Thursday, September 4, 2008


6 days ago, i had surgery to repair my broken clavicle... since then, life has s.l.o.w.e.d down.  eliminating work and training from my life has left me with, well, not a whole lot.

the surgery was performed on friday morning.  a numbing "block" kept me from feeling pain until that evening.  then it hit - an extreme pain surging through my arm into my neck and back.  i spent the night on my parents lazy-boy downing pain killers.  my dad rescued me in the middle of the night, when i had to go to the bathroom (a 10 min ordeal).  honestly, there is no way i could have made it through this alone.

the next morning, my parents packed us all up - as they wanted to return to their cabin in franklin, nc.  rick and gail kattouf had offered to take me in for the weekend...

**you see, greenville was hosting the pro cycling national championships over labor day weekend.  i didn't want to miss out on all the fun festivities!!**

but, i was in such discomfort, there was no way i could imagine staying with friends (R&G, thanks so much for all you've done to help!!  i hope to see you this weekend).  so, i loaded up into my dad's van for the trip to nc.  my mom would come later in a different car.  my dad had brought the van down with the intent of picking up his riding mower and trailer at the john deere place on his return trip.

so we headed to waynesville.  until this, my shoulder had been under ice - constantly (none of that 20 min on 20 min off stuff).  however, the van ride would make this impossible.  neither of my parents had any stray leather for me to bite down on... so i had to htfu.

we made it to the john deere place.  dad got the mower into the trailer and hooked it all up.  we continued toward franklin and the fire in my shoulder intensified.  finally, we made the exit off hwy 441.  the light turned green and my dad pulled out to make a left onto 64.  we both saw her coming at the same time... i yelled GO, GO, GO, while my dad hit the gas.  unfortunately, our old van (pulling a trailer) has NO pick-up.  So, the lady who blew the red light ended up hitting the back of the van and then the trailer.
tensing my body for the impact (less than 24 hrs after surgery) felt wonderful.

luckily, nobody was hurt.  minimal damage to vehicles involved.  we called for the police, and waited.  i think another driver stopped to act as witness... all parties involved told the same story.  all i could think about was getting to some ICE.

my week has been rather uneventful since then, phew.  i've spent more hours on this couch than i care to admit... franklin is a great place for some r&r.  my parents have been amazing: helping with everything.
my one major complaint is having to type with one hand.  this is torture.  it takes me forever to peck out emails - and already i've spent 45 min on this post.  but, i think slow is my new thing.

there are many other minor complaints, but i try to shake them off quickly.  when i begin to feel down about my current situation (damaged body unable to complete the race season i'd planned), i remind myself just how luck i am to know i'll be up and running soon.  every time i close my eyes, i still feel myself flying down that hill and off the road.  i was so fortunate to walk away from that wreck.

today we'll return to greenville.  i'll be glad to get off this mountain and back to my house.  franklin is amazing, but the surroundings are teasing me here.  You can feel a touch of fall in the morning air (making me want to go out and run); the lakes are clear (i want to jump in); and the winding roads beg for cyclists to climb their path (i'll be back).  this area is just too perfect for training.... and honestly, there is not much else to do.

i'll go back to civilization and continue to heal.  actually, katherine (who just kicked booty at im louisville), nicole (who had back surgery the same day they worked on my clavicle), and i have planned a pity party for sat night.  we should be a pretty attractive 3 some.

i also want to thank everyone for the emails, calls, texts, and comments.  seeing such an outpouring of support has lifted my spirits and kept me from getting too down about this whole ordeal.  i will need you all as i recover and then try to get back into shape.


Pedergraham said...

I hope the pain has subsided somewhat from the beginning and that being back in your own bed is nice and relaxing. Have a fun pity party. Hoping for quick healing for you.

Beth said...

I can't believe you got hit right after surgery!!! Glad you guys were okay though and there was minimal damage to the vehicles. Hope the pain lessens soon - sounds so...PAINFUL! Hang in there. Hope you are back to typing 2 handed in no time. Your attitude is awesome Ashley!

Amy Beth Kloner said...

Thinking of you, Ashley. You're right about what you wrote-- you WILL be back and you ARE super lucky. I know this sucks but it's all very temporary. Stay focused on the big picture and keep that sunny attitude. xoxo- amy

sunshine said...

Surgery and a car accident! Holy cow, lady! Hope you're pain is relieving a bit and you continue healing well! Thinking of you...!

Train-This said...

Ashley I have been checking 1000 a day to see how you are. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Us Camp HTFU girls have not had an easy season! But that why we are so HTFU!

Love mary

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

I am sending you a tonne of good vibes! Keep up with the pain killers - that should make it somewhat manageable.... great that your family and friends up there are so awesome - thinking of my SC Soul Sister often and wishing I could give her a big hug!

Anonymous said...

Oh, you are such a trooper! But, I am glad you posted that pic of you on the couch or I was thinking you really just wanted to get out of all the swimming. :) xoxo Just kidding..heal up! Jen H.

G-Man said...

I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes - it's more appropriate in a race, but..."Pain is temporary. Pride is forever". You'll be up and running in the blink of an eye. It's not like when us old folks break a bone. At my age, it's only a matter of time before I set the Ironman record for finishing with double hip replacements.

Feel better and call Janis and I if you need anything. (especially if that anything is baked and sweet).


David said...

You ever hear of spell check? Geez, your grammar sucks!

ha ha, j/k girl. I know how much it sucks to try and type, or even surf, when every ounce of energy is fighting back pain. And to be in a car wreck right after? Major suck! Heal up quick and get ready for some base building this fall/winter. You're gonna join us on Paris Mtn rides soon, right?

Mendy said...

Unbeleivable Ashley. A car wreck right after the surgery.

You've got such a good attitude and I'm sure you're having your down in the dumps days too, as anyone should that has gone through what you're going through. You will pull out of this and will be stronger than ever. I know you are being well taken care of by your wonderful family. You also have a lot of friends in the area and if you need anything, I'm sure anyone of us would be at your side immediately. Take good care of yourself, as I'm sure you are already doing. When I return from VA, I'd like to come see you if you're up for visitors.

People running red lights piss me off. There's no reason for that. (Okay, off my soap box).

Heal up, girl!!!

Sally said...

I love reading your blog AND the friends that write in. THANK you Ashley and FRIENDS. love,

Danielle said...

Sorry to hear about your accident. I was in a bad bike accident and broke my leg really badly about a year and a half ago, so I can totally symphathize with you!

Eileen Swanson said...

OMG, I am just reading your posts and I am so SORRY!! I hope you are ok and the meds are keeping the pain down. I am sending positive vibes for a quick, quick recovery. Hang in there, you are tough!!

Lots of hugs,

rr said...

Hey Ashley -- you are incredible for hanging in there through that - who gets in a car accident the day after surgery? What bum luck. Hang in there, hoping the pain is easing up and you're feeling better!


Damie said...

ughhh. I hope the pain is starting to subside these days. I feel so bummed for you- and I know you are staying positive and that is awesome so I will feel disappointed for you. Keep us in the loop on when you are able to get movin' again. xxxxxooooo