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Accidents Happen Part 1

Post Date 20 Jun 2019

By Pocketpete

As most people on here are aware I had a rather bad accident on the 24th March 2019.  I thought I'd share a little bit about the accident in more detail which may help others in a similar position in the future. Some of this I can remember, some I have been told by other people who were there. 

Motorbikes are actually dangerous and I am surprised by the number of people who like me were hit by another bike. Accidents can range from a slip like Sharon's recent tip to mine and Ren's... or even worse than ours. Following my recent meeting with Ren it was interesting how our accidents were different in many ways yet startlingly similar in other respects.

For example the number of times people have said to me 'Gosh you were very lucky it could have been much worse'. Well that statement is wrong on so many levels. Just how is my accident lucky? It would have been lucky if he had missed me or just clipped me slightly. If the accident had been worse I probably would have been dead so I wouldn't really care about the outcome, I wouldn't be here anymore. So no my accident was extremely unlucky, that's one thing me and Ren agree on. In fact I had not even thought about it until he pointed out the true position of good luck or bad luck.

Before the crash Ren had been his usual wonderful self and came round to do a few jobs on my bike including tappet adjustment, this was a full day's job. Later we changed the fluid in my brakes. Both these he did with great skill having already performed these on his own CB500X. 

This was in order to prepare my bike ready for our planned Scotland trip. I had decided to keep the 500X as the bike shops were only offering £1800 - 2000 in part exchange for a new one. Plus I actually liked the bike, it was reliable and fun to ride and had extremely low running costs.

I decided to make a few changes and additions such as my radiator guard, fender extender and adjusting the badly pointing front light. Then the addition of fog/running lights. These little improvements I hoped would add a little value to the bike and be practical improvements. I was gearing up for a few others such as fuse box and sat nav holder/better phone charger etc. 

I wrote a few of these improvements for Ren to publish and when we finally had a few decent days of good weather I took my bike out to Matlock where I enjoyed a cup of tea and a toasted tea cake before making my way back for a much needed Sunday Lunch which was booked for 2pm.

A cup of tea on a table
My Matlock cup of tea. 

I followed my favourite route back, along the A6 then cut off down a hidden shortcut at Darley Dale and then across Long hill from Buxton. As I reached the final bend at the bottom of the Hill just before the main traffic lights, I started my turn in to the bend.

I am doing 45-50mph when a white bike comes from my right with the rider leaning over. He crosses the white lines and hits me virtually head on. I would say he was going much faster than me, probably around 60-70mph. I try to avoid him and he hits me head on, hitting my right leg. 

The impact threw me off the bike and as I slid backwards I remember seeing my bike disappearing behind me in a mass of sparks and the other rider flying into the air maybe 6 or 7 feet above his own white bike. He flew with his arms outstretched looking like some sort of flying angel. It was quite surreal - he really could fly. He disappeared from view and I could see his bike tumbling sideways in flurry of plastic fairings being shredded.

I stopped in the road flat on my back and all I could think off was if a car came round the bend I was dead as they would not see me and run me over. Somehow I managed to crawl to the pavement. 

After sitting on the pavement for a few seconds I checked my arms, I could move my fingers but not bend my right arm. I could move my left leg and right leg a little bit. There wasn't much pain but I quickly realized something was seriously wrong with my right leg, it didn't move properly. My toe was touching my shin which could not be a good thing and realised my ankle was broken or possibly my leg. 

My first thought was I was going to be late for the dinner and to ring Paula. My phone connects to my helmet via blue tooth and I called Paula using voice control. I rang her and apparently said 'I've had a bit of an accident, I'm OK but I've broken my leg'  (those were my exact words - she tells me I was quite happy and chirpy).

She was a bit concerned and I said i would call her back. At this point somehow I realized something was seriously wrong with my arm, leg and foot and my brain started to tell me I was actually in horrendous pain which didn't seem to make sense. I think it was at this point I passed out. 

I was in and out of it for sometime. I remember a policeman with a glock, a nurse and a doctor turning up and a helicopter. I have since been told the police firearms team were simply passing by and stumbled across the accident. They had oxygen and extensive first aid kits (just in case they shoot a bad guy and then need to give him first aid). 

They also had a prisoner in their vehicle at this time. They assisted me and were joined by a nurse who was passing on her way home. Due to my condition, extreme shock and injuries they called the helicopter and I was struggling to breathe at times. The helicopter was going to take me to Salford Royal Trauma center but they didn't have a bed available and so I was eventually taken to Stockport infirmary as they felt I needed urgent A&E care and that was the closest place.

Apparently the prisoner was given a police high vis jacket and was helping to direct the traffic...! He didn't escape.

I don't remember most of this but it appears that the lad who hit me had another rider with him who also assisted keeping my airways open. The chap who hit me broke his collar bone and had a few cuts and bruises. He clearly didn't see my new fog/running lights!

It was and hour and a half before they felt I could be moved from the road. I remember waking up in hospital and had no idea where I was or how long I had been there. 

Paula was allowed in after a few hours of treatment. I was given pain killers including morphine which sent me a bit deranged apparently. Morphine is not good for me, I'm rather sensitive to it. I was taken to theatre at around 10pm to have my bones put back where they should be. 

The following day I remember waking up on a ward feeling very sorry for myself in a lot of pain and wanting the toilet. I had a drink and the consultant came to see me telling me I had fractured my right arm, hip, leg and foot. This also included two breaks in my right knee, my tib, fib and virtually every bone in my foot. Lovely, and they decided I wasn't allowed morphine again. They found me something else which was just as good.

Pocketpete in the hospital leg bandaged surrounded by medical equipment

Now what can I say about hospitals? They are really good at fixing you up and mending things but they really do not do anything to prepare you mentally for your recovery. A typical day is as follows.

5am, I wake up at 5am(I always do for some reason)
I press the buzzer and beg for a cup of tea.
Colin the nurse soon just brings me a brew at 5am every morning without me even asking.
6am The nurse comes and does your pulse, blood pressure, temperature and oxygen levels.
7am Shift change and breakfast comes. Porridge, tea and toast for me everyday.
7.30am Water Jug Changed
8am Medication Nurse.
9am Blood pressure etc.
9.30am Washing and teeth
10am Cleaners start doing their bit.
11am Visiting starts.
12am Medication Nurse
1pm Dinner visitors have to leave for 30 minutes.
2pm Visitors allowed again.
2pm-4pm Consultants usually show up.
4ish- Blood Pressure etc.
5.30pm Tea time.
6pm Medication nurse
7pm Visitors allowed.
7.30pm Water Jug Changed
8pm Select meals for the next day.
9pm Tea/biscuit
10pm Medication Nurse
10.30 Sleep if you can

and REPEAT... GroundHog Day or what.

An apple with a face drawn on it placed on a rubik's cube
This was my hospital friend 'Wilson', very talkative he was well.

As you can imagine 3 weeks of this is pretty downright boring. Yes you can watch TV and see visitors but they tend to wear you out very quickly as your mind is simply not capable of dealing with them. The days are interspersed with visitors and doctors and the hospital library. 

I get a visit from a lovely lady from the hospital radio who asks me if I want a song playing. I don't really do music but ask for something from the 80's and inform her that I wont be listening as I'm pretty deaf. During the accident I lost my hearing aid but wonderfully the audiologist found out and provided me with a replacement.

The IPL 20/20 is on whilst I'm in hospital so I tend to watch the cricket nearly all day. It was very exciting stuff, after a week I'm dragged into showers where a nice young Asian nurse called Ragnesh covers my leg in plastic bags and hoses me down. I must admit I felt better and probably smelt better. 

The main consultant Mr Lavender did not appreciate my Dads Army jokes but informed me after a week that this was a life changing injury. This sort of sobers you up a bit. He explains that normally they would cut my foot open and put a row of metal plates up each side and screw my foot together, in my case this is not possible as I have rare fracture blisters (only 2% of patients get these).

They are a bit like when you hit your finger with a hammer or trap it in a draw. You get a small black blood blister forming on your finger, in my case these blisters are the size of a 50p coin right where they want to cut me open. This is formed where the bones rub the skin from underneath and the blister forms above the skin. These are very painful and prone to infection. Hmm nice. Fortunately I have nerve damage which is preventing too much pain in my foot. I have been having lots of pain killers but these are for my arm which is killing me.

The other bit of bad news is my foot suffered a Lisfranc Fracture (There were 11 of these in the UK last year) which is about the worse type of fracture you can get. Jockeys suffer from these when their toes get trapped in the stirrups or people who drop from a ladder and land toe first.They're very hard to heal and require plates to hold it together. The main problem of these fractures is where the toe separates from the rest of the toes causing a Spock type V gap between your toes. 

Oops! Cant put plates in due to the blisters. Hmm... I am informed they are going to pin my foot together using Steinman pins which are basically 8 inch nails they hammer through the bones and "kebab" the joint. They put several in criss-crossed under the foot in a form of cross shape to stabilize the foot. Unfortunately this has a much poorer outlook than the intended ORIF surgery I was supposed to have (open reduction and internal fixation = stick in loads of plates and screws). The treatment I'm getting is something they stopped doing 20 years ago but its all they can do given the possible infection problems from the fracture blisters.

Petes swollen and blistered foot now has surgical nails in it
The Steinnan pins aka kebab 

I get a bit of an infection so no surgery is going to happen. Then they decide its got to be done regardless of the infections and after 1 1/2 weeks I am wheeled into surgery for my kebab skewers.

Now I am going to backup a bit. When I was suffering from my morphine problems I also suffered from a bad reaction to anaesthetics in general. I broke my arm when I was 13 and ended up punching the doctor whilst under, my vasectomy was a nightmare as the drugs didn't work and after my initial post crash operation I suffered from total memory loss/delirium for maybe 12 hours.

After my kebab operation I was the same, totally off my rocker for 36 hours. I don't really recall having any problems but I am assured I was totally deranged for a long time then I slowly returned to normal. Time passes quickly when you are oblivious to the passage of the weather and daylight. Makes me wonder whether prison is similar. I've taken a few to Strangeways Prison in my time and there are similarities. 

We are now 2 weeks in hospital and I have been subjected to more blood tests and assorted junior doctors appear wanting to see my rather intriguing and beguiling super Lisfranc fracture. Clearly they don't get out much these doctors. 

I chat with a nice you chap who says my foot has caused a lot of interest across the hospital teams. He wasn't even on my ward but wanted to see it anyway. When pressed he said it's so nice to look at something out of the ordinary as they generally get broken arms and legs but serious injuries go to Salford where the main trauma team is situated. He thought he would probably never get chance to see another like it. 

A physio comes to see me and starts asking about my house, how many stairs have I got, do I have a bathroom downstairs etc. I'm quite excited at this point - can I go home them?

No was the answer. Damn... He needs to fill in the forms ready for discharge but he thinks another week or two yet. The following day my foot is extremely sore and swollen and I'm given intravenous antibiotics as my temperature spikes. This soon clears up the next day. 

My toes look quite different now, almost like they don't belong on my foot. They don't move much either. As I try and move my foot I can feel the pins grinding against my bones. My main source of pain, my arm, seems to be much better.

They come and see me the following day, this time its the knee surgeon. He's decided it's too difficult to operate on my knee due to the damage in my foot. He thinks it will be too much for my weak blood supply so he's going to leave my leg in the plaster for another week. 

This week passes slowly and after 4 days the ward Senior Nurse Gaynor arrives dragging assorted doctors in her wake. The consultant and a couple of minions are stood around while she examines my leg and fits me with an PCL jack brace (£500). 

Then she removes my cast and fits a plastic air-cast boot. She glares at the consultant who hides in the corner under her rather stern look. "There" she says "that will support his knee and foot without having to cast the entire leg or keep him in." It would appear I'm definitely going home. The brace and boot are just so bloody uncomfortable.

Pete's leg has a large metal brace fitted and a plastic boot to support the foot
PCL Jack Brace and new Aircast Boot

The consultant leaves and I chat with Gaynor who tells me my knee fractures are almost healed according to the latest x ray and that if I wear the brace for 4 weeks and don't put any weight on my knee it should recover well. My Anterior Cruciate  Ligament Injury should hold with the support of the brace. Hmm I didn't even know the ligaments were injured. She says they are both injured along with my meniscus tear and fibular plateau fractures. Oh right no-one's bothered to tell me about those. 

She leaves and when the nurse comes to take my temperature I ask exactly who is Senior Nurse Gaynor. Oh you met Gaynor she says hmm she's the main hospital's Advanced Nurse Practitioner. Oh right what does that mean I say. Basically she runs the entire department, she's the equivalent to a junior doctor and everyone's scared of her - even the consultants. She's been here years don't mess with her she's GOD.

The following day I'm told I can go home after just short of 3 weeks inside. I ring Paula but then I have to wait for Gaynor to approve everything and get all my meds. I am shown how to inject myself in the stomach 3 times a day. It's 7 pm by the time I get home. Glad to be out but pretty unsure of how I am going to manage, Paula's taking the rest of the week off. The worse bit is how to get comfy in bed. The hospital has lovely modern electric beds which can be raised or lowered at the press of a button. 

So I'm home. The hospital have fixed me up physically but mentally I'm not really prepared for the next stage of my recovery. I will go into that over the next few weeks in part 2 of my recovery. 

Pete's CB500X after the crash. Exhaust ripped off pannier missing
CB500X with exhaust torn away after a crash
The other side of the bike looks just fine

What's your story? If you think sharing may help then click here.

Reader's Comments

CrazyFrog said :-
Pete, I'm amazed and very disappointed that the lad who hit you didn't visit you in hospital. The very least he could have done IMHO.

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery, and no long term consequences.
26/06/2019 08:49:27 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
There is more information to come in part 2 and 3 but unfortunately I cant mention the lad who hit me in more detail due to possible pending action by the police I thought it prudent to remove these bits until after any court action was resolved.
26/06/2019 09:36:06 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Ah, I see. comment withdrawn!
26/06/2019 09:51:23 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Yes, a sobering story. You were lucky...the hell you were, it really doesn't help does it when someone says it could have been so much worse. Plaster, bandages, fractures, life changing, how much worse do they think it could be.
Glad you can talk about it PP, I'm sure it'll help.
Hope you're continuing to improve everyday.
With regards the other guy, it doesn't really matter what he does now, does it? He's done enough. Let's hope he admits whatever he may be charged with and you don't have the hassle of court appearances etc. Have you got a suit and tie?
As long as he's legal it'll probably only be a Section 3 RTA offence anyway. What matters to you of course is that it will prove his guilt and assist yo going forward.
Best regards for the best recovery possible.
I bet Ed hasn't mentioned once the sun was out constantly in Scotland!

26/06/2019 10:09:14 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
When I saw Pete the other day he asked "How was Scotland?"
"Do you really want to know??"
"Oh dear. I'm sorry Pete but it was FANTASTIC!!"

I'm going straight to hell aren't I.
26/06/2019 01:31:57 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Oh I've got part 2 of Pete's missive. Be a few days yet before it's published. I like to keep you folks in...

26/06/2019 01:33:27 UTC
Upt'North said :-
You always were, but now probably in a handcart.
No! You can't take the 500,it's a handcart all the way for you m'lad.
26/06/2019 01:41:38 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
It's so nice to know I have the support and tender care of my readers Upt'. It gives me a warm feeling inside.
27/06/2019 07:48:47 UTC
Upt'North said :-
It'll probably be a lot warmer where you're going.
Talking of warmer, it's been a lovely day for a ride Upt'North. Just blummin lovely.
Sorry for the hijack Pete, but he started it.
27/06/2019 06:24:05 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Dont worry upt'north it's always rens fault.

My car wont start = rens fault
Bikes making funny noise etc etc
Fence blown down = rens fault

28/06/2019 11:01:23 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
You been speaking to Sharon ain't you Pocketpete.
28/06/2019 07:59:18 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Well of course if it's not rens fault then it must be my fault. Well that's what Paula tells me.

Further to previous comments the lad who hit me was part of a group of 3 riders. They stopped and rendered first aid at the scene. The other rider couldn't help he hurt his shoulder in the crash.

It's certain without their help I probably wouldn't be here now according to the ambulance crew.

The lad who hit me came and visited me at home once I was discharged from hospital and seems a genuine nice chap very remorseful and caring. He has rung me several times to check on my progress and I guess he is a decent chap who simply made an error in judgement.

At the end if the day we are all biker bothers most riders seem to have a sense of brotherhood where bikes are concerned. Most bikers stop to help a biker in trouble crashed or broken down.

I wont give details of him or the on going police investigation as it doesnt real help at this stage.

We all as riders make mistakes sometimes we get away with it occasionally we dont. Sometimes we just have bad luck. That's life really.
29/06/2019 09:19:36 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
"the lad who hit me was part of a group of 3 riders"

I wonder whether this contributed. When you get such groups, it often happens that an element of competition emerges. Even if it doesn't, it can be very difficult to ride your own ride if you're trying to keep together with a group - the first rider does an OK overtake, it's a bit iffy for the next one and downright dangerous for tail end Charlie.....

Anyway, great news that you're progressing.
29/06/2019 11:03:32 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Hi ian

I think your correct it's very easy in a group to get carried away. But equally I've attended many where single bikers were hurt.

Just damn bad luck I also think the decent weather we had played a part. A sunny couple of days in mid March encourages riders out of the winter shutdown and perhaps reactions were not sharp after the xmas break.

I was doing the same thing bit of a spin after a winter of car use and bike servicing. Maybe he was a bit exuberant with the throttle after a few months of inaction.

I suppose I will never know.
29/06/2019 11:46:45 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Yes, as I rarely venture out on a bike during the winter these days I'm very aware during the first couple of rides that I'm a bit rusty. Unlike the bikes which have been pampered.....
30/06/2019 10:04:17 UTC

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