Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clavicle Fracture? Been there, Broke that

I used to ride a motorcycle.  It was one of the most liberating ways to get around.  Back in the 90s, Philadelphia PD used to have a policy of hands off when it came to parking a Motorcycle on a sidewalk as long as you didn't block it.   Maintain passage and the police would watch your bike.

I had a Honda Goldwing Interstate that I rode all over the place.   Before they made them into a car with two wheels, the 'Wing took me from my home to the Jersey Shore, the Pine Barrens, up into the Poconos and the Epic Trip from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale, then down to Key West. 

Assuming you get back alive, a trip like that will change your views on many things.  When I think of South Carolina, I rattle through my memories, but I drift back to my riding down I-95 at 70-plus MPH in the Pee Dee Swamp with the radio blaring and being passed by people waving at me.  It felt like flying.  

A beautiful drive at any time, here's one that takes some planning.  Leaving the Florida Keys, plan to hit the Seven Mile Bridge at sunset heading South on US1.  By the time you get to the crest of the bridge, you are greeted by the sun first extinguishing itself in the Gulf of Mexico, then the stars coming out as if God himself sprinkled the sky with millions of Fireflies and Stars.

That all came to an end one night.  I was riding home from visiting friends in Center City Philadelphia.  There are a lot of old Trolley tracks that are disused.  Being a big city, the tracks were also poorly maintained.   The front wheel of the big bike got caught in the tracks and I went down.   The jacket I had snagged on the pavement and wrenched my shoulder.   Sitting dazed on the ground, the police and EMTs were called, and they convinced me to go to the Jefferson Hospital in Old City.  Keeping me longer than they really needed to, they sent me on my way diagnosing my broken shoulder blade, clavicle, and I rode the bike back to Mom's House in Cherry Hill, one handed, in a brace.  Shortly thereafter the family ganged up on me and coerced me into selling that bike.

I'm reading that the Dallas Cowboys Quarterback took a hit and his clavicle broke.   According to the doctors at the time, the clavicle is the easiest bone to break.  That break can happen if you're hit "Just So".  He'll be in a brace for a while, then have to go through some physical therapy.  I don't know if he's going to be back playing football as that bone won't be quite as strong as it was - I'm sitting here decades later and I'm conscious of my left shoulder without touching it as it feels "different".  On the other hand will certainly be able to live a "normal" life.   

I'd say the 6 to 8 weeks is a good prediction as to how long he has to nurse that break until it knits.   After that, who knows.  After all, Pro Football Players are multimillionaires.  I'd suspect he's under massive pressure to get back in the game.  It's a punishing game, I have to wonder if that first game may not re-break the bone.  Next year would be better, but I doubt he'll have that luxury.

Good luck, Tony Romo.  You'll survive the break, and the recovery will be interesting.

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