Progress II

I’m still on the mend. I’ve already regained about 90% of my range of motion. There is very little discomfort in most daily tasks. I’m pretty much back to normal except for a few areas. I obviously can’t work out yet. I go back to the doc on the 20th to see how the bone is healing. Odd angles of pressure still bother me but its more of an annoyance vs real problem. The biggest issue is I can’t sleep on that side yet. Not being able to sleep on my back or stomach, I get restless a lot at night sleeping on just one side trying to remain comfortable.1  I’ve resorted back to Ambien to get me thru the nights. It’s the only drug I’ve found so far that doesn’t leave me all groggy and lethargic in the mornings.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it but the bike was totaled. *sigh*  I’m gonna walk away w/about $3500 after the loan is paid off. Considering I financed the bike at $8k, that’s pretty good. I sent off the powr of attorney paperwork which is the last step in the process. That’s the good news. The bad news is my debt load has increased since I last purchased a bike and I’m worried I may not qualify for a low interest rate. I don’t have anything in the negative but carrying a high debt load does factor into the loan process. I’m hoping because its thru my credit union I will luck out. Keep your fingers crossed.

I’m gonna look for another 07-08 gixxr 750. I love the style and fit of the bike and I miss my beast something fierce. Worst case scenario, if I don’t get a good loan, I’ll work some massive overtime at work and just save up some cash to buy one outright. I’m not really looking to go that route as I’m not big on overtime these days.

My mood is up and down. I hate not being able to work out and with the erratic sleep, I’m cranky and irritable most days now. Another reason for the Ambien. The holiday is fast approaching and I can’t seem to find my xmas spirit. I’m sure it will hit me eventually but I wish it would hurry up already. lol Of course, I could always change my name to Scrooge McGrinch. lol

  1. Apple guy being in Texas at the moment isn’t helping. []

Progress

From the pic you can see I’m on the mend. Actually, if you look closely, you can still see the broken bone. What you can’t see is all the little splinter pieces he had to move around and position properly so they’d grow back. I didn’t actually know they left the splinters in. I just assumed they would take’em out and the bone would grow back. Not so, the splinters will actually reattach to the bone and grow back to normal.

I’m already back at work on modified duty.1  Everyone is shocked and amazed I’m already out of a arm sling and back at work. Of course, if I was just letting the bone heal on its own I would still have my arm in the sling. It takes 6-8 weeks for the bone to heal up. The metal plate actually takes a lot of pressure off the bone so I’m able to do more faster.

I was a little surprised the day of the accident how many coworkers were checking in on me. Knowing the crews that showed up, they were getting bombarded by terminal messages from my co-workers.  Seeing the call history at work made me understand, it sounds way worse than it was. It also shows how everyone sees something different. I was actually the first call into work regarding my accident but several other people called in as well. One person stated I was run over by a vehicle and trapped under it. lol2 

Anyway, I can’t do everything yet but most daily mediocre tasks are fine. I stretch it every day to help get the range of motion back. I’m about 75% there so far. There are definitely angles that are still difficult. The wound itself is healing very nicely albeit a bit tender.  Today was the first morning I woke up in no pain at all, another good sign.  I go back to the doctor mid December. If everything is ok then he will release me to start working out (pushing weights) again. I’m probably starting back on cardio this next week. I’ve gained a few lbs and need to start working it off. And don’t forget Thanksgiving is just around the corner. lol

A big thanks to everyone who checked in on me. I got emails, messages, comments, etc and I greatly appreciate it. To answer questions, yes I’ll be getting another bike.  I’m just waiting on the insurance people to give me my payoff information. I’m hoping to get another gixxr and my shop is already looking for one for me!

  1. Four hour shifts []
  2. When I went down, it was in a parking lane and I slid into a parked vehicle. My bike actually wedged itself under the vehicle a bit. []

Recovery

The surgery to repair my left collarbone was an overall success. The surgery took an hour and half longer than originally expected though. Apparently, more of the bone was damaged and splintered than they originally believed. This took quite a bit more time. Today is the first day since the accident the pain was at levels I would consider manageable. I’m down to 1 pain pill every 3-4 hours and only 1 in the middle of the night. I fully expect to be off pain meds completely in a couple more days.  *knock on wood* I seem to heal quickly. I’ll post some before and after pics after my next check up with the doctor. I’m gonna try to get digital copies of the x-rays to share. This break was much more severe than the last one and would not have been able to heal w/o surgery. Ironically, I was going slower than the last accident and ended up with a more sever break…

*
In other news, I think I mentioned I was interviewed by the local paper regarding Prop B.1 I’m happy to say the initiative failed, by a wide margin. I was pretty worried as I would have been faced with some difficult choices had it passed.

I didn’t really want to do the article as I didn’t really see myself as the best choice. Even though my classification as a job is severely underpaid in SF, I make a decent living. I’m also lucky to have protections as my job is considered a vital service. But, the Union asked me to do it so I agreed. They wanted someone other than the poorest city employee to show how the initiative would impact all city employees, not just the poorest ones. Everyone I spoke to liked the piece even though I felt it only touched on a lot of what we discussed.

All that said, the online comments for the article were about 90% negative, with some being pretty awful. I’m not upset or even offended as I know people are hurting with many folks still out of work. It was the primary reason I didn’t want to do the article. On the other side of the coin, I was really shocked at some of the real hatred expressed. Many thought I was acting entitled because I thought I should be able to afford to live in the city I work in. Many (by many I’d say most) thought I was being greedy because my gross salary is just over $70k a year.  That sounds wonderful until you look at my take home pay. I actually bring home just under $46k a year.2  In a City as expensive and highly taxed as SF, that doesn’t go far at all.  Apple guy and I have even discussed moving out of California once the t-shirt business becomes more successful.

Anyway, with all  the negative feedback, I was really surprised the proposition failed. Not to mention, the accident happened the day after the interview.3 You can imagine my apprehension while I was laid up at home wondering if I was going to be able to cover December’s rent.

Anyway, the pain-killer is kicking in and I’m having a hard time seeing the purdy letters on my screen.  More later…

  1. It would have doubled my health-care contributions and most likely forced me into the Kaiser network. []
  2. To be fair, I donate about 6% of my total annual income to charity, pre-tax []
  3. I interviewed on the 25th, the accident occurred on the 26th, the article published on the 28th []

Surgery

I’m scheduled for surgery tomorrow (Thursday the 4th) morning. As mentioned, my left clavicle was broken in the accident and will need a metal plate to facilitate the healing process. I could just let it heal up but that would mean giving up working out. Lawd knows that ain’t gonna happen! lol

My buddy Christopher is giving Apple guy and I a ride the surgical center. Its outpatient surgery and I expect to be home and in the arms of some serious painkillers by early afternoon. I’m anxious for it to be over. While I’ve been more mobile these last couple days, I hate feeling like an invalid.

Wish me luck!

Smash

In case you missed it, I got into a motorcycle accident this week, 6 blocks from home I might add. The picture is a fuzzy version of my left1 shoulder wound. Pretty bruises huh? 

I was headed to work on my bike. I’m cruising along when the guy in front of me signals he is going to turn left. No biggie, I’m on his right side and continue on my merry way. Well, that is until he suddenly veers to the right and directly in my path. I attempted to swerve around him but it was too late. He made contact w/some part of my bike knocking my back tire around at an odd angle. Still moving ,I try to recover but quickly see that’s not going to happen. As luck would have it, not only did I go down but I slid up under a parked mini-van. Unlike the last accident, there was no momentarily black out or forgotten consciousness. I, in true Southern fashion, jumped up swearing like a sailor. The guy immediately denied he had his blinkers on. This doesn’t explain why he was turning, either direction, nor does it explain why he felt the need to run over and turn on his hazard lights before the police arrived.

Anyway, as soon as I stood up I knew my collarbone was broken. It had that all too familiar ‘bump’ to it that I had the last time. A quick self-check and I can’t find any other serious injuries. I called Apple guy2  I then called work to have them send help. Naturally, several people I work with showed up and added to my embarrassment. I knew several of the officers as well as two of the medics. Color me embarrassed but glad of their assistance. Apple guy met me at the hospital and sat with me thru the x-rays. Lord only knows what I was saying but apparently, one nurse bumped me and I said “some things” to her. I was high on drugs and things are a little fuzzy.

I saw the specialist today. I have a broken left clavicle, a displaced shoulder joint, and a torn rotator cuff. I’m scheduled for surgery this next Thursday. They’ll put a plate on the left collarbone just like the right one and do some minor stitching on my rotator cuff. I’m eagerly awaiting the surgery as this sitting around w/a broken bone shifting under the skin every time I move is for the fucking birds! Don’t even get me started on the havoc it has caused w/our sleeping arrangement. Ugh!

I don’t know the status of my bike yet. My poor blue beast didn’t look so hot wedged under the mini-van but I am hoping for the best. I really love that bike and I’d hate to lose it. Yes, I’m more upset over the bike being damaged than I am my own injuries. On top of it all, I had literally just switched insurance companies. I can only imagine how happy they are with me right now. Oh well, wasn’t like I planned it or anything. If you’ve ever had a broken bone, you know its not something you look forward to.

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes and support. I’m just sitting at home until Thursday driving poor Apple guy nuts. Gifts, cash, and random visits bearing free food are appreciated. lolol  Just kidding of course.  I’m on the mend and thanks to modern pharmacology, I’m getting by w/o too much pain. I’ll update w/more details on my bike as I get’em.

  1. Ironically, the last accident I broke the right one []
  2. repeatedly, as shitty AT&T kept dropping my calls to him. []

It Happened

Well, it finally happened. I banged my bike up a bit yesterday. Now, before you freak out, it was minor and I am fine, albeit a few scratches. Totally my fault this time. I went out on a late ride with my buddy Mark and we’d just left lunch at Alice’s. We were taking one of my favorite routes, Hwy 84 across to Hwy 1. It has a ton of different types of curves.

As usual I was spending too much time making sure the person behind me was keeping up and less attention on the road. I have an awful habit of doing that. Lesson learned.  Anyway, I came around a curve a little out of balance.1  I figured since I was already going wide I’d just pull off onto the large shoulder. I assumed from the look that it was pavement. I was wrong! lol  Turned out it was very soft gravel.

Since I was already coming out of a the curve the bike was moving too fast when I hit the gravel.  Still having a bit of momentum from the turn, I knew as soon as I hit the gravel I was gonna loose it. Sure enough, the bike fishtailed and down on its side it (and I) went! The gravel was slippery but it was also soft, which turned out to be a good thing. I slid for about 20-30 yards before coming to a stop just shy of a guard rail. (Now that would have hurt!)

The fall/slide/crash was actually quite benign (luckily). I ended up with a few scratches and road rash and that’s it. I had all my gear on, as usual. My riding jacket/pants got all dirtied up but was none worse for wear. I didn’t even bang my helmet!

As you can see from the pics, my bike suffered some damage. Thankfully, I have sliders and the left one took the full brunt of the spill. It will need to be replaced as its bent now. I also broke the left foot-peg (below) completely off and scratched part of the engine casing. I’ll probably leave the casing for now but will eventually replace it. I don’t like it looking all banged up. That was about it! I was really (pleasantly) surprised at the lack of damage to my baby.

We spent some time looking over the bike before taking off again. All looked to be in good working order other than the foot-peg. I decided I’d just bend my leg back and up and prop it on the passenger peg. It worked like a charm.2  There was one more surprise in store for me though. About 3 miles further on, the gear-shifter peg fell off. (The blue lever in the below image) They are made to break to prevent the frame from being damaged so it wasn’t surprising. However, this created a unique problem because I had no real way to shift gears now. The lever was still there and working fine but the little peg I catch my foot on was gone.

I originally decided to just start the bike in 3rd gear. This would have reduced the need to keep switching back and forth.  It takes some timing to get the bike to take off in 3rd but it worked. Knowing I couldn’t ride all the way home in 3rd gear, I practiced using just the lever with my foot.  After about 10-15 miles, I started getting the hang of it. I had to look but I was basically just sliding my foot high and tight under/over the lever to shift. I still had to look down for most of the trip but I managed and made it home w/o any other incidents.

The down side is my moto shop is closed on Monday’s so I have to wait till Tuesday to take it in to get the foot-peg and shifter replaced. I’ll get generic ones until they get some more of the shiny blue ones (that I just bought 3 months ago).

  1. The irony here was my buddy had just finished bragging about how well I handle curves. []
  2. Other than forcing me to lean way over on the tank and constantly push my balls into the tank. Thankfully, they were still in tack after the 40 miles home. []