Well, I held off telling anyone (except my boss at work), but I guess now is a good as time as any. I had a pretty serious bike accident when I was in Mont Tremblant on holiday. I came around a corner, came off the paved path and I think I tried to come back on, but that is the last thing I remember for a little bit. Next thing I know I am sitting on the side of the path, with my nose bleeding profusely, feeling quite hurt and not sure who I was nor who Simon was.
At first it didn’t seem like it was such a big deal, we were about 40 minute walk away from where we started and as my head started to clear, it just made sense to head back to the bike shop. I could walk and talk and Simon suggested that maybe he could get help by the tennis club that was a bit closer, but I figured we would just press on. As we walked to the bike shop, I suspect I started to scare people and the bike shop folks made me come in and sit down and called the resorts medics. My left eye had started to swell up at that point and I realised I must have had a pretty good knock in the head. Good thing I was wearing a helmet was all I could think about. Next thing I know, medics show up and I am in a neck brace and being asked if I want to go to the hospital, reminding me, being a foreigner, it is a cash and carry business with Canadian hospitals. Realising that brain trauma isn’t something you should mess with, I agreed to go to the hospital.
The medics clean my wounds while I wait for the ambulance and next thing I know is I am put on to a stretcher, braced up and put into the back of an ambulance. The ambulance medic was telling me she thought I might have a fracture to the orbit of the eye, because now my left eye had essentially swelled shut. They were slightly amazed, based on how bad I looked that a) I had made it 40 minutes back to the bike shop and b) hand’t blacked out for a longer period of time (Simon said the gap in my memory was maybe 1-2 minutes).
We got to the hospital (about 25 minutes from Mont Tremblant) and Simon had to go off and pay a retainer of $1,500 CDN against whatever charges I would incur while I sat there and stared at the ceiling. Finally the doctor saw me and she said that I needed to go for a CT Scan in order to see what damage had been done, which would be another charge. There was some confusion and it took them about 4 hours to figure out that Simon had to go pay for that first before they would scan me. Finally after about 5 hours we got the results (Simon while trying to be supportive was obviously getting frustrated with the whole thing) and the results were that I had a broken nose and I also had a fracture of the lower orbit of my eye. Upon consultation with a specialist, the doctor determined that it was going to be ok for me to go back to the UK and have it looked at there, but I needed to do it as a matter of urgency. Also I needed to ensure there was no detachment of the retina or other damage to my eye.
So I waddled out of the ER, with my left eye swollen shut like a big purple balloon, scraped up left side of my face, with half my body covered in bandages and in an area where few people speak English well enough to get by, and I am trying to have to use my French to find out things because Simon doesn’t speak a word of it. We realise the only way back to the resort is a $80 taxi ride and the cash machine in the hospital is refusing to take my card. So I am able to entice the taxi driver to stop by a cash point before taking us on to Mt. Tremblant. It is rather obvious to everyone who looks at me though I am not someone to be reckoned with.
A week on and most of the scrapes and scratches have healed, I still have to wear sunglasses, because my left eye looks a right mess, worst black eye I have ever seen and there is still blood in 1/2 my eyeball, which makes me look rather evil and menacing. People must think I had way too much to drink or that I think I am some sort of rock star. I guess at the end of the day I am lucky, didn’t have to jump on the next plane back and was able to do most of the things I wanted to do. Just next time, I won’t ride a bike and I will make Simon refresh his driving ability so that I didn’t have to be the one to both explain everything to everybody, but also try and drive us around.