MOVarazzi

Monday, September 3, 2012

840. Bikes, Helmets, and the ER

This was the Summer of the Bike.  My older son, Tall, told me the day that school let out that he wanted to get really good on his bike over the next three months.  So, like any reasonable parent, I promised he could bike on our 15-foot long, completely flat driveway whenever he wanted.  For some reason (?), this was not really what he had in mind. 

“I want to go on the actual bike path, Mom!” 
Since he is 8 ½ years old, I felt like he might be ready to do this, but under heavy supervision.  I reluctantly agreed that he could go on the bike path with me. 

The times we went were great.  He was cautious, focused.  I knew his speed was not up to Lance Armstrong levels, but he seemed pleased.   Here is a picture of Tall:  
 
A few weeks ago, Tall was biking with The Husband. 

Tall had a bad accident.  

(He is FINE now, Aunt Oakley, if you are reading this; everything turned out okay). 

The Husband and Tall were on the bike path together, and Tall was pedaling hard to get up a slight slope (when he tells the story, it is a mountain). 

Anyway, according to The Husband, the bike picked up way too much speed on the downhill portion and Tall lost control of the bike and his feet came off the pedals. 

Next thing you know, Tall went flying over the handlebars and crashed into the asphalt of the bike path. 

Did I mention he fell on his face? 

He fell on his face. 

Here is a picture of him after the trip to the ER. 

 
Two very kind women who were walking on the bike path at the time and lived nearby ended up driving The Husband and Tall to the Emergency Room.  They even put the bikes in the back of their SUV.   
Once at the ER, there was a lot of bleeding, a lot of crying (mostly mine after they phoned to tell me what happened and I zipped over there to help), but thankfully no stitches nor broken teeth.  He had a large cut inside his mouth (from his own teeth), plus a very black and blue swollen lip.  His eyes were fine because he had the quick reflexes to close them and cover them with his hands (to avoid seeing the crash, he tells me later). 

“You are lucky, young man,” said the ER doctor, “Your helmet saved your life.” 
Saved your life???  Wasn’t he being a bit melodramatic?  I mean, I 100% endorse helmets, and everyone in my family wears them 100% of the time (in my case, to hide my messy hair), but could it be true that the (now completely dented) helmet truly saved his life? 

“Yes, ma’am,” replied the doctor.  “He definitely would have had, at minimum, a concussion.  But it could have been much worse …” His voice trailed off to that ugly and unspoken place that mothers fear to go:  brain injuries, comas, death. 
I looked at Tall’s bloody, scabby face.  Although his modeling days to pay for college were now over before they had begun, I didn’t mind. 

“You will heal right up, Tall!” I cheered enthusiastically, when internally I was not believing it at all.  He was alive, and that was all I cared about.    
In the days that followed, Tall was very embarrassed if we had to leave the house.  He did not want anyone (even the teller at the drive-thru bank window) to get a glimpse of his face.  He constantly covered his face with his hands. 
Two weeks later, here is another picture of Tall.  Healed, beautiful, lucky.  Hands down.   



Of course, he is not allowed to leave the house anymore, unless wrapped in bubble wrap and duct taped in pillows at all times. 
(Not sure how that will go over with the school administration on the first day of school tomorrow.)  

WEAR YOUR HELMET!!!!  IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!!!

MOV

20 comments:

  1. eek. i'm guilty of not always requiring a helmet when we're on our own streets where there's no traffic.
    i'm glad your boy's okay.

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    1. thanks. I hope my blog post inspires you to make your kids where helmets 100% of the time. It is not about that there is no traffic, it is about: the street is very hard.

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    2. Great blog, with a sensible message. Two different lads near us came off their bikes NOT in traffic recently - both still in intensive care after hitting hard things with head, one paraplegic, the other still in a coma.
      Lu
      PS
      Popped over after a recommendation from Loutul/Wordpress

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  2. I am so glad your handsome kid is OK. I can tell he is model quality thanks to the portrait you provided.

    Seriously...glad he wasn't badly hurt. I am thinking the bubble wrap is a wonderful idea. I wish I would of thought of that when I was raising my son.

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    Replies
    1. thank you! It is a huge relief that he is doing better.

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  3. Urk.. That's a and dream come true. I'm so glad he's okay. Yay helmet!

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    1. I agree! A special toast to helmets and the inventor of helmets!

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  4. Love your article - so well told. It's great that he's okay too ! I had to add this to my blog here http://loutul.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/the-craftfest-i-love-your-blog-blog-thing/

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    1. thank you! and thank you for the nice shout out for my blog. I really appreciate it. :)

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  5. HELMUTS HELMUTS HELMUTS!!! I AM GLAD HE IS OKAY AND THAT IS MODEL MATERIAL STILL :]
    IT IS ALWAYS A MAMA'S WORST FEELING TO HEAR IT COULD OF BEEN WORST YIKES!!

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    1. I know! We all breathed a big sigh of relief.

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  6. (Who is Helmut? Sounds like a Hessian lover.)

    Children have amazingly creepy healing super-powers. When my son smashed his face open on a gravestone (no helmet, yes he's fine now), his face was MASQUE OF RED DEATH. He looked so gruesome, the nurses called him Halloween in the ER. ("Howya doin' Halloween? Ma'am, can I get that credit card please?")

    Two days later, he was gorgeous. Stitches were still there, but the skin beneath was milky and smooth. I tell, you I took to carrying a crucifix in my pocket. Freaked me out.

    Anyway, I'm so glad to hear your gorgeous boy is OK now. And not dead. Or in a coma. Now get him back on that bike!

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    1. thanks, Antonia! and I popped over to your blog..... wow! very cool! and you live in New Zealand, one of my favorite places (I got to fly there sometimes when i was a flight attendant for United.)

      Glad your little guy's Masque of Red Death healed. Oh, to have that soft baby skin that bounces right back.

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  7. Aww bless him! glad to hear he's better now, but sounds like he had quite the adventure!! Thank God for helmets!

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  8. Mrs. Tuna wears her helmet horse back riding because she doesn't want a room in the Christopher Reeve wing.

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  9. Oh wow. I'm so glad Tall is ok! I'm definitely an advocate for helmets. Our friend's daughter went head first off her bike into a metal culvert. I saw what her bike helmet looked like after that accident. A huge chunk was taken out of it! So much better the helmet than her sweet little head.

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  10. Soooooo glad Tall is okay! We've had some real scares on our bikes and we always use helmets, too, but this story makes me glad that we never got our bikes off the hooks this summer (which is actually really sad, but I'm trying to find a silver lining, here). ;)

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  11. :( Hugs to you and Tall. I'm so, so glad that he's ok. Poor little man.

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  12. Ouch, scary stuff! Parents can be fined $50 where we live if their children under 12 are not wearing helmets. No, I haven't phoned anybody in, but YES I have been very tempted (and I wish they would raise the age AND make buckling the helmets mandatory as well!)

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  13. Poor little guy. Glad he is back to his handsome self.

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