.The Plague rages on across the U.S., with no relief in sight. People have apparently abandoned all social distancing and personal protection for the summer, and businesses have reopened. We, on the other hand, have hunkered further down to avoid the crowds. We continue our walks around town with masks at the ready, despite the heat, and still confine our shopping to once-a-week trip to the supermarket and another trip to the farm store.
Recovery continues: physical therapy has been downgraded to a biweekly schedule. After I had several 20-25 minute sessions on the stationary bikeat home, we finally ventured out to the airport, our usual winter cycling venue: it’s relatively flat, and has a number of short loops so it’s possible to park the van in a central location and put in a 10-km ride without ever getting more than 1500 meters from the van. Despite warnings to keep the first outings to 3-5 km, the rush was just too delicious, and we had a photo op to catch skydivers on final approach, so we pressed on to nearly 10 km. Had a bit of sore hip afterwards, but a few home PT/yoga sessions and a 5-mile (8 km) walk around the north end of town, from home, worked out the kinks.
Until early Wednesday morning, the day I was scheduled for PT. Judy woke about 3:20 am: “Larye! There’s something in the room.”
I was dozing, came awake to see a shadow flit across the ceiling. I jumped out of bed and rushed around the end of the bed in the direction the shadow had gone. Mistake. A twinge, but not the searing sciatic jolt I had experienced in mid-June that put me down, unable to walk for weeks. We turned on the lights. Nothing. Out in the hall. Turned on the light. A winged shape fluttered down the hall and swerved around us, a leathery delta with pointed wingtip. Not a bird.
“It’s a bat,” I said, as it disappeared behind me in the direction of the craft room. I turned on the light there. Nothing. I checked the windows. Our house is 90 years old, with the classic 6-over-1 bungalow sash windows. In summer, we open the window and put an expanding screen in. Usually, I put them in the top in this room, but Judy put them in while I was confined to the lower floor, and it was in the bottom. This arrangement leaves a gap between the sashes about the same size as the opening to the bat house we have up in the eaves above the window. That’s where the bat got in. But, it obviously wasn’t going to find it to get out, so it was in the house somewhere.
We closed the doors to all the rooms to contain the beast. When we closed the door to the craft room, Judy spotted the bat, perched near the lower hinge on the built-in storage cabinet behind the craft room door. I pulled the screen off the nearest window, grabbed a plastic container Judy keeps craft tools in, and emptied it. Putting the open box over the bat, I slid the lid down to make it let go of the hinge. It buzzed angrily, but let go, and was in the box with the lid closed. I leaned out the window and dropped the bat onto the roof below, then replaced the screen. Problem solved. The bat lay on the roof, but when Judy went to check later, it was gone, so it hopefully didn’t come to harm, and we managed to handle it without danger of a bite or exposure to some zoonotic plague. I rolled up a couple of hand towels and stuffed them in the gaps between the sashes in the two windows in which we had screens.
By now, it was barely past 3:30 am, but we were still adrenaline-charged, so went downstairs. I stayed up, with an ice pack on my hip, but Judy went back to bed eventually. The ice pack seemed to help.
Later that morning, we went through my PT exercises and in the afternoon, I went to the clinic for my session, where all went well. But, the sudden movement earlier during the bat attack and the soreness after bicycling was a wake-up call that I’m not completely healed and still susceptible to further injury, something my primary physician warned me about. So, dreams of quick recovery and taking some longer bicycle rides later in the fall are dashed. We’ll have to be content with short rides. It’s hard to ride from home, with the steep hills, so it’s a pain to have to drive somewhere to ride. But, there’s the airport nearby, and maybe a trip to the county park where we based our spring rides, but do the shorter loop instead of the usual 15-25 km figure-8 route we usually take, and the relatively quiet loop around Island Lake north of town that we’ve also ridden before.