Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It only takes a moment

I witnessed a tall man in his 70s crash into the road as he fell off his bike, having underestimated his speed down the hill and the angle at which he needed to turn. I just happened to be looking out my window at that moment. He fell to the right and over his bars, doing a face plant (albeit the side of his face) on the pavement. No helmet.

I raced down the stairs and out the door in my bare feet to see if he was alright and what was needed. There was a woman that was driving a car that, had she not been there, he might have made the turn okay, but she was on her side of the road as he slid under her vehicle. Blood was streaming from his face, I raced back into the house to grab a blanket and paper towel. He had hit the ground hard and I knew he would be going into shock.

I took first aid a long time ago, and one of the few things I actually remember is that when someone has a shock like this, they are likely to lose body heat quickly so it's best to wrap them up. It was a warm sunny morning in Victoria, so there was no need for covering, but we did manage to get him sitting down on the grass. By the time he was sitting down, the ambulance was already on its way. I handed the roll of paper towel to one of the passersby and asked him to tear off a number of sheets to stop the bleeding, our man was bleeding in a number of places, most notably his eyebrow and out his nose.

The man was on his way to play tennis, and one of his tennis buddies happened upon the scene. He said he would relay the message to their tennis people that our friend would not be able to make it.

I offered to keep his bike here until he or someone could retrieve it.

The paramedics were here in no time, and of course the first thing they did was ask him questions, checking for concussion. He did seem a bit confused, he wasn't sure if he had been wearing a helmet or really what had even happened. Then they checked for spinal or shoulder injury, thankfully there was none. They managed to get him up walking to the ambulance, away they went, and I went back inside.

This scene has been playing itself out in my mind all day. When this kind of thing happens, we often tend to ask ourselves the "what if"s or consider that if the car had been at this point or if he had been wearing a helmet or if only... It's moments like these that (to me, at least) serve as reminders that we are on this planet for a short time and it could be our time to leave at any unplanned moment.

Later in the day our man phoned to say his daughter would be by this evening to retrieve his bicycle. She came, and said her dad had a broken arm and would require a pin, they were doing surgery this evening.

This incident wasn't exactly traumatic for me, but I do feel a bit rattled by it. Not in a sobbing emotional premenstrual sense, but it felt like a sort of reminder to be careful, stay safe, and tell your people you love them. That last one is a hard one for me. I can say it to my cat and my husband until I'm blue in the face but saying "I love you" to anyone else, including family, feels just so darned awkward. Anyway, I didn't mean for this post to head down the lane way of mush, so I'll wrap up here.

But before I go, I should give you a brief update: I'm in Victoria now back with my in-laws and things have been great. Sam has settled in comfortably and I really like the room I'm in. It's nice not driving anywhere. Still no word on my documents, but on Monday the 17th it will have been two months, so I'm checking for voice mail and email every two hours to see if they have tried to contact me.


  1. Thanks for the update on your status! I was wondering, since it's been a while since you posted about it. I am also glad the bike rider will be ok.

  2. Oh man. I am glad to hear that he's survived, but that's still awful. And I'm really glad to hear about all the people around to help!

    And naturally I read this right before I hop on my bike for the 12 mile commute to work. :|