September 11, 2011

I'm Lucky

I slept last night.  I felt, almost, normal the next day.  When I sleep, unlike the nonsensical nights sleep I endured most nights at Craig, I feel normal, almost.  When I sleep I don't feel like I'm the slow kid not keeping up with pleasant conversation or even a completely broken man.  I still have a hitch in my gitty-up caused by a right leg that still isn't wired correctly.   Maybe it's because I still hang with some very broken folks during my Craig sessions, but I'm starting to believe my hitch is hardly perceptual, if your not getting paid to study my gait like my PT.  And my right arm, (I'm a natural left hander which has made my situation a leap and bound easier to manage.) especially my right hand, is still a weak sissy that can't do fine motor skills with any amount of speed but my right wing is now serving for light duty tasks. I can now manage, right handed, to zip and button my pants, hold open a newspaper, remove the stopper from a gallon of milk, among other right handed jobs. I have, as a fun form of physical therapy, been playing right handed catch with my boys.  We exchange bouncing underhanded tosses with a heavy gel filled ball, it's weight perfect for adding strength to my hand.   Kelly (4) and even Rhys (3) can catch my awkward looking but fairly accurate servings about 80% of the time. I, using my weakened right hand and with their poor tossing technique, only mange to grab half of their balls but its fun weather I snatch one or whiff.

I slept last night, I feel almost normal, and just plain lucky.   Even though I'm not physically right, yet, I feel lucky every day.  As I mentioned before, my most quantifiable reason I feel lucky is the array of broken people I encounter and I am friends with at Craig.  The friends I know who departed around the same time as I or are on track to depart in the next weeks are, frankly, going to need the aid of other people for quite sometime, if not for a lifetime. My injuries, beyond my healing brain, are simply superficial. I sustained road rash on my knees, right shoulder, and chin - not even a broken collar bone for me.  Because the intensity of injury to their body's (think how you might end up crashing your drag racer at 200 mph, crashing your motorcycle into a u-turning car and getting dragged for a block trapped under the engine block, or suffering a land mind attack in Iraqi - a horror) some of my fellow Craig residents are there three months before the start even considering a move home after four or five months hard time.

I'm lucky, I only did two weeks at Denver Health and three weeks at Craig and was sent home one week ago, Friday.  It's been six weeks since my troubling head first crash and I still visit Craig for out patient therapy several times a week, visiting friends and the therapeutic staff, to further the healing of my body and mind but I receive the gift of time with my boys during off hours now. Playing a card game with Kelly, listening to Rhys' rascally laugh, or cuddling and singing a lullaby with Beck before bed are my joyous cues while not doing structured therapy. Now, even in the midst of a three year old fit or a two year old tantrum, truly, the boys make me smile every second I spend with them.

I'm lucky that I didn't die, leaving a harsh wake of death for my dear family to grapple.   I can't imagine Cathrine telling the boys their daddy is dead.  I had a dear friend die of a head injury four years ago - it's painful and sickening process.  I'm lucky Catherine wasn't picked to call deaths end for a father of three impossibly small.  I'm lucky she was stubbornly fit and tenderly able to direct my care, first at Denver Health and then at Craig's.  Each facility has wonderful, dedicated staff but ultimately Cath faced, especially at the beginning, hard decisions regarding my care or would hardily fight for me when I was faced by dunces who where occasionally assigned to managed my care.  I am lucky to have a wife so caring, so relentless to make the last six weeks what every doctor I've met claims to be, with a level of measured caution, a somewhat miraculous recovery.  I am lucky to have Catherine on my team and I want everyone, everyone to know she has helped me during this difficult time using every fiber in her body.  I am lucky to have Catherine as my wife.
I was still in Craig but made it to the final stage of the pro race.

Gram Mary has been amazing!

We went for a hike in the mts last weekend.

Rhys celebrating his first day of school with dad. 

I'm riding again (stationary) these days.


  1. I cant think of any other word except unbelievable. This post brings major tears to my eyes. The amazing core of your family plays a big part in your recovery. You truly married superwoman and she has her superman. Way to go Andrew! Way to fight for your body, heart and soul.

    Andrea (Wurth) Hutter

  2. Andrew, I have had you and your family in my thoughts a lot since I heard about your accident. Great to read your words and reflections on how lucky you are. Ride on my friend.

    Rick and all your friends from Two Wheel View!