2022-12-04: I’ve Had Better Novembers

Some of you may have heard about my recent injuries. I thought I’d share some of the details and bring my saga up to date.

November was a bad month for me. Friday morning (November-12) while riding my bike from the grocery store, I swerved to avoid a fast approaching car and hit a curb. I came down hard on my right shoulder. The agony I experienced was immediate and intense. I couldn’t breathe with any but the shallowest breaths. In retrospect, I should have stayed down and called an ambulance. But I picked up my bike (that was rough!) and got myself home with a plan to lie down until the pain subsided (it did not). I called my tenant, a friend of many years, and he drove me to the nearest Emergency Room. 

Saturdays in an ER is no place anyone should be. I bounced between waiting areas and exam rooms four or five hours before I got a CT Scan. They wheeled me back to the waiting area, and it must have been another 20 minutes before they realized my condition was critical. An EMT came to get me with a wheelchair and pushed me to the ambulance bay. A team of nurses and EMTs loaded me onto a gurney and transported me to the nearest trauma center. As the team put me on a gurney, the nurse in attendance told me what my injuries were. He prefaced by saying, “nobody breaks their #1 rib”; they sit behind the collar bones and are generally sheltered from outside forces. He went on to tell me I’d broken both of them and punctured my lungs. I thought to myself, “Congratulations Jack! Once again, you did what few others could do.”

Twenty minutes later, I arrived at the trauma center of Palomar Hospital in Escondido, where they inserted a tube through my left rib-cage. I spend Saturday through Friday in the trauma center with broken ribs (#1 left and #1 right) and punctured lungs (complete left side and partial right side). I came home with a long road to recovery ahead of me. 

Now, two weeks from being released from the trauma center, there is still pain, but I’ve weaned myself off meds. They messed with my head and my equilibrium more than they helped. It seems like about once a year I find a way to do myself in. Ah well, this too will pass.