Two nights ago, I learned what it’s like to be a patient in my own ER. After a long shift in the ER earlier that day, I met Linda and our group of riding friends for our regular Tuesday night ride. It was a beautiful night and I was just glad to be out on the bike.
Six miles into the ride, I had just finished going down a good hill at 33mph and was passing everyone going up the next hill. I stood up to give a bit more power and the chain came off. In a split-second, I was down on my right side and sliding along then paved road.
My head hurt, my back hurt, and my skinned/bleeding right shoulder/arm was stinging. All of my fellow riders gathered around me and talking about calling an ambulance – I protested heavily. I tried sitting up, but the incredible wave of dizziness prevented me from doing that. I crab-walked out of the street into the grass and lay there for a short time. Eventually, I was able to sit up and struggle to my feet. I wanted to ride on, but my bike was not in condition to be ridden. That answered that (made me upset but everyone else was glad I couldn’t even try to ride).
A very, very kind good Samaritan, Cathy, offered to load my bike into the back of her minivan and drive me back to the parking lot where my car was. This was wonderful, as it turns out she is a mutual friend of other biking friends. However, in my conversation with her, I realized I had a concussion as I was having trouble coming up with things I knew I should know (like the name of the school my girls attend).
Linda and a couple of other friends rode their bikes back to the car and arrived within minutes of me arriving. In the few minutes I was there waiting for them to arrive, I decided I was injured more than just the scrapes and bruises – I needed x-rays. I called my ER and told my partner what had happened and that I would be coming in.
After walking in to the ER, it was quite a relief to finally lay down. However, this caused my head to spin even more and nausea set in. Fortunately, an IV was started and I received medicine for the nausea and the pain. We decided to start with x-rays of my lumbar spine and pelvis and, because of the hit to my head, a CAT scan of my head. The CAT scan was normal, as was the x-ray of my spine; however, the pelvis x-ray revealed a fracture. After discussion with my partner, we agreed to get a CAT scan of my abdomen and pelvis to better understand the extent of the injuries. The result was a comminuted fracture of the inferior pubic ramus on the right side. Here is a diagram of a pelvis with fractures of bilateral superior and inferior pubic rami:
Here is a snapshot of my CAT scan with the fracture of my right inferior pubic ramus (seen on your left, as you are viewing the pelvis from below):
The wounds were all cleaned, which honestly hurt more than anything else. Eventually, after much protesting from me about possible admission to the hospital, I was sent home with plans to use the crutches I already owned. A quick stop by the pharmacy for some medicine and I was finally home at 11:30. Here is a picture of my arrival home:
Here is a picture of my abrasions the next morning:
And finally – here’s my shoulder after 24 hours:
It will likely be 4-6 weeks before I’m healed, but I hope to be back to work in the day or two. As long as I’m using the crutches, I’m not in much pain. Soon, I can probably have a cane – I can look like Dr. House.
I’ve had many texts, phone calls, and Facebook messages – for which I’m very grateful. Thanks to all of my friends, but most of all thanks to Linda for her wonderful care if mr over the past 36 hours. I love you, Linda!