Sunday, June 9, 2013

An EPIC Segway Accident

It happened April 24, 2013.  Leading up to this day I had been having a great April - I had studied a 50 page booklet, taken a difficult test, and passed it to obtain my City Tour Guide license.  I had led my first tour - Segway tour - of St. Augustine, and earned my first commission!  I had just returned from a wonderful weekend in Atlanta visiting my daughter and her family.  I might have even bragged to several people about my new license and how much fun I was going to have leading Segway tours.

It was a gorgeous spring evening and my Segway compatriots, Linda and Mary, and I decided to tour the town and go out to dinner.  Linda didn't want to lead, so I led them down the bumpy (uneven bricks!) Palm Row, a narrow alley fronted by Victorian homes.  Then we zipped across Cordova Street, through a couple of parking lots, until we faced Pot Belly's Theatre..
That's me on the left and Mary on the right.  Last picture of me standing on 2 legs as of April 24!

"You two pose in front of Pot Belly's and I'll take your picture!" Linda suggested.

So Mary zipped ahead, cruised easily up the short sidewalk ramp and turned around waiting for me.  I zipped across the street, turned and started up the ramp.  The next thing I knew my foot was in a vise, hurting like heck, and my head was bouncing off the sidewalk.  The Segway took off across the street pushing its own handlebars in front of it.  Linda took off to catch it and Mary appeared at my side.  I rolled up to a sitting position and tried to assess the damage.

I hoped it was a really bad, really painful sprain, but I thought my foot might be broken.  I called my daughter and told her I thought I had a really bad sprain.  She said when she saw my foot at the ER she knew better; my foot was swollen twice its size and pointed the wrong way.

Bottom line I had a dislocated foot/ankle, broken ankle, and broken fibula.  And I thought I heard the doctor use the word "shredded" at some point.  They gave me some wonderful drugs in the ER, and set my foot/ankle/leg so they all pointed in the correct direction.  The next day I had surgery and I know have metal plates and screws in my lower leg and ankle.  I had a cast for two weeks, then a boot for the next 4 weeks.  Hopefully, when I go to the doctor this Wednesday (Jun 12), I will be pronounced "HEALED" and be able to walk, drive (my manual VW), and move back home.

I've had many blessings:
Two strangers lifted me into Linda's car so I could get to the ER.
My two Segway friends got me to the ER.
My daughter took me into her home - never hesitated - and has taken wonderful care of me.
My sister and my wonderful nephew have driven me on all kinds of errands and even to the movies.
My brother and my delightful niece have driven me on errands, out for meals, and kept me company.
My granddaughter has told me she liked me living in her home and seeing me everyday.  And I've had some great quality time with her, plus I was able to attend her kindergarten awards day.
My two Segway friends have driven me here, there, and everywhere - and kept me entertained by phone and text.
My boss has allowed me to work from home so I could continue to have an income.
My doctor discovered through routine blood tests that I have diabetes 2 and I have now started on a program of healthful eating, glucose testing, and limited (for now!) exercise.  This could have gone undiagnosed for a while longer without this accident.

My surgeon said this was just a speedbump in the road.  A few weeks from now I will need to remind myself what it was like to be almost helpless and dependent on the kindness of others.  I won't forget the good things, though.

PS No more Segways for me.  I've also scratched skydiving and bungi-jumping off my bucket list.


  1. Im glad you are almost back to normal (such as it is). What a freak accident. And extensive injury! Who could have guessed a mild mannered Segway could be so vicious? Disappointing that you can't do the tours now. And after the study and exam efforts and everything! I'm crossing Segways off my list, too.

    1. As soon as I'm back to normal (or what passes for it, smartypants) I'm going to check with the Walking Tour companies around town. I do know some people who have stepped off curbs or tripped on our bricked streets and injured themselves almost as badly!!