On We Go


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Friday hubby got out of the house for the first time since the accident. It was good for him to get some fresh air and move about a bit. We didn’t go very far just downtown to the auto body shop where the bike was towed.

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Heartbreaking. Really it is. After all that work he put into it last summer with tracking down an engine and then putting it in and the new header and the new this and the new that. It’s a crying shame. Just turned ‘vintage’ this year and cornered like it was on rails. I loved that bike almost as much as he did. Thankfully we have receipts for all of that stuff so hopefully it will get taken into consideration when payment is offered on the bike.

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There used to be a black face shield there but it shattered and is no more. It saved his face from being ripped off, that’s for sure. Yes, I imagine it also saved his life. I’d like to say that I’ll never again protest wearing a helmet but that wouldn’t be true. At least I know myself that well. The lovely deep dent in the tank is from where his crotch slammed into it, presumably, just before he was ejected over the SUV. You can see why that sensitive area is bruised.

We’ve talked to both insurance companies and sent the above photographs to our insurance company who will forward them on to the other insurance company. We’ve talked to two lawyers to make sure we’re doing this right. So far we haven’t retained on but from what I’m getting from friends who answered my call for assistance getting a lawyer may be a necessary evil. No offense to my friends at the BAR, really honestly I mean that. So far, representatives of both insurance companies have been very nice, kind, and concerned–reasons on the last may vary.

Anyway, we wanted to get down to the auto body shop and take pictures before the adjuster got there so we’d know exactly what we were dealing with. You just saw it. Twisted hunk of metal. Damn shame. Especially considering this is how she looked when he rolled her out for the first time last year.

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Truly heartbreaking.

So, after looking at the wreckage and taking pictures it was later in the afternoon when we got home and he wanted to start looking for a Primary Care Physician…at…it was like 4pm on a Friday. Nah, I said, best to wait until Monday. We rested Friday night and Saturday morning spoke with the insurance adjuster again and started the process of finding a Primary Care Physician.

O…M…G!

I live a stone’s throw away from L&M Hospital, doctors line Montauk Ave. This should not be difficult. It should be like finding gold in a jewelry store.

No.

Hubby goes to the web site on the back of the Care First Blue Cross card and, well, the site doesn’t seem to work. Every time he puts in zip code and searches for a PCP he gets an error or two or three. I figure maybe it’s the old tablet he’s working off of. I try on my computer. I get the same crap. I remembered I had troubles using the site before when we had to sign up with to manage the HSA thing. I was tired. I got crabby. I figured the site was down and I’d try again today, which I did.

Hubby sent his boss a text telling him he wouldn’t be in Monday (tomorrow) after all and he’d need a few more days off even though the doctor’s note says he can go back today. I don’t think she understood what he does for a living. He’s not in any shape to go hauling computers/monitors around the USCGA, up and down stairs and hills all day long. He’s gotten strong enough to take a slow lap around the backyard a few times a day but that’s about it. Trying to get him up and moving even though it’s still painful just sitting/lying there all day would be worse. He tells his boss he’s having trouble and the healthcare web site seems to be down. Boss texts back he completely understands being out of work several more days and, btw, the site is working.

I go to the site. I have the exact same problems. I rack my brain I remember his log-in name but can’t get past the security questions to create a new password. He remembers them, I change the password, the site opens and….no go. It keeps trying to give me doctors in MARYLAND! Granted, that is where the company he works for is headquartered but they have people working for them in several other states. This CareFirst site doesn’t seem to understand that. I try gaining access to the ‘National Directory’….even though I may be charged more for using someone outside Maryland, so sayeth the site. Know what? The link didn’t work. I tried every single link on that page and not one of them worked! Just the provider directory for the State of Maryland.

I was getting so pissed! I’m signed in (finally), I’m in the Provider Directory, I’ve entered my Zip Code and the damn site doesn’t recognize it. It just keeps coming with an ‘Area Error/Zip Code Error’ and showing me towns in Maryland on the little City/State drop down list.

Finally I went to the main Blue Cross site and…wow! I found 8 PCPs in my area within seconds.

I don’t know who runs that CareFirst site but they really stink at their job.

I copied the page and sent it to hubby. Most of those doctors are located in the same place. Kinda strange. Hubby will call them on Monday and get the first appointment he can to follow-up on his injuries. I’m thinking they’ll probably recommend at least 1 urologist visit. If that’s broken or has lost sensitivity then I will get John Hammond! Oh yes I will! They’ll have one really pissed-off, scornful, and chomping-at-the-bit-horny, Pooh-Bah on their hands and they won’t like that…not one little bit. :P

Other than that, things are going about as well as can be expected given the above photographs I suppose. That’s good. We sat out on the deck for a little while late this morning and had coffee in the summer sun before making a single slow trip around the yard. That’s very good. We found 3 whole apples on the apple tree. No nectarines. Gotta move that thing one day the ants munch the bejeezus out of it. We decided to dig up the phlox box under the window and plant the rose bushes there along with a few other flowers.

So I guess we’re still buying green bananas and that, my friends, is a truly excellent thing!

Aftermath


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We’ve never done this before, did you know that? Nope. Never put in an insurance claim. Hubby did it way back when he got his very first bike and somebody else trashed it but that was 30 years ago. I worked in a law office for 8 years and don’t have much of a clue regarding things like this; real estate and probate, remember?

Truly, I’m just tickled pink that I still get to curl up to him every night. That’s the only thing I really give a rat’s ass about. He’s still here and in one piece.

With that in mind….yesterday a friend of his showed up just as we were about to sit down and eat our first meal since the accident (well for me, I hadn’t eaten in 48 hours by that point, nope the last thing I had eaten was dinner on Monday night). He’s a work buddy, you know what I mean? Not someone we necessarily hang out with but who drops by here and there because he’s in the neighborhood or whatever. I like him…kinda, I don’t really know him but he’s a very opinionated fellow. I like to think that he means well. The whole time he was here he just kept talking about lawyers and getting money and what a golden opportunity this is. Then he went on and on and on about…lying to get the most money! He kept getting LOUDER about it. No joke. I bet the neighbors across the street heard him plain as day. I sat there and ignored it until he just got so loud and insistent that he couldn’t be ignored. I sort of glared at him and then he said to me; “Well don’t you agree? After I leave here aren’t you going to push him to do this?”

I said: “No.”

He was just kinda shocked. He wanted to know why and I told him I told him that I worked in a law office for eight years. He seemed to believe that should lead me to be on his side and when he pressed me for an answer I gave one my of my old bosses might have given; “I’m not comfortable discussing the matter with you.”
I said it nicely and coolly and all I really wanted to do was throttle him once or twice before showing him the door. He got the point and left pretty quickly.

That’s my definition of “Ugly American” and the personification of everything that’s wrong in this country. He can’t even see it.

Man, he pissed me off. Spoiled my appetite, I only ate 1 Mickey Ds cheeseburger and some fries. I tried to eat another one late last night, took two bites, and that was it.

Sometimes accidents just happen. They do. There’s no sense in getting vindictive over it. Ok, if they’re drunk or texting or something like that then it’s different but I’ve no reason to believe that’s the case here so why get all nasty about it? Just settle-up, call it even and be happy everyone ‘walked away’ then go on with your life.

Any-hoo…that’s just my $0.02, ok? I know…it ain’t worth much.

I got the police report today and it clearly states the other driver was the cause of the accident. The report kind of made me chuckle, they draw this little diagram of the accident and under it they wrote “not to scale”. Really? No kidding? I smiled a little. It’s just a little map. I don’t know why they have to put that there. Kinda strange.

Hubby called the place the remains of the bike were towed to…it’s smooshed. The guy was surprised that hubby ‘walked away’ and wasn’t seriously injured. He called the other person’s insurance company and filed a claim.

Today the bruises are really showing up and I took photographs of them. Poor guy is so sore he can barely stand up and he sort limp/toddles around for a few moments at a time then has to sit down. He’s got a nice bruise on his butt and outer thigh but it’s the one in the frontal area that’s bothering me. Yep, his penis is bruised…I mean it’s bruised. Up until today I didn’t know it wasn’t even possible to bruise a penis and I…never mind that would be TMI. I took pictures but I won’t post ‘em here…aren’t you lucky? ;)

Oh that’s a bummer. Major bummer. You know how much I like sex, I know you do if you hang around here often enough. This could be another little ‘bump in the road’. Got nice scrapes on his scrotum too. Bumm-er!

I don’t know how he did it but he’s got a big one on his heel. Those stupid overly expensive boots that we argued about when he bought them are thick and tough. They don’t show much sign of damage but his heel has a fat round bruise on it. Weird. The way he keeps complaining about his upper back I won’t be surprised if a bruise starts showing up tomorrow morning or so.

Anyway, I’m keeping it all in file; the accident report, pics I took, and I got the pictures Rebecca’s friend took of the scene. I guess that’s it. Now we just wait. Right? I really have no clue so as to what to do or expect from this point onward so if you do your assistance would be appreciated.

I’m hoping to actually get some sleep tonight. I’m wiped. I even took two Advil PM last night but they did no good. Not only did I stay awake what sleep I did get as the sun began to rise caused me to wake with a headache. I still have it as I type not even the ibuprofen I took has touched it. Eating something might help I suppose but my stomach still isn’t interested. Oh well, maybe I’ll sack out and watch a movie to try to decompress. Maybe later tonight we’ll see about eating those ribs I was cooking Tuesday, they are still here and I think they’re fully cooked! Yep, I turned off the oven but didn’t take them out of it as I headed for the door. The pan was still a little warm when we got home late Tuesday night. I think they’re done.

I think I’m pretty ‘well done’ too.

The Crash


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Get a drink, get some cheese and crackers, put your feet up. If you read this post you’re gonna be here for a while because this is bound to be very very very long. I’m a storyteller and I have to tell the whole story of the last 36 hours from start to finish.

Yesterday started like any other day; we got up, we had coffee, we watched the news, we said ‘good-bye’ at the door with an extra long kiss. It made a voice pipe up in the back of my head; Something bad is going to happen. I almost told my hubby to take the car even though it was a beautiful late summer day. I told myself that I’m slightly insane to begin with so it’s best to listen to only The One voice in my head that truly counts and since it wasn’t his voice I ignored it.

I went to work. I was swamped with work. Got through that. I made up a few flyers for NEWS and took them downtown to distribute in a few places. The one place I really wanted to go, the Monte Cristo Bookstore, was closed. I took them around Bank Street and then headed home. I got online and started chatting with Monte Cristo Bookstore as I’d asked them to promote the NEWS event in their FB feed. They agreed if I’d pass the word about their shop. I agreed. One thing led to another and we may have a small Indie Author Event in the works for October. I threw the scant information out to my local author friends. Started taking information. All is well.

I started dinner; BBQ ribs and sat down to watch “Bones”. I looked at the clock and thought; Oh, he’ll be home soon. Just as I thought that my phone lit up the screen told me hubby was calling. I thought; Oh, he’s going to be late, well that’s ok. I answered: “Hi, honey.”

“Is this Lisa? Are you Lisa?” Asked a woman’s voice.

Before I could answer or she could go any further I thought; Who the fuck is this bitch calling from my husband’s phone? I swear to God she better not be calling to tell me she’s his girlfriend….

“Yeah, I’m Lisa.” I said through a tight jaw.

“Your husband’s been in an accident on his motorcycle.”

Pause. “What?”

“This is ______ (it’s the only part of the call I can’t remember!) from Sound Community Services. Your husband’s been in an accident, but I think he’s ok. He’s very concerned that someone call you. They’re taking him by ambulance to Lawrence & Memorial.”

Pause. “Ok.”

“He’s alright, he’s conscious and asking about you. He’s going to be ok.”

Pause. “Alright.”

“Do you need one of us to come take you to the hospital?”

Pause. “No, that’s ok, I’m just down the street from L&M.”

“Ok, they’re taking him now.”

“Where was the accident?”

“We’re down on Montauk Ave.”

Less than a half mile from home! But, I thought; he was going slow, he wasn’t on the highway, and the Coast Guard makes him wear his helmet. He has his armor on when he left this morning.

“Some woman just pulled out right in front of him!”

Heart sinks. Pause. “Ok, ok, tell him I’m leaving for the hospital now.”

Breathe. Sit one moment. Sit. Breathe. Good. That’s good. Ok, ready?

Get up, retain the presence of mind to turn off the oven, the rice cooker, and the coffee pot, I even locked the door behind me. I make the half minute trip to the hospital and even got a parking spot right away.

It’s waiting for you.

I know, thank you.

You know I’ll never let anything absolutely horrible happen to you.

I know. Thank you.

Ok, one more time…big breath. Good. Let’s go.

I got to the ER before my husband. I waited ten minutes for someone to tell me he even got there. All the while I’m wondering how I’m going to tell the girls. When am I going to tell the girls? I don’t have anything to tell them yet. They finally told me he arrived and led me back to the Family Room which is almost never a good thing. The last time I sat in the Family Room my dad died! Of course no one comes in to say anything to you at all. Nothing. Meanwhile I can hear him back there, he’s groaning, he’s throwing up, he’s trying to tell the cop where his insurance certificate is!

I’m in the fuckin’ Family Room, ask me Johnny! Leave him alone he’s got enough troubles right now!

(Oh, yeah, ‘Johnny’ that’s CT Speak for Officer of the Law a/k/a John E. Law…get it?)

They find the insurance card and I clearly hear the doctor ask; “Was the accident his fault?”

And Johnny very clearly responded; “No, it was her fault.”

Not that that’s much comfort, I already figured it wasn’t his fault. He’s a very careful driver. The last time he had anything close to an accident was wiping out around a corner in a patch of sand. We were going very slowly due to the corner and the sand but the back tire caught it, wobbled, and the bike pitched to the right. I fell off scraped my knee, got burned by the exhaust. All was well. That was…fifteen…maybe twenty…years ago.

Back there I can hear him asking for me. That was the worst. It really was. Hearing him in pain, asking for me, and knowing I couldn’t go to him. I took about 40 minutes of that before I had to get out of there. But before I left the room I very calmly called the girls and told them their father had been in an accident, we were at the ER and didn’t know how bad it was. I told them they should wait at their respective homes until I had more information. Both of them lost it right off the bat but I stayed cool. Sometimes I gotta hand it to myself. For someone who suffered from panic attacks so badly she barely left her bedroom for six months…I’m a motherfucking rock in these situations. Provided I’m alone. That’s the caveat. If I’m with someone I perceive as stronger than myself I may lose it. But mostly I keep together throughout the entire crisis knowing I’ll fall apart when it’s over.

I went out to the sidewalk, had a smoke to calm my nerves. I had a bit of Internet out there so, yes, I made a quick FB post letting everyone know what I knew and that I’d post updates as I had them. Don’t you ever let anyone tell you that FB friends or online friends aren’t friends…that’s bullshit! In an instant there were 90 people at the ready to do whatever they had to to get me through this from real world friends and family to ‘fans’ and fellow authors to people I don’t know who they are or why they follow me…no clue. Prayers and good wishes went up and out all over the globe.

I made some more phone calls. Rebecca and Hector pulled up. We all walked in together and hung out in the Family Room while they wheeled in an X-Ray machine and my heart dropped thinking; He can’t walk. His legs are broken. I wasn’t too worried about head trauma since he usually wears the helmet all the way home from work and, I figured, if his head was a smashed pumpkin he wouldn’t be calling for me back there. Still, I didn’t take it as a great sign.

Breathe. Everything’s alright. I’ll say it again for reassurance; I will never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, allow anything absolutely horrible to happen to you.

Ok.

They finished with the X-Ray and got him hooked up to the IV and machines. We went back to see him for a few minutes before they took him for a CT Scan. He was in and out of it but lucid. His lip was split open but he wasn’t gushing blood anywhere. He complained about his hip, he thought it was broken. He complained about his collar bone, he thought it was broken. He complained about something else too and thought it was broken. Major bummer. He thought he broke a rib. I held his hand for a while and rested the other on his forehead. Told him I loved him, I didn’t give a shit about the bike, and everything would be ok, no matter what, as long as he was alive all would be well. They wheeled him out of the room. I went out for another cigarette and to make some phone calls; Freddie, Karen (his supervisor), and Chris (my boss). I checked my FB to see all of the well wishes and was heartened by them. Nikki pulled up. We walked in together.

Both girls are doing their best not to totally lose it, I gotta give them credit. They held up well. Not like the time the cop screeched to a halt, jumped out of his car, pointed at a loaded gun at me, told me to shut down my engine and get out of my car because he thought I was dealing heroin. Becca just totally lost it! Oh my! She had a panic attack that beats every single one I ever had. But me? Cool as a cucumber, baby. Smooth sailing.

They get him back from the CT Scan and the results came back very quickly. The nurse was wonderful, Nurse Christine, I wish I could remember her last name. She was a true Angel of Mercy. She says; “Nothing’s broken in the pelvis region…nothing.” She paused hoping we’d get the message and we did. “No broken ribs, everything in the chest area is fine. The collar isn’t broken. In fact, you have no broken bones.”

THANK YOU!!!! OH I LOVE YOU!!!

That’s better.

Crisis averted.

He was pretty out of it for several hours but they let him come home last night and he got himself up the stairs to bed. He’s sleeping on the couch now. He’s pulled just about every muscle in his body and he’s very sore but very very lucky.

The bike is trashed. Someone posted pictures of the accident on Facebook. How do you like that? They didn’t realize it was him until Becca saw the pictures her friend posted and asked her to take them down. There’s pictures of the bike, the van…smooshed driver’s side read door in the exact shape of the bike’s faring and front tire, she even had pics of him laying in the street which she was kind enough not to post. We did see them. They are very disturbing. They are the type of photograph that, had I been there, I would have wanted to take but refrained from doing so out of respect. He drew quite a crowd by the pictures. Yep, rubberneckers always gather at gruesome scenes. After the initial shock of the pictures wore off I found myself hoping I’d seen them earlier then I would have known he was ok. His jacket is fully in tact…love that kevlar armor! Even his pants weren’t ripped. His face was a bloody mess due to the helmet shattering and the face shield breaking in his face. But the cut is only about an inch long. It didn’t even take a stitch.

I’ve never been the kind of wife who just adores telling her husband what he can and can’t do. I’ve always done my best not to do that. He’s an adult he can make his own choices and decisions. They are not mine to make for him. He had a motorcycle when I met him. It was part of his appeal when I was 17 and part of his mystique. This morning I told him I didn’t want him buying another bike because I really couldn’t do that again. I broke down. I cried. He was very comforting and understood my perspective. Within 20 minutes I apologized and told him we’d work on it if he really wanted another one; maybe a fat old Harley or a chopper, neither of them go much over 40 and they corner like shit so there’s little chance of accident. Maybe a scooter or a little Honda Rebel (I’ve always wanted one of those! LOL). Perhaps we’d get him a mobility scooter and put fringe on it.

He laughed.

Then he told the story of his trip home. He keeps coming back to the same thing and being angry about it. But I see it differently.

It seems, right around the end of Huntington Street where it meets Tilley Street there’s a STOP sign and he let another biker go ahead of him. The kind we generally laugh at; shorts, flip-flops, tank top but with a helmet! He says it was a white bike, the guy was wearing a matching white helmet with a full-face shield. (Are you on my wave length yet?) He complains the guy slowed down to like 3 miles an hour and then they turned down, I think it’s Walbach Street, together, the guy stopped. Just stopped dead in the street. Hubby says he waited a few seconds but then blew around him. Instead of going down Shaw Street to home the way he usually would have he turned up Bank Street and then down Montauk.

Shortly after the accident hubby says he saw the guy again, he stopped at the accident, looked down at my husband for a few seconds and then went on his way.

Hubby is very angry over this. I’m not sure why.

My take is simple; if he’d just stayed behind the guy five more seconds when he stopped dead in the street the accident never would have happened. I think the biker was…let’s say for lack of a better term…an angel…trying to prevent this accident in a last ditch effort.

Then again, I’m one of those crazy dippie freaks who swears she actually did see The Face of God in the rising dust of the Twin Towers. It stopped me cold, my heart froze, everything froze, and I knew exactly what it was when I saw it. No one will ever tell me different on that score. No one. No one will ever tell me different on this one.

Five seconds. Just be patient for five seconds. Be inconvenienced for five seconds.

Sometimes five seconds can make all the difference in the world.

I’m not blaming hubby for the accident the chick driving the van is the idiot here. I don’t know what distracted her or how she managed not to HEAR him coming…that bike is LOUD…I mean it’s LOUD. I hear him coming home before he hits the hospital. I don’t know how she managed not to see this big biker with a Darth Vader helmet riding a fairly large blue and white bike coming at her with the right-of-way. I don’t know why she too stopped dead in the street. If she’d hit the gas and zoomed out of his path she could have avoided this.

I’m just glad he’s ok.

That’s my story.

What’s the line? Oh, yes…’Just a little excitement in an otherwise dull day’.

Yeah, a little bump in the road. A big bump but a bump nonetheless.

Gotta love those bumps!

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