Sunday, July 3, 2011

Four Stitches

by Meghann on July 3, 2011

This morning started out like any other Sunday morning.

I got up, took Maddie for her walk, got dressed, and toasted a bagel thin with some chocolate toffee peanut butter and blackberry preserves.


The bagel thin was fuel for my two hour bike ride I had planned with Courtney. We’d both become a little bored with our normal trail and wanted to meet someplace new for a change of scenery.


Enter: The Pinellas Trail


The Pinellas Trail is a little bit of a drive, but at this point a little drive doesn’t bother me as much. I’d rather drive a little farther for a newer trail, then burn myself out on my usual one. Plus, the trail was great. I loved the change of scenery, I loved how you could take the trail from one town to the next, I loved the shade (!!), and I loved how you never feared being alone because people were always cruising by.


On the flip side – the trail did have a few drawbacks. It was crowded, had way too many stop and go intersections (watching for cars every other block really throws your groove off), and there was a stretch along the road I wasn’t terribly comfortable riding along.


Courtney and I had a great ride. I had a blast riding and talking with her and the time literally flew by. The bonus was being able to hold 15mph+ the majority of the ride <– HUGE for me!


We went an hour out and turned back to complete the hour trip back. Things were going really smoothly – the morning sun was shining bright, our plans for breakfast set, and everything was happy-go-lucky, not a care in the world.

Then – just 5 miles from our cars – I went from upright to horizontal in the blink of an eye.


I’m still not 100% sure what happened. All I know is my watch beeped, I looked down for a second, and all of a sudden I’m colliding with a fellow cyclist. I came down first – falling to the right still semi-clipped into the pedals – and he came toppling after me.

The first thing I felt was pain in my left knee. I was in shock and trying to catch my breath, but all I could think about was my left knee. Was it broken? Did I twist it? Can I get up?

Fellow cyclists came out of no where. They all stopped to make sure I was ok. All they wanted to do was help, but I needed a minute to calm down and catch my breath. I let a few tears fall and slowly I began to untangle myself from my bicycle.

The cyclists who stopped were amazing and immediately jumped into action. Several of them dug into their packs and produced baby wipes, first aid kits, gauze, etc. It made me realize just riding with my phone and camera isn’t going to cut it for long rides – I need to invest in a mobile first aide kit asap.


It hurt, but I knew I was ok. My first thought was that I would catch my breath then hop back on the bike, but my knee had a different story. Putting pressure on it was painful and the gash on my left knee was deep – stitches were needed.


After my initial shock wore off, Courtney hopped back on her bike and headed back to the trailhead to pick up her car. A women with a kind heart and big smile stayed behind to help me clean my wounds and keep me company. While we waited, several others stopped to make sure we were ok and offered their own first aide kits. The amount of people who stopped really tore at my heart and made me thankful to be a apart of such a wonderful biking community.

Cyclists rock. Seriously.

Once Courtney returned with the car I hobbled to the passenger’s seat and we headed to the nearest urgent care center to have my knee looked at.


I can not say enough good things about the MedExpress Urgent Care Center. It was a great experience and I really have the welcoming and efficient staff to thank for that.

The front desk noticed my bloody knees and immediately brought me back to be examined. It took maybe 10 minutes to see the PA? and only 5 more to be x-rayed.

Luckily, the x-ray looked fine, but the deep gash needed stitches.


I’ve had a medal rod in my leg, been in a half body cast, and spent a month in a hospital with my leg in traction, but I’ve never had stitches. I guess there’s a first time for everything?

Four stitches later and I was good a new.


I need to keep them out of water for 24 hours – and she recommended holding off from swimming for 2-3 days – but besides that she said to go by how I feel. If it hurts – don’t run. If I feel fine – then go for it. They’re only in for 10 days and after that I’ll be good as new!


I’m choosing to have a positive attitude with the stitches. It’s only a blip on the radar when it comes to half ironman training and I know I’ll be up and running in no time. The PA was fairly confident I’ll be walking normal in less than two days and even told me to enjoy my vacation at the beach next week.

Once I was all stitched up, Courtney and I realized just how much our tummies were grumbling. We got in the car and immediately headed downtown for a belated breakfast/ brunch.


We found the nearest restaurant that was open with no weight and practically collapsed at the table in starvation mode.


The greek omelet with fruit and wheat toast I ordered really hit the spot.


Courtney suggested checking out the homemade ice cream shop next door and I didn’t stop her.


Carrot Cake Ice Cream?


Yes Please!


I think four stitches deserves an ice cream cone. 😉

The bike collision was 100% an accident, but it’s also a reminder that, as cyclists, we need to always be aware of our surroundings. Things can go from normal to scary in the blink of an eye – be prepared for anything and everything on the road. I forgot that today, but I promise not to forget that again.

Also...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE remember to wear your helmet!

I didn’t hit my head (luckily my whole upper body was un-marked), but I’m still thankful to have been wearing mine. The guy who I collided with wasn’t and that scares the crap out of me. We both got lucky – it could have been so much worse! Like I said, you just never know what could go wrong. Just ask my sister.

I’m off to follow the Doctor’s orders and take it easy for the rest of the day. I hope you’re doing the same.

Be safe!

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