Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Bike Accident and the Events That Followed After

So I've told a lot of people this story but I wanted to make sure I had all the details down in on place to refer back to when I keep telling this story time after time.

On, June 12, 2010, I was riding down 4th ST into NE Minneapolis on a light rainy Saturday to a baby shower when upon crossing Central and 4th I pass an alley and before I realize to stop a car comes out of this alley quickly and T-bones my bike sending me off of it. At this point I should note I wasn't wearing a helmet and blacked out upon impact of the ground I'm assuming. I wake up to the woman driving the car in tears, on her knees, at my side, and apologizing for hitting me. I get the sense people are rushing over to see the accident and seeing if they can help, someone calls 911 and I try to get up but can't because my right arm is in pain, very soon the ambulance arrives and I am a little more with it but still not completely out of the daze I was in.

A cop arrives first, I remember and asks me for my name and if he wants to call anyone, and I thought to call Adam, whose wife's baby shower I was on my way to, but thought not yet, I can wait til I'm in the ambulance for that. They ask me where I live and what hospital I want to be taken to, I tell them fairview because it is closest to my house, but they thought HCMC would be a better choice. The EMT, whose name escapes me, I asked for it but have forgotten it, she was really nice though, she helps me up into the ambulance and I am told to lay down on the stretcher, she hooks an IV into me and knows that my arm is in pain and tells me not to move it. I pull out my phone and ask her if she could call my friend Adam and tell him whats going on. She does and that alarmed some people at the party, I felt bad because I was bringing my Sega Genesis over so the guys had something to do while the women did what women usually do at baby showers. After she gets done talking to Adam on the phone she says he said tell me, to give him a call when I am done in the hospital and he would pick me up.

I then realize the cost of an ambulance ride is a lot and I let out a slight groan and the EMT asks whats wrong, and I say I just realized all this is going to cost me a lot because I don't have health insurance, and she assures me the lady who hit me, her car insurance should cover most of it. That calms me down a lot, and it was now or slightly before, the EMT asks me my info and what day it is, to make sure I don't have amnesia. And soon enough we arrive at Hennepin County Medical Center, or HCMC for short. I had never rode in an ambulance or been moved on a stretcher before, so all this was kind of cool because it was a new to me.

They set me in a room and moved me from stetcher to hospital bed, my room wasn't a real hospital room, it was one with a curtain so I could hear my “neighbors” and they had going on. So I had a doctor come in and assess the situation and see what was going on, then he sent in a male nurse and later another nurse came in and I think this where they gave me a liquid pain killer for what was no known that it was my elbow that was in pain. Then a girl named Sarah came in and took a survey that was taken to help with the hospital judging the relationship between pain paitients experience and quality of care given. She was nice to see and chat with because she was my age and I could relate to her and she came in every half hour to do this survey. I later found out she was a student at Mcallister College and the survery thing was her summer job and she was majoring in public health, but career wise was thinking of becoming a mid-wife.

So 30 minutes pass and nobody comes to check up on me and I know I am supposed to get an x-ray on my arm but must be a busy day. With all this time to myself I pull out my phone and try to find a way to watch the world cup match between the USA and England. I tried a few broadcasts on the Ustream android app but none of them worked right. So I searched for an Espn Radio stream that was broadcasting the game. Sarah comes in again and asks a few more questions and asks about the score of the World Cup game and it was 1-1 at halftime. She leaves then a kid doing the same job as Sarah, heard the broadcast from my phone and had to ask for the score. I thought it was great 10 minutes of listening to the match and two hospital workers had already asked me for the score.

So more time passes but a nurse checks in with me and I am taken to get an x-ray, I get it done and it was so weird being told by the radiologist to hold still and my very tender elbow is being put in positions that are kind of painful to be in, and I'm trying to hold it still but its in pain no matter what the position so it has the slight shakes and I guess I did ok because later I didn't hear anything about taking bad x-rays.

So after x-rays I go back and wait what seems too long for the x-rays to turn up and the doctors get a look at them and say everything is good, but they wanted to get the final say from the radiologist. And until we heard back from the radiologist I couldn't get a glass of water because x-rays are better done on empty stomachs, mind you I hadn't had anything to eat, maybe some water before I left my house initially which was 2 hours ago at this point. I was really thirsty but I guess I had to wait. So after another visit from Sarah, who was asking my satisfaction of the care and pain level. Also it was about this time a male nurse who wasn't working on me and was in his late 40s-early 50s, but did hear about what happened, stopped by to tell about his bad experience as a biker in the cities and how he got hit once and the driver drove away. It was sad to hear and made me feel better, that the driver was really caring in my situation.

Little later on, they heard from the radiologist and said everything was ok, which I wasn't surprised because almost every single x-ray I have ever had, has been negative, I guess all that milk and orange juice my mom made me drink paid off by having strong bones. So at this point, one of the doctors, who tells me I should go to a clinic in a week for a check up on my elbow, and she could see me because she works at that clinic, and that they are going to prescribe me vicodin, and everyone who comes in after that, warns me about it, I've heard it from friends. But that doctor got some antiseptic spray and cleaned up my wounds with a sponge.

Then Kathy came in, I remember her name because she made the whole experience really fun, she was an older woman, possibly in her 50s, maybe 60s. She brought this computer to register me, and it she finds out the hospital messed up in how they registered me as Michael Wells, and not Adam Wells, Michael is middle name, now you all know. So she had to go through get all my info, gave me some info on getting qualified for financial aid for medical bills for people who are unemployed, and other forms. But she was just honest about her job and how she felt, and she felt some people don't like her there and that some of the docs are out to get her, but at this time Adam called and she said it was okay to take the call but she still asked for my info to enter into the computer and it was hard balancing both conversations, and she overheard me and Adam talking about going to the police station to pick up my bike because he had access to car with a bike rack, and the way Kathy heard it, she thought I was going to ride my bike home that day. After the phone call I explained no, no, no, and I told what was actually going to happen. I can't convey the enjoyment she gave me seeing someone honest about how they felt about their job, actually at their job, it was hilarious to me.

I was given a sling and my prescription and sent on my way, and Adam arrived just as I was about to sit down in the lobby to wait for him. Then we went and got my bike from the police station. And hung out with Adam and his wife, Kara, and friends for the rest of the day and night.

So I get home and have to figure out really fast how to do things with my left hand. The most difficult I found was sleeping. I usually sleep on my right side, and it was definitely not happening with this injured elbow, and I had a very sleepless night trying on my back and on my left side, my body just had to get used to it and I hope it will in the next few days. But I did find while trying to sleep, Icy Hot is so far the best relief for the pain on my elbow, feels oh so good on it.

So besides going to church and going through a morning routine and getting used to limited access to my right arm, the weirdest thing was taking two Vicodin tablets and just gettting really drowsy and falling asleep during the Australia vs Germany World Cup match. I woke up, my elbow didnt hurt...until I tried to move it.

So thats the tale of my bike accident and some of the events that followed it. Leave a comment if you have any further questions about it.

Until next...stay safe, because I certainly will try to.

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