Its been over a year

This past weekend was an exciting weekend for me.  I had a friend's wedding to celebrate as well as some very fun training to tackle.  I had a blast at the wedding on Friday night and was eager to get out Saturday on my bike and crush a race specific session.

My original plan was to take off from Rocky Point but on my way there I realized I had forgot my Garmin so I turned around to grab it.  After getting over this slight annoyance I got myself together and decided to head out from Stony Brook. I headed out East on 25A from Stony Brook on a beautiful, warm fall day. The warm up was for 30 minutes slightly below race pace.  The exciting part of the session was the 1:30 at race pace then 30 minutes above race pace.  No sooner had I began to lift my effort than shit hit the fan.

I had just made it past Rocky Point and was feeling great.  I had past a few cyclists on my way out there which was to be expected since its a very popular road to cycle on.  No sooner than I had began to dial in my effort a car makes a left hand turn from the westbound lane. Quick decision; try to speed up and maybe not get perfectly T-boned or try to get on my brakes and maybe not get T-boned too badly. Either way I was screwed.  I squeezed my brakes and the next thing I know I'm flying over my handle bars.  The last thing I see before I hit the ground were the doors of the car.

It couldn't have been more than a second when I realized that I was laying on the ground facing the opposite way I had come from, my bike was at least 10 feet away from me, my sunglasses were not on my face and there were water bottles all over the place.  Now I have gone down in the past and was able to get up each time and at least peddle home, this time was different.  I initially tried to get up and just laid back down, WTF? A voice in my head started, GET UP, GET UP.  I failed once again to get up.  Now the voice was really loud, GET THE FUCK UP and GET BACK ON YOUR BIKE.  While this voice was yelling at me 3 individuals had appeared and were attempting to help me.  One women was saying to call an ambulance and one man with a blue shirt, and short brown hair helped me over to the curb.  I'm not sure if he was a doctor or in the medical field but he started to ask me questions, can you move your feet? Can you move your legs?  By this time I remembered seeing a cyclist in a white cycling kit with black trim get off his bike. Without hesitation or direction he began to gather my stuff after my yard sale of a collision. By that time there was a police officer on the scene and I could hear the ambulance sirens in the background.  The officer began to ask me the basic questions and asked me if I had been cycling by myself?  I told him yes and he questioned me because there was a cyclist running around and really helping you out.  I have no idea who that masked cyclist was but I'm publicly thanking you for everything you did.  As soon as the ambulance arrived I was immediately put in a neck brace.  After the neck brace was put on they asked about how I was feeling and how my head was. My head? What was wrong with my head?  Apparently I had a huge golf ball on my forehead above my right eye in addition to numerous cuts.  The EMT's then started to look me over starting with my toes.  Can you move your toes? Yup.  Can you move your legs? Yup. Do your legs hurt? Nope. How about your knee? Nope. Are you sure? Yeah.  I had to explain to the EMT's that I have a huge calcium deposit right below my patella.  I then had to explain to them that my legs were just muscular from training and that they were not swollen.  Finally we made it to the focal point of my pain, my right shoulder.  The men in my family have a very high pain threshold and at that point in time it was at a 6.  Almost immediately after the questioning began I was being put on a stretcher and placed in the ambulance.  The officer asked me who he would like me to call.  I hesitatingly told him to call Melissa , she was about to have the scariest phone call of her life.  He then asked me one last question before I was placed into the ambulance, what do you want me to do with your bike?  Leave it here? Bring it to the station?  Don't leave it here, tell Meliss to pick it up.  How about I leave it at the fire station so someone can pick it up later? Good idea.

The ambulance ride was painful.  The EMT began to ask me the same basic questions the officer asked and I had had enough of the questions.  I showed him my RoadID and as all his questions were answered.  He even knew exactly what it was.  Laying down in the ambulance, strapped to the stretcher and in a neck brace... the pain in my shoulder was growing.  The pain had easily reached a 7 and the bumps in the road were certainly not helping.  Finally I arrived at John T. Mather Hospital and was quickly carted into the ER.  I was put into a room and realized my helmet was in between my legs.  I was meet by a handful of nurses all asking me the same damn questions, this was starting to get real annoying so I just held up my wrist.  Thank you RoadID. Finally the questioning was directed toward my injuries.  Can you move your toes? My shoulder hurts. Any pain in your legs?  My shoulder hurts. Are you sure?  I once again had to explain why my legs looked like they did.  I had a bit of a laugh at that.  Any pain here? My Shoulder. How about here? Lady, my shoulder is killing me.  The Doctor finally entered the room and they both began to examine my shoulder.  I can't specifically remember the medical jargon they used but whatever came out of their mouths wasn't good.  They then said they wanted to take a closer look and so began a Houdini act of taking off my cycling jersey while I was laying down, in pain and wearing a sling.  It was almost comical to see three adults, well two and half adults attempting to take off this jersey.  It got the point where i just told them to cut it off.  The Doctor said they would get it off and there was no need to cut such a a nice jersey. Ahh, the Doctor was a cyclist, SCORE!  After the jersey was removed it was obvious that my shoulder was not in its intended place.  The doctor then ordered a bunch of tests ranging from CAT scans to tetnis shots.  For the next 10-15 minutes it was quiet except for the occasional nurse drawing blood or sticking me with something.  It was during that time when i began to breakdown, I started to tear up, then cry, then sob.  My triathlon season was now officially over.  I had once again come so close to racing and yet again had my legs swept out from underneath me.  In addition I knew my wife would be an absolute wreck.  I think my parents were the first to get to the ER.  As they entered my room I tried to hold back my tears and demonstrate some sort of strength and composure, that lasted for about 2 seconds. I was able to finally collect myself enough to tell them what happened and that my shoulder was f@cking killing me.  My Dad then asked the nurse if I was going to be getting any pain medication and it turns out she had it in her hands, THANK YOU!  The pain medication took effect in a matter of seconds and I couldn't have been happier.  The only downside to pain medication is that I don't respond favorably to it (i get sick) so in between CAT scans and x-rays i would throw up into a styrofoam cup.  Thankfully I can stomach anti-nausea medication so I had myself a healthy dose of that.  I remember seeing Melissa a couple of times amongst the chaos.  I have to hand it to her, she is a trooper since every time she enters a hospital she practically faints.

Finally after what amounted to hours in the ER, the Doctor re-emerged with a smile and a thumbs ups.  I have no idea what it was suppose to signal but anytime a doctor gives you a thumbs up it has to be a good thing.  He said all the CAT scans came back negative and that I had no life threatening injuries.  He said If I hadn't been wearing my helmet it would have been a totally different story. I then realized that the EMT had placed the helmet on the stretcher for the doctor to look at.  My helmet was cracked, dented, scratched, scraped and deformed but it did its job.  Before leaving the hospital i made sure to throw up a couple of more times for good measure.

I made it back to my parents house around 7:30 and surprisingly was feeling pain free? Love that pain medication.  Now that the initial shock of it all was over I immediately began to think of what's next?  I took a look in the mirror to see what exactly i looked like.  When I saw my where my shoulder was I lost it.  I had seen my shoulder like that before and knew the road back wouldn't be easy.  For the next 5 minutes I vented using some very choice words.  After recomposing myself for the nth time I had Meliss and my Dad take pictures of all the cuts, scratches, bruises and deformities because for some reason I thought that was a good idea.

My injuries included scratches, bruises, road rash, bruised ribs, sprained wrist, sprained neck, broken collar bone, and 3rd degree separation of my AC joint.

snapped in the ambulance

Serious dip/bump 

Some road rash

head met pavement


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