the accident

 bicycle accident

On Friday, August 3, I had my first serious bicycle crash. I was riding east in a bike lane and the sun was in my eyes. I had on sunglasses but still kept my head low. I could see about 20 feet in front of me. I caught a flash of orange out the corner of my eye. I looked up to see a white van parked in the bike lane. I was too close to brake, I swerved left. 

The next thing I recall is looking up and seeing Whitlock Village and thinking I didn’t recall this village in Seven Oaks. Things started to get a little clearer and I realized I was still in Meadow Pointe and on Beardsley Avenue. My shoulder was sore but I got up and sat on the bumper of the van. Someone called 911. Florida Highway Patrol arrived and asked me questions. I declined a ride to the hospital. I didn’t have my ID nor insurance and needed to go home. I didn’t feel that bad. 

I called D and she picked me, took me home. I changed my clothes from my cycling shorts and sweat soaked top. I put on a wool shirt that would keep me warm in the ER which is usually cold. D dropped me off as she had to go back to work. I was sore but didn’t really think I was hurt. If anything, I expected a concussion because I had no memory of the impact. I am not sure if I lost consciousness. 

FHWC ER is a new concept from what I am used to. I got put into a private room and only the basic information was taken before a PA came in to see me. A technician came in and took X-rays of my left knee and right shoulder. My left knee was scraped but didn’t hurt. I was wheeled to another room for a CT scan of my head and neck. While I waiting for the results, I got a tetanus shot. I opted to get the shot in my sore arm. No reason to have two sore arms. Finally, someone came to get my insurance information. 

It was quite a surprise to hear I had a broken clavicle. The pain was only a 3 or 4! And especially weird to hear I had no concussion. Then again, my head didn’t feel like I had a concussion. The pain was really just in my shoulder. They gave me ibuprofen 800. I was told to called an orthopedic surgeon in case I needed surgery. They gave me a sling with a waist strap to keep me from moving my shoulder. 

My dad picked me up and took me home. I thought about having him take me to fill my prescription but his driving out of the hospital parking lot left me with little patience. We went home. 

D picked me up and took me to Target. At this point, the whiplash kicked in. I had an awful pain in my right shoulder blade. The pain was only bearable while I was sitting and putting pressure on it. Walking or standing for more that a few minutes made me nauseous. 

The hardest part was trying to do everything with one hand. Although I am right handed, I do use my left hand for many tasks. Just not everything. Brushing my teeth with my left hand was so awkward. 

I was a little worried about sleeping that first night. I prefer to sleep on my side and was worried I might try to move while I was sleeping. Sleeping was fine and I slept most of the night. I didn’t need any pain reliever. 

Saturday and Sunday were spent at home sitting in my chair most of the day. I only got up to fill my stand ring on my Apple Watch. The pain in my back was awful. 

On Monday, I went to the chiropractor. He told me that it was the whiplash that was causing the pain. He did some adjustments. I was really sore and the cracking was intense. I thought this would help, it didn’t. 

I had to keep calling every day to say I wouldn’t be at work. I worried every day that I would have to talk to K. She wanted to know how long I would be out. I just didn’t know how long the pain would continue. If it wasn’t for the whiplash and back pain, I wouldn’t have missed any work. 

On Tuesday, it was school registration for Andy. I was fortunate that they started a virtual registration that was online. I only needed to logon and get his schedule and bus information. I would not have been able to stand in line like I had to for the past 16 years. Later, Andy and I drove to Chick-fil-A for lunch. Driving is OK. My back hurt but it was tolerable. 

I spent most of my time, reading, surfing the web, listening to podcasts and looking for jobs. 

On Friday, I went to the orthopedic surgeon. This was the earliest appointment I could get and I had to drive to Brandon. The hospital didn’t upload the X-rays so I needed more. The technician told me that Dr C likes more views as well. The PA explained the complications of surgery versus no surgery. I opted for no surgery. They agreed especially since I have little pain when I move my arm. I was told to start moving my arm with pendulums but not to move my arm above my shoulder. They told me I only needed to hold my arm at a 45° angle instead of 90°. We took off the waist strap from the sling. I go back in 2 weeks.

I went to the chiropractor to get another adjustment. This one went a little better. Dr B said I should come back every week. 

I started to feel improvement on Sunday. I could walk and stand for about 10-15 minutes before the pain was too much. Monday brought even more improvement. I don’t know if it is because I switched to naproxen or if I am finally healing. I went back to the chiropractor. I even stopped at Publix for a few groceries. I am not sure if I will be able to work the full day but I am going to try.