Another Trip to the ER

Last night I smashed my face into the ground. It was insanely stupid and has little, if nothing, to actually do with training other than that I really feel about to throw in the towel on everything.

(There’s a picture at the bottom, but it’s pretty gross, so don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see it.)

After some swimming and yoga, I was biking the 15′ back from the gym yesterday and had stopped to get some fries from McDonald’s for a snack. And, I wanted to eat my fries while they were still warm — cold fries are basically not even worth eating — so I was cutting through the neighborhood to get home quicker and I cut across the mall parking lot. I never cut across the mall parking lot. It’s not really even worth it; it’s maybe 45″ time savings. Riding along, I was about to take the closest exit out of the lot, but I was pretty sure there was a better exit under the parking structure, so I headed that way. Only the exit wasn’t where I thought it was. So, I was looking up ahead and ‘oh, the exit is over there’ and thinking how I needed to go up on the curb behind the pillar to get out that way. And, then I was slamming my face into the ground.

Evidently, I hit one of those cement bumpers at the end of parking spaces. But, I never saw it. I didn’t see it before I hit it; I didn’t see it as I hit it; it only registered that I must have run straight into it as I was hitting the ground and couldn’t correct the bike.

Usually, I wouldn’t fall on my face. I know how to fall. I’ve done it a lot. If I had rolled at all or gotten a hand out, I would have just been cut up. It wasn’t even that hard a fall. But, because I had no idea what was happening, none of my instincts kicked in. Not a single one. I took the whole fall right to my face and broke off my four front teeth. And, I don’t have any other scratches on me.

I started yell/crying pretty much as soon as I hit the ground. I think I may have said “Fuck” about 600 times in two hours. It hurt, but mostly I was just so pissed. 1. It was insanely stupid. 2. It was all my fault. How could I be so stupid. 3. Fuck. 4. It is totally going to screw up my training — when training’s already been so screwed up. I bet they tell me to run, since I won’t be allowed to swim or probably bike for a couple days. Too bad I can’t run either. 5. It totally is going to screw up my day and my weekend. And, everything was finally going so well. 6. Teeth are really fucking hard to fix once they’re knocked out. I know.

I did one of those 30″ checks, where you try to figure out how bad this is. For a second, I thought I might be able to bike home or bike the mile to urgent care. But, as I was spitting up blood and fragments of teeth, I realized that wasn’t going to happen. Steve was on his way home from Sac, so I didn’t have a car, and it was entirely possible that I would — at any second — have one of my passing out episodes. So, I frantically started dumping stuff out of my bag to find my phone and call 9-1-1 before I could pass out. When I did get a hold of them and said, ‘I crashed my bike and knocked out my teeth and I need an ambulance,’ the dispatcher kept saying, “I’m going to need you to calm down.” And, behind the crying and the swearing and the constant spitting up of blood — so much blood — I was like you know I’m pretty damn calm considering.

I’m about to go to the dentist now and they’re going to figure out what kind of fake teeth I’m getting now. At one point, someone asked if they were going to be able to put them back and I had to point out there really wasn’t anything to put back. The teeth shattered and broke.

The super terrible thing — in terms of commentary on people, not in terms of whether or not this string of events is going to crack my top three worst weeks in the lore of Kelly’s awful times — was that as I was crashing I heard someone on the edge of the parking lot laugh. Very distinctly at me. “HAH, HAH, LOOK.” And, it must have looked pretty stupid. But, then, once I was sitting there with the blood pouring out and crying, whoever it was that saw me crash didn’t come over to check if I was ok. No one stopped to see if I was ok. It’s not that I love people crowding you when you’re having a personal crisis, but what if I had passed out, what if I hadn’t had a phone, what if I choked on the blood. That’s some fucked up shit.

This is what it looked like:

31 thoughts on “Another Trip to the ER

  1. You poor girl. I basically the same thing when I was 12 and 35 years later I can still recall the feeling. Root canals, posts and porcelain teeth are never the same as your real ones. In a few weeks you will look back to normal but sorry to say that the teeth are never really the same again.
    It could have been much worse and you could have actually been very badly injured. You also have great dentists in Northern California. Rebuilding your smile is as much art as science so be sure to find a great dentist that is good at doing that type of work.
    You will recover and one day it will be just a memory. Take care of yourself.

  2. Man. This is awful, and the fact that nobody came over to help or just, like, see if you needed something easily providable (like a phone to call 911) is straight fucked. I hope the tooth-rebuilding process goes as smoothly as something like that can…

  3. Holy crap. What’s wrong with people not helping others? Seriously ticks me off. So lame. I’d be so pissed, I’d probably still be swearing constantly if I were you. Bright side I guess is that your head/brain is ok! I’m so sorry to hear about this. Take some time to chill/recover/regroup then get back out there!

  4. Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear this!! Ugh, that is horrible and no fun at all!! I wish you fast healing and a great dentist visit!! Feel better!!

  5. So sorry. That sucks, and yeah sucks even worse that no one came over to help or at least see if you were ok. I’ll send positive vibes your way.

  6. You know what I love about your blog? Your frank, non sugar coated vulnerability. We ALL have bad days, weeks, sometimes a bad month or year. No one escapes injury of some sort as an athlete and I know I personally relate to SO much of what you write- and true- cold fries suck! But you know what else sucks?! That not one person came over to you. That. Is. Bull. Shit. Karma is a bitch. I have empathized with your injuries and read about your good days and not so good days. You make me feel just a little more normal than I would give my ownself credit for 🙂 I’ll be at Boston and would love to say HI at athlete’s village when we are killing half a day waiting to start- If you run Boston? I know you don’t write for sympathy but for the love of Pete look at what happened to you! I am so glad you are ok otherwise and know that the asshats that stood around gawking will get theirs. Thank you for sharing with all of us. I truly hope they can put you back together better than ever! You are such a bright, talented athlete- don’t let this set you back! Thinking of you Kelly, and wishing you a speedy, PAINFREE recovery!

  7. Oh my god, I can’t even handle how horrible this is. I know the foot thing kind of pales in comparison, but Jesus Christ! I’m impressed you had the presence of mind to call 9-1-1, because I’m not sure I would have. So, so sorry you have to deal with this. Wishing you all the best healing & recovery as fast as possible. Also, people are fucktards.

  8. Oh no! I’m sorry! Hope you are feeling better soon. I would have reacted the same way, you know, crying and yelling fuck a million times.
    Not sure what’s up with some people, but besides the fact that you could have used some help, it’s their loss (because they are shitheads) not yours.

  9. I would have stopped. I definitely would have helped. I may have eaten those fries, but that would be the only transgression. Hang in there Kelly; every seemingly bad or unlucky day seems to generate something magical in due course. Or put something into perspective. Or make you want more fries. But still …

  10. Longtime listener, first time caller…I’m really sorry to hear about your accident, and I wish you the speediest of recoveries. Hope you’re back at it soon!

  11. O mutherfucker. Sorry…I don’t know if you allow swearing in the comments because I’m new here. Just shit…that must have sucked sucked sucked. I’m glad you’re alive…and now I’m going to go finish reading your Wildflower report. Take care!

  12. I have the same problem. Blair Grubb, MD is world specialist on syncope. He first put in a loop recorder that caught my heart rate problem. He then placed a pacemaker specific to syncope and I haven’t fainted since. There are still other syncope problems but no more falling down.

  13. […] It turned out that what “felt” like redlining as-hard-as-I-could-go pace, was really more like moderately hard pace. This occurred to me about two-thirds through the bike when I started getting passed. Then I tried to go harder, but I’m still sort of a mess about twisty steep descents on my bike, so that didn’t go great. It’s not that I’m consciously trying to be conservative on descents; it’s just that subconsciously my brain is screaming, “NO MORE FAKE TEETH!” […]

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