Megan Jastrab: Fractured pelvis – not the Christmas gift I wanted

 

My last blog was about my excitement for the 2024 season, but things took a turn in December, and the start of my season has been put on hold. While I had some setbacks during the winter months of November and December, I was still optimistic and excited to start my racing season at the Tour Down Under. However, three days before Christmas, while on a recovery ride, a car came into my lane head-on. I avoided the car, thankfully, but ended up crashing in the process. It was not a bad crash, but I landed directly on the road’s edge with my hip. I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t stand up or move my leg without immense pain. I have crashed before but never sustained an injury where I couldn’t walk it off.

The trip to the hospital was the longest 15-minute drive of my life, and then the theme in the hospital was, “The doctor is coming.” I arrived at the hospital around 10:30 am but did not leave until 10:30 pm. I was taken for two separate scans throughout the day and then left in a room without being given food or water. Whenever I asked for the results of the scans, I was only told, “The doctor is coming.”

Long story short, I found out I had fractured my pelvis and was told I needed to use crutches and not put any weight on the leg for at least 3 weeks. I didn’t know how I was going to get from the hospital to the home I was staying at, as almost everyone I knew had already gone home for Christmas. Fortunately, some incredibly kind people in the cycling community went above and beyond to take care of me for the first two days.

 

 

After realizing I couldn’t do anything by myself and it would be more enjoyable to be home for Christmas, I booked a flight and traveled back to the USA on the 23rd and 24th (I had to get an airport hotel in Amsterdam because there were not a lot of flight options left). I can confidently say that I overestimated my pain tolerance levels and regretted my decision to travel two days after the crash. The pain during these travel days had me noticing the most minor cracks on the floor when the wheelchair went over them. I also didn’t think I could make it out of the airport hotel in the morning. It took me 30 minutes in the morning to simply put on my clothes – putting on my shoes almost broke me and made me give up and spend Christmas in the hotel.

 

 

Thankfully, I made it to the airport and made it home. There were multiple moments throughout the travel where I needed to remind myself to breathe, and it was too late to go back to the hotel – I’m being a little dramatic here, but it was undoubtedly the most pain I have ever been in.

 

The first week was painful, but I improved quickly during the second week. I went in for another scan when I returned to California and found out I also had torn a glute muscle. I could not put any weight on my leg to allow the pelvis and muscle to heal properly for the first four weeks.

Some simple tasks, like moving a cup of coffee from the kitchen to where I was sitting on the couch, took patience. I would move the cup as far as I could reach, use the crutches to move, and then repeat the process until I got to the chair. My family took great care of me, but I was pleased when I was cleared to walk a little without the crutches and could carry things when I moved (first thing was to pick up and clean my room, haha).

I still have a long time till I am back to regular training, but the pain is minimal, I can move around, and I see progress!

To stay updated with my recovery, follow me on Instagram @meganjastrab. Hoping my next blog has more positives to share!

Thanks for reading,

Megan

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