Warning: this post is graphic.
No shave November!

   It doesn't take a lot to ruin someone's life. We are, for all our power and intelligence, very fragile creatures. Our lives can end quicker than it took to be delivered. Seconds... that's all it takes. For those who lose their lives, while tragic sometimes, it is not really them who seem to suffer, (although since I am writing this, I can't really say I have any first hand evidence to back that claim up!) it is their family and friends who suffer. Those who survive tragedy have theirs and their family's life disrupted too and sometimes ruined completely.

   I am writing this blog with one hand (so forgive any typos) for this very reason. On November 26th, the day before Thanksgiving, someone not paying attention disrupted my family's and my life in a split second. As I was driving home from school on my motorcycle on interstate 10 as I always do, a man in a black sedan entered the freeway and without signaling or looking, immediately merged into my lane and hit me from my right side. This sent me into the third lane on my left where I was then sideswiped on my left side at full freeway speeds (about 60 mph). I then fell and slid for a long while. As I slid I could see other cars barreling towards me trying as hard as they could to stop in time.

   When my slide came to a stop I immediately lifted the bike as far as I could and pulled free my trapped and mangled left foot. I took off my helmet which I am glad I was wearing as later I would see that the face shield was ruined and that would have been my face if not for that helmet. (always wear a helmet guys, they even look cool so if nothing else do it for that reason) I then tried to stand. I was stopped though, not only by pain, but two random men who stopped and told me they were trained nurses. One of them called an ambulance while the other helped me to the side of the freeway. After all, I was sitting in the middle of a 4 lane interstate.

The one near my toe goes to the bone.
   I thanked them at the scene, but if perhaps they ever see this post in the future, I hope they understand that no words of thanks can express my gratitude sufficiently. You are heroes in your own respects. Quickly I learned that the lady who had side swiped me on the left side stopped too and apologized to me. Her apology hurt me because I knew it was sincere and I could hear how worried she was, but in no way was this her fault and I told her so. However, the person at fault was no where to be found. He didn't slow down, attempt to pull over, then get scared and change his mind. He just kept going. Before he hit me I looked him straight in the eye. Our eyes met for a split second before colliding. He had no idea if he had just taken the life of the person he had locked eyes with or not, but that did not factor into his decision of cowardice.

   Although I was in pain, I really didn't think my injuries were so bad. I knew I had lots of deep cuts and scrapes, lots of bruising, and a swollen stiff elbow but nothing too serious. I even told my father I'd probably be released that same day. Wrong. In fact my arm was broken near the elbow and the bone was beginning to pierce through the skin. You know people always say, "Oh no, you'd KNOW if you broke it." I'm here to call bull shit on that statement. My elbow hurt a lot, but having never broken a bone, but spraining an ankle and taking many spills before, I really didn't feel like it was broken. Turns out it was broken in one of the worst ways and required surgery. Surgery is a really scary thing. It takes a lot to scare me, but to think that you cannot breath for yourself while under anesthesia and there is always a possibility of death is frightening. That... and a catheter...
That little white spec towards the end of my elbow is the bone starting to show.

   So my Thanksgiving was spent in a hospital room alone and in pain. I had told my mom to leave the night before despite her insisting to stay. Not all was gloomy and dismal though, my family brought me plastic containers filled far too full with Thanksgiving dinner later that day and sat with me as I ate and took pain medication. My appetite is only now returning to normal, but that was pretty good turkey and I ate as much as I could.

   Which brings me to my next point, and one that is probably most important. My family. Before I went to Japan I wrote a post explaining my role in the family as a sort of shield for them. I am the strong one. But recently this shield has bent and broken and in my weakness they have been strong. I really could not do this alone. I am strong, and I will never fully rely on anyone no matter what the circumstances, but even the strongest need a bit of help. They have not let me down. From dressing the wounds I cannot get to, to helping me get a cold soda from the fridge. They are amazing people and I love them more than you can imagine.

   To whoever this man was that did this to me, to my family, you are a coward. I am quite angry to say the least. Not because you weren't paying attention and hit me. Which is ironic since today's post is coming so soon after this post where I remind drivers to be careful with motorcyclists. I am angry because you were too much of a coward to face what you had done. I wouldn't have been mad if he came to me and apologized. In the end it was an accident. One that could have been avoided, but an accident all the same. Now I have hospital bills I cannot pay for, pain doing the most basic things, a plate in my arm, a disrupted life, and a stressed out family.

   I am thankful that my life was not taken. You hear all the time when someone dies, "He/she probably didn't even feel it," "He/she probably blacked out before it happened." If I had died that day, I would have seen everything. I was conscious through it all and I saw every vehicle barreling towards me trying to stop as I was laying on the ground. I would have seen my own death. At the start of this post I mentioned we are fragile creatures and that is true. But we are awkwardly amazing too. The human body can survive an accident that claims many lives every year with relatively little damage, only to be rendered helpless by that little damage doing the most basic things... like peeing. Peeing is a freakin' chore right now...