I don’t have time for this shit.

A couple of weeks ago, after I blew up my ACL, my friend Seth Rosko stopped by for a visit.  He said something to the effect of, “Ha..  I love your strategy.. Fuck your body up so bad that the only way the universe can get the ironic upper hand is by letting you live!”

Those words were ringing in my ears last weekend when I had a goofy fall in the first ten minutes of a ride with MySam and dislocated my shoulder.  In some strange moment of clarity, I INSTANTLY popped it back in.  It turns out that was pretty good thinking..  the five second rule apparently applies to dislocated shoulders too!  We rode for another hour and a half without serious incident.  (It’s been pretty sore since, but hasn’t affected my pool game too much.)

Yesterday, though, I broke my arm.  Night-stick fracture of the ulna, about 7 cm from the wrist.  Complete break with no displacement.

This is all quite embarrassing.  I wasn’t even planning on mentioning the shoulder.  The thing is that after years of teaching what was essentially break dance, I fall pretty well.  Ask anyone who’s ridden with me.  For a while now, I’ve been getting away with murder.  It seems like it’s catching up with me, though.  On this particular crash, it was either my face or my forearms.  I don’t even care to discuss how those ended up being the choices.  Suffice it to say that I’m probably pretty lucky to have ended up with a broken arm..  my helmet wasn’t going to help me with this one.

We walked out.  My good friend Todd refused to let me ride.

We drove back to the city.  Bumper to bumper a good part of the way(?).  Went to the emergency room.  They got me in much faster than I would have guessed, confirmed the break, and put on a long arm cast.

“Don’t get it wet..  you’ll start to grow fungus, and we won’t be able to get in there for 6-8 weeks.. ”

“Wait..  six to eight weeks!!!??   Doc, I’m not even supposed to live that long..”

“No No” *chuckle* “you’ll be around longer than that.”

At the end of the night the same doc was taking my medical history on a piece of scrap paper..

“Any other medical issues?”

“Well.  I have stage IV metastatic rectal cancer..”

My previous statement started sinking in.

“Oh.  I’m so sorry.  Anything else?”

“Nope.  Otherwise I’m perfectly healthy.”


So here’s the deal.  I’m having real trouble finding the humor in this.  The discomfort is a non issue compared to the lack of function.  Right now, the things that bring me pleasure in life are riding mountain bikes, playing pool, making things, and cooking in the evening for my little family.  These are the things that keep me from going off the rails.  They are the things that make it seem to me that there aren’t enough hours in the day.  Without those things, and none of them are things that I can do with a long arm cast, I’m afraid that the days are going to start feeling pretty long.  I was awake for a good portion of the night last night.  All I came up with was playing darts.

I’m not looking for suggestions.  In fact, please don’t make any.

What I AM looking for is an orthopedic surgeon who is willing to plate my ulna so that I can loose the cast, and even if I am not able to do any weight bearing I WILL at least be able to cook and play pool.

So.  I’d like to do a little crowd sourcing.  This is not likely to be something that insurance is willing to cover, but I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.  (there ARE some indications that plating the bone in my situation is a better strategy anyway).  Being able to do the things I love for the next six weeks may be worth it to me, though.

Who do we know?

I’ve already got the feelers out with some of my team, but if you ARE the doc, or know the doc, please be in touch!


Fast Boy out.

26 Replies to “Obviously”

  1. After all of this you are still have a way of writing that makes me laugh. That is all I have to say about that.

  2. There is no humor, only humanity. Living in the physical world hurts. if you fall hard it hurts hard..but then people will offer you gentle touches and love to help you heal….and that is what makes life so warm and lovely, too. Not to mention those fantastic painkillers. You also learn patience with yourself. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe from your gut. Love from your heart. Receive love with your entire body. Notice how lovely those moments of time are when there is absolutely nothing happening and you can fucking do nothing about it. That is where the magic is.

  3. Oh… SHIT!!!!!

    Sorry so much… Be patient… only 6 or 8 weeks.. cooking, playing pool (you can?¿?, you’re a superhero!!) I was thinking you were relaxing and now… this!, OMG… but I’m sure you’ll be well so soon. A big (delicate too) hug

  4. Crap on a cracker!

    Look for a sports medicine doc rather than a straight orthopod.
    They are much more comfortable with a patch-you-up-fast approach.
    Sorry I don’t have a lead on one but somebody in this crew will.


  5. Ezra ~ nice choice on the sling, buddy. I like the way you think.

    I’m not offering any suggestions, such as getting your hand on a bridge, sawing of 3′ of the stick, then using that as a surrogate hand. It’d be too easy to take people’s money playing 9-Ball.

  6. Ah fuck.

    I know a good orthopaedic surgeon in England – I will endeavor to ask him whether he has heard of anyone in NY and will let you know if he does… Could be a long-shot.

  7. You may want to try a plain old surgeon. I’ve heard they’re more flexible than a specialist in terms of being willing to go outside of the norms.

  8. crap that fricking sucks. i have busted my arm three times, most recently a couple of years ago. Anyway i know how much of a pain it is. Hope you don’t get arm bicep spasms from the cast as that is not fun. Suggest you find a nice long itchy stick…

  9. From 7th to 27th of April, Ezra, I was so afraid. Now these other bad news…
    I don’t know why you removed the DONATE button, but that was the only, little, unsufficient way we could help you… There are so many people all over the world, we are all with you, we love you, we would like you to divide your pain with us, but it is not possible.. All we could do is this little stupid thing of helping you economically… Please LET US do this for you, for Hill…
    A big delicate hug.

  10. Ezra breaking your arm coupled with you detailing what you enjoy doing but for a while cant do sucks a lot. But you know as well as most that there is some positive aspect to this situation.

    I would like to think that most surgeons who are capable of doing what needs to be done, once that are aware of your situation, will gladly do the surgery.

    Now when i first watched this a couple days ago i thought of you straight away but decided not to get the link to you. I changed my mind.
    I hope you enjoy seeing this impressive piece of woodwork 🙂


  11. Ezra – all i can say is wholly crap – you made me laugh and cry. call dr Lars Richardson at (617) 232-2663 – he works out of the Brigham in Boston. He is a great orthopedic surgeon. If he can’t do it give me a shout – will see if i can call in some favors in BOS.

    Be well!

  12. Feel better soon, and great pic BTW. Noticed the middle finger after the fact.

    Cooking AND pool are important — comfort and creativity combined. Hoping you find a lead on a good orthopod in NYC.

    I’m an OBGYN in southeastern CT, so geographically a bit farther than you’d want to go, probably, but if leads dry up, get in touch, and I’ll see who I can talk to around here.

  13. Crap! I’m in WV. My husband’s knee doctor is a sports doctor and he could probably do that procedure but he’s in Princeton, WV and he’s name is Dr. Frederick Morgan. Hope you find one nearer but if not he’s a really brilliant one.

  14. You have to picture me just now, checking in on you as I waited in line for my coffee and breakfast taco. I saw that fucking cast and said “WHAT?!” loud enough to make the guy in front of me jump and the guy behind me to ask what the hell happened. This isn’t fucking funny Ezra! Plate the damn thing right now. I, like a lot of people it seems, have an ortho friend-of-a-friend situation. He’s in Texas so I don’t know if that’s ridiculous? Where are you on this?

  15. In this void there are
    Missteps with the teeth of saws
    There are
    Heavily armed mistakes
    The world sees and passes by
    Wringing its hands

    No suggestions. Apologies for poetry, this one just seemed appropriately bleak and pointy. Popped in my head when I saw your pic. Wtf, man.

    I guess when you break dance with death, shit’s gonna break.

    Your onc should write out an Rx for the plate as a medical necessity. Titanium at last?

  16. sending great hugs your way. i am having a hard time finding the humor here too, although Seth’s comment is pretty right on target. you are a brave warrior, even if you don’t feel like one sometimes. xoxo

  17. Never a dull moment, huh? You’ll be back to kicking ass at pool and cooking up delicious treats soon enough!

  18. Buddy of mine sent on your website/story. I am a hand surgeon in Burlington, Vermont. If you have digital copies of your x-rays, e-mail them to me and I can at least give some advice. Happy to help in any way that I can.

  19. I feel for you and hope you can fid someone to help you get your mobility back. I had an orthopedic surgeon who does some amazing things for people with joint problems and is teamed with a super bone specialists. If I had a problem like this, I would call him. He is a sports orthopedic surgeon. If he can’t do it, he will know who can.

    Dr. Gregory DiFelice
    NY Presbyterian
    Best of luck!

  20. Sometime God lets you hit rock bottom to show you he is the rock at the bottom. Perhaps he’s taking away everything to show you he’s the only thing. I’m believing for a full recovery.

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