It’s been two years this memorial day weekend for me. That time that I’m speaking of really is a beautiful memory because the whole process was remembered from the beginning to the end, as painfully tormenting it was at the moment. Ever heard the saying, “I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck”?
On May 30 of 2016, I just went for a simple bike ride. Well it depends on what you have a definition for simple is. My definition sometimes means adventure, consistency, and a time to just escape while using all of my energy to ride. Sounds also like a description of or like a pretty fun relationship to me but unfortunately all of the partners that I have chosen so far do not share the same definition at all. So here I go on my own once again. I had actually just been separated from a long-term relationship of almost 7 years. We decided we needed the space but had been communicating a little bit in between. I remember being down at the beach with my family and just feeling like I wanted to go for a nice joyride. I remember leaving the driveway knowing that my parents were actually going to go take a ride to the bike shop across the bridge. I had no plans of where I was going to go, I just had plans that I was going to ride for a while. As I left the driveway, a family friend had just yelled out to me what was supposed to be a funny. “Looking pretty awesome in that helmet there Mel”. Yeah everybody thinks about bike helmets and some people think they’re safe while others just think they look really funny. Being vain some people just don’t wear them because they don’t like the way that they look on them. Well luckily for me I had surpassed that vanity. I actually wore a helmet every time I rode because I knew that it was the smartest thing to do. Leaving the driveway down the road outside of the neighborhood of the mobile park, I took the side road out to the main road instead of hitting all the traffic. From there you can look to your right and you can see the big high-rise bridge. Well I’ve already rode on my bike across that bridge several times, so it wasn’t going to be any more worrisome for me. It wasn’t very windy at all. It was a bit warm for me but at the same time it was definitely bearable. So off I went across the bridge onto the island and enjoyed my ride all the way down Coast Guard Road. From there I decided well it should be time to head back and maybe I’ll just go up to the bike shop and see my parents. I got there, sure enough they were there checking out the inner tubes, for my dads bike tire. Taking the time to browse around the shop, making conversation with my family, we all were leaving and I remember my dad saying, sweetie put your bike in the back of the truck, I’ll be glad to give you a ride home. Well being me, no thank you but I do appreciate it. I’m just going to take a ride around for a bit longer and I’ll be home shortly. So they left in the truck & headed home. I went to the right and decided to just keep on riding around the island a bit longer as it is such a fun ride around Emerald Isle. Probably about 30 minutes later I decided well maybe I should get home soon and I’m starting to get really thirsty and it’s not like I have any money on me at the moment as i didn’t bring my wallet. So I started back and crossed the bridge. Traffic not looking too bad on the oncoming side, I went on head and started my way over to the left of the bridge at the end of the road and crossed with no traffic ahead and got on the road that heads towards Swansboro. The simplest of the travels ended up being the hardest point to cross. I waited patiently for the light to turn red. This meant that the ongoing traffic had to stop on both sides of the highway. When it turned red I immediately took off across the road to head straight onto old 50 right near the BB&T. There was no button to push for a pedestrian or bike rider so I had to take my chances but feeling pretty confident that since the light had just turned red I have a little bit of time to get to the other side. I guess my bike tires weren’t heavy enough to pick up on any type of weight that may say hey lights, take your time, there’s still someone crossing the road. So in the middle of crossing the light turned green. The truck that was literally in the left ongoing traffic lane closest to me took off. Knowing I didn’t have much time I slammed on brakes. I was going at a pretty good speed so when I slammed on brakes, it also threw me off the bike. My nerves were shot. My heart was beating so fast. And I’m pretty sure that my mouth went completely dry. I remember The moment later when I found myself laying flat on my back with my head luckily far enough away from the tire as it rolled over my lower abdomen and across the upper left part of my rib cage. I don’t know what kind of breath I had at the moment but it must’ve been one that was so full that I literally survived a full breath of air being taken away from my body. I was left on the road and in the first thought that came into my mind was oh crap, this is irreversible. Oh my god. I can’t hardly breathe. I tried to roll over and I felt my body collapse as I had no strength. It felt as if my knees were permanently stuck to my stomach. I could not straighten my legs. An ambulance showed up and people surrounded me and asked me all kinds of questions from what is my name do you have parents, do you have a number we can call, what is your birthday, do you remember what happened, ect. Overwhelmed by it all but still remembering my mom and my dad’s number and trying to tell them each one, thankfully it came out of my mouth while grasping for every breath of air in between each word. At some point finally I remember an emergency crew showing up and moving me onto a stretcher and quickly put me into an ambulance. From there I became in so much pain because my legs had to be straight to some extent. It felt like blood was just bubbling up within my stomach. And I could not breathe. I was in so much pain that I just kept begging for them to give me something. I remember the paramedic finally calling the doctor and they got disconnected once but then finally got a prescription to give me quickly a dose of morphine. It helped a lot because at some point I remember being loaded onto a helicopter but I also remember talking to my parents quickly in between. Them both telling me that they love me and I said I’m so sorry that I went for a ride. They quickly said don’t be sorry everything’s gonna be OK. We love you. My dad tried to blame himself for really not putting me in his truck and loading my bike in the back but he also knows that I am stubborn and I have free choice and I chose to ride my bike home. Finally landing from the helicopter ride, I remember telling the crew that was with me to please tell the pilot that he did a mighty fine job. I remember them laughing and saying we will do that ma’am. They rolled me into the hospital and quickly into a surgery room where I remember meeting the surgeon. Name is Claudia. I cannot remember her last name at the moment but have pictures and recorded memories to resort to. She quickly told me that I was going to hear a lot of vocabulary and words used that I may not understand but not to worry because she was a good doctor and she would take care of me and that I would be OK. I don’t remember anything after that except for waking up in a room with the catheter, and epidural, and a bunch of stitches from my sternum to my lower abdominal area close to my pelvis. So the first nurse that came in the room, got me asking where is the baby? I heard a few chuckles, but Under controlled drugs, I was in rare form that kept me from a great bit of pain, but it was just the beginning of recovery.
I have more to say but it will come soon. The rest of the story is yet to come.