Spend any amount of time being active and you’ll learn quickly, it’s not “if” you fall, wreck, or get lost, it’s “when”. Watching the Tour de France, World Cup, or any professional sport, you’ll see that even the pros are subject to bumps, scrapes, bruises, bandages, stitches, and blood running down an appendage.
This weekend’s location of choice for for the latest reason behind the bandages on both knees and my right elbow was the Barton Creek Greenbelt East (Loop 360 Access) trail head. I had planned to trail run for 2 to 2.5 hours, allowing me to spend good quality alone time on the greenbelt and all the surprises it has to offer. Approximately two and a half minutes into my run, before I knew what was happening– SURPRISE! I went from being upright, to being laid out flat, face down in the dirt in a matter of seconds. I tried to quickly get up to dust off and keep running, but I soon realized this fall was more than what I expected. I looked at my elbow, where all the pain was coming from and soon realized I had to big gashes near my elbow that were going to need professional attention.
I took myself to urgent care where the doctor and I pulled into the parking lot at the same time. She greeted me and soon saw the reason for my visit. I had the whole urgent care place to myself. I was checked in quickly and before I knew it, my wounds and I were in good hands. The elbow wounds required numbing shots so that the doctor could inspect the wound and the nurse could thoroughly clean the wounds. The nurse said, “Each time I irrigate the wound, more dirt comes out…” These numbing shots reminded me of the same shots I receive when having dental procedures performed. The shots sting at first, but after about 30 seconds the only thing I feel is pressure (no pain). My knees were skinned pretty good and the right knee had a the makings of a pretty good knot. After a whirlwhind of soapy water, triple acting antibacterial creme, gauze, non-stick pads, and cloth tape, I was ready to leave urgent care, grab some breakfast, and then spend the afternoon couch with pain meds and antibiotics.
I don’t fall often and there haven’t been many times that I’ve had to seek medical attention. I can say that how I react to scenarios such as this has dramatically changed. The “independent and tough” version of me 10 years ago would not have stepped foot into an emergency care facility. I would have either tried to keep running or gone home and suffered silently while cleaning my wounds. I have learned that it is okay to seek help whether it be professional or that of friends or a loving spouse. The doctor did tell me that my wounds on my elbow are pretty deep and since there wasn’t any skin to stitch, it’s very important to keep the wound clean, bandaged, and medicated. Would I have been able to see that on my own by starring at my elbow from either a reflection in the mirror or from an award angel while bending my arm looking past my wrist and forearm to see my wounds? Who knows? I do have peace of mind knowing that someone else was able to check me out and take good care of me.
As soon as I am healed, I’ll be back on the greenbelt to pick up where I left off on the Saturday morning when my run turned into forced rest and recovery.