Six years ago today, I was run over by a truck while cycling. My left femur was broken in two, and I suffered a major concussion. Emergency surgery followed, and the result is what you see on the left. A couple of stainless steel rods, drilled directly into my bones, and a big screw to hold things in place.
I love this x-ray. (Click on the image to see all the gnarly details.) It’s a wonderful combination of sophisticated orthopedic surgery and some very basic mechanics. I think of it as my hardware upgrade.
Following the surgery, I had fourteen months of physiotherapy, three times a week, until I was functional again. That meant I could walk, climb stairs, and sit normally. But I couldn’t walk for more than twenty minutes at a time, and then I did so with a slight lurch. As if that weren’t enough, seven months after the surgery (the day before Christmas Day, in fact) I was told I had prostate cancer. 2005 wasn’t exactly a great year.
I did start running again, but not until January 0f 2008. During the interim, I went through a lot. The physical rehab was part of it, but the psychological and emotional stuff was an even greater journey. I struggled with my image of myself as a strong healthy man. I was forced to admit that I don’t deal with pain very well. There were times when I was simply frightened, more than I’d ever been before. But I also learned that I was a survivor, and that I could, with patience and determination, work things through. As a result, I now look at life differently that I did before May 4, 2005. I realize that I really am a very strong old animal – and I celebrate that truth every single day.
Hip hooray, indeed!