Emma’s Story

The date was July 2012, the activity was mountain biking, and my experience level was zero.

I am active and athletic, so I rise to this challenge, besides, we are in a group and I can’t be the worst mountain biker, can I? WRONG.

Our adventure starts at a small path opening that we have the carry the bikes through. Once we saddle up there is a small downhill dip followed by a small uphill, taken easily with the momentum gained from the downhill. Then I see it. The very steep, very long downhill immediately following the small uphill. I am flying down this hill. I continue to gain momentum and I tell myself this hill is way to experienced for someone who, first of all, has never been mountain biking, and second of all, has not ridden a bike in over 3 years. As I tell myself this I make every attempt to slowly decrease speed so I can stop and walk my bike down this hill. As you may have guessed by now, this was a completely ineffective effort. I am able to slow myself a tiny bit, but next thing I know I am flying over the handle bars and trying not to hit a tree. I am semi-successful in the second part. As I am flying through the air, I twist to avoid hitting the tree full on and end up landing on my left neck and shoulder at the base of the tree while other parts of me slam into the tree and the ground. I am cut up and bleeding and feel like some one just tried to pull my head off my body and like I was just punched in the face. My world is spinning. No one was around to witness my fall (a small plus?) but soon two of my companions are at my side. I am bleeding and bruised but do I let that stop me? No. I get back on the bike and continue the path for about an hour and a half. After the group suggests another long trail I opt to sit out. I wait for the group back at the cars and re-assess my injuries. My left leg has 3 or 4 scrapes and is scabbed over and bruised. My left wrist has a nasty rug burn looking scrape on it and is still bleeding a little. My right leg also suffered some minor cuts and bruising. My head is throbbing and my neck is stiff and sore. Not really a long list of severe injuries. “Shake it off, this is no big deal. Put some ice on it tonight and you will feel fine in a few days.” I tell myself.

I don’t go to the doctor until three weeks later when I am sitting in my office with a migraine and neck pain that is making me feel like I am going to vomit. This is the first step that leads me down, frustrating a journey of doctors and tests. 

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