“I want to look like Indiana Jones.”

My plastic surgeon just smiled and kept on stitch’n me up. “This will hurt.” Blunt, to the point, and the point stung.

“Will you give me some pain meds?” trying to keep a tight lip.  

“No,” and he didn’t.

Dr. Lee began stitching my face in the triage room, did my chin (Indiana Jones style), looked at my lip and said

“we’ll get the plastic surgeon to do this.” 

So Dr. Coleman to the rescue. They had taken me to my room, and he proceeded to stitch me up there. Not even a nurse to hold me down.  I don’t like pain.

No mirror in my room, so I took my photo and discovered that he made me look like Betty White!

We were bicycling the back bay circuit, taking the ferry from Balboa Isle to Newport peninsula, and on to Charlie’s Chili for breakfast. Returning via Pacific Coast Highway, we entered the underpass to return to the back bay. My dark glasses, the darkness of the tunnel, and the newly asphalted trail were black. In an instant I was on the ground feeling foolish for crashing. My neck hurt. My tongue felt for my lip and it was split. Shit. 

My “breakfast” buddies called 911, and the tunnel was soon full of first responders. Oh, do I like our police and fire personnel and whoever else showed up. Neck brace and lots of questions and lots of concern. Delightful in retrospect. My first ride in a paramedic ambulance. You would think that there would be shocks to smooth out the bumps, and the driver would break slowly.  Sirens all the way to the OC Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, passing up Hoag and probably a couple more hospitals on the way.  My neck hurt with every bump and stop. 

Directly into the triage room from the ambulance and a dozen doctors and nurses and first responders thusly began pulling off my clothes and drilling me with questions. My tongue was not cooperating, but they got what they needed, and Dr. Lee started stitching my “Indiana Jones” look then deferred when she realized my lower lip was a challenge. They took me directly to my room –413 A. 

At 82 (in a couple of days), I consider giving up bicycling as a risk not intended for old bones and thin skin. As much joy and exercise it affords me, do I give in and give up?  This is the second crash that placed me in the emergency room in five years. Damn, I love bicycling to breakfast.

4 thoughts on “Triage

  1. Wow
    Glad you are ok
    Perhaps lighten up on the biking
    Don’t give it up entirely!


  2. Sending you healing wishes and hoping you will be able to return to OLLI soon. I will keep an eye out for someone who looks like Betty White.
    Florine Miller


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