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  1. #1
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    Crash - Blacked out and Can't Remember

    Three weeks ago I fell off of my bike somewhere in Rock Creek park in Washington DC.

    Crazy thing is that I ripped up my right hand (JUST took off my gloves) the right side of my stomach and knee, and hit my head (thank you helmet). I just have no idea how I did it, my last memory was riding by the zoo and when I finally came to I was about 2 miles away on 16th street on the bike, bleeding. I called my boyfriend and asked him to pick me up and he told me I had already called him and to stay put... I just have no recollection.

    Gonna get back onto the bike tomorrow, but terrified about this happening. Could it just have been taking a bad bump on the road the wrong way?

    The legs won't be what they used to be for a little bit bit I do have to recommend the tegaderm and these silicone pads from CVS, I healed up pretty well in about 8 days, NO scabs!!

    T

  2. #2
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    Did you go to the hospital/doctor? It sounds like you are feeling much better now, which is a relief, but whenever you lose consciousness due to a head injury, it is considered severe, and you really should see a doctor immediately after, even if you "feel fine".

    It may be hard to tell how this happened, since you don't have memory of the event. I would do a very detailed checkup of your bike, to make sure nothing is damaged, and to look for clues (bits of fabric in the chain, new scratches or dings in odd locations, bent fork/stays, etc.).

    -Sam

  3. #3
    commuting Canuck habernac's Avatar
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    it's quite common to have memory loss if you hit your head. A good friend of mine has no memory of about 10 minutes time from when a car hit him. I would make sure you aren't suffering from a concussion. See your doctor.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by habernac View Post
    it's quite common to have memory loss if you hit your head. A good friend of mine has no memory of about 10 minutes time from when a car hit him. I would make sure you aren't suffering from a concussion. See your doctor.
    I'm no doctor, but if she has that kind of memory loss (blacking out, calling the boyfriend twice in 10 minutes) then I'd say a concussion was definitely involved. A doctor would have been a good idea.

    As to the cause...no way to tell. I remember being very skittish about my first time on the bike after a wreck that didn't involve any memory loss. Don't know if that makes it better or worse. In any event, just take it slow and get your confidence back. After my crash, I made sure to take the same exact route the next time just so I didn't up with some sort of phobia or anything. Might work for you.

    Good luck getting back on the old horse!

  5. #5
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    +4 on seeing a doctor. If you have any residual headaches or vision problems,then you still need to see one now.

    Million reasons you could have crashed. What's the damage to the bike? Were the tires muddy? Anything missing? You could've been clipped by another rider,hit a bump,took a curve wide,tried to evade a cyclist/jogger/dog walker,had a blow out,etc. Back in HS,I wiped out on my motorcycle and broke my wrist. Was a little skiddish the first couple rides afterwards,but after awhile I was fine. Just take it easy and get back on the horse.

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  6. #6
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    It's pretty freaky when you can't remember something, especially an injury. And I know how you feel about the hesitation and apprehension getting on your bike after an accident. After my accident, I picked up my bike from the cops and rode home on a bent front rim w/ broken spokes, loose headset and other issues. I rode real slow. You get your confidence back though. For me it came back as soon as I replaced the front wheel and went to work the next day.

    BTW, get a new helmet and don't pass too close to poo flinging monkeys.
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  7. #7
    stole your bike roadiejorge's Avatar
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    About 10 years ago I went through something similar, but I remember why I bailed. It was a gorgeous spring day and I was too busy enjoying the scenery to notice the big bump on the road, I was going at about 20mph so I lost control of the bike and went head first into a tree. The last thing I remember seeing was the tree, and oddly enough I was calm during the whole thing. When I woke up I was laid out on the floor, two roadies where there and had called an ambulance. I thanked them profusely as they hauled me away and loaded my mountain bike in the police trunk. I am now VERY mindful of the road....
    I like pie

  8. #8
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttyndal View Post
    I had already called him and to stay put... I just have no recollection.
    Same thing happened to me when i ran my motorcycle into the side of a car that had just pulled out in front of me. Last thing i remember was grabbing a handful of brake and starting to go down. Next thing I know I'm standing in the median, helmet in my hand and a woman is standing next to me. I felt like I was waking from a dream. I asked her what happened and she said i got in an accident (she heard it happen and saw the lady who hit me take off) and we were waiting for the cops to show up. I found out later this was the 4th time i asked her that same question. Then i pull out my cell and call my wife to tell her what happened and she was already on her way, in a panic. I had already called her. Eventually the cops, ambulance and my wife showed up and i got an expensive ride to the hospital to get checked out. Everything was fine.
    Glad you are ok, too!
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  9. #9
    Seņor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
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    Agreed with everyone else that you should get yourself to a doctor even though it's been a few weeks. You just never know until you get yourself checked out.

    I guess one of my big concerns would be trying to find out how you got from Rock Creek by the Zoo onto 16th Street. I mean, that's not exactly a trivial distance to go, especially considering how busy the streets are.

    I wish you luck getting back on the bike! I'll wave if I pass someone with a nervous look and a scuffed up side.
    Hey! Get your mouse off my text!

  10. #10
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    Please see a doctor immediately -- ten minutes of retroactive amnesia is a lot. There are lots of subtle, reversible brain damage things that can take up to a year to clear up. As someone who has had a bad concussion, I take this situation very seriously. It's a lot more important than finding out why you fell.

    Paul

  11. #11
    Senior Member redspoke's Avatar
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    3 words: Neurologist

  12. #12
    Senior Member Quel's Avatar
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    Ouch. I ride along Rock Creek as well, though usually don't get on until Calvert. I've been pretty far up the other way (where you think you crashed), and the path is in pretty decent shape, so not sure what could have caused your crash. I wouldn't worry too much about it being a hazard of that path (unless you ride on the road normally?).

  13. #13
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    This really sounds like one of the episodes that a friend of mine has when he has a seizure. He does not drive because of it, but has had similar experiences because he does ride a bike. Are you sure you're not epileptic? You could have had a seizure and had an accident in the process, maybe? My buddy has injured himself pretty badly before and doesn't remember a thing. I have witnessed three such incidents, myself.

  14. #14
    Seņor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redspoke View Post
    3 words: Neurologist
    Are we supposed to guess what the other two are?
    Hey! Get your mouse off my text!

  15. #15
    beatz down lo|seatz up hi paulwwalters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustBrowsing View Post
    Are we supposed to guess what the other two are?
    He forgot them is all.
    Quote Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
    the 'friction generator' is the dynamo. not the wife. duh.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for all of the feedback, I've set up an appointment to the doctor just to be on the safe side, but hopefully the body's good to go. In hindsight I totally should have gone to the dr that day but hey I was being a bad ass and focused on preventing any scars.. priorities

    Quel - the only area I can think of is right past the Zoo where the road gets a bit bumpy, if I see the path is clear I love to haul ass in that area and beat out the folks stuck in their cars during rush hour, joke was on me that day I guess!

    JustBrowsing - awesome comment, totally on the same page in regards to wanting to figure out how I made that distance during rush hour without any recall. I didn't see any comments on the news craigslist or the forums regarding a spaced out biker so hopefully nothing ridiculous occurred.

    Bought a new bike helmet, picked up the bike yesterday after a tune up - no damage in the accident, tomorrow it's back on the saddle on the same trail!

  17. #17
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    Not an epileptic, but something to bring up with the Dr.

  18. #18
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    This far out you're probably fine, but you should see a doctor who may order a CT. I'm just a volunteer ski patroller, but we see a lot of concussions and one of my kids had a bleed that took 36 hours before any signs or symptoms showed up he ended up in the picu for a week. With a loss of consciousness and memory lapse, you should probably not be doing anything where you might hit your head again for a little while, like riding a bike. It's possible you shouldn't even be exercising/getting your blood pressure up.

    The other thing that you need to know is why did you crash? Maybe you just skidded and hit your head. Maybe there's an underlying issue that caused you to pass out or become faint.

    Do yourself a favor and at minimum go see your primary care physician.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    yep, go to the doc, get a scan, make sure your head/brain is OK.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  20. #20
    Recreation Ecologist
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustBrowsing View Post
    Are we supposed to guess what the other two are?
    Wolfgang

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  21. #21
    peddling fool phillyrider's Avatar
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    I hit a low hanging tree limb once - not severe, but it could be a possibility. If it was the top of your head that hurt that could be it...I tend to look down when I ride, not always up.

  22. #22
    Senior Member owenh's Avatar
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    Make sure the Doc gives you the all clear before getting on the bike
    As allready stated 10 min memory loss is huge
    Concusiion IS A BRAIN INJURY just beacause lots of people get them doesnt mean its nothing
    If in the next 2 months you get anothere concusion go see a nuerosurgeon
    once you get one you are more succeptable to more
    Good luck

  23. #23
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    One thing you might also want to consider is that maybe you had a seizure. If the memory loss was before the crash that is a possibility. Even for someone with no history of epilepsy it can happen. During the seizure, you can do things with no memory of the event.

    Hope you are feeling better, and YES go see a doc.

  24. #24
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    My recent crash was near a zoo...

    Peculiar.

    I went to the doctor right afterwards. Not so much because of choice, but because I was too far away from anywhere else except a hospital to get cleaned up. I am glad that I went to see him though, just to make sure everything was fine. I hit my head (helmet) at 20mph so my head was definitely something I was concerned about.

    I had to ride down to the hospital, and afterwards, I rode back up the 1000' climb for my return trip. It wasn't until yesterday I read my doctor's orders. "No strenuous activity". Erm...

    ---

    On a related note, we all need to stop crashing. I feel like it's becoming trendy.
    "I was racing after him at 55 km/h, and he took a minute off me."
    ---Boonen on Cancellara with 15 km to go at Flanders 2010

  25. #25
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Man, good for you for getting back in the saddle. I did a 10 mph faceplant when I was 19 (front wheel came off bunny-hopping a pothole. Being a 19-year-old boy is bad for you.) and it took me years to get back on. I couldn't convince myself to do it for real. I think I rode maybe ten miles until I was 23.

    Make sure the doctor says your brain is OK, then get out and mash!
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