Damn this blog is getting depressing. I usually like to keep things as light-hearted as possible, but given the long span between my recent posts (SLACKER!) a lot has happened and I feel like there’s one more serious issue that needs to be addressed.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my best friends had a bad accident on his motorcycle. The cause of the accident and exact circumstances are unimportant, but the results of it are very important.
It started with a weekend morning call from his mom to me wondering if I had spoken to him. She had received a call from his boss saying he hadn’t shown up to work. We called the local hospital and they couldn’t give us any information and had no one by his name. We called the local jail thinking maybe he had gotten in trouble somehow, but no info was available. I sped to his house and pounded on the door. Nothing. I also noted that his truck was there but motorcycle was gone. There was a not so good feeling creeping into my stomach.
His mom called me and let me know that he was in the hospital, but the hospital had him listed as a number, no name, because he had been brought in with no license (it turns out the first responders had his wallet and had called the hospital to give them his info, but it had gotten lost somewhere).
Initial assessments of him showed a broken temporal bone, broken shoulder bone, fractured neck, road rash covering his face and brain bleeding, but no swelling. Later it was discovered he had two broken ribs as well. Please, I invite you to take a guess if he was wearing a helmet or not. The physical injuries have started to heal in the weeks since, including the brain injury, but the memory problems remain. He is slowly remembering things, but at this point even it is still a struggle. He sometimes thinks he’s in his sister’s apartment instead of the hospital. He thinks that he wants a cigarette, despite the fact he quit smoking over a year ago. There are times when I’m in his hospital room and he’ll ask when I’m coming as if I’m someone else. It’s been rough on not only him, but his family and friends and will continue to be. The worst part is the not knowing, not knowing if he’ll ever remember anything, or if he’ll be his old self again.
Now, I’m not usually one to harp on things, and I value an individual’s freedom of choice as highly as anyone. I’m also realistic in realizing that not everyone will wear a helmet, which is fine. All I ask, is that if you are a motorcycle rider, give it some consideration, even to a half or 3/4 helmet. Is it as fun, no, but I do know that had he been wearing his helmet (he owns two) a lot of this probably could have been avoided. Whether you decide to wear one or not, I wish you all safe and good rides, and keep the rubber side on the road.
As a side note, the situation is not without humor. One of his requests so far has been a three-foot elephant he can train to sit. :)