I knew I was in trouble when the dreams started. They were always the same, I was out riding with my friends or my kids and my bike or ‘our’ bikes were stolen. Followed by a futile search to recover them. The dreams started last December. I wonder if they were set off by my sometimes overly perceptive son, Matt. He remarked on how hard it must be to go to work every day and be surrounded by bicycles and not be able to ride.
At that time, I hadn’t been able to ride for seven months. Not since the infection started and I was always a ‘little sick’ and I couldn’t bend my left knee more then a few degrees. Till the dreams started, I think I had hope the antibiotics would kick in and I would be riding any day. With the dreams came resignation and possibly despair. By the end of December my knee had ‘pussed out’ and any hope of an easy recovery left with the pus.
In the first three months of 2002 I spent more time in the hospital than out. I had my prosthetic left knee removed and then proceeded to have a few major allergic reactions to the antibiotics. In the beginning of April I returned to the shop for a limited number of hours a week. To say my spirits soared would be an understatement. Even though I still had no knee, hobbled around on crutches and had my IV antibiotics with me I was happy. I was a born again bike shop owner. I don’t think I have ever taken for granted how lucky I am to have made my avocation my vocation, but if I have, I don’t think I ever will again.
As I write this, May is around the corner and I may be only 8 weeks away from getting my knee reimplanted and for the first time in a year, I feel good. I had a new dream the other night, in it I was walking, bicycling and having fun. This may still be several months away but for now I am content to be talking and surrounded by bikes.