Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bike VS Truck

So the title? That's what the check-in nurse/admin person wrote on my ER paperwork. It sounds so empowering, like I could have stood a chance against the Ford F-1-something-or-other.

Instead I am writing to you from day 1.5 of my convalescence. As the payroll chica said? If this doesn't qualify for emergency time off? Not sure what would.

And to explain the .5? Yeah, I went in to work for a couple/4 hours yesterday to get ready for not being there. It was slow and painful but probably the only time I will not have to wait for access to the copy machine and have my print-outs delivered to my desk. It's one thing to get the email that someone is too messed up/broken to come in the next few days, but a WAY different thing to see them stumbling and limping around so that you don't have to try to figure out the mess that is her desk...or so I was told. I was also told, repeatedly, to get the hell out and go rest!

So I'm following orders...sort of.

If I'm not sleeping I feel a bit stir crazy. It's probably the drugs. You know it's just not fair to take something that makes the pain go away cuz then you think, "See? I'm not hurt! I can go get my work done!" Only you are on a narcotic and have no business being out in the world!

Ugh.

So I'm not posting any pictures. There's not much to show really.

I have a purple left-ring-finger-knuckle.

Both knees are banged, scraped, and bruised up, but no road rash as I wasn't dragged or anything. My one "won't stop bleeding" sliver-moon-shaped-cut on my right knee is fully hidden under a normal-sized band-aid, and no I'll not rip it off to show you that, sorry. I learned my lesson about cheap band-aids and pulling them off willy-nilly.

My right elbow is much too hard to photograph, and besides, all you can see is a scab, unless you compare the size of it to my right elbow...which is hard to do without hurting myself, so no way.

As I don't like the idea of posting a picture of my chest? You're not going to see the "circle" bruise that sits just above the apex of my, um "girls."

But aside from the psychological trauma? (6 hours in an ER is enough to drive anyone batty.) That's the extent of the damage on me.

Andy has put my bike downstairs in the disaster that is our storage room, so I can't take a picture of the "banana bend" that my front tire has acquired. Maybe later, but that and my BRAND NEW BASKET, are all that were damaged beyond simple pull/bend back into shape, repair.

The actual accident:
I feel like a broken record already. I've told the same story to the check-in nurse, the triage nurse, two doctors, the x-ray attendant, a couple police officers (yes, there is a police report), countless people at work yesterday, my mom, my brother, Andy...

But the basics. I was riding home on the Burke Gilman Trail. There is a bit of the trail that crosses the businesses (cement factory, storage facilities, boat haul-outs, etc.) where for the most part the bikes have to yield. In this case, there is a stop sign for cars.

The truck was stopped and playing the "you go" "no YOU go" game with a bicycle on his right side. As he was letting her go, I began crossing the intersection from the left side. Unfortunately, as soon as she zipped past him, he started to go, and didn't see me until I was hitting his truck.

I saw him start up and hit the breaks. Did I mention it's been raining in Seattle? The streets were sopping, so I started to skid and there was no way I'd stop in time. So, instead of hitting him straight on and possibly going over his hood? I leaned over/turned in so I could hit him broad-side. I figured the worst that would happen was that I'd slam my helmet and shoulder into the truck.

Weeeellll...the road was too wet and the bike was already slipping and I saw it hit/crunch/get sucked under his front tire and I went down pretty fast after that. I don't like to dwell too much on this, but I could have been sucked completely under his truck...BUT WASN'T.

My right elbow definitely hit his truck. My sternum definitely hit my twisted up handle-bars end-on (or I wouldn't have such a fantastic circular bruise!). Everything else is pure conjecture.

At that point the adrenaline took over and thankfully, so did all the bicyclists that were in the area. I don't know how many there actually were, but one started by calling the cops, another two were helping me get out from under the bike, another was helping the driver get his truck off my bike, another was checking on the driver....I lost count.

I also almost lost consciousness...my chest HURT and the worst case scenario was broken ribs/insides and I was blowing off the ER idea until I HAD TO SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW and breathing hurt and I wanted to vomit. The driver lent me a blanket as the "shakes" started and I got to see just how waterproof my new phone is as I called Andy to get me the hell out of there and to a hospital, ahem, STAT.

But I think that was the adrenaline starting to drain away and the realization (like the one above) that it could have been MUCH worse and I am still alive and my god in so much pain, but LIVING.

And now I think it's nap time.

5 comments:

Bezzie said...

Am I the only one reading this drama? Holy crap woman. Heal soon!!!

Rick Andreoli said...

While I've been smart with you on my blog, I am SUPER sorry this happened to you.

But haven't you learned yet? Going green with biking and all that is only good if you can stay out of trouble. And since I've known you, you've been in how many biking accidents? 10? I don't know. But your mother and I are VERY worried.

tana said...

Oh my gosh. I am so glad that it wasn't worse. I can't believe this! I hope you heal very very soon. Healing thoughts coming your way.

Cindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy said...

OH NO, I'm so sorry to hear that. I had no idea. That is horrible and scary. You must still be in some pain. I hope you're healing and feeling better. Blah, that's awful. Are you at work?