Thursday, September 02, 2004

Facial road rash and the family curse

From the archives of the archives....

I am in my brother's wedding this weekend, which means this time, the "family curse" rested upon me. When I married, both my parents ended up in the hospital- my mother after a guest started on fire and she patted the flames out with her bare hands. And my dad almost had a toe amputated (no laughing matter). So of course, since its been over two years since my last proper crash (hit by car), I end up in a completely freak accident in a construction area after avoiding a road hazard. My wheel caught in a seam- next thing I know, I'm traveling perpendicular to my intended direction. I see the orange construction fence approaching, and the hopeful thought enters my mind that this might act like a net, and gently stop me. Rather, it stopped the bike, and I did my first endo, resulting in a spectacular face plant. I swear it all happened so fast I was still gripping the bars.

I'm lying face down, stunned that this interrupted my nice ride, and feeling completely numb in my mouth. Immediately I panic, thinking I've lost all my teeth. I take inventory, and miraculously, my teeth are all still there. Next, I get up... I'm in no real pain at this point, but rather numb. My limbs all feel fine. I wash off as much road grime as I can with the water bottle, check my bike, and ponder my situation, 15 miles from home. I decide to ride home, so I straighten the bars, check the wheels and pedal away, wondering what I look like. I can feel my face isn't quite right, but don't know if it is dirt, or road rash... and it all feels like I've received a megadose of novacaine.

As I ride home, other riders avert their gaze, as do motorists. I realize my bibs are a bit ripped, and I start bleeding through at the hip. I'm still spitting blood, and my neck is sore. When I arrive home, I see that my right cheek is full of road rash, the edge of my nose is purple, and I have bruises and cuts all over my face and neck. Did I mention I have a wedding this weekend? Other than that, my thighs are bruised up, and I'm missing some skin on my hip and elbow. Later that night I ran errands. Nobody wants to look me in the eye. Today at work I had to endure countless questions and comments- but hey, I do have quite a sense of humor about it, and rode 40 miles today.