Typically narcissistic blogging.

Posts tagged “injury

Collision

Hello, Gentle Reader. Been a while since I blogged, and odds are you know why, but I’m gonna tell the story like you don’t, so you will just have to sit and listen with the rest of the kids.

On January 19th (that’s the day after my birthday, for those of you playing the Whiskeypants! Home Game™), I decided that I wanted a sandwich from Berkeley Bowl, where the sandwiches are sufficiently delicious that I was willing to brave one of the mid-level circles of Hell to get one. I picked up a few other things, hopped back on Clyde, my beloved motorcycle, and moseyed back home. I was enjoying the sunshine and the clear roads, taking it slowly because I hadn’t been out in a bit and wanted to enjoy it.

If you have never ridden a motorcycle, you might not realize how hyperaware bikers tend to be of their surroundings. That’s not to say we can’t be taken by surprise, but we are also intensely aware that death or severe bodily injury could come from any direction, and the best way to avoid it is to know what’s going on around us at all times. What we absolutely cannot be prepared for is the sheer cluelessness of the motorists around us.

So, when I noted a car coming from the opposite direction that was signaling a left turn, I could not know that: 1. When the driver slowed as I approached the intersection it was not because she saw me; 2. She wasn’t slowing to give me my right of way; 3. She was slowing for some other reason related to her turn.

Thinking she understood that there was oncoming traffic and that I did have the right of way, I entered the intersection. I was wrong; she also entered the intersection. Having corrected her initial turn, she sped right along into her left, and into me.

crashmap

The map is not included for accuracy, but just to give you an idea of what happened. She hit me dead on. I couldn’t possibly recreate that angle accurately, but as you can see, the turn requires a funky angle to begin with. Her fender definitely connected with my left leg, however, and both my bike and I were flung quite a ways. The green pentagon represents where Clyde landed, more or less, and the yellow represents where I landed.

I went down screaming, body and head hitting the ground hard (were it not for my beloved Shoei helmet I might not be here to write this blog post, actually). I will spare you the details of how it felt. I will tell you that in the time spent waiting for the paramedics, I screamed, I wept, I begged for help, I asked how my motorcycle was [PRIORITIES], and I knew there was something horribly wrong with my leg. They finally got me out of the street and into Highland Hospital in Oakland, where treatment began.

I was several days in the hospital and one operation in before a decision was finally made (a decision I was and am 100% behind) to amputate my left leg below the knee. Basically, January 19 and one very careless driver managed to change my life forever. But I ain’t mad.

I got lucky. That accident could easily have killed me or left me with much more severe injuries and disabilities. In the past two weeks I have discovered that I have a veritable army of friends and family who are willing to step up in ways small and huge. I’m gonna have a badass prosthesis. And perhaps most importantly to my happiness, I can still ride motorcycles. In the mean time, I am learning how to function minus a left leg. I am learning just how annoying a phantom limb can be. I am learning how much my friends love and care for me. And, while it will in no way be easy, and it will take a lot to get me back to the point where I can really enjoy my life again, things are gonna be all right.

Insurance is not going to cover all of my medical expenses, nor all of the costs of the changes I will have to make in terms of lifestyle, living and transportation accommodations, and of course there will be myriad other expenses that will crop up as a matter of course. My friends have set up a fundraiser to help me and if you wouldn’t mind either donating or sharing (or both, if you are feeling wacky like that), I would appreciate it greatly. However, no obligation, Gentle Reader: I love you regardless. 

In the mean time, as I heal, my stump is gonna make faces at you.

IMG_8654


An Atypical Day at Work

Those of you who have been paying attention know that I currently have a day job. And those of you who have seen me recently know that my back seized up this weekend, leaving me more or less incapacitated and in a great deal of pain. But none of you know how this played out during my medicated, underslept, insufficiently caffeinated, post-injury Monday back at work.

Note: all italics are what’s going on in my head, all non-italics are spoken out loud.

~~~~~

Manager: Okay, this is your introduction to evaluating stock option plans and…

Whiskeypants: What?

M: …amendments to stock option plans.

WP: What? Whaaaaaat?

M: So the first thing blah blah blah file and access the blah blah blah via the blah yadda yadda. Every time you do this you need to use this spreadsheet.

WP: Rice crackers! No. Stock options. What?

M: Now that we’ve highlighted the relevant sections of the PDF…

WP: What? Wait, when did that happen? Shit, I was just asleep.

M: We take the information from burble slurp monkey yadda and enter it into these fields. You absolutely cannot waaah waaah waah or it will not alpaca llama properly. How’s everybody doing?

WP: Urgh.

M: Okay, moving on.

Coworker: Do you know what he’s talking about?

WP: Nope!

M: So I want you all to pay special attention to this, because it will make this task much easier in the end.

WP: Open your eyes, Whiskeypants. Open them. OPEN. OW. What the hell is that? Sun? Also, when did we do that? What document does he even have open? Fuck, I fell asleep again.

M: utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum inuadant!

WP, to coworker: Did he just say what I think he did?

Coworker: Yeah, we should bookmark it just like we bookmark the EOD proposals. Why?

WP: I…uh…it seemed different, is all. AGH! Somebody set my back on fire! I’m out of  rice crackers! …Is it 5 yet?

M: Okay, now for the write-up.

Coworker: No. It’s not 5 yet. It may never be 5 again.

It was 11am.