The “Bike wreck” – the whole story – a month after

I’ve decided to share the whole story because that’s what I do, I share my life with the hopes of inspiring others.

August 2nd, 2014 at about 7:50am or so my buddy Adam and I were on a training ride. We had driven over to White Rock Lake planning a 60 mile ride. We had already completed three easy laps around the lake at an average easy pace of 16 mph is all, super easy ride.

We left the lake and headed north on the White Rock Lake Trail headed toward 635. This isn’t my favorite ride as it’s fairly rough in many places but we do it anyway because it adds miles to the ride. Having already completed 27 miles around the lake the miles heading north should be easy as well.

Mile 28 changed everything. It seemed as if one second I was upright and cruising at 16mph and the next second, I was on the ground not knowing what happened. Here is what we believe happened.

The trail is a paved sidewalk and in most spots it is just barely wide enough for two cyclists coming at each other to pass. Adam was ahead of me as usual, he’s a beast! We were on a slight curve to the left and I hit a patch of mud overflow on the sidewalk. My front wheel slipped out from under me and I landed on my face. I don’t remember, but in talking with Adam, there was somebody coming at me and I couldn’t go around the mud. I know better than to drive into stuff like that on my bike so there was a reason I didn’t go around it. Adam seems to think there were two guys walking that may have been the reason I didn’t go around it. I don’t have a clue honestly, I just know I hit the mud and the hit the ground hard.  I didn’t slide, I had very little road rash, I simply slammed to the ground landing on my left cheek and temple area of my head.

There was a lady who witnessed the wreck and she called 911 immediately. I remember her telling us she thought I was knocked out for about 4 minutes, Adam said it was closer to a minute. Pick a number in between and your guess is better than mine.  Adam said there was no sound out of me except the sound of me hitting the ground. He got his bike stopped, unclipped his pedals and got back to me as quickly as possible. As I started to come to, he said I was sort of talking crazy and asking the same crazy questions over and over. As I sat there and became more aware I started making more sense. The lady who witnessed it told us the ambulance was on the way. I vaguely remember other cyclists riding by asking if I was alright and telling us where the emt’s were on the trail coming to us.

I could tell I was bleeding from my face but couldn’t tell where really. I pulled my phone out of my shirt pocket to call Chelle. She was in Denver at a Bronco game but needed to know. I said something like, ” I’ve had a wreck on my bike. There is a lot of blood from my face. The ambulance is on it’s way”. She said “give the phone to Adam”. She also said, “you do whatever the emt’s ask you to do”. I have no idea how long I sat there on the trail. I never once asked about my bike though, I wasn’t thinking clearly at all.

The emt’s arrived and all I remember is them saying, “sir, we want to take you to the hospital and have your head and face checked out”. My response was “my wife said to do whatever you said” I sat on the gurney and pointed to my RoadID. I asked of they knew what it was. They said yes. I told them that everything they needed to know about me was on that website. They strapped me to the backboard,put on a neck brace and away we went. I heard conversations between the emt’s and Adam about where I was going etc. Emily called me while in the ambulance to make sure I was ok, Chelle had called her to let her know.   I took this selfie because i realized I had no idea how I looked.
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I took this one at the hospital
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and one more after the took off my cycling shirt. They wanted to cut it off, I talked them out of that.
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The photos don’t show the swelling that was in my face very well.  I didn’t have road rash very bad at all, just a few spots on my face.

Can’t remember when I took this one, but it was sometime the week after.  These are really the only spots I had any road rash.  I had one small spot on my shoulder and one on my left knee.
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At Baylor hospital Dallas campus I still had no thought of my bike. No thought of how will I get home. Nothing. I wasn’t “home” if ya know what I mean. They took blood, they gave me a tetanus shot(those hurt). Took X-rays and ct scans. Nothing broken anywhere, no brain bleed or significant swelling. I have no clue how long I was there but I heard from Adam who was looking for me. I am so thankful for that guy!! He showed and was able to ask questions that made sense, I couldn’t.  I sent several messages while in the ER asking for friends to check on Emily since she was home alone.  She was fine after hearing my voice when she called.

At some point a lady walks in from the admittance group. She was asking all kinds of questions. I finally said, wait wait wait, am I being admitted, what’s wrong with me? She explained she needed insurance info etc. I had no idea where my wallet was. I told her to find my RoadID and use that. Everything she needed was there. Adam said they had to find it cause the emt’s had taken it, but she left me alone and used my RoadID. If you don’t have one, get one please.

Upon being released I asked the Dr if I could finish my ride. He told me that I felt up to it, that was ok. Adam asked the nurse I If could run again or what. She said I shouldn’t be left alone. Very conflicting info to say the least.  My primary care MD said the biggest mistake made in the whole incident was at the Baylor ER.  They should have been clear on their instructions.  I convinced Adam I was ok since Emily was home with me.

I didn’t do much over the rest of the weekend rest and recuperate was the goal. Emily and I did go to church where Steven made fun of me. The entire week before we lived in the wilderness on a mountain in Colorado.  No injuries there, but I’m home for 18 hours and fall off my bike.

Monday morning I insisted on doing my scheduled training run with Colleen. I insisted the Dr said if I felt ok, it was ok. Well, I felt ok, so we did 6 miles and I felt fine, until we stopped. I got really dizzy a couple times as we walked to cool down. So I showered and drive to work.

At work my boss walked to my desk and asked if I was ok. I told him I would be fine with time, but I had a headache. At this point he says I turned back to my keyboard, pushed it away from me and started typing on my desk. He then asked why I was typing on my desk, I pulled the keyboard back to me and proceeded to type normally. Now then, I seriously think he made this up. I do not remember this in the least!! I put in a full day and headed home, excited because Chelle and Sydney would be home that night. On my drive home, I blacked out 5 or 6 times. I was in the fast lane and the speed bumps brought me back to reality each time. At the time, I thought I was just exhausted and couldn’t stay awake. I stayed in the fast lane the entire drive home, just in case. That evening after a family reunion, I fell asleep in my chair. I’ve not done this for a while! Chelle tried to wake me up to go to bed and couldn’t wake me up. Tuesday morning at 6:30 she wakes me up saying it’s 6:30 am I going to work. My response was, 6:30 in the morning?? I’m late. I start trying to hurry around. My balance sucked. I was all over the place. She questioned me driving. I explained that I just missed a week of work and I needed to be there. But I promised that if I had issues while driving, I would come home. I got about 1/3 of the way to work and had two blackouts, so I turned around. I called her and she took matters into her capable hands, making dr appointments etc. I told work I wasn’t safe and would keep them posted. Long story shortened, I should have never done the 6mile run, that complicated things. The Dr  took me off work for a week, no driving, very little tv or radio. He wanted me resting my brain so it could heal. I slept a lot that week. Like 18 hours a day!

Since returning to work I still have headaches almost daily. Thankfully my boss is understanding and allows time when I need to go rest my head. I’ve been released to do what fitness I can. Dr says when it starts to hurt, stop. I’ve not done much yet due to the headaches. I’m a month out from the wreck and still deal with headaches and dizzy spells almost daily. The headaches are getting better, not as intense, but still daily. The Dr said that I have a major concussion and time is the best medicine. Patience is not my best virtue so this is a hard lesson to be honest!

Random thoughts since the wreck.
I had no thoughts of my bike for several hours after the wreck. I never asked where it was, was it damaged in the wreck, nothing.  I thought that was funny.
I am thankful for helmets!! If I weren’t wearing one, Adam may have been picking up my skull rather than assisting me as he did. I didn’t even look until Monday evening, but my helmet is cracked in two places.  The pictures are hard to make out, but here they are.
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My bike is ok. Need new tape on the bars is all.

I must thank my wife for taking over when I needed it. She missed work to take me to appointments and did most of the talking, she knew this way the Dr would get the full story.  I tend to sugar coat things so I can get going quicker.. Thanks honey for taking care of me.

Lastly, I am so grateful for Adam and his wife Angela. You guys went above and beyond and I can’t thank you enough. After the wreck, Adam called Angela to meet him at flag pole hill to pick up our bikes. Angela was at home in Cedar Hill and drove the 30 minutes to meet him. They put both bikes in the back of her Honda Fit, after taking off my front tire. Then they drove to Winfrey point to Adam’s truck. Then Adam came to the hospital to help me. I am thankful that you were there for me and did what you did. The more we talk about that day, the more I realize that I was not “home” at all. Thanks Buddy for being a buddy!

So here I am 4 weeks from the wreck and still feeling the affects of that moment in time.  I keep telling myself that it was just that, a moment in time.  That moment may have changed the season I’m living RIGHT NOW, but I refuse to let it change my long term goals.  I’m sure there is a lesson I’m supposed to be learning out of this, patience maybe, I have very little most of the time.  I am getting better slowly and that’s all that matters.

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One thought on “The “Bike wreck” – the whole story – a month after

  1. Wow! Jerome, thank you for sharing this story of yours! It’s very scary!! I will say a prayer that you continue to heal and be healed completely. (sooner, IF that’s God’s Will).

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