Dave showed up 15 minutes later and carried me to his truck. Every bit of movement brought severe pain. He got me to the Emergency room and they did a CT scan on me. I was bleeding internally and had damaged a bunch of organs, but my spleen is what gave them concern. They wanted to life flight me to a bigger hospital, I told them no. I would take an ambulance and not spend the money.
My daughter who is a Surgical Nurse is also knew the doctor who was working on me. He spoke with her and I was over ruled.
I got my first helicopter ride, not the way I envisioned it. Flown about forty mile away I was soon to be bounced from one form of X Ray machine or scanning machine to figure out what was damaged.
I had a broken shoulder, collar bone, scapula, three broken ribs, punctured lung, damaged spleen, liver, adrenal gland, twisted knee and badly sprained ankle. I spent the next three days in the Intensive Care Unit then got switched to the trauma section of the hospital.
That stay and the experience is one worth sharing in another story. Dealing with pain and being there is an experience like no other. Pain comes and goes, we all deal with it, some better than others, it is however not lasting. What hurt the most, what bothered me the most, were the words, "You will be unable to work for six months." As a business owner this was quite a blow. I have a partner in one business that would continue to move forward, one that could sit. The other business was my welding company which I have owned for 32 years. There was no one to keep that going while I was laid up. I had on going jobs and jobs coming up. I had customers who counted on me, ones who didn't ask a price, ones that did business on a hand shake. Without boring you with the details, I sold that company while laying in a hospital bed on a Sunday morning, to a customer who asked how much and said they would put a check in the mail. Two weeks later they called to find out what exactly they had bought as they had no idea about what equipment and inventory they bought, only that they wrote a very large check.
I am lucky that this worked out this way, no deal ever comes together this quick, nor does money ever change hands as quickly as this. It was sad to see a company I built, one of the last that did business on a handshake, and had the trust of the customers like I did. Seldom did anyone ever ask a price for my services, I sent them a bill. Over the years we had done over 2,200 buildings and bridges, millions of dollars on a handshake. That part of me was now gone.
My new job was to get better. I had no idea if it was really going to take six months before I would be back to working, laying in a hospital bed takes away a lot of perspective. I had planned to try and run 60 miles on my birthday. I ran 19 on Jan 1st, that seemed like an un-realistic goal at the time. When I finished that run, I wondered why couldn't I do more.
I have always had over the top goals. Epic success is paired with epic failure. I have always been comfortable with risks, comfortable with failure, the journey and the effort is always what kept me going.
With the badly sprained ankle my running days would be over for at least a year. This was like a blow to stomach. Pushing yourself, doing what others could not have always been part of who I am. It was pretty cool to tell someone that you ran ultra marathons, did Spartan races, even had an obstacle course in your back yard, something only crazy old guys have.
I threw it out there, I was going to try and bike sixty miles on my sixtieth birthday. I had no idea if I could, only that it sounded like something I would plan and try. I am not a biker, so this would be learning experience. I got an old ten speed bike and a bike trainer and set it up in my cellar. I would ride for ten minutes at time, which seemed like a lot. I bought a good road bike and did a few short rides the longest being 25 miles.
The months went by quickly, the healing process slow and painful. I had no idea if I were really going to be able to ride the 60 miles only that I was going to try.
My son and daughter decided to join me, they would ride with me, neither had ridden 60 miles on a bike before either. Russ rode as a kid more than 20 years ago, Cathy did short rides on the weekend. Both were up for an adventure.
We started out yesterday, with a plan and a goal in mind. We did not ride 60 we rode 70 We decided that 70 sounded much better than 60, that would have been the bare minimum, and all of have always done more than expected never less.
I share this to say, even when everyone says your down and out, you are not until you give up. Share your goals and your dreams with others, it is ok to fall short, not having them the real problem. Anything worth doing is worth suffering for. No part of this was easy, no part of it comfortable. The good stuff in life hurts and takes way more effort than you can imagine, it also is the stuff that makes success taste so good.