Yesterday morning, on the way to work, I was going sort of downhill on my bike, at a pretty decent clip, when my tires got stuck in the streetcar tracks and I basically got flung over my handle bars and landed, face-first, on the pavement.
This happened right beside the health center near my home, so luckily there was a nearby paramedic who saw what happened and ran over to help. It took him, and a passing motorist who pulled over, to keep me from trying to get up, which I was apparently attempting to do because I was so completely out of it. The paramedic actually cut me out of my backpack and got me lying flat on my back until another ambulance came. Then someone gave me one of those stylin' neck braces and I got strapped to one of those super uncomfortable flat boards so I couldn't move (just in case of a spine or neck injury) and then I got whisked away to St. Mikes Hospital, sirens and all.
Once I got to the hospital, I had to stay strapped to the board for about thirty minutes until someone could come and check me for spinal injuries. Apparently, I had a very mild but definite panic attack AND managed to give a pretty lucid statement to a police officer because I'm really good at multitasking in an emergency. Fuck if I can remember what I actually said though.
They checked me over, got me off the board and out of the neck brace, and got me on a bed, where I continued to wait for someone to take me for a CT scan of my head and face. They thought I may have broken my cheek, chin and jaw in the fall and they also needed to officially rule out a concussion, although they doubted I had one because of how I was answering their questions and how I wasn't losing consciousness or anything. A female nurse also came over and did the routine screening for domestic abuse that they do with all women who are brought in to the ER, regardless of injury.
I finally got taken to the third floor, where they did the CT scan. My face and head, at that point, were on fire as shock started to wear off and pain started to take its place. They couldn't give me anything for it until they ruled out a few things with my blood test, so I had the scan and then waited for someone to take me back to the emergency room, where my roommates were waiting for me. Also, FINALLY waiting for me was the nurse with a kickin' dose of morphine, which I finally got, and which made me very, very high and, according to my roommates, absolutely hilarious.
It was at this point that my roommate took pictures of my face so I could finally see what was going on. My right eye was completely swollen shut and was rapidly starting to turn into an epic black eye. The swelling continued down the right side of my face to my jaw and chin, which had a pretty fantastic bruise starting all on its own. I had quite a bit of bleeding in my eye, which was to be expected considering how hard I hit the pavement. I also had some superficial scrapes on my hands and elbow. Basically, I looked like a human punching bag and my face looked like rapidly purpling Playdoh.
About an hour and half after the CT scan, the doctor came in with the results, which were good. To my astonishment considering how I felt, there were no fractures, no breaks, no disslocated jaw, no concussion, and only some pretty dramatic swelling and deep tissue bruising that will take a few days to go away, and a reputation-building shiner that will take about a week or two to go away. My bite is a little off because of the swelling, but apparently I'll be able to close my mouth properly once the right side of my face looks less like someone took a bat to it.
In conclusion, all of the above is what happens when you DO wear a bike helmet. So, y'know, wear a fucking bike helmet, guys. Trust me, you look spectacularly stupid when you don't. Everyone thinks so and they are all talking about you behind your back.( Picture of the carnage, 24 hours later... )