A Bone Of Contention

Earlier this summer I wrote a post about my cycling accident and the broken collarbone that caused all my summer plans to come crashing down.

I held out hope for 8 long weeks that by mid August I would have my summer back. Although publicly I was stating that my dream of cycling Thailand had died the day I crashed, there was a tiny spark of optimism … the final payment on our bike tour from Bangkok to Phuket wouldn’t be due until the end of August.

I TRULY BELIEVED that I could be healed and back in cycling form – albeit, marginal – in time for our October trip.

Those dreams however started to get wobblier with each passing week whenever I tried to spin indoors on my bike. Even a short ride of 30 or 40 minutes resulted in ugly feedback from my shoulder.

But I still continued to cling to a slim hope. It was going to be virtually impossible for me to complete all 1000 kilometers of the tour, but I thought I could likely complete *most* of it.

The weekend before my followup appointment with the Fracture Clinic, I bought a new helmet to replace the one damaged in the crash.  I planned to be ready to ride again because  I expected the followup x-ray to show a beautifully knitted bone – perfectly healed.

That’s how badly I wanted to go to Thailand … so I was emotionally unprepared for reality.

BEFORE – June 22,  the day of the crash ….

xray - June 22

 

AFTER – August 10th – 7 weeks after the crash ….

xray - aug 15

I was absolutely devastated when I saw the new x-ray.

The problem with a collarbone is that it can’t really be *set* without surgery and a plate to secure the bone.  Apparently there isn’t a good way to immobilize a collarbone.  If there is, I didn’t have it, and unfortunately my version of ‘taking it easy’ was still too much for my injured shoulder.  Significant displacement (in my opinion) of the fracture had now occurred.

I was assured by my doctor in the Fracture Clinic that the almost-full mobility in my arm was good news and testament to the healing that was well in progress.

But there is still a long way to go – I was given a new 5 week window … not to mention the bump on my shoulder that would always. be. there.

A good friend managed to make me laugh out loud – in spite of my despondent mood –  when she called me Mo-Jo … a short form for Quasimodo Joanne.

Quasimodo_28

Image from disney.wikia.com

So now my Thailand dream trip is truly dead.  Notification has been sent to the tour company and been acknowledged by them.  My travelling friends have been advised, their condolences have been received, and I’m trying to maintain a brave face.

But I know that on October 4th when our flight leaves Toronto without me …  I will be having a very unhappy day.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Active Lifestyle, Attitude, Outdoor Stuff, Random Stuff, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

128 Responses to A Bone Of Contention

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  3. Mrs. P says:

    Oh, wow…I missed this…I am so sorry!

    Like

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  5. Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry! You must be in pain still! You’ll probably need a pin to hold the bones together to nix the pain and get back on the bike and a normal life.

    I needed a pin to hold my shattered wrist together once I got that surgery 3 weeks after the break all the pain vanished and the healing finally began. Whine, complain, be the squeaky wheel to get a pin and start the healing so you don’t miss any Spring cycling too!

    Like

  6. LB says:

    While I am so very sorry to hear this news, I am glad that you have been able to finally share the news. Sometimes acceptance helps to ease the emotional pain. Still, what a big bummer for you and your friends!
    Your xrays are very similar to the ones a patient showed me yesterday (after I examined her and found the lump on her clavicle). Glad to hear that you have almost full mobility, how is your pain?

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Thanks Laurie – I have no pain and although I have virtually full use of my arm, I’ve been told to still avoid carrying anything even remotely heavy on my left.
      … and I still can’t sleep comfortably on my left side.

      You’re right though – acceptance does ease the disappointment and quite frankly offers a kind of relief too. Wallowing in self-pity drains a lot of energy!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. boristoronto says:

    I’m really sorry to hear the healing hasn’t gone as planned. That is such a devastating thing. I’m also really sorry that your trip is also gone down with this news. My sincerest condolences.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks – misery really does love company 🙂
      The injury would have been bad enough on its own, but completely sideswiping a trip for which I’ve been planning and training for a year really bites.

      Like

      • boristoronto says:

        Sadly sometimes things like this go hand in hand. Physical activity comes with great rewards and risks. I’m sorry that it has come down to you losing out on your trip and hard work that’s gone into it.

        Like

        • joannesisco says:

          Very true about the rewards and risks.
          My husband and I have often commented to each other (usually when we’re trying to perk the other one up after an injury), that we wouldn’t get hurt if we stayed at home all the time and just watched TV.

          … but then life would be very boring.

          Like

  8. Peta Kaplan says:

    Ooh missing a trip is hard. Sorry to hear this. That’s the bad news… But the good news is it’s healing. And…Thailand will still be there for a different trip another time. ( I know, easy to say….)

    Peta

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Peta, I’m one of those people who believe that things happen for a reason.
      As disappointing as this is, there’s also a part of me that’s wondering ‘why?’ … not because I’m angry, but because I’m curious.
      My instinct tells me that the broken collarbone is a blessing in disguise, but I’ll likely never know why.
      … and my instincts are usually right.

      And of course … Thailand will always be there!! 🙂

      Like

  9. Peta Kaplan says:

    Ooh missing a trip is hard. That’s the bad news… But the good news is its healing. And…Thailand will still be there for a different trip another time. ( I know, easy to say….)

    Peta

    Like

  10. AYR says:

    Now I truly understand why you weren’t blogging as much. So very sorry your Thailand adventure had to come to a “crashing” halt. (Sorry) I hope you start to mend soon and can replay your travels down the road

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      I don’t know if I’ll get another chance to do this Thailand trip. It was supposed to be my “last epic adventure” since I turned 60 this year. I doubt I will make the effort to train for a 1000 km bike trip after this. I had already invested a year of training. At 60, it was tough to do … it will be even harder going forward.
      … but I really appreciate the kind thought. Who knows? Never say never 🙂

      Like

  11. I’m very sorry. I broke my collarbone and it was very unpleasant. If I’d lost a holiday too that would have made it miserable. Get well soon.

    Like

  12. bikerchick57 says:

    Joanne, I am so very sorry that you had to cancel your trip to Thailand and so sorry that your collarbone didn’t heal as you had expected. If I lived anywhere near you, I’d be over to your house on October 4th with two bottles of wine and my support.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks for the sympathy Mary. It’s been frustrating and disappointing, but I’m actually surprised by how much better I feel now that I’ve given notice to the tour company and blogged about it. The process has been cathartic and now I’m ready to think about Plan B … whatever that is 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Su Leslie says:

    Oh Joanne, I’m so sorry to hear you had to cancel. I know how important your trip was to you, and also how important it is to have hope. I think you definitely need a totally fabulous distraction on Oct 4th (and lots of other little nice things to do over what would have been the duration of your trip). Take care and heal well my friend.

    Like

  14. joey says:

    How rotten! What is your collarbone even doing with all its time?!? I’m so very sorry for your plans being ruined. I think you should think of something marvelous to do on October 4th, a distraction of a pleasant sort! You can come here, we’ll have leftover birthday cake 😉

    Like

  15. I’m happy to see your optimism in the shape of the new helmet. This is what pulls you through. This and bones. 🙂

    Like

  16. Lynn says:

    Ah Joanne, this totally sucks! I know how much you were looking forward to this trip & I can only imagine how incredibly disappointed you must be. Sending you uber hugs my friend & wishes for future exciting adventures once your body has healed.

    Like

  17. That really sucks balls…

    Like

  18. Oh my this does look nasty and of course such a disappointment for you. Along with everyone else here I wish you nothing but the best in getting better.

    Like

  19. Meghan says:

    That is such a drag. You probably know this already, but in true nerd form: I just learned the other day that the collarbone is the most commonly broken bone in the body because it is meant to break. It stops any reverberating stress or trauma from travelling up to your next and head by snapping and breaking the flow of force from your injury. So your body worked perfectly! (initially) I don’t think that made you feel better as I had hoped, but I do hope you feel better soon. Let’s do some low-impact ladies’ fun soon!! xox

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I did not know that!!

      I knew that the collarbone was the most commonly broken bone among cyclists … and probably some other athletic pursuits.
      But I didn’t know it was intended to break to prevent trauma to the neck and head!!
      That’s actually pretty cool 🙂

      Like

  20. reocochran says:

    Maybe plan something wild and unique on October4th to distract and disrupt your feeling of sadness and remorse, Joanne. I am sure this is not an original thought but I wonder what your first thought when I mentioned go crazy in a totally different, safe and not dangerous way?

    Like

  21. jan says:

    So sorry Joanne. There are many times when we’re unprepared for reality, aren’t there? I hope you’re not in physical pain.

    Like

  22. I’ve been waiting and waiting for this post and news of your follow up. I’m SO SORRY! However, I am glad to hear that there is improvement and healing going on…..trips we can replace, our Joanne we cannot! Am thinking about when you first posted about your training for Thailand and I said perhaps you should bike down here in preparation……maybe we should change that up and invite you and Gilles down for an stateside Thanksgiving!..might be an interesting thing to go through customs on a bike, eh? Barring that, I think you’re well-deserved of an adventure this winter…..while you’re still healing you do have some time to research…….

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Awww Torrie, I could give you a big hug … or several ❤

      I haven't given any real thought to alternative plans, but I love the idea of a Thanksgiving stateside … without any bikes 😉
      I wonder what the probability would be of talking Gilles into that one?

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Joe says:

    What a shame that you won’t be able to make it Joanne 😦 I know you had your heart set on going. It doesn’t even look like the old Italian fix (duct tape) would have helped that collar bone.

    Like

  24. Dan Antion says:

    I’m so sorry to hear, and see, this bad news. I have to ask, is surgery an option you can consider? I only ask because that just doesn’t look good. It must have been devastating to officially cancel the trip. I think you should plan a treat for yourself on October 4th. You almost have to wonder why shoulders are so important to bicycle comfort. I know first hand that if they hurt, you aren’t riding, but it seems like they should be mostly going along for the ride. At least you have friends with a good sense of humor, Mo-Jo – gotta love that.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I have to admit, Mo-Jo is rather funny 🙂

      I can see why the shoulder might be unhappy outside on the road having to absorb the shock from the road, but like you I’m rather puzzled why it should be so uncomfortable on the trainer.
      Having said that, riding indoors isn’t a great experience to begin with.

      Writing this post really helped me let go of my disappointment. I’m ready to begin making new plans again. Perhaps I should stick to hiking … 😉

      Liked by 3 people

  25. NancyTex says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this even though it’s not surprising. Any chance you could still make the trip to Thailand and make it a walking tour (with transport to other parts of the country).

    p.s. Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam was one of the many trip options I explored before booking my Oct trip.

    Like

  26. Heyjude says:

    As others have already said I had to look twice at the x-rays to see if they were in the right order. I so hope it mends soon, but obviously not in time for the big trip. Good to see that you are coming to terms with the bitter disappointment – they way I see it you need to have a really luxury weekend away for your birthday doing what you like most (NOT cycling – I forbid that), and remember October is a lovely month for autumnal colours so get out with your camera, and if all else fails for 4th October I’ll let you join me in celebrating MY birthday, I’m a few years ahead of you but who’s counting? 60 is just another number 😀
    Jude xx

    Like

  27. Sue Slaght says:

    Oh Joanne I felt like sobbing at the sight of the second x-ray. I’m so sorry it has played out this way. Definitely not fair and utterly disappointing. Definitely sending gentle hugs your way.
    Although it really doesn’t compare in 2007 I broke my foot. We had a trip to Mexico booked 5 weeks later. Long story short the x-ray looked identical to the day I fractured it 4 weeks later. Same for the following 4. I ended up on two trips with cast and crutches. Anyway I recall the heartache, the disappointment and the tears. I didn’t react as positively as you are. Bravo to you I say my friend! Xoxo

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Strangely, you actually made me feel better. If someone like you – a nurse and highly active type – can have a similar experience with an injury, I don’t feel like such a failure. Yes – as odd and illogical as it sounds, I felt like a failure … I couldn’t get a bone to heal ‘properly’.

      The purpose of this post was to put this sorry chapter behind me and finally move on. There are other adventures to dream up!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Slaght says:

        I can totally appreciate the feeling of failure Joanne. I began to think there must be something wrong with me physically that I couldn’t heal. The whole thing taught me a huge lesson. The fact was, in my case, I didn’t heal because I was too active. I was told to do minimal weight bearing and my idea and the physician’s idea were divergent. More learning when explaining to patients to be specific.
        Yes many adventures ahead no matter what today looks like. I believe it is totally reasonable and healthy to grieve the loss of the Thailand adventure. It’s a huge disappointment pure and simple. Having a positive outlook to the future will help but that doesn’t mean you need to just ‘get over it’ either.

        Like

        • joannesisco says:

          So your experience was exactly the same as mine. Being told to ‘take it easy’ isn’t exactly informative … especially since people like you and I have a very different idea of what ‘easy’ means. *No* weight bearing would have meant something to me rather than ‘take it easy’ 😦

          Liked by 1 person

  28. Oh my. It looks worse than when you did it 😣 I am sending you happy thoughts of healing.
    I hope you can get better without surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Rebekah M says:

    Aww … I’m so sorry. I feel your pain — the emotional stuff about the plane leaving (I’ve never broken anything so I can’t imagine the physical one). Perhaps it was good to write about it all here?!

    It takes time for new bone matter to form. You just never know what the Universe has in store for you. When you look back on this period of time, in a few years, there might be a few “Ah hah!” experiences.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      You know, Rebekah … that’s exactly what I’m thinking. I’m definitely one of those people who think things happen for a reason. I might not like it, but I’m not meant to take this trip.

      … and it has made a difference to write about it. That’s why we blog, isn’t it? 🙂
      I’ve had my chance to whine about this to someone other than my husband and now I’m moving on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Purpleanais says:

    I had no idea you’d broken your collarbone! I’m so very sorry, and for all your plans to have fallen through like that…I understand why you feel terrible 😦
    I do hope it gets better soon and that you will get your trip at some other point in the future – I know it’s meager consolation right now but I’m sending hugs and ❤

    Like

  31. RuthsArc says:

    Oh Joanne. Sorry to hear you’re recovery has not gone to plan. Take it easy and rest that collar bone. Perhaps the universe has other plans for you later this year?

    Liked by 1 person

  32. DailyMusings says:

    I am so sorry Joanne- I must say I winced when I saw that x ray. So disappointing. Are you wearing a sling to keep immobile? A friend of mine used a bone growth stimulator that helped to heal a bone that wasn’t healing. So sorry- I hope there is something you can treat yourself to at the end of those 5 weeks to something else special

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I was in a sling for a week and a shoulder harness for 2 additional weeks.
      I did feel marginally better when I was told that even with *immobilization*, a shoulder isn’t really immobile.

      Thankfully the bone is actually healing … it’s just taking a lot longer than I anticipated and certainly the displacement has been a huge part of that.
      You’re right though, I need to start thinking about a Plan B.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. I am beyond sorry – that is so disappointing. It really sucks to be mentally healthy and then your body lets you down. Looks like you have a lot of support and I’m sure you will find a good way to celebrate turning 60! xo Karen

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Karen – you’re exactly right … the disconnection between my head and my body is what’s making me so frustrated.
      Writing this post has been very cathartic and I’m ready to move on now and make other plans … preferably one that doesn’t involve my shoulder 😉

      Like

  34. Suvi says:

    Oh no I am so sorry to hear this Joanne!! You will have to make other plans for that day, I am sure you will think of something fabulous. Is another trip without cycling out of the question?

    Like

  35. That sucks Joanne xxx I hope you plan something really wonderful for the 4th of October. I think it should involve chocolate, fresh air and people you love. Wishing those bones back together xxx

    Like

  36. Aw, fuck! That does not look good… and no 60th birthday party at a beach bar in Thailand 😦 😦 That bloody bone has a lot to answer for.

    Like

  37. Well my friend, if I would live closer we would go and have a magnificent dinner on October 4th. Preferably at a Thai place. Your accident could have ended so much worse. Your collarbone will heal, especially if you will follow your doctor’s orders. (I know I have a hard time with it as well…don’t ask about my thumb.) Thailand will still be there waiting for. In the end, you just lost a trip.
    As for me…I always had a soft spot for Quasimodo. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Tippy Gnu says:

    I wince when I look at your X-rays. How sad that you’re going to miss your trip. I hope at least you’ll get reimbursed for whatever you’ve put down on it. And thanks for the lesson. If I ever break my collarbone, I ain’t doin’ nothin’.

    Like

  39. treerabold says:

    I am so sorry Joanne. This really does suck. I know how disappointing it can be to suffer an injury that takes you off the playing field. I hope the next 5 weeks brings you the healing you are hoping for. I agree with an earlier comment…plan something fun for Oct. 4th.

    Like

  40. nrhatch says:

    Yo MoJo! Here’s the way I see it . . .

    While you were NOT following doctor’s orders to “take it easy,” your broken collarbone did “take it easy” by taking the entire summer off and doing absolutely NOTHING to knit itself back together again. I’m not surprised you have a bone of contention with it right now.

    Hope the coming weeks show a bit more progress.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Funny 🙂
      When the doctor magnified the x-ray, he was able to show me that in fact a lot of new bone had in fact started to form – which is why I can move my arm without (almost) any pain now. It just has a LOT more to go.
      I too am hoping the next x-ray is a lot more encouraging.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. OK, that sucks… I can’t believe that your second x-ray didn’t show the kind of improvement you would expect (I had to double check the dates on the x-rays to be sure you hadn’t switched them by mistake). Please, please plan for something very special to enjoy on October 4 so you can feel a bit better about staying behind. Btw, Paul says that you should get a second opinion about the care of your fracture… maybe you do need surgery and a plate. (Gentle) hugs from San Diego!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Janis. I always appreciate hugs 🙂

      I think I needed to write this post to finally let go of my October plans and put them behind me. I agree that I need new plans – don’t know what yet, but *something* to take the sting out of this non-trip.
      I’m seeing my doctor next week (as opposed to the Fracture Clinic at the hospital) to discuss the x-rays. There is a particular shoulder specialist I’m interesting in talking to and hopefully it can be arranged.

      Meanwhile, I hope your own recovery is progressing. Hopefully less pain, more mobility?

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Anonymous says:

    So sorry Joanne! You must be devastated. 😦

    Like

  43. Oh poor Joanne! What can I say? S*** happens!

    Like

  44. Relax... says:

    Aw 😦 I’m sorry to hear the not-thrilling news, but still so very glad the damage wasn’t even worse.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I know you’re right. I still consider myself very lucky, but every once in while I have a bit of a pity party.
      I’m hoping this post now puts it firmly behind me and I can move on … time to make new plans …

      Liked by 1 person

  45. de Wets Wild says:

    Oh dear Joanne, I can feel your disappointment all the way in South Africa.That break looks incredibly painful! Any possibility you could do the trip to Thailand next year when you are fully recovered?

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      The timing of this trip was signficant. Good friends were involved in this trip and it was my 60th birthday *hurrah* … a big, hairy, audacious goal to recognize a milestone I was otherwise feeling rather uncomfortable with.
      Oh well …

      Like

  46. Okay, I have to give you the full run down of my responses:
    Post appears in Reader with x-ray photo: “Ouch. Just. OUCH.”
    Joanne talks about her hopes to still go to Thailand: “Yep. Soooo totally get that. I would be doing the same.”
    X-rays appear in the post: “GASP! No way! Oh my….. Is she sure she’s got those images the right way round??” (I checked. You did.)
    Quasimodo joke: “Geez, she’s amazing. Not sure I’d be laughing under any circumstances.”
    Joanne talks about her crushed hopes and her dread of October 4: “Now I just wanna cry.”

    Feels. All the feels. No adequate words. Wish I could get on a plane and arrive at the airport on October 4 as a distraction. Sending you lots of virtual, not-so-squeezy hugs.

    Like

  47. Victo Dolore says:

    Oh, that is just frickin’ awful. I am so sorry.

    Like

  48. Well, I couldn’t hit ‘like’ on this just thinking about your disappointment and future weeks of healing. Take it easy. 🙂

    Like

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