Blog: An Urgently Needed Update!
It's been a long while since I've updated my blogs, and it almost came to be that it would never be updated again!
Let me explain.
You see, back in July, I was given the opportunity to go on a "mini-vacation", so I planned a road trip, to go and visit some friends and relatives that I hadn't seen in decades. It was to be a nice, slow-paced trek to Southern California, where I would see my Aunt Faith and Cousin Linda, a family friend whom I've always called Aunt Val, and finally, a short ride up the coast to visit my Aunt Carol. I was really looking forward to all of the visits, and I'm sure that they were, too.
Well, the road trip started out well, with clear skies and mild temps, and I was happily tootling along on my bike, enjoying the scenery and taking my time. I had a week to spend on the road, and wasn't in any sort of a hurry, so I made the most of it. I pulled over often, and took a lot of pictures of the landscape and scenery.
I stopped in a small town, called Pine Grove, and took on my first refill of fuel since I took off, and when I calculated the mileage, I was concerned that I wasn't getting the fuel mileage that I would need to get to be able to complete the trip on the funds I had available. I very nearly turned around at that point, but I figured that the first leg of the trip was through some steep, hilly terrain, and that the mileage would go back up on the next leg, because it was mostly down hill, and one thing that I'm good at is conserving fuel on a downward slope. So I pressed on, determined to take things slower, and intent on saving fuel wherever possible.
I honestly don't remember what happened next. I have a brief flash of a big white 4x4 pickup coming at me from my left, and then nothing. I recall having a strange, disjointed conversation with several people, all calling me "Mr. Morton", but I have no visual recollection; just blackness. I was constantly telling them that I couldn't breathe, and I remember trying to remove the oxygen mask that they kept trying to put on me. The darned thing smelled awful though, and I felt that this was why I couldn't breathe. It was actually a punctured lung and "Pneumothorax", or air in the chest cavity, that was causing my breathing problems, but I was completely ignorant of that, right then. After that, I have no memory of anything until I saw my Sister's face, several days later.
When I finally "came back to myself", it was almost 2 weeks later, my Sister's visit was a blurry vision from days before, and I hurt mightily. the nurses all told me that I was lucky to be alive, and one recounted to me that I had actually died, not once, but twice. The list of my injuries was extensive, including not only the afore mentioned punctured lung, but also a ruptured spleen, a broken femur near my left hip, a torn ACL in my right knee, a broken left wrist, and a severely dislocated right elbow. In short, I was a complete and total wreck!
As to what actually happened, I'm told that someone in that 4x4 pickup that I briefly glimpsed was sitting at a stop sign on hwy 104 and hwy 88, near Ione, Ca. He saw a line of traffic coming, the last vehicle of which seemed to be a pickup truck. It looked to him that there was a big enough gap in traffic for him to cross, so when the pickup passed, he went. He never saw me, and while I saw him, there wasn't enough time to react, so I ended up plowing into the passenger side of his truck. The police officer estimated that I was going between 50 and 55 MPH when I hit, and from the accounts I heard, the impact was enough to make the front and rear of my bike meet together. So not only was I a complete and total wreck, so was my poor bike!
Anyway, Long story short, I spent a month in the hospital, nearly half of that in ICU, and I'll be a VERY long time in recovery. It's late September now, and I'm only now beginning to walk, and even that's with the aid of a walker. But I'm thankful to God every day that I'm alive and able to be with my family. And that road trip, to visit my friends and relatives? It's still on; just delayed.