Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jordan on the road to recovery

I think this is the first time I've ever been given an open forum on the True-Motion blog, so I hope I don't mess it up. I know I'm safe when someone else is writing the questions, but when I'm answering my own questions, the results are potentially much dicier! To give a quick recap, for any first time readers, my life of late has been mostly a journey of recovery following a hit-and-run accident on Mar 23 when a van pulled out in front of me during a ride resulting in two severed jugular veins (out of six in the human body), 3L of blood loss (out of ~6L in most people), a broken clavicle, and a broken zygomaxillary arch (facial bones). As gruesome as that all sounds, I will say it is remarkably minimal considering what could have happened. I did NOT break my neck. I did NOT damage either of my eyes. My jaw and teeth got knocked a bit but seem on their way to a full recovery without any root canals or lost teeth. And, most importantly, there was no damage that the doctors felt I would not recovery from fully. The timeframe is still up in the air, with some nerve damage maybe taking as long as 18 months to fully heal, but I am thankful every day that there is no injury that the doctors perceive as being permanent. It read recently that scars are just tattoos with better stories, so it looks like all I will come away with is some new "ink" and the ability - maybe - to set off airport metal detectors naked.

I lived in my True-Motion polo shirts even more often than normal out of the hospital because the soft cotton was easy on my scar tissue and open collars made them easier to pull on with one good arm. Amazing the things that matter to you when life isn't "normal." I found a new appreciation for the heel-pull-tab on my running shoes, since it made them easier to slip on with one arm, something that matters a lot when you have only one arm to put your shoes on with. Wool socks were another great comfort since with the blood loss, I found that I was cold all the time. But slowly, these symptoms are fading or have faded. I now put on my True-Motion polos just because they look good. I still can't run due to doctor's orders, but I keep my running shoes laced up in anticipation of the day I am able to do so. And I wear whatever socks I want to. Some days I even find I get too hot and went out in shorts for the first time in almost two months thanks to the arrival of some new blood and the California summer.

I was telling the story of my accident to someone the other day, and they remarked how they never would have guessed that the scars on my neck weren't some sort of birthmark. That's a far cry from the day I left the hospital and had someone stop me at the local supermarket to say, "I don't mean to seem rude, but what happened?" I still find that I'm shocked on occasion when I look in the mirror, but that too is fading as the scars themselves heal and fade. There was a time when I felt like I'd left a piece of myself out on the road and that I'd never get it back. But I no longer feel that way. Now I spend most days counting down until I can rediscover that part of myself doing what I've done for the past 7 years - swimming, biking, and running.

For now, I'm not much of a swimmer - workouts are now mostly kicking as opposed to that being something that I simply do because I have to - and I'm not much of a biker - a long workout is 45min on the trainer - and I'm not any sort of runner - thanks Dr. Reid. But I will be. And knowing that is a relatively new phenomenon for me. And it feels pretty good. I guess I'm finally being true to myself. Probably should have poked around on this website sooner. There's good advice in addition to good clothing...

(photo courtesy if Michael Lovato's Twitter feed)