Broken Bike Helmet


In Head & Neck Pain, Health & Safety, Health & Wellness, Injury Prevention, Sports Injuries, Therapist's Thoughts by Advance TherapyLeave a Comment

by Ginny Rieger
Two weeks ago, Saturday, I got a message that almost stopped my heart. I was out geocaching with a friend on the old Ten Sleep highway, and we had terrible service. I checked my phone and saw that I had a message from my hubs. I assumed it was a “hope your day is going well” message, but checked while I had one bar. I listened to the message, and immediately braked and turned around. My message was from a friend who was coincidentally up at Antelope Butte, calling from Chad’s phone. She was taking him to the ER, as he had had a bike accident and could not remember much of anything about the day, including where he was. Could I meet them at the ER?

That Saturday, Chad (the hubs) had gone up to Antelope Butte ski resort to help clear a few runs of trees and do general run maintenance. It was a glorious day for it, and fun was had by all the volunteers. One of his buddies had brought up some bikes, and it was proposed that they ride down the service road a bit. Chad’s friends started first and he followed. The friend’s wife followed the bikers in the truck, and as she made her way down the road, she noted something crumpled up in the road. It was Chad.

He was out cold initially, but then sort of came to, staggering about like he had been drinking. She managed to load him in the truck and headed to ski patrol to have him checked out. He knew who he was, and could tell them his wife’s name, but could not remember anything else about the day. He had no idea where he was, why he was there, or any idea where I was. His head and left shoulder was hurt badly, and he was just bewildered. Ski patrol said they felt he had a bad concussion and needed to go to the ER for further evaluation.

I called Chad’s phone as soon as I finished the message. He sounded just like a little boy who had lost his mother in the store. He knew my voice, but couldn’t answer my questions and I had to work hard to not start panicking. I spoke with my friend, and she said they were headed to the ER. I asked her to take care of him, and called my dad to meet them, as I was two hours away. We filled up in Ten Sleep, and I booked it over the mountain.

Those two hours were quite possibly the longest of my recent memory. Different scenarios ran through my head during the drive, and by the time we arrived at the hospital, I was practically planning a funeral. I was so relieved to find him sitting up, talking coherently, and remembering things again.

Concussions are tricky, frustrating things. Long after the road rash and superficial signs of the accident have faded, the fatigue, headache, and dizziness remain. Previously easy tasks can become almost insurmountable hurdles. Feelings of helplessness and irritation increase. If you break your arm, you have a cast to remind you. If you break your brain, not so much.

Here is the thing: THAT HELMET SAVED HIS LIFE. If he had not been wearing it, I would be a widow right now. Please make your kids and adult loved ones wear one. Chad has lost about three hours of his life, but the last thing he CAN remember about his infamous ride is strapping on his helmet.

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