Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Some Advice, Freely Given...

Yesterday was an eventful day for me, and one that I would like to share with you in a small way.  I have a bit of advice that I would like to share with you all, maybe some will heed it, others will ignore it, but all in all I think that it is important for me to say something.

I bought a scooter yesterday, it was a 2008 model and had 3,408 miles on it.  I had just paid for the thing and was taking it out for a test run to see how well it worked.  Now, keep in mind that I had asked my dad to go with me, he being an experienced motorcycle rider and I being somewhat new to it.  However, because he was against me buying it in the first place he wouldn't go.  Now, I unfortunately, I have a bad habit of only asking a question 3 times and then I give it up.  I really would have liked my dad to come with me, he could have given the scooter a good look over and helped me get it home from where I bought it.  But since he wouldn't go so I went on my own, the man was very nice and started it up for me, told me what things he had fixed on it and everything.  But I have always been told that you need to drive something when you get it to make sure that it actually works.

Problem is this, since I was a novice it was stupid of me to try.  Second, I wasn't wearing the proper footwear or clothing. So when the unexpected happened I was in no way prepared for it.  As I pulled out of the parking lot, my thought was to just go a quick round the block and back. Then go get my dad and get the thing home.  But here is the thing.  I was going along just fine, turned on the side street off the main road and went down to the place where I could make a left turn so I could head back the way I came.  I was coming from a complete stop turning right and as I started to go I felt a jolt from the back, not being experienced I only grabbed the front brakes and the next thing I know I was laying in a ditch with the scooter on top of my leg.  Now apparently, I had hit the road with my head and shoulder as the bike went sliding across the road dragging me with it.  I found my self in the ditch with major amounts of blood all over me. I didn't think I was seriously injured, was waving my hands flagging down an approaching car. I needed help to get the scooter upright and on it's kick stand because I couldn't get it moving on my own.  I noticed that the fiberglass body and shell were broken keeping it from moving.  Anyhow, a young man on a bike came up while the car and it's passengers were trying to help me.  Within 5 minutes there were a lot of people milling around watching what was going on.  When the cops got there they asked me what had happened, so I told them what I knew which apparently wasn't much.  No one on the scene actually saw what happened and my recollection of the facts seems to have some missing pieces.

It wasn't until the paramedics got me on a backboard and stretcher to take me to the emergency room that I started feeling any pain, disorientation or confusion.  I guess that the adrenalin spike in my blood had kept me from noticing anything.  When the officer's asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital I said no, but again I didn't know how badly I was hurt. It was hot and I wasn't actually thinking I was pretty badly shaken up and I guess upset at myself because I just bought the damn thing and here it was ruined and probably wrecked beyond repair, though I don't know that for sure, and probably won't have any idea till tomorrow seeing as today is a holiday.  As I have said I didn't know how badly I was hurt till I got in the ambulance, and was being whisked away to the hospital.  My pulse was 130 and climbing and my blood pressure was on the high side.  They kept asking if I was on drugs or if I had been drinking etc, but I wasn't thank God.  Now, I am the type of person that takes tragedies and makes light of them.  I joke about the things that are serious to me and could cause emotional pain.  So while I was laughing and joking with the paramedics I heard them talking about the call in report to 911 by a woman in the neighborhood that I was leaving.

Come to find out, the jolt that I felt from the rear was a young girl driving some sort of white car, she approached the stop sign where I was sitting and apparently didn't even try to brake as I was starting to take off.  This would be why as I was turning right me and my scooter were facing the left direction in the ditch, she clipped me so hard it spun me around and tossed me across the road and into the ditch on the opposite side of the road facing the wrong way.  Now had I known any of this I would have told the officers on the scene, but I didn't and none of them came to the hospital to talk with me.  They didn't even get a copy of my license or anything.  So at this point I have a wrecked scooter, I am strapped to a backboard with a neck brace on.  You can imagine how uncomfortable that was, now lets not forget that I have 55 staples down my abdomen from recent surgery on June 18th.  Well all said and done I have 6 mores staples added to my scalp, and had 2 lacerations on my face that were sealed up using dermabond.  My knee and shoulder and part of my back are pretty scraped up and my ankle and foot look like hamburger. Please try to remember that I was up and walking around on the scene of the accident had the guy on the bike help me get the scooter standing upright, and had been helped out of the ditch and was walking to the side of the road when the officers and paramedics arrived.  What you haven't found out is that because of the adrenalin in my system I had no idea of how badly I was hurt like I kept telling you.  When the doctor finally came in and examined me he touched my left ankle, just barely and the pain flared so intense I thought I was going to pass out and the room started spinning. Yep that is right my ankle is also broken.

So what is the morale of the story? What is the advice I want to give?  Well here it is.  If you are a novice or new to something don't do try it on your own, make sure that someone is with you and if you get into trouble can help you.  Second, put in your wallet an emergency contact phone number, reason for this is I was at the hospital for 6 hours and my cell phone was back in my truck at the scooter place and I had no idea what anyone's number was.  I didn't know how to get in touch with my dad or mom or anyone else.  Thank goodness that my father has also been a patient at the hospital and they were able to look up his account information and call him for me. Otherwise, I would still be sitting there waiting for someone to come and get me, because the hospital wasn't going to let me go out on my own.  More advice too you, if you are trying something new make sure that you are dressed appropriately and wearing the proper shoes.  I should never have gotten on the scooter wearing flip flops and had I been wearing proper clothing and shoes the extent of my injuries would have been a lot less.  Another thing, if riding a motorcycle or scooter and you are like me a novice at it, take the precaution of wearing a helmet. Had I been wearing a helmet yesterday I wouldn't have hit my head so hard that I had to have the staples on my scalp, and wouldn't have the lacerations where my sun glasses arm broke off and cut my eyebrow from one end to the other, and the abrasions and contusions on my face wouldn't have happened either.

There is no harm in taking the right precautions and doing things the right way, and if you don't know what you are doing take the time to stop and ask someone.  Don't end up like now owning a piece of busted up junk and having to deal with the pain of a broken ankle and then trying to figure out if I am going to try and keep the scooter and have it repaired or take the loss and right off the money I paid for it because they are never going to find the girl that hit me and since I didn't have any motorcycle insurance because I just purchased the vehicle it is my total loss and responsibility.  However, circumstances would be different if the other party comes forward and admits what happened, then I could get a claim against their insurance.

Heed my words, take things slowly and if you aren't sure about something don't do it, and if someone is being stubborn and obtuse because they don't necessarily like your decision let them know the extent of your discontent with them.  Which is what I should have done with my father.  I am an adult and I needed his help and expertise but he wanted to act like a child and punish me and here I am hurt and angry and out quite a bit of money.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B