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-   -   It really hurts to see someone hurting (http://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/491668-really-hurts-see-someone-hurting.html)

jppe 12-03-08 08:25 PM

It really hurts to see someone hurting
 
I just need to talk............

I've been trying to visit my cycling buddy in the hospital who was hit by a car as much as I possibly can. We're getting a pretty good network of neighbors, cyclists and others to pitch in as needed. Right now there is not a lot anyone can do but that will certainly change once he is able to come home. However that might be several more weeks.

I'm just crushed when I go visit him. It just tears me up to see the guy writhing in pain. Here's a fellow who was as strong and healthy a 60 year old as you could imagine. Here's a cyclist with outstanding cycling skills-in fact he qualified for Senior Nationals in 2009. He could have qualified for more events but sat out one event to let another local friend qualify. We've "Assaulted Mt Mitchell" together and we've chased each other up hill after hill. We've both smiled at each other as we've dropped younger riders along the way. We've enjoyed pushing each other to knowing the pain we've experienced in riding and training just made us a little better.

Tonight I spent a couple hours with him-a lot of it just sitting in the dark watching him rest-and occasionally writhe in pain. Here was this guy that just a week ago was as strong as they get looking weak and helpless. It felt so easy to put myself in his position and feel the pain he was feeling.

A million thoughts ran through my head.

As much as I enjoy the many aspects of riding that we all have shared stories about, I was asking myself if it was really worth it-is it worth the risk. I now wonder what my mindset will be the next time I go riding. Will I be so concerned about vehicles and safety I become a threat to myself or other riders-or worry so much I lose a lot of the enjoyment??? I'll work through all that but it's bothering me more than I would have guessed.

The other thing that really dawned on me tonight --- he as a long, long way to recovery--and it's going to be very, very difficult. The doctors are now estimating he'll be in the hospital even longer. They won't even be able to operate on his leg/knee for at least another couple weeks........I think he is doing great handling all this-but man does he have a long way to go.

It sure does hurt in more ways than I can explain seeing him hurt.

Thanks for letting me share!

Stay safe!!

maddmaxx 12-03-08 08:35 PM

Share anytime Jppe. We will all help as much as we can.

Jet Travis 12-03-08 08:56 PM

In the midst of the most difficult times, we can remind ourselves at the amazing ability of human beings to either fully recover or to build something new and good out of seeming tragedy. Remember, jppe, when you ride with this group, you never ride alone.

Yen 12-03-08 09:08 PM

Thanks for being so open with your feelings about your friend and your new concerns about cycling. We all gain from each others' life experiences here and I've shared my own anguish like it was among friends. Feel free to continue as your friend mends and even once he gets back on his feet. He sounds blessed to have so many people in his life who care and look after him.

It sounds as if you are carrying a heavy weight of thoughts and emotions, having known him so strong before and now seeing him bruised and broken and in so much pain. That mental shock can also be felt physically so take care of yourself as you walk along with him through his ordeal.

It took me a long time to feel as comfortable riding in traffic as I do now. In the beginning, I felt trepidation every time. Now, it hardly bothers me at all -- it feels like a challenge and I always stay alert, but I'm no longer afraid. And that's a good reason to pay even more attention. When a bike and a car/truck collide, the car/truck always wins.

Bus Driver 12-03-08 09:17 PM

we don't ride alone
 
God Bless and I'm not even a God person . Best said, "We do not ride alone". Hope for a speedy recovery and the strength to ride again, as I,m sure he will.

Mojo Slim 12-03-08 11:06 PM

Your friend, as you describe him, sounds like the kind of guy who will make sure he recovers, whatever it takes. And I'll be he's the kind of guy who really appreciates the friends he has who will help him through all this. Best to both of you.

Clunker 12-04-08 01:30 AM

My deepest heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery go out to your friend! Thank-you so much for sharing your feelings and the story of your friend's tragic circumstances. I just recently started riding 'seriously' again, after a rather long layoff. When I am riding I am always aware of the possibility of my meeting similar tragic circumstances; but I am also aware of the enjoyment that I get from riding. The enjoyment for me is a reward that FAR surpasses the risks that I take while riding. I have had two bladder cancer surgeries over the last five years. After each surgery there was a recovery time of a few weeks; but both times I started riding again on the day that the doctor gave me the 'OK.' Even now, my rides aren't very long and are rather slow, but I simply enjoy riding WAY too much for ANYTHING to stop me! Stories like yours, and people like your friend have been great inspirations to me! They helped me find the strength...so that I just KNEW that I was going to recover; and again I wish your friend a speedy recovery...and MANY more miles of riding. I know that you and your friend are 'hurting,' but I can't imagine what you and he must be going through...however, it is VERY important that you and he must 'NEVER, EVER give up!' May God Bless you and your friend. Sincerest Best Wishes :love:!

Ron

NOS88 12-04-08 06:00 AM

Your friend's full recovery is much more likely with people like you in his life. It is a tough road ahead, but you've got to reach down and climb at least one more mountain together. I feel for both of you.

Kai Winters 12-04-08 06:09 AM

Good thoughts and wishes for him.
Great of you to be so supportive.

Bob Nichols 12-04-08 07:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jppe (Post 7960032)
I just need to talk............


As much as I enjoy the many aspects of riding that we all have shared stories about, I was asking myself if it was really worth it-is it worth the risk. I now wonder what my mindset will be the next time I go riding. Will I be so concerned about vehicles and safety I become a threat to myself or other riders-or worry so much I lose a lot of the enjoyment??? I'll work through all that but it's bothering me more than I would have guessed.

Stay safe!!

I've thought about the risks of riding, but we can't sit around and worry about what might happen. Life is a risk, no matter what we do. We never know what might happen each time we get in the car, or each time we walk down the street. We can be in good health one minute and dead the next.

I had a friend who was walking through the woods about 3 weeks ago to work on his duck blind. He was shot with a high-powered deer rifle. He was 44, a father and a husband, and was active in his community and church. I always wonder why these things happen, but don't guess we'll ever understand.

Your friend is in my prayers.

Bob

oilman_15106 12-04-08 08:00 AM

Seems the Holidays always have some bad attached, just found out a business associate's daughter has bone cancer. Hope all is as good as it can be for you all.

BluesDawg 12-04-08 08:22 AM

Your friend is fortunate to have a friend like you to help see him through his ordeal. But this is also an ordeal for you. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts with us and with other friends who are there with you.
I have seen very clearly over the last six months how much friends and family can help get us through the worst of times. I have also seen how hard it can be on family and close friends to see a loved one going through such an ordeal. We all have to lean on each other to get through it.

big john 12-04-08 09:52 AM

jppe, you're obviously a good friend and a good man. Just do what you can and talk to him when he can listen. I'm sure having you around means a lot to him. Tell him you care about him. Having people care gives us something to hang on to.

I think about not riding when people get hurt and when I read threads like this. I try to be careful and pick routes away from traffic, or try to go mountain biking more often. I'm actually more afraid when driving on the freeway than when I'm on my bike.

Kurt Erlenbach 12-04-08 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jppe (Post 7960032)
.As much as I enjoy the many aspects of riding that we all have shared stories about, I was asking myself if it was really worth it-is it worth the risk. I now wonder what my mindset will be the next time I go riding.

I think about this every time I ride. EVERY single time. When I was recovering from liver surgery after my colon cancer came back in 2005, knowing that I had about a 1-in-5 chance of living another five years, knowing that I had a brutal six months of chemo ahead, I came to the firm and fully-considered opinion that dying on the front end of a pickup truck beats dying curled up in bed "after a long illness."

Is it worth the risk? Yes. Do everything reasoanbly possible to reduce the risk; ride safely yet assertively and predictably. Avoid unnecessarily dangerous roads. Avoid confrontations. Be situationally aware and think ahead to avoid dangers. Recognize that we older folks will not heal like the 20-somethings in the MTB forum, and avoid silliness like mountain biking. The result? Probably not dying curled up in bed (or maybe in bed at age 93), and probably not dying on the front end of a pickup truck. But maybe we will. That, however, is life.

stapfam 12-04-08 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BluesDawg (Post 7962421)
Your friend is fortunate to have a friend like you to help see him through his ordeal. But this is also an ordeal for you. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts with us and with other friends who are there with you.
I have seen very clearly over the last six months how much friends and family can help get us through the worst of times. I have also seen how hard it can be on family and close friends to see a loved one going through such an ordeal. We all have to lean on each other to get through it.

BD and a few others have been through the other end of this ordeal- where we will rely on others to help us through.

Can assure you it will be tough on you but the amount of help you are offering your friend means a heck of a lot to him. He has someone he can rely on- and that will help him through.

InfiniteRegress 12-04-08 10:04 AM

Just be there for him. I know it's hard, but that is the biggest source of strength when you're in that situation. Yes, cycling is risky, but so is stepping out of your bathtub or front door. Life, by it's very nature, is inherently risky. It sounds like you're being a great friend already, so I just encourage you to keep doing what you're doing. Also, I don't know the circumstances of his accident, but if it was something that involved driver error, maybe help him use the accident as a reason for getting something changed that needs to be changed (if applicable). Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a serious situation like this to wake people up. Best of luck and sending positive thoughts to you and your friend.

John E 12-04-08 10:05 AM

Thanks for sharing. Hearing about cyclists being killed or seriously injured always dampens my enthusiasm for my favorite sport. I am glad we can discuss this issue frankly here, because I have friends who always blame the victim and evidently feel invincible.

Best wishes to your friend. I have a friend who went through the rear side window of a Ford Expedition at age 60. Not only did he recover fully, but the paramedics at the scene underestimated his age by 15 years. I also remember reading years ago about a Norwegian burn victim whose miraculous recovery was attributed to the fact that he had commuted by bicycle for many years.

John E 12-04-08 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kerlenbach (Post 7962872)
I think about this every time I ride. EVERY single time. When I was recovering from liver surgery after my colon cancer came back in 2005, knowing that I had about a 1-in-5 chance of living another five years, knowing that I had a brutal six months of chemo ahead, I came to the firm and fully-considered opinion that dying on the front end of a pickup truck beats dying curled up in bed "after a long illness."

Is it worth the risk? Yes. Do everything reasoanbly possible to reduce the risk; ride safely yet assertively and predictably. Avoid unnecessarily dangerous roads. Avoid confrontations. Be situationally aware and think ahead to avoid dangers. Recognize that we older folks will not heal like the 20-somethings in the MTB forum, and avoid silliness like mountain biking. The result? Probably not dying curled up in bed (or maybe in bed at age 93), and probably not dying on the front end of a pickup truck. But maybe we will. That, however, is life.

Superb post. As Louis Pasteur said, "Chance favors the prepared mind." We cannot control everything in life, but we can influence the odds considerably.

Kurt Erlenbach 12-04-08 10:11 AM

Here's the link to jppe's original post about the accident. Sounds like a standard-issue left cross accident with an inattentive drive in a location where the cyclist was easliy visible. For me, one of the scariest and least avoidable kinds of crashes.

George 12-04-08 10:22 AM

I cant add anything more that's been said here, you have my best wishs, take care.

Robert Foster 12-04-08 11:08 AM

A good friend only needs to be there just to be there. You are doing what you can do and many of us admire that.

cranky old dude 12-04-08 11:12 AM

Physically the pain and recovery is his load to bear.

Psycologicaly the two of you will pull each other through this trial together, much as you have on the bicycles. When he's feeling low you'll pull him and he'll be there to pull you when you're feeling low. When you're both down you'll slog along together, but you will both come through this. The physical and mental strength you've both been building over the years will get you both through this, the biggest challenge you've faced together yet.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you both, and with your families.

CACycling 12-04-08 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jppe (Post 7960032)
As much as I enjoy the many aspects of riding that we all have shared stories about, I was asking myself if it was really worth it-is it worth the risk. I now wonder what my mindset will be the next time I go riding. Will I be so concerned about vehicles and safety I become a threat to myself or other riders-or worry so much I lose a lot of the enjoyment??? I'll work through all that but it's bothering me more than I would have guessed.

I can relate. About 20 years ago, I was riding my motorcycle back to work after lunch. I came upon an accident. Semi had made a left in front of a motorcycle. I immediately recognized the bike as belonging to a coworker who I rode with often. The officer told me it didn't look like he was going to make it (he didn't). I had the duty of going to get his wife and taking her to the hospital. He left behind two beautiful young daughters.

I lost the joy of riding after that. It wasn't fear, just didn't find the enjoyment I once had. I sold the bike a few months later and haven't ridden a motorcycle since. I was actually thinking of getting back on a motorcycle right before I returned to cycling last year. I guess it was time for me to be back on 2 wheels. How will you feel? Only time will tell. For now, concentrate on being the good friend that you are and let the rest of it come when it feels right.

qcpmsame 12-04-08 11:34 AM

I'll have your friend, his family and you in my prayers jppe. People like you as friends will go a long way in helping him recover. Please continue to share and to keep us updated on his progress.

Bill

Beverly 12-04-08 12:51 PM

I hope your friend makes a complete and speedy recovery. Thanks for sharing with us.


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