Sunday, January 10, 2016

Aches and pains

It's been five weeks since the crash. Depending on the day it feels like a lot less. 

It was my fault of course. I was going less than the speed limit and misjudged a turn. Next thing I know I've grabbed a bit too much brake, the front wheel locked up on a few bits of gravel on the road,  sending the steering sideways with the scooter quickly doing likewise. 

Some say time slows in an accident. For me, it happened so quickly, I barely knew what happened. One moment a guardrail is looming in front of me, the next I'm sliding sideways on the ground with my helmet smacking loudly off the pavement. When I think back, I can remember the handlebars snapping to the side and the world changing its normal orientation, but it was so quick and then there I was, laying in the road. 

I tried to get up, certainly, but found that the attempt brought on pain like I'd never felt before, driving me back down to the blacktop. The scooter lay there still buzzing away as I tried yelling for help. I have no idea how long I tried that, but it can't have been more than half a minute before I gave up and was able to retrieve my cell phone from its place in my pocket. After trying to voice dial, I was eventually able to call 911, and proceeded to confuse the dispatcher. At this point my rescuers arrived. A few people had come running up and one of them took over the 911 call while the others watched to make sure the scene was safe until the emergency vehicles arrived.

It's all a bit of a blur after that. Suffice to say, I spent two days in the hospital and the next three weeks on pain killers. Sad to say, it still hurts. My collar bone was broken in at least two places but it's the bruised ribs that feel like hot coals in my side even now. At least my knee and ankle seem to have healed well enough.

So there are a few things I've learned through all this:

#1. Helmets do save lives. The one thing I remember most clearly from that night five weeks ago, is the cracking sound of helmet meeting the road. If not for my helmet, I'd have cracked my skull at the very least. 

#2. One can never be too cautious. Two wheels are dangerous enough without making silly mistakes. Sure, I wasn't speeding, but I should have anticipated my turn sooner.

#3. I'm glad I was wearing good sturdy clothes. The collarbone and ribs could have been accompanied by worse injury. Somewhere in the fog, I remember an EMT commenting that my attire saved me from such. 

All in all, I wish these wounds would heal. There has been such good riding weather this winter and I haven't been able to take advantage of it.

As for the scooter, it's not mich the worse for it. Sure, there are a few scuff marks and I had to replace the mirrors due to a crack in the one that hit the ground, but it runs fine and I ran it to work one day, only to get yelled at by the Doctor the next. 

Classes at school are going well enough, and I will know by Friday if I passed the final test for Pennsylvania inspection mechanic certification. 

And so I shall soldier on. My aches and pains will be a reminder of how close I came to a real disaster and of how blessed I am to have been spared the worst.


kz1000st said...

I'm just glad you're OK

Paul Smith said...

Thanks Jim, that means a lot.

Robert Wilson said...

OUCH! I'm glad you're okay. Please take care of yourself first and foremost, the repairs on the scoot can wait a bit.