Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wrist Shot

Gilda woke up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in her left wrist, a remnant of a fall she took over the summer as she descended a friend’s sloped driveway. She's been suffering off and on, made all the more inconvenient because she's a lefty. She's going to see a hand specialist this week. Until then she's been wearing a wrist brace at night, a souvenir of one of my bicycling misfortunes.

We were out in Uniondale for a weekend soccer tournament for Dan’s traveling all star team. We took our bikes with us as we knew there'd be lots of down time between and after games. Uniondale is next to Garden City where we rode.

The end of our family jaunt was on Stewart Avenue, a major roadway. I’d recently learned to ride a two-wheeler (shortly after I turned 40), so I wasn’t too comfortable riding on a busy thoroughfare. I suggested we bike on the sidewalk. Gilda said it would be safer in the street as the roadway was better maintained than the sidewalk. Fearful of cars, I insisted on the sidewalk. While Gilda, Dan and Ellie rode on the street, I pedaled along on the sidewalk. 

As we approached a massive tree with a low hanging branch, Dan said he would try to reach up to touch it. I turned my head to tell him not to, in so doing steered my bike directly into the tree trunk. I crashed, breaking my fall with my right forearm. X-rays from a midnight trip to the emergency room revealed no broken bones, but the wrist took months to heal, less time than it took my ego to admit Gilda was right about where to ride.

Now, careful readers should have noted Gilda hurt her left wrist, I hurt my right. Thus, she could not possibly be using the brace from my fall in Garden City. Correct! She’s wearing the brace from the fall I took the next summer on a charity bicycle ride along the shore in Norwalk, Conn. On a hairpin turn a car came, in my view, perilously close to knocking me over. I panicked and tumbled to my left, breaking the fall with my left wrist. 

I was lucky. I escaped both times with no more than a bone bruise, no torn ligaments, no hairline fracture. It was inconvenient trying to type while wearing the brace, but I survived. We’re really hoping Gilda is at least equally fortunate.