Monday, December 22, 2014

sticks'n'stones


One might have expected that an injury such as mine would most probably been caused by my powered paraglider.  The great irony is that while I have not had the confidence to fly again since my training in April, I have on numerous occasions driven the ATV without the slightest thought of safety while statistically it is far more dangerous than my PPG.

So 2 weeks ago I take a regular ride to the mailboxes and turn around for the simple trip home.  About 1/2 mile from TFL, my road has a series of left/right turns before the last straight stretch home.  In all of about 10 seconds I got "out of sync" on the turns while only going about 20 mph.  One quick lapse in judgement and a very brief bit of confusion, and next thing I know is that I'm upside down watching the ATV pass above me (in slow motion).  I knew right away my leg was broken because I saw my foot was looking a little looser than normal.  I was on my back looking at a turned over vehicle next to me.  I got right up and turned it over and tried the start button and nothing happened.  Brief panic set it as I contemplated how to get home without wheels and only one leg.  While deciding that crawling home was not a pleasant option, I remembered that I had to get it back into neutral in order for it to start.  A couple clicks on the clutch - the green light came on and presto!

Was home in minutes -hopped in and sat down in my hut to call 911.  Didn't seem to take very long for them to arrive while they kept me on the line. I almost passed out but managed to stay alert.  There wasn't much pain but I was pretty freaked out by then.  The operator asked if I could lift my pant leg to describe the injury.  I told him I would rather not but that I could see there was some bleeding.  The EMTs started me on a morphine drip and proceeded to cut my boot off.  Didn't take too long to get some bandages and a splint on.

On the ambulance ride out to the highway, the driver spotted my cap and glasses where I had crashed and picked them up for me.  Smooth sailing on the highway as they drove me about 25 miles north to the spot where the Med-Trans helicopter took me from there to Odessa.   Garbage can hill was the hand off location (called double barrel in 911 language because there is a garbage barrel on each side of the road there).

To be continued...
65,72,47,0,C

40 comments:

Bizmark said...

Wow John, incredible story!....and you still managed to take pictures on your way to the hospital !?!?

Rest up and take it easy.

JB said...

THANK THE GOOD LORD YOU WERE ABLE TO GET YOURSELF TO A PLACE WHERE YOU COULD CALL FOR HELP. I HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM YOU,NICE TO KNOW IT CONTINUES.

Larry G said...

I was expecting you to have gone out to the canyon area and flipping there but then wondering how you got help.

the way it did happen - and with the good luck of the ATV starting again - got you on a good path to help.

911 - it's a wonderful thing ... so next time check your phone bill and see that little charge on it for 911 !!!

;-)

Margery Bills said...

Well, I was shocked to see the first picture because I thought it was a new injury. Then I realized. TY and even pictures too. :-) Morphine helps. But my DNA test says I should not use that type of drug (addictive). But I will in such circumstances.

BestBet said...

Oh wow! That looked scary. Thanks for sharing the story of how it happened. Could have happened to anyone, and you handled the situation admirably. If you didn't already know you are cool in an emergency, now you do! Carry on. Some good will come out of this.

Wishing you a quick (and not too boring) recovery,

Betty J.

Dale said...

You'd think the Galactic Overlord would have made his creation a little less fragile

Carl D Jones said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch!!!!!!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Although the accident was not good at all, you being able to get the ATV restarted was lucky for you. If you hadn't., how long would you have had to wait for someone to come by and help?

Dani said...

John - I'm glad that all's well that ends well. Just a thought - what is your cell phone reception like? If it's workable, perhaps you should always have it on you. We are not as isolated as you but, if I go walking on my own, I always have my phone on me - just in case of emergency.

Dani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

"It's just a flesh wound..."

WhyR said...

Well, the quality of the photos is not up to your usual standards, but to have the presence of mind to grab your camera and keep shooting is pretty good, under the circumstances. Ouch!

david holloway said...

Busted up and still publishing the METARS data. I am humbled.

Rob said...

That had to hurt and I'm glad it all worked out.
Hang in there, take it easy & heal.

rondeb said...

I have no idea how I would handle in a situation like that. I guess no one knows until you are forced to react to what might seem like the impossible. Glad you were able to secure help quickly and wish your recovery to pass swiftly.

MsBelinda said...

I do not know how you were able to turn that flipped ATV with a broken leg...you are a strong man!

I recall you bought a satellite phone when you took up paragliding please carry it with you in the future.

I can't believe you had the presence of mind to take your camera with you :)

Rita B. said...

Wow. I bet you had the natives talking...who's medivac for? first photo not for the squeamish. Excellent description of what took place. I know you'll have a lot more respect for the ATV next trip out. Hope you're comfortable and doing well.

Margery Bills said...

I have to agree with Dani. For some years I did not have a cell phone. Now I carry it with me all the time. And I use it. Yes, well you are so lucky to be alive. Shock must have set in with extra strength to lift the ATV. Lucky it started or you could have died out there. God is with you. Anyway that's just Yankee coolness. They say the English (British Irish, Scott?) are cool under pressure which I find to be true in my case after I get over being hysterical. :-) The pictures are amazing-considering. Guess you haven't lost it.

Larry G said...

I think the cell phone idea is a good one .. you can buy one that does not require a plan and works only for 911.

If John does not have cell coverage - he could still use a cell phone if he converted his internet to WiFi with an antenna (like you might see at a campground) - and then he could connect from anywhere on his property to his wifi - and get help if needed ...

but the interesting thing - here - and this is true for a lot of "off-grid" types these days - "connected" has become important...

If John was living in a more remote area - like the outback of Australia or for that matter a lot of places in the world - he probably would have had to wait for days before help arrived....

we take so many things for granted in this country - that we are all so very fortunate to live in - compared to many in the world.

and this is the time of the year - and in Johns's case especially with his excellent timely rescue and care - we all should be able to find some things we are thankful for even as we still gripe and complain about government and other things we are not happy with.

Larry G said...

just checked - no towers.. I'm sure John knows this and that's why he had a Sat Phone.

but maybe check out the WiFi idea!!

Sandy Kay said...

I'm glad to see that you're back at the land John. That's a scary scenario you just described.

From John's description, I think I know exactly where he probably had the accident on the road. We have land just past John's place on that same road, so I can answer a few questions. Cell phone would do no good at all. It's about 15 miles to the nearest coverage area. John has a landline on his property, and from his account of the ordeal, it appears he drove the ATV there, where he was able to make the call. Even with an extender on the WiFi, I don't think John would haven gotten a signal where he was at. And even if he could the best he could do would have been to text or email someone, and wait for them to call 911. We're only out there every couple of months, but to answer the last question, you might have a couple vehicles come down that road in a day, or you might not have one come down the road for a couple of days. You for sure can't rely on anyone driving by. Living out in that area is definitely not a walk in the park.

Margery Bills said...

John posted some time ago that he has a satellite phone. And yes, cell - I phones do not work out there.

Margery Bills said...

John posted that there is a satellite service out of Alpine (and some other places in Texas) for people in Terlingua (and other Texas places) who have a cabin - residence there. Yesterday I met a lady with a five acre farm down the road from me in central Texas who can't get cell so she should qualify. And now I know the area where the Mountain Lions in back of my house are coming from. There are a few around here. I had to shoo him off. They take off big dogs heads or eat small dogs and then lay on the porch. So far I am o.k.

Margery Bills said...

Cougars can leap 40 feet. They den in brush thickets (which I have out back - I realized). They pounce from in back. They don't like to be looked in the eye (or a flashlight in the eyes) and will leave at a humans voice. They have beautiful big soft blue gray or yellow eyes and are yellow. They are the size of a big dog.

Margery Bills said...

They are the last big cats to purr and have a loud purr.

Margery Bills said...

They are the last big cats to purr and have a loud purr.

Leli said...

speedy recovery!

Rev.jimmyleebob said...

Morphine drip ? You lucky guy. I laid on a metal table for 2 hours without so much as an advil before the orthopedic surgeon showed up in his cute little tennis outfit ( you're reading that correctly). He says, I'll be back after I shower.By then I was convinced I was in the Twilight Zone. Ever seen a 1985 cell phone ? I'm talking about the compact brick model, not the suitcase one.

Larry G said...

must have been one of them thar nasty liberal docs, eh?

;-)

Larry G said...

re: WiFI -

campground wifi can reach out for a couple miles..

a square mile is 640 acres, right?

Rev.jimmyleebob said...

never gave it much thought, but probably one of the nasty republican/nazi/neocon types since I remember reading in the paper he got a big fat fine for tearing out the mangroves on the river behind his house. If he was the other persuasion he more than likely would have been hugging them instead of committing murder, eh ? Kumbaya !

pamit said...

Wow. In that first pic your leg looks very twisted. Must have been scary as hell. Amazed you "got right up" and turned the ATV rightside up. Must have had some adrenalin flowing then! Anyway, thanks for giving us the details, we have been on tenterhooks wondering how it happened! A serene Christmas for you.

Larry G said...

still try to wrap my mind around the idea of a mangrove-loving doctor!!!

but then again RICH liberals are different than POOR liberals.. eh?

Margery Bills said...

Yes Rev. I was between life and death and my young doctors showed up from their boating. But thank God they got there because six (6) other doctors told me my pain was in my head. I made medical history and it was written up in the AMJ and some changes were made in warnings.
My young son got me there and they believed the young man.

Margery Bills said...

John, by the way, the lady yesterday with the Cougar told me her daughter got 60 chickens free from Craig's List and has lots of eggs now. Check out Craig's List in any city for all kinds of free things. Because people need help in moving things out or they are moving, etc.

bob r said...

In retrospect, did you have a transient ischemic attack, aka mini stroke, precipitating the CRASH

S.A.B.L.E. said...

John, glad you're back home. Home and critters are the best therapy now. Hope the mending continues well for you.


S.A.B.L.E. said...

Cell phones are a wonderful invention but for those of us in rural areas, service is marginal at best. I'm not near as far out in the back of beyond as John, I don't have any cell coverage with the major providers. It's just part of rural living.

Susan Traxel Martin said...

Yes, it started...but the really important question is....did it survive without any damage done to it?

Dave Forbes said...

Whoa John, feel better! The ranch is awesome!!!! FYI ever hear of a walipini its an in earth insulated pit garden? One long pass with a big dozer and you could use old packed tires for the walls, aquaponics, lots of different arrangements. You could also build a space for living down tucked into the blanket of the earth, nice n stable temps! Very good luck to you, I'll be following!