Tuesday, August 11, 2009

bike vs. truck

harper hospitalI try not to make my blog personal. but this is a very personal story of my recent bike vs. truck collision. I apologize ahead of time, but people keep asking what happened and reading other blogs like this has made me feel a little better about what I am going through. Hopefully you never experience it, but if you do or have maybe you can relate. Sorry this came out a little more whiny then i had hoped.... i really am very lucky that this is all that happened to me.

It was Tuesday evening and I was taking a quick ride over to my friends place. He just moved into a loft above Planned Parenthood on cass (we have been making fun of him ever since. a single dude living up there, I’m sure you can imagine the rest). Anyways, it's about a mile from my house, all was smooth until a guy in a truck didn’t look before he made a left from cass onto prentis, the street I happened to be crossing. It's one of those moments where you are thinking, no way this is happening, oh shit it is, and your body reacts naturally to the upcoming events. Fingers pulled the brakes, mind says no time, and my arms pulled me to the right to avoid a head on "mowing over". From what I can remember (I black out in times of serious trauma to my body) my left side collided with the truck and next thing I knew I was screaming at the driver to back up because he was on top of my bike. The following moments are only flashes; body still in one piece, bike in unknown condition, bandanna on the ground... strangers walking over to see if I was ok... and me texting my boyfriend that I had been hit by a car.
The driver got out immediately apologizing and asking if I was ok... I didn't really know to be honest.. Looked down saw the scrapes and bruises, right knee swelling... but everything still worked so the only answer I could rationally give was yes I am fine. The guy who hit me was nice.... the strangers called the police, retrieved my bandanna and carried my bike to the sidewalk for me.... I kind of stood around in awe of what actually happened... boyfriend showed up worked on my bike, police came by I spoke to them... I didn't want to make a report and get the kid who hit me in trouble... I only knew a few things; boyfriend had my bike in some what working order and my joints were all still bending.... after exchanging information with the driver and police I walked away, I walked my bike to my original destination. I guess I was in shock.
Upon arrival I downed some ibuprofen, was introduced to the folks I was supposed to be meeting and took a seat on a couch. Sitting down I started to sink more and more into it.... my muscles began to freeze up, and my boyfriend started giving me worried looks, as I told the internets what had happened, my interior, my guts as I explained it felt like they had fallen into a pile that were then put into a vice grip. We decided we were either going to the hospital or home, and I walked most of the way, unsure of what to do, feeling like someone had punched me 1000 times in the stomach and then gone after my knee with a baseball bat. We got home and aj (the boyfriend) began strapping ice packs to my extremities as I laid perfectly still to avoid moving at all, avoiding as much pain as possible.

This really is a sob story... I’m sorry; I will get to the positives.

So the first night I couldn't sleep... aj stayed up with me at 4 in the morn, I felt afraid that I could have died in the accident, and was still in enough pain that I felt I could at any moment... I drifted to sleep at one point and woke at 8 am decided it was time to go to the hospital. My mom took me to Harper, part of the Detroit Medical Center, they swooped me right up. I got to wear one of those awesome gowns, and slippy socks. They checked me over; I was x-rayed, fed and filled with painkillers. Probably one of the best hospital visits I have ever had. I was in and out, assured all of my pain was from bruising and swelling, and that I would be feeling it for a while.
Well I’m not a fan of painkillers... numbing the pain doesn't fix anything, so I headed out to my life-long Chiropractor and they began to put my twisted vertebrae back into place. (During this trip I also picked up my 5d Mark II, this will come up soon. I've still been too sore to use it properly)
This is the part where I give my laundry list of injuries:
Bruises cover the left side of my body
Hips, legs, shoulder move like rusty bolts
Right knee seems perpetually swollen
Whiplash and several misplaced vertebrae mid-back

the least painful part of my accident
Most of the pain has been inside my body.. the bruises have really been the least of it... but they continue up my thigh onto my arm, and my swollen and bruised right leg.

About 4 days after the accident I had managed to kick the vicoden to the curb, but was still needed ibuprofen to feel ok. I missed a few days of work, any position other then laying down legs outstretched was unthinkable (for 8 hours at least). Caught up on shark week, continued work on the star wars series. Saturday was the first day I got back on the bicycle. I love riding in the rain... it makes me feel particularly alive, plus no feeling compares to the drying off and warming up.
Unfortunately, I also took my bike to the shop for an accident report. Turns out, the frame I have restored and customized for the past 3 years, had taken it's last ride. I put over 1500 miles on her, solidified life-long friendships, and had endless adventures on my Raleigh. When I first pulled her out of a pile, kotter pin cranks dangling off, people scoffed at me, I made the list of work she needed and called her the bike of love. The steal frame has beautiful lugs, something I just couldn't look past and I poured my heart into her.

my bike on the first nice day
My bike that was totaled.

In the accident her fork was bent beyond repair and the entire frame was twisted to the left. All in all I feel very fortunate to have walked away from an accident that totaled my steal frame. I have learned about so many other terrible accidents, all of my injuries and bruises should fade, kinda makes me think this blog post is silly.

It's been a week now. Finally finishing this epic blog, sitting on my futon with my roommate watching "catch me if you can". It has been the warmest and rainiest days of the summer and my knee feels extra achy tonight. However I am getting better, shopping for a new bike (looking at the Kilo TT, which I will then customize), feeling good feeling great. This whole experience is a reminder of the wonderful people and community i am surrounded by. Many, many thanks for all of the well wishes. Ready to take on the world again. Lets hang out soon. Miss you guys.

BTW: I am looking for a 47 and 50 mm track bike i could stand over to see what size works best.