It all started innocently enough.
My grandsons had Friday off. Perfect day to hit the Lumberyard with them and one of their buddies. We knew things would be tight in spots, but we decided taking our trail bikes was the right move because it would be great skills work.
Almost all of the corners at the Lumberyard are banked for easy railing. I was cruising through the pump track and didn’t pay attention to the fact that the corner I was approaching was more like an oval wall ride, with no banking.
By then, my front wheel was about 18 inches up on the wall and I didn’t have enough speed to sustain it. The front wheel folded. I went down and stuck out my left hand before I hit the concrete floor.
I thought it was going to be fine until my grandson Carter said, “Papa, your finger is pointing sideways.”
I’d dislocated the middle finger on my left hand, but the good news that a dude who was nearby offered to put it back in for me. I said, “Go for it.”
It made some crunching sounds but didn’t hurt all that much. First time I’d ever had a dislocation or a put-back, so I got two things off my bucket list simultaneously.
Problem was that when I tried to stand up, I got light-headed and broke out in a sweat. One of the Lumberyard guys helped me back to our table. I thought that if I just sat there for a minute I’d be able to get my glove back on and continue riding.
Unfortunately, the EMTs had been called, and this is when things really started going bad. They hooked me up for some tests and discovered that my heart rate was in the mid-30s and my blood pressure was extremely low.
But it gets worse.
They hooked me up to the EKG, and I knew where things were headed. I have a heartbeat anomaly that has caused issues in the past. After an EKG in 2010, I had to go through a complete work-up that included a stress test and a meeting with a heart specialist to prove that there was no problem.
I was only semi-coherent but I tried to explain that the EKG was not going to look normal. Right on cue, their machine started spitting out one printout after another because it thought I was having a cardiac incident.
It’s never pleasant to be lying on the floor in front of your grandsons and other people or being hauled off on a stretcher. Their buddy’s mom had shown up and said she could take them home. I gave them a hug, told them I’d be fine, and said to max the day.
Soon I was in the ER at Portland Adventist, undergoing a series of tests, all of which came back negative. Except for the x-ray that showed I had a fracture in my ring finger. Another item to add to my long list of biking-related breakage.
Probably no work as a hand model for a couple of weeks, but I was able to make the beer tour on Saturday and run a chainsaw at the Massacre at Growlers on Sunday. If I can get a glove on that hand on Tuesday, I will be riding.