Jul 30, 2007

My First Ambulance Ride!!

I had the pleasure to experience my first ambulance ride yesterday. With a few buddies, we went to ride at a track in Oregon, IL. Very fun track for practice. It was the 3rd time there. I rode last Sunday too and I am starting to get it dialed.
I was riding with a friend and due to things we had to do in the afternoon (working on another track and wives), we decided to stop riding at 1p.m.

All was good in the morning, every one was having fun and we had 2 or 3 good battles going on. That track stops all riding between 1 and 2 to do some prep and water again. Of course, when 1 came, peer-pressure obilge, we didn't load up, instead we decided to go for a last moto.
As we got back on the track, a few spots were still very slippery and wet. I decided to do a first slow lap, to check the new lines, the ruts, where were the wet spots, etc. In my second lap I opened the throttle. First big tabletop, blip, cleared easy, then comes a bowl right-hander leading into a small triple, I double single as usual and then my favorite part. A section with nice mulch with a right-left-right into a step-up. I usually click in the 3rd gear before the last right-hander, aim for the rut and give a last small blip of throttle on the face, that gets me right on the other side, throttle wide open, for a sweeper to the left.
Well, as I got to the face of the step-up, I ended up with an inside line on a slippery spot that I hadn't noticed. I got to the face and added a small burst of gas. Then everything went wrong. I can tell you that all those dum theory about seeing it coming and trying to protect or absorb with your arms, etc... don't work sh!t! Smile It went so fast from the moment I added more power to the moment I was lying in pain on the side of the jump that I didn't know what had happened. One second I was on the gas, the next I remember, hearing the noise of the bike somewhere, my head hitting something hard and the noise of the helmet rattling, then a sharp pain in my back. I thought my bike hit me in the back.
I am there laying down on the side. The lady who owns the place was right to me, asking me questions. I can tell you, the first thing I did when I got to my senses was moving my legs and arms and verifying that I could see them move. I had this pain in my back, but if I laid down properly, with the RXR bladder, I could control the pain down. She was asking me questions and I thought I had replied correctly (later she told the medics that I didn't know where I was and what was my name for about a minute.
She was worried about my back and while they were calling the ambulance, she was holding me tight to avoid any movement. I knew I could use my arms and legs, but with the pain in my back, I was unable to lift my head up or turn my head side to side.
I was sitting there, and I remember that well, watching the track and trying to figure out it's layout, and how it goes. For like 45 seconds I was "damn, how does it go? where are they coming from over there? How the f... is this track going? Shit, come on, try to remember, what's the track layout!" It came back to me, but hey, it freakked me a little bit, trying to remember and not managing.

So, the medics came and they put me on the board and in the ambulance. The guys were cool and with about 90 degree outside, I welcomed the a/c, the drip and the oxygen they gave me. I was strapped to the board of course and had no movement permitted apart from my arms. I could see my head but they were telling me I hit hard (I know why now Smile). The medics took the helmet and we left. the dude in the back with me did all the checks and was pretty happy with heart-rate, blood pressure and all. He wasn't too happy with the speed the driver was going through Illinois back country roads but I had no complaint about that.
Go to the hospital. Cool doctor comes, asks all questions and they prep me for X-ray and cat scan. The nurses didn't want to take my pants and boots off because they were all muddy. LOL. They finally decide to take my Tech-8 off and leave me with my Asterisks and pants.
the x-ray and c-scan (another first for me) was made easy by a very cute radiologist. Back to my room where my buddy who had to load the bikes, was waiting. He was worried because he told me "dude, your bike never hit you. Bob Karlow was behind you and you went one way, the bike the other. Bob actually crashed into it and fell in the mud." "Dude, I have this pain in the upper back, like towards T2, T3 and it was my bike" "No no, Bob saw it very well, you high-sided on the face, the bike kicked you out right into the ground, head first. The bike crashed after the jump". So that pain was actually my heavy 188 lbs darting into the ground and my back bending.
After an hour of wait due to the fact that the doctor there in Dixon, IL, had to send the x-ray to another hospital in Chicago to get a second opinion, he came back and said "Mr. Favro, you are not spending the night in my hospital with this muddy gear! X-ray and scan revealed no damage to the spine and your back. All good there. You have a serious back contusion, your muscles and ligament took the force of the impact, when you back bent backward, they absorbed everything. You're lucky, things could have been more serious. There are signs of whiplash to the neck too and a good concussion. We'll give you some good med's and bye bye" I had a shot of muscular relaxant and some narcotic and we headed back home.

They had prescribed me Vicodine for 4 days but I decided not to go for that, take a bit more pain and use some Tylenol.

Well, guys, I can tell, it went so fast, during that crash, that I had no clue what had happened to me. Kindda scary. But that's motocross isn't it.

So I am off to LL tomorrow and I can't even carry my bags, LOL! My helmet looks intact on the outside but I won't wear it again, for sure.

I have a few good weeks away from the bike ahead of me. Still a bit dozzy and not all there, but things are cool.

Here's the impact on the head