My brothers and I have recently been discussing head injuries. Here’s a modified story that I shared with them. I thought others might find this story entertaining. I’m fortunate in that I have not experienced significant head trauma, well, at least not that I can remember.
I can only remember hitting my head hard once and that was last summer (2017). I had my first “real” bike crash. A bee flew down my jersey. I screamed and my husband who was in front of me, locked up his new disk brakes. I clipped the back of the bike trailer and slid out, staying with the bike as they say to do. As my helmet and head was sliding across the asphalt with my eyes inches from the ground, I actually was thinking, “wow, my helmet is doing its job, I’m not passing out!”
I had lots of road rash, and you could say my bike did too, but my carbon fiber frame was ok. My helmet was cracked all the way through. I laid on the asphalt for some time mentally assessing my situation with my legs entangled with my bike and my feet still clipped in. My husband removed my bike and I continued to lay on the bike trail for a moment and then slowly moved up to assess the damage.
We were 15 miles from home. We road slowly to a drug store to buy Neosporin, Motrin and bandages. Then we road home, slowly. Which was probably the best thing I could do for my muscles.
My daughter brought me her race helmet the next day.
I was wearing a fairly high-end Specialized bike helmet. Now I wear an even higher end race helmet. I credit my helmet with absorbing the shock and preventing blackout or more.
It is also remarkable that I did not fracture anything, because up to about 2 years ago, any fall or trip and I would fracture. I credit my celiac diagnosis to my improved bone health which for a woman at my age is truly remarkable. As I’ve said, I have had more bone fractures then I can remember. Close to one a year.
After the crash, I had some serious contusions, a really swollen knee and a very painful sore area on my ribcage opposite the crash side. I was told that when a racer impacts at that force a shock wave travels across the chest and can cause pain on the opposite side. Since it did start to feel better after many days, I did not seek medical attention for a rib fracture which I had by then ruled out.
I healed and got on my bike once again.