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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I am barely ever active on this forum but I figured I would share my story in hopes that it might help even one person avoid the same situation, or convince one person to use the equipment that I used.

Around mid June I left my home in the southwest for an approximately 1300 mile one way ride to my parents' house in the Northern Rockies. I had a pleasant and uneventful first day of the ride and had made about 750 miles in the first day without issue. I got a great night's sleep in a hotel in Utah, got up, and ate a good meal.

My second day was going to be a little shorter distance than the first day, and all freeway, and would only include driving through one major city (Salt Lake.) Around noon I stopped and got a small meal and a little caffeine in an Applebees in Idaho. A gas stop or two later I was in Montana and was BSing with an old guy on a BMW crotch rocket type bike. He told me that Montana had no helmet law and I could take it off, strap it to the back and finish the ride like a dog with it's head out the window. I told him that I would love to but I was pretty sure my mom would kill me if I didn't wear one, and that I was pretty sure she had access to some NSA/CIA spy satellites and would know if I took it off. He laughed and we both went our own ways.

About an hour later I was cruising along at 70-75 on the freeway, where the speed limit was 75, and saw a car in the right hand lane that was traveling below the speed limit. I gently eased out into the left hand lane and started making my way by the car. Around the time that I came up even with the driver side door, something grabbed my front tire/wheel and forced me hard to the left toward the dirt median between the north and southbound lanes. The last thing I actually remember was hitting the rumble strips. According to the Highway Patrol accident report, and my dad looking at the scene later, I had gotten into the deep ruts in the pavement, and forced off the road. When I left the road surface I actually almost saved it, fishtailing a bit before starting to fight it back and forth. Apparently on one of the swerves back to the left, I hit a piece of the blacktop that was sticking out.

My front tire then dug in and I was thrown over the handlebars and windshield of my Road King. I then lawn darted, hit head first at an estimated between 60-65 mph head first. My head, neck, and back took almost all of the impact, I miraculously didn't tumble at all. The bike tumbled after me As the bike tumbled by and over me, something on it grabbed the heavy leather jacket that I was wearing, exposing my left arm, which was clothed in a light fleece jacket. As the bike continued to tumble, it's exhaust made contact with the fleece and melted most of the left arm of the fleece to the exhaust, but amazingly didn't crush or burn me at all. The bike then continued past me and came to rest a short distance from me. The lady I was passing stopped and immediately called 911, but the ambulance personnel were not the first medical professionals on scene. The first one on scene was an ER nurse from Nevada who happened to be passing by southbound at the same time. She stopped immediately and rendered aid.

I was out for about 10-15 minutes and came to about 5 minutes or so before the ambulance got there. Another miracle that day was that one of only 3 or 4 major trauma centers in Montana was only about 20 or so miles away. I was transported there and was seen by a back surgeon within a very short time of arriving. I was diagnosed with compression fractures of 4 vertebrae in my upper back, a severe concussion, and some soft tissue damage to my neck.

I was in ICU for three days and another room for 2 more days. In those 5 days I have about 5 memories. The first memory wa realizing that my nurse was rediculously hot, and also had a giant diamond ring on her finger. The second memory was hallucinating about my mom's little dog running in circles in the corner of the room even though it was 120 or so miles away. The third was eating jerky but having zero recollection of where I got it, turns out my uncle had come by and talked to me for about two hours then as he was leavingm given me a large bag of homemade deer or elk jerky.

The forth memory was possibly the biggest shot to the ego that I have ever had. After eating my first solid meal in several days, I had to go to the bathroom, I hit the call button and called the nurse like I was told to do if I needed to so. The nurse came in and I told her that I needed to use the restroom. She then asked me if I needed help and if I would be standing up or sitting down. I told her I would be sitting down. She said that if I was sure that I could do it that she would let me do it on my own, but would be available to help if need be. I went in, did my business, grabbed some TP and went to wipe. Unfortunately I was unable to reach because of my injury and the brace that I was in. I looked around the room and tried to figure out how i could mcgyver something, even thought about propping myself up in the sink and trying to clean it out that way.....no luck though, I couldn't figure out any way whatsoever to do it myself. I then swallowed my pride and called the nurse into the bathroom. I told her what happened, and what I needed, and she did it without complaining at all to me.

My last memory in the hospital was the very last day, where my dad had to grab some clothes for me to wear for the about 2 hour ride back to their house. He bought me some cargo pants and asked me what I wanted to wear on top. I told him I didn't care, so he grabbed me a Harley tshirt. I found it funny, and he did as well, but when we got home to my parents' house my mother didn't find it quite as funny.

I spent a while recovering in their house before flying back home since my bike had been totalled, and I would have been in no shape to ride anyhow. In all the time since the accident I have realized how truly blessed I was. I have never been a real religious person, but realized at you can only write so many things off to luck. My helmet may have been the only thing on this planet to save my life, but something else had to have had a hand in it.

I have been struggling to decide whether or not to ride again, go back and forth every day about it. I would love to hear about other people who went through similar situations and ideas for recovery. I find out today in about 13 hours if I have to get surgery, or if I just start PT.

Ride safe and as great philosophers once said "Be excellent to each other."
 

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Premium Member
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Prayers sent for your continued recovery :angelwin: I rearended a pickup truck 2 years ago, wasn't wearing a helmet :banghead:, and hit my head on the Reese trailer hitch. I never loss consciousness and the doctors, nurses, and rescue personnel were all surprised. I have a permanent dent/hole in my skull and had to give up riding for the rest of the season (Dr's orders). I've been riding since and have worn my helmet everytime too :D
 

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Wow. I live between two states. One has mandatory helmets and the other leaves it up to you. When in NM, I wear a helmet about half of the time. I think I'll up that to full-time. Glad you're alive.
 

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Genesis1130cc
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Sure glad you made it through that wreck alive man. Heal quickly and well and thank the Lord.
 

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drag racer
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sorry to hear you crashed and hope everything heals well. i had a near fatal crash in april of this year. i don't remember any of it but apparently, i run into the back of a car that was almost stopped on I-77 north bound. i was going at a high rate of speed, the ticket says in excess of 90mph, knowing the particular stretch of rode may have been well over 100mph. broke my left leg in 2 places upper femur and shattered knee,broke left ankle,broke vertebrae in 2 places in my neck,destroyed right shoulder with extensive nerve damage, broke elbow and wrist on right arm,poked a hole in my lung and chipped a tooth. i've had 2 surgerys on my elbow, and one on the nerve damage(i may get to use my arm again) i get the stitches out of the arm on the 5th(surgery was on 9/20/10) and i go back for another surgery on my knee on the 8th. i have every intention in the world to ride again, particularly on the drag strip.
i traveled 150 foot in the air over the car and then slid for another 100 foot before getting hit by a car and pushed into the guardrail where i came to rest. they were about ready to pull the sheet over me when they found a pulse,so they called a chopper and away i went. i woke 2 days later on a breathing apparatus in the ICU down in charlotte nc. i was in a wheel chair for 4 months and will always walk with a worser limp than i had before, i have actually rode a motorcycle since with the aid of velcro to hold my hand on the throttle grip and i will get another bike when i'm able to return to work.

i've always wore full face helmets and not any cheapo's either, the particular nite i crash i had my FF helmet, HD canvass jacket,gauntlet leather kevlar re-enforced gloves and my leather racing boots along with blue jeans . very minimal road rash and i agree someone or something had a hand in my surviving the crash, you can't write it all off to luck.
 

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drag racer
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Discussion Starter #7
Ugh, just got out of the back doctor's office. I thought I would have concrete answers on if I was going to be starting PT or scheduling surgery but no such luck. Apparently something was evident in the MRI or X-ray that was taken 2 weeks ago and between that and the symptoms I have been having, not being able to sleep because it feels like my upper back is sticking out, putting stress on the lower back. The doctor showed my films to the surgeon and they both agreed that I needed what they called "scoliosis films" in order to see if one of the vertebrae had collapsed and was causing a curvature of the spine that I thought I felt. I just got done with those two tests and have to come back up next week to the doctor which is 120 miles from my house. I really thought I would have a concrete answer today but no such luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did have an accidental smart ass remark today, ct scan tech had already asked me what caused the injury, finished up with the scan and asked me when my back started hurting. Immediately and without even thinking about it I responded "about the time I hit the ground."
 

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K.I.A. '07 AW
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glad you lived to share the story with us.
Few years back I got hit by two cars, and for the first time in my 20 years of riding....I wasn't wearing a helmet. I was in a coma for 10 days, jaw wired shut for 6 weeks, shattered my right jaw & right arm. Did PT for my arm/wrist for about 6 months.

I too had great hesitation and confusion as to whether or not I would ride again. The scariest moment of my decision was when I was standing in my brother's garage, admiring his bike (black cherry VRSCAW), since mine was still in the shop (vivid black VRSCAW), I put on my helmet & gear, sat on the bike and started the engine. I was scared shitless! I coasted down his driveway, and barely got the bike over 35mph for the 6 mile trip to the highway. Once on the highway I stayed just shy of 55mph, still a little hesitant. Right when I got to the point where I thought I would turn around and retire from riding all together, an HD delivery 18 wheeler pulls up next to me, honks & waves, I smile and notice a white sports car speeding up my six. I dropped it down to 4th, gave the throttle a good twist, and was up to 90mph in no time.

Haven't looked back since.
 

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Glad you're still with us. Get well.
 

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CEMIRT Lifer
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You are both blessed and very lucky my friend. Awfully glad to hear you are still with us. Take care and use all the time necessary to heal.
 

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Glad you're doing okay and that you're able to post. And I had two LOL moments reading your first post. :D

I was involved in a crash on my V-Rod in July '06 and if not for my FF helmet, I'd be pushin' up daisies and my daughter would be fatherless. I also had on a leather jacket with pads, boots, gloves and jeans, but my FF saved my bacon.

I rode for a few months after my accident and had no fear, but decided that I needed to be there for my daughter (and now son who was born in '08) that I decided to put off riding until my youngest is closer to adulthood.

All the best for a full recovery.

Eddie (FVO)
 

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Vrodder since 2004
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dunno what to say except glad you are here and hope all goes well with the injuries. I am a horrible example of someone that hates helmets and never wears gear unless you consider tank tops gear...I always felt secure on my Vrod...I feel a little less secure on the Road King..much heavier bike with a mind of its own...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well not the greatest news at the doc today. Turns out the top two vertebrae that were all jacked up have healed poorly, poorly enough to the point where I have to have 3-4 vertebrae fused together in order to regain stability, lower pain, and live a normal life.
 

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Well not the greatest news at the doc today. Turns out the top two vertebrae that were all jacked up have healed poorly, poorly enough to the point where I have to have 3-4 vertebrae fused together in order to regain stability, lower pain, and live a normal life.
I had my C-4-5-6 plated and screwed together almost ten years ago. Best thing I ever did.
 

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boredom kills
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glad you are getting through this

living with regrets is a hard thing to do, you got some soul searching to do. Maybe renting a bike ehrn you atr better will answer the question for you
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ugly/spooky pic

Took a few days but I figured out how to upload the pic from the CT Scan from a week ago without my bio info on it. What looks like one vertebrae with a nasty diagnol (spelling?) break through the center of it is actually two vertebrae that were jacked up in the accident and healed really poorly, completely at the wrong angle....When I saw this picture is the moment I realized why it seemed to hurt more now than it did a month after the accident. Enough of the woe is me post, here's the pic, I just remembered Sons of Anarchy was recorded tonight. Way to get my mind off of the motorcycle accident :D Every time I look at the pic I cringe, and depending on the alcohol or vicodin I have in me, I might get better or worse mindset wise when I see it.
 

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