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Novemeber 3rd
Last Post 11/12/2020 10:15 PM by 79 pmooney. 10 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:2507

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11/03/2020 12:41 PM
Today is the 43rd anniversary of my head injury. Happened on a Thursday. That next Tuesday I missed the (off-year) election as I came out of my coma. It was also the NEBC annual dinner and awards night where word went out about what happened to me.

11/3/77 is cemented in my mind as an overcast and dry typical November day in Boston. (I wasn't really there so I won't swear to this. I have one distinct memory of that day. A message my housemate left for me by the bathroom sink re: a club we went to the night before to hear music. Where that was and who we saw I'll never know.)

Iit is raining. The last of my maple's leaves are coming down. covering the sidewalk, road and driveway I cleared yesterday. A day out of Joni Mitchell's "Urge for Going". It feels like my post accident years, the dark years, only now it is the dark times for humanity, not just me. Approaching the darkest winter I have known in 40 years. Feels right that we are back on real time. Our clocks now accurately documenting the sun's short journey across the sky. The countdown to solstice starts. (I double the number. - the days shorter than today. Sunday was 100 shorter days.)

I:m hearing the rain on my new roof and freshly cleaned gutters. All is right, this will pass, life will go on. Probably not as we knew it and without some people we took for granted. A reminder I am not in charge. It is my job to do what is in front of me as best I can and to accept how this plays out. That nature is rolling on, the sun is doing as it has always done is reassuring for me. The alpha hummer just visited the feeder which he (with some help) has 1/2 emptied in a day and a half. Yeah, all is right in the big world. Just doesn't always seem that way.

Ben

longslowdistance

Posts:2189

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11/03/2020 05:20 PM
Whoa!

Ben, you are this forum's finest raconteur. Glad you are here to share it.

And I hope that rain is helping with the fires out there.


huckleberry

Posts:576

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11/03/2020 05:55 PM
Best to you on this auspicious anniversary, Ben.

Thanks for sharing. Lovely and relatable.

Chris
79pmooney

Posts:2507

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11/03/2020 06:10 PM
Thanks guys.
79pmooney

Posts:2507

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11/08/2020 10:00 PM
Just remembered I came out of my coma on this day. No memory of it.

I had only one memory of my stay in ICU. A childhood friend came and talked to me. I may have answered him. Months later when we met up, I realized I remembered words he said. But zero memories of that room or anything else during my ICU stay. When I went back to see the neurosurgeon for folllow-up a month or two later, I knocked on the locked ICU door. A nurse came to the door and rather sternly asked my business there. Told her who I was and that I wanted to see my ICU room. She looked at me blown away. She was my charge nurse and didn't recognize me! So I was that much of a mess.

The room - cold and sterile. Three glass walls. A bed. Back wall was electronics floor to ceiling.

Funny remembering that on this day. Today was late Indian summer. Cold; barely into the 40s but clear and beautiful. Bike ride day.
Dale

Posts:1335

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11/09/2020 08:52 AM
Wow, sobering post. We never know how close to the edge we really are. The blink of an eye and life takes a completely different tack (a bit of a head nod to your other hobby).

Our hummingbirds have been gone for a few weeks now. We left the feeders up to catch any stragglers, none have been by lately.
79pmooney

Posts:2507

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11/09/2020 09:57 AM
Our Annas stay year 'round if we feed them. Otherwise they fly west to the warmer coast. I didn't feed them for a year after the passing of the old Alpha. (Painting the eaves the feeders were hung from, etc. I know, poor excuse.) Hung the feeders and they were back in two weeks with a new and very inexperienced Alpha

Rufuses come for the summer, then fly far south. Haven't seen them yet since the re-hanging. Hope they'll be back. They are much more timid and don't interact with me at all.
smokey52

Posts:336

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11/09/2020 11:28 AM
Here in NY the predominant hummingbirds are ruby-throats. They usually leave around the end of September to fly south and over the Gulf of Mexico.
longslowdistance

Posts:2189

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11/09/2020 09:23 PM
Ruby, red, . . . Rudy . . . Ahah!

Head south Rudy, far far south.

Venezuela maybe. No, too ironic.

So farther yet, perhaps to Brazil, was once a haven for former Nazis.
thinline

Posts:286

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11/12/2020 02:52 PM
Ben,

My TBI tenth anniversary was September 13th. Oddly, I did not even realize it until the 14th! I take that as a good sign.

When I was going back to the hospital (Dartmouth Hitchcock) for my follow up visits it was so strange because I sort of remembered little places in the hospital from being wheeled around, going for MRIs, x-ray etc. But I just couldn't put it all together. Very strange feeling.

The day of my crash I remember was very nice. I also remember that it took much longer than normal to get out of the parking lot and onto the road home that day. I rely on people's good graces to let me out because I turn left onto the main road in town just before a stoplight where people turn to get to the interstate so things back up and you need someone to cut you break. If I had not gotten stuck for several minutes longer than normal, no accident. Instead I would have passed the truck that slammed into me while he was still going up the other side of the mountain before he lost control coming down. I also recall driving through the last little town before heading up the mountain road (Waitsfield, VT) because a friend owned a restaurant at the time and had just opened a new deck for outdoor seating. I was sorely tempted to stop and have a beer in the sunshine but had to get home to get to band practice that night. If I had stopped, no accident. Well, the truck would still have been in an accident but it would have happened before I got there so I would have been, shall we say, somewhat less inconvenienced because I would have come upon the accident scene instead of being part of it. I don't really remember anything after driving through the town until I regained consciousness in the car, although I had no idea I was in a car or had been in an accident. I had no memory of any life prior to that moment and was convinced that I had been brought to life for the sole purpose of an experiment to see how much trauma a body could take before it died. Lotta pain until they got the truck off the top of my car and pried things open to get me out.

Strange how things time out.
79pmooney

Posts:2507

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11/12/2020 10:15 PM
When I went back, I saw some things i remembered. The window at the stairs landing. I remember looking out. Didn't remember why I was there but the nurses reminded me. I had no clue I was supposed to be a patient. (This after I was moved to the general ward. Aill head injury patients but otherwise normal rooms and care.) I could walk. Not well, not straight but I could do it. Still had engineering logic even if all my skills were gone. I couldn't walk straight so I stayed close to corridor walls and gently veered toward them. Now I had a broken right collarbone. Veering into a door frame and hitting my right shoulder hurt like hell! Solution? Stick to left hand walls. That worked fine but why were all these people veering around me? So confusing.

Stairs. I didn't have the coordination to walk down stairs. Every step was traumatic. But up? For a bike racer? Easy. I had no clue I set off a hospital-wide alert the first time I went to the stairs, walked past that window and up to the top floor. After that, the nurses would simply take the elevator to the top and retrieve me. (I was a lot of work but their favorite patient.)

I have a vague memory of sitting in a wheelchair and being wheeled to PT. Seemed ridiculous but no one was listening to me. Left the hospital Wed before thanksgiving. Monday my mom drove me to the local hospital and PT. Again on Wednesday. Friday I walked the 2 1/2 miles. They told me I was good to go after the session.

The realities of what I had lost came when I moved back to my apartment. I'll write about that, but later. The hospital and stay at my parents were lived in a state of different reality. Interesting and I recall it being fun. A lot I had to learn, but a safe environment. Mistakes weren't a big deal. (They might have been for others but I never had a clue.)

thinline, I only know about my crash through others (and long after, seeing the fork. Bike came back to my apartment. But the fork went to the bke shop owned by the guy I was going to ride with, Open Air Cycles. I barely knew him (and actualy resented that he was dating my training partner) but the shop was a hang out for a lot of us and the mechanic, Jim, who was both the sole personel there and lived in an overhead loft was loved by many. Lots more to say, but it can wait. If I write more, I'll be up all night.
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