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Old 01-29-10, 07:53 PM   #1
jppe
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My Cycling Buddy's Newest Challenge

My cycling buddy that was hit by a car appears to have hit a plateau with his recovery. It's been over a year and his left leg is still not fully functioning and is just a miniature version of his right, healthy leg. He's only tried to ride once and unless he can get more production from his left leg he's probably just an observer for a while.

However his latest challenge is much more serious and desperate. His wife was hospitalized a couple weeks ago as the result of complications from COPD. After some initial treatments she was admitted to ICU and put on "ventilation". Unfortunately for medical reasons she could only stay on the ventilation for a defined period and then the tubes would have to be removed. Because she had a living will, she did not want to be put on artificial support for a sustained period.

While her lungs were not able to function on their own, everything else was working very well. She was mentally extremely alert when the medications were reduced. While she could not talk due to the tubes, she would write notes and communicate by jestering. She displayed her normal personality throughout. The rub is they were pushing my Buddy to remove the ventilation.

Needless to say it has been an extremely agonizing situation. The doctor's told him that without the ventilation she would not be able to sustain enough oxygen to survive very long. Thus by removing her ventilation he felt like he was becoming an exectioner of the person he cared most for. Words cannot describe the anguish he was feeling and displaying.

However he has gotten some peace as his wife was alert enough for a long discussion of the options in front of her. After hearing the scenarios, she still opted for not having something breathe for her. I just cannot imagine the courage needed to make that decision.

So, the tubes have been removed and she is barely managing to sustain breathing. However the end is close by and she is now under Hospice's care. She is very tough minded and I'm sure she will be with us longer than anyone might predict-it might just be minutes or could be days but she's just that tough. I also know through her scribbling notes to me that one of her greatest concerns was if my Cycling Buddy would be okay if she died. I suspect that as soon as she's convinced he'll be okay she'll move on to where her Mom and Dad now preside.

My Cycling Buddy and I have gone down many a road together when he was riding. However, neither one of us ever expected to have to have to go down a road like this. He really, really needs and could use our combined thoughts right now. He's had one hell of a year.
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Old 01-29-10, 08:13 PM   #2
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He has already had more than his share of hardship, and now another huge weight has been placed upon him. I really feel for him and truly hope that he will find the strength to bear the load. It will help that his wife was able to make a conscious decision in how to proceed. It would have been incredibly hard to make that kind of choice for her. I am sure that having a friend like you with him helps immeasurably. Hang in there. Both of you.
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Old 01-29-10, 08:58 PM   #3
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Yes, it's great that he has a friend like you to be there for him through everything. Poor guy. Do they have children?
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Old 01-30-10, 08:02 AM   #4
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jppe, you must be a truly valued friend for the two of them to include you into their journey. Your friend will need you more than ever as his life takes turns no one imagined. Hang in there, we at the BF community will be here for you.
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Old 01-30-10, 08:34 AM   #5
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Man - sometimes life REALLY sucks.

How great for your buddy and his wife to have such a good and caring friend.
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Old 01-30-10, 11:06 PM   #6
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My thoughts are with you... and your RB....
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Old 01-31-10, 06:25 AM   #7
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thoughts and prayers going your way-- like has been said above, you must have a great friendship to be included in this difficult period... but as I think about it, that's what friends are for-- to get through the hard parts-

train safe-
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Old 08-22-12, 07:17 AM   #8
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For some that have been participating on 50+ for several years might remember the saga of my Cycling Buddy that was hit by car Thanksgiving 2008, had him hospitalized for weeks and left his left leg less than full strength due to damaged nerves. You might also recall that he lost his wife the next year.

Just thought you might like a quick update.

He continues to have challenges with his left leg but he's such a fighter he just manages around it.....foot drop and all. For whatever reason there continues to be some slight infection in the knee that oozes out a port a doctor has installed. The surgeon has done an additional surgery to see if he could find anything and removed some of the hardware but it still oozes. He has met a new female companion and of course introduced her to cycling. He even purchased a tandem and this past weekend they did over 60 miles on terrain with some decent hills..... and she really enjoyed it. She seems to be good for him and the tandem seems to be good for them both.

It took him a little while but he got over his anxiety of being back out on the roads with cars. He genuinely loves the freedom of cycling as much if not more than anyone I've met.

He and I rode with a small group last night and it was like old times. He did an amazing job of hanging on to the group using the equivalent of 1 and 1/4 legs. If you didn't know his history you wouldn't think much about it. I mentioned that the tandem was probably good for him as it made him push a little harder than if he were riding solo and he mentioned that he thought it was helping his power already.

If only had a little bit the drive, determination and fight that guy has. There is a lot to be admired and a lot to learn from.
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Old 08-22-12, 07:26 AM   #9
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Sounds as if he is doing well, all things considered. Thanks for the inspiring update.
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Old 08-22-12, 07:42 AM   #10
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The human spirit never ceases to amaze me. Thanks for the update.
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Old 08-22-12, 08:05 AM   #11
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He has more courage than I will ever have. Facing the challenges he has had with so much character is hard to imagine. Good to hear he is riding again and fighting the handicap he has. Prayers for his strength, and for you to jppe, friends that stick with you when the hard times come around are rare, hope things stay better for both of you.

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Old 08-22-12, 09:00 AM   #12
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Bravo!
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Old 08-23-12, 06:17 PM   #13
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Glad our friend is doing so well. Please give him my best and we'll continue to cheer for continued improvement!
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Old 08-23-12, 06:39 PM   #14
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Thanks for the update. What a way to meet incredible challenges. My best to you, for being a true friend, and for him and his inspiration to all of us.
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