Sunday, June 8, 2014

brokeNscene

Ha.  Sod's law in action. I did it again! The Gods are laughing out loud and all of a sudden I'm a forced southpaw. Again. The season of sunshine and barbecues has finally arrived.  This is the time of year when cycling is at its pinnacle, and where do I stand in the grand scheme of things?


Which space do I occupy on the Monopoly board of life?

fer fucksake
That's right. It's another one of those "Go directly to jail.  Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200" moments. Last weekend started out so normally, too.  What happened? I held a yard sale, (as you do), and when I did I met a fellow who modified his wheelchair to look like this:


Pretty cool, don'tcha think?  Except I highly doubt he'll ever have need of a helmet the way I so often do. Want to see the latest in my line of crushed and destroyed lids?


Not bad work for a Sunday morning, wouldn't you say? 


There's no doubt that I was riding harder and faster than the last time I crashed,


yet this time round I came though sans concussion, blessed be.


That's MIPS in action for you. I was definitely riding faster.  I was having a great ride with the vets, my best yet, and then I made the same dumbass newbie mistake as the last time I crashed.  Those guys are fast.  I fer sure fer sure crashed harder this time round. Half the helmet is caved in, reallly.  The crash completely changed the helmet's shape- far more than the last accident did, and yet my brain came out miles ahead, thanks to that sweet little design.  Take it from a real crash test dummy: it's well worth the investment, a MIPS helmet.

A regular helmet does little to protect you from the actual threat to your brain during a crash, but this baby definitely does the trick.

Too bad it couldn't save the rest of me.  It was ugly.

Yup. Uuuuuuuuuuugly.
The roadrash isn't exactly pretty, either.  It keeps sticking to the sheets when I fall asleep!

Ewww.
But that doesn't happen very often.


These legs sure miss moving. And I really miss my happy place. 

look: teeny tiny opiate pupils
It doesnt' look like much, does it?  The paramedics figured I had broken my collarbone, and perhaps dislocated my shoulder, so they took me to the local community hospital instead of to VGH, the trauma centre for the lower mainland.  Because they did, I spent three days with my arm hanging uselessly off my body awaiting surgery.  Here in  Canada, most collarbone fractures are sent home in a sling, without surgery, but when you shatter your scapula, too, (the way I did) there is nothing left attaching the arm to your shoulder, so they have to fix at least one point of connection.  I am here to tell you that it is a very painful thing when your arm is detached from the rest of your skeleton. They kept telling me that it is the most painful injury you can suffer, and I believe it. I smashed my shoulder and hip hard in the year 2000, resulting in multiple fractures in the same right shoulder and arm, and three fractures in my hip, and that wasn't as painful as this.

breathing hurts
Three days on, the orthopaedic surgeon sliced along the clavicle, (yup, they sliced the whole bone lengthwise) wrapped it in surgical steel, and bolted it back together again, blessed be.  For days after that it hurt even more than it did before, though I hadn't thought it possible. The worst of the swelling is over, though, so I can honestly say I am on the mend. But that's not what needs to be said now.

I need to apologise to my family and friends.  I can see how upsetting it is for you when I'm hurt. I just want to say that I am well and truly sorry to have given you such great cause to worry yet again.  And thank you. Your kind messages, gifts, companionship and support have all combined to make this very difficult week a little more bearable.  I am very grateful, and deeply touched. xo


59 comments:

  1. Ugh. That looks like some painful sheet!

    Nice apology at the end - reminds me of the book The Giver - "I apologize for causing discomfort" A: "We except your apology".

    I know what you mean though - being in a hospital bed and watching people concerned about you sucks.

    Heal quick, and indoor tailwinds once you get on the trainer!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! XX

      Yep, this one hurts. But they did give me lots of drugs to get through...

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  2. Wow. Tough life, huh. Heal fast. I know you'll be back on your bike soon.

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    Replies
    1. I've been praying for a simple, boring life for a while now...

      Cheers, Jon. :)

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  3. Yeeoutch. Get better soon!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! The good news is that I DO seem to be healing quickly and well. :D

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  4. Replies
    1. I took the traditional cyclist's injury and went one better. Just cause I'm a terrible show-off. Now I can try and astound you with just how good I am at trauma recovery.

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  5. Ouch and so early in the summer too. Get well quickly. =)

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    Replies
    1. Right!?! THAT's what gets me. And we're having a great year here, too.

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  6. Wow, that is horrible. Get well soon.
    You are in my thoughts.

    Love.

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  7. Sorry this befell you. Strange to not see you smiling. Hope you heal quick and back on the bike soon. Best to you. I'd offer to bring over some homemade chicken noodle soup (cures everything, no?), but I'm 3,000 miles away.

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    Replies
    1. Mmmm... yes, yes it does. Thank you. :)

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  8. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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  9. Oh, when will us crazy bike people ever learn? Im so sorry to hear about this mishap, and hoping for a quick recovery for you. At the same time its kind of a wake up call and a reminder for the rest of us to be careful. Sometimes its easy to forget how vulnerable we are. Just hoping that next time you dont go to such great lengths to make this point.:-) Again, best wishes, i hope the recovery goes well, and thanks for the cheer that you spread through this blog. Youll be back at it in no time, im sure

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    1. That's very kind of you. Thank you.
      It's funny, cause bikes aren't inherently dangerous, though they sure do pose certain risks in the world we inhabit. This was exactly the same thing that took me down on Thanksgiving Day, and even though it's not really a risk most cyclists face daily, it is something I have to figure out. I really want to make sure I never experince this kind of thing again!

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  10. Babs, so sorry to hear of your latest mishap. Best wishes for a speedy and relatively pain free recovery. What exactly happened ? What was the cause of this calamity?

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    1. Cheers!
      Just the sunday morning Vet ride, but it was a really big, fast one. It was also one of the best rides I've ever had. What happened? Same thing as last time: I caught a wheel with my front wheel and went down lickety split.

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  11. Can you at least put the trainer outdoors?

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    Replies
    1. Now that's a thought. I wonder if I could have one installed on Wreck beach...

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  12. Impressed with your wound stamina. And pain stamina. I am a Doctor when I am not on the bike or drinking scotch. I know tolerance. And its opposite. Can't wait to see that first strava map down there again with your name on it. Good luck.

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    1. LOL! Thank you.

      Done. It was nothing to write home about, that one. 1.5 km today - it would have been three had my phone not died. Errands on Bea bike. But damned those bumps hurt. And I can't begin to tell you how much I miss my road bike.

      August. The (other) doc says August...

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  13. Replies
    1. I took the brunt of the hit. The derailleur's carbon shell is cracked and needs replacing, needs new handlebar tape, and new cables, but that's about it.

      I hit the dirt and rolled as soon as I was finished with the roadrash bit, though, so I couldn't open my eyes to see it before the ambulance took me away. Bill took it to my favourite LBS, and I've spoken with them, but I still haven't actually laid eyes on it since it happened.

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    2. I was going to post BUT HOW IS THE BIKE?!?! but Dale beat me to it in a more appropriate case.

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    3. It's amazing how much abuse a bike can take!

      Heal quickly Babble!!

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  14. Babs:
    I bought a MIPS helmet two months ago, based on your recommendations a few months back. It is a POC 'cause I couldn't find a Lazer dealer. I am very
    happy with it and very impressed that you went to such lengths to endorse the MIPS concept. Wish you the best recovery ever and would consider it a high honor to ride with you (unfortunately not possible)
    XOXO kid

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Anything is possible, you know...

      Good for you for investing in a great helmet before you find out why they are so important.

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    2. I bought the Smith Optic POC helmet this past month. Now widely available. Has the honeycomb looking stuff inside. Hope I never test it. But you should send the pics and a note to the guys who made yours.

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    3. Hmm. Good idea. I am happy to help them promote it any way I can, cause it definitely saved my ass, and it never hurts to save a few of those along the way, does it?

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  15. Jee-zus! I can feel that all the way from Australia.
    I'm sure that one day you'll look back and laugh at this, but right know I bet it hurts like buggery...
    I hope you're back in the saddle soon-ish.

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    1. Thank you. Yes. It really does...:(
      Technically, I was back in the saddle yesterday, though just down the road on the Electra, and I think my maximum speed was somewhere in the range of two miles per hour. But it sure beat spending the entire day on my back, resting my mending bones.
      I'm looking forward to August, when I can really ride again. :)

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    2. LOL!! In fact, it probably hurts more than buggery, depending o'course on how much lube is involved...

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    3. Speaking of assholes, I see that our Prime Minister is visiting Canadia. You can keep him if you like.

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    4. I saw how much he admires Harper. Ew. Birds of a feather, those two.

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  16. BTW you just sold me on MIPS. Looking for an urban-style helmet now; I want to look dorky. Not so easy to find in the US.

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    Replies
    1. Ever thought of visiting Vancouver?

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    2. Failing that, have you tried online?

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    3. Dorky holds a certain charm, doesn't it? :)

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    4. Hmm, Vancouver -- long ways for me right now.
      I have looked online; found nothing so far. The Scott Torus Plus looks right, but haven't found a supplier that will ship to the US yet.

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    5. Any helmet with the MIPS technology will do. I don't think it matters which brand you choose. I just love my Lazer Helium, cause I have no doubt it saved my life just then, and it spared me another serious knock to the head, too.

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  17. Ha, found it -- BMO in Germany. Plus shipping from there, but worth it if I ever get in an accident.
    BTW, as to your invitation -- like most men here, I think about travel to Vancouver often... but my wife wouldn't approve.

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    1. LOL! Silly... you'd simply have to bring her along. I love wives. I wish I had my own, sometimes.

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  18. Holy Sheeeeet! Ouch!!!
    I took myself out by tearing my ACL 5 weeks ago, but it's no-where as bad as this looks! My wishes to you for a speedy recovery!!!
    But thanks for sharing about your helmet, I'm in the market for a new helmet and will consider the one you had!
    Take care, and hopefully I'll see you cruising around town soon!

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    Replies
    1. Awesome! Good choice. If you're in the hood, check out Ride On Again on Broadway and Vine, and ask for Rob. Tell em I sent you. :D

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  19. You weren't riding with Tilford, were you?

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    1. LOL! Right? I left an obnoxiously upbeat message on his post just after he crashed, cause I know what it feels like to smash up yer hips. Ironic, that.

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  20. Holy Fuck, Kerry! If I were one of those cheesy evangelists I'd lay hands on you and shout "Heal." But, I'm guessing that won't do it. I hope BikeSnobNYC is getting this. Him not wanting to wear a helmet is one thing. Convincing others not to is quite another. Get yourself better, PLEASE!

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    Replies
    1. Oh bless you. Thank you. Thing is, most helmets are useless, and can actually contribute to head injury!

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    2. If they all had MIPS, then things would be different. But it's the torque that tears the connections in yer grey matter, and a typical helmet actually amplifies that. If we're going to change things we have to get more peeps into MIPS helmets.

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    3. Helmets and concussions. Informative article:

      http://www.bicycling.com/senseless/index.html?cm_mmc=Google-_-Bicycling-_-Content-Story-_-helmets-senseless

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  21. Oh Babble. :'( Sending you positive and healing energy. I hope you are pain-free again soon.
    XOXO

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  22. Holy Cow !
    I look forward to your blog posts and when I saw this one I thought, oh, she's busted something on her bike, wonder what.
    Then as I read and looked I just thought... fk, fk, and more fkkk (excuse the abbreviated French)
    As much as a better outcome would have been good, at least it wasn't worse.
    You seem to be recovering and relatively positive given the circumstances.
    I'm afraid you'll need more than Vegemite and Victoria Bitter.
    Good luck Babble Girl, and I'll look forward to your blog posts even more.

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    1. Thank you, Harry. Yes, you're so right. It could have been much worse. As much as it sucked to experience such excrutiating pain, at least I was conscious to feel it! And bones heal. Better than soft tissue does, that's for sure, so you know I'll be back soon! :)

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  23. Would you tell us how the accident happened? Was anyone else involved? What did you hit your head on that broke your helmet?

    A while back I took a digger on my MTB and my helmet broke but not my skull. I replayed it in my head afterward. I learned the lesson about NOT looking at what you are trying to avoid (tree root) but rather, where you want your wheel to go (sliver of clear trail). I practice at this frequently, aiming for and running over objects no larger than a bug and is now second nature.

    I had never heard of the MIPS helmet and I'd wager 99% of cyclists have not either. If people demanded them and manufacturers answered the demand, the price would go down and they would be more universally adopted, no?

    Even if existing helmets underperform due to the lax industry standards, the "helmets are useless" frame of mind WILL result in more catastrophic brain trauma.

    You opened a valuable dialog about these better MIPS helmets, so shout it out, sister. It will save more lives than granola recipes.

    Peace, love, HEAL.



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  24. Got my helmet today, from Bike Mail Order (BMO in Germany). It is actually not that expensive, aside from the shipping costs. A Scott Torus Plus. They are easier to find outside the US, because manufacturers here are not required to incorporate MIPS and why do anything if you don't have to?

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