Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wimp or Tough Guy

9 days after the accident and I am itching to ride again. It will maybe be a couple more days before I feel stable enough with my left hip, but it is feeling a little better each day. I have had a pretty boring week. Seeing doctors, watching movies on TV, and icing various parts of my body almost constantly. My shoulder is much better, still a little tender, with a very colorful bruise on the upper left portion of my chest. I have been getting a kick out of seeing people and saying "Hey, You want to see my bruise?" The main problem I have had is with my left hip. Both my MD and chiropractor have concluded that I hyper-extended my left leg somehow in the accident. Walking has been very difficult as my body doesn't want me to put much weight on my left leg very much. The healing with my hip has been slower than the shoulder, but I am starting to see some slow improvement and beginning to believe that it may just be a very few days before I can ride again. For someone used to riding almost every day, the withdrawel is starting to get to me. I just bought a new helmet. It is a rather obnoxious looking full face Scorpion EXO 700. I think I got a good deal on it and the visibility should be much greater than what I had with my old helmet. Dealing with the insurance company has been a little slow, but things are progressing. I am sure there will be some hassles to deal with, but so far, so good. Max's repair estimate is close to $900, but consists mostly of replacing scratched body panels. Mechanically, he seems fine. But I have to admit to feeling like a bit of a wimp in my recovery. I conclude that recovering from something like this at age 52 is much different that at age 25. A whole lot different! I had some friends that told me just to take it easy and the soreness would eventually go away. They said to take some time off and relax and just concentrate on getting better. Other friends have said that as soon as you can, get around and walk and do things, even If it hurts a bit. Just be careful and not over-do it. So there is the dilemma. Be a wimp and take it easy, or be the tough guy and push yourself a bit. I admit to bring the wimp for the first few days, but recently I am getting tired of just lying around. Just yesterday I actually got out and helped mow the lawn, even though I still have a pretty strong limp and I had to take a couple of breaks to let the pain in my hip subside. Then last night we went to a local baseball tournament for about 5 hours, saw some old friends, and enjoyed some peanuts and soft drinks in the night air of the ballpark. Saw a good game also. I thought when I went to bed last night that I might have overdone it a bit with yesterday's physical activity, but woke up this morning feeling even a little bit stronger. Things are looking up! The tough guy is starting to take over from the wimp. My wife has been incredibly supportive and understanding. I know she is tired of waiting on me. But she also has a keen sense of when to let me just rest or see that I need to prod myself a bit and push myself a little harder. Many thanks to the kind comments many of you have left me. I appreciate it, and try to comment back to you If you are so generous to leave a comment. But recently, have just not been feeling like it all that much, so forgive me a bit. Ride Safe Everybody!


  1. $900 for repairs on Max? Sounds lke they'll get it repaired quickly enough. Took over a month with my 1150RT, long enough to wangle permission for second motorcycle from my wife. You know, to use as a "spare".

    My shoulder, the right one, where I had a slight separation of my AC joint during my accident; still twinges once in a while even after over a year of "healing".

    I would say, if the DOC says it's ok, then get on Max and go riding. Those ride withdrawal symptoms will make you crabby and unbearable company. At least, that's what happens to me.

  2. First, I'm glad to hear that your accident was not more severe and that you'll heal over time in a condition to ride again. I've always wondered how I would react after an accident. I like to think I would be like you and retain the desire to keep riding but I guess none of us knows for sure until a situation presents itself.

    Your previous post about the accident itself was an interesting read despite the fact that it was a terrible situation. Certainly gives pause about sudden events on the road and what to do about them.

    How has your family reacted to your accident now that some time has passed? Are they supportive of you getting back on the scooter?

    Good luck and be well!

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  3. cpa3485, Jim:

    I think I would take the Wimp approach. You know, sit back snap your fingers, give the remote control a workout. Limp around even if you don't have to limp (Wink, wink)

    glad you're on the mend and thinking about riding again.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  4. Dear CPA3485 (Jimbo):

    I am delighted to read that you did not sustain more serious injuries and that your scooter can be repaired. Stopping try to rcrwste the accident in your mind. Look at it this way, if you had screwed the pooch on the stop, you might be taking the dirt nap now. I think you did okay.

    If I could make a suggestion for the future... Several actually.

    1) Don't decline the ambulance. You ended up goig to the hospital anyway. The injured party is the last person qualified to decide whether or not to go to the emergency room. If you were unconscious, you qualified for a ride in the ambulance. You could have had a concussion or broken ribs.

    2) Take an Accident Management Safety Course if one is offered in your area. And don't let any unqualified personnel try to remove your helmet. If you are conscious and no one knows how to safetly remover a helmet wityhout causing additional injury, then insist on wearing it to x-ray.

    3) Most people are a little spooked when they get back in the saddle after an accident. Be ready for this. On the very first ride after my last accident (under circumstances very similar to yours), another asshole in a minivan made another illegal turn in front of me -- 2 miles from the house. I had my high beams on as well as the MotoLights.

    I am so glad to know that you are safe and looking forward to riding again.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack Riepe
    Twisted Roads

  5. Thanks for the update Jim. Yes, it seems like the years take a toll on our ability to recover, but I am glad yours is coming along well. You'll know when you are ready. Glad to hear Max is recovering well too.

  6. I broke my collar bone and five ribs last year. Being over 50 I didn't bounce back like I thought. I found it better to listen to my body. Sometimes it didn't say what I wanted it to but I resisted listening to my desire to ride sooner than I was physically. If we listen, our body will talk to us and tell us what it needs.

  7. Charlie,
    The adjuster hasn't been out yet to see the scooter, but like I said, the damage is largely cosmetic stuff. It still runs fine and seems to be a tough little bugger. Have thought about getting some cheap bandaids and sticking them on the scratches and taking some pictures.
    And it can be hard to laugh or cough or move anything without affecting a shoulder a little bit. Have been experiencing some of that as well.
    Thanks for leaving a comment

  8. Steve,
    The first ride back will be a little wierd, but actually looking forward to it. I am beginning to miss the riding a lot. There will be a new balance achieved between being extra cautious and afraid of everything out there as opposed to just enjoying the ride. I have to take into account that a lot of my riding is in rush hour traffic as compared to riding on roads not frequently traveled.
    As far as family is concerned, both my children have said that they will never tease me again about wearing gear. My daughter has a Vespa and says that she will not ride again until she gets a good jacket.
    I posed your comment question to me wife and she said that she has been pleasantly surprised about my change in attitude towards life in general since I got the scooter. She says I am less moody and depressed and she wants to see me continue riding because it is good for my psyche. Maybe a Zen sort of thing. She has been wonderful support.
    Thanks for stopping by and showing concern.

  9. Bobskoot,
    The Wimp act worked pretty well for the first few days. Part of it was because the pain in my hip did not really get bad until about the 3rd day after. Part of it was the drugs they prescribed for me, which were largely useless in my opinion. I don't like taking drugs and the Lortab caused me not to sleep well, at least not very restfully, and the haziness caused me not to recognize certain aspects of the injuries. Quit that stuff right away and just been taking ibuprofen and a musvle relaxer. Has worked much better.
    I appreciate your comments, and I have watched a lot of TV and movies in the last week. Daytime TV is such a wasteland anymore.

  10. Jack,
    Re: the ambulance. I know I wasn't out for too long, and the ambulance person asked me if I wanted to ride to the hospital. Just behind him stood another med tech with the body board and they said they would need to strap me in and take me that way to the hospital. Was a little scary and by that time I was pretty coherent and some of the pains hadn't really started to reeally sink in. My MD is actually a little angry with how they treated me based upon my description of what happened, but it has worked out just fine.
    I am planning to get one of those stickers to place on my new helmet regarding making sure only qualified personnel remove the helmet if this ever happens again. Another biker told me where to get them.
    And the first ride will be a little strange, but I actually feel more confident now than ever.
    Thanks for stopping by, and I am still planning a longer trip up to the northeast part of the state in October.

  11. Lance,
    Thanks for stopping by. Max seems to be pretty tough. The onmly problem with driving him away was that one of the turn signal brackets was nbent and rubbing against the steering a bit.
    And me, well bruises are just that, they will eventually heal. Got a nice purple one on my hip and a nice yellow one on my chest. Very pretty.

  12. Sharon,
    I had read back on your blog about some of your experiences. Mine pale in comparison as far as extent of injury and I admire your determination. The human body is an amazing thing. Being able to repair itself in spite of what we sometimes do to it. I have always tried to listen to what my body tells me. Sometimes I get a bit impatient, being over 50 does not help in that regard. Mentally still feel like I am 25, but know physically that body parts don't heal like they used to. That's part of what this post was about, knowing when to push yourself and knowing when not to. My wife is especially tuned into these situatinis as well and has been a great help in telling me when she thought I should start trying a little harder. It's easy to get a little depressed when it takes a little longer to heal than you think it should.
    Its seems kind of funny to me, but my body is beginning to tell me that it wants to go for a ride, knowing that we need to start out sort of easy. I miss the air and the feeling of freedom, but still recognize that I am not 100% yet and won't be for a bit.
    Your kind comments are much appreciated.

  13. Dear Bobskoot:

    A ride in the abulance, strapped to a bodyboard, still beats one in a hearse, or a wheelchair. It took 40 guys and an engine hoist to load my fat ass into the ambulance... It was a smart move. Oddly enough, nothing was brokem. But it could have been.

    Now you won't have to worry about getting a scratch on your bike.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads