Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Humans are Good

Over the years I have spent on the side of the road riding a bike I have developed a theory about humans: 
99% of people are kind, caring, and considerate, however 1% of selfish angry people are capable of ruining the reputation of all drivers by treating me like dirt. 
I try to remind myself of this theory every time terrible things happen or are said, because its much more difficult to project kindness than it is to project abrasive selfishness. This is how I reflect on many things I hear on the news, that I see from time to time, and the people that narrowly avoid me on the roads to prove that, I dont know, they are not nice.

I think the main issue is that so often the considerate and kind action also is the quiet unnoticed one. It is not until something terrible happens to me that I find my theory is actually closer to fact. Last Wednesday I was hit by the medical car after chasing back to the peloton after my second flat tire of the day. I broke my collar bone and will spend a considerable amount of time losing all the fitness I worked so hard for as the race season goes on without me. It is at times like this that kind, considerate people have a chance to be boisterous, and I am overwhelmed at how loud the kindness has been in my life since last Wednesday.

Emails, facebook messages, phone calls, texts, red-eye flights, state-wide drives, changed travel plans, butler-esque service, doctor appointments, held doors, commiserating shaking heads, tweets, likes, visits, help offered, and general above-and-beyond actions have overwhelmed me this week. The 99% of kind people are in their wheelhouse and giving all of humanity a good name, and for that I am truly thankful. I figured I would pass that on to all of you who read this blog: people are really good, and kindness makes a big difference! Here are some pictures:
Even my dog was worried about me.
Host house care package!
A good team comes to check on me.
Thumbs up to you all! 
So, to all of you kind and caring people, I figured I would update you on the last week of my life and what is coming up for me now in the near future.

After the race I found out that I had broken my left collar bone and would need to see an Orthopedic Surgeon to determine a course of action. Frankie set me up with a surgeon in the area who determined that the collar bone would need surgery, but my insurance (being an HMO) would only cover an in-network provider, which meant I would need to go back to Wisconsin.

Enter: Super Mom.

My mom flew to Ontario, CA, rented a car, got a hotel room for us both, and then proceeded to help me call every surgeon and person who knew a surgeon and even person who ever thought about being a surgeon in Wisconsin. By Friday morning we had 4 appointments in Wisconsin, with a pending 5th, all with in-network providers, all willing to help me get back on my bike as soon as humanly possible. We then booked red-eye flights for that night out of San Jose, and began the 7 hour drive from LA to San Jose. Meanwhile, Frankie was gathering all the information I would need to help navigate paying for all of this later down the road, and adapted the entire team plan around my needs. As we worked our way up California, we stopped at a FedEx Office to send X-Rays from a CD to a surgeon my Dad found (the Milwaukee Bucks' Surgeon) who was willing to look at them that minute and make a call. So, by the time my mom was riding in her first UBER car to the airport for our 10:59pm Friday night flight to Milwaukee, we had a surgeon, we had a diagnosis, we had Frankie shaking everyone down for contact info, and we had a plan for the next 2 months of my life. THANKS SUPER MOM!

Saturday morning we arrive in Milwaukee and I take my first break from gathering information and finding a doctor and setting up my life since the accident, and watched the NCAA Final 4. Phew. Super mom was asleep, and super dad had taken over. He brought me a much needed beer and steak.

Sunday rolls around and my surgeon calls me and meets me in his office WITH HIS PARENTS IN TOW (he had just finished getting dinner with them for his dad's birthday) just to look me over and get me in for surgery the next day. I call his scheduler monday morning, and 2 hours later I am laying in a hospital gown, answering easy questions about my date of birth and my smoking history, and taking pills that make me feel really, really happy. At 6pm on Monday I woke up in the recovery room with a swollen Uvula, a plate in my shoulder, and a new pair of hospital grade compression socks.

From Wednesday at 12:30pm to Monday at 6:00pm I managed to break my collar bone, see a doctor, see a surgeon, re-plan my life, drive from LA to San Jose, fly to Milwaukee, see another surgeon, and get the collar bone plated. Thanks to super parents, a passionate surgeon, a great director, and a ton of really kind people. So, thanks to all of you, I am sitting here writing this, on my way back to racing already.

That is some great stuff. How do I think the season will go? Well, I chased down the field twice last Wednesday by myself, and now Im even more focused than before, so I'd say in a month or so, Ill be back out there winning races with all this behind me, motivating me to push even harder.