I've been away from our fora for wayyyy too long, and figured I should check in and let you know what I've been up to.
So OK, the ride itself wasn't so bad...it was the end of the ride that I wish could have turned out differently.
On August 8 I was riding in western South Carolina on my way home from the BMW MOGA (Georgia club) meeting/campout and managed to get myself crashed. I'm pretty sure that the main cause was dehydration and heat making me a little spacey. A pickup truck had slowed in front of me and I was very suddenly very close to it...got on the brake, but not soon enough to avoid disaster. I didn't hit the truck very hard, as it took no more damage than a small ding in the plastic trim on the bumper...but of course that was enough contact to send me down.
It was over in the blink of an eye. I went down to the left and tumbled a bit but it was over so fast that I don't remember what positions I went through.
After standing up I found that my right hand wasn't working very well. It didn't take long to figure out that my arm was broken. This made me unhappy, as I'd managed to reach age 42 without ever breaking a bone and was really hoping that I never would break any.
The shock I went into on the roadside was rather unpleasant, and the heat (about 98F) didn't help.
Funny the things you notice and do at moments like those. I did manage to very calmly switch off the bike's engine, as well as the GPS which seemed not to have been harmed.
The air conditioning in the ambulance felt amazing, and felt downright heavenly when the IV started working. I think I absorbed about 600cc of it in the 15 minutes it took to reach the ER.
At the hospital it was confirmed that I had broken the arm, specifically the radius a few inches above the wrist. I did receive praise from the EMT's, the ER staff, and the orthopedic doc they called in, for having worn good protective gear.
The ortho-doc turned out to be a fellow BMW MOA member who said that he has a K1200LT and a silver-smoke R90S in his garage. He even remembered an article I wrote in the BMW ON. He put my arm in a temporary cast and advised me to seek further treatment (probably including surgery) closer to home.
A friend drove up to bring me home. We stopped by the towing-yard to get the rest of my personal effects off the bike, and it really didn't look all that bad. I did notice that the handlebar was rotated way forward in its mounts, and my friend and I theorised that that was how I broke the arm, since all my bruises and scrapes were on my left side.
Eleven days after the crash I had surgery to repair the break. I'm told that I have a bit of titanium and six screws in my arm, which seems to be healing quickly. After surgery I'm wearing a splint and a soft-cast (bandagey stuff covered with elastic wrap) that goes from just below my elbow to just past my knuckles. I can wiggle my fingers and thumb, but can't really use the hand or rotate my wrist until all the stuff comes off. This means that I can't safely drive my car (manual gearbox) or work (I'm a field service technician) for a while. And yes, I'm typing all this with my left hand.
Tomorrow will be a week since the surgery, and a week from today I have the first follow-up appointment. If everything is healing well (and I think that it is), I should get the soft-cast removed then and will go to a small brace that will allow use of the hand (as long as I don't put much weight on it). Healing should be totally finished sometime in September.
The bike is totaled. It didn't look all that bad, but it had some frame and suspension damage that added it up pretty fast. The good news is that I'll get a bit more for it than I owed.
My medical insurance wasn't great, so I've got some deductibles and other expenses to pay. That financial priority may well keep me from buying another bike for a while, but I can accept that- it sure beats a lot of far-worse outcomes!
My friends among the BMW community have been so wonderfully helpful and supportive- what on Earth would I do without you? I'm eternally grateful to all who've helped in any way, including the get-well wishes.
I'm already having thoughts about what bike to get back onto when the time comes...another GS? Or maybe a GT? Who knows?
Anyway, my left hand is getting rather tired now...but I'm thinking that I really should check in here more often.