Monday, March 5, 2012

I am not a happy Moto Diva - long term effects of scooter crash

          Knee and hip armor from my riding pants - this is the only thing between you & pavement.

Most folks who follow my blog know that about 13 1/2 months ago I had a scooter accident.  Since then I have battled with pain in my hip, as well as numbness, burning, and tingling in my thigh.  In my usual Princess Scooterpie fashion I suck it up and carry on.  BUT since December the entire area has been hurting more.  I ended up seeing my family doctor in December and getting a cortisone shot in my trochanter area (hip).  This helped a little and took some of the intense pain away in a small area.  Unfortunately, though things have become static and it is not getting any better. I asked my GP to send me to a specialist.  We both agreed a Physiatrist who specializes in physical and rehab medicine would be the best route.  Today was the day of the appointment, I was poked, prodded and bent this way and that. When I showed him the pictures I took of the extensive bruising I had he kind of gulped and there was a sudden intake of breath.  He asked me if I went to hospital by ambulance and I said nope, in fact I got up and finished the ride, he was a little shocked at that.  

The doctor has come to the conclusion that I need two things to tell him what is going on 1) CT scan of the hip and femur 2) MRI of hip joint and entire thigh area, this will visualize if there are any tears of muscle or tendons as well as showing if there is anything physically wrong with the bones. The specialist is concerned that I have damaged the joint or bones in the hip from when I impacted the pavement.  I distinctly remember a crunch and a 'give' feeling in the joint at the time of my unfortunate intimate pavement encounter.  He diagnosed meralgia paresthetica - which basically accounts for the numbness, tingling and burning - I crushed nerves in my thigh area during the impact and they probably aren't going to regenerate.  We are probably looking at 6 to 8 weeks for the CT scan and probably 6 to 8 months for the MRI, so this is a hurry and get nowhere fast situation.  I was really worried he was going to tell me that I couldn't ride anymore.  Phew!  

                           I wear ballistic grade nylon pants with armor and wear them year round
                           EVERY time I throw a leg over the bike or scooter, even for a short trip
                           to the corner store.  I am never without my gear even in the heat of summer

So the moral of this tale of woe is that if you don't wear armored gear and rely on jeans, chaps or ballistic nylon pants to protect all of your bits and pieces, you might as well ride naked because the only thing you are protected from is road rash.  You really do need the exo-skeleton of the armor in the hip and knee area.  Unfortunately this is part of my journey and if I can bring home the importance of gear to any newb or any rider who chooses not to wear it then someone has benefitted from my huge mistake of not practicing full ATGATT. 

Without the knee and hip armor components your pants are only 
partially protecting you, so why take chances and only wear
half of the gear??

                                                                       Hip armor


Raftnn said...

I have had a few 'offs" over the years as well as a few broken bones from non riding accidents. i always have pain some where in my body, like you i just get on with it. I have never ridden with out proper gear. and i neer will.

Dar said...

Raftnn - sometimes its so hard sucking it up. I couldn't ignore it anymore and had to insist on seeing a specialist. It's hard for my doc because I am 1 tough cookie and am pretty stoic, so when I do complain he knows that I do indeed have a big owie.

Highwaylass said...

i want to stop every girl in the city i see on a scooter in teeny strappy sandals and a skirt and ask them how much foot they think they will have left after scraping it down the road at 30mph :( Will the doc give you physiotherapy exercises too? I stuffed my shoulder in a ski-ing fall (the only time i tried it!!) and the physio worked miracles. Hoping you are mended soon x

Dar said...

HighwayLass - I have had the same conversation with so many scooterists. The last girl I had the conversation with i pulled up the pictures on my phone and showed her what happens when you don't wear gear. She asked me what type of pants to buy.

I have a parcel of exercises to do, but it may go onto more. Once he knows what's going on then I will have a treatment plan. Of course it only mildly hurt when I saw him today, but now it's really hurting. I hope more people start wearing proper gear, it's a no brainer.

bobskoot said...


I had no idea you were in pain when we met in January. You looked so bubbly, and you always have a smile. So sorry you didn't get checked out 13-1/2 months ago, and how come I didn't get to see those photos ?

I try to wear all the gear, but I need new riding pants. The armour isn't always where it should be. I bought one size larger so I could wear my works slacks underneath.

I hope you can still ride, but take care of yourself until they determine your course of treatment.

Riding the Wet Coast

SonjaM said...

Dar, I hope that you will be recovering soon. Sometimes sucking up is not the best way but who am I to tell you that, usually I am one to ignore pain as well living by the rule that staying away from doctors will keep me healthy...

I have damaged nerves in the same area, and what had helped me controling the 'wrong messages' was several sessions (about 20) of accupuncture. Much less irritation now.

Good luck, and I am glad that you can keep on riding. You are a tough cookie!

Trobairitz said...

Yikes. I hope there is no lasting damage and they are able to fix you up with little fuss. Or at least minimize any residual pain.

I am baffled at how long it will take for you to get an MRI. I forgot about the waiting list in BC. We may pay $274 for our medical per month but we'd have an MRI within a week if needed, not 6-8 months.

It is still hard for me to fathom that with the super high taxes you pay and high gas prices, high insurance, high costs of goods and everything else, that the medical system (although no cost at the time of service) has those types of wait times.

I forget about it after being down here 11 years. Then think back to the 3 emergency surgeries I've had in BC, while waiting for treatment.

Heal quick my friend.

Dar said...

Bob - See I had you fooled. I am awesome at masking stuff. Most of the time the hip is aching and gnawing. I am a bubbly gal and even if things are getting at me I usually keep positive because its better than being grumpy about it.

Sonja - I hear ya about the sucking it up and you are right its not always the best. But hopefully I will get this sorted out & it will start feeling better. I am thinking about acupuncture and a few other things right now to try.

Trobairitz - The wait times are incredibly long. That is why I am having a CT to have a look first and then an MRI, it may even speed things up depending upon the results.

Richard Machida said...

I too am floored by the wait times for a CT scan and MRI. A good friend's spouse was a student in BC and they had a heck of a time navigating the health system there. I think that they ended up driving to Seattle for more timely health care.

I hope you feel better soon. Thirty years ago, I crashed on my bicycle and my hip still reminds me of the incident.

Troubadour said...

I too have injured myself many times and being male have this stupid mentality of wait and see, that it will heal itself. The majority of my injuries have been at work and I was too afraid of losing my job to report it and file a worker's comp claim. I know better now, but now is too late.
Hope you get better soon.

VStar Lady said...

The good news is - the wait times are short only if they think it is or could be fatal, the bad news is that you have to wait, they don't seem to really care if it hurts. (trying to say, it's good that it wasn't worse, but sorry it hurts at all). I broke two ribs rolling my little suzuki down a hill - pain is not fun, I agree!

bluekat said...

I don't think I'd heard about your accident before. I hope everything turns out all right. Scary stuff!

bobskoot said...


I was just thinking, "I'll bring the Duct Tape next time".

You know that Duct Tape fixes everything . . .

I hope this doesn't change our May rendezvous, 'cause if you can't ride, I won't be over

Riding the Wet Coast

Dar said...

Richard - I knew there was going to be a wait, which is ok. Working in the system, I don't expect anything great when it comes to test times. Sorry to hear you have a hip issue at times too.

Troubadour - I have been where you are many times. I think I am getting a bit too old to be sucking things up and better start tending to things a little sooner. But my GP and I have been poking along with this trying this and that. But I am getting done with it now.

VStarLady - Pain sucks! Oh my you broke ribs?! Holy Hannah. They don't rush anything here, so I am just keeping on with anti-inflammatories and going to try strengthening exercises.

Bluekat - Anytime you become intimate with pavement it's scary! It's been a long process, but I am determined!

Bob - tried the duct tape....LOL I will be okay to ride in May!