Incredibly it appears that some people hadn't heard the original story of my cycling accident back in March.
I've been asked about it a couple of times, so that's enough opportunity for me to bore the pants off you.
It was posted elsewhere at that time, but I'll post it here for those who are a glutton for punishment.
As someone slightly more famous than me once said, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
I have recently been cycling a new route I worked out, a 37km loop which takes me an hour-and-a-half.
So there I was minding my own business about 9 a.m., cycling along an 8km stretch of the Udon-Sakon Nakhon Road (Highway 22)
I was (as always) in the motorbike/cycle lane on the very left side of the road.
It was a nice day, not even anyone driving in that lane in the wrong direction.
Suddenly from behind there was an enormous thump and I found myself flying through the air. I hit the ground further ahead on the cycle lane, landing on my back, staring up at the sky.
It seemed like ages before it dawned on me what had happened, as it was all so fast.
Tilting my head I could see a car stopped ahead of me. There was a woman from the car coming towards me.
She asked me if I was all right. I said no. I attempted to sit up slightly, but my back was really painful, so I lay down again.
The woman asked if I could move my feet. I could. Then she asked could I turn slightly?
I responded by saying that in an accident you are not supposed to move the injured party in case of a spinal injury. I asked her sarcastically if she was a doctor?
She said she was.
Nong Han Hospital.
The doctor said she just wanted to check my back.
I did try to turn a little, and it was extremely painful.
The doctor called an ambulance. I asked her to call my wife as well, to let her know what happened.
Two police turned up. They asked me about the accident.
I told them I had been hit from behind, and the driver already admitted that she didn’t see me - even though I had a reflective high visibility vest (and as always, my cycle helmet).
While we were waiting for the ambulance, one of the policemen had picked up my glasses off the road and gave them to me. I noticed the lenses were both scratched.
My wife arrived and came to see me. She talked to the doctor and to the police, one of who by coincidence was a relative of my wife.
Even as I was laying there I told my wife to take a photo of the car registration (better to trust no one else and be organised).
The ambulance arrived and I was put on a flat board, which was lifted onto a trolley/gurney.
We went to Udon Thani Hospital. A most painful journey, as the gurney didn’t have any suspension and I was sure the ambulance must have been modified for off-road racing – I could feel every single bump on the road.
At hospital I had my back X-rayed and I was told I had fractured my spine and might be in hospital a few weeks. I was transferred to a bed on a ward.
There were 32 beds on the ward. It was a new building, very impressive looking. Perhaps because it was all new, I don’t know.
A couple of hours later another doctor came along. He said the fracture wasn’t too severe and I would probably be there for perhaps three days.
Later in the afternoon, I had a visitor: The doctor who had hit me.
She genuinely seemed worried about me, she did cry a little.
As well as bringing me the obligatory food package, she also brought two doctor friends with her from Nong Han Hospital - orthopaedic specialists. They looked at the X-rays and asked me few questions about the pain.
It was then they told me I had also broken my coccyx (tail-bone). They said it would become more painful over the next few days (they were right).
The senior nurse on our ward I thought of as Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). She had a loud voice and appeared to be very unsympathetic to her patients.
She was obviously aware that three doctors from another hospital had descended on the ferang in bed 14. They had told Nurse Ratched how they came to be there.
I overheard Nurse Ratched asking the doctor who had hit me if she had พรบ (insurance) to pay my hospital bill? The doctor told her she had, and would cover everything.
The next daylight the doctor came to see me again. This time she brought her insurance details. I just hope when we get to that point, the insurance claim is sorted without any problems.
I ended up in hospital for three days/two nights.
I have a combined front & back metal brace I need to wear for the next three months. I’ve been told that the first month I need to spend the majority of the time laying down, to allow the fracture to heal.
I have a cycling App on my phone to track my speed and log the route. I’ve had a look at it since and the irony is that in another 200 metres I would have turned off the main road onto a minor road and wouldn’t have been hit.
Now wouldn’t that have been boring.