Let’s see…I had just had lunch with the large group and was heading to the trail head when all of a sudden Tony/Wanda/IronmanGary/Rod come blazing by us on their way to get a bite to eat from where we just left.
I headed back after them to let them know that we would be on the trail head and would see them a bit later. IronmanGary requested that I ditch the large group and ride with them. I declined, saying that John (local crazy rider) and his 10 year old son had plans to take us on some new territory. A decision I would later regret ;-)
Got back to the trail head along with everyone and proceeded to ride. I was at the back of the fast pack sort of playing traffic director for some of the slower riders. I had a childhood friend (Terry) in the slow pack so I wanted to make sure he was ok.
I waited at an intersection for them…and once they were there and could see my direction, I took off per se and started to gain a little speed (maybe 10 mph at the fastest).
Next thing I know I am fighting the front end which shifted to the right and the back end pitched to the left. I simply rode the bike to the ground (my right leg exposed to the ground) like I have done so many times before relying on the suspension to soak up the fall. This time, there was a million year old rock that had no intentions of giving a square inch of movement. Rock wins…
So, I crash…with the bike spun out facing the direction I had originally been coming from. No biggie I think…I will just get up and all will be ok. WRONG. I stand up and then my bone pierces my skin near my ankle bone. I fall over and land on the ground. Now I am sweating a little and come to the realization that my entire shin bone in the right leg is toast.
John and his kid show up first. I let him know that my leg is toast. Knowing that, I decided to have him help me remove my boot. This was a risky move but what the hell, it would be a burden if I left it on…heavy, awkward, difficult to cut it off, etc. So, I held my socks and had John pull the boot off. Not fun as you can imagine. After that, we manage to pull my riding pants up above my knee to expose my shin guard, etc. We then removed the guard to see the gap where my shin bone used to be. I knew at that point it was going to be an uphill battle.
I had John look under my leg to see if the smaller bone was broken too….and of course it was. I think it was the bone that came through the skin. He knew it was bad and let me know the situation…honestly…which I appreciated.
At about that time a few more riders from the slow pack showed up as well as a few minutes later the fast riders. All my buddies around me showing support was critical at this point. A lot of things go through your mind when you look at a leg that is completely in two pieces for sure and about 3 inches or so of gap between unaccounted for.
John went for help. He rode down into the town that we had just had lunch…got in touch with the right people, etc.
From time of impact until the ‘official help’ arrived, it was 1 to 1.5 hours. Not sure but it was a freaking long time. Keith, Dean, and Terry helped either by holding the bottom section of my leg level with the rest of my leg, etc. Felt like forever…
They loaded me onto a hard flat stretcher like device and strapped me down. They also put a neck brace on me. Keith had to lift my foot at the same time as they lifted my body. Thank God he timed it right or it would have been worse.
Got loaded into a SUV and I held onto the ‘oh shit’ bar above. By far the most painful part of the whole process. Riding down the trail feeling every bump was not cool…but what to do right? So, we got to a baseball field and Life Flight was there. During the transition to the chopper I let them know that my primary concern was to keep the leg level and protected. SO, what do they do? They manage to bang my leg on the door of the chopper ;-) Not cool…but what the hell. Just glad to be on the bird.
During that flight is where I shed my first tear out of pure appreciation and relief. They stuck me with an IV and started pumping morphine. Didn’t help a bit. Got to the ER and once again they fired morphine in me. No good. Then, this nurse tech dude name Charlie slipped a drug called Delotted in the IV. Magic carpet ride baby…and off to ex-ray and cat scan. Was on a mind trip until I made it to my room at like 8pm.
At that time, I meet my surgeon who is like 70 years old. He had confidence and the nuts to pull the trigger on doing me up right with a titanium rod, etc but it would be noon on Sunday before his team was ready OR he would splint me up and ship me to Charlotte that night. I opted to wait it out and move forward with him. At 9pm Beth showed up and what a sight for sore eyes. I was really feeling like sheit… About that time I went to sleep with multiple doses of morphine and she went to the hotel to book a room.
I will go ahead and say it…Beth was a trooper man. She stuck by me 100% of the time and helped me without question. True to the ‘in sickness and in health’ vow for sure.
Sunday comes…noon comes…and in for surgery. At 4pm I am back in my room with everything on track.
This is where the ‘you can’t make this sheit up’ regarding WV starts happening…
First off, I get this room mate that has a broken back. He decides that he is good to go with a brace on and starts walking around with a broke back!!! Next day, he is sent home. Couldn’t believe it.
Then, Beth’s tire gets slashed at the Fairfield Inn…she drives a while and stops at a Church to see what the problem was. These two guys come help her from the Church, but apparently between them both they succeed in stripping the lug nuts and studs. So, off to the dealership to get a new tire, lugs, stems, etc. $500 later it is all good.
I get a second room mate who decides that he wants to flash all the staff by leaving his legs open with his gown on.
Lastly, I get a 3rd room mate who is 70 years old and absolutely lives for Jerry Spinger.
You can imagine at this point I was ready to get the hell up out of there.
We left on Friday morning around 11am and arrived back in Charlotte at 5pm.
Have been resting the leg and taking low dose hydrocodone ever since.
Work is good, understanding, etc. Nortel is a good company to work for and thank God my benefits started day 1 with them ;-)
To everyone, thanks for the support, calls in the hospital, calls at the house, jokes, etc.
I am blessed and look forward to a 100% recovery in the next 2 to 3 months…
After all, I do have the cabins rented starting again in April of 06’…sayin ;-)