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….