Things could have been far worse | Knowledge.ca
Things could have been far worse
Submitted by:
Sarah-Jane Melnychuk

A number of years ago I used to rollerblade everywhere. I didn't think much about my personal safety. I liked to go fast and furious and didn't ever wear safety gear. Falling down was a regular occurrence. I pushed my limits in every way possible. At times I would purposely fall and roll while getting out of the way of moving vehicles or when I would have to stop suddenly to avoid flying into a busy intersection. You could say I perfected the art in falling. I suppose that experience prepared me for what would happen next. I was rollerblading through a residential area in Richmond not too far from Richmond Centre Mall. Going fast and furious as I usually did I realized I was fast approaching a speed bump but had only a few seconds to react. I quickly assessed the situation and recognized only two options. I could force myself to fall and then roll to prevent minimal injury but with no safety gear I knew that fall even with a roll could be a pretty bad spill so I chose the latter option. I would slow down as much as possible although difficult because I didn't have breaks so I used the plow which is similar to when you're on the ski hill wanting to slow down. Then I would hop over the speed bump in the hope that I wouldn't fall. My timing had been a tad bit off so my little hop over became a jump. I landed the jump perfectly although I picked up speed in the air. As I straightened myself up I hit an unexpected dip in the pavement. As a result I went flying through the air feet first. I knew this fall was bad. No safety gear and no bike helmet. If I rolled over to the side my ribs would break. If I curled up into a ball I'd hit my head on the pavement. One option, hold a plank, pad my lower back at the tail bone, and pull my chin to my chest hoping to prevent a head injury. And yes, I had enough time to figure all that out. A witness called 911. All in all a successful landing with no head injury. Paramedics came, did there ABC's, body survey, ruled out c-spine. I hitched a ride to Richmond Hospital to get a few x-rays. Nothing broken. Only pulled muscle and ligaments in my back and a sprained wrist. Hospital staff were great! The lady that admitted me into triage was friends with my mom. A couple days later I found myself unable to move, I laid immobilized in bed, couldn't do anything for myself. My sister came over to my place when she finished work, cooked me a meal, and then took me to the doc's office. I lived on muscle relaxants off and on for a while as I recovered from my back injury. It took a couple of years to fully recover. In a couple of months I'll be back on my rollerblades but this time I'll be wearing a bike helmet and be more cautious when it comes to my personal safety. My days of going fast and furious carelessly through the streets are over. Plus I'm older and don't bounce back as easily.

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