Several of you have asked off list how I'm doing. Thanks for asking and for continuing to care! First, I've put 0 (that's "zero") miles on any two wheeled conveyance in the past three and a half months.
That will await the coming of Spring.
A quick recap for those who don't know me... I was headed for the IBR in August when a woman made a U turn on an interstate highway and came from the median onto the highway in the passing lane (where I was riding to pass a truck) just after the rise of a hill and just as I crested the hill at highway speed.
I hit her and suffered a badly fractured pelvis (four places), separated shoulder, broken ribs, pneumothorax, and closed head injury with about 30 minutes of unconsciousness at the scene. I was wearing a full Aerostich suit - so no road rash - and a carbon fiber helmet - so I'm alive.
I spent a week in a trauma center in Missouri, then three more weeks in the naval hospital in Bethesda, Maryland - which I was privileged to command until just a year before. I have recovered much more slowly than I had ever anticipated. Although I'm an emergency medicine physician with a lot of experience taking care of acute trauma, I lacked a true appreciation for the time and effort involved in recovery for this kind of injury.
I have only been without crutches for two weeks and am still getting around slowly and with significant stiffness and discomfort in the evenings. My shoulder will require definitive surgery. However, the biggest surprise to me was the time it took to recover from the head injury! Until just two weeks ago, I was mentally sluggish and unable to engage in many of the cerebral activities to which I'd been accustomed. In just a couple of days, the fog lifted and I really appreciated a noticeable difference - and so did my staff. They said "You're back!" I asked them what they meant and they told me they knew I was not 'all there' and were waiting and hoping I would recover those mental functions.
I'm grateful to be back! I am nowhere near being able to ride just yet and will wait until Spring when I'm stronger. I hope to see you at the next LT gathering and will look forward to doing so on two wheels.
Silver lining department: I've always wanted to be an amateur (ham) radio operator. I've used the down time to study for the FCC exams and am enjoying a hobby which somewhat fills the void temporarily left by not being able to ride.
Continued gratitude department: I continue to be amazed and grateful to Coni Fitch for immediately flying to Missouri after my accident, planning to forsake her own IBR start to help me and my wife, Bean. Coni and Bean helped pick up the pieces - of me and the bike. She is a special friend whose kindness symbolizes the very best in people!
Note to self department: I will never say to another patient "You're doing well for someone your age." I have recently found this phrase to be more annoying than fingers on a chalkboard and tell my well-meaning physician friends that it's not having the intended effect!
Lastly, I feel blessed... to be alive and to have wonderful enduring friends.
Best regards for the Holidays! Don