August 11, 2008

The Gory Details

I need to warn you that this post contains photos that some may find unpleasant. Once the initial freak out over the accident subsided and I knew I'd have several hours of time to kill in the ER, I decided to capture some photos to chronicle the accident. I waited until after a great deal of blood had been cleaned up and the bloody bedding had been taken away so they are far more pleasant than they could have been! I think you might bleed more when you have an accident in the middle of something athletic because the scene looked far worse than what the injuries ended up being.

First up, a full shot of my face. You can see the road rash just coming out on my cheek (it is much darker today), the cuts on my nose and by far my worst road rash on my chin.

They didn't get around to looking at my chin for hours since there were so many other priorities. The entire time I was being examined and having x-rays, I kept feeling liquid running down my neck. I would reach up and realize it was blood. It ended up soaking my ponytail, leaving my hair a pinkish tint. You can also see that my upper lip was swollen from hitting the ground. I believe it saved my teeth.

Here is a closer look at my chin after some of the blood was cleared away. There was actually a hole in it. Yuck. No wonder the physicians assistant looked at me like I was insane when I asked if we could skip the stitches and just use some tape instead.

Next up, my hand. I had that nagging knuckle cut from the Niantic Bay Tri that had just finally closed up so I decided to wear gloves on this ride. I haven't worn gloves since June and I am so glad I did. My gloves were completely torn up so I can only imagine what my hands would have looked like without them. Of course as luck would have it, my bum knuckle took almost all of the impact and lost a few more layers in a bigger diameter. The picture doesn't quite do it justice and like my other abrasions, it has gotten nastier as time goes by.

Along with my face, my left elbow took the greatest impact. The x-ray didn't show any fractures so I seem to have gotten lucky. I had to get a few stitches to close up a hole and have had to keep a heavy layer of bandages on it since it presses in my arm sling.

My right leg didn't have a mark on it, while my left leg took a beating. I have a big area of superficial road rash along my shin and a couple really deep, really gooey abrasions around the knee. Here is a full shot after they were cleaned up.

And now a slightly closer look. This knee has been the most challenging to keep bandaged since it's right where I bend. It also makes it bleed and ooze (gross, I know) more so I've had to re-bandage frequently. Unfortunately, a lot of cycling injuries are on joints so this is a common problem.

This was my second CT. I had a head CT earlier in the day and was back a few hours later for the abdominal CT. The CT technician was incredibly nice and really put me at ease. I had to wait about 15 minutes for a PA to come and give me the contrast injection so he let my husband come in to keep me company.

After 8 long hours I was finally released and waiting for a taxi to take me back to Manhattan. It was a beautiful night and it felt great to be outside. I was wearing a new sweatshirt my husband ran out to buy for me since there was no way I was getting that tri top back on.

I was told I would likely be more sore today and possibly even more tomorrow. They were right. I felt like I'd been beaten with a baseball bat when I got out of bed this morning. The pain was much worse and I had stiffened overnight. I had to take the pain medication every 4 hours to be comfortable, which meant I also needed a long nap in the afternoon. I iced a few times as well, focusing on my shin and shoulder. But nothing seems to be helping my shoulder pain. I have an appointment with an orthopedist tomorrow morning to hopefully figure out what is wrong and get going on the recovery.

My jaw hasn't improved so I'm on an all liquid and squishy food diet. I had a little bowl of cream of wheat for breakfast, chicken broth for lunch and a strawberry, banana and vanilla yogurt smoothie in the afternoon. I took a walk to get some air and pick up a prescription for more pain medication and realized just how weak I felt. I've been eating 2,500+ calories a day during my heavy training and had only had about 700 at that point. I was able to have my first real food for dinner - fish and stuffing since neither really needs to be chewed much. It was so great to really eat. I might have this every night until my jaw gets back to normal. I finished the night with two chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven. After everything I've been through, I figured a little treat couldn't hurt.


  1. Yikes!

    I don't a gory way, thanks for posting those pics. Hate to see you like that, but maybe it's good as a reminder to the rest of us to be careful. And I assume probably a good release for you of all the frustration and pain that you're feeling.

    Kristin - Wish you all the best. Good healing, good vibes, good everything. I hope, hope, hope this doesn't change anything regarding IMMOO '09 for you.

  2. oh kristin!!! i feel so bad. i wish you a safe and healthy recovery.


  3. holy crap! I just seen this now using the linkwithin suggestions. Wow! You are one tough chick! Badass!! :)



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