Nearly eight weeks ago I took a tumble down my stairs at home and broke my ankle and foot in a few places. It was just the kind of silly thing that happens. It was early in the morning and I was heading to my home office. First, I had to brew a cup of coffee. I grabbed the two dirty cups from my desk (sorry about it), the JDRF one in one hand and my “Miss Moira” one I cherish (made by the adorable Bella, whose mom I ride for!) and started down to the kitchen.
I have no idea why I fell. There was nothing to trip on. There were no socks on my feet to make me slip. The cat wasn’t there (I don’t think! Louie can be sneaky!) All I know is that in an instant, I was tumbling, forward. I remember thinking to myself “This is not going to end well.” I slammed and rolled and I remember trying to stop my fall with my left leg and feeling it bend in an odd way. Finally, I was a on the wood floor at the bottom of the stairs, in a heap and screaming hysterically.
“Okay,” I thought. “You are screaming so that is a good thing. You are alive. Okay … I can move my arms. And my head.”
And then I thought: “My leg. I’m afraid to look at my leg.” I steeled myself to see the worst (I knew something had broken and feared it was my femur, and that something was going to be sticking out or all bent like in a cartoon). I looked over at it and thought “You’re fine. It’s broken. But you’re fine.”
And then: “Open the door and yell. Jan will hear you. No. That’s stupid. Suck it up and drag yourself to a phone and call Sean. He’s at the gym. He can come help. Just. Do. It.”
As I dragged myself, ignoring the pain as best I could and trying not to jar the breaks too much, something bigger came to my head and overwhelmed me.
What if I cannot ride? Holy #$$^. What if I cannot ride?
Now, eight weeks later, I’m happy to say that I can and I will ride. Because Monday, after nearly two months in #dasBoot and a few weeks in PT, I got the go ahead to get on my bike and pedal a first 15 miles. I did it, an easy, pretty ride along the Cape Cod Canal.
And you know how it felt?
It felt like freedom. I was giddy. After two months of being encumbered, I was free. The wind was in my face and my foot felt pretty darn good (other than unclipping. Ouch.) My hard work had kept my core and base strong, and I was moving along at a great clip. It’s over! I thought, laughing out loud. This stupid broken bone nightmare is being left in the dust. The joy of regaining my nearly complete freedom from medical obstructions was intoxicating.
And then, as has happened to me so many times while training for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, a revelation:
People with Type 1 Diabetes never get that reprive. Never move on. Never have that moment they toss aside their medical woes and their tools and their need to adapt constantly and say “It’s over!”
Good lord: they cannot even do that for a minute. My own daughter, who as I pedaled and laughed with glee was at her job working hard all day while trying to also manage her blood sugars well enough to make an evening at a Taylor Swift concert go off without an icky sick-feeling high or a bone shaking low (half the battle there involves crossing your fingers. Diabetes is fickle), has never, not once since 2:35 p.m. on October 28, 1997, been able to lift all that burden off her shoulders and just LIVE.
Dammit. We need a cure. Dammit. We need better tools. Dammit. Life with Type 1 diabetes is simply unacceptable.
And so as I rode, instead of being sad, I got more and more determined. I pushed hard, setting some pretty fast pace along my first ride in two months. I dug deep, thankful that my silly little foray into medical needs was a short one, and thankful I am able bodied to make my ride happen and work harder toward a better future for so many.
Jeffrey. Jake P. ,Jake T. Cole. Jordan, Kerri Ann, Maeve, Melissa, Lauren M., Patrick, Corinne, Kevin, Kady, Brian, Bunny, Brandi, Rebecca, Leigh, Britanny, Kerri, Kelly K., Mike L., Mike H., Albert, Elle, Caroline, Jesse, Karen, Tripp, Katie, Ellie, Mary, Matt, … I could fill the entire bandwidth of the internet with the names of the folks I care about and ride for. And there are more I’ve not even met.
I celebrate today because I am free of #dasBoot and able to ride on for the dream. I dig deeper because so many won’t be until we change the world.
I hope you’ll join me today and make a donation. My ride is one month away – let’s all pedal along, wind in our hair, toward a better tomorrow when those we love with T1D will at last be free. If you’ve yet to donate, I hope you will. If you have already, thank you (and feel fee to donate another $5 or $10 if you have it. Every dollar matters!)
Here’s my link:
And here is Lauren’s link: (This is her first ride! So proud!)
Thank you – we can and will be the people who turn Type 1 into TYPE NONE!