Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Accident Report :(

Hey all,

First I just want to say a huge warm loving "thank you" to everyone whose sent me "thinking of you" emails. While I didn't respond while in the ER to anyone, I did get a few when I was still in there and it made me feel a lot better :)

So now on to what happened...

So I find this entire accident from hell thing particularly ironic because, as my emails earlier yesterday suggested, it's been a super stressful week at work. And, sitting in my office late last night, debating whether to sleep in Mountain View or not, I said, "Heather...riding a nice happy Friday ride totally aids in de-stress-ness... so just pack up late, take the late shuttle and ride. It's worth it."

So anyways, yes, Stegman and I were trying to re-catch up with the front group (which I lost pretty much right after the break-point) and I was leading for a long while and then Stegman says "Heather... I've been drafting for a long time. Want a turn?" and so I gratefully switched spots. So we were going along in or new line-up for, oh, a minute (while all the while I'm thinking "damn, this drafting thing is a total win situation" when the badness happened.

I guess the little kid swerved in front of him and from what I can remember/gather Stegman braked super hard to miss the kid and I, sitting maybe 3 inches off his wheel, didn't even have a chance to break. I just blasted into him... flew... and the first thing that hit was the left side of my head --- and then the rest of my left side just skidded for a second.

No lies... about a milisecond after I hit my head (and a milisecond before I started crying) I thought "wow... that was a really hard hit to my head... I now totally get the whole "always wear a helmet" thing"

So about a second after all that my jaw sort of locked up and the very lower part of my head and upper neck hurt really bad. Plus my left hip-booty area was killing me (later I saw that I skidded pretty much the entire left upper side of my shorts off).

I was crying and holding the top of my helmet as Stegman was trying to see how bad I was and if he should call 911. I kept saying (though the sobbing) "No no... ambulances are like a zillion dollars! Just give me a minute"

but of course... the more it hurt and the more I realized it was a head-injury primarily, the more I realized a trip to the ER was pretty much an inevitable part of my future.

So I got to cry in front of a lot of firefighter dudes and got strapped to a board and all that so they could make sure I didn't move my neck and all.

Now I think the pain plus the fear of having broken something in my neck/head no doubt added to me having poor baby tears streaming down my then totally encased head all the way to the ER. The nice ambulance dude was quite nice, though. Someone held my hand for a bit. I felt like I was two.

So anyways they cleaned up all my cuts and road rash -- actually they got the resident hard-core bike dude to do it. So as he was cleaning the blood and dirt out of my totally destroyed left booty-bit and left back side generally I
1) lost all dignity
2) got to hear a lot of really bad bike stories. Which sort of put it all into perspective :)

They also did a bunch of x-rays to make sure nothing was broken. Turns out-- no breaks!

So my friend, who came to the hospital and brought me new clothes and allowed me to hold his hand and cry into his stomach for a bit longer, drove me down to Google (because I was supposed to go to LA this weekend for fun and an epic ride) where I basically hung out at work in my friend's shirt, shorts half on (so the giant nasty area wasn't being pressed on by my pants), and my (now unlucky) socks with my flipflops (might as well be comfy at that point)

The only question is a concussion... which I don't think I have. I felt a bit nausea and apparently asked my friend at work the same question three times, but I think I'm just a bit shook up. I've never had a "real" crash before (I've only fallen off my bike once! And it was me...going about 4 miles an hour...and a curb)

So I'm ok. My left side hurts a lot and my head is still hurtin' but I'm a trooper! (though the crying would perhaps suggest otherwise) :) If anything changes with the head-stuff I'll be sure and update. I'll need rotations of hands to hold :)


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