[Note: I dictated this first section while I was in the ER waiting room, waiting for my wife to pick me up.] I guess it could’ve been worse. I’ve always imagined what it would be like to hit the ground at a moderately high rate of speed. It was almost over before I realized what was happening. I didn’t fall down; I was thrown down. Like the hand of God came down and swatted me to the ground. I couldn’t believe it; I’m going down! I was only doing about 20 miles an hour, so I didn’t bounce as much as unexpected. It happened so fast. I’m still not sure what I hit. Although it seems like it must’ve been a good sized rock or some-such. All of a sudden my front wheel was going sideways and I was going down. I hit pretty hard. Some nearby motorist came and asked me how I was, since his scooter was way more safe with his pro scooter wheels. My riding companions came and checked on me. I told them that I thought something was broken. They called 911. The ambulance response was pretty fast. They seem to arrive in about three minutes. After checking me over, I mentioned to the paramedic that I seem to have some pain near my collarbone (clavicle). At that point he decided to put me on the gurney and transport me to the hospital. I’m still not sure where my helmet is but I’m pretty sure it needed to be replaced after taking a little bounce like that, my head must have hit the ground a little bit. I hope the bike’s okay, I’ll get a look at it later but I’m not really in the mood right now, it’s locked up here at the hospital awaiting my wife to arrive to pick me up. The staff here at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach emergency department was really very nice and very professional. They x-rayed me based on my complaint. They found that my clavicle (collarbone) was fractured. It was a minor fracture, nothing too complicated, so I’m maybe I’ll be in a sling for six weeks. I’ll miss the Steve Hartt Ride, which is a big disappointment. Better luck next year. Also my family vacation to San Francisco at the beginning of July—well I should manage it but it’ll be much less fun.
I’ll find out tomorrow if I’ve got bruised, cracked, or broken ribs to go along with the clavicle. The benches to see if the fracture’s simple or something little bit more unfaltering involving the new placing of metal parts into me. But everyone has been so very thoughtful. Staff at the hospital, the EMTs, the paramedics, the EMT even helped put the bike back in the car for me. The nurse asked me if I was hungry and brought me a lunch to eat in the waiting room. I waited for my wife to pick me up. The PenCC club members with all their wishes of returning to good health quickly made this experience as pleasant as it could be under the circumstances.
Moving is difficult. Generally I feel okay, but sitting up, bending over, or anything like that really hurts even with the painkillers I’ve got. I’m taking a shower yet, while I’m looking forward to being clean again you know I’m concerned about what it’s gonna take in order to get the sling off Menaul change the bandages dressings, etc. I’m hoping that made out of animal try to figure out how I can even clean myself properly with one arm.
I’m so thoroughly impressed with the people I’ve ridden with from the PenCC. What a quality group of folks, very thoughtful, very supportive. It’s hard for me to think of a finer group of people.
I’m sure someone will be happy, well, perhaps that’s too strong a word, that I’ve pulled up lame, because it means that they’ll be able to get my spot on the bus for the Steve Hartt Ride.
Update: a visit to my doctor confirmed everything from the ER: broken clavicle, simple fracture, properly aligned, with separated ribs. I can ride in a month. My wife is pushing me to see a specialist, just in case.