I arrived back in Barcelona the night before from Holland. It was now time for a long ride. 155 km in total. Sunday, so not much traffic. It was a great ride. But, it ended in hospital.
A collapsed lung. A broken neck vertibrae. A broken collarbone. Ribs broken (2 to 11 on right side). A broken sternum. A broken shoulder. Internal bleeding. Super swollen ear, and bruised eye – stitches in my eyebrow. My nose broken in a lot of pieces. Severe head and chest trauma. I also had a breathing tube breathing for me.
Can’t remember any of this…
They kept me sleeping for a week in the intensive care ward of the hospital, then sedated for another week. I do not remember much. When I finally woke up, I was so confused. I thought I had fallen during Ironman. I thought I needed to get out of bed to do Ironman training.
I needed a machine to breathe for me, then oxygen for a while afterwards
Slowly, the realisation started to sink in. No ironman challenge for me this year. A car had hit me side on, at speed, only a few minutes from home. I had completed 150 km on my bike, I was in good spirits, then this happened. I don’t remember anything about the crash. My coming months are now going to be about recovering. Slowly. With lots of patience. I was just a few weeks away from my race, and now I have to admit I am not going to do it. That’s tough for me to come to terms with.
Half dreaming, confused, morphine made it better.
My bike is gone, and they had to cut open my new tri suit. The helmet had protected my head a lot, and my new Halo band even more. My phone is lost, and my watch too. But not my spirit. I am going to recover from this.
Enjoying a drink. I felt so thirsty when I woke up.
Finally properly awake again after 2 weeks
I did not lose my bad sense of humour
I have a real challenge ahead of me now, even more difficult than ironman training I think. I could use all the support. But I will do it. I am determined. Recover. Start training again. And come back even stronger. Step by step. Little by little.
But first, I have to find someone to help me put on my shoes…
Recovering outside the hospital feels good
My first 15 minute walk outside after 3 weeks. Super exhausting, but a great feeling!
I am lucky to be alive.