So, I’m a klutz

I’ve had an interesting weekend to say the least. Hospital ERs are not my favourite place.

I came off my bike on Friday evening after work. It’d just started raining so I thought it’d be a good idea to turn my cycling cap which I was wearing under my helmet around so the brim could offer some protection for my glasses. What I didn’t take into account was how treacherous the smooth bluestone gutter would be. My left foot was already unclipped as I had just crossed an intersection so I was prepared to pull over. But when I put my foot down, I was still moving and I think it slipped out from under me. I lost control, the bike twisted to the right where my foot was still clipped in and I went down like a sack of spuds. Landed head first on the road, smashing my helmet – and in turn my head – into a metal manhole cover. Later on, we discovered a crack in my helmet so I gave my noggin a good thumping.

Went to hospital Friday night, feeling pretty awful. My head was thumping and I felt dizzy and nauseous. The ER was packed so it took a while to be seen by the triage nurse. (Really, why do people with the sniffles go to the ER on a Friday evening and waste everyone’s time?) Just as I started to feel really, really bad the triage nurse came over. He checked me over, gave me some panadol, refilled the bag of ice I had for my head and told me it’d be about an hour before I’d be seen in the so-called “fast-track”.

As we waited in the fast-track waiting room, I started to feel a bit better as the panadol dulled the pain in my head a little bit. More waiting and finally got checked over by a doctor. He decided I needed x-rays on my hip and elbow. Hip because this time I managed to land right on the bone, my elbow because I was experiencing some pain when rotating my arm and he was concerned I might’ve chipped bones in both of them. But I managed to talk him out of insisting I get a head CT scan which was pretty stupid considering it was my head that sent me to the ER in the first place. I was feeling okay at that point (alert and talking coherently) so he sent me home with some pain killers and instructions that I wasn’t to be left alone.

Saturday started okay. I didn’t have much of a headache when I first woke up but the lump on my head had egged up massively overnight. Fast-forward about two hours and it was a different story. I was really dizzy, to the point I couldn’t keep my eyes open without seeing three of everything as my eyes struggled to orientate on a point, incredibly nauseous and in a good deal of pain. Not sure why I decided it’d be a good idea to have a shower but the vertigo had backed off a bit and I felt really grotty. Turned out is was a bad idea as I nearly collapsed and ended up throwing up. At that point, it was decided I had to go back to the hospital and I really needed a CT scan to see if something was wrong with my head.

So back to hospital we went. I didn’t have to wait quite so long this time and I was admitted to the actual ER, not the fast-track. Had an ECG done, got hooked up to the heart monitor and had blood taken. I really don’t like people shoving needles in my arm.

The fun part was the nurse having to change the alarm on the heart monitor as it keep going it off. Turns out my actual resting heart rate is around 50bpm, which is the point where the alarm was set to go off. I thought my resting rate was about 60bpm but that’s apparently not the case. The nurse kept looking at the monitor, looking at me to see what was going on before asking how much riding I do. When I answered about 200kms, that was when she changed the setting because she realised there wasn’t anything wrong with my heart and I wasn’t lapsing into unconsciousness.

Spent about eight hours yesterday in the ER so they could do a head CT scan, a x-ray of my back as my neck and left shoulder had started hurting quite badly and a belly ultrasound to make sure I had no internal bleeding because I was complaining of pain in my chest when I had to sit up. The CT scan was kinda weird. I’ve never had one before. I got a bit of surprise when the thing I was lying on starting moving. I would’ve liked to have seen the scan (who wouldn’t want to see a pic of their brain?) but didn’t ask to as the senior doctor who did the ultrasound seemed a little puzzled as to why I was there. He couldn’t see that anything was wrong with me apart from some bruises and a bump on the head. I was finally given the all clear to go home at about 7.30pm. No bleeds on the brain, no broken bones, not even a bone chip. Just a mild concussion, a honking great big lump on my head, a headache that comes and goes, some soft tissue damage to my neck and left shoulder and some great looking bruises.

So yes, yet another misadventure for me.

Still, I’m okay. I’m very aware that I was extremely lucky. It could’ve been so much worse than me sporting a headache and lump for a few days as well as needing to buy a new helmet. I was always a bit of a helmet advocate before Friday but I’m definitely one now. If I hadn’t been wearing it, I would’ve cracked my skull open and I’d be in hospital right now.

Still, one thing I have learnt yet again is that on the whole people are pretty decent. I was helped by a total stranger, Marissa the occupational therapy student, who just happened to be driving by. She didn’t have to stop but obviously felt she needed to and should. She really didn’t seem to care that she was kneeling in a gutter in the rain, she just helped me. I’m really hoping she didn’t end up with a parking ticket because she parked in a 15 minute spot. Surely the universe can’t be that mean.

There is one big difference from my last accident to this one. Last time, I got stuck calling around, trying to find someone to come to the hospital. This time I had someone with me. It’s still a relatively new relationship but now I have no doubts about how he feels about me (not that I really had any). How could I when on Saturday, he got me out of the shower, dried me off, calmed me down, helped me dress, put my socks and shoes on and took me to hospital where he sat for eight hours holding my hand. You don’t do that for someone you feel meh about. He’s my hero 🙂

One Thought on “So, I’m a klutz

  1. Pingback: The cobbles broke me « little words

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