Accident @ 5:45am


My morning ride took a turn for the worse today when I mis-judged a downhill corner. I was either too fast, too forward on the bike or it's getting too dry and loose in the gravel... probably it was a bit from all of the former and the result was pretty (actually it was very fucking far from pretty... very far) much a hard landing.

As I lay sprawled across the trail and my bike I had one thought, "something is broken, not sure what just yet, but something is not right". I assessed my body and realised my left arm, from elbow to wrist was where the alarm bells were ringing. I tried bringing myself up to a sitting position, but there was no way I could put any weight on my left arm, a glance told me something was not right, but not until I removed my glove could I see what it was... a broken wrist. I just looked wrong, as it now had a series of bends in it.

There was no signal on my mobile phone, so my options were wait for someone on a trail I know has low use, or walk to find a spot to get some coverage. I'm not entirely sure how I got to my feet, got my bike on its wheels and started walking.

After a few minutes I started to waiver, sat down and tried again, yes signal! I called the emergency services number and they quickly established my location and told me they'd get someone dispatched. Then I called home and told my wife what had happened, and she dealt with it well considering I'd just woken her from deep sleep.

In my mind, the next task was get closer to the start of the trail to make life easier for emergency services, also I was uncomfortable sitting on the trail, I was cold and in shock. Back on my feet I found I was able to keep moving slowly by focusing on my breathing and soon enough I met the emergency services team coming in. They quickly assessed me and confirmed, "yep.. that's broken". With their assistance, we got to the trail start and were met by a paramedic. By now the initial shock and adrenalin were wearing off, pain and discomfort was beginning to rise.

Adrenalin is great, it keeps you moving when a crisis arrives, but it can also have side-effects, in my case they could not find access into a vein to give me painkillers, quickly I resembled a hospital training dummy. Finally success and sweet, sweet morphine!

Non-eventful drive to the North Shore Hospital to be assessed, x-rayed and diagnosed... impacted intra-articular fracture of left distal radius with ulnar styloid fracture. In layman's terms my ulnar and radius had tried to force themselves under my wrist.... fuck!

The consultant and orthopaedic team decided that a Biers Block procedure was the best option. That is essentially to isolate the limb with a combination of anaesthetic and pressure, then pull it back into place and secure in a plaster cast, it's uncomfortable but not horrifically painful.


So here I am, arm in cast and to be reviewed next week to see if I'll avoid surgery.

Many thanks to the emergency responders, Laingholm Fire Station, St. John Ambulance (paramedic and ambulance team) and the North Shore Hospital triage team, I'm very grateful for your professional care, your humour and kindness.

Source: These Broken Paths

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