MOUNTAIN BIKE CRASH AND WRECKED SHOULDER
Arlene suffered a rather serious mountain bike accident in mid-April 2014. We were riding on a narrow single track trail in a nice canyon bottom. The trail was elevated on a hillside covered with oak trees above a small creek. The trail made a sharply banked climbing then descending turn on a steep slope. Arlene did not have quite enough speed to make it around the banked turn and bike tires slid off the trail. She then fell five feet into the creek bottom where she landed on a 6" diameter tree limb that had fallen to the ground.
The entire weight of the bike and Arlene landed on her left shoulder and then the back of her head. Arlene was unconscious for about a minute and then, due to the pain, unable to talk or move for many minutes. She knew her arm and shoulder were broken but was not sure what happened to her head. She was wearing a new Bell helmet that stayed in place and probably saved her skull and blonde brain.
Eventually, Arlene was able to stand albeit in extreme pain and vomiting with blurry vision and slurred speech. We had to walk over a mile to the closest road where I left Arlene sitting on a bench (there was no cell phone reception in the canyon). I then had to ride another five-miles down the canyon to where the car was parked. The canyon was narrow with no roads up it so I had to drive 25 minutes around the canyon to find the road that descended to where Arlene was waiting for me.
During the ride down the canyon I received a phone call from a physician that was mountain biking and had found Arlene where she was waiting for me. He was concerned that she was in shock and had a significant head injury. He wanted her transported to a trauma center ASAP.
After that phone call it took another hour to get Arlene to the closest Trauma center. She subsequently spent two days in the Intensive Care facility at the UCSD Hillcrest hospital.
In the interest of full disclosure, Arlene wants her friends to know that the reason she crashed was - Jerry did not put the heavy tread dirt tires on her mountain bike before the ride. He told her they were going on an easy fire road ride where treaded tires were not necessary. She also wants the world to know that Jerry was riding his full suspension mountain bike with very big and heavy treaded tires.
During May she had two surgical procedures done to stabilize her left shoulder and upper arm, which she was not able to move for three months. She has been in constant, and rather intense pain since the accident and two surgical procedures. She now has a lot of very expensive hardware in her shoulder and arm and her body and muscles are having a painful time of adapting to the changes. Her surgeon is quite confident she will recover almost 100% range of motion in her left shoulder and arm.
Arlene needed one more surgery in early September to remove some infected tissue in her chest. There will be no long term problems with the chest area but it will be several months before Arlene can comfortably lift or twist her upper body.
The physical therapy is continuing into October and Arlene does have full range of motion but the shoulder and arm muscles are very weak and slow to respond. As of early October 2014 Arlene still can not pickup a soda can or open a bottle with her left hand and arm.