We’re all wishing a speedy recovery to UCSF’s cult-hit COVID sage Dr. Bob Wachter,  who contracted the virus himself this week, then collapsed in the shower and suffered bleeding around the brain and a neck fracture.

SFist has often turned to UCSF Department of Medicine Chair Dr. Bob Wachter for advice on navigating COVID-19, and he’s become something of a local Twitter superstar for his data-rich, highly approachable, lengthy Twitter threads on the matter. He also conducted a weekly "Grand Rounds" forum on the pandemic on YouTube, which just aired its last episode two weeks ago.

Yet Dr. Wachter himself had not yet contracted COVID-19 — though he tweeted through his son getting the virus and when his wife had long COVID.

But Wachter did recently contract COVID-19, and started experiencing symptoms this past Sunday. And one of the consequences of those symptoms was pretty out of the ordinary, as the Chronicle reports Wachter collapsed in the shower and suffered some brutal injuries.

If you’re saying  “Pics or GTFO,” Wachter has the pics to prove it. Be warned, some of them are graphic, and they are of course displayed in a signature Bob Wachter tweetstorm.

First, yes, that is the bathroom trash can onto which Wachter fell, and left a significant dent in. The fall happened during or just after a shower — he doesn't remember — and this was after he woke up with serious sweats from the virus.

“I made a mistake – I took a shower,” he said. “While the instinct to take a shower when you’re sweaty and gross is understandable, stepping into hot water when you’re dehydrated and flu-ish can cause your blood vessels to dilate, leading to a dangerous drop in blood pressure.”

“And that’s what happened: I [woke] up in a bloody pool on my bathroom floor,” he added. “I had smashed the hell out of both my right forehead & the back of my scalp.”

Being Dr. Bob Wachter, he of course gets highly technical with the medical terminology. “Given the extent of injuries on both front & back of head, the ED docs ordered a head and cervical spine CT,” he tweeted. “The head CT showed a small subdural hematoma, a little rim of bleeding in the space around the brain. This bought me an overnight stay in the hospital for a repeat scan to ensure the bleeding wasn’t enlarging; it also led to a week of an anti-seizure medication.”

"More fun: the spine CT showed a small non-displaced cervical fracture (C3 for aficionados), which bought me a cervical spine collar and a few neurological exams to be sure I had no symptoms of spinal cord damage,” he added. “With that kind of syncope and fall, I could easily have taken out an eye, been paralyzed from my spine injury, or died of a subdural bleed. I must have bruised my flank pretty good going down, since that’s what hurts more than anything – no fun while I was coughing”

But Wachter says he is not alarmed enough to make any changes to his famously COVID-cautious behavior.

“As long as the case rates remain low (they are now, tho wastewater is showing a little uptick; Figure), I’ll continue being relatively careful, but no more than I've been,” he concluded on Twitter. “I will, however, be more careful about showering or taking a hot bath or hot tub when dehydrated. That's one important takeaway from this mess.”

Related: Dr. Bob Wachter Ends His UCSF 'Grand Rounds' YouTube Forum Stressing COVID Is Not Fully Behind Us [SFist]

Image: Susan Merrell via USCF