Thursday, August 9, 2007

Regarding the incidents of August 7th

First of all, my sincere thanks (again) to everyone. I've received calls, emails, comments, and visits from some great people, and it really helps to keep my spirits up as I lay here watching Frazier re-runs and Food Network, dabbing away fluid building on my face and dreading tonight's wound scrubbing. You guys are great, and it means the world to me to see so much caring and concern.

I'm trying not to beat myself up too bad, dissecting the day and seeing where I could have made different decisions to change the course of time. Tuesday was hot. Really hot. When I set out on the bike it was about 98 deg, and I was very concerned about hydration. But, I loaded up on fluids instead of calling it off. I also could have joined a swimming clinic I could have used, but wanted to bike instead. Hey, I was moving up to the A group after all!

But all of that really doesn't do me any good: it happened, and what I need to focus on is how to heal, get back out there, and ensure it doesn't happen again if I can possibly avoid it from my own efforts. Which doesn't necessarily mean slowing down (sorry Mendy), but rather riding smarter and improving my handling skills.

Anyway, the ride was going extremely well for me, and I felt strong. Really strong. I was attacking some hills and pushing myself, recovering fast, and holding some nice speed. I was even doing well on hydration. As we crossed a main road, I noticed everyone around me seemed to be in way too high a gear, or just losing their oomph to get going again. So I took off and got aero, as the G-Man termed it "took off down a road in full aero mode like he was being chased by Godzilla." That made me laugh (painfully) Chris! Thanks!

I came toward the bottom of the hill where there was an S bend over a bridge. I realized I was coming in way too hot, and got out of my aero bars to try and scrub speed. For anyone that's ridden a triathlon or time trial bike, you know that takes precious moments. I realize almost immediately that there is almost no chance I'm gonna make it through this one. I would estimate I was traveling about 30+ mph at that point, and the last 50 feet went by in a flash. Before I knew it, my front wheel hit and I hears a loud snap as I felt the impact on my head and face. This must have been the point where my left shoulder and forearm was injured. I twirled around, impacting my right calf, forearm, and shoulder, rolled, and came to a stop near a seated position. I semi-stood up and leaned against the wall.

Instantly I was concerned for the state of my face: blood was pouring out of my nose as Chris and some of the others showed up and began tending to me. People were telling me I had to get dirt out of my face right now, and water bottles were offered up immediately. I feel horrible for accidentally blowing water, spit, and blood over those that were helping me (Cynthia from Carolina Tri, and Tonya's husband - sorry, I forgot your name bro). Clay initiated the phone calls, and I helped him locate my phone and what numbers to dial. Chris called the Y when Clay couldn't reach Mendy right away. She had already left, and just about then Mendy picked up and talked with Clay. After a few moments I spoke with her, and reassured her that I was okay, and it wasn't that serious. Ha ha ha, we men are funny, huh?

A sheriff's deputy came rolling by and almost passed, until she saw me and backed up, parked, and began directing the scene. One of the riders that was helping me rinse my face called his wife, Tonya, who was right up the road at home. She came down and they helped me into her truck. I'm so sorry if I got some grossness on the seat! While Clay and I were lobbying for me to just go home and clean it myself, the Deputy notified us we were pretty stupid for thinking that way (without saying that, of course) and that she was notifying EMS. Mendy was on her way, and then I heard the sirens. I said, "Oh no, I hope Mendy gets here before the emergency vehicles, or she'll freak out." She didn't, and the emergency workers began assisting me and assessing my condition.

Mendy arrived, looking white as a ghost, and Tonya immediately took Grace off her hands so she could come see me. She looked on, tears in her eyes, as the medics were tending to me. I felt so bad for worrying her, so I tried to smile and gave her the OK symbol. Naturally, I was already cutting up with the medics, who didn't know what to think at first. A couple of them responded and we joked around a bit. Mendy wasn't joking yet, though.

So, I had a decision to make: let the EMS folks scrub me out without pain killer or go to the hospital where I would get some happy drugs. Uh, hospital please! So then I had to decide if I was going in the Wham!bulance, or if Mendy was going to drive. I decided to go with the less dramatic route, and ride in my car. We arrived at the ER and checked in, me standing there barefooted, in my tri suit with dirt and blood all over it, and a bloody cold pack pressed against my hamburgered face.

We were seen fairly quickly, and I resumed my joking with the nurses. Mendy had her hands full with Grace (it was getting late by now), and all was good...until it was time to scrub. For some reason, the least severe looking abrasion was by far the most painful, almost bringing tears to my eyes as they scrubbed it out. Anyway, 5 x-rays, 6 shots, 7 stitches, and a bunch of scrubbing later, I was on my way out with some medical supplies and an awesome prescription in hand. It was coming up on midnight, so we had to go to the all night pharmacy. Finally I got into bed, and attempted to sleep; I really couldn't get comfortable all night, and wound up with about 5.5 hours of sleep, but was able to nap quite a bit yesterday.

Tonight is not going to be fun, with the cleaning, but it's all part of healing. I'm drinking tons of water and eating as much as I can bear to, which isn't much. Tomorrow morning is the follow-up doctor appointment, which I hope goes well. I think I'll watch 300 this afternoon to prepare for this evening.

Thanks again, and a special thanks to Mendy for being so supportive and good to me. Sorry for the worry. I love you.


Wes said...

That is a compelling story :-) I almost slid out into oncomming traffic at my tri on Saturday. Scared the bejeezus out of me!

Besides the obvious, "Don't ride your bike into a bridge" lesson, what would you have done differently? I haven't even been cycling for a year yet, so I'm sure a lot of us are going to learn from this (and hopefully avoid something similar!).

Strong healing vibes your way, bro :-)

Mendy said...

This story brought it all back to me - tears in eyes and all. It was tough, and like I said at lunch, I'm so thankful you're going to be okay! Tonight will be tough, but it will help you heal.

Mendy said...

BTW, I love you too!

Marcy said...

OMFG you have to scrub that?!? (Sorry, haven't really been hurt. So I'm naive) Dude I hope they hooked you up with a good quantity of C2's. Eeeeekkkkkkk. At the very very least gave you a free bottle of Dermablast (or is it plast? Whatever, you know what I mean . . . that numbing spray)

Rest up homie!! Here's to a speedy recovery!!

300 sounds good! It's on my "want to watch list" LOL

J~mom said...

David, Thank you for telling us what happened. I am so sorry you have to scrub out your wounds...ugh that sounds painful! Sending you healing vibes!!

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

I can't even imagine the dread that was in Mendy's stomach as she approached that scene. It sounds like you had some really great people taking care of you. Thanks for giving us the update.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

ow ow ow ow ow! Poor you!

I had a wreck last year - not as good as yours, but I did break my arm and my pinky. That was fun. The bike was fine. Me, not so much.

I remember it well (thanks for bringing it back), and it's not fun. But you know what? You do get it back after your injury. So just take it easy right now - let your body tell you what's OK and what's not.

be well - healing juju coming your way!

ws said...

I followed a link to your blog from Marcy's...sorry to hear about your accident and I hope you make a speedy recovery. I don't think I've ever seen a complete crack on a fork before...

emitch1 said...

So sorry to hear about this, bro! I hope you heal quickly so you can get back out there! I look forward to seeing you soon!

Eric Mitchell

Jess said...

Poor you! That's quite the drammatic tale! And poor Mendy as well, I bet she's been so worried about you -- but I'm sure she's taking great care of you, right?

"300" is pretty awesome and I think you'll like it -- plus, it'll make you feel tough, like a Spartan, so you'll be able to handle that cleaning, no problem.

I remember once when I was a kid, I grew up on a farm, and I was walking my sheep (his name was Pepsi) and he saw something and tore off after it, and I just held on to his leash, and he dragged me (I only weighed about 35 lbs) for nearly 100 yards before I let go. Later, after I'd caught him, and put him back in his pen, I realized that my knees were absolutely shredded and I had gravel embedded in both. My grandmother, who was an emergency room nurse, had to scrub the dirt out of both knees and I can remember how painful it was. But I also got a popscicle in the end for being brave.

Maybe Mendy has a popscicle for you too!

Tiffany said...

Oh my goodness. I am glad you are OK... and your humor is still intact. Amazing!

Mendy is such a gem- taking care of you... awwwww

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Dude, I know you are fairly new to the sport, but when we triathletes talk about breaking through the wall...we don't mean actually breaking through a wall! ;-)

Glad to know you are healing up. It looks like your rig, however, is going to need a lot of TLC. The fork and rim are toast, but did the rest of the bike survive?

I wish you all the best in your recovery. It's a hard lesson to digest, but I'm sure you will be back stronger than ever.

Get well, buddy!

Olivier Blanchard said...


Eric Mitchell just told us about your crash, but I didn't realize it was so serious. Wow. I'm glad you're not too banged up (relatively speaking). It could have been a lot worse (skin grows back).

Get some rest, bro.

Gotta Run said...

You are going to have many highs and lows during your recovery. We are all glad that you are still with us!!!

Now you can hang with Scott and I while we cheer on that wonderful wife of yours at her FIRST tri next week.

Stay tuff and enjoy being with your family.

teacherwoman said...

What a traumatic experience. I could never imagine. I haven't really commented on your blog, but I have been doing a bit of reading here and there. Stay positive, and heal fast. Best wishes...

josslynsmom said...

Holy crap, David! I know that you're not going to give it up, and you're not going to slow down, but geez... I dunno. Just try to be more careful(?). I'm at a loss for words.

I guess I need to keep up on my blog reading more, cuz I just found out. Sorry so late with the condolensces.

Glad you still have your sense of humor intact, though.

We love you!