Friday, June 24, 2011

My Little Darlin, PT day 33, by David

Jan is speaking clearly, loudly and a lot.  I am so happy that she is communicating but it is actually extremely stressful now not only for me but for her.  She is speaking and is clearly understood.  Some of what she says is spontaneous and appropriate.  For instance two of her grand daughters came to see her last night.  One of them leaned over and gave her a hug.  Jan responded with "I love you Arianna" in a clear voice.  Most of what she says is difficult to interpret.  She repeats a few words or phrases over and over.   She seems to be agitated most of the time.  Some of the words and phrases she repeats is "I can't do this", "no", "I don't really like it", "ow".  If I ask her who I am or other simple questions she will occasionally give me the appropriate response but more often will say "I don't know" or "I don't want to".  When I talk to her eye to eye she seems to concentrate and I suspect she fully understands but can not express herself.  When she is awake (and she sleeps very little) she  loudly and continuously repeats herself and is constantly moving her right arm all in an agitated way.  I am suspicious this stems from extreme frustration with understanding her situation and lack of sleep.  I have to say this is physically much more difficult for me now because I am getting very little sleep and it is very difficult mentally for me seeing her like this especially sensing how frustrated she is.  The pain intensifies when I think of the possibility she will not improve from here.  I have to keep telling myself be patient she will improve as she has been,  slowly.

The only invasive device she has left is her tracheostomy but it is capped off and a small IV  in her right arm.  The tracheostomy will be removed in the near future.  The only question on when we go to Shepherd center is whether the orthopedist can give her full weight bearing clearance on her lower extremities.  We want her to be allowed this before she goes to get the full benefit at Shepherd that insurance allows and room availability which is a day to day thing.

The more I think about it the more I think DA Forrest Allgood is wrong about the second act that was heinously done to my wife "driver of V1 exited the vehicle while talking on the phone and observed the victim.  D1 then reentered her vehicle and ran the cyclist over again before being forced from her vehicle by witnesses."  I suspect his ego would not let him change what he has decided but I do not know the man.  I have spoken with him by phone (I will say I was never given the courtesy of a call, I had to call him after his decision)  as has my stepson. He tended to speak in a condescending way to both of us although we are both highly educated.  I think a jury should have decided this womans guilt or innocence but he is not allowing that.  He did tell me as a voter I am in charge.  He was referring to the laws of the state and the state government officials, but he is also an elected official and up for reelection this year.  If the woman who did this to Jan will not be made accountable for her actions by Mr Allgood then perhaps we can make him accountable for his.  We can decide.

I talked yesterday about organization and focusing our energy.  I simply can not do it.  I keep getting tons of legal advice and input.  I only have time for My Little Darlin and am running on fumes as it is.  I should have thought of this before but BIKE WALK MISSISSIPPI is already in place as our advocacy group.  Please everyone go to their website, join and actively participate.  BWM has the organization and know how to get the things done effectively and to channel all of our efforts but they need all of our help.  Every who has said they want to help this is how!


I Love My Little Darlin,  this still hurts awful bad and this is hard


  1. I hope you don't mind, but I'm a columnist for a local publication in the Denver, Colorado area on alternative transportation and livable communities. My particular focus, as an avid cyclist myself, is of course cycling. After reading your blog and numerous articles about Jan, as well as one very callous response, I felt the need to address the situation in my column. I will, of course, give you a link to the article once it's available in the archives. I'm mostly addressing the callous way of thinking some people have toward cyclists and the need for better laws to protect us. The timing couldn't be better. Denver just enjoyed Bike to Work Day on Wednesday.

    I wasn't injured as badly as Jan, but I was the victim of a hit and run in March. they never caught the driver, and I've been stuck with medical bills I'm unable to pay, not to mention the loss of the bicycle (which friends have helped me replace, but I have to pay them back too).

    Kindest Regards, and wishing Jan a full recovery,


  2. David, you and Jan have my deepest sympathies. It hurts badly now, but you are right that she can improve, albeit slowly. Jan is already doing MUCH better than other women I've read about, and they had excellent recoveries, so I have high hopes for her.

    Bike Walk Mississippi is an excellent idea for getting the laws changed. However, for your personal legal case, I strongly urge you to choose a relative or friend to spearhead legal efforts on your behalf, and Jan's. Let that person be the point of contact. Let them deal with the legal advice and input and lawyers and courts. I know you don't have the time and energy because you are taking care of Jan, but please let someone else do it for you. We should vote out Allgood, absolutely, but let's not give up on holding Robbie Norton accountable for her choices. A civil suit is still an option, and could be a precedent case that helps change the laws.

  3. The police report was written by an officer who didn't even see the incident. Police reports typically aren't even admissible as evidence in courtrooms by themselves, as without corroboration (such as witnesses, perhaps the officer who wrote it if they witnessed the incident) -- they're just hearsay.

    Page 52 of this presentation -- -- talks about it a little bit, and there's a good deal more if you google for the issue. (That seems to be written with NY in mind, but it seems that all the states are pretty similar in that regard.)

    After hearing what other witnesses have said about it all (based on that email from somebody who spoke to the DA), it seems that the police report is somewhere between grossly oversimplified and flat out wrong -- as they often are.

    As I see it, it's not within the DA's power to give you the justice you want, no matter how much he might want to. And if he chose to not do his job properly and charge the driver with the things that people want the driver charged with anyways (leaving the scene, assault and battery, negligence, attempted murder) -- the driver would just be acquitted. (Though negligence sounds like it might have a small chance, since it doesn't require intent.)

  4. I'm so sorry that you, Jan, and your family are going through this. I joined Bike Walk MS in support of your current efforts. I pray for rest, recovery, and blessing for you and your family.

  5. David... and addendum to my previous post. I just received word that Congressman Ed. Perlmutter (my congressman) will grant me a private audience with him on July 16th to discuss cyclist safety and national laws to protect us when others violate our safety. I'll let you know how that goes. I've asked my friends on BikeJournal to help me organize my thoughts and offer additional ideas.


  6. I am so sorry and praying for you! Dont give up on getting this driver put away for what she did: Hit and Run, practically attempted murder. It is horrible to think that this driver could get away with this without anything but a fine or a few weeks in jail. My prayers are with your wife and your family.

  7. I just saw this link on facebook. I read the blogg backwards.I am a registered nurse and I understand knowing too much and not enough. First, how wonderful your wife sounds and her recovery , although slow to you, is remarkable. Your loyalty and love also remarkable. I have seen miracles!! A young girl from our town was in a coma for about a month. She had a severe head injury from a wreck. Today she is a beautiful young lady with a child of her own. It was a process but worth every minute. An older gentleman from here had a massive stroke. He was unable to move his entire left side. After planning his successful escape from the nursing home his children sent him to, he learned how to drive and live on his own again. I loved him. So, hang in there, take care of yourself, and God bless you.

  8. One more thing, the gentleman with the stroke also was extremely agitated and frustrated due to his inability to speak, feed himself, etc. It was so hard to see him this way. Like I said, he did recover and always made us sit in the upper part of the football stands at the ball games. He thought it quite amusing that I worried about his limp and the uneven high school bleachers.

  9. I cried when I read your post today. Both with relief that she is speaking (I did not think she would be so soon) and sorrow with the pain you go through every day seeing her this way. Focus on the remarkable recovery she has made in such a short time (although I am sure it feels like an eternity) and know that many are continuing to pray for you both!

  10. David, I have read every word of your blog starting from the beginning, and I'm glad to hear she's doing better and to read about her small victories.

    I am also equal parts horrified and angered by what happened to Jan and the lack of protection under the law she is being given. I wish with all my soul there was something I could do on your (and her) behalf to see justice done.

    I am going to spread the word about Jan on my own blog and try to make a difference in my own community. We have had too many cyclists injured or killed by negligent drivers and it MUST stop.

    My thoughts are with you and Jan.

  11. Kat - There is something we can do. Join Bike Walk Mississippi. They are actively working to change the laws and put pressure on the DA to do more.

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  14. This is for Belinda. I too was injured by hit and run driver. I immediately consulted with a friend who is a personal injury attorney. We were able to make a claim against my auto insurance under the uninsured/under-insured coverage since the hit and run driver was never found. If you own an auto, I would imagine Colorado's insurance regulations are pretty similar to North Carolina's. It would be to your benefit to consult a personal injury attorney.

    My advice to everyone is to increase your Uninsured/Under-insured coverage to $500K. The increase in premium for this coverage is pretty minimal.

    Best wishes to Jan for a speedy recovery.