Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Accident...I just love saying "T-Boned"

The weather has been amazing lately and I have been on my bike almost every day. It’s has been a nice break for the legs during my taper for Miwok. Whenever the time comes for me to get back on the saddle, I always think back to this incident that happened to me a while back…

A few summer’s ago I was in a bike accident. I remember it well because I was riding to my new job at Innovative Fitness. I had a backpack full of clothes and shoes for me to change into once I got there. I am coming along in the bike lane on 1st street (down by the auto mall). There was unusual stand-still traffic as there must have been construction up ahead (though I never made it that far to know for sure!). There are a lot of businesses on the right hand side of the street and therefore there are a lot of little alley ways for cars to turn into. I was coming up to this one alley way and right before it there was a Semi truck blocking my view of any traffic coming the other way. Along the bike lane there are no stop signs and cars usually wait for biker’s to pass before they turn in. Because the semi was blocking my view, I was not prepared for what was coming. Before I knew it, a car turned to go into the alley, cut me off in the bike lane, and I literally T-boned her car. I don’t remember much, but I still can picture the instant I hit her car and the feeling of “OH SH*T”.

I woke up on the ground. I was lying sideways. A man from the local mechanic shop immediately came to help me, followed by the women who cut me off, and she was in hysterics. I remember doing a full body analyses while I was lying on the ground. I didn’t move, but I remember thinking to myself “well, my legs feel fine, my head feels ok, my left shoulder hurts a bit but other than that I think I’m ok”. The people looking after me did not let me move. I was very calm, no tears, no panic, just calm. I think I was still wearing my backpack! O and I remember seeing my bike in 2 different directions on the ground, a little over here, a little over there. It wasn’t pretty.

The ambulance finally arrived and they took off my backpack and cut my shirt off. I loved that pretty blue Sugoi bike top. I haven’t been able to find one like it since! They put me on a stretcher and hulled me into the back of the ambulance. The instant they closed the doors on the vehicle, I started balling my face off. I don’t know what came over me; I guess everything that had just happened had sunk in. They put me on a wheelie bed and took me into emergency. I called Peter right away to let him know where I was and I really wanted him to be there. Good thing North Shore Athletics is 2 blocks away!

I felt so disoriented and I couldn’t remember things very well. Someone came in to get a statement from me and was asking me which direction N, W, S, E, I was traveling and I couldn’t even attempt the thought. It just made me more confused. I remember early on my right arm was starting to go numb and I was freaking out, like “what is happening to me”. It’s funny because Peter and I were in the same hospital not 3 weeks earlier because the owner of North Shore Athletics, Keith Nicoll, had gone over his handle bars mountain biking. He was so disoriented and kept repeating the same things over and over. He acknowledged that I was there like 5 times, kept asking where his daughter was, and what had happened. It was so interesting to see how the mind works or doesn’t work when something like this has happened to you.

I was lying there for a total of 4 hours. My family had come to visit me in this time and it was great to see them. It was finally time for me to go for a cat scan. They wheeled me up to the 2nd floor and I waited for 30 minutes or so. I REALLY had to go pee. I didn’t really know how to approach it because they wouldn’t let me up. I think I asked Peter to get me out of the bed so I could go but that definitely was not allowed. Eventually the nurse came by and I told her I had to pee, so she brought me a bed pan. I was supposed to put this thing under my butt and let her rip! Well, I really had no clue whether it was going in, or flying right on past…until the nurse came to get it. She lifted up my sheet and was a little shocked to see that I had completely missed the pan and it was all over the sheets. That’s right folks; for the first time in 15 years (or so) I had pee’d the bed! They had to get another bed to transfer me on. I think Peter was laughing at me pretty hard, and until now, I don’t think I have told many people that story.

After the scan I went back to my ER room. I don’t know what happened to the guy next to me (he was behind a curtain) but it couldn’t have been anything good because he was moaning and groaning pretty bad. It made my situation feel pretty good. They finally let me sit up and about 30 minutes later I had a tetanus shot. I had bandages on my knees and shin, and I had pretty bad road rash on my left shoulder. I couldn’t move that arm. It took me about 4 days until I could finally move it in a circle.

When I got back to my house, I saw my bike. The police had dropped it off shortly after the accident. It was destroyed. My pretty royal blue trek 2100 was beat up worse than I was. My helmet had a crack in it, and I am pretty sure it saved my life. My backpack probably helped protect me as I fell to the ground. I am so lucky to be alive. I t-boned a car, flew over it, destroyed my bike, cracked my helmet, and I got walked away with road rash and sore shoulder. I only had to take 1 week off work, though, kneeling down was really painful because I had toonie size wounds in the center of both knees. As a trainer, I do a lot of kneeling.

Dealing with ICBC was brutal. But to make a long story short, they proved me wrong, and I got a brand new bike. It is the bike I still ride today and for the amount I ride it, I don’t know if I deserve a bike that nice. I am what you call, a fair weather rider. I’ll run through anything, but biking for me is different. I like the relaxation I get from being on the saddle. I don’t ride it hard, but I love going fast on the down hills, and I do love getting up on my saddle and pushing hard on the hills (on occasion). But it depends on my mood; I really have no training schedule for biking.

I reminisce about that accident a lot when I am biking. I still have the scars on my knees and the scrapes and bruises on my backpack to prove it. Anywho, it is a gorgeous day and I better get out there.

Nicola

5 comments:

MJ said...

I worry about that sort of thing all the time.... Can totally picture how it happened to you there.

Could have definitely been worse - you are lucky!

Cheers,

Gary Robbins said...

Gilder wet the bed, Gilder wet the bed, Gilder wet the beeeeddd...it's ok, I still pee in my bed all the time. I'm too lazy to go to the bathroom most nights:)
GR

Nicola Gildersleeve said...

Thanks Gary!

Sunshine Girl said...

Tee-hee. You said "T-Boned!"
The EXACT same thing happened to me on my bicycle, when I was 17. Only I didn't pee the bed and I had a super-hot Apollo Sport 10 Ten Speed. The first thing I did when I awoke to find a circle of people peering down at me was jump to my feet and shout: I'M ALRIGHT! Only I wasn't and my legs buckled immediately. I also had an ambulance visit, and was hobbled for about a week. There a full impact dent on the car that I "T-Boned" and my bike was toast.

Sunshine Girl said...

Oh, and good luck at Miwok! I did it last year and loved the course. L-O-V-E-D it!!