In the eight days since my bike crash, I think every injury has taken a turn hurting the most. One day it was my face; the next, my left knuckles, which have huge gouges out of them; the next, my right calf; etc.
But through it all, one area has hurt the most consistently: my jaw. When I hit the ground with my face, something happened to my jaw, and since then opening and closing it has hurt excruciatingly. Chewing anything proved nigh impossible for the first few days after the crash; even opening my mouth at all involved excruciating jaw pain.
Over the days, I’ve managed to nibble slightly more foods, but it’s taken a long time to get back to eating regular food. I’ve mostly subsisted on PB&J sandwiches (very soft, minimal chewing) and the like. We even gave away last week’s CSA veggies, because I couldn’t help to eat them — and in fact we still have a lot of the previous week’s veggies, validating that decision entirely!
Today my jaw pain had subsided enough that I could eat a normal sandwich with only minor discomfort. Hooray! I really noticed the lack of proper nutrition while trying to bike. No fuel, no energy, poor performance. Time to get back to enjoying pasta!
The other big improvement was getting my stitches out on Monday, thanks to our friend the ICU nurse who lives next door. Now I’m just using steri-strips to keep the area closed until it’s fully healed up. Steri-strips are basically long, thin stickers for skin, much better and easier to use than butterfly bandages.
I resumed riding on Monday, with a ride almost entirely on the bike path. I felt okay, but a little less energetic than usual. Tuesday, the same. Both days I rode my commuter bike, which — besides having the benefit of not being in the shop for repairs — is also my most comfortable, stable, familiar bike. And both days I felt reasonably safe, except for a few instances where something happened to cause a jolt of terror to zip through my heart. I normally don’t feel actual fear when riding, but I’m sure this will pass with time.
Wednesday I rode my fully functional fast bike, which suffered only relatively minor rear derailleur and hanger damage. I felt very sub-par, I think because of the nutrition issue, but managed to not crash, so I’ll consider it a win. Again I had some scary moments, and again just rode through them.
Time heals all wounds. And I’m thankful mine are all relatively minor.