Saturday, December 17, 2016

What happened when a car hit me

View through my screen door this morning.  Not a picture of my injuries.
So, my last post was about the joys of bicycle riding through cold weather. This post is about what many people warn bicyclists about: collisions with cars.

While I was biking home from serving breakfast at our local soup kitchen yesterday morning, a car got jealous of me having my own space in the road, and knocked me down. The car didn't hit me from behind; it came up next to me and then swerved into me, and then drove off. Possibly it was somebody texting who never saw me, but to me it felt malicious. The cops are looking for the driver of the car, but aren't optimistic.

Waiting for treatment, 
before my eyes started turning black

After I got up with my bicycle, I would have tried to bike home, but the nearby drivers who stopped to help encouraged to me to be seen at the emergency room. At first, I tried to reassure them that I was just fine, but after two rounds of them and me debating, I saw the blood coming down my face and believed them when they told me I would need stitches. A little bit later my arm started hurting. I got a fancy ride in an ambulance, with lots of people to wait on me inside the emergency room.

I don't think my elbow is supposed look like this!
So, I have a black eye. Also, four stitches above my eye, and my husband warned me that my broken arm is eventually going to hurt like the Dickens (but he did not use the exact phrase "the Dickens"). Right now, I'm in a splint. On Monday, after the swelling goes down, we'll go to the orthopedist to see whether I need pins or just a cast.

The good thing is that almost all of the things the doctors were really worried about were fine. No concussion, no head trauma aside from the stitches, no spine trouble, no collar bone trouble, even my legs and my bike are fine. In fact, even all the glass jars that were in my market backpack were fine. Go figure!

(I did lose two perfectly good turtlenecks when the nurse had to cut the arm off -- of the turtle neck, not of me! My pastor, who knows and teases me about my frugal ways, offered to take up a collection at church to help me replace the turtlenecks. I think he knows that I can spare the dollar for a pair of new shirts eventually.)

Random thoughts:
My pink tube-thing on my head
looks a little like a
zombie bandage here.
  • Because I can't use my left arm right now, which is the arm that I write with, grading my final exams is going to be a bit of a bear. But the semester is over, so I really do have time to rest and recuperate.
  • I'm really glad my computer has a dictation mode so I can talk instead of type. I do have to go back and fix a lot of transcription errors, but I don't catch them all. If you see anything wonky, I blame it on the computer.
  • I had Motrin in the hospital, but I've managed okay with no painkillers since. (My computer translated this as "with no painkillers cents"). If I can stay drug-free, this will be a perfect time to give blood, because my exercise is already shot to pieces. Dang.
  • I'd been hoping make 50 push-ups by the end of year, but my training fell off in the last month. Now I have a good excuse for why I won't make it. Yay?
  • If I had had this accident a month and a half earlier, I would have had the perfect Halloween costume. I look like a zombie. Totally bad timing.
  • This morning, I woke up to snow. If it snowed yesterday, I wouldn't have biked, because biking on ice is dangerous, of course!
  • I've tried never to take my good health for granted. This experience fills me with gratitude, not only because it obviously could have been so much worse, but also because I get constant reminders of how fortunate I have been to have two working arms and two working eyes. And also because I know that once my arm heals, and my Frankenstein face no longer scares small children, I'm likely to be just as healthy again.


  1. Wow, I hope you get better soon! That driver was truly nasty.

  2. This post made me very unhappy! How awful you were hit by a car. Sending good thoughts your way for a speedy recovery.

  3. Omg that's terrifying. :(

    Hope you heal up quick.

  4. Oh no! I'm so glad you're OK... or at least OK-ish.

    I just do NOT understand the hostility that some drivers have toward cyclists. The other day I was riding home and a guy in a pickup truck turned left mid-block right in front of me! I know he saw me because he signaled his turn and shook his fist at me as I slammed on my breaks and skidded to a stop so as not to ram the side of his truck. I guess he just figured that the fact that he was in a half ton pickup and I was on a 17 pound bike automatically granted him the right of way? Honestly, I sorta saw it as a metaphor for the way our society seems to be going these days. Those who have more power figure that "might makes right" and the rules simply don't apply to them.

    Anyhow, I realize that retribution will get us nowhere, but I really hope they somehow catch the guy who did this to you.

    Sending my best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  5. So grateful you were not obliterated out there on the road. And I want you to know that I have great respect for bikers and give them wide berth to keep them safe. Prayers for a restful and uneventful recovery.

  6. I'm so sorry about your accident. Whether it was accidental or deliberate, I am furious on your behalf. I'm glad that per your next post you are healing quickly and hope that continues!

  7. My weirdly random thought: can't they give you back the sleeves they cut off? Then you can sew them back on and have ... perfectly good Frankenstein turtlenecks.

    So glad you're going to be okay. Good luck dealing with the food kitchen folks. This won't help them realize that biking isn't crazy!

    1. Ha ha Ha! Love this idea. Unfortunately, one of the turtlenecks (the T-shirt-like one) has already been cut into squares and put in the rag basket, and the more sweater-like one. . . the sleeve is long gone. But NEXT time I have a broken arm, I'll remember to ask for the sleeve back in the emergency room!

      And yes, you're right, it's hard to claim that bicycling is perfectly safe with my arm in a sling and my forehead all bruised up!

    2. Ha, so efficient!

      It's not your bicycle that's a machine of death. But it's true that it doesn't offer a lot of protection. :-(