Saturday, December 15, 2012

One Minute, I'm Riding.....

....and the next, I'm being transported in an ambulance. :(

The paramedics found me 6 feet from my bike, laying in the intersection. They said I asked them the same questions over and over, "What happened? Who hit me? Where am I?". I was brought to a hospital less than a mile away, where I spent 4 days....2 days in ICU (due to a concussion and bleeding on the brain) and 2 days in the Trauma Unit. I had some facial abrasions, a broken sinus bone, and a broken right arm (humerus bone). They took an MRI and 3 CT scans. The injuries could have been a lot worse, so I am thankful to be alive and upright (vs. 6 feet under!!)

So, what happened?? I have ridden this route to work the past 10 months. I knew the lights, the traffic patterns, the cracks in the road, the uneven sidewalk portions, etc. In fact, I had just exited a sidewalk (along with a guy bicyclists in front of me), and we looked both ways as we crossed over a church driveway, to then enter the traffic lane. All the traffic was stopped at a light about 30 feet behind me. I could hear it start up as I got into the lane to continue down the road. I have no idea why the driver of the large pick-up truck didn't see me, since I was that far ahead of him. Maybe he was texting...or reading something, or on the phone...? I don't know if the police asked him...but at least the driver stopped. And that he has auto insurance. So that the personal injury lawyer I have retained can contact regarding the driver's negligence.

My aluminum road bike, of course, looks worse than I do, and I was stunned to see it when a friend went with me to pick it up from the police station. Even the cop who brought it out, just stared at it and couldn't believe his eyes, and shook his head. It's a good thing I don't use clipless pedals, because I would have still been connected to the bike when the pick-up truck obviously ran over my bike. The frame is cracked in 2 places (top tube and downtube) and the right handlebars were flattened up against the stem. The right pedal was sheared off, and the derailleur was broken off and dangling on the chain. The rear bicycle rack which held my panniers, was sheared off at the bottom brazen points.

The orthopaedic doc says I have keep my right arm in a sling for 6 weeks. I will start some occupational therapy next week. I may be returning to work in January. I probably won't be able to bike til the Springtime. At least I won't have to deal with biking in the winter's snow and ice and cold.

And family and friends ask if I will go back to biking to work. I am sure they want to hear the word "NO". But I tell them that I think I will, and that I will just take a different route. I love to bike, whether it's commuting or touring....there are so many places to see in this world.....i'm not hanging up my wheels just yet. :)


Dan said...

Wow! that's a scary story. Glad you were able to survive, but sorry for the injuries.

Hope the healing goes quickly, and that you can get back in the saddle soon.

JK said...

Wow! So glad you're up and around and on the way to mending. I hope the healing process goes smoothly and quickly for you.

Spence said...

I am glad you survived so sorry to read this. Glad you will continue to bike after this.
One of my friends was run off the road by a driver in north Raleigh, he lost some teeth, in hospital for a while, back out biking.
My blog advocates biking to work in Raleigh, NC, a city many consider too dangerous to bike in. If you would give me some constructive feedback on my posts, do you think I am advocating anything dangerous, e. g. biking to music?
This would really help me help others. Thanks, and get well soon.

lena varuolo said...

Damn. That's scary! I'm so happy to hear that you're mending. Thinking of you, hoping you're back on the bike before Spring!

Spence said...

Char, I'm so sorry, glad you're alive and recovering, not crippled.
I did mention your incident in a post on bike safety I should have asked permission? Read it and see what you think. Google Biking the Live Fantastic to view, it's in the Lighting up Durham post.

Speedy recovery! Spence

FlyingYeti said...

I read your other blog first and thought perhaps it was not as serious until I read this posting. Ouch. I really hope you fully recover from the injury.

sitamckay said...

So sorry to hear have a great attitude, and I hope that helps you heal quickly and get back on the bike. I agree, keep commuting.... Best!


She Rides a Bike said...

So sorry about this incident but glad you are still alive. Your comment about riding clipless is validating. I've been encouraged to ride with clips but have always thought it might be better to easily separate from the bike in an emergency. Your accident certainly fits the bill.

I can't imagine that you won't return to your bicycle with a certain amount of anxiety. I'm certain that I would. On the other hand, we don't expect car drivers to abandon their cars when they are involved in a collision. Good luck.

Chandra said...

I am sorry to hear about your accident.
Wish you a speedy recovery.

Chandra said...

I am sorry to hear about your accident.
Wish you a speedy recovery.