I broke my first bone yesterday, and it was pretty badass!
I was biking to work as usual, eager to jump in and check all my code into SVN, when I noticed something new on Market Street: LaRouche PAC tabling with their obnoxious “Obama = Hitler and should be impeached because he wants people to be healthy” posters. Quite angered, I continued along my route, up until I reached the usual crosswalk at Market and Sutter.
Quite distracted, I did not wait until the light turned red to turn left and cross the street – rather, I started turning left at the yellow light. Meanwhile, a dude decided to floor it across the intersection before the light turned red. Bad combination!
I heard a screech, felt the impact, instantly thought “oh shit, this is a real-life accident I’m a part of,” saw the world turn upside down, saw my bike fly across the intersection, hit the ground landing on my right arm, saw a flash of red, bounced up, and landed on my chest. Within seconds I was on my feet, yelling for someone to stop that car, which was at the next light by that point.
A bunch of people rushed over to me and someone helped me sit down, then lie down, on the curb. Answered “yes” when asked if someone should call 911, unaware of the state of my arm just yet. My bike eventually showed up next to me on the curb, but I noticed my phone was gone when I checked my pockets.
Ambulance and police arrived in very short order. The man who hit me had come back and was apologizing profusely to me, and answering to the police about what happened. It wasn’t really debatable what happened – he was zooming through a yellow light and I jumped the gun having assumed that no other cars were coming. Eventually paramedics were asking me the usual questions – where it hurts, whether I have any allergies, etc. etc. It was becoming more and more apparent that my right arm had been more than just twisted. I asked, sheepishly, if anyone had seen an iPhone lying around.
Soon I was on a stretcher being whisked by ambulance to SF General Hospital, with pillows to cushion my right arm. The receptionist at Linden Lab was notified of the situation. My bike went along for the ride, slightly beat up but definitely in fixable condition. (I was wearing a helmet, by the way.) I was brought into a trauma room, had my shirt cut off and my pants removed, and was hooked up to morphine. I was quite conscious this entire time – the shock had worn off pretty quickly after I got hit, and all I really felt was intense pain in my shoulder. A doctor ran x-rays, but I couldn’t easily move my arm into the requested positions since the pain was basically blocking me from doing so.
A social worker asked if there was anyone they could call, and at that moment, a policeman walked through the door with my phone. He snarkily remarked that it would have been smushed on the side of the road had Muni actually been a reliable service. Unfortunately, the screen was white, and despite a tech-savvy nurse’s attempt to replace the SIM card and get the numbers off, it was a lost cause. I did know my mom and dad’s numbers, so they were notified, and eventually my dad notified Anna. I was shown the results of the x-rays and I did indeed have a fracture in my humerus, near my shoulder.
Eventually I was brought into the trauma center hallway, where I stayed for about an hour in pain. I asked for water, but they couldn’t provide it because it was possible I was going to undergo surgery and needed to have an empty stomach. I eventually requested more morphine, which they supplied a good 15 minutes later. Anna eventually came and I swear it never felt so good to see the face of a loved one. She stood there stroking my knees as I walked her through what happened.
It turned out that the first x-rays weren’t telling enough, so I was wheeled away for a second round, and wheeled back to the hallway, where I waited around for yet another hour. Then it turned out that the SECOND round of x-rays didn’t show anything useful, so I was wheeled away for a third one. And back to the hallway. An hour later, I was given a sling and declared free to go, with a Vicodin prescription.
It was about 4:30 by then – a good eight hours since the accident – and I was very thirsty and hungry. So much, in fact, that when I attempted to get up and walk around, I became very dizzy due to low blood sugar and took a seat until I was provided with some apple juice, milk, and an orange. The best apple juice, milk, and orange I ever fucking had.
Anna helped me clothe, and we were out the door. So very fortunate that Anna lives a block away from the emergency room doors. I took a small nap as Anna (who hadn’t eaten all day either) ordered some food from the delicious Big Lantern.
That’s pretty much the story. Got my Vicodin, headed back to my place with a pint of Humphry Slocombe‘s Secret Breakfast (and a complimentary cookie), watched the new Lost, and hit the hay. Today I’m taking it easy, answering company email, scheduling a follow-up orthopedic appointment with Kaiser, and getting my iPhone’s screen replaced (good as new!). I’ll probably be out and about regularly by next week.
I keep reminding myself that I got hit by a car yesterday. It’s surreal. I was that dude that everyone saw flying into the intersection after a loud screech and a crunch. It’s the first time I got hit by a car and the first time I broke a bone. On both counts, pretty tame compared to what could have happened in that situation. Glad to be up, conscious, and already on the road to recovery.