I’ve been posting mostly short blogs the past week or so because I’ve been pretty much bed-ridden. Here’s my story of what happened:
It was a dark and windy Wednesday night (October 27)…the hour had just chimed eight, and I was riding my bicycle home along Stadium Boulevard. I was thinking about my day, and generally unwinding as I’m wont to do while I’m riding home. I had crossed over Main Street on the sidewalk of the north side of Stadium, and was gently pedaling along the slightly sloping downhill.
The sidewalk ahead looked fairly well-lit by my Cateye® headlight (the brightest bicycle headlight I could find). However, lurking just beyond my view, a large construction sign had blown down and across the sidewalk. The unistrut or what-have-you was angled about a foot and a half off the sidewalk, and since it was so dark and thin, I think my brain thought it was just another crack in the sidewalk…but to my undying shame it was not just another crack!
I hit that piece of the sign at a pretty good speed, and the front tire was immediately stopped. Sadly, the principles of physics were still in full effect, so without even so much as a half-second to think, the bike immediately flipped up, and I (still clipped to the pedals) went with it. As the wind was knocked out of me and I hurtled through the air, I thought, “Uh…what’s happening?” Before my brain had time to answer that rather important question, I had landed quite a few feet beyond the point of contact on my head/helmet and right shoulder with the bike still above me. I unclipped from the pedals, and threw my bike to the side.
I think I was still in a bit of shock, but I got up, and realized I couldn’t use my right arm. So, I threw my book bag over my left shoulder, and started walking my bike home. As I gradually realized that my right shoulder hurt A LOT, I thought that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to walk the remaining two miles. Instead, I walked to my friend Rich’s house a few more blocks away, hoping against hope that someone would be home. Rich was able to drive me to the hospital and stayed with me while they checked me out. For that, I am extremely grateful.
The lovely doctor at the hospital determined that I had a broken clavicle, that no other bones were broken, and my skull was in one piece! Thank goodness for helmets! They put me in a traction device and told me to see an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible.
When I got to the orthopedic doc the next afternoon, he informed me that I had to take a whole week off of work with lots of “rest.” Every time I laid my head, I had to put a rolled up towel in the center of my back to keep the shoulders pressed back. They were worried that the two bone pieces would overlap and try to heal that way, instead of just touching each other. Not only that, but the good doc said I might need a metal plate put in (which would mean even MORE time off).
I saw the orthopedic doctor again yesterday, and luckily for me, the “metal plate” surgery didn’t need to happen. The doctor was happy with my progress, so now I am able to go to work again (starting today)!
I have to take it pretty easy for a while, and will be wearing a stylish beige figure-eight brace for at least another month, but hey, it’s progress! The doctor said I can use my right hand a little bit starting today, so I could finally write this story (using both hands for typing)!