Sunday, October 20, 2013

Double-or-nothing: a crash course in whiplash and concussion.

Ok, so last week, this was me at the top of the (cat 4) hill up fourth street, heading toward UBC:


Happy...

  
if a little on the stupid side.

Last week, I was riding as often and as far as time permitted. 


 I was happy.  Mmmm, happy.

Then I crashed, and I wasn't even taking photos from the saddle! 
I don't remember much about the wipe-out except that I caught Lido's wheel when I was drafting him on the Richmond flats and then entered the darkness. I don't need to remember anything to know I landed on my head and shoulders, though.  One look at wounds and my helmet says it all.



 I am already well familiar with darkness, 


after all, I love nothing more than to ride at stupid o'clock in the morning


because sooner or later light conquers the dark no matter how thick and deep it is.

But there's darkness and then there's Darkness,
and Dylan Thomas nailed it when he advised

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Later that afternoon I looked something like this:


That's me seeing two of everything. My hands don't have a scratch... 
apparently I saved them in favour of my noggin.
I landed on my shoulder, which then looked like this:


It still looks a lot like that, 


and I'm still seeing double.  On the plus side, it also looks a lot like the evil eye talisman, and so with my capacity for scarring I will undoubtedly be protected from evil till the end of days.  And who knows?  An extra eye might also explain why I'm seeing double or nothing these days. In any case, it's as good an explanation as the shrug the neurologist offered.

Sometimes doubling up is a very good thing.  Imagine you have a dollar and you deposit it in the bank till one day the bank says "Thank you for letting us use your dollar all this time; here is a dollar of the profits we made as payment for the use of your money and a token of our appreciation,"  that's a good double up, right?

But usually two-timing just sucks.

Seeing two sets of steps as you prepare to walk downstairs, for example, isn't happy-making. Today you'll sometimes find me concentrating on something with one eye closed, for simplicity's sake. 

I miss my bike.  I miss blogging, and I miss you, dear reader, but please don't worry.
I am strong.  I heal quickly and well. I'm just resting now, for a little bit.


I'll be back before you know it, babbling on and riding strong.

37 comments:

  1. Never nice to fall, particularly that hard.
    Take it easy for a while.
    Please :)

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  2. It's good to see you blogging again, Babble! That's a good sign. You will be well again in no time, and much stronger after a good rest! That makes me think of that Spirit of the West song, Home for a Rest. Great song! Take it easy!

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    1. Thank you! That is a great song.

      And that's right. Look out people... I'll be even faster than I was before, once I can see straight, that is.

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  3. WOW! You never cease to amaze me Babble! Sending you healing energies and love for a speedy recovery. Smiles n "lite" hugs :-) xoxo

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    1. Thank you for all of the unconditional love and support you've given me as I sort through this mess. You rock, Rick. :)

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  4. I missed your blog, I thought you must have just been busy, but apparently it was worse. Good luck with the recovery. I hope the collarbones are ok, they're natures shock absorbers and seem to be the first thing to go (I've done it twice myself). By the way you're very brave to publish a photo of yourself in ER, it can't ever be a flattering shot, the light is so harsh!

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    1. My shoulder is sore, but intact, blessed be. I read somewhere that you should hang on to your bike when you crash, so that's what I did. I figured I would be back on the bike sooner this way, but it turns out brain injuries take a while to heal, too...

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  5. ...major "ouch", my beautiful friend...you may be battered & bruised but you certainly don't lack in indomitable spirit...
    ...much love & healing energy & may your vision of life soon be restored to it's simple view to help you find your footing...

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  6. I had just recently found your blog and thought you were away due to a vacation and was taking the time to catch up on all your posts.

    Sorry to hear about your crash. This does not sound like a simple one either (if there is such a thing). Here's to your speedy and complete recovery!
    Your helmet doesn't look bad considering.

    All the best,
    Enzo Man

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    1. Thank you for reading! :D
      I thought my head got off lightly, all things considered...
      The helmet is actually cracked through and through, so I'll have to find a new one before I venture out again!

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  7. Babble, heal well and take it easy. Maybe you could take this as an excuse to get a very pretty trike bicycle to use lightly while you mend and are feeling wobbly. :)

    Thinking of you and sending all the positive karma I can muster your way. XOXO

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    1. Thanks, doll. Actually I have been on the Amsterdam a few times, just cause it's easier than walking...

      It's my road bike I'm missing, and all of those go-fast rides around town.

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  8. Take care Babble and heal up well. Looks like you are on the way. Looking forward to hearing of new bicycle cycling adventures when you get back on the road.

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    1. Thank you. :)
      People who know me well say I'm already much improved. I can't see it myself cause I still feel all wobbly and stupid, and I'm still seeing double, but apparently there is improvement over last week.
      All I know is I can't wait to get back out there...

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  9. The shoulder doesn't look all that bad, considering. As Mom used to say to me (and still does), "Leading with your head again..."

    And you probably know this, but even if a helmet isn't visibly cracked, it should be replaced after any crash (where it was used).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Lol! Yes, that's what you call using your head...
      I did get off pretty lightly, all things considered. The shoulder is sore, but thankfully not broken. I do wonder if using a helmet designed to prevent torque injuries would have prevented this double vision.

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  10. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you! I'd prefer a speedy bike ride, but that will surely follow on the heels of a speedy recovery.

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  11. Oh Babs, it sucks to see you so banged up! Heal fast, m y friend.

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    1. Thank you. It's wonderful to find so many lovely people in my corner. xo

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  12. Hey, I can finally post comments to your blog!

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  13. Be careful out there Babble. Sounds like a scary fall and this is coming from someone who bike commutes daily in NYC - without a helmet (stupid I know).

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    1. Well, on the bright side, at least if you fall without a helmet you're less likely to suffer whiplash. Head injuries really suck, though.

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  14. Feel better & stay home as long as you can. I returned to work one week after waking up in the cat scanner (bicycle, dangling bag, spokes) and had an awful times. My workmates were kind & just accepted that every now & then I( had to stop & try to remember a word.

    dancesonpedals

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    1. Thanks. :)
      Nothing tops waking up in the middle of receiving 100 x-ray's worth of radiation, does it? I'm just counting my blessings that my sight is all that's really out of whack after all that.

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  15. Scars are much better than tattoos, though more painful. Have a nice recovery.

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    1. Cheers!
      The rest of my cycling scars are on my shins, so at least this one has a bit of cachet. I couldn't have planned it better, either, cause who doesn't want protection from the forces of evil?

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  16. you're lucky you had mum who figured you out while you were still young... and you're smart to always follow her advice.

    that is going to turn into a lovely scar... wear it like a badge of honor.

    you're doing something right, babble... you're riding strong. keep it up.

    hugs'n'kisses

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    1. Lol! Yes, plus it suits my odd fashion sense.
      Hugs and kisses are my very favourite thing, Grouch. Thank you. xo xo

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  17. Babble, sorry to hear about your crash. Hope you're feeling better and back out on your bike soon. BTW, Google Giro helmet crash replacement, it'll save you some cash. Jay from the land of Robba Fords

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. OMG, just the thought of seeing double Robba the Fords is enough to make me woozy.
      And thank you, Jay! I couldn't find any reference to it on their website, but I've left a message, so we'll see what they say. Truth is my head took a really good hit, so I'm thinking my next helmet really ought to offer more protection than did the last. I was looking at the Scott Mips helmet.
      I've killed a lot of brain cells over the years - gotta look after the remnants.

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