A lesson in proper tire inflation
My wife, Anne Marie, and I went for a quick bike ride last night to test out her new bicycle seat. I brought both our bikes upstairs, put them out in the driveway, we got on our bikes, and rolled out. When I tried to turn at the end of our driveway, my front wheel just slipped out from under me.
What I had failed to realize was that, somehow on my way home, I had made a small hole in my innertube
(I've never had a pinch flat before, but this was two very small holes in the sidewall, one above the other (not next to the other), about a half inch apart? I inflated my tires to the recommended 100psi that morning).
Sometime after I got home, all the air had leaked out of my front tire. When I tried to make the corner at the end of my driveway, I was riding on my rim. Aluminum, of course, does not do nearly as good a job of sticking to pavement as rubber does, making it very difficult to lean into your corners.
As I fell, I reached out with my left hand to try and catch myself. The four fingers on my left hand were bent backwards, past the 90 degree point.
I said "Aaaaah!"
Anne Marie turned around, saw me lying on the ground, and came back. I got up and said "Oh! My hand, my hand! Aaah!"
Anne Marie asked, "Are you OK?"
I said, "Yeah, I'm fine. My hand hurts, but I'll be OK. You go on ahead without me."
Anne Marie stayed while I checked over my bike, made sure I didn't scratch the paint, discovered the flat front tire, etc., then she went off biking, and I walked my bike back up to the house.
At this point, I started to feel a little light headed. I figured it was just a little adrenaline from falling off my bike. I unlocked the door, and had a bit of trouble getting my bike inside. I sat down on the sofa for a minute. Then, my vision started getting a little swimmy. You know when you close your eyes real tight and then open them, and it takes a couple seconds before you can see again? Like that. I thought "I didn't hit my head. I wonder if it's possible to get a concussion without hitting your head. If I have a concussion, I should stay awake." My hand was numb and tingly. I started getting warm and tingly in a band around my head.
I remember falling over to my right, very slowly. Then I remember music. I think I was dreaming. I woke up, I had no idea where I was or what was going on. I tried to open my eyes, but realized they were already open, I just couldn't see. I sat there for a few minutes (although I didn't know I was sitting, I thought perhaps I might be lying down in bed, I couldn't figure out my orientation), and then my vision got to the point where I could make out vague shapes. I realized I was in the front room, and why I was there.
I got up, and made my way upstairs to the computer. I booted my machine, sparked up Firefox, and went to http://www.oog...
My gimped left hand was having some trouble staying in synch with my right hand. I found google in the drop down of recent sites visited, and managed to hammer in "concussion". I found the first site in the list, and then... I couldn't read, because I couldn't see again. I passed out in my chair.
I came to again, and found a phone. I called my dad;
"Hey dad, how's it going?"
"Not too good."
"Oh? What's wrong?"
"The car has a blown head gasket."
"Hey, what does a concussion feel like?"
"Uhh... Well, I don't know. Headaches. Why?"
"Well, I fell off my bike, and now I keep passing out."
"Were you wearing a helmet?"
"Yes, and I didn't hit my head."
"Well, it's not a concussion then."
"Ok. That's good. I bent all my fingers backwards. They don't really hurt, so long as I don't move them."
"Go to a hospital."
"No, I think I'm OK. I can move my fingers, so they're not broken. I don't think I need to go to a hospital."
"Go to a hospital, right now. Get an x-ray."
"Well, alright, but no one is here right now."
"I'll come get you. Oh... no, I can't. You mom has the car."
"That's OK, Anne Marie will be back soon."
"Alright. Go lie down. Pain is your body's way of telling you you've done something stupid. In this case, you've done something so stupid that your body has decided to shut you down. Go lie down, and don't get up until Anne Marie gets home."
"Ok, dad. Bye."
I lay in bed for a bit, and wondered who I could call who could take me to the hospital. But then, Anne Marie didn't have her keys with her; she'd be locked out.
Anne Marie came home, and yelled, "Can you come help me bring my bike in?" I yelled back, "No." She went outside. I waited for a bit, then stumbled down the stairs. I went out and said "You have to take me to the hospital." She said "Oh! What's wrong?" I said "I brought my bike in, and then I... I..." and then I burst into tears.
I cried like a little girl. No idea why. I wasn't in any pain (at least, none that I could feel). My hand was fine so long as I didn't move. My knee was starting to sting a bit, where I'd skinned it, but no more so than a normal skinned knee. Anne Marie told me "It's OK, it's OK." I said "I know it's ok. I'm all good. I don't know why I'm crying. Let's go to the hospital."
I won't bore you with all the details of the emergency room. They made me sit in a wheel chair. For some reason when you say you keep blacking out, they don't want you standing around. I was back to being chipper and happy by the time we got there. One nurse even commented "You seem in remarkably high spirits for someone who's just crushed their hand." I said "The shock will wear off soon."
Nothing broken; just over-extended all my tendons. My knuckles were all very swollen by the time we left emergency last night. They're still swollen, but I can straighten my fingers, which I couldn't do last night because the pain was too intense, and I can ALMOST make a fist.
I patched my tube this morning, so I'm ready to bike again.
So basically this was because you were in shock? Your probably should have had your wife stay with you. Granted you may not have known how you would react to this. How have you reacted to similar things in the past where you were injured. Did you go into shock? Or had you never had an injury as bad as this so you did know it would happen? At least you know for next time.
Bizarre. Did you fall onto some LSD? I guess shock can be pretty intense. I have had some bad injuries before where I went into mild shock. I mostly just got really calm and everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. Don't recall any of the symptoms you described though. Guess everyone is different. Anyhow, glad you are mostly OK.
Dude, your Dad is sooo right on the money. I like him. Do you mind if I use this for a signature?
Originally Posted by Quartz
"........Pain is your body's way of telling you you've done something stupid. In some cases, you've done something so stupid that your body decides to shut you down........"
I fell a couple of years ago and dislocated two fingers. One popped in on its own and the Emergency nurse popped in the other. She taped them together and said do not use them for two weeks. Fine, I can still type but I never regained full flexibility in those fingers. Guy, Dude, whatever, if your medical insurance does not cover therapy, try to spring for it on your own. The physical therapist will have to do things to that hand that are way to painfull for you to do yourself. Eval Kneival was asked after one of his crashes, "What are you going to do next?" "Heal." luck
Thanks for all the well wishes. I've been injured pretty badly before, never had ANYTHING like this happen. This is the first time I've ever been "in shock". This is, I think, the first time I've ever passed out.
CommuterRun: Feel free to use that in your sig.
BTW, as I was leaving the ER doctor's advice was "Don't stop cycling."
Last edited by Quartz; 08-05-06 at 07:01 PM.
Originally Posted by gwhalin
It don't take allot to put you in to mild shock either. I bashed my elbow once went pale as a sheet and puked a few good times at work. It wasn't so much that it hurt like hell (it did) but more because it was a very sharp sudden pain. I got light headed, sick and sudden chills. Manager took my temp with one of those flexible thermometers things. My body temp right after was 100 about 3 or 4 minutes later it had dipped down to 96 (my normal temperature is 97.6).
I went in to mild shock from the smallest of cuts. It was say 1/8 wide but really deep the bit of metal that got me hit bone likely pinching a nerve. Over extending (spraining) your figures like that can induce mild shock.
To op could have been worse you could have puked all over your bike
Glad your alright that kind of stuff can scare the hell right out of you.
Those symptoms began sounding really familiar... Many years ago I smashed my thumb in a car door while putting my kids in the backseat of grandma's car. Hurt like the dickens. We were planning on lunch out. I told grandma to take the kids, I'd stay home to fix up the thumb. Once they left, I wished they hadn't. I had the same lightheaded - going to pass out - sick to my stomach feeling that the rest of you have described. Felt really stupid at having smashed my thumb in the door and did not have insurance so didn't seek medical assistance. It all passed eventually. But this really makes you think about even seemingly small injuries leading to more serious complications.
Originally Posted by Quartz
A few lessons here:
1) Always check your bike, make sure your tires have air, your brakes work, and that the QR's are tight.
2) NEVER use an appendage to stop a fall, instead you should land on as large an area as possible, to spread out the impact. The only exception, is when the landing is going to be on something that will do more damage.
3) If you do hurt yourself, do not hesitate to seek medical attention, easier to say here in Canada where much of the health care costs are borne by government health care.
Your passing out, was probably from pain, your brain can get overloaded by pain reception, and do a "hard reset" after the second instance forget calling dad, cal 9-1-1.
My last, and most major (ever) bike crash resulted in a CT-Scan an EMG and an MRI, all on my shoulder, two weeks off work, and two weeks of light duties, I was off the bike for over 2 months. See my blog for the gristly details.
The symptoms of shock can happen as a result of minor or major injuries. Part of the shock is from the injury & the pain. But part of it is also form the mental aspect of it. By that I mean if you injure yourself on accident your brain may have a hard time dealing with it & thus shock & the associated symptoms are a result.
Another part of the mental aspect is if someone else causes the injury to you on accident or otherwise.
Here is what happened to me. When I was in high school I live with my girlfriend, who is now my wife & her parents. One night I got a call from an ex-gf. After the call my gf asked who it was & I told her. Before I could explain what the call was about she storms off to the bathroom really pissed, I follow. As she is slamming the door shut my hand was going through it to catch the door. Needless to say the tips of 2 fingers were slammed shut in the door, one at the knuckle & the other at the finger nail, the door was locked & my gf was leaning agains the other side. Right away I was in extreme pain. I was yelling & screaming for her to open the door. She did not know my hand was there & told me to go away, the pain was getting worse. Her parents did not know my hand was caught either. I start beating & kicking the door causing damage to it to break it in to free my hand. I had no time to think & tell anyone what happened, all I wanted was the pain in my hand to stop. Her dad comes over to find out what the hell I'm doing to his door & sees my hand caught in it. He yells at his daughter, my gf to open the door. She refuses. I continue to break in the door, her dad continues to yell at her that my hand is caught. She finally opens it not believing my hand was caught in it until I showed her. That is when the pain really hit & hit hard. Her mom took me to the emergency room because my fingers swelled up to 4 times the size. It was there the shock hit me & I passed out. Thankfully I was sitting on the gurney in the room so the nurse helped me to lay down. I woke up about 2 hours later. My hand felt better, nothing was broken but I had a hole in the finger nail where the dr. relieved the blood by burning a hole in it.
When we got back home I explained to my gf what happened. She was pretty sorry & the bathroom door had to be replaced because of the damage I caused. A couple of more kicks & I would have been through to free my hand.
I have no doubt part of the shock reaction was because of the mental aspect my gf accidentally hurting me & I was dumb enough to try to keep her from shutting the door when she was pissed. My reaction though was delayed. It did not happen until I was at the hospital.
Just a note for future reference...I found out after a car wreck in 1998, that you do not have to hit your head to get a concussion. My car was broadsided and my head never contacted any part of the vehicle. At the time, I didn't have scratch on me. The urgent care doctor missed his diagnosis though. One clue that I had suffered a head injury was a constant ringing in my right ear. The next day I was throwing up and disoriented at work. I ended up in the emergency room four days after the accident. A neurololgist explained that a hard, sudden jolt will cause the brain to impact the inside of the skull causing the injury, no external impact is required.
You might want to keep this in mind when cycling, helmet or no helmet.
I bet you was thinking at some level "gf go away"" you Damn it i would if i could!!!"
Originally Posted by N_C
Getting your finger smashed is one of the most painful things there is i suppose do to all the nerves in your finger tips. Nerves in the finger tips means nerves leading to them.
Hmm, I rode through the back door of the apartment once, and hit my knee on the door frame as I was going through. I was sweating when I was waiting for the elevator and feeling a little sick. Got onto the elevator and stood my bike on end as other people got in. A little way up I find myself on the floor in the corner with the bike on top of me with all the people looking down at me.
Got upstairs and got in the shower and nearly passed out again. Luckily I was fine after that although my wife found it kind of funny. (once she knew I was fine)