I really liked this book.
“But she became Gabby’s friend in that way that can happen, because the girl with the cool boots always finds the girl with the occasional slash of pink in her hair. The two of them like a pair of exotic birds dipping over the school’s water fountains—you knew they would find each other.”
—Megan Abbott, The Fever
I was out for a bike ride and going to take this short cut through a cemetery on my road because it let me avoid a situation with a.) 35-40 mph cars b.) no sidewalk and c.) giant hill. The cemetery still had the hill, but would put me on a side road through this back entrance with a gate that is probably meant to be locked but from what I could tell never is. Before taking this shortcut, however, I decided to turn back up a hill next to a kids section because I wanted to see what someone had left on a grave (some dumb toys). I wasn’t going that fast, because I had come towards it from a less steep hill, but I took the turn way too sharp and flew off my bike.
I have never crashed that badly. I was actually thrown from the bike and ended up doing a somersault. I hit my shoulder on the ground & later when I got home I found that it was scraped through my tee shirt. I scratched my leg pretty bad too, and though it still hasn’t healed 100% most of it looked worse than it was. My ipod flew out of my pocket but somehow I didn’t drop it. And as I was upside down, tumbling all I could think was: oh my god, my glasses are going to hit the ground. I’ll die if they break. And of course, they did hit the ground. The arm is scratched but not noticeably and they didn’t break. But after, I think, my glasses scraped across the pavement, so did my head. It was pretty scary, but I didn’t black out or see stars or throw up. I laid on the ground for a moment and then dragged myself up to sit on a raised part of the lawn so I could use my water bottle & some tissues I had in my bag to clean my leg.
I should mention that, of course, of course, I was not wearing a helmet when I hit my head on the ground. I didn’t even own a helmet at the time (I do now!) but had been considering getting one for a while.
I stayed in the cemetery for a while, trying to decide if I could bike back home. I’d only made it 1.5 miles, which only involved a minimal extra riding through the cemetery. After, probably, an hour I decided I could bike home and took an extra long route home just to get some riding in.
Taping up my knee was pretty difficult. Because it was scraped right on the bend I ended up buying non-stick bandage pads the second day, size 3” x 4” and I had to tape two to cover most of the area, and then, at night, wrap an ace bandage around the whole thing because the tape would always roll off.
On Saturday morning I felt pretty bad and by noon I convinced myself to call my doctor’s office. They only had pediatricians in the office that day (wtf? I have no idea if this is standard for Saturdays for them) so on Monday morning, still feeling bad, I decided to call and got an early appointment. I went to work for a couple hours then got to my doctor’s appointment, where my doctor told me that I definitely had a concussion, which explained why I had been out of it, tired, and had a headache since the accident. I didn’t go back to work after my appointment because I went home for lunch and fell asleep.
Tuesday the doctor’s office called to tell me that I had an appointment for a CT scan! In 45 minutes! So I left work right away and went straight to the hospital where of course my incompetent doctor’s office staff hadn’t sent the order. I watched a clerk call the office about ten times before she just decided to have someone do the scan. Wednesday I didn’t go to work at all because I slept all day and Thursday & Friday the office was closed for the fourth of July holiday.
Having a concussion sucks. After the second week I was feeling mostly better, less tired, able to focus, less headaches. It has totally messed up my mood & irritability threshold (exceptionally high at times!). I think it has messed with my ability to speak- I can text okay but sometimes I have a hard time coming up with whatever word I need when I’m speaking. It’s weird. I’m still not fully over it, especially since I’ve had a headache all day today, despite caffeine, Tylenol & ibuprofen. But it’s been three weeks & the CT scan was negative for brain bleeding so that’s good. I’ve started riding my bike again, but it still makes me nervous—not of falling but of the lingering concussion effects and feeling dizzy or tired.
I just wanted to write this all down before I forgot what little details I still remember three weeks later.
I hate wearing a helmet & it makes me look like a nerd but I wear it every time I ride my bike now so I guess I’ll get used to it eventually.