When I was little, I never wanted to learn how to ride a bike. When I started for the first time, I absolutely hated it. I don’t really know why now, but it was just awful to my 4 year old self. They were like big, scary, transport monsters, that could throw you off their backs at any moment! Maybe not really, but it certainly felt that way. Once I started at the school I went to from 5th to 8th grade, I learned that in eighth grade, you go to Ann Arbor to the Waldorf school there, for the bike block. At the school, instead of having history, science, and other types of classes daily, we had “blocks”. They lasted between 2-4 weeks, and we had them first thing in the morning for 2 hours. I was so nervous the first time they told me, because during the bike block you go on four different bike rides. Once I was in seventh grade, my teacher started to worry as well. If I didn’t go I wouldn’t get any credit for the class.
When summer started after that year, I had to learn. I had always told my parents, “I’m never going to be in a situation where my life will depend on my bike riding skills!” But I had to now. I wasn’t excited at all. It was a stressful experience, especially since my dad was teaching me. He generally makes things harder for me. Not on purpose, but it still happened. When I was learning the second time it wasn’t very hard, but it still wasn’t fun. At all. I do remember almost having fun, with my hands on the handlebars, still holding very tight, but feeling like I could go anywhere I wanted to, almost…... but then, of course, I ran into a hole in the ground and fell off. “Wow,” I thought,” how great am I at this?” I still kept going though, I rode my bike on Sunday’s for the whole summer. I did get better, a little bit. I could do it! Right? I mean, I could. Once the summer ended, I didn’t really feel good about my bike riding skills, but I just kept telling myself that I would be fine. Deep down I knew that something bad would happen if I tried to ride for a long time, but I just needed to get through it. How tough could two weeks be anyway? Right?
The week or so before the bike block, I started to feel sickish. I assumed it was just my nervous stomach, seeing as I always get nervous, even for stupid little things. The Wednesday before the bike block started I really started to feel bad. I had had stomach issues for a while now, but we still didn’t know what from. We thought maybe I had inherited stomach issues from my Grandma because she is allergic to a bunch of stuff, but we never really checked it out. The next day, Thursday, I felt even worse. Right before we were getting ready for lunch, I started to get a feeling like my lower abdomen was ripping in half. It was beyond awful. It was like someone had stuck a knife in me and was turning it around, and around, and around. I stumbled down to the office, where my mom worked at the time, and told her, in tears at this point, what had happened. We ended up going to an urgent care. When we pulled up, I hobbled out of the car and to the door, where they then told us they couldn’t help and we needed to go to the emergency room. Which was really annoying, seeing as I felt like I was dying and I had no idea what was wrong, and could barely move at all. We went to the ER at Crittenton. I eventually got a CAT scan. But throughout the whole time I was there, none of the pain meds they were giving me were working. I also hate needles and things like that, so when they put my IV in, I turned round, didn’t watch at all and was probably being really pathetic, but I didn’t exactly care in that moment. To me, the worst part was not knowing what was wrong with me. After about 5 hours, the doctor came in. “Well, it seems as though you have appendicitis,” He said. Oh dear. Really world? Appendicitis? “And, it has spread through most of your lower abdomen.” It wasn’t as bad as it could have gotten, but it was still really bad.
“So, that means I can’t ride a bike next week, or the week after. RIght?”
“Well certainly not, for awhile after that as well.”
I practically jumped out of the sad hospital bed I was sitting in, I would have if I hadn’t felt so awful, and I got the biggest grin, I have probably ever had, on my face.
They usually could have done it laparoscopically, with only 3 little holes that wouldn’t leave a scar, but since mine was so bad they had to do it with an incision. I was taken into surgery at around 7pm and came out by about 8. I slept for a long time after though because of all the anesthesia they gave me. The first night was very stressful, it hurt so much to get up and stand that first night, I felt like screaming. I had to go to the bathroom, so I had to get up. Well I didn’t have to… “Do you want a bedpan?” the nurse asked.
“Absolutely not!” I said. “Eww!” I thought, “ Never! I can and will get out of this bed!” I knew I could, I just had to try harder. I was sitting up by now, and had to swing my legs down out of the bed. I still don’t really understand why I hurt everywhere. Shouldn’t It just have hurt at the incision point? It certainly didn’t. I did get up and go to the bathroom, but another thing was laying back down… I had to sit first, that hurt too. Trying super hard to sit down slowly but then ending up basically just falling… then I had to bring my legs up. That was the worst part. But I finally did it, and laid back slowly… Then I went to sleep… After that night it was ok, they pain medicine never actually started working the whole time I was there. I was also the youngest patient on the floor by a long shot, they only had 2 children rooms in the whole hospital. It was kind of funny after I started actually walking around, for 2 reasons. 1. because all the other rooms had very elderly people, who had just had knee and hip replacements, and 2. because I was walking around so slowly and sadly at first, I did get faster after a while. I did have many visitors, which was nice. One of my friends from school that came to see me also thought I was crazy for walking around in circles around the floor. I also got lots of flowers and even some gifts of books and other stuff.
I was in the hospital until Monday. The first day of the bike block. All of my friends were really excited about it, so I was happy for them, but so, so, glad I didn’t have to go. I did manage to go for one day, the second Wednesday of the block, but I didn’t do any of the riding… I got to do some of the fun things that I missed, and hang out with my friend who also couldn’t ride. I was kind of sad I missed the whole thing, only because I missed hanging out with some of my friends from other schools. I am certainly glad I learned how to ride a bike, I certainly tried my best, even though I didn’t like it very much. But in all, I’m really glad I didn’t have to ride my bike, during the bike block.