Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Little Darlin, PT day 50, by David

Day 14 at Shepherd.   Got a call early this morning from one of the techs working with Jan.  The tech was calling from her own cell phone because Jan basically berated her into calling me.  Jan got on the phone and asked me to come over there.  The tech had told me Jan was upset because of them finding a "clot" in her arm.  The "clot" is not a concerning finding.  It took me 5 minutes to get there and by that time Jan was distracted with the physical therapists telling her she was going to walk.  All Jan said to me was "take me home".  The therapist then got her to stand up and had her walk with some assistance about 50 feet.  Jan did not like it but she did it.  While she walked the tech, laughing, told me some of the choice language Jan used. The staff is accustom to patients not having any inhibitions at this stage.  It turns out Jan went on to have a great day in therapy including walking with help to the bathroom.  This is a major increase in her mobility.  Jan also told me about all the hard questions they asked her like name three colors.  She was joking about this but did admit this did make her tired.  She is still not completely clear mentally.  For instance was asking me how work was today.  I ask and she knew what city we are in, what city I work in and how long a drive it is.  It still did not quite register why I could not go to work.  She is  eating better.  Usually she must drink a can of ensure with each meal because she does not eat enough. She hates the ensure and says of course "it's nasty".  Tonight she ate well enough that she did not require the ensure.  Kevin and Parisa were here again tonight and it was another great evening.  Jan seemed to enjoy talking with them occasionally joking.  She still has a lot of emotional lability when she and I are alone shedding a lot of tears.  She says it does make her angry knowing what was done to her.  She apologizes (if you can believe it) to me for what I went through.  I have told her everything that happened to her including how critical she was.  It is truly wonderful being able to have a conversation with her and wipe away her tears especially knowing where she was seven weeks ago.  She has come much farther than I could have wished at this point.

 I got a message today some of you may have seen about another bicyclist hit from behind and killed in South Carolina last week.  He was off the road on a wide shoulder and the vehicle  drifted over to hit him.  Sounds like another distracted driver.  This is 3 deaths in the past week that I am aware of.  Jan was truly lucky.  The wheels are in motion to get the 3 foot law amended to make it a felony to severely injure or kill someone for violation.   This incident re-enforces the urgency to get a distracted driver law on the books. It needs to be country wide.   Others are going to pay with their life in the meantime.  Another post showed that tickets/ punishment will decrease the use of cell phones while driving.  The data is there showing it is like drunk driving.  There is no excuse for cell phone use while driving being outlawed.  Bike Walk Mississippi is working on this (distracted driver) and we need to aggressively support this.  I do not know how My Little Darlin survived what happened to her,  I hope what can be done to keep this from happening to anyone else will be done ASAP.  Most are not as lucky (if that word can be used when someone has needlessly slammed into you with a vehicle) as Jan was.


I Love My Little Darlin, she is getting better every day !!!

1 comment:

  1. I's so sorry to hear of the clot. Unfortunately, that's one of the risks when a person's mobility is compromised. I hope it dissolves quickly without complications. Jan has come so far in such a short time, and I'd hate to see a setback. In my mind, both you and she are true heroes. Your courage and determination is something I truly admire.

    I never ride and use a cell phone, or even headphones at the same time. When I was still driving, I refused to use the phone, even hands free. I couldn't forgive myself is I did anything that compromised the safety of others and something happened.

    On Saturday, I was riding my bicycle in a challenging event called the Triple Bypass. In spite of a rule against headphone use, I noted quite a few riders using headphones. When a vehicle would come from behind, I'd always yell "Car Back!" I could tell who had no headphones... they wouldn't move to give cars space. This is the very thing that engenders negative attitudes toward cyclists, and that just makes me furious. In addition, on downhills I'd be shouting "On your left!" or "Passing!" I'm very fast on downhills, holding great lines at high speeds around tight curves. Those wearing headphones wouldn't hear me, wouldn't move. This would force me to pass ON the yellow center line, even though there could be plenty of room of the other cyclists just moved over!

    I'm a huge advocate of cyclist safety. The first thing I did when I got home from the event, in spite of being exhausted from riding 120 miles across the Colorado Rockies, was to write to the organizers of the event and ask them to PLEASE enforce their headphone rule... explaining how the violations were endangering me and other cyclists, not to mention pissing off motorists.

    We need to fight to make things safer for everyone. EVERY state should have laws against cell phone use while driving. EVERY state ought to pass a law against headphone use while cycling. In addition, laws need better enforcement, for both motorists and cyclists, and in the case of cyclists, I think we need a traffic school for cyclists, just as there's one for motorists... one that would teach cyclists how the laws apply to them, and various safety measures.

    I'm working on it. I'm to meet with My own representative, Ed Perlmutter, this Saturday to discuss cycling safety. Being an elected federal official, I will discuss nation-wide laws as well as state laws. Then, I'll be riding in the Moonlight Classic that night, with my bicycle lit up beyond what anyone would believe! I'm going for "best lit bicycle." Of course, "best lit" also means "most visible."

    Hang in there! The wheels are turning, and good things are happening!

    Kindest Regards,