Posted in Concussion, Concussion Recovery, Injury, Life lessons, Rehabilitation

Sept 7, 2021

The day things changed

September 7th 2021 started out like just like any other warm September day. The sun was out, the temperature was not too warm and there was a gentle breeze to really keep things comfortable.

As I was finishing up my workday, I looked out the window and asked myself:

“What do you want to do today, ride or run?”

Since I had not been running much recently, I decided that today was a good day for a run. Looking back with 20-20 hindsight, it was NOT A GOOD Day for a run.

I went upstairs got changed into my running gear, came downstairs, pulled on my running shoes and headed out the door. The first 2-1/2 miles of the run were uneventful. I passed some people on my local trail and was thoroughly enjoying the run. In a matter of moments, things would go completely off the rails.

The last thing I remember from the run was passing a lady who was out walking her dog and thinking “That is a cute little dog!” which is completely out of character for me.

The next thing I know, I am flat on my back in the middle of the road, with blood dripping out of my head and have EMT’s and the police asking me what seemed like a million questions. Since I had no idea what happened, they shared with me that as I was crossing through an intersection a car came around the corner in the wrong lane and hit me. Fortunately for me, there was a witness who gave a description of how the crash occurred to the police while they were on scene. To this day I still don’t know if my head wound was from hitting the windshield of the car or from hitting the ground, but in the long run it really doesn’t matter.

Yes, getting the staples put in hurt.

As I got some awareness of what was going on, I tried my best to figure out how badly I was hurt. I quickly determined that I could move all of my extremities, so I wasn’t paralyzed. That was a relief. I also concluded that since I could think and speak, my brain was reasonably intact as well. That turned out to be not quite so correct, but there will be more on that later. I could see the cuts, scrapes and a big bruise forming on my leg, but since there were no bones sticking out, I guessed it wasn’t too badly hurt. However, I found out later, the injury was a bit more significant than I originally believed.

Can you say – Morel-LavallĂ©e lesion – a closed degloving soft tissue injury, as a result of abrupt separation of skin and subcutaneous tissue from the underlying fascia. 

The Riverdale Park, MD EMTs did a great job in caring for me. They responded to the call in a matter of minutes, and then had me prepped for transport and delivered to the Washington Hospital Center Trauma Unit in less than 25 minutes. One of the EMTs was even kind enough to turn off my Garmin when I asked her. Great customer service.

The first thing that happened at the hospital was the ceremonial “Cutting Off of the Clothes”. Before they started, I asked: “Do you really have to cut my clothes? Can’t you just slide them off?” I knew they couldn’t do that, but I figured it didn’t hurt to ask. Anyway, replacing my running gear wasn’t a big concern at the time.

Then they proceeded to do a concussion screening and the normal battery of tests, x-rays and CT scans. All of these came back clean with no broken bones or bleeding in my brain which was a great relief. While I was waiting for the all this to start one of the Doctor’s asked: “Is there anyone you want me to call?”

I said to him: “No, but if you can hand me my phone, I would like to call my wife, if that is OK. I would prefer to call her myself, it would be better?” With that he was relieved and handed me the phone saying: “Thanks. I really don’t like making those kind of calls.”

The phone call to my wife went something like this:

Hi honey are you home?

No, I’m not. Are you?

No, I am in the hospital. I was hit by a car while I was out on my run, but everything seems to be OK. I am about to go for X-rays and a CT scan.

What? Hit by a car? Are you OK?

Yes, I seem to be fine. I have a big laceration on the back of my head and a bunch of cuts and scrapes on my leg, but other than that I think I am OK.

What happened?

I have no idea. I am missing about 5 minutes of my life. From what they told me as I was crossing the street, a car hit me.

Wow! That doesn’t seem good. Is there anything I can do?

Not really. Because of COVID only patients are allowed in the hospital. So I can call you when I am done. I love you and will talk to you later.

About four hours later I called my wife to come pick me up with five shiny new staples in my head and diagnosis of a “mild” concussion. I was shocked that they didn’t even give me a wheelchair ride to the door, they had me walk myself out to the waiting room. Not good customer service.

The Strava title for the day sums it up nicely.

Stay tuned for more. . .