That recliner is where I spent 95% of my waking hours for three months following my bike accident in 2007. The chest brace was the bigger annoyance of the two braces because it never felt snug. The neck brace ALWAYS felt snug and secure. Oh, the joy of a broken neck!
I realized today that I had it pretty good, actually. I visited my friend John who recently tripped forward into a wall and broke his cervical vertebrae #s 1 and 2 in five places. He also broke #7, tore his scalp apart, and broke some other “less critical” bones. He not only had a neck brace like the one I wore, but was in a halo. He was pretty darned miserable. He wasn’t smiling the way I am in this photo.
Having my surgery seems like a better solution during healing, but the drawback of surgery is that my neck is fused and I will never be able to bend it much. When my friend’s neck heals, at least it should bend close to normal again. But right now, he cannot do much of anything. He even sleeps in his recliner chair. It is hard to see him suffer his daily life, and he has more than two months to go. I feel lucky – again.
As my book, Head Over Wheels, describes, I was able to lie down in a bed, discard the chest brace (with much effort), roll onto my side, and get comfortable. I was able to sleep pretty well, thank you Papa. My neck was rigidly held together with 11 pieces of titanium hardware.
Who would have guessed it would be a broken fork?
As I was telling my friend today, I always could imagine myself getting in a crash and breaking bones on a bike, because it’s actually a pretty risky sport. Think of all those crazy drivers. Think about all the road hazards. Think about those slick roads in sharp turns (read Chapter 16). Think about how close we ride in groups going 20 mph.
I never would have predicted, however, that my really bad bike accident would result from a spontaneous break of my high-tech carbon fiber fork. This just doesn’t happen. If it did, there would be no cyclists riding bikes.
So how did my cervical #2 get pulverized on either side of the spinal cord without injuring it? Read my book! hahahaha