The Day I Almost Died

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Dress for the ride not the slide Robert said to me that morning. I always hated when he said that. We live in South Florida and it’s so hot and humid down here! I listened to him of course because he’s right. So I took my shorts off and put my jeans and silver shimmery Chuck Taylor’s on. They teach you in the motorcycle safety course a little acronym: ATGATT. It stands for: All the gear, all the time. That means every time you get on that bike you better wear your helmet, long pants, shoes that cover your ankles, gloves and a long sleeved shirt (preferably a riding jacket lined with kevlar). We were just going on a nice Sunday morning ride to get free brunch at this motorcycle dealership in Ft. Lauderdale so no helmets or jackets were worn this morning. The whole way home we were grabbing each other’s butts at every red light and riding real slow because we kept getting caught in little pockets of rain. What a great morning! We get to go home and take a hot shower together and… They insist things like ATGATT for a reason.

October 2nd 2016 some lady in a minivan passed a red light at the intersection we were about to cross. Robert was in front of me yelling, waling on his horn and tried to maneuver around the minivan that ended up stopping in the middle of the street. She still managed to hit him and somehow Robert stayed up. It might have had something to do with the ABS brakes or the 15+ years experience in riding all kinds of motorcycles. Me on the other hand saw this all happening and in my attempt to avoid running into the minivan and Robert I slammed on my breaks and the next think you know I’m down and rolling and sliding up the street. I saw people on the side walk running toward me. Another biker on a black Harley slowed down and when he noticed there were several people around to help he sped up and kept going. I saw the minivan. I felt how fast I was sliding. I knew I was going to slam into it. But that’s all I knew. I didn’t feel anything. I was just in that moment. I was sliding and I was going to hit the minivan. I see my bike crossing the intersection and then I see Robert trying to put his kickstand down as fast as he could as he looked to his right and saw my bike go flying into the curb.

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I was face down in the middle of the intersection with my shirt up to my neck, my favorite blue tie-dye shirt with a crocheted design in the back that Robert loved on me. As I looked up I saw he got his bike on the stand, looked toward my bike, turned around and began frantically search for me. I was hysterical. I could hardly catch my breath I was crying to hard. “Are you OK?” he kept asking “I’m fine” I sobbed as he helped me up. I couldn’t stop crying as he was trying to walk me to the sidewalk. But I stopped and walked to the driver side door to make sure the lady in the minivan wasn’t going to leave as she was getting out. I was shaking with tears pouring down my face, pointed my finger towards her and screamed “you better not f***ing go anywhere!” and “Someone call the f***ing cops.” At this point Robert knew he had to pull me away and continued to lead me to the sidewalk. All I could hear her say was “I didn’t do nothing, ya’ll are the ones who passed the red light”

The cops, fire truck and ambulance arrived in what felt like seconds later. About 5 firefighters and paramedics came running to me and began to search my body for bruising or possible breaks. They kept asking where it hurts and I just didn’t know. My body was tingling all over and the only sort of pain I felt was my left arm. They lifted it up and saw the road rash from my shoulder down to my forearm and horrible bruising underneath. (Click here if you want to see it.)

The paramedics poured hydrogen peroxide and some other liquid all over me. I have never felt pain this bad before! They said I was probably fine and didn’t need to go to the hospital. That I should go home and clean my wounds in the shower. HAHA who were they kidding! I’m pretty sure I made Robert cry from how agonizing the pain was. I literally could not handle the slightest drop of water going anywhere near my arm. As the adrenaline began to wear off I felt pain everywhere, especially around my ribs. We went to the urgent care where they tried to x-ray me but I was in so much pain that I almost fainted twice. They were concerned and told me to go to the ER. One IV of morphine, several x-rays and a CAT scan from my head to my ribs later, it turned out I was very lucky. The CAT scan tech, who looked like a biker, told me so too.

I could only take the percocet for so long because we all know how dangerous those are. Let me tell you I needed them, but all they did was barely ease the pain. After about 5 weeks I was img_20161010_210427finally able to lift my arm over my head without cursing like a sailor.

The photo doesn’t do it any justice. You can see the bruising a little but it completely covered the other side of my arm. I have been blessed with great skin by the way. Everyone who saw this when it was fresh couldn’t believe how well it healed. I can’t repeat it enough how lucky I was.

It has been 2 months and 7 days. I think the PTSD stopped somewhere around week 6 or 7. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in… ever. I literally had no desire to talk about this let alone post anything. To be honest, I think I gained like 10 pounds but I REFUSE to get on a scale right now. The depression wasn’t that bad but it was annoying. I’m sure it annoyed Robert more than anyone. Poor guy. He was the biggest champ through it all for everything he had to put up with.

When there was a glistening hope that maybe I could go back to kitchens and be a chef again and this completely ruined that for me. My herniated disk feels nice and fresh again.

At the end of the day I am alive. My back kills, arm is still sore and it hurts to lift it a certain way but I guess that’s the risk of riding a bike.

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