Well, it's been two weeks since my bike accident. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the texts, messages, phone calls, cards and emails that I have received during this time. I am truly thankful for everything and am so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.
The first five days after the accident were rough: no working out allowed. Granted, my cheek probably wouldn't have allowed it anyway as just standing up caused a big blood rush, but still, I am a creature of habit and don't like being told that I can't workout. Here's a rough breakdown of the week...
Wednesday: My mom drove me to school and watched me teach as, even though the doctor said I was good to go to work, she was hesitant (and I was glad). If only I could have taken pictures of my students' faces: they were shocked and felt horrible. One of my students in particular who doesn't wear a helmet while riding his bike to school really felt horrible and he has been wearing his helmet since!
Next, I went to see my personal doctor as I kind of wanted another opinion, particularly since the nurses at the hospital had to be asked by both me and my mom to clean the dried blood off of my face, more than 2 hours after the accident. Plus, I needed to see where I would have to go to get the MRI that was recommended the night before.
I guess I didn't mention that part...Basically, when doing my CT Scan, they found a cyst. It was ruled inconclusive as it just happened to appear in the CT Scan and they hadn't planned on finding it. They suggested that I get an MRI to get a better look at it.
While at the doctor, I could barely open my jaw enough to have her put the strip of paper in to take my temperature. My doctor called in a prescription for some pills that would basically attempt to eliminate the chance of infection in my face/chin/shoulder/elbow cuts.
I spent the rest of the day on the couch. My dad inspected my bike: he spun the wheel and tried multiple times to use my back brake (the right hand one) and showed me that it was completely useless. This made me feel thankful that my left one did work, even if I did hit it too hard. I haven't had the need to be taken care of my parents in this way since I was a little girl, so it was a good day for all of us:)
Thursday/Friday: it was still pretty hard to eat anything and, quite frankly, I didn't have much of an appetite. For anyone who knows me, THAT is hard to believe. I am constantly hungry and absolutely LOVE food, so these were a weird few days for me.
Saturday: was my uncle's wedding. All of my aunts/uncles/cousins were SO nice and kept saying how much better I was getting so quickly. It really made me happy, even if I still couldn't fully smile!
Sunday: Ryan raced in the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon. I won't say my thoughts on that as they are not very nice (not towards Ryan), so instead I'll comment on what I thought was progress: while just running around to cheer for Ryan, my cheek didn't feel as if the blood was constantly sloshing around!
Monday 6/24: after school, I went to my doctor and had the stitches in my chin removed. The best part of the day: I was cleared to workout!!!!! I immediately came home and biked for 1.5 hours. It was a HARD workout, but I felt awesome the whole time...probably since all I had done for the past 6 days was sit on my butt.
Tuesday 6/25: I was SO excited to be able to swim again (I know, it was weird for me to even type that). However, every time I pushed off of the wall I could feel my scab on my cheek moving around. This didn't seem good to me, so I went to the bathroom to check it out. Thank goodness no one else was in there: the part that used to be a scab was literally hanging by a thread on my cheek. I tugged gently and it came right off. My face now simply looked as if I was wearing too much blush! I was still too much of a chicken to continue my swim with my scab having just come off that I opted to come home and do a run workout instead. This was difficult as I felt extremely out of shape, but I was also so appreciative to be able to workout again.
Wednesday 6/26: the bike workout didn't go quite as well as Monday, but again I kept everything in perspective. I would attempt a swim again the next day.
Thursday 6/27: My shoulder was still a bit sore while swimming, so again I pulled the plug early. At least my run went well!
Friday 6/28: I woke up sore all over. I think the whole bike workout Monday, run workout Tuesday, bike workout Wednesday, run workout Thursday thing kind of shocked my body after taking 5 days off. I immediately scheduled my massage with Dave Davis for after my lovely 20miler on Saturday.
Saturday 6/29: Seeing my calves, IT bands and quads all hurt just walking around, I was a little nervous going into my 20mile run. The plan was to do a 3mile warmup, 4miles at 7min pace, 5miles at 6:45 pace, 4miles at 7min pace, and the last 4 just easy. The purpose of this was a few things: (a) get used to the 7minute pace as that is just over what I want to average in Kona, (b) get used to wearing a fuel belt, and (c) get used to fueling my body properly at a faster pace. All three goals were met! Unfortunately, meeting these goals meant even more soreness and my session with Dave was rather painful. BUT, WOW did it feel good to be back running!
Sunday 6/30: the bike ride that caused another scare. I had a planned 4 hour ride outside. I was going to ride from our house to Barrington High School as I did not trust myself to be fully out on the roads on my own yet. I could do about 10mile loops in Barrington and the traffic would be minimal and the runners/bikers plentiful (in case another issue arose). Ryan and I made it about 2 miles out before he got a flat tire. He didn't bring a spare or tools as our house is only 15miles away from BHS, so neither of us imagined he'd get a flat. He was unable to change the tire after the co2 cartridges did not work, so rode my bike home to get his car to come pick us up. Good thing he rode my bike: again, my brakes would not fully engage. This left me to a lovely 2.5 hour session on the trainer in the basement. Thank goodness for OnDemand.
Monday 7/1: the fainting episode. Well, you'd think after 13 days of no symptoms that nothing could go wrong. Wrong. After rocking my bike workout (seriously, I was pumped about this), I ran a couple of miles to get the junk out of my legs, did some core and got ready to ice bath.
Ryan and I filled a brand new garbage can with water and ice and prepared ourselves to get in. After about 5 minutes, I began telling Ryan the following...
"I feel lightheaded, a little dizzy....I'm seeing stars...I know what's happening, I'm about to faint...It's hard to hold myself up..."
And sure enough, I fainted. Now, the way Ryan and I were configured in this garbage can was not ideal for this. Ryan had his back facing me, so I was fortunately able to just pass out on his back, but he was unable to lift me up or anything since his arms were facing the opposite way. Luckily, as soon as the water started getting chest height, it caused me to snap out of it. The weird thing was, I could hear Ryan speak the whole time, but just felt like I couldn't do anything.
I am extremely lucky again to have had someone who cares about me around when something crazy happened. This whole fainting thing has happened to me one other time in my life and I can recall it like it was yesterday.
It was the summer either before or after 2nd grade. I was playing sand volleyball at Lippold Park in Crystal Lake. It was a REALLY hot day so people were taking breaks like crazy. I could feel myself starting to "feel funny," saw stars and headed to the shade tree where my water bottle was. Sure enough, I was fainting and was out for a little while before someone poured water on my face.
Based on my prior experience, I know that my fainting episode was caused by all of the blood in my head rushing down to my legs (hello, it was ice, it was cold!) and, having not properly rehydrated, I passed out. I'm usually so good about hydrating that I was surprised this happened, but again I am very lucky to have had Ryan right there with me.
Moral of the story: HYDRATE PROPERLY!!!! Even though it has been less than ideal "summer" weather here in Illinois, proper hydration is still so important before/during/after training. I drink plenty during the day, but my bike/run/core apparently caused me to sweat a bit more than normal. Please take hydrating seriously!
Thank you to everyone again for supporting me after my accident. Tomorrow is the day that my fitness post-accident will be tested. Good luck to everyone running in a 4th of July race!!