Tuesday, July 19, 2011

That will leave a mark

It has been just over a week, and I am just getting around to posting my recap of my biking “initiation.”  Some may remember a couple of years ago when my wife had her accident that took her up and over her handlebars and quickly to the pavement causing a main course of a broken rib with a side of road rash.  Well, I too, now been inducted into the biker club with my first crash. 

It was Monday the 11th and I headed out to tackle my workout, 1:35 total with 7x5 minute intervals.  It was hot, but moving along on the bike kept temps at bay with a subtle breeze. I knew I had the wind at my back on the way out towards Hastings, so I knew the way home would be a bit long.  After finishing one of my intervals, at about 14 miles out, I hit a bump.  No not a pothole, not a speed bump, just a normal bump in the road.  Somehow it got the best of me, and I lost the front end and began heading up and over the front handlebars.  I was still moving at a good speed having just come off the interval at an average of 31 MPH flat. 

I had no idea what I hit or why I what the next few seconds would include, but I knew a few things.  First, this is going to be ugly, second, I hope to aim for the ditch so I do not get run over.

I went up in the air and began to tuck my body to aim myself more towards the ditch as to not end up in the road if at all possible.  As I came down, I felt my right shoulder hit, ouch that hurt, but not as much as I was expecting, followed by my right hip.  That is going to leave a mark!  Then I felt what made me the most nervous, crack, my head hit the shoulder, and then I skid on my back a little ways to watch my bike land about 5 feet away from me and my water bottles and Garmin went flying. 

What a ride?!? I was thinking as I tried to collect myself, pissed that I had wrecked for no reason.  As I began to gather myself, a car pulled over to offer some help.  After a few attempts we got ahold of my wife and she was on her way to pick me up.  I pretty much immediately knew my collar bone was broken just from the pain I was feeling.  The feeling of nausea, well I think that is mostly from the whole situation as opposed to a concussion, but I did crack my helmet on impact. 

After some time passed, my wife arrived, following an unmarked car and an on-duty officer who stopped to make sure I was alright.  Despite them wanting to call an ambulance, I knew I was going to the ER anyway and was doing better at this point. So I declined. 

Here I am after getting triaged into the ER, Gotta love parading around in spandex!IMG_0871I know the ER is not typically an in and out thing, and that night was no different.  I explained my story a few times and they gave me some meds to help with the pain.  When I got sent back to the ER, I was hurting, so they came to further investigate the wounds.  Yep road rash – although it was pretty  clean and took very little scrubbing to get gravel out. 

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My elbow got the brunt of the road rash, but the other areas quickly started to feel like lava as they began to heal.  Now a week later, they are mostly down to bruises and a few light scratches.

Sure enough, after the X-Rays were done, I was right.  A broken collar bone, but I was not aware at how difficult of a break this would be.  So there are 3 types of fractures.  The first is when you just cause a crack in the bone.  It stays in place, but there is a small line that travels through the bone, almost like a piece of hair.  The second is a clean break.  This is where you break the bone and they separate a ways, so there is a gap between the bones.  Finally, there is my break where the bones break, and shift out of place, thus the nearly 1 inch overlap on the bones.  This is the least likely to heal properly of all breaks, which is why I later opt for surgery to repair.

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In order to give myself the best chance at recover, and to be prepared for the Twins that are on the way… I figured having the surgery would be the best choice in order to get healed up asap.  I pretty much know my tri season is over for this year, unfortunate, but I am glad that this was all it resulted in. 

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You can see the new plate and 9 screws I have in my shoulder now.  It is a beefy piece of hardware, that is for sure.  I am still on the mend, and have been tired as can be, which I suppose is my body’s way of telling me it needs to recover and to take it easy.  As I have said, I pretty much have come to the conclusion that my 11 Tri season is going to be cut short, but all I  can pray for is a speedy recovery! 

Looking back, I cannot imagine how things would have been different had I not had a helmet on.  I am not sure that I would have been here to even write this post.  I am quite confident of my handling skills, and this just goes to show, you never know what can happen.  Be careful out there, and always, always have a backup plan!  (Thanks RoadID and my cellphone!)

9 comments:

Dianna on Maui July 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM  

Ouch, Jeff, really sorry to hear about your accident. I'm glad you are on the road to recovery. Here's to quick and excellent healing!

tribirdie July 19, 2011 at 10:01 PM  

Again, so sorry that you had the accident, but glad that you were able to get help so quickly!! Very good that you had your RoadID and phone. Very smart!! Sending you lots of healthy healing vibes!

Mike July 20, 2011 at 4:42 AM  

You're supposed to be kicking your competitions butts, not your own!!! Glad to hear you are okay. You left out the part about your first shower after the road rash and how wonderful it felt to have the water run down your skin! LOL!

Hang in there, I guess you'll have to leave all of the butt kicking to me for now! Get well soon!
-Mike

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot July 20, 2011 at 6:56 AM  

Thank goodness you are okay - as you said, it could have been much worse.

We can now compare xrays and road rash scars - cool!

Good call on opting for the surgery!

Take care!

Jamie July 20, 2011 at 6:27 PM  

Those are some nasty pics Jeff! Glad the injuries weren't any worse. Heal up fast man!

Hollywood July 21, 2011 at 4:32 AM  

Dude!! Hurray for the helmet; mine's saved me in crashes too. Get well soon man.

Colleen July 21, 2011 at 9:38 AM  

Holy smokes Jeff... this is such a scary thing! I'm so glad that you are alright in terms of... you'll heal! Hoping that it's quick and painless! Sending you tons of good thoughts!

Laura July 22, 2011 at 7:01 PM  

Holy crap man. You got wrecked! So glad you had on your helmet!!! Hang tight. Now that you've got your hardware you should heal up pretty quickly.. at least quick enough to hold your babieSSSS! :)

Andy Rosebrook August 5, 2011 at 8:46 PM  

Stay strong and heal fast Jeff!

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