Vertigo — Part 1

Our new guest poster, Don Blount, is getting over a nasty crash. Not only did he crack a helmet — and a wrist — but he had to deal with an unexpected side effect.

BlountOnBikingI nearly always thought of vertigo as an Alfred Hitchcock movie starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. At least that is until I came down with it. But when I awoke early Saturday Sept. 26 and the room was spinning, I had no idea that was what I was dealing with.

But let me back up a bit. Four days earlier, on the first day of fall, I had taken a tumble from my bike halfway through a 46-mile ride.

BikeI had ridden to a nature preserve and stopped to take in the scenery and eat. My legs felt good. I stopped at the Visitors’ Center to look for a trash can to discard a banana peel. There were no receptacles but there were plastic bags to put your trash in and take it out with you. I put the peel in one and stuffed in a jersey pocket. I got back on my bike and started on my return trip home. As I looked up I saw a car approaching and thought it would be a good idea to get as far to my right as possible. The walking path was clear and I began to drift over.

What I didn’t see was that there was a gap between the nice asphalt road and the cement walking path. My front wheel caught in it, and I went down.

Best I remember, I fell on my head and left side, fracturing my left wrist and getting some road rash on my left shoulder, hip and knee.

As I have said previously, I wouldn’t ride without a helmet. My injuries would’ve been more severe had I not been wearing one.

HelmetA couple of cracks are obvious in this shot.

The helmet did exactly what it was supposed to do. It absorbed the blow, cracking in about a half dozen places so my head would not. I still received a sizable bump on my head that would take a few weeks to fully heal.

My bike was fine aside from some torn bar tape and a scrape on a brake lever. I was able to gather myself and ride the 23 miles home, wrist and all.

I was less successful hiding the injuries from my wife.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Uh, nothing,” I replied. She followed me as I limped through the house.

“What’s wrong?” she demanded this time.

“Well,” I said, “If you must do something, help me take my jersey off because I can’t lift my arm.”

I managed to get in the shower and muffle my moans as I cleaned my road rash.

Sling2The next day my wrist was swollen and unusable and I went to see a doctor who put it in a soft support and my arm in a sling. I would miss work this day.

CastTwo days later, Friday, I saw an orthopedist who put my wrist in a cast. I picked purple as a color because my daughters like that color.

I went to sleep that night thinking the worst was behind me and that I’d have to figure out how to make do with a cast for a few weeks.

I didn’t know how wrong I was.

What else could afflict Don? Join us again tomorrow as Bike Noob  brings another installment of “Blount on Biking.”


  1. says

    Sounds like post concussion syndrome. I remember getting concussions growing up and the doctors would send me home and just make sure I didn’t go to sleep for 24 hours. Now days it seems to be a bigger deal with pro football/hockey players retiring after 3 or 4 concussions.

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