So…What Happened?

OK, time to try typing this up before so much time passes that I can’t remember what happened. Note that all typing is still one-handed and may, in fact, suck. I’ve started and restarted this thing about 10 times and have finally settled on an FAQ-style entry to try and minimize my desire to type way too much and get hurt quickly (yeah, right).

Why Jamie is Busted: FAQs

  • Q: WTF happened to you?
  • A: I was descending from the top of the first summit (plateau?) on Stage Coach Road. I swung a bit wide on one of the banks right only to see a car/truck/vehicle-of-doom coming up in the middle of the lane. I swerved right and slammed on the brakes. Luckily, I missed the car…unluckily I hit enough gravel to cause me to skid out of control.I wobbled a bit, thought I would pull out of it, and then just laid the bike down (with me attached) in the middle of the road. I remember my head bouncing off the pavement – yay helmets – and my teeth cracking together. With the adrenaline kicked into high gear, I magically unclipped, pulled myself and the bike out of the road, and threw myself in the pokey-ass grass whimpering.
  • Q: What was going through your head when you fell?
  • A: In order:
    “This is gonna huuuuuuuurt…”
    “OW F@#K”
    “Get out of road…bike out of road…hope bike isn’t hurt”
    “OW!!! Side of road full of pokey things!”
    “Mother flipping thing best not be hurt!! I just got that bastard back! $200 Down the drain” (you have to imagine mental muttering)
    “Owwww…teeth hurt. Hope they aren’t cracked. Wonder if anyone has a mirror. That would totally ruin wedding pics”
    “Someone should stop my Garmin. Gonna ruin my ride data. Too far away…can’t do it”
    “This should hurt more. Something is wrong…”
    “Wonder what I’ll title this post”
  • Q: And then what happened? Were you alone?
  • A: Riders from another cycle team stopped to help. I remember almost nothing about them other than the one guy who sprayed the road rash with antibiotic stuff (and some of them had reaaaaally bright jerseys). My team was ahead of me, so Devan’s team got to the site first. The very awesome Wiki Wiki’s huddled around me to keep me warm, and did a very good job of preventing me from giving in to the rising panic. Love my TNT crew!
    I understand that people rode away to find cell reception, called SAG, called an ambulance, and possibly called Charles. 45-ish minutes later weird men (aka fire fighter EMT types) were cutting off my jersey and armwarmers (sigh), installing a collar on my neck and strapping me to a board. I fully understand why the dogs resent those plastic collars now BTW.
  • Q: Where did they take you?
  • A: Stanford ER. There was some concern that I was bleeding internally, so they upgraded me to a “Trauma 2” and took me to the closest spot (which was still a good 45 minutes away). No, there were no sirens. I’m pretty sure Coach Keith was hitting up the driver or donations though.
  • Q: Did you lose consciousness?
  • A: No, but I did crack my helmet.
  • Q: Did you cry?
  • A: Not when it happened, although I did whimper, whine, moan and yell quite a bit. When they told me on Tuesday I was off the bike for 10 weeks? Yep. Such a sad panda.
  • Q: How fast were you going?
  • A: I’ll letcha know as soon as I hookup the Garmin.
  • Q: Did the driver you almost hit stop?
  • A: From what I undertand, Yes. I’m pretty sure I bled on his jacket too – oh well. Supposedly he was pretty nice and quite worried. I never really talked to him.
  • Q: Rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10.
  • A: Bite me. I heard this question no less than 50 times in one day, and the answer had apporximately no bearing on whether or not they gave me anything for pain.
  • Q: So, what was wrong?
  • A: Many hours and many xrays and morphine shots later, it was determined that i had a “nondisplaced ulnar fracture and a nondisplaced clavicle fracture” aka a busted elbow and collarbone, where the bone didn’t break all the way through.
  • Q: How do you treat that?
  • A: In th ER? Torture. They claim to give you pain killers and then twist your broken arm in unheard of directions while you scream and squeak like a little girl – also known as putting on a splint. Then they stick said 20-lb plaster arm of doom in a blue sling around the neck to “relax” the collarbone. LOL.At Kaiser the following week? Surgery. They starve you, make you wait an extra 3 hours, and then slice open your arm to install pins and wires.
  • Q: Why surgery?
  • A: To stabilize the broken piece and prevent it from floating around your elbow and mucking up all the nerves and whatnot. Yes, there are better medical terms for this. No, I don’t know them.
  • Q: So they gave you good drugs, right?
  • A: At Stanford they kept pain controlled with morphine. Before they let me go home, they gave me something that sounds somthing like demerol. This allowed them to further torture me by making me feel so loopy in the head that walking around the ER to “let them know if anything else was broken” sounded like a good plan. Since then, the Kaiser docs have plyed me with Vicodin, which I take only as needed.
  • Q: But drugs are fun! Can I buy your leftovers?
  • A: Not when they make you overly naseuous. For some reason painkillers seem to make me sick. Trying to throw up with a busted collarbone is stupidly painful. Oh, and you are approximately 50th in line.
  • Q: What was most the embarassing thing about this ordeal?
  • A: Well, I can’t share the worst one, but walking through a crowded ER in nothing but a sports bra, biker shorts and a sling is something I hope never to repeat.
  • Q: So how are you now?
  • A: Meh. Pain varies day over day. I’m no longer in the evil plaster splint; just an ace wrap. I got my arm staples out this morning and got the go-ahead (directive) to start flexing the arm often. ASAP. New xrays show the collarbone IS displaced, or busted-through, which just means more time to heal. I’m headed back to work tomorrow and get to practice the super-fun art of one-armed driving, On the bright side, the last of my scabs finally fell off. YAY!
  • Q: Will you be in Honolulu?
  • A: Yes, to cheer on my kick-ass TNT team!
  • Q: Will you ride a bike again?
  • A: I’d be on one now if I could only move my arm or turn my head to the left. I’m sure it’ll be scary for awhile, but I know I can do it. Current target is winter team for Solvang, assuming my collar is healed up in time for the kickoff.
  • Q: Oh, and how was the ride before the crash?
  • A: Overcast and drizzly, but otherwise not bad. I ate too much at rest stop one, which hurt a bit later, but I conquered all the hills that I actually made it to – something of which I was quite proud.

OK the arm is dying, so that’s all for now. Thanks again to everyone for their messages, and sorry I haven’t been able to answer them all yet. I swear I’m trying!


1 Response to “So…What Happened?”

  1. 1 Anonymous September 25, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Wow, just came across your blog, Sorry you hit the pavement / gravel, glad your okay!

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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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