March 15, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, while cycling with coworkers and a friend, my fender detached and stopped my front wheel, immediately. At 15 mph, I flew over the handlebars. This resulted in a visit to the E.R. and the diagnosis of a broken jaw and a compression fracture to my T7 vertebra.
The following week included daily doctor visits and a surgery!
While I could focus on the pain, my medical bills (nothing like meeting your annual deductible in February, amirite?!), and the eight to ten weeks I can’t ride my bike, I’ve decided to focus on the bright side of my bike crash. Here’s the bright side, by the numbers:
- 10 days off work
- 9 pints of homemade soup
- 8 weeks NOT wired shut (My first doctor suggested wiring my jaw shut to allow the fracture to heal. The second doctor decided on a tiny metal plate with screws to correct the fracture.)
- 7 fruit smoothies and juices
- 6 care packages
- 5 get well cards
- 4 (40?) hours of Netflix
- 3 new bike parts (a fork, a saddle, and a new helmet)
- 2 lovely flower bouquets to brighten my kitchen!
- And finally, 1 awesome Strava ride title!!!
While this may seem glib, I really did get lucky. I could have had a traumatic brain injury, I could have needed back surgery, or I could have been paralyzed, or I could have been cycling alone, or I could have crashed further away from civilization and medical services.
Instead, I had a short hospital stay of a few hours and the most incredible amount of support from my roommates, my colleagues here at Adventure Cycling, and loved ones from near and far. My healing has been going really well, and it would have been much more difficult without all the soup and fun care packages to brighten my days. Being car-free, rides from friends in my community were super-helpful! I put together a 650-piece puzzle and watched more episodes of The Office than is probably healthy. I also reflected on the deep gratitude I feel for everyone who helped, whether it was a supportive Facebook comment, homemade soup, or the friends who met me in the E.R. post-accident.
Photos by Emma Wimmer.
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team—Whitney, Mandy, Linda, Emma and Arlen—tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, helping you bring your cycling dreams to fruition. Check out our 2016 Guided Tours today!