Just a short 10-mile ride

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Jared13 4 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #125831

    Three weeks ago yesterday, I headed out for a short 10-mile mtb ride before a few of us went on a camping/riding trip.

    I get to the trail head of the local trail at 1145. I throw on my helmet, gloves, glasses and grab the GPS, phone and water and head out. The plan: ride out five miles, turn around, and head home to get ready to go camping.

    I start down the trail and everything is going fine. I slow down to weave between two cruiser bikes parked across the trail and then continue down the trail.

    Next thing I know, I’m sitting next to my bike on the side of the trail.
    I don’t know where I am.
    I don’t know what time it is.
    I don’t know what day it is.

    I take stock of my surroundings. I can tell I’m right next to Crooked Falls on the South Shore trail system. My shoulder HURTS. And I remember that it’s Saturday and my phone says it’s 12:10 in the afternoon.

    After sitting a bit longer, I realize my right collarbone is most likely broken but everything else seems to be in working order. All my legs, arms, fingers and toes work and I can breathe…but it really hurts when I inhale deeply. Whatever, it’s probably the pain from my broken collarbone.

    I go to stand up and grab the bike to begin the walk to the trail head. No good, the pain is a bit much when I try to stand. Maybe in a few minutes.

    As I sit there, I see two people on the paved trail about 100 yards from my current position. They’re going to the Crooked Falls overlook. I’m sure they’ll see me and hopefully come to investigate. If not, I’ll holler to get their attention.

    Sure enough, they turn around without seeing me and I go to shout: HAHAHAAHA, not happening. Thankfully, I see another mountain biker coming up the singletrack. He’ll definitely stop. And he does. Holy crap, he’s even a doctor!

    After a quick assessment, he says we can either walk out or call life flight. I tell him we should try to walk out and if that doesn’t work, we can reassess and go from there.

    After standing up, and with him doing most of the lifting, we begin our trek to the paved trail. (Full disclosure: I totally cut across the grass, I didn’t care.)
    We get to the paved trail and head back towards the trailhead. As we’re shuffling, I tell him I should be able to make it if he wants to grab the bikes. He says that works and I stop at a bench while he goes to grab them.

    He returns, we continue walking, he loads the bikes, and we pile in his truck and head to the ER.

    Final tally:
    Broken right clavicle (I was right!)
    Broken right scapula
    Six broken ribs
    Punctured right lung
    Bruised liver
    One SWEET concussion
    With both the clavicle and scapula being broken, I have a "floating shoulder." Thankfully, it’s not bad enough to require surgery.

    Unfortunately, I don’t remember the actual crash. Not a clue what happened or what I hit. I guess I should start go-pro’ing all my rides 😆

    I spent six days in the hospital before they released me. I barely remember the first three and didn’t start to really function until Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

    I start physical therapy tomorrow with some easy range of motion exercises for my shoulder and then in a few weeks, I’ll start the strength portion of my rehab (I hope.) This is the second clavicle I’ve broken so I’m not too concerned about that, but the lungs and ribs worry me. Does anyone have advice on recovering those?

    "Fun" fact: I broke my left clavicle two years ago on April 8th (4/8) and I broke my right one on August 16th (8/16). Both times I was about half a mile into my ride. From now on, any ride that has the day equal to 2x the month, I’m walking the first mile! 😆

  • #125832

    Wow, Jared–sorry to hear about all the bodily violence! Ouch X 10!

    I’ve cracked ribs before, but never 6 at once! The problem with ribs is that there’s really nothing you can do except wait it out. Time is the only healer in that case. As for the lung, well that’s another whole level of bodily damage.

    Best wishes for all your broken bits.
    Hope you like watching football.

  • #125833

    Holy crap! I’m glad to hear you will be ok! That is pretty scary not knowing what happened. I had a car accident like that. I was driving along on a snowy road, the next thing I know, I’m in the middle of someones lawn. The people in the house of the lawn I was in the middle of said they saw my car roll several times, but I couldn’t remember any of it. Several years later, I was playing a driving game that had a steering wheel which shook if you went off road. For some reason, the steering wheel shaking brought back the memories to me of what happened! It was the craziest thing. I guess your mind blocks out the trauma sometimes.

    Heal fast!

  • #125834

    OUCH! I hope you heal up quick Jared, that sounds like a BRUTAL crash! I had a crash with a concussion as well about 6 years ago & I still don’t remember hitting the ground or a while afterwards. That stuff is scary… and it sounds like you really got brutalized!

    I feel for ya, man: my thoughts and prayers are with you as you recover!

  • #125835
    "John Fisch" wrote

    The problem with ribs is that there’s really nothing you can do except wait it out. Time is the only healer in that case.

    Hope you like watching football.

    Thanks for the well-wishes, John. Thankfully I didn’t do this on our ride!
    Wait is out is what I’ve been hearing. We’re looking into diet to see if anything will help speed up the process. So far zinc and turmeric seem to be the front runners.

    I do like watching football! The timing could have been better, but it also could have been much worse.

    Thanks, gar29! I’m glad to hear your memory came back. That is the part that bothers me the most…aside from not being able to ride, of course.

    Thanks, Greg! The best we can figure is I landed almost squarely on the back of my right shoulder with a [i:13fw15my]slight[/i:13fw15my] bouncing of the head. All the damage to the ribs is directly under the scapula and the docs said the lung and clavicle "exploded outwards" from the impact. The helmet has seen better days too, one large impact area on the right side and it’s cracked in 3-4 different places. I’m very happy to be alive and functioning!

  • #125836

    Jared, Praise the Lord man, I’m glad you’re alright. We’ve been seeing some unfortunate stories come across here lately concerning wrecks and such. As for the lung, the last guy I dealt with I know had 590 ml drained out of his left lung in the first 2 hours and he made it just in time. Could be a wait and see how it heals depending in the size of the wound, if it’s going to heal up on it’s own. Then you have possible re inflation issues (which the doctor should have shared depending on your condition) and infection, yet antibiotics can be administered for that. Definitely will pray for you tonight and hope that you heal fast. Take your time and be easy on it. We hope you feel better soon. Take care.

    -GT

  • #125837

    Hi Jared,

    Man I am really sorry to hear this. I know how you feel, because I went through a very similar experience this year. After riding my mountain bike and dirt bike hard without incident all fall and winter long this past year, I had a very hard crash in February following my son around the bmx track. Like you I was knocked out, and don’t really remember the crash, though I do remember the moments before the crash. We estimate I was out for at least a minute, maybe 2. I had concussion symptoms for a few weeks, and was forgetting things, but thank goodness those problems went away.

    I broke both my hands and broke my left wrist badly in multiple places. I also lacerated my liver. I was in the hospital for 5 days until my liver stabilized. They wouldn’t let me eat or get out of bed until a few hours before they checked me out. I lost almost 20 pounds while I was in there. After I was released, I had my left hand and wrist surgically repaired. I now have a rod inside my 3rd metacarpal and a large plate in my left arm with 6 screws.

    The first day I was in the hospital, they found a tumor in my left wrist, close to 1 of the breaks. They told me it could be cancer, but they wouldn’t know until I was seen by an orthopedic oncologist. Problem was, there wasn’t an orthopedic oncologist at that hospital because I was at a trauma hospital. So the whole time I was in the hospital, I didn’t know if I had cancer or not. Needless to say it was a tough time.

    Turns out my tumor was benign. When I finally got out I went straight to the oncologist who told me I had probably had that tumor since I was a teenager. I’m 44 now. I had the surgeries on my hand and wrist 2 days later.

    The first few weeks at home were very tough. I was very weak, and extremely bummed about my condition. It felt like it would be an eternity until I would be able to be active again. The pain medications made me feel crazy, and reeked havoc with my system. I stopped taking them entirely except for advil after 5 days, so needless to say I was in a lot of pain. I imagine these last 3 weeks have been similar for you and all I can say is I sympathize.

    After a month things started to get better. I started being able to sleep better. I started getting out of the house a lot more, and I started to put some weight back on and get some strength back. At 5 or 6 weeks I started working out a little at the gym, and going on easy bike rides in the neighborhood. At 7 weeks I started playing a little pick up soccer again, and at 8 weeks I started taking easy mountain bike rides on trails.

    Over the next 4 months I slowly got my strength back, though I have to say it was slow. I was very sore for a very long time. When you take that kind of impact, it really takes a toll on your whole body. Early on, I was focused on my injuries, but as my injuries healed, I became aware of how my whole body was impacted. I have a very good massage therapist I have been seeing for years. She was a huge help with my recovery.

    At 4 months I was able to ride fairly hard on the mountain bike, and at about 5 months I started really pushing myself at the gym. Now at about 7 months, I feel great other than some soreness in my hands and wrist after intense activity.

    This whole experience has actually had a very positive impact on my life. Now that I feel good again, I have a renewed passion for my family, my work, and the things I like to do like ride bikes and dirt bikes, play soccer, and work out.

    I know you’re feeling very low right now, and 6 months sounds like an eternity, but the time will pass quicker than you think. Slowly but surely, you will feel better and get your strength back. Try you best to stay positive. Push yourself when you think you can, and rest your body when it tells you to. Find yourself a good massage therapist if you don’t already have 1, and try to stretch yourself the best you can. Don’t be discouraged when you first resume riding ect. by your lack of strength. This is normal, and you will get your strength back.

    I wish you the best, and hope this story helps you in some way.

    Lee

  • #125838

    Thanks for the thoughts and prayers, GT!

    Holy crap, Lee, that’s way worse than mine! I’m glad to hear everything turned out alright.
    I thankfully didn’t have any of the "external" stuff like the hands and wrist, just all internal. Now that I’m out of the "danger window," my biggest worry is the potential loss of lung capacity.
    And wow, 20 lbs? I thought I lost a ton at 15 lbs in 6 days (I’ve gained 5 back so far.) I was able to eat also, when I was awake which wasn’t that often the first three days.
    And completely agreed on the renewed passion!

  • #125839

    Hope you heal up quick!

  • #125840

    You have completed the job you have desired. You health is most important for further Race. So try to heal quickly. All the best ..

  • #125841

    Thanks for the well wishes.

    One month and one day since the accident happened. Recovery is still progressing, slowly but surely.
    My range of motion is improving every day, I can’t wait to get cleared to start strengthening the shoulder. It’s amazing how much you lose when you don’t use it for a few weeks straight.

  • #125842

    Ok. I’m a newbie and thanks to your story I’m going to get serious about protective gear. Sorry you got mangled but look at it this way – now you get karma points every time I don’t get hurt!

  • #125843
    "agFinder" wrote

    Ok. I’m a newbie and thanks to your story I’m going to get serious about protective gear. Sorry you got mangled but look at it this way – now you get karma points every time I don’t get hurt!

    Oh boy, hope that wasn’t a jynx! 😆

  • #125844

    Man Jared, I just saw this. How Creepy is that when you don’t know where you are or any other pertinant info! Been there done that! Sorry to hear this but happy you are getting better. You are right about how fast you loose it when you don’t use ti. I been off for 2 months and went for a ride on my roadie and I have lost speed,stamina and agility in that short time. Startin to work on it so that when I am cleared to ride the MTB I will be ready!
    Good luck and keep at it!
    Bill

  • #125845

    It’s very creepy indeed!

    Congrats on getting back on the road bike. I also got on the trainer today, but opted for a nap instead. 😆

    I am only able to sleep for 2-3 hours at a time, so I’m getting between 5 and 6 hrs of sleep each night so I figured that was more pressing than getting on the bike for a very easy spin.

  • #125846

    So, how’s it going? I would hate to get thrashed that bad in the woods. I’ve only hammered it huge once when I first started riding MTB. I was blasting a familiar trail after riding DH at the ski resort. I rolled into this mini-berm waaaay too fast (with no brain bucket), and at the now-overshot exit was a huge boulder and a medium sized tree. The split second decision was "wood is softer than stone",I slammed the tree, I tacoed a rim, and have worn a helmet almost everytime since.

    Broken ribs suck. Not trying to one-up, but I snapped 11/12 of the left side off my spine and 4 of the 11 were broke under my arm. Punctured the lung, fractured the T8, snapped the right collarbone, and lacerated the spleen. I took the helicopter ride, and spent 10 days in Shock Trauma. I also spent the next 3 months on some sort of "xxxx-contin". It’s all good now, but a little advice: 1) Do NOT stop opiates cold turkey 2) don’t put a Civic into a tree sideways at 85mph 3) scar tissue in joint MUST be dealt with severely (all the little roly balls in the world will not regain full range of motion)

  • #125847

    Sorry for the delay in the update, fleming442. Let’s just say work decided free time in October is overrated.

    As for the update:
    I started range of motion only physical therapy 4-5 weeks ago and finished that 1-2 weeks ago. I started the strength training when the range of motion stuff "finished" (but I still do RoM exercises.) Who knew how heavy two pounds weights actually were?! 😆

    I’m sleeping much better at night, but my ribs still hurt when I get into/get out of bed. Thankfully it’s only a quick, sharp pain and nothing lingering. The pain only lasts for a few seconds and is about a 3-4 on the pain scale so nothing terrible. I’ve all been off of all my pain meds for 2 weeks or so.

    I have a follow-up with my doc on Tuesday, fingers crossed for good news! I’m hoping I’m cleared then but if not, I’m hoping to be back on the (real) bike by Thanksgiving.

  • #125848

    I was cleared by the doc today!

    Now I just need it to get above 0 and I’ll be good to go!

    Losing the 5 inches of snow would be nice also, but beggars can’t be choosers.

  • #125849
    "Jared13" wrote

    I was cleared by the doc today!

    Now I just need it to get above 0 and I’ll be good to go!

    Losing the 5 inches of snow would be nice also, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    Congrats!
    Don’t worry about that snow–you’ll get a chinook soon and dry everything out . . . probably . . . hopefully . . .

  • #125850
    "John Fisch" wrote

    [quote="Jared13":1aha85sw]I was cleared by the doc today!

    Now I just need it to get above 0 and I’ll be good to go!

    Losing the 5 inches of snow would be nice also, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    Congrats!
    Don’t worry about that snow–you’ll get a chinook soon and dry everything out . . . probably . . . hopefully . . .[/quote:1aha85sw]

    The warmer temps are supposed to hit this coming week, 30s and 40s after a week of single digits.

    However, three months after my accident (to the day!) I was able to get back out on the bike. 3-5 inches of snow on the trail, but it was awesome! Hopefully I can get the pictures off my phone so I can upload them. The phone didn’t save them to the storage card so it’s a bit of a chore.

  • #125851

    How you makin out Jared? Hope you are better. Found will probably be another 5 months for me. It’s all good, don’t want to push it at 57 yo.
    Bill

  • #125852

    Hey Bill,

    I’m pretty much 100% healed. All measurable range of motion is back to 100%, but I can notice a few irregularities in my range while sleeping. Like I can’t lay on my right side the same as my left.

    I’ve been able to get out for quite a few rides. If I ride over 2 hrs I notice some soreness, but nothing too bad. It’s definitely not enough to keep me from riding for 2 hrs 😆

    Another five months for you? That should be just in time for spring! I hope it flies by for you.

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