Well I’m trying to stick to the essence of a motorcycling blog, but the reality of dealing with a serious motorcycle crash is that it is intensely personal. So this is about the 2.5 weeks in hospital, or hospitals in my case, through to my return home.
Following my first operation in Wellington Hospital where the surgeons plated my broken humerus bone, and grafted a piece of vein from my groin to replace the damaged artery in my arm, I stayed in Intensive Care for a week under the close watch and care of Hana, Mark, Florian and Tania, wonderful nurses who kept me going and managed my pain. Glen, Craig, Nicola and Abbie stayed with me and my brother Ross my close friends Tig and Marianne kept an eye on me.
My face and eyes were badly bruised but I managed to keep my obscure humour alive even though I was drugged with morphine, Tramadol (avoid this one if you can, it’s an hallucinogen).
I still needed plastic surgery on my severed median nerve, and there were other minor repairs also needing attention. After a false start, I was flown by air ambulance up to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland where there was an operation space available. So correction of my broken nose and thumb and grafting nerve from my lower right leg onto my upper left arm was completed and it was now down to recovery.
Luckily I met some wonderful people in hospital: nurses, doctors and other patients. I particularly mention my friend Wallace, a huge genial Maori whose life experience had been so different from mine, but in hospital we were able to encourage each other, share our views about life and in this exchange, and I made a new friend.
It was hard to say goodbye when it was time for Wallace to return home. Another highlight was when I asked my son Craig to sing for me. He chose a song that U2’s Bono wrote for his father www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oytd-4HaW7w.
Gradually the pain reduced and the next task was to mobilise after 2.5 weeks in bed. How quickly the muscles atrophy, but with the encouragement of the physiotherapists, I was able to walk (stumble) with Glen to her car, to go home at last.
As a person who takes pride in riding skill, I am bothered that I succumbed to fatigue on a corner that is not overly challenging. I still had a lot of hurdles and challenges to face, and at the time of writing this, I still have. The injuries have changed my life, at least in the short term. So will I ride again? We’ll see….
Thanks for the update Max and don’t worry about straying from actually riding a bike. Due to the nature of the beasts their inherent trait is to fall over and that can hurt at times. Both in body and pride.
Sounds like you have a medical system to be proud of in New Zealand. Wish I could say the same about here in the UK Once we hit the seventy mark there is every chance that we are put on what is Primary Care. Essentially the bare minimum required to keep your body functioning as you are allowed to slide into ‘nether – nether’ land. They don’t even tell your nearest and dearest so if you don’t have family around you there’s little chance of surviving.
Keep up the good progress my friend and don’t fuss about riding a bike again. I’m sure there’s plenty things out there you haven’t tried yet – unfortunately – most of them that are worth doing are likely to hurt at some stage 🙂
ciao – Don
Good comments Don. Yes I was impressed by the quality of healthcare I received. It’s also true that riding has an inherent risk, in fact it is my suspicion that confronting that risk is what makes riding so satisfying. I’m certainly not fearful of riding but I am very aware of the fright my family has had and the significant disruption the whole event has caused. I am not permitted to ride or drive at this stage (more on that soon) but it is my intention to ride again when I am able.
Max, you’ve been a very naughty boy! But you are a survivor and we have great admiration for you. We reckon you will ride again…might be a Harley though hehe. Lots of love Tig and M.
Dad, I am so proud of how well you have recovered over the past three months. You are an amazing, strong, genuine and positive man. I love you immensely.
great story with touching moments but even in difficulty it’s possible to to find good sizes…and a new friend.
Max, i’m not sure that riding is a good idea…..It’s better with 4 wheels.
Peut-etre si Citroen a fait des motos, alors vous seriez plus enthousiaste au sujet de deux roues?
Im just reading yr updstes & all i can say is wow! What a incredible man u r!! Your family must be soooo proud of you & what you have been thru.. Just so glad u r on the mend 🙂 much love dude thinking of u, lots of love,
Julie, Aaron & our munchins xxxx
that smile on the 916 is the same one i had and will have when i get it back on the road. I am glad you are still here to tell the story and have so many good people looking after you.
It looks as if you are as passionate about restoring Italian bikes as Andre and Justin. Myself, I am inept in that area. However it is my intention to move to a Ducati when I am able to ride again. Good luck with your handiwork