One minute I was jogging easily along the singletrack circling the volcano, singing along to some goddawful 90s’ disco hit. The next I was sprawled full length in the red-brown dirt, utter silence in my head for a nanosecond before Scooter was drowned out by my brain screaming “right K-N-E-E”!! My hands lost no time in clutching it as I rolled into a sitting position.
Pain. Lots of it.
Blood. Lots of it.
Peak through fingers. Red and shiny white.
Don’t look again for now.
Stay calm. Breathe through the pain first.
Should have run on the beach… less risk!
It’s funny how blank, practical and efficiently analytical your mind goes. I was technically only a few kilometres from home but there was not a soul around. I had no phone, and screaming wouldn’t get me anywhere. I was going to have to deal with my predicament on my own. Luckily it didn’t look like I was going to have to gnaw off a hand or snap a joint back into place.
I let the pain die down, ignoring the blood oozing from between my fingers. With the other hand I ripped the earphones out of my ears. I really didn’t need Mr Scatman right then.
And it was all going so well…
As the waves of agony gradually subsided I reasoned that there weren’t any major arteries going over my kneecap so I wasn’t going to have to make a tourniquet out of my t-shirt and hobble back into town with my bellybutton on show. I cautiously removed my bloody hand. There were two deep gashes and I could see white in both of them. (I later realised it was most probably fat, however I did stupidly think at the time I’d exposed bone.)
Something about the disinfectant properties of human saliva flitted randomly through my brain and I spat on the wounds, then distributed the stickiness with a swipe of my hand – most probably negating any antiseptic effect in the process and making a Halloween-worthy mess of the whole area.
I wiped my bloody palms on my thankfully black shorts and carefully stood up. Straighten leg; ok. Load leg; also good. Few steps; I’ll be fine. Blood running down leg; it’s going to make a mess of my pink sock.
Record first, clean up after
I have learned that in general, the rules of social media are a pretty simple and sad reflection of human society: you will get further with bumbs, boobs and crashes than you will with your average #baaw (bike against a wall). So in the event of a not-too-serious accident, always record first, clean up after. I shamefully did, although it was also for my mother’s benefit.
Look what I did to myself Mum!
(The answer, by the way, was, “Oh Emma what did you do?” – erm… “Oh I just put my running shoes on and took a pair of scissors to my knee” ?!? )
75% of voters reckoned I could have an ice cream. The others weren’t so nice…
Photos taken, I hopped in the shower, screamed as hot water hit the wounds, screamed again as I poured iodine into them, and decided against covering it up with a bandage I didn’t have anyway. The local pharmacy provided arnica and slightly-better-than-saliva antiseptic spray.
(I will add that I posted the Instagram story AFTER I’d done all this).
I’m almost disappointed to report that after the dramatics of getting myself off a volcano with my kneecap apparently exposed to the elements and my sock turning red, my knee is actually pretty OK and is healing up fast. No lasting damage, I even got back on my bike that evening to make sure it didn’t seize up too much.
It has however made me think again about heading out of the house without a phone if I’m going somewhere a bit remote… maybe I should ditch the iPod shuffle in favour of emergency back-up, what do you reckon?