I am happy to say that on Easter there is reason to celebrate. Even though there is a lot of negativity going on in the world, I will celebrate. Five years ago, I had a horrible bicycle accident that resulted in brain bleeding and a concussion, among other things. One of my front teeth was chipped in half, but I didn’t suffer any permanent damage. I want to celebrate this big time and therefore there are going to be chocolate recipes all week long. Various food bloggers are going to present chocolate recipes, that’s what I wanted. The party for Jenny is on! Be sure to check out the comments below this blog post, bloggers will be linking up their recipes. There will also be another roundup here at the end of the week. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a hopeless chocoholic. That’s why there is a chocolate category on my blog. The pictured chocolate Nutella blueberry cake is of course part of the celebration, be sure to return to my site tomorrow. So to sum up, this is what is going to happen this week:
What and why are we celebrating in which way?
- What are we celebrating? Five years without permanent damage after my bike accident, yes, this is a party for me, Jenny!
- When are we celebrating? The whole week of April 18 – 24, 2022.
- How do we celebrate? With chocolate of course! In the comments the invited guest blogger will link their recipes, a recap can be found on my blog afterwards as well
- Who is celebrating? Lots and lots of lovely fellow bloggers who all came up with fancy chocolate recipes, yay!
- Where can you celebrate? Either check out the comments here to see who all brought something chocolatey for me (I’m so excited to browse all the chocolate recipes), read in detail below my accident story and why I’m so thankful or check back here after April 24 for a recap.
P.S.: You can marvel at this mind-blowingly delicious and blatantly decadent chocolate nutella cake with blueberries as of tomorrow, yes, yes, yes! You can find the recipe here.
My accdient story
It’s April 23, 2018, I’m deep in thought on my bike on the way home after a long day at work. I’m not far from work yet, in the middle of a busy street in Hamburg, when a car shoots into the parking lot just ahead of me on the right, cutting off both me and pedestrians. I instinctively swerve and hit a red-and-white striped steel bollard. While flying, I scrape the curb with my face. Then all turns black.
When I wake up again, a crowd has formed around me. I’m sort of half hanging in the arms of a woman, many faces are bending down towards me, I hear someone asking more passers-by to move on and someone calling an ambulance at the same time. My brain switches to organization mode, I instruct someone to lock the bike to a lantern, rummage out the key for the bicycle lock, next I look for my health insurance card and then the cell phone number of my husband. The call is unsuccessful. Then the ambulance arrives. No one is allowed to come along, not even a colleague, I am taken away alone. I have to answer umpteen times in which year we are, what my name is, when I was born and other “easy” facts. My filter seems to be blown away, I immediately say what is on my mind and I don’t understand why I am asked these questions. I am slightly annoyed as to me these are all obvious facts.
When I finally arrive at the hospital, I am immediately put into a tube for a CT scan. I vaguely remember holding the hospital’s landline phone in my hand between examinations and finally reach my husband. His voice is thin and he immediately leaves for the hospital. Apparently I had no cell phone reception in the hospital, how I got the actual landline phone remains unclear. After further examinations I am hit with the diagnosis: brain hemorrhage (bleeding), a concussion, one knocked-out tooth, several stitches in my face. My red jacket is full of blood. My husband, whom I finally get to see, bursts into tears. I seem to look terrible.
I assault the assistant doctor who is about to stitch me up that he looks too young to actually be a doctor. Since he has to make stitches in my face, I ask him to be extra careful. After all this is my face, scars will always remain visible. After the strict instruction from my end, which the doctor calmly accepts, I burst into tears. Emotionally, I am a wreck and vacillate between hurtful honesty and tearful self-pity. But even then the doctor seems fine and just continues sewing with a steady hand.
At some point I am pushed in bed to a room, tubes are being attached and devices are connected. Something beeps constantly, my blood pressure, which is low anyway, seems to be in the basement now more than ever. After the blood pressure device sounds an alarm every three minutes, I ask the nurse to change the setting, sleep is out of the question. Further CTs take place in the middle of the night, at 4 a.m. I provisionally get a roommate who is being prepared for surgery, the room is full of nurses and doctors, of course the room is brightly lit. I doze off and just wish for peace and quiet.
The next morning at the doctor’s round, they tell me that the brain bleeding has stopped, which is a very good sign. The chief physician says that rest is the most important thing in the case of a brain hemorrhage and concussion. I laugh at him, point to the beeping blood pressure machine, and tell him that I’ve had virtually not slept last night due to said beeping machine and another patient being prepared for surgery in the middle of the night. If you would like me to rest, I definitely wouldn’t call this rest or would you? He mumbles some sort of excuse I don’t understand. Apparently the nurse, who was listening in, takes pity on me and pushes me into another room. He will see to it that I can stay it this room for as loong as possible. I squeeze his arm in gratitude and catch up on some sleep.
I was in the hospital for a total of one week- One very long week until finally I got the news that I was going to be discharged. I have never been more happy to finally be home. At every round the doctors told me to rest. Each time I said that I couldn’t do that in the hospital. All my roommates were the type who would rip out tubes out of their stomach in the middle of the night, there was no thought of rest. A doctor explained to me that my brain was still on alert. My senses were highly alerted, which is why I perceived everything more intensely, saw everything more glaringly, heard better and smelled more intensely. Perhaps that is also the reason why I, who often keeps quiet and to herself, suddenly was bold and wouldn’t mind bluntly telling the chief surgeon that his ideas were crazy and he should stop making fun of me. The fact that I was discharged so early certainly also has something to do with it. Not having a filter can sometimes be an advantage.
At home, I finally got to rest and recover. For five weeks, I was not supposed to strain my brain. No books, no TV, no nothing, screen time was considered bad. Besides slow walks and various baking projects, I didn’t really know what to do. I did get back on my bike on the first day back home with wobbly legs and all, riding like a grandma in the backyard. I was too scared of being scared of bikes, I wanted to make sure I would ride the bike in the future. Mind you, even a few meters to the next bakery with a helmet.
It took about a year until I had the same energy level as before. In the meantime the scars have healed and I got a dental crown. I have not suffered any permanent damage, the “decency filter” is back, I don’t laugh at doctors and am careful not to say what I think to everyone’s face. What remains, however, is a shock, the shock that life can be completely different within seconds. An accident puts one’s perspective in perspective, especially at work the hamster wheel in which one moves becomes even clearer. Meaningless things are exposed as such, you realize that the world continues to turn even without me, you no longer take yourself and your job so seriously and prioritize differently.
I celebrate my accident every year, this time it’s the fifth anniversary. I am infinitely grateful that I did not suffer any permanent damage. Yes, sometimes I have the impression that my eyes get tired more quickly or that the energy is turned off at the drop of a hat. But that can also be simply due to age or the chronic disease endometriosis that I have. My body will tell me when it’s enough and I’ve learned to react more quickly. Then I experience small moments as intense happiness and rejoice in such small things as being able to take a nice long walk with our dog. Or at a decadent cake, with chocolate of course.