The man with nine lives – Part I

There are many reasons that I became a Northwestern Wildcat, but it seems that one of those reasons is that I evidently have nine lives!  Especially while I’ve been at Northwestern, but even starting more than a year before I got there.

And most of the time, I have “lost these lives” in bike crashes or incidents.  It all started on Monday, July 21, 2008 (hey, there’s my favorite number again!) After taking DR MOO (a car) to the Toyota dealership on the north side of Lincoln, I had packed my Dahon in the car and was going to bike over to Hillcrest Country Club to play my water basketball game.  (That’s another topic for another post.)  The ride went pretty smoothly as I passed by the east side of North Star High School and then headed to Historic Havelock.  After passing underneath a viaduct, I took a right turn onto Touzalin Boulevard, using the sidewalk since the street was narrow given all the parked cars.

Along the boulevard, I biked over a rock that was on the sidewalk.  It didn’t cause me to wipe out, but the rock rather reared up and attacked my left leg!  It didn’t hurt that badly, but it definitely startled me.  It wasn’t until a few blocks later that I looked down at my leg and socks and noticed a lot of red.  Indeed, I was bleeding!  The good thing was that I was planning to go to Family Practice Specialists anyway to say hi to Mom (and Dad if possible) before going to play basketball.  So, the Murdock Trail and 66th Street had no trouble with the riding.  As I walked into the office, Julie (the receptionist) took a look at my leg, and I think she was ready to faint!

So, I got seen on an “emergency” basis.  Granted, I was not panicked at all, because I didn’t realize I would need stitches for this!   The worst part was the numbing, but it was of academic interest to me.  Numbing is blocking of the sodium channels, and given that I was doing neuroscience-applied math that summer, it’s a great real-life application!  So, I ended up getting five stitches.  So that was the first time, at age 21, that I ever had to have sutures.  Obviously, I ended up forfeiting the basketball game I was planning on playing that day.  The good thing, later that summer, was that I only lost one more game during the rest of the season, including post-season.  The score is now “Noah 1, Bigger injuries 0, Noah lives left: 8.”

Thankfully, I stayed mostly safe during the remainder of my undergraduate career.  I took a sore frontal leg area in my senior year for a little while after getting kneed in flag football, but suffered no major injuries.  And in my first year of graduate school, I wiped out on black ice in front of Tech, but only ripped my corduroy pants… nothing more.  But after that, I started using up more lives.  These stories are coming up in Part II (and perhaps I will have a Part III).


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