The man on the bike (Part 2)

This is the second part of my piece about being run over by a man on his bike. The first  part appeared here on December 4, 2022.


Those days in the hospital were pretty much of a blur. I mostly remember getting up and using a walker to go into the bathroom – with nurse assistance – and Ben being with me most of the time. I didn’t do much else other than lay in my bed – barely talking to anyone the entire time.

Once I was in the regular room the doctor started talking about discharging me, but he refused to discharge me to my apartment at Fountainview with home health care there because of my wounded head. I needed to be in a place that had a medical staff to monitor my injury, treat my wounds, and give me regular physical and occupational therapy so that I’d be as strong as possible when I return to my apartment. They said my stay would be a one-week minimum, though it depended on how I progress.

I reluctantly agreed, and I was moved to the California Rehabilitation Institute on Century Park East in Century City, a Cedars Sinai/UCLA affiliated rehab facility on October 27.

I arrived there late in the day and given a bed on the second floor. However, at six o’clock the next morning, they took me up the elevator and rolled me to a room on the fourth floor. My doctor there – Seth Herman – wanted me near his office.

The games began right away: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and constant – almost every hour – blood pressure, temperature, and pulse checks.  Again they wouldn’t allow me to get out of bed on my own. An alarm would go on if I tried to go to the bathroom without help.

For almost a week I wasn’t allowed to take a shower either. Finally after the doctor took out the head staples that had been used to close my head wounds, the occupational therapist helped me shower. But still I couldn’t wash my hair which was so caked with blood I couldn’t comb through it. There were two clumps of hair so big in the back of my head that my head looked like it had two ratty looking ears back there.

I did, however, get permission to use a washcloth to wet my hair and try to get the blood out a couple of days later. The white cloth came out brown with blood but it didn’t help unclump my hair. I still couldn’t comb through it. And I never was able to until I got back to Fountainview. The hair stylist there – after trying to unclump for over an hour – finally cut my hair and gave me a short and even attractive bob. The best part – the blood was gone.

Everyday while I was in rehab, at least one of the therapists came in to work with me. The nurse would bring in my schedule when she brought in my breakfast, which by the way, was always dry and cold scrambled eggs, two pieces of burnt toast, and some fruit. They never got the message that I didn’t eat dairy, so they gave milk and dry cereal too.

At first the physical therapy worked well. I could walk almost immediately without a walker and get around quite easily. One of the therapists took me downstairs to the large patio, and I walked over a thousand steps there in less than a half hour without needing to stop for a rest. But a couple of days later I started getting shaky and had to use a walker again. That frightened me. It seemed as though I was back tracking, and the therapists didn’t seem to know how to help.

The speech therapist also came in a couple of times and asked me some typical questions: my name, the year, where I was, where I was born, who was our president. I knew all the answers except I had a hard time giving her a very long list of words starting with the letter F. They wanted to make sure my brain was still working all right after it was fractured when I was run over, and I finally proved to them that my brain was still working properly and fully even though I was an eighty-two year old woman with a head that had been split open. They also gave me a second MRI the day before they agreed to release me. That turned out normal, so they let me go on October 6 – two days after their originally promised release date.


  1. Joyce Goldberg says

    Wow…I’m so impressed by your recovery. What an amazing triumph over an extremely serious accident. Thanks for sharing in such a detailed way.

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