[Recovered from the Wayback machine. Originally published October 12th, 2017]
You may have noticed my blog seems to have lost a few articles (not that I have been that prolific recently).
Well, it’s been a busy few weeks as you are about to find out.
My Facebook friends and work colleagues have understood that I have been studiously updating both my fitness and cycling technique ready for the Palace to Palace cycle charity event on the 1st October. My son had a scheduled operation six weeks before the event so I took some time off work to look after him and finalise my training.
The op’ went well and my husband returned from his business trip and as the recovery was going well, I thought, I should get back to the road part of my training. Saturday evening, we discussed one of my new routes, a coffee break half way along and getting back for lunch.
Training by now consisted of slowly increasing from 10 off miles in 90-120 minutes to going twice as far in the same time, and heading for further yet.
I had also worked out that my trusty old bike was not really up to the job. The gears would just fail to change and the chain would fall off. Some of the last routes I did on it meant stopping several times to get the chain back to where it should be.
So, I had a helmet and a brand new bike and even a padded pair of Lycra cycling leggings:
Shiny new bike
All was going well. I did some training independently, some with my husband and 45 miles seemed like a significant distance but strangely achievable.
Talking about sticking to routes, you were talking about six weeks ago…
Sorry. A 15 mile trip to the centre of a growing town, stop off at a nice cafe and cycle back a 16 mile route (missing a nightmare of a hill on the return run).
By now, my prep was pretty easy. The new bike has internal lights and given the weather (a balmy 22deg C) I went for a snappy sports top, padded cycle Lycra, helmet and camel back.
The journey to the cafe was relatively uneventful. We parked up and had earl grey tea in view of the local church. My blood glucose was fine, in fact it was one of the few times I had done the training without my Abbott Freestyle Libre flash sensor. It was warm, but my glasses and helmet were keeping me cool. My husband and I had worked out a while ago it was better if I went ahead: I am slow up hill where Jon catches me up and I am quick downhill.
About three miles in to the return journey, I was heading along the cycle path. I stepped out on to a service road running along side the cycle path to ensure I could be seen by cars emerging from the drives ways and pointed the bike towards a dropped curb to rejoin the cycle path heading in to the next village.
That’s pretty much the last thing I remember. My Fitbit reported I was doing 36kph. I remember someone asking if I was alright but it felt like a really bad dream and I was waiting to get to a better bit before I woke up.
I certainly don’t remember Jon rejoining me and trying to work out where we were for the ambulance crew. Nor do I remember the passengers from some of the cars caught in the road work lights looking after me until the ambulance arrived. I just wanted to sleep. I do remember being told not to move, given the neck brace, I didn’t move a muscle.
I vaguely remember the CT scan and being checked in the hospital. We were there about 6 hours in total, two of which were waiting to clear my neck. I’d landed on my head and my neck was bruised. I was pretty much bruised everywhere.
And scrapped. Bruised and scrapped and extremely tired. The helmet had done its job but it only covered the area it covered on the top of my head.
Within two hours, the CT proved that my neck was still in one piece, which allowed a fully examination. As I could move, I relaxed my shoulders and proved they weren’t dislocated.
I had broken my right maxillary sinus (cheek bone) in two places, cracked the occipital socket (eye socket) and broken the zygomatic (eye ridge, the bit of your eye where your mandible/jaw fits).
The gash below the right eye brow was taped together and my husband went home to get the car to take me home.
I love my husband but he doesn’t really know how to nurse someone. I was a little concerned and shocked had started to set in – I hoped he was getting a jumper.
While I was waiting for him, a couple of nurses came and grabbed me to sort out the grazes on my face.
As I was still there, someone sorted out an ophthalmic exam. Which was weird: the swelling was causing the muscles in my right eye to lag behind the left one but the registrar was really happy about my vision and asked me if I was sure I was diabetic!
We got home
With another eye exam on Tuesday and an appointment with Maxfax on Friday. I had a bath and got most of the grit out of my shoulders, binned my top which had holes in it from the road.
On Tuesday, the eye exam was focused on my double vision. I was assured it would resolve itself. Indeed it was already much better. The important piece of news was the fact the retinas were still attached.
We now get to Friday.