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    31st July 2006

    The saga continues…

    This past weekend I went down to Colorado Springs with my brother Mike. We were going to the Desperation Conference at New Life Church and staying with my friends Drew and Jeanie who live in the Cheyenne Mountain area of the Springs.

    Drew was one of my neighbors at Craig Hospital, having suffered a spinal cord injury in a skiing accident. We had done all sorts of therapy activities together at the hospital, notably the chocolate-chip-cookie bake-off and the greatest-dinner-ever-made-by-in-patients-in-a-hospital. Since then we’ve kept in contact and seen eachother at the DIII national cross-country meet where their son Stephen was running for Williams and I was watching my friends run for Calvin.

    I’ve done some handcycling last fall and this summer, but Drew has done a lot of handcycling. He rode the Tour of Colorado a few weeks ago, 450 miles in 6 days or something like that, and also done a couple century rides this summer. So we were planning on going out for a couple rides while we were down staying with them, and I was super-excited to have Drew show me some of the things he’s learned.

    We packed up and left early Thursday morning because I had a small appointment at Craig Hospital in Denver at 10 o’clock. After that we stopped by Denver Seminary’s new campus so I could drop off some papers and take a look at the campus. (I guess now is a good time to announce here that I’m taking classes at Denver Seminary this fall…) After that we headed down to the conference. Last minute registration started at 2pm so we were there right on time for that, and then we went to drop off our stuff at Drew and Jeanie’s because the first session of the conference wasn’t until 7.

    After being shown our rooms, we decided to take a little ride – as long as we were all there and it was hot but lovely out, why shouldn’t we? So we got our gear together, Drew and I on handcycles and Jeanie and Mike on bikes (Michael outfitted with one of the Wills Family cycles). Jeanie insisted that I get my sunglasses from the car and then we were off. We turned onto 21st, the major road by their house, and went north down a large hill.

    At the bottom of the hill there was a fair amount of loose sand and gravel, and I instinctively swerved a bit to avoid the gravel and then remembered the traffic and swerved a bit back to avoid the traffic. At the speed I was going, the correction turned into an overcorrection and I wobbled one way and the other a few times and in a split second of terror, which I don’t really like thinking about, I knew that I was going over.

    I flipped sideways onto my left side, hitting my helmeted head and dragging along the cement for a ways. I’m not sure of all the details in there because it was pretty fast. Mike and Jeanie were behind and witnessed the whole thing. I knew that it was going to be ugly, and when I stopped there I tried to move from my bike out of traffic but was pretty tangled up.

    More than physical pain was the anguish of knowing I somehow managed to get hurt again and that I would have to call my mom and tell her about stitches and whatever else.

    I quickly made a survey of what I could tell about the situation. My mouth was full of gravel, so I assumed that my teeth were probably in trouble, but in checking with my tongue I found them all to be intact. Amazing. I spit out sand and there was a ton of blood. Then I thought, what about my eye? I had ridden the pavement pretty hard – and there! were those sunglasses, now destroyed, but my eye was fine.

    A few cars stopped and we figured out a way to get me back to their house, less than half a mile away. There I showered off to clean as much dirt as possible. Clearly it looked worse than it actually was (road-rash usually does), but a trip to the ER was still necessary. Jeanie took Michael and I down to Memorial Hospital while Drew waited for some expected dinner guests. He really did not want to stay there, but would have much rather come with.

    We did the city hospital ER thing and waited around for a long while in a couple of different waiting rooms, and then in a patient room. When I had finally been cleaned up a doctor came to see what kind of stitching he could do. A few above my left eye, and a few below – but what to do with the mess inbetween my lip and my left nostril?

    “I can’t really figure out how this skin goes together…” he said. “Maybe here, but there’s probably some skin missing…”

    So he put a few little sutures in and then cut out some of the other tissue so he could pull the skin together and stitch it up, leaving a little circle of blue stitches. Of course my favorite parts of the process were his little exclamations of frustration and failure, and the fact that his first surgical kit didn’t have “forceps” – also known as tweezers – and then the scissors in the second kit wouldn’t cut the thread.

    We entered the hospital at about 4:30 and didn’t leave until around 11. In this way, we spent the first day of the Desperation Conference. We missed the opening sesion, and the morning session on Friday as we were picking up some prescriptions at a pharmacy.

    But then, once we finally made it, Desperation was sweet. The main sessions were powerful – great worship time and great teaching. It was fun seeing a few folks from the past who work at the church there, and hanging out with some friends from Loveland’s Church of the Good Shepherd. And Mike and I ate like kings thanks to Jeanie (and Drew on the grill for Saturday’s dinner). The Desperation Band was awesome (two of the members, Glen Packiam and Jared Anderson, were my brother Eric’s roomates at Oral Roberts University).

    And of course the Hillsong United band was amazing – partly because of the obsession that I have (and Michael also has) with their powerful songs and crazy Australian style.

    All in all, it ended up being a good weekend, and I didn’t even have to buy any souvenirs to know that I’ll be remembering it well for a long time – I’ve got a map of the places I’ve been (read: the times I’ve needed stitches) on my face!

    5 comments

    5 Responses to “The saga continues…”

    1. Kimmy says:

      Glad you’re ok!
      That is so amazing that you got to see Hillsong United!! I was just watching a dvd with them on it today.

    2. Mike says:

      Yeah i will agree with your statements about the desperation conference, it was quite powerful. As for eating like kings…yes Drew is a grill-master. Also, did you realize that there were turkey sandwiches left in your car for several days after, i found them and was rather disgusted, and yet tempted to indulge.

    3. Daryl says:

      Yeah it was glorious. United was way sweeter in their evening session than in the morning. If you’ve seen the DVDs you have to realize that when you actually see them play it isn’t quite the same as seeing them on the DVD. (that was a silly but true statement)

      Eric’s friend Nate, who works down at New Life, when I asked him how he liked United, responded, “I think I worship better listening to their CD…” And in some respects it could be true – there are imperfections when you hear them play live, and if you’re me or Mike, you have to get over the excitedness of just seeing them playing.

      Wait, you didn’t eat the turkey sandwiches? Where are they? I’m kind of hungry…

    4. brianne mykal swiger the first says:

      D – you are hilllllarious.

      did you get a chance to meet up with Ken while in the springs? I just gave him a handfull of blackmale-esqe pictures from bible club. obviously you were right there in front of the camera in many shots. Congrats on new niece and new stiches. ha!

    5. Lisa says:

      I too am glad you are fine. You make me nervous with all the adventure you put into your life. SUPER great that you are joining the Seminary life of Holmlunds. Welcome. What else…. I LOVE Hillsong. When I was in London, this was the main thing I wanted to see…but who was there as a surprise guest for the night? Matt Redmond. Don’t get me wrong, he is great too, but I was a little sad that I didn’t get a full set from the Hillsong band and only a half set. Bree would agree that I am also obsessed with Hillsong.

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.