Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Day I Met the Road

Saturday's ride started off like most rides.  My good friend, E. and I, planned on riding about 3.5 hours. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and the route we were riding delivered with beautiful views. It was a little odd to be riding in the afternoon, but since the boys had a mid-day soccer game, it was the time that worked best.

E. had been gracious enough to join me, despite the fact that she isn't really training for anything, and I was so grateful for the company.   We were just a few miles from home, and I decided to take a route that would give us a few more miles.  It was sometime between 5:30 and 6 p.m., and I had been daydreaming about the bacon and egg sandwich I was going to make myself for dinner. Kel had planned on taking the boys out if I wasn't home by dinner, which we both knew would be iffy when I left.

We were riding on a fairly busy road, but one which I feel safe on because of the very wide shoulder.  I was leading and we were both in the shoulder, probably going around 17-18 mph.  All of a sudden a car accelerated quickly past us and then started breaking with its right blinker on.  In a split second I realized it was going to turn right in front of me.

I braked hard and the next thing I remember was seeing paramedics all around me asking me questions.  I wasn't sure where I was, and at the time, couldn't even remember being on a bike ride.  I started to panic and then remembered E. and I had been riding.  I asked if I was dreaming.  I asked for Kel, who I was told was on his way.  My sunglasses wouldn't come off my face.  I don't remember being in too much pain.

And I certainly don't remember crashing.

E. and I were sped to the hospital in separate ambulances.  Kel was able to see me before they took me to the hospital.  He had to find someone to take care of the boys, so he could come to the hospital.  Thank God for my wonderful neighbor who ended up staying with them until after 11 that night.

After piecing it together with my friend, it sounds like I braked and went over my handle bars bringing my bike along with me in a terrifying feat of acrobatics that should never be performed on or off two wheels.  She ran into me and followed suit.  The car did not stop.  Fortunately, the car behind did and called 911.  Although I don't remember anything until the paramedics were around me, I am told I was alert and talking.  I told someone my name and our phone number, so she was able to call Kel before the ambulance even arrived. E. was unconscious for some time.  Everything between the car braking and the hospital is a blur, and for that I am truly thankful.  Honestly, that is not something I would like to remember, even though my mind seems to be trying its best to defy me and figure everything out.

The good news is I will heal.  I had to have 10 stitches on my face where they cut my sunglasses off.  My shoulder is a grade 3 AC separation.  I'm still not sure what that means, but I will be seeing a shoulder specialist sometime this week for more definitive answers in that department.  I have quite a mess of road rash on my shoulder and my ear, but no broken bones, and very few bruises, which is just amazing.  The paramedics told us we were lucky to be wearing our helmets.  I don't even want to think about what it would have looked like if we hadn't been, although I always ride with one, it's still shocking to realize why I do.

Of course I had to have Kel take a picture before I left the hospital.  This makes my race pictures look like I'm winning a beauty pageant to be sure!!

Post crash


E. is also okay.  Lots of road rash on her beautiful face and a concussion to boot.  No broken bones anywhere, thank the Lord.  And, yes, our bikes are fine. I know that is a question everybody feels badly about asking but still wants to know.  My guess is that our bikes probably fell on top of us, so were pretty cushioned from any damage.

I am very sore and very tired.  Yesterday my face was definitely looking better, and I was feeling pretty good.

Day 2
Today, still on the mend, although I am more sore today than yesterday.  It's actually a good thing that I am so sore, because otherwise I might be tempted to move around a little too much.  As it is, though, I've been very content to spend time in my bed with Netflix as my companion.

Day 3
My friends and family have been amazing.  I have an abundance of homemade food in my refrigerator, my inbox and facebook are overflowing with messages of concern and get betters, my phone is buzzing constantly with texts of people asking how I am doing or if I need anything.  Thank you all so much.  You are certainly making me feel loved and cherished.  Kel is taking excellent care of me and the boys.

The most surprising feeling I have had during the whole experience is how NOT upset I am about probably not being able to race at Rev3Tri South Carolina.  I was really looking forward to that race as my last chance of the year to go sub-6 in a half-ironman, and I really doubt that will happen.  I am okay with that.  I am not going to ask my body to do something it is not ready to do.  I'm taking it day by day, so we will see.

I guess the reality of being alive and loved has a way of putting everything into perspective.

23 comments :

  1. so sorry that happened to you!
    i am glad you are ok though! and take some homeopathic arnica. it helps heal bruises.

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  2. I have become keenly aware of the reality of being alive and loved as well....I hope our stories will also be a catalyst to educate motorists on sharing the road. This was scarey and could have been avoided.....Love you and thankful for God's hand of protection over our lives-a complete miracle. I'll keep praying for you and you keep praying for me...XO

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  3. I'm a college friend of Shawn's and also a tri-mommy and wanted to just say I'm glad you're ok. Very scary. I hope you and E heal quickly.

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  4. OUCH!!! But I'm so glad you are OK - heal up and live to race another day!

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  5. So scary but glad to hear you are ok. Hope you guys both heal quickly!

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  6. So glad you're ok, Kelly, and as usual your perspective on the whole situation is awesome. A spirit of thankfulness speeds healing like nothing else. And keep up those day-by-day photos...you'll have the best flip book ever in a couple of weeks! :)

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  7. I'm so glad you are ok! What kind of ahole doesn't stop!! You are handling everything like a champ!

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  8. Holy !!! Kelly. Terrible. I'm so sorry!! I cant believe how many people I know that have had bike accidents that could have been avoided if motorists were educate on cycling!! I'm thinking about you!!

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  9. so glad you're OK, but I have to ask--what happened to the jerk driver who cut you off?

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  10. Wow, I am so sorry that you and your friend had to go through such a horrible accident! I am so glad to hear that y'all are both recovering and have no major issues. I am sending prayers to both of you!

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  11. wrote on your facebook page, before linking to your blog - got to your picture in the hospital and burst into tears. Hearing the story through Dana was one thing and then reading/seeing the pictures made it real. Sending you love and prayers. So happy you are resting and healing.

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  12. good gosh Kelly, absolutely terrifying!!!! I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad you and E are OK. I posted on FB b4 reading this. sending you lots of love and strength (even though I know you have the strength of 10 me's) and will be thinking of you. xoxox Kate BA

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  13. Glad you are on the mend a bit! Those pictures make it so real and scary!! Glad you are still planning to go to SC!!

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  14. Oh sweetie! This whole story makes me cringe because I know all too well how sucky it all is. I'm super pissed that the car didn't stop, yet thankful that the one behind you did. And yes, I agree that it's good you don't remember much - You don't have to relive it.

    You look awesome, all things considering! The black eye just makes you look uber tough! :)

    As always, sending big ((HUGS)) your way!

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  15. I was at the 70.3 tri volunteer party tonight and told about your accident. I believe you may also know Ginny that was in a car/bike accident afew years ago. Last year I was hit by a teenager late for school who did not abide by the STOP sign and ran through it to collide with me while I was riding my bike to work. My injuries were not as great as yours however my bike was totaled. I am so glad to hear you and your friend survived and are on the mend. You have such beauty inside and out. Your optimism is wondrous as you keep an open mind with compassion as to what was going on with the individual in the vehicle. I wish you well on your recovery!

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  16. oh no kelly!! wishing you well on your road to recovery!

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  17. OMG I'm so sorry this happened. Just shows us all how quickly it can all change. So glad you're ok and your perspective on everything is awesome. Happy healing!

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  18. OMG...I am so behind on blogging I never even saw this post! I am so sorry that you had an accident, but I am so thankful that you and E are o-kay. I'm sending you lots of hugs and healing vibes your way!

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  19. i am so glad it was not worse. you poor thing. a good reminder for all of us out on the roads to be careful and alert.

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  20. Wow. WOW~
    so glad you are "ok" relatively speaking, it sounds like it could have been much, much, much worse.
    Looks like you are healing nicely

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  21. Catching up on my blogs and just now read this - so glad you both are going to be okay!! And thank goodness for the driver who DID stop for you guys! Wish you both a swift recovery - Susan

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  22. Wow, Kelly. A year later. We've come a long way baby. To God's glory.

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Woo-hoo!! I want to hear from you!

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