Gravel Cyclist Down: Recovery from a Broken Clavicle – Part 1

Firstly, let me (JOM) preface this article by saying this isn’t a pity party, nor am I seeking sympathy by posting it. Clavicle breaks are fairly commonplace among cyclists, and this series of articles about my recovery from such a break, may be useful to those who haven’t experienced this unfortunate event.

The Details

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at approximately 6:45pm, I was on a road training ride in Gainesville, Florida with six other fellows. All of the lads on this ride are friends, good riders, and people I trust. Everything was going well. The group was working harmoniously together, as each rider took their respective lengthy turn on the front holding a strong tempo.

Near the area of Monteocha, Florida (it isn’t really a town, rather a district), the group was set upon by three dogs. The three dogs of mixed breed, ran out of a house sans gating and made a beeline for the middle of our group. From what I recall, one dog was struck by a rider second or third in line, but he didn’t crash.

Evasive measures were taken, but unfortunately, all I recall after taking steps to avoid a dog, was flying over the handlebars and crashing hard onto the top of my left shoulder, head, hip, and knee. I do however remember riding in the ambulance to the hospital. I was released the same evening.

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JOM gives a thumbs up from the ambulance.

After multiple X-rays, it was revealed I have a broken left clavicle (broken 4 times now), smacked up left hip, knee scrape, hand wounds (left middle finger is really bruised, cannot extend fully), and some other minor road rash. On top of this, I have a mild concussion. My helmet did its job perfectly, despite sliding along the road for several metres. I am happy to be alive and reasonably well!

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Scrape mark on the pavement from JOM’s helmet.

Another of my friends was taken down in this crash, but fortunately, his injuries appear to be limited to road rash and some bruising. I wish him a speedy recovery. I must pass a huge thank you to my good friend Big Head Todd, who was on the ride and instrumental in organizing the ambulance, taking photos, and follow up post crash.

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Wanted: 1 x replacement Selev Alien Helmet.

I will recover, and hope for NO clavicle surgery. On the positive, I will continue to document whatever my G.C. associates get up to, and catch up on other things I’ve had planned for the website. While I will miss some cool events in May, I hope to return for June and beyond!

 

Recovery Begins

During my time in the emergency room, my body was loaded with adrenaline, I (JOM) felt fantastic. As K-Dogg who visited can attest, I was babbling away on all manner of subjects, full of energy, but not really making much sense at all.

All of that changed when I *tried* to sleep. With the adrenaline rush over, the pain of my injuries had truly set in. The Ibuprofen I had taken was sort of cutting it, but trying to get comfortable with bruised ribs that one is laying on is never any fun. In this situation, sleeping on an reclining chair works well. However, if a recliner isn’t available, laying on a bed, flat on your back, with a pillow beneath each arm to elevate them helps a little.

 

Recovery Day Two – Thursday 04/23/2015

Swelling around my clavicle is slowly subsiding. A lot of bruising is beginning to appear, but I remain optimistic I won’t need surgery. I have excellent range of motion with the left arm, and can raise it beyond 45 degrees. I can pull on and pull off a t-shirt, which as anyone who has experienced this injury, knows what a moral victory this is! The clavicle may not heal in a pretty manner, but as long as it works, right!

 

Recovery Day Two – Friday 04/24/2015

Last night I took one dose of my painkiller prescription of Oxycodene-Acetaminophen 5-325. That put me into a very mellow state, and allowed me to get some good sleep. After waking, I am pleased to notice swelling continues to subside, although bruising continues to appear. Hoping to go for relaxing walk today, just to get out of the house and into some sunshine. Really appreciate working from home today!

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Hopefully nobody is grossed out by these photos 🙂

Thanks for reading, more updates coming soon!

29 comments on “Gravel Cyclist Down: Recovery from a Broken Clavicle – Part 1

  1. Wow, you were serious about not wanting to captain our National Bike Challenge team again this year, weren’t you? Jokes aside, I’m sorry to hear about your crash and injuries. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  2. 🙂 happy and quick recovery.

    I just found out I have a torn ligament in my wrist. Have yet to determine whether it will limit my riding.

  3. Wishing you a speedy recovery. I hit a dog while riding my bike back in 2009 and experienced similar injuries. I did not need surgery, but had to wear a brace for 5 weeks.

  4. Well, you didn’t make a comment about people’s damn dogs. I daydream about carrying a pistol and shooting the motherf$@@@”. Or least scare them with birdshot. People should be held responsible for this. Then they cry and complain cause there dog got run over. I throw gravel at them when I’m running. That stops them from coming after me next time also.
    Godspeed on your recovery, Sir.

  5. 1. Not grossed out…at all.
    2. Agree most will benefit from your progress reports …to demonstrate/document a (hopefully) normal recovery…process AND duration.
    3. While it sounds like you had no “out”, you and/or your loyal followers might have some valuable insights to share on how to best handle charging dogs?
    4. Do you, in FL, have no recourse with respect to the dogs’ “behavior”? If you were to tell the Sheriff’s office, would they at least talk to the owner?

    Get well!

    1. Haha. I’m collecting it from a friend’s house this weekend. All reports are the bike is well. Sounds like my body took most of the damage!

  6. Why don’t you give your left side a rest, and fall to the right next time. Before long you have nothing but break fixes on that left side 😉 Get well

  7. Comment on your babbling, adrenaline phase – that was likely some amount of dis-inhibition from your concussion. This manifests itself differently for extent of head injury. Some blokes with severe head injuries have a complete loss of filter – they curse, say things at inappropriate times, or like the first Austin powers – have no inner monologue. Others just repeat the same phrase over and over.
    You are very lucky and I am glad I won’t be seeing you at work!!

    1. Moose,
      We are talking about the Aussie Bastard, right? He’s always saying profane things at inappropriate times. He’s never had a filter or any frontal lobe inhibition of any sort. Maybe he’s always mildly concussed? The thought of additional disinhibition is frightening. Nevertheless, I wish him a full recovery back to his normal state of disinhibition. I have prescribed some Tim Tam therapy that will help.

      1. Dr Pain,
        The patient is hiding his prescription . He left a full packet of Tim Tamas in my office.
        I suggest you send multiple doses on a biweekly basis.
        He is delusional that it causes weight gain and refuses to believe Tim Tams are essential to his full bodied recovery.

        Dr. Dogg

        1. you guys are hilarious!! and (un)fortunately (?) all at the aussie bastard’s expense. the thought of an earlier head injury had crossed my mind given his baseline state.

  8. Jayson,
    I’m back from Mexico — when you are ready for to set up trainers and ride indoors, just say the word and I’ll come keep you company. And keep up the blog about your recovery. Not only will it be good for your healing, but it really is a help to others.

      1. Nature Boy really is that good of a friend. He brought the trainer to my house and rolled with me during my last clavicle break in late 2012.

        1. I might join you as a spectator and motivational influence. I will bring some beer, but not my trainer or bike. I’ll regale you with tales of my rides on the open road instead….’cause I’m that kind of friend. Do Tim Tams go well with beer? I could bring some of those.

          1. Yeah, I’d like to come over too and watch you spin!
            How much Cooper do you have? We will need a lot cause I’m inviting Farmer G and Brian to join us. It will be fun!

  9. Dude!… Just catching up. & hearing the bad news…I worked through another clavicle break last fall…surgery was necessary as the Doc said all I had in there was moonbeams & cobwebs ….make sure your ortho sees this one….I waited 2 weeks. & paid heavy price in rehab….heal fast my friend!!!

  10. My gosh! I’m sure glad, you’re ok! That was an awful crash! Thank goodness for that helmet! Be careful, out there.

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