Arms of Clay

    

When you’re young and athletic, it feels like anything and everything is possible. You target bigger races and more difficult challenges, and you never think anything else could spoil your plans. You never think those horrible season-ending accidents could happen to you — until they do.

Freak Accident: LV cloth cover
Uh-oh. *

Oh, my legs are perfectly fine, but as it happens you can’t really bike or run if one of your arms needs to be immobilized because you dislocated an elbow. (I’m typing this now with one hand from my “home office” AKA the dining table because I can’t drive anywhere else.) Let me back-track…

I was riding with my team on Daang Hari last Saturday in preparation for my bike relay leg at Tri United Matabungkay in two weeks’ time. I had stopped short of my required mileage because it was already scorching hot by that time.

I was pedaling towards the gas station to get some water. I slowed down to avoid a car exiting the station. I attempted to ride up the slope of the gas station driveway but didn’t have enough speed, so my rear wheel caught and I tipped over to the left. I put my left hand out to steady myself but regretted it immediately. My arm wasn’t designed to take that much force coming down on it, so my elbow buckled.

Freak Accident:X-Ray
my dislocated elbow (viewed from my bedroom window)

I screamed for help and my teammates plus a sizeable crowd gathered around me. I wasn’t in pain at first, but was afraid to move. So we waited there for an ambulance. It took an hour until one came from Cavite. Unfortunately they didn’t have the equipment nor the skills to move me.

My elbow started to swell up and I started to feel pain, even more so when the inexperienced people from the first ambulance tried to move me, grabbing my arm from the wrist instead of supporting the joint with a splint. I was screaming already but they didn’t stop until someone else told them to put me back down.

Freak Accident: Applying Ice for the Pain
Give me something for the pain. *

Thankfully one of the members from XTRM Tri Team called Lifeline, which has trained EMT’s and a splint for my arm.

Freak Accident: Stretcher's Here!
Look, they even have LV linens! *

I was transported to Asian Hospital where my parents (both doctors) met me and had me transferred to Veterans Memorial Medical Center, where my dad practices. There, I was put under general anesthesia and my elbow was put back in its place.

So, I missed my birthday run (Yamaha) and will be missing Tri United and some countless other races I’d hoped to join. My arm’s in a cast and sling for two weeks and I don’t know exactly when I can get back to work teaching exercise classes in the gym, much less do any training at all.

But you know, it could have been so much worse. I could have been run over where I fell. I could have broken my wrist or other bones (I’m so thankful for Calcium-Ade, a calcium supplement I take daily). I could have hit my head or suffered a spinal injury. So I thank God this is what happened. It’ll give me time to slow down and spend some time with God, family, and friends that I might have lost touch with as my life picked up speed.

When you keep succeeding at things you do, you end up thinking you’re ironclad and invincible. It takes things like this to make you realize how fragile, how human you still are, with feet (or arms) of clay.

* photos from Donna Segunial

(Many thanks to the members of Endure, XTRM Tri, Philip Castro and Iday Rosuman for all their help.)

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24 comments on “Arms of Clay

  1. Ow! Reminded me of my own bike accident where my front wheel got caught by a rock and i barrel-flipped. Maybe because my reactions were too slow, i landed on my left side and suffered concussion and a heavily scratched left face. Spent the next six months looking like Two-Face.

  2. Terrible news! I was there last Saturday too (bike training for the Tri-United also) at Daang Hari and even saw you lying on the pavement when I was taking my turn towards the Portofino road. I didn’t thought that your injury was this serious! I also got in a accident with my bike earlier though nothing too serious.

    Hope you recover soon!

  3. Ack! I didn’t know you had an accident. *hugs* Get well soon! I can’t believe the people with the ambulance from Cavite don’t know even basic first aid! Nakakainit ng ulo!

  4. That part about the Cavite ambulance made me feel really sad! I wish there will be more training for our emergency response teams! Get well soon, Noelle! :)

  5. pagaling po kayo teh. sayang di na ba kayo makakatakbo sa milo? may kilala akong magaling na manghihilot baka makatulong hahha. joke lang po. cheer up :)

  6. Oh my, didn’t know that this happened before your birthday.
    Well you said it right. It could have been worse than this. Thanks God, lucky you!
    As much as possible I pray to ask for guidance, before hitting the road/trail or even just going out to go somewhere.
    Accidents may be avoided but on unfortune times it just happen by surprise.
    Be patient, your love ones and your fighting spirit will surely help you get through this. Soon you’ll get back on track.

    Belated happy birthday Noelle.
    Hoping for your “speed” recovery =)

  7. I’ve been reading your blog and I can’t resist commenting on this. Pray you will recover fast and be on the road again, more careful. ” Kaya mo yan” sabi nga Milo.

  8. Get well soon, there’s still a lot of activities out there when you’re physically ready.
    I can relate, because i myself am diagnosed with slipped disc 3rd week of June..
    For now, it’s time with our Creator, family and friends.
    And of course, some me time.
    Kaya mo ‘yan!

  9. I can’t see the photos ‘coz it’s blocked here in the office, but, ouch Noelle! That really hurts, and why does the ambulance have untrained/unqualified personnel?

    Get well soon, it’s good that behind this mishap/accident, you were able to realize more positive thought and important things that matters most!

    God bless and see you again on next races! :)

  10. Hug.

    recover well, recover soon, you’ll be STRONGER when you get back :) meantime — things happen for a reason, enjoy your forced vacation.

    xxoo

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