Friday, April 15, 2016


Hospital being dull I begged them to let me out and since it costs $700 a night they were pleased to be shot of me. Had to learn to walk up and down steps before they'd let me go, though. The physio was called Matilda and she confirmed that she was indeed extremely bored of what patients considered their mastery of wit and ready repartee.

Option one for the fresh cripple is to loll in bed and groan like Mungo. Option two is to see what can be accomplished in the absence of a full cluster of functioning limbs. Natch you overdo it the first two days but at least you replace the huge step into Maud with two smaller steps that you can navigate in your reduced state of agility.

First day is spent shuffling round the sheds locating and measuring the available planking, and the second day spent calculating exactly which planks could be sawn into which lengths to attain the required goal. The third day is spent cajoling Peter Bradley into cutting the planks on your mitre saw that sits on the ground and that you can't quite reach.

Two small steps for mankind, replacing one giant leap hitherto

Then, exhausted, some bed-lolling takes place. From this you awaken when you discover said Peter Bradley, volunteering gratis to mow all your lawns, has extended this to asking for your chainsaw to cut down the horrible pink tree in the garden.
"Can you use a chainsaw, Peter?"
"What d'you mean, can I use a chainsaw? I'm a Kiwi."
But when suitably knackered you'd be surprised how much sleep you can accomplish with a chainsaw zinging away outside the bedroom window. It's the shredding of all the branches in your Honda-powered garden shredder that wakes you up.

Peter, shredding.

 A series of visitors bring grapes and light reading and bicycles for redistribution (if you can locate appropriate-sized children) and after a while you cease to be surprised to find at the back door an anonymous bag containing venison sausages or an ice-cream container full of figs.

Random gifts. Sausages, in this case. Later traced to Caillin Trainor LLB and his .308 hunting rifle

The fact is, when crippledom hits, everyone rallies round.

Nevertheless the chief attraction of the adventure is to see what you can manage, and yes it does take more time but what else would you be doing?

First, holsters on the crutches. Some kind of juice bottle, top cut off, and a bike pump clip reversed and screwed to the bottle, the crutch diameter being serendipitously the same diameter as the bike pump. Rubber band on the handle and then you can carry your grabber around without it clattering so much. Loop of webbing to lasso your foot and tug it onto useful things like beds or sofas.

Hanging out the washing is done using crutch-drive. I got the children's wagon and put a strap round the handle and harnessed it to my waist. With crutches as ski-poles it was easy to tow it to the line, and the wagon meant I didn't have to bend down to peg up the clothes.

In the meantime I informed the rellies of the accident:
Went round corner at bottom of road too fast. Leaning heavily to left . Pedal struck road. Lost control & landed inexplicably on right hip which broke off. Operated on next day. Five grim nights in hospital, sleeping only under morphine; glad to be out. Mobile on crutches but very slow

and received an immediate analysis from my brother who, like Mr. Larrington's friend Mr. Ferrari, is an engineer:
High side crash usually caused by loss of rear traction; pedal lifting the back wheel off the road most likely in your case. Next, traction is suddenly regained (pedal no longer on the road) and the bike rotates about its contact patches because the back end slides away tangentially to the turn and is no longer able to roll in the direction the front wheel is pointed. Simply put, lose the back end when leaned over, regain traction and flip over. More energy with higher CG, so I presume this was on an upright, not a recumbent. On motorbikes, a HS crash is generally associated with race tracks, not road crashes. Happens very quickly and is usually painful. - Makes my current bad cold seem like nothing at all.

One rather alarming thing was a brief examination of my crash helmet, which had smashed a chunk out of where my lower rear cranium was, so it could've been lots worse, like dribbling and wheelchairs for evermore. Or, as Dr. Saunders said when he popped in at lunchtime, a box.

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Blogger Tim Mullett said...

Having experienced a HS on M/C event on the road, I can confirm it's rapidity.

April 15, 2016 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger richard middleton said...

Did it hurt, Tim?

April 15, 2016 at 2:29 AM  
Blogger Tim Mullett said...

Yes, broken collarbone - not condusive to being able to tie ones own shoes for several weeks.

April 15, 2016 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Mr Larrington said...

I do not know how quickly bad news travels to New Toyland (though I suspect it's the usual FTL thing), but our Highly-Esteemed former Leader Mr Michael Burrows has also broken his femur, courtesy of a diseasel spillage. Bah, to coin a phrase.

April 26, 2016 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger richard middleton said...

Oh shit.

April 26, 2016 at 9:28 PM  

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