So here we go again. My hospital review has now expanded to the beautiful Bright Bush Nursing Hospital, or that’s how they used to refer to it. I think it’s now called simply Bright Hospital, however “bush nursing” seems quite appropriate considering the doctor treats you over the phone and the nurses; albeit lovely, do not appear to make the same strong decisions as they do at bigger bases… ‘please, bring on the morphine just a little quicker.’
Whilst lying there wincing and groaning, I was pretty close to delving into the contacts to drag Dr Doug Deveraux off the B24 course or Dr Chris O’Brien back from his holiday. Dr Russell Richardson even came to mind in my desperation for pain relief and I considered interpreting Jonathan “The Pharmacist” Hurst’s offer of dressings as an offer of drugs instead. After all, it’s all about who you know isn’t it?
The B24, for which I’ve been dropping weight for and training for, for months, has brought me undone within the first 4 kilometres. After following my new team-mate Matt across the first log roll, I felt I should offer him some advice due to his gentle fall off the side,
“Keep your eyes up mate; don’t look down.”
“Thanks Rich, good point.”
– he says, as I bask in the glory of offering advice from my significant experience… arrogance oozing. As we cruised across the next log-roll, I was proud as punch as I watched Matt’s confidence when he rolled through, and smoothly off the end.
I then took my eyes off the horizon, looked down to my front wheel, fell off to the left of the log (because I wasn’t looking up), proceeded over the bars – leaving my bike behind me – and landed on the hard earth to hear my ribs crack loudly under my considerable weight.
“You’ll be right Matt… just watch me!”
I couldn’t breathe. It felt like five minutes but was probably only 30 seconds. And anyone within coo-wee would have wondered what the horrible groaning noise was as I tried to control my breathing and the involuntary moan that was emanating from my lungs. People were there to help me in a flash, as is always the case with mountain biking, and those who knew me, I’m sure, were holding their tongues to avoid declaring the obvious, “Richard… really?… again!”
That is, except for some. One well know Liv Giant rider, whose name I shall not mention, rolled smoothly and confidently across and over the log I had just fallen off to exclaim, “Is that Richard Read?… for *f#^%’s SAKE!” She then proceeded to offer incredibly sound and thorough advice to ensure I hadn’t punctured a lung and to make sure I was breathing correctly. Thanks J.O. It took a while but I eventually sucked the air back in again. Bloody hell it hurt.
Now… this is the time I needed a green whistle desperately, followed by something very strong. I’m no sook when it comes to pain – except when I have the man-flu – and I truly believe that I have a reasonably high tolerance to the pain resulting from such incidents as these.
AND I WANTED A BLOODY GREEN WHISTLE!
But as an alternative, I was compassionately cared for by the mysterious J.O., Scotty Brandon (who had come back to see what stupidity I had been up to), Andy Miller’s lovely Maddy – who called the medics and kept me company – and then two young first aid fellas who didn’t even carry a ^%&^%&g Panadol. Then I got to drive in their SUV down bumpy White Star Road with a young fella who clearly had very little off-road experience. Oh, the bumps… the pain… then on to the Bright Hospital where I was met by RN Feisal.
He was a lovely fellow I must say. He gave me an Ibuprofen… ONE Ibuprofen (NURSE REVIEW END).
I won’t bore you with the details thereafter, suffice to say the crash happened at about 12.20pm and I received my first proper pain relief at 3.30pm in the form of 10mg of Morphine… ohh boy, that felt good.
I was a lucky boy to have my mum close by. She was there in a flash and sat with me all day, offering her sympathy and doing little errands for me. You gotta love your mum!
When I finally got back to the transition to catch up with my mates, who had been compassionately inquiring about me all day, the disappointment of not being able to race hit me hard as I saw the riders circling and studied the results.
I’ve worked hard for this race; dropped 6 kilos in a couple of months and got myself close to the fittest I’ve ever been. And I dish it all within the first 4 kilometers. What a dick!
“Watch me Matt… and you seriously WILL learn a thing or two.”
(Thanks Feisel for your wonderful compassion and interesting conversation regarding your family and background. There aren’t too many nurses who would volunteer to put the patient shoes back on and tie his shoelaces. Nursing?… personally I would rather be a cop. Thank God for caring people.)