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The flying numpty
So I've been riding bicycles from the age of about four, which means forty years. I've cycled up and down the lane hundreds of times, and many times to collect the dustbin.
Except Friday evening. I cycled up, as normal. Reduced speed, pulled on the brake, all as normal, and the next thing I know I was on the ground with the bike landing on me, and most of my weight being taken on my right hand. That was a little less than normal.
I said a few choice words, hooked up the bin, and cycled back more slowly as...of course...parts of me hurt. That's to be expected.
Saturday. The pain from my hand. The squishy bit below the thumb. Now mom is not able to drive at the moment for her own health reasons. A person who has been brilliant in helping us has her own things that need done, and the French man that's been taking me to work and back four days of the week was at work. I tried calling the Mayor to see if anybody could take me to the hospital and he wasn't around. So I called the little health centre to ask what I should do.
"Call the firemen, call 18", she said.
So, I did.
I called les pompiers.
I was expecting the man that replied to say "Is something on fire? Is there a cat in a tree? If not, why are you bothering us?"
But he didn't. He calmly listened to the story of what happened, then put me in touch with the SAMU (service of reanimation) who then put me in touch with the university hospital in Rennes. All of these on the same call, all speaking to each other. At the end a doctor said he would have an ambulance sent out to take me to hospital.
And that's exactly what happened. An ambulance, like on Casualty. I was laid in the bed (which I must say was extremely comfortable). I said "It's my wrist" with the implied "what the hell", and the ambulance woman said that the doctor in Rennes signed off on taking me to hospital in an ambulance so that's extremely literally what they did.
I waited for about half an hour to tell the story to a young female technician who poked and prodded and expressed utter horror that I hadn't dosed myself on painkillers. Many medical people in France seem genuinely surprised if a person isn't on some sort of medication. We settled on a 500mg paracetamol. I was then directed to radiology where I was met by a very cute young woman who put my hand on a cold metal plate and set up the x-ray machine. The plate was a wireless sensor of some sort that took an image and sent it to the computer. I had four x-rays in various positions. I sat and waited for about five minutes while they were printed. Then I was taken to another waiting room. This took longer, maybe forty or so minutes. A doctor eventually met me, a woman in her forties (maybe), certainly the only person around who looked older then mid twenties. She poked, prodded, and looked at the x-rays and figured that it looked like I had likely torn a tendon or two and the force of doing so had knocked the thumb a little out of alignment. I was given a wrist brace, signed off work for three weeks (part of my job involves handing big 20 litre bottles of corrosive chemicals - so you need both hands working for that), and told to phone a specialist on Monday to make an appointment. It all went pretty smoothly, the only hiccup was that the taxi ride home from the hospital was not reimbursed (about €45), but I was expecting to have to pay both ways, so that wasn't such a big thing, and I'd recoup that in the savings in petrol in not going to work. Plus, ambulance. Wheee!
I was not drunk or on a sugar high. I honestly don't know what happened between braking and bouncing off the ground. I imagine I slid in gravel, but, come on, I've been cycling on and off for the past forty years. It's not like I've never come across gravel before. Also, I only ever use the back brake. Many years ago, at school, I pulled on both brakes and was thrown over the handlebars (to land in grass), so after that I never use the front brake in movement. So it wasn't that. I dunno. I type this with a banged up hand and think that, all things considered, it could have been a lot worse.
Thing is, when your opposable thumb doesn't, things that were easy suddenly aren't. Tearing open cat food sachets. Closing windows. Straining pasta. Opening jam jars. Carrying a tray of food to the table. Little things like that. Many, and endlessly. It kind of makes you appreciate why we run the world and cats don't...
Here's my zombie impression:
The cherry blossom was starting as of last Saturday, and when this lovely hot weather rolled in, all the trees burst into flower, then leaf. The white cherry is wild cherry, and new this year is a "kanzan" decorative cherry - proper Sakura, with lovely pink flowers.
Random photos, random trees, random times of day...
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Last read at 11:38 on 2021/12/04.
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