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The Accident

May 27th, 2015

head injurySo yesterday, we went for a bike ride. Without helmets, like you do. The second one of the season.

We started on the closest bike trail entrance that didn’t require us to travel on main roads to get there because we don’t trust the car. We went the way we usually go because it’s just about exactly 5 miles there and back.

A little further up the trail, there’s a dock and a pavilion, so we rode down there to rest in the shade by the water before turning back. That’s where we met Roy. Roy is a retired postman with two grown children. He sat down with us and we chit-chatted a while. Then M and I decided to head back. Roy told us to be safe.

By the time we got back to the car, we were feeling okay, so we filled our water bottles up with the bottle we brought in an ice chest for just that purpose, and hit the trail again, going the other way this time.

The ride was awesome, and we stopped in a shady park on the water about 2 miles up the road to rest before heading back.

At the entrance to the park, there’s a little ‘S’ shaped hill. At the bottom of the hill, there are three wooden posts at least as thick as railroad ties. There’s not really enough time to slow down. Unless you’re a really good rider, you sort of have to ride your brakes to make it.

I got cocky. Decided I would try it without riding my brakes. And then I lost control of my bike, slammed into the middle post going about 10mph, and flew 6-7 feet through the air before landing on my shoulder and face. I knocked the post clear out of the ground.

My $400 bike (that we bought back when we both had jobs and M got a bonus) is totaled. The front wheel chassis and gears snapped off. The back brake lodged itself in the tire. The tires are bent, and the frame might be, too. I’m pretty upset about that.

At first, I couldn’t move. I laid on the ground and sobbed, which, if you know me at all, you know was pretty humiliating for me despite the amount of pain I was in. M got down on the ground with me to see if I was alright. I started trying to move my limbs to see how bad the damage was, and I couldn’t move my right shoulder. Moving my elbow and fingers worked, but it jarred my shoulder and caused excruciating pain.

A fellow stopped and called 911. Something crazy like 10-15 volunteers showed up in their own cars, along with a firetruck and ambulance, which is a testament to how awesome people are where we ride. We’ve actually been considering looking for a new place there if the shit head kid next door starts up his shenanigans again.

They all worked as quickly and carefully as possible to get my arm strapped to my chest and get me out of the sun and on the way to the hospital without causing me more pain than they had to. Everyone was sure I had a concussion and maybe a broken collar bone.

One of the volunteers brought my broken bike to the fire house because there was no way for M to get it back to the car. We’re going to have it looked at, but I don’t think there’s any fixing it.

Once M knew where they were taking me, he rode his bike back to the car and took that home, and it was a good thing he did. Neither of us had the key to my collar on us.

The doctor and nurse were pretty dickish about my collar, by the way. I’m pretty sure the nurse knew what it was. She kept asking what it was for. I kept feigning loopiness from the morphine, pretending I didn’t understand what she was asking. Generally, I advise being open and honest with health care providers, but from the second they saw my collar, the doctor and nurse started acting weird about it, and telling me how dangerous it is, so I was not going to go into detail about my relationship dynamic with them. It didn’t feel safe.

They dropped it when maintenance showed up with a matching allen wrench and they were able to remove it. But not before asking if I was going to put it back on when I left.

“Yep,” I replied. “Why not? I’ve worn it for 13 years without a problem.”

“What do you call this?”

“My necklace didn’t cause this.”

Motherfuck. Just treat my injuries and mind your own damn business.

They did a CT Scan and X-rays, and there isn’t a lick of internal damage beyond some bruising. No broken bones, dislocations, torn anything, and not even a concussion. I’m really not sure how that happened. I’m feeling kinda like I pulled one over on The Universe, and I’m wondering if I just cashed in all the good karma I had saved up.

I can’t really move my right shoulder. Any movement of my body jars it, so I have to keep it supported. I’ve typed this with my left hand because I can’t type with my right. Going to the bathroom is fun. And I can’t get dressed because I can’t lift my arm. M had to cut me out of my shirt when we got home, but the paramedics had already cut the sleeve so it didn’t much matter.

I feel like a dick. We were both so excited about getting back on our bikes, and now I’ve totaled mine. M’s on vacation, and I’m not even able to get dressed, so we’re not going to be able to go anywhere for a couple days. I just cost us a whole shit load of money we don’t have in medical bills. The house is a disaster, and I can’t do anything about it, and now M has to wait on me and clean up the mess himself. He scolded me and made me promise not to let it get like this again. Bleh.

He keeps telling me not to worry about all that stuff, but what kind of slave would I be if I didn’t?

Anyway…I’m in a lot of pain, but it’s nothing serious. I’ll probably post more pics of the damage later today.

And I’ll never ride without a helmet again.


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  1. Pete James
    May 27th, 2015 at 16:42 | #1

    Good to know that you’ll be ok. Hope you get better real soon!

  2. May 28th, 2015 at 11:00 | #2

    @ Pete James Thanks, me too!

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