On Tuesday 11/24 my wife and I arrived in New Orleans, NOLA, and retrieved our 22 year old son from the low rent house he’d been living in for the last month. We hadn’t seen Sean in four months and he was ready to try a less adventuresome life again- at least for a while. After checking into the Hampton Inn and depositing our belongings in our room we slid down the elevator from floor number ten of the hotel and rolled our bikes off the curb and into the street.
Back when we were just planning to pick Sean up he had informed us that bicycles were the perfect way to get up close and personal with New Orleans. Based on this I’d strapped three bikes to the rack on the back of our car and just before sunrise Patricia and I started the 650 mile trek from Tampa to NOLA. Not quite twelve hours later the sun had set and Sean wanted us to feel the NOLA that he had experienced for the previous 30 days.
We left the hotel in high spirits but within minutes my wife’s front wheel got wedged in a trolley track and she found herself looking up at the high rise buildings rather than around the city. As an experienced cyclist she knew to approach tracks at as close to a 90 degree angle as possible but at points in everyone’s life knowledge and action do not mesh. This was one of Pat’s moments.
I was at the rear of our trio and watched her go down. She tumbled slowly and lay there for a ten count. I knew she hadn’t hit her head but at 55 years of age falling to the asphalt is a painful experience. She took it like a trooper and after I straightened her stem she insisted that we continue on our way. A little cycling, at lot of walking, some dinner and the ability to drink alcohol openly on NOLA’s streets were mingled with watching street performers sing, play and try to entertain their way to tips. The folks Sean had been staying with had created a loosely flowing bluegrass band and we tipped them before my wife and I headed back to the hotel. Sean still had partying duties.
With a sore shoulder that she was certain would be fine in the morning I helped Pat out of her clothes and got an ice-pack for her with the hope that a little rest and cryro therapy would minimize any swelling that might occur. We went to sleep but the boo-boo turned ugly in the night.
With swelling and pain up and optimism down a quick Google check showed an urgent care less than a mile away but it wouldn’t open until 10:00. (I guess urgent has a different meaning in NOLA than other places I’ve been.) We arrived at the opening bell and after an examination and an X-Ray the verdict was in- fractured clavicle and a probability of surgery. The doctor gave us a sling, suggested we get another opinion ASAP and hooked us up with an orthopedist at Tulane University. Same verdict but the new doc was confident that the surgery could wait until we got back to Tampa.
Pat made an appointment with a local orthopedist and got a second (third?) opinion. Surgery will not be necessary but Pat’s arm will be in a sling for another three weeks which will be followed by weeks of physical therapy. One little slip and a Thanksgiving vacation turns into a first world horror story.
First world horror- you know- the kind where we’re inconvenienced?
Me? I’d be crying in my soup singing the woe is me solo.
My wife? Not having any of it. Just taking life in stride and looking forward to being able to be more active once she gets a little healed.
There really are a million reasons that I call her the goddess.