It has been seven months since I returned from Switzerland. Might it be time to wrap up the posting about the trip? Yep. That's what I thought you'd say. So, I guess this is it, the last report on the 2008 Swiss ride. When you are through cheering, you can read on...
Week of Sunday, September 7
Travel Home and Adjusting
Flights home (Zurich to Brussels, Brussels to Chicago and Chicago to La Crosse) were uneventful and, to my surprise and relief, not so uncomfortable as I had feared. Many thanks to the nice young lady who sat next to me on the long flight to Chicago as she helped during the meal service, opening packages of silverware and the assortment of food items wrapped in that nearly-impenetrable-in-the-best-of-circumstances packaging.
Eileen, as part of the conspiracy (remember, that's Bill's word), had gotten in touch with Paul, who met me at the airport in La Crosse. He was a welcome sight indeed. Not only did he deal with the luggage - my suitcase and the bike box arrived on the same flight that I did - he took me to the grocery store to shop for provisions and then treated me to dinner at TGI Friday's. Much appreciated. Very much appreciated. When I settled in, I found a message from Ron on the phone. He had a similar experience and called to offer support and advice regarding medical treatment. Now his experience was only similar in that we both had broken collar bones; beyond that, his injuries were considerably more serious. That did, however, lend a certain weight to his advice!
Bill wanted to check on my well being early in the week, so we went to the Bodega. As good a place as any for a medical consult. He offered assistance as needed. I appreciated this, of course, but wondered deep down if this wasn't more to make sure he didn't get into any more trouble with our wives over the accident and resulting conspiracy. And this could happen. While Bill has not had a really serious cycling injury himself, he is a known carrier.
Bob and Gordy stepped up and helped me keep the splint adjusted. You might recall that the nurse in Switzerland told me that it "might be a little uncomfortable," and that I was to come to the conclusion that this was one of the great understatements of all time. The new splint I got here was sooooo much better.
Jerry and Lois provided a meal. And company in enjoying it, making it that much more pleasant. Jerry also agreed to change the dressing on my shoulder a couple of times. Above and beyond... Andrea sent along a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies (AKA fruit and fiber delivery systems); Mike didn't eat any before he delivered them (I'm told) and he drove me home one morning to get a forgotten security badge. In fact, everyone expressed concern and provided kindnesses that made the week tolerable.
In general, the shoulder wasn't too painful; but, there were moments. Like the time something rolled off the kitchen counter and I instinctively reached out with my left hand to catch it. YIKES!!!! Also, getting in and out of bed resulted in distinctly unpleasant sensations so I "slept" in the recliner in the living room more than once. Not surprisingly, I was tired most of the time. I drove a bit, going to the clinic and store. It wasn't too bad, although I kept the shoulder belt UNDER my arm; you know, the thought of it cinching up against my broken clavicle...
Shirley did the cruise with her mom and they had a wonderful time. With a lot of help, I muddled through the week. By the time she got home, I was becoming functional in a minimalistic way, but it was certainly nice to have her back.
You already know the rest of the story. The clavicle officially declared a non-union in February; Lance jumping on the bandwagon; me riding again, an experiment to see if the non-union is going to be an OK state or if surgery might be in the offing. And, planning a real test with the Glacier National Park, Waterton ride in July. I'm in training for it. And I have a really long way to go. Now...
...bring me that horizon!