my system and no numbing in the arm. the pain was a 10.
the next 3 hours consisted of pressing the morphine button, watching the clock on the wall for 8 minutes to pass, then pressing the button again. over time, the drugs began to catch up to the pain. 10…10….9…9….9….8….8….8….8… 7… and so forth.
sunrise. i slept off and on. discomfort was a reality i was (and still am) adjusting to. it was a new day and i would be released. they brought me a very welcome breakfast which i enjoyed but threw up later. i had bouts of nausea whenever i came off morphine. at one point they gave me something for it.
that afternoon my guardian angel Don came to chariot me out. with such patience and grace he waited through the tediously slow hospital release process. everything moves slowly in hospitals. there is lots of redundancy.
Don took me by the pharmacy to get some meds and then battled rush hour to get me home.
There are lots of little fuzzy details about the hospital that were peppered in there. At one point Tuesday my friend John came to get my personal things. I vaguely remember having my clothes cut off, Marshall the very nice nurse that was always trying to keep me comfortable and informed, the kind eyed Dr that i met prior to my surgery but not at the time of. It was a terrible and humbling experience.
Since, I’ve been ok. I have spent a lot of time immobile. Watching movies. I had to take unpaid time off from work. i did manage to put in my Cobra forms yesterday, so hopefully i can obtain retroactive health insurance. i’ve been trying not to worry about that bit.
i’m just happy to be here. it occurred to me that things couldve been so much worse. i could’ve broken more bones. i couldve been hit.
its 4 days since the accident and i’m on my feet. went out to breakfast, and as i type this, i am at my old neighborhood coffee shop. not too shabby. i hope for a quick recovery, but in the meantime, i’m trying to enjoy the healing process.
Yesterday, the movers came and transported what was left of my belongings to my temporary launchpad down on 23rd St.
I’ve spent the last very exhausting week, for the most part, on Craigslist, giving away furniture, kitchen ware, and clothes. I took 10 bags of clothes to the local thrift store. I threw away box-loads of old belongings. Mostly random trinkets and things. Nothing of real monetary value. Just sentimental value.
I took pictures of things to remember them.
Next step is to pick up some additional things I need for the road.
The Bike is Built!
Oh joy of joys! I’ve just been notified that my new bicycle is nearly complete and that I can pick it up this week! I’m so excited to have it for the wonderful weather this weekend!
I’ll be posting pictures shortly :D
Well what do you know? I received my first couple of donations over the weekend.
The Date Approaches
Things are going well. Calmly. I’ve a nice job right now to pay the bills and expenses between now and the launch date. I’m in the market for various accessories. I really like the Lone Peak bike gear. I’m probably going to get a pair of Lone Peak P-500 Touring Panniers as well as a basic and deluxe Rack Pack.
I’m also in the market for a GPS device and probably a new light-weight tent. I have a nice tent, but it’s better suited for hiking, not biking. I’ve procured a little USB modem that lets me use my Verizon mobile internet. That way I can get online from anywhere.
I’m still shedding away possessions. Estate sale is soon. Things are going as planned.