Thursday, July 10, 2008

Letter From Mike Elliott of Central New England Chimney Sweeps

It’s hard to believe but it’s been over a month since my crash on my road bike. I always wanted to visit the thriving metropolis of New Salem Massachusetts but not in a ditch with a broken shoulder. I worked out real hard this winter to ready myself for this years cycling season and it was very upsetting to crash on the unofficial start of the summer. I honestly thought I had separated my shoulder until the ambulance came and strapped me to the back board. It was the longest 20 minute ride I ever had and never felt so much pain in my life. When Michelle made it to the hospital in Athol the doctor was showing me the X rays and even a Chimney Sweep could see the mess. No doubt about it I’m screwed. They shipped me to Worcester where I had blood work, EKG, and a Cat scan. They told me I was going to possibly have surgery that night. Another doctor came and used words like smashed, fragments, fractures and tissue damage. It turned out that my scapular was broken in at least 8 places. They sent me home with some happy pills to manage the pain until I could see my surgeon on Tuesday. The Surgeon told me he was going to use a steel plate and screw it together. I got a couple more opinions and one Doctor told me I may not be able to sweep chimneys again. Needless to say the thought of losing the job I love had me shed a tear or two. On June 2nd I had my surgery and everything went real well.
Today is Friday June 27, 2008 and I’m able to move my arm. It feels a little crunchy but with the help of my physical therapist I think I’ll be back full force before Labor Day. I walk about 15 to 20 miles a week and started taking my spin classes again to regain some of my fitness. I tied my shoes this morning and should be able to drive again in a couple of weeks. My brother John swept some chimneys for me last week and I went on the ride along program. It was nice to get out of the house and back into the field. He’s going to work a day or two a week for me until I get going again. Michelle has been a true champ doing everything around the house and you should see her weed-wack!
I wish I could be in New Hampshire with you this weekend but I’m still having a hard time sleeping and I don’t think “Soot Prints” would stop playing after 7:30 so I could sleep. Thank all of you for your kind words, prayers and support. I’m confident I’ll be ready for my trip to D.C and promise to represent the Northeast coalition well. I hope you all had a great time at Sweep Fest and I’m sure Phil and Sharon treated you right.
Have a restful summer and remember…I’ll be back to kick all your asses this autumn.

Sweeps’ Luck!
Mike Elliott
Central New England Chimney Sweep

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