Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.

About vehicles: we’re going to have to make some changes. First, let me be clear, if it were just Nic and I, and maybe if it was just Nic, Ben and I, and I’d had this accident, I would get back on the horse. It would be my goal to be riding again by the end of the summer. Accidents happen. If I were walking, and a senile old gal hit me, I wouldn’t stop walking, just because of the newfound risk associated with the activity. If I were playing a sport, and an accident happened, I wouldn’t give up the sport. I’m not quitting just because some random fluke occurred.

But, C.S. Lewis once wrote, in the Problem of Pain (a problem I’m familiar with lately) “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains…” And in this case, God seems to have been reminding me that I now have 3 children that I am the sole financial provider for, and as much as I could genuinely feel whispers of Him while enjoying the pleasure of a gentle ride through the country on a warm summer day… clearly He’s shouting about more important priorities in my life right now.

So I’m selling the bike.

It has some minor cosmetic issues that need to be addressed, but my leg took the brunt of the hit, and the bike itself is in good condition. The insurance company will make the repairs, and then it’ll go on the market. We own it outright, so it won’t hurt that much. And God granted me enough time to reach my goal of learning to ride, and obtaining my permanent motorcycle license, in case such things should ever come in handy elsewhere in life/the world again.

And I’m selling my car.

Between my rapidly aging hip, and now the rod in my left leg, driving standard is never likely to be a comfortable experience again. Certainly it will be months before I can even try. We own it outright, and although I’d been enjoying fixing it up, it won’t hurt that much to sell it.

In the near future, we’ll look to obtain a newer, comfortable vehicle for me to drive, that will be useful for work, and other professional outings. In the meantime, my only locomotion is stretched out across the back seat of my mom’s car. I’ll look forward to improved mobility as I heal. Both the bike and the car are classy old vehicles in great shape. If you know of anyone looking for an awesome deal, send them my way!

What We’re Doing

Well I’m not doing much these days. Not much physical, anyway. Since I work from home most of the time, I’ve been able to resume those activities with reasonable success. My manager understands that my capacity is diminished a little – mostly I don’t have the stamina for back-to-back meetings, so I’m scheduling around naps and painkiller doses.

Mom has been living with us for the past 2 weeks, providing much needed help and support for Nicole in dealing with her two toddlers and two babies – one a new born, and one a 30 year old. We’re very grateful as well for nearly a dozen meals brought to us by gals from the church.

I had a visit with my surgeon on Thursday, who says the leg is healing well, but continued pain is to be expected. They put me in a more permanent cast than the half-cast I’d been wearing and replacing weekly. It is less forgiving on the swelling and muscle inflammation I’ve been dealing with, but it does feel like my leg is safer and gives me more confidence to try things. Still, my leg needs to be elevated most of the day or the pain gets too intense to bare. I’ll be like this for another 4 weeks, minimum. Assuming all goes well during that time, I’ll look forward to an air-cast after that, which will give me additional freedom.

Without much delay I’ll be seeing my amazing physiotherapist who has done such miraculous work on my back. My upper leg, while not damaged, is thin and weak, and I intend to at least get that part of my leg working as soon as I can manage it. I have a trip to L.A. in mid-July, and I plan to go on it.

Mom needs her life back, and will be moving out on Monday, visiting Wednesdays or as-needed to help with appointments. We’ve hired a young lady to come on Mondays and Friday to provide Nicole with some extra help. Her strapping young fiancé may find himself doing some yard work as well. Ideally the insurance company would pay for this, but insurance companies are less-than-ideal. We have connected with a Christian lawyer about civil pursuits that can provide some additional relief. I don’t particularly like that route, but I guess that’s why we have insurance companies and lawyers to help us deal with them.

Agnes, the old gal who shouldn’t drive without her glasses (or maybe at all) will have some challenges on her end too. We are making every effort to protect her and be gracious with her, but as the fault and the responsibility lie with her, she will have a part in this.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed nice weather as a family and with friends this weekend. I spent much of today on a recliner on the deck watching my children laugh and play in the sprinkler and the slip-n-slide. There are better ways to start a summer than 6 weeks in a cast, but it could be a heck of a lot worse than cute kids that smell like sunshine, and a fresh newborn baby rocking by my side while I sip a cold drink, catch up on my reading, and feel the warm breeze…


My leg is mangled. Three breaks, including a major tib/fib break with the rod in it. Muscle trauma where the car hit me, and nerve damage with swelling and loss of feeling. The pain is a constant companion. I am, however, getting a little stronger every day, and although I’m never really comfortable, there have been… nice moments. Sitting out on the back deck in the sun yesterday, cuddling with my kids, nice visits from friends. Thankfully my mom is around and has been a huge help. I’m not sure how we would have survived Eli and my first week at home without her.
I’ve been on a number of calls with lawyers and insurance folk, about getting assistance with things like vehicle repairs, yard work, and financial plans, and we’re looking at getting some furniture that would be more comfortable for me to live on. I plan to be working, via e-mail and phone, next week.
Eli is thriving, thanks to her amazing mommy. On Thursday’s visit with the midwife, she was almost back up to her birth weight. She’s eating well, sleeping quite well (3 and 5 hour stints last night) and usually a pretty pleasant baby. She and Nicole sleep on a bed in the basement, I sleep on one in the living room, and Grandma and the kids sleep in the bedrooms upstairs. Our life is a little crazy, but we’re surviving…

What Happened

We’ve been very touched by the texts, emails and Facebook of support since my accident yesterday. With only one exception, everyone has been very encouraging — blaming the victim doesn’t really help anything.
Confusing matters is the two other motorbike accidents that happened on the same day, and were reported in the paper. I was not killed, and I did not lose control of my bike. Rather, I was “old ladied.”
It was a beautiful spring day, and I decided to go for a little ride on my bike between meetings, to unwind. There’s a nice curvy route near home that takes about 20 minutes to gently cruise. As I rounded a corner, an old lady in a SUV pulled out of a driveway, looking the other way, but not toward me. She noticed me, finally and stopped, and I was able to swing around her. On the other side of the corner, there’s a T-junction that I was driving straight along. Yet another old lady suddenly began veering toward the wrong side of the road, apparently starting a turn about half a block too early. She didn’t see me right away either, but again, put on the brake when she noticed I was there. I also started braking, and leaning hard to swing around her. Unfortunately there was a telephone pole next to the road, and I couldn’t lean too far, but I got far enough around that I was clear… was clear. As I swung around her, the old lady apparently got confused and put on the gas again. With both lanes of the road now filled by her car, and a post beside me, I had no option but to put the bike down and hope to roll away. Unfortunately, her speed and mine were fast enough that I didn’t quite escape, and she caught me with the front corner of her bumper, smashing my left leg into my bike.
Thankfully we both stopped, and the car didn’t roll through me. The bike was down and I was literally able to sit down on it, having saved my other leg from getting trapped underneath it — and my head/back from smashing into the telephone pole. While I cursed at the old lady who still seemed to be processing what had happened, bystanders moved to help me off the road, old lady repeating “Why did I do that? Why did I do that?” (and me wondering the same thing!)
The town’s volunteer fire department arrived first, asking questions I would answer again and again all day. A cop got there next to ascertain what had happened — all the witness corroborated my account of the apparently homicidal tendancies of the old bat from hell. The ambulance took 20 minutes to get there, while I writhed in agony on the grass. I asked to be taken to the hospital Nic will be delivering at, because we’re now 4 days over-due. The ride was longer, rougher and more painful, but worth it.
They got me into surgery pretty fast, pinning and plating two fractures on the left side of my left ankle, and putting a post along the right side of my shin bone. The police officer came by to let me know that the old lady had decided she didn’t want to wear her glasses that day — despite the condition for them on her license — and on top of that impairment, he’d charged her with making an unsafe turn. We agreed she was beyond her capacity for driving. I still have no explanation why she pushed the gas pedal again, when I was clear and would have escaped otherwise.
Last night was hell as I tried to convince the nurses that my pain was not being managed by the meds they gave me — apparently the night nurse unilaterally decided to stop the morphine, telling me I needed to suck it up. I was in too much pain to move, so when they gave me a jug to pee in, ignoring the call button for a half an hour at a time, most of it ended up in my lap. Having broken or damaged a limb 6 times, I knew there was something wrong, but the nurses left me in agony in a pool of my own urine, refusing to listen to my pleas for help. They told me to get some sleep while I was in a room with 6 other patients, all getting more attention than me — loudly all night long.
When the surgeon finally came in at the end of today, he confirmed that my swelling was unusually high, due to the scope of my injuries, and I should be on stronger pain meds. After about 12 hours, I was able to convince a nurse to help me change out of my soiled underwear. Apparently they’d all been convinced I’d be going home at the end of the day. The surgeon says I’m at risk for compartmentalization, and will be keeping me through Monday. The vindication is of little consolation.
I’ve read things like “what Jon did” from some people on Facebook, and I’d like to make it clear that Jon did, and has been doing, the best possible in these situations. Had I been in a car, the dumb broad still would have hit me, and I’d likely be looking at a back injury. A broken leg sucks, but if managed properly, worst case scenario is 6 weeks at home, doing e-mail, watching TV and holding my new baby daughter. That’s almost a vacaation — it certainly could be worse.
Nic, thankfully hasn’t gone into labor yet, but the situation is OK — I’ll be staying in the hospital where she will be delivering, and by tomorrow, should be mobile enough to get wheeled into the delivery room with her when it happens.
I went for a nice little ride on my reasonable little bike, and got caught by compounding stupidity of an unreasonable driver. I didn’t do anything wrong, and I’d appreciate it if my medical care practitioners would listen to me. I’m fast becoming convinced that private health care is the way to go…

Politics in Canada

Any Canadian who’s ever lived south of the border (or any American who’s come north) can tell you pretty quickly that there’s a pretty huge difference between Canada and the US when it comes to politics. For example, here’s a conversation I had with a friend prior to yesterday’s election:
Friend: Who you gonna vote for?
Me: Well I guess my values lean conservative, so I’ll probably vote for the Conservative party even though I don’t really like their leader.
Friend: Ya, that’s cool. I usually vote Liberal so the Conservatives don’t have too big a majority.
Me: Cool. Harper should stop running those dumb attack ads.
Friend: No kidding. Want to play some Call of Duty?
Me: OK.
See how civil that is? We didn’t even agree with each other, yet there was no name calling, no foaming-at-the-mouth. No one got even a little bit angry, or questioned the morality of the other person! In contrast, here’s how political discussions in the U.S. often go
Here’s hoping we Canadians can continue to keep things civil.