Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jinx? Or Guardian Angel?

Remember a few weeks ago when I stumbled onto an accident? Well it happened again. Some graphic description follows, but as far as I know the guy was fine.

We did a ride along the river trail this weekend. On the return trip, I stopped by Wilderness Park to use the restroom and refill my water bottles. As I was leaving, I saw guy try to make the turn off the bike trail into the park, but he hit the dirt, crashed into the chain-link fence and fell off his bike. My first thought was of course "what a spaz", but as I got closer to him I asked the standard "are you OK?" He waved me off, probably more embarrassed than injured. But his shirt was covered in blood. Like, gunshot wound to the chest, soaked. I told the guy "No, you are not OK" and got off my bike.

He stood up and was holding his neck as if he twisted it or something, and I asked him where he cut himself. He showed me his neck. Oh... My... God... There was a gash probably three inches long. It was not a cut, it was a deep, flesh-splitting gash. His neck was split apart and I could see underneath his skin. It looked like he was wearing a Halloween mask. Apparently one of the wires from the fence was sticking out and his neck caught it as he fell off his bike. Ye-ouch. Now here's an odd fact about me: I spend so much time stressing out about little things - God forbid they only have Diet Mountain Dew at the 7-Eleven - that when a real crisis comes up I have no stress left over and can actually keep my cool. I told the guy "I don't want to worry you, but your cut is very deep and you need to go sit down in the shade."

I had him move under a tree, and wanted to give him some sort of cloth to hold against the wound. Side note: I have a very large brain, and need a very large forehead to hold it all in (i.e., I am going bald). When going for bike rides, I often get striped sunburn on the top of my head through the vents in my helmet. I've started wearing a bandana under my helmet and it does a good job of protecting my scalp. So here's my dilemma: I still had 20 miles to go on the bike ride and it was in the upper 90s; I'd have to finish the ride unprotected. Sunburn scalp - guy bleeding to death on the ground - sunburn scalp - guy bleeding to death on the ground... (maybe not quite bleeding to death yet.)

I decided to give my bandana to the guy. My water bottles were freshly filled so I did my best to wash it out first. I gave him one of my bottles to drink, but frankly I think if he tried to take a sip the water would have just leaked out of his neck anyway.

By this time his friend showed up. I told him to call 911 and said that I would find a park employee. Wilderness Park is rather small, but I wasn't sure how much running around I would have to do. Here's dilemma #2: it's hard to run in bike shoes, but I was wearing good tri socks. Grass stains - man bleeding to death on the ground - grass stains - man bleeding to death on the ground. Fine, I took off my shoes. I ran and found a park worker who called the paramedics. There must have been a firehouse nearby because two trucks showed up within 5 minutes.

I don't think the guy ever knew how bad his neck was. He was pretty calm throughout the whole thing, which is for the best. I left when the paramedics got there, forgetting to refill my water bottles. Curses!

So I don't know if I'm good to have around, or bad to have around, but accidents seem to find me. Befriend me at your own risk.


Blogger SWTrigal said...

He was so lucky to have you there! great job in saving lives buddy..

7:14 AM  
Blogger Wedgie said...

Had I not been there, I'm sure he would have made it to the Park office to get help. But I absolutely encourage telling the story of my heroics. After 6 months, the story should tell of how I carried him 5 miles across the desert to safety.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Brent Buckner said...

I vote Guardian Angel.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely done. You did good wedgie.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Dhppy said...

I vote for both. You're the angel of Almost Death.

3:53 PM  

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