It was Election Day. We already finished voting (we went there around 5:45 in the morning) so I decided to go for a bike ride. I noticed that there aren't that many vehicles out in the streets, because everyone's busy voting.
So I decided to do the most impromptu (and probably stupid) long ride I could have done; I went to our old home of 20 years somewhere up north in Caloocan.
Thanks to my bike computer, the ride to the destination was easy because it routed me to back roads. I was able to reach Caloocan with my bike and the old memories started coming back to me as I see the place where I grew up.
I didn't get the chance to take pictures, because 1) I was just busy sipping in the nostalgia and 2) I knew it won't be safe to whip out my phone and take pictures.
So I was on my way home when the unfortunate happened. The traffic was kind of heavy around that road because there's a school along that road that will be busy because of the elections. So I was overtaking cars from the right side because I don't want to risk overtaking from the left side of the vehicles. When there's no room left to overtake, I (stupidly) decided to run up a gutter and overtake from the pavement.
Now before you judge me as a rascal, that pavement was a wide one, because it's owned by a hardware store, where trucks used to park to pick up sand. So it's not like it's pedestrian-heavy.
Now the bad thing is, my front wheel didn't agree with me as I try to run it up across the gutter. Probably the entry point's angle was incorrect, or I was not fast enough, but the front wheel just decided "nope, I will not bite". So what happened was it skid over the pavement where I lost my balance. Since I was on cleats, I was not able to release in time and I landed with my right hip.
The pain was terrible. I can feel the pain vibrate up through my lower back's spine and it radiates outward. I didn't even care about the coins that fell out of my handle bar bag that a concerned motorist was helping me gather. I just knew that I had to lie down on the ground and just take a break.
After a few minutes of rest, I decided to go home immediately. It was painful when I attempt to twist my torso or lift the bike, but when the pain is gone as soon as I am in the saddle. I pedaled desperately back home so that I can have this checked.
I knew at that time that my chances of joining the gravel race in Clark, Pampanga is slim. I was feeling sort of regret because I feel like if I hadn't gone to an impromptu long ride by myself, my lower back might be fine.
I was unable to sit down comfortably, it probably took centuries before I could lie down, and rise back up. We tried treating it with a regular hilot from an elderly person (like we used to when I was young), but after two sessions (on different days), the pain was still there.
So I went to an orthopedic clinic (which I should have done right away) and have it checked. It turns out there's a bone fracture on my T-12 (12th bone of my thoracic spine). I'll probably update this post with the actual readings as soon as they release my X-ray results because I cannot understand the diagnosis that the doctor wrote down for my medical certificate.
I got prescription for calcium supplements and some anti-inflammatory. I also got a brace to keep my lower back steady. I just realized how much I have taken my lower back for granted over the years - there's so much movement in my life that requires my lower back, that now if I want to reach something that's on the floor or below my waist level, I had to bend down my knees and keep my lower back straight.
I knew from the moment that I started using clipless pedals that I will fall - but I didn't know that it will lead to my lower back pain. I am hoping that I can recover from this and get back to the saddle again. After all, it's when I am on the saddle that I can take a step back and clear my head from the pressures of adulting.