You know the old saying about how to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans. Well, I think I may have heard Him snicker a little.
Day 3 of our adventure dawned bright & beautiful. Truly, the weather here is about as close to perfect as weather gets. We headed to the Missouri Mines for Gary’s dirtbike race which started at 9 am. Enduro racing is a little more complicated than I want it to be, but the idiot’s version is this. There are several timed sections through rough terrain, heavy woods, up rocky hillsides, down slippery waterfalls, you get the picture. There is a scoring system that requires the riders to check in at certain spots, and they tally the scores based on the length of time it took them to ride each section. Or, something to that effect. In other words, it’s not like a foot race where the first one to the finish line wins.
Gary had given me approximate times that he would be back at the staging area (the van), for gas, a bite to eat, and a short rest break. He started his race on time, and I went out for a six mile run. A fairly hard one, the hills here are ridiculous. I made it back to the van about an hour before he was scheduled to come in, changed my clothes, ate a quick bite, then fixed him something to eat when he arrived. I settled in with a book and waited. And waited. And waited. I started to get a little worried, but tried to dismiss it with my book. About 20 minutes after he was supposed to arrive, a truck with his bike in the back pulled up beside the van. It took me a second to realize it was Gary in the passenger seat. Our eyes met and I asked him if he was ok. The driver told me he thought he broke his leg.
I won’t bore you with all the details, but I went into “okay, let’s take care of this” mode, Gary was moved to a chair to wait for the paramedics A really nice guy helped me get the bike loaded & strapped down in the van, and I got our things gathered up and put back into the van. The paramedics arrived, strapped Gary into a vehicle to take him to the ambulance, and headed that way with him. At the ambulance, the decision was made to airlift him to St Louis (about an hour away, but with better orthopedic facilities than we had close by). They gave me directions, and I followed in the van.
Three hours later finds me sitting on the floor in a surgery waiting room, still wearing the stink of my run. Gary’s never been one to do things by halves, and he really messed his leg up badly. His left leg has a “tibial plateau”, but the more pressing problem and the reason they took him to surgery immediately was that he has developed “Compartment syndrome”. He will have to have a second surgery in a couple of days to repair the wounds left from this one.
So, we’re a long way from home, in an unfamiliar town, in an unfamiliar hospital . Everyone has been very helpful and kind, especially when they found out we’re from out of town. Of course, the rest of the trip (which was to have included a stay in Niagara Falls, as well as a short stay in DC) has been cancelled, as we’re looking at probably a week’s hospital stay. I have a sister who lives about four hours west of here, so there’s family nearby. We’re nothing if not flexible, although this is requiring a little more bending than either of us really like.
What I would like from you is this: prayers. Gary will have a long recovery ahead and the logistics of getting all this done is more than my tired brain can compute right now. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be in full on “I’ve got this” mode, but right now I need to know my prayer warriors have engaged. I’m amazingly calm and that only comes from Him, so I’m thankful for that. I had a very sweet reminder from my oldest daughter when I said that we are a long way from home. She said, “MJ, Dad is your home. Y’all are together.” She’s right. Pray for our girls to not worry, they’re a little freaked out right now. Also, pray that God will lay His mighty hand on our plans and we’ll be able to come home for the bone repair surgery.
Thanks, my friends. I’ll keep you updated. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of waiting time on my hands.