No pain, No gain!

Well, I’ve passed my drivers Exam with flying colors.  It was a bit of an ordeal as the cop car VIN number was wrong with the insurance -  blah blah blah, but after a few hours my great instructor made time for me and took me between appointments at  the DMV.

Driving is fantastic and gives me so much independence!   You can’t believe what you take for granted… even sitting in traffic!     I was thinking today and even told a friend of mine.  I wish the cop car had cruise control because pressing that hand control down for 20-25 minutes is tiring. Then come to think of it… Cop cars don’t need cruise control!

I’ve taken a few outings by myself that have been great.
The most recent is taking Eddie to school.  Anneliese finally had a day where she was not feeling well; I jumped at the chance to take him.  She woke him up- she told him I was taking him and then she started making breakfast.  He was so fast and was standing at the front door ready to go before our scheduled time.  He was especially excited because it was raining!
Anneliese got us both in the car, put my wheelchair in the back and kissed us goodbye.  I’m not sure she got a lot of rest while I was gone -but it was a much needed break for her.
Eddie and I took off, made sure we hit every puddle in the neighborhood, burning out at every neighborhood stop. He laughed uncontrollably and yelled – find another puddle!
It was a great drive, with him reading me his book, telling me hilarious stories and telling me to go faster in my cop car!  It was like I was living again, in the world of reality…traffic, kids, and crazy weather.
It was great.  We even got gas!  Anneliese has been teaching Eddie how to fill up – but he wasn’t ready when we reached Los Altos.  We had plenty of time before school so decided to venture out to a gas station.  The closest is in a shopping center near his homeschool class – I knew, if I flashed my handicap placard they’d have to come out to help!  Thank goodness, as I’m great to drive but can’t quite get out of the car by myself to do anything like this, and, as I said…. eddies in training! They were great, filled our car and we were on our way.  No waiting for Ladies Day at this station, Everyday is ladies day for me!!!  Another perk!!
Full Service!

Driving has allowed me to start a new adventure at SCI Fit.  What an incredible experience!
They seriously kick my ASS every week – I can’t even bring my arm up to brush my teeth at days.  My buddy Kenny and I would ride the dirt for hours – the next day he would say, are you sore?  I wouldn’t be, he would hate me.  He laughs now everyday when we talk!
This gym is unbelievable in their knowledge and dedication to spinal cord injuries.   The equipment makes me feel like I’m at a gym where I can walk on my own.  The people that work there are incredible. These girls are half my age and half my size – but kick my ass every time and encourage me.   It’s an awesome time with fun people.  Missy, Heather, Rachel – you kill me!  But, Anneliese loves you because she’s already seeing huge improvements in me with helping her with my transfers.  She loves SCI Fit, I love it too!

This past Sunday, my buddy Stein, I mean Dwayne took me to the auto show in Pleasanton.

Improvements around the house are coming along.  I now have a beautiful ramp to the backyard.  I don’t have to look out anymore and hope someone would come along and help me through the doors and down the step, I love progress!

Rain sucks for a paraplegic.  If you can imagine how inconvenient it is for you when you are unloading your car – imagine me.  It’s not fun.  By the time I’m in the house, my seat cushion is drenched, I’m drenched and the wheels are rolling around dirty water all over the house.  (Not to mention, Anneliese is completely drenched for helping me lol).  When you cover and run to the house, hmmmmm…  I roll as fast as I can.
Something to be said for dry climates.   AND, this is my first winter but I can understand the desire for a warm climate.

I have enclosed some embarrassing videos of my attempt to being “Martin”. (A good friend, who is incredibly strong!).

Everyday and week is new, and this our new weeks motto below;

Anneliese and I have seriously decided, life’s pretty darn good….  What’s the alternative?  Choose to move ahead!   Someone told us this and it stuck.   We are moving ahead.  When something like this happens to you, you can’t look back and feel sad.  We need to move forward.
Of course we have sad days but don’t we all?   I just can’t run from the misery!  I can only ROLL……..

Thanks for your support everyday.  I search the web daily (that’s my daily grind,lol)
I cannot thank you for your emails, calls and texts – it’s incredibly awesome.

Eddie and Berto's dog...aw

Eddie and Berto’s dog…aw

Eddie and Momma washing the cop car

Eddie and Momma washing the cop car

Here she is again, can't wait

Here she is again, can’t wait

My beautiful Boss 302 being restored...

My beautiful Boss 302 being restored…

IMG_3255

I'm up and looking forward to this day

I’m up and looking forward to this day

Kids telling us about their day

Kids telling us about their day

At DMV waiting!

At DMV waiting!

Parked in our handicap spot...Interesting!

Parked in our handicap spot…Interesting!

yea buddy, driving!

yea buddy, driving!

Woo Hoo passed!

Woo Hoo passed!

Working on my chair...a new kind of maintenance

Working on my chair…a new kind of maintenance

Eddie and Momma at the park!

Eddie and Momma at the park!

Too much commentary, i guess...

Too much commentary, i guess…

IMG_2097

stretching...I know it feels good!

stretching…I know it feels good!

IMG_2105 IMG_2113 IMG_2130 IMG_2132

 

Days Of Our Lives

I decided to sneak a post in between Dave’s…

Our daily lives are somewhat getting into a routine. Dave wants to find something to do a few hours a day. The man is a creature of habit. Before the accident, he was up at 5am and leaving for work at 6AM. He’s ready to do something, just trying to figure out what he could do! His bedsore is improving on his tailbone and continually getting smaller. Our home health nurse has reduced her visits to once a week. This means I am changing his wounds daily. That’s ok, we are getting into a routine: daily wound change and shower every other day. Life is quite different and we struggle every day with the good and the bad. Sometimes, we want to just give up!!!

We took a walk on the trail the other day and he was able to push for a mile and a half, until his shoulder started acting up. He’s still getting his massages from Correne, which is helping so much. Thanks Correne for coming to the house and helping me get Dave on the table.

Dave threw me a wonderful 50th birthday party; I had so many wonderful friends there with our immediate family. It was quite special to see the faces that have gotten us through the past 8 months and continue with their support, showing up on my birthday. I found it even more amazing; as it was the weekend we finally got rain and a lot of it. And… They still showed up.

I’m still looking for work and trying to figure out if I can do this all right now. We are thinking we need a few more months. We realized our lives are now settling into this world of being paralyzed. Dave is going to start rehab again. It’s just so hard, as I’m busy 24/7 – either helping Dave, driving Eddie back and forth to Los Altos or keeping up the house…. The amount of laundry I do currently is amazing. I feel like I never stop, I know technically I don’t work,…….. But… Do I work!

We have a few improvements starting on the house happening soon, which will hopefully make Dave’s life more adaptable. I told him tonight that I was getting a new sink a bit lower and getting rid of cabinet underneath so he can help with dishes. He was great with it!

His 1970′s Boss Mustang is finally being painted and getting ready to come home. It’s been a long two plus years restoring this dream car. He’s still trying to figure out how he’s going to drive this manual? I often find him on the mustang forum or researching anything and everything on mustangs.

He is back involved in the AFM and is looking forward to the start of the season coming up this March.
Alli, has so far gotten into every school she’s applied to for college. Jack continues to make Dave proud with his constant help, and he’s been riding with his stepdad and is learning to work on his bike on his own.
Eddie continues to make us laugh everyday. He made us jealous as he’s spent his winter break in Cabo. Dave and Eddie just bought a pellet gun and they have been target shooting in the backyard.

Our kids make me laugh and help me keep going when sometimes I feel like pulling the covers over my head and not getting out of bed. So many personal things happening to us that I would like to bury myself at times.
With Dave’s sense of humor and the kids I can….. keep on keepin on ( as a friend of mine says.)

With this injury came some sad dynamics within our family circle. I find it so hard to understand why some chose these times to alienate Dave. As Dave says, I would trade places with anyone that complains about minor BS.
He’s paralyzed for Goodness sake.
Why is it that people can’t get out of their own worlds to look into the world of this incredible man – who struggles to get up to brush his teeth, take a shower, get a glass of water from the fridge. He still needs help doing everything. Imagine this for a guy who’s so independent. Why pick this time to add such pain to a man who’s endured one of the worst. It’s unimaginable.
The silence, the battles and the pain that has been caused on top of what we have endured is simply heart wrenching for Dave and I. We would never imagine those that chose to do at such a time – but I guess it’s life; we will overcome this too, and become stronger.

I want Dave to focus on the positive and we need to put these unforeseen circumstances behind us. We need to look at the finish line, let those behind us with dysfunctional motives fade off. In order to remain healthy we have to surround ourselves with positive people.
Everyday it’s a struggle, and it’s FLPPIN HARD!
This has been a journey that I would have never expected in so many ways. So unbelievably grateful for those that give this incredible guy and myself, the continued shout out, the call, email, text and pure positive thoughts.
Overall, people have been wonderful to us. Simply amazing and continue to be on a daily basis.

My main objective is to keep Dave healthy, both physically and mentally. Could careless about anything else! Today was a really hard Day for Dave, just trying to find his purpose. He is so bored and just wants something to do for 3-4 hours a day.

On a happy note,  my dearest friend from Miami came out with one of her 5 children, Broghan, this past Friday. We’ve been best friends since high school. Dave finally met her a month before his accident as she had come out for her daughters robot competition. She had never met him prior and had only heard me brag about him via email, pics                      and phone conversations.

Joanna described Dave perfectly to me in an email before she arrived, I will quote her….

“When I talk about Dave, I always keep the image in my head of him sitting there, deep in conversation with Sloane (her daughter) so intent, so focused on her and making her feel comfortable. How did he do that? He had no reason to be kind, so friendly, so real. The fact he turned out to be gorgeous, tall and funny on top of it, well that just knocked me over. I left California feeling deeply happy for you, captivated by your husband knowing he would be your knight in shining armor. I think back on that moment and I cry now-at the situation – couldn’t we turn back time? Anny, you have something even now that people seek all their lives, and that is real, profound connection to another person who sees you and loves you know matter what.
I love who for who you are, I admire what you are and I know you create change in people everyday by living your life as you do. And I will do my best not to be crying all the time when I’m there.”

If anyone knows struggles she does. She was hit by a car going 50mph while running, in a wheelchair for 8 months. Her husband, Doug, struck with a rare virus, caused him to be paralyzed and almost die the past 3 years. He was not only paralyzed from the waist down, he got sicker and woke up being paralyzed from the neck down. Now, both are walking again and have educated themselves fully on recovery and what it takes if it’s possible. She helped me with Dave and gave me helpful insight on what he’s thinking and what she went through those horrible months after the accident and life in a wheelchair. She continues to struggle with her own husband daily in his recovery.

She gave me the most profound insight Saturday night. She looked at me and said, you might get frustrated with Dave, because he doesn’t want to go out, because he doesn’t seem to do what you want – because you might not see him trying.. Or simply, you want to expect more…..
The reality is, she said, is that he’s exhausted from sitting in that wheelchair all day. Do you realize, it’s hard to be in that chair all day? Do you realize when you have an exasperating conversation with him….. You get up and walk away? You use that energy to get up, wash the dishes, change the laundry, and take the trash out? Dave has to sit there, and all that frustration, energy, has nowhere to go!

When we went to our friend’s home, Monica and Mike, the other night for the Academy Awards, we all took a tour; he had to sit in their beautiful family room. He couldn’t do all the stairs to see their amazing backyard.
Imagine, everyone taking the tour but you. She told me…. even though he smirked… It’s hard, it’s lonely, it’s frightening and it can be so incredibly frustrating. I listened to this…and again, realized…….one step at a time…. Patience.

Dave has his days of good. But overall, he struggles daily. What is his purpose now, what can he do all day? I come home at times and he’s sitting in the house on the computer. It’s quiet….so quiet you can hear a pin drop. I ask him, Dave turn on the TV or music! It’s so depressing! I would be depressed if I had to stay in this environment all day and not be able to get out.
Joanna has been so instrumental on helping me get Dave into a stem cell research program. We together are going to succeed getting him in.

He’s sold his R1 and they picked it up the other night. Bittersweet, but it will be rode in the AFM Triple Crown Series Race. Dave was really excited to hear that – they also asked if they could use his number 53.   Dave was extremely touched they would even consider it.

Dave had a meeting with DMV (which we thought was a driving test!) discussing meds he’s on and his ability to drive. He was given the green light to actually take his driving test March 18th! If he passes (which he will) he can drive with no restrictions!!
We went to the wound clinic today and Dave was told things are looking good! His Sacrum wound is getting smaller and only over an inch long and little less than an inch wide. We work hard on changing it AND keeping his heels safe from opening up again.

Dave is going to start SCI Fit soon. His wounds closing up on his heels have allowed him to wear shoes, which is a requirement to do much of the equipment. I have also made an appointment for Dave at Project Walk. I found them on the Internet and their concept sounded really cool too. If anyone knows about Project Walk and has any insight that would be great!  Any insight….. Steve Dalton, Steve Kennedy, Wayne Rainey, Mario Bonfante???

As we said, it’s bittersweet… The area where his R1 motorcycle stood now stands his standing frame. Pic below says it all.

Thank you ALL for your continued amazing support. It’s a roller coaster ride and when you might call or text – might be when we are having our biggest dip. Thank you for helping us climb the next hill. It means a lot. This journey is tough!
Dave keeps me smiling, or at times crying. Overall… we are happy to be here and to be given the chance to get through these challenges. When we least expect it we get overwhelmed and we miss our old lives and what could have been.
We have to just keep our heads high and keep up this extremely emotional journey.

Here’s to the next post from David and his driving results!

Here stands the standing frame

Here stands the standing frame

Dave and Monica-great reunion of friends

Dave and Monica-great reunion of friends

Eddie and his buddy Broghan

Eddie and his buddy Broghan

Getting Dave out on a Sunday afternoon...Yummy

Getting Dave out on a Sunday afternoon…Yummy

Homework time

Homework time

Molecule race car

Molecule race car

Three great friends from high school!

Three great friends from high school!

Dave and Shannon's selfie!

Dave and Shannon’s selfie!

Celebrating my best friends arrival from Miami!

Celebrating my best friends arrival from Miami!

Alli and her Pops!

Alli and her Pops!

Dave's cop car with its new push bar!

Dave’s cop car with its new push bar!

On The Road Again..

It started out on Saturday 1/18 with me demanding I go to the Oakland Airport to pick up Barry Wressell by myself in my cop car.  Anneliese was beside herself as well as the kids.  Eddie kept yelling, mommy don’t let him go by himself.  Alli asked, when will you be back?  I have to babysit but I can go.  I finally had to yell at all of them!  I CAN DO THIS.  Anneliese kept saying, really 880 and traffic?  Airport?   As I got myself in the car and everyone watched to make “sure I could do it!”  I started the car.  Eddie looked at Anneliese and said, say a really Good, GOODBYE,.  They were so worried about me.   As I looked in the rear view mirror,there they stood, in the middle of the street.  Watching me drive away- they felt as though I was their newly crowned 16 year old child.
It was great when the family got a snapchat from Barry, showing them us together and driving home.
We got ready and headed out,  but this time Anneliese was driving Barry and I to Foster City to celebrate our teammates and friends receive their awards.
We got their and immediately had to crack up when Barry unleashed our outfits.  It was truly the 3 Amigos.  We slowly got ready and Anneliese had me already sitting upright in the bed when Barry walked in.  He died laughing walking in and seeing me with this outfit on, it nearly killed him.   Kenny Norman also came up to give me my birthday present.  He also laughed at my costume for the party.

Wow, what an incredible time I had at the AFM banquet.
I  was excited and anxious all at the same time but I was pre~occupied with my 3 amigos outfit.    It’s been a tradition for me for the past 4 years to dress up in crazy outfits.    It was the year of the 3 Amigos, created by Barry Wressell – the other amigo was a, long time AFM racer all around good guy- who also has the same birthday as me, Michael Ernest.
Shoot, what a fun time with these guys.  We all laughed so hard at times about our outfits, the 42 inch waists he got us, the pinning of the pants!  The ties, vest, and the freakin hats!  Gosh, these were awesome costumes.

When we got downstairs, the greeting was unbelievable!  Everyone loved the outfits and were so nice.  It was so great to see everyone.  So many people I hadn’t seen since the accident..  For so many that have seen me after my stays in the hospital say, I look so much healthier since they have seen me.  Made me feel great!

We sat at the table that I have sat at for more than 20 years.  This time it was different.  It was still great with everyone there but I felt different.  I was in a different situation.  I would not get an award for number 1,2,3,4,5 etc.  I would sit in my chair and cheer on everyone else.
At one point, I looked at Anneliese, she read my mind and said are you ok?  I said not really.
It all of a sudden was really hard on me.  I was sitting at a table with my friends but felt all of a sudden lonely in my world.  As I sat there through all of the awards, it got easier.  I was trying to whisper to Jeff Legit when Anneliese said, shhhh….  Let’s listen to what Berto says.
It was the beginning of a huge honor for me and a huge emotional evening for my whole family.   I was honored with an incredible award/trophy “The Hailwood Trophy” The trophy says “Donated after the AFM’s 50th Anniversary by Jim and Jason Manning, AFM road racing enthusiasts, in memory of Ivan Wagar, editor of Cycle World.  Originally presented to Mike Hailwood, who received it from Soichiro Honda for winning a Japanese Grand Prix race in the early 1960′s.”

I could not believe the absolute admiration I received from everyone.  I was completely blown away at the amount of people who came up to me and told me they follow my story and support me.  It’s so unbelievable to me that people are this good.  They support and follow me when I’m in a wheelchair now, it’s really cool.The banquet was awesome and I loved hangin with my peers.  Racers are great human beings, who are the most determined and loyal people.  I’m so glad I’m a part of this community.  This banquet solidified my love for a sport that has sculpted my life and made me realize that I would never have this support without my motorcycle community.
I’m thankful I gave 22 years of my life to such a fun fun sport.  I have made incredible friends who continue to support me through this journey now on 4 wheels.
Thanks everyone at the AFM, what a great night!

My wife has friends and family who are always looking out for us.  Her friend in New Zealand, Liz,  sent us a cool video and not long after, her cousin, Tracy,  sent her the same video.  This is an incredible video that we are in awe of.  Anneliese wants to put together some sort of fundraiser so we can attempt to get in line for this incredible machine (cost is $15k).  After seeing this, it would be so great not to live my life always in my chair inside buildings!
Here’s to looking forward to standing up in the machine most of the day instead of sitting.
Check out the cool link below, pretty awesome.

http://www.wimp.com/newdevice/Physically, my heels are finally closed up but still fragile.  Huge improvement!    My bed sore on my back is getting smaller.  Our nurse, Deanna, tried something new with taking off the wound vac and using something called Isodsorb.  It’s working great and we are seeing improvements daily.   I’m in pretty good spirits.  I went into garage the other day and worked on my 79 honda trail 90.
Jeff Leggit  from Mach 1 picked it up along with my Suzuski DRZ 190 – he’s going to ship this to a friend in Hawaii that I sold it to.

Thinking about selling my beautiful R1 motorcycle that has been beautifully re-done since the incident.   Hard to let go as she’s a beauty – but hard to look at since I can’t ride it.   She currently sits in our family room as garage art.

Anyone interested please let me know.  Pics below.

Going to practice driving my cop car for my test the next couple of weeks.
Anneliese, Alli, jack and I headed to supercross last weekend at the Oakland Coliseum.
We decided to take BART.  That was so simple and easy!  Interestingly enough when you get on the handicap elevator you never use your ticket that you paid for…  So, $40 worth of tickets never got swiped?  That was interesting.  We figured they must have a camera and bust whomever abuses it?  We couldn’t figure that one out but jeez another benefit of being paralyzed.  We had the colorful attendees on the BART, a few homeless guys coming through begging for money.  Funny thing was, they looked at me and either tapped me on the shoulder or said, good luck to you brother, lol.  So, as time goes by, I’m seeing a few benefits of this condition… Good parking, not being bugged on BART and free entry!
It’s an interesting adventure…

My wife has a big birthday coming up so I’ve been busy planning a little something for her.
So glad for my family and friends.  You all make my life worth living everyday.

She had a sad conference call a couple of days ago.  They announced they were shutting down her company in Chicago.  As of now, she no longer has a job.  She will have to begin the job search all over again amongst everything else.  Her phone hasn’t stop ringing with new companies and head hunters.  Her head is spinning as she wasn’t prepared for this.  Hopefully her old boss has an opportunity for their team to move to another company together.

I continue to go to my Rehab in Vallejo at Kaiser with my original “wrecking ball crew- Todd.”
I intend to begin my outside Rehab at SCI Fit the first of Feb.  Loving driving and feeling a bit independent.  Went to our storage this past Sunday and drove myself!  My son was my co-pilot.  I met my good friends Mat Orange and Lindsay Thompson.  They purchased some of my goodies I had in storage.  Lindsay always surprises me with her amazing baking skills and a tray full of goodies!

Had dinner with our friends Mike and Laura last night, we had their kids over with ours- playing games etc.   What a fun night!  Jen (my Ex-wife) continues to be a great friend and help.  She’s helping me plan Anneliese’s 50th little party.  Anneliese wanted nothing – but we decided she is going to have a little something.  I’ve already given her a menu of a full day day of spa, including hair.  She so deserves this treat.

I’m looking forward to starting SCI Fit soon.  I’m feeling good, but the long rods in my back have been killing me the past few nights.  Not sure why.  I’ve had a hard time staying up too late because of the pain.  The other issue I’m having is my right shoulder.  Not sure what I did, but I clearly pulled something.  Hard for me to lift myself and need a little more assistance than I like. I will give it a few more days, hopefully it approves.  Other than those issues I’ve felt pretty darn good.  Loving my freedom of driving, it’s been so amazing to be in control again.  The simplest of things we all take for granted.

Anneliese and I continue to push forward and try to live the best life we can.  She continues to take amazing care of me and continues to be my best friend.  We laugh a lot together but also get frustrated with each other and sometimes end in tears.  It’s part of the process, but every month we seem to get a little stronger.

I spoke with Wayne Rainey the other night and he validated my feelings that sometimes it’s just hard to do things, or maybe we can’t.  It’s part of my new found life – it will piss me off at times but it’s something I have to deal with.  Thank God for family and extended family.  We wouldn’t know what we do without all of family and friends.  I might say this every time, but it’s so amazingly true.  I couldn’t have done the past 6 months without this support.

A good friend said to me, I tried to live a day in a chair – He said, F**#*k it after an hour.  He couldn’t reach anything in the kitchen, it was hard to get around.  He said to me, I can’t imagine living like you do daily.
Reality is, you adjust to what your dealt with.  I’m getting by and doing my deal.  I might not be as exciting right now as I use to be (not sure I ever was) but I will get to a level that I’m doing more and going more.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support me.  Your generosity is unbelievably thoughtful and so appreciated from my family.

I’ll let you know if I pass my drivers test with my hand controls!  I will be able to drive myself to the gym, such incredible freedom!  Amazing the little things I took for granted now are so appreciated.

This injury has changed my life in so many ways.  You learn what and who’s important.
Life is fragile, live it hard and enjoy it heavily.  Enjoy simple things, they really are the best things.

David

3 great kids

3 great kids

Anneliese getting mine and eddies feeding tubes ready!

Anneliese getting mine and eddies feeding tubes ready!

So ready!

So ready!

Ready for the banquet!

Ready for the banquet!

Leaving for the airport!

Leaving for the airport!

Queen of the house

Queen of the house

Doing my standing routine

Doing my standing routine

Getting my award at the AFM banquet, very emotional

Getting my award at the AFM banquet, very emotional

Me and Gish, new AMA red bull rider

Me and Gish, new AMA red bull rider

On bart going to supercross!

On bart going to supercross!

photo(38)

Award

Award

me and my awesome massage therapist

me and my awesome massage therapist

3 amigos!

3 amigos!

Me and Deion

Me and Deion

It’s a new year, and so happy it is!

Happy New Year!

 

How glad was I that it’s a new year?  A year full of new dreams, hopes and a realization we have a big future in front of us.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s been such a rough road of ups and downs.  Just a couple of days ago my wound on my back went backwards!!  It was simply a different pillow we were using to rotate me every 3 hours at night.  At times, it’s very frustrating.

 

Overall the holidays were great.  We had a great family Christmas Dinner with most of the family and it was just perfect.  It was so nice to just hang with the family and enjoy the time together.  I was given a killer quad copter to fly,  which I’m mastering in the front yard.

Also, a few great models to put together.  Although, my wife forgot the most important ingredient – the glue.  We are still working on those.  Overall, everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

 

The next day was my daughters 18th birthday.  We had an amazing brunch with all the family and extended family  including, my mom, Anneliese’s mom, Karal and sis, Kelly,  as well as  Jen’s parents, Cathy and Marty, Jen, Tim and Megan.  Such a great day with amazing sentimental gifts for a special 18th birthday.  I think she was happy with all her surprises :-)

 

The holidays were great as Eddie was on his vacation with us since we didn’t have any vacation with him last year.  Unfortunately he got pretty sick and Anneliese had to shuttle him to his docs on the peninsula.  When he gets sick, we ave to be extra careful because of his lungs.  Anneliese is a little freaked out with this Swine Flu again – between me and Eddie she’s keeping us quarantined.  Unfortunately, this flu can be devastating to either one of us.  We spend a lot of family time inside and just hanging out together.  At times it gets to be like cabin fever and we end up all deliriously laughing and bugging each other just to have fun.  

 

I got a notice in the mail that I need to take a new drivers test on Feb. 3rd, so, I decided to take my daughter,Alli, out on Sunday and drive all around Walnut Creek in my cop car.  Pete and I put the controls in and they work great.  She was a little nervous in the beginning as we screeched from the front of the house.  She was more comfortable as we went further and drove around town as well as freeway.  Such great freedom for me and I love it.I’m sure my wife will be happy as I’m driving her crazy with my back seat driving!

 

I’ve been trying to stand in my standing frame daily.  I definitely need help as I can’t figure out how others get there legs over without help.  We are working on this but I do enjoy standing while other things are going on in the house.  Today,  Anneliese was on the treadmill and me on the standing frame.  The only thing that was bad…Anneliese likes to watch her DVR trash TV while on her treadmill.  She says it goes faster for her- for me, it was painful to watch lol!

 

I’m trying to get a routine going, it’s hard because I use to go and do, now I feel like I sit and try to figure out what to do.  I spend more time on the computer.  I’m starting new projects on the computer and also was nominated Director at Large for the AFM.  We had our first board meeting  this past  Wednesday in San Leandro.  I was grateful that Tim Scarrot came over picked me up and took me to the meeting.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t strong enough to get into his truck – he was nice enough to take our car to get me there.  It was nice to see who was there, and get back into it.  It gives me an outlet to stay connected.  I never thought I would go back to the board but circumstances sure changed my opinion!!

 

Anneliese and I had a storage facility with so much of my racing stuff –  we were evicted last month.  Anneliese, and two friends,  moved all of our stuff the other day into a new facility.  This was weighing on me and I hated the fact, I couldn’t wake up at 5Am, drive over there and get it done.  These are the the simple things I hate that I can’t help with.  My boss,Chris was so generous, met Anneliese and let us move our stuff into his storage. 

 

Anneliese’s company wants her to go back to work next month.  It will be difficult, but we are going to try to make it work.  She will definitely be working 20 hour days!  Just want to make sure she can do it.

 

I wish I could tell you at this point, I’m dressing myself, changing myself, transferring myself or getting myself places.  Unfortunately, I need major help from my wife daily in all of this.  Thank God for her and her constant unconditional love for me.  She changes the dressings on my wounds when the nurses can’t be here.  She helps me shower,  drives me crazy when she’s trying to clean around me constantly.  I make jokes, and she threatens to smother me.  I can’t ask for more. ..!   We laugh more than we cry, guess that’s good at this point right?

 

On a sad note, my wife’s father passed away Christmas Eve.  We celebrated  his incredible life this past Saturday.  It was be nice to see her brother, Chuck, who has come in from Boston as well as other family.  I also met other long family friends for the first time in my wheelchair.  What an incredible man and awesome stories.  He was a Cal quarterback as well as his father.  They both took Cal to the Rose Bowl.  Only father and son to ever do this.  What a great day with incredible friends, and what an amazing life.    Thank you to all our friends that took the time to celebrate this day with us.

 

On Monday was my 44,th birthday,  Anneliese and I had a wonderful lunch downtown, then a little shopping.  We came back home and she put me into bed for a little rest, acting like nothing else was happening.  About 15 minutes later Pete and Christy surprised me and they all whisked me away for an awesome Surprise party!  My buddies arranged a surprise party for 20 of my friends and family.  What a great night!  I scored with some great tequila.  I still haven’t ever acquired the taste of beer back since the accident but I do enjoy sipping some good tequila.

 

Just a note…  On Jan. 9th,  7 years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and technology.  

I can only hope that in 7 years from today- technology has advanced so I can regain some of the hobbies I had before…..

 

Thanks everyone for your continued support.  You’ve been Awesome.

Those that continually support stanton53support.com - I have to tell you, it’s unbelievable.  I’ve seen a couple on a recurring payment.  It’s just so beyond gracious.

I thank you so much.  Truly, our family can’t thank you enough. 

 

We will update sooner than later because as you know now,  I have to take my drivers test AGAIN with my hand controls!  I’ll have footage and definitely updates!

 

David 

 

Eddie getting ready for Papa's celebration

Eddie getting ready for Papa’s celebration

Moving stuff from storage

Moving stuff from storage

IMG_1824

Anneliese's Father, Boots

Anneliese’s Father, Boots

Dave with new scarf and Craig's cop glasses!

Dave with new scarf and Craig’s cop glasses!

Great birthday dinner with family and friends

Great birthday dinner with family and friends

IMG_1821

Getting ready to drive!

Getting ready to drive!

storage moved

storage moved

Tis the Season to be Thankful

Hi Everyone,

One of the Best days of Dave’s life has passed since the accident and life has set in.  It’s funny because, Dave said to me, long before this benefit.  After the benefit I won’t hear from many again for a very long time.  I told him, that ‘s ok, that is how life is.  Benefit came and went and sadly Dave was right.

As much as I would like to say that Dave hears from many people just to say hi, the reality is what it is.  People go on with their lives and rightfully so.  Unfortunately when you don’t get up and take a shower, make your own coffee, get yourself dressed, out of bed or at least take the trash out –

Your world is pretty small and you think about everything at every moment.  Dave has the best attitude anyone could ask for in this situation.

He still has his bedsores that are slowly improving. We have the BEST nurses EVER that come to our house daily.     She has become a friend and a source of empowerment in our fight to get healthy.  Deanna and her sidekick, Kathy, make Dave laugh on a daily basis, cracking jokes and Dave is always at his best.  Deanna makes her mission to make sure Dave’s wounds heal and because she knows our history she really goes the distance.  .  She is truly an Angel to us because we wouldn’t know what we do without her guiding us.  She has us going to the wound clinic every 3 weeks and that’s where we have Victoria.  She is an amazing wound nurse.    She has a calm soothing way that makes us feel like we are doing things right – or like the last visit, we should probably visit with the plastic surgeon to get his/her opinion.   We discussed a “Flap” surgery.  This would be on his Sacrum.  We need to research this more in order to elaborate.    David knows he will be laid up for a very long time and not happy about it so I will discuss when we know more.

Dave’s health is pretty good; although the last couple of days his body has an infection and we are waiting to see if we need to take him to the ER to get IV antibiotics.    His wounds still require months for healing but we are moving in the right direction just slower than we would like.  We just don’t want them to get infected.

Our lives have been busy with just everyday BS, I’m sure everyone can agree.  We spend the entire morning getting up, there is a lot involved.  Every time I look at my clock I say, OMG, it’s 11am.

When I take Eddie to school in Los Altos, Dave lays here in bed from 8:00-11:00AM.   He waits for his nurse or me to get back so we can start our day of getting him up.    I feel so guilty just having him wait for us.

If I am not taking Eddie, it’s still the same course.  Our days pretty much start off the same way just depends on when.  Dave now requires sleep – where he used to get up at 5AM before the accident and loved being out of the house by 6:15AM.  Now, his body needs sleep in order to heal.  He often sleeps until 8AM and some mornings later.   It’s never consistent sleep as we are up many times through the night rotating or going to the bathroom.  So we are often both tired in the AM!

Once he’s up and moving about he often has had his buddies come over and keep him company.  Mike and Laura Mahoney took us to I’l Fornaio the other night ( we had a great time!!)  Laura and Mike have been a great source of companionship living in Walnut Creek, I needed a girlfriend close by and she has been just that!

Pete (his bro) and Kenny (his other Bro) came over on Sunday and just hung out and brought Dave his favorite lunch.  Kenny brought back Dave’s “R1 Yamaha Motorcycle” the one he had the incident on.  It’s all fixed and beautiful and currently resides in our family room!  They helped Dave rearrange toolboxes and things in the garage so Dave is able to move around and attempt to work on things. Alli and I went Christmas shopping the other day.    When we got home, it was getting dark outside -  Kenny and Dave were out by his “Cop” car.  Kenny’s hands were black with grease – he was changing spark plugs.  Dave’s getting ready to drive the beast.  We recently received a notice from the DMW stating Dave might have to go down and take a drivers test.    Of course he was not happy about this.

I hope Dave doesn’t tail the guy in front of him on the exam -  if it’s a Prius, Corolla or just a “Stupid” driver the instructor might get an earful and Dave might fail!!   Trust me, I’ve heard it all -  as I have been his driver for the past 5 months – I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL HE DRIVES!    I’m sure if you are reading this and drive one of those cars, you don’t drive 50mph in the fast lane on the Freeway.

Kenny and Pete also rearranged things to get ready for Dave’s other love… His ‘70 Boss 302 Mustang.  He has been restoring this car for 2 years. He was almost done before the accident.  The one thing he was upset about when he woke up from the medically induced Coma was – he couldn’t ever drive the car!

This is because the Mustang is a stick shift and he has no way of operating the clutch with hand controls.  Dave’s been working on ways to get around this.    It’s been completely torn apart for 2 years and we still have the entire interior in our garage.   Now, that’s a job putting the car back together – I’m hoping we get friends to help him……as unfortunately all he can do is direct traffic

Christmas is approaching quite rapidly.  We are so happy to celebrate this season.  We so appreciate our family and so look forward ever day when we get all of our kids together.  I share Eddie with his father 50/50 so we gear our family dinners based on Eddie being with us.  It’s such a great evening when all the kids are here – they are always having a great time.  Alli is usually teasing her father, Jack is dragging Eddie down the hallway and I’m cooking dinner – and Dave is laughing at all of the kids.  We have such a great life, with the exception of this one incident that changed it in many ways but not around the dinner table.      We live our lives like we are happy to be alive and enjoy our moments with each other.  Family is everything to us – the kids will tell you.  When they stop by after school I often ask, what’s your plans for tonight?   If there is not too much homework and Jen doesn’t have plans with them, they come over to hang out.    I have always liked Sunday  Nights.  When Eddie is with us, it’s a given it’s family dinner.  We really have a good time on these evenings.  We have missed many of them in the past 6 months because so many have been spent in the hospital.  The kids have been incredibly supportive and wonderful to their Dad – or as Eddie calls him, DOD (which means, Dave other Dad.)    They help him with whatever he needs or they simply get him in bed when I’m cleaning up the dishes.  They get him completely ready for bed for me and when I walk in, I’m thrilled I get to just lay next to him and discuss the evening.

I won’t lie; Christmas season has always been my favorite.  When my husband can’t stay awake or doesn’t feel comfortable going out because he’s not feeling well.  It’s hard.  I’ve had amazing Christmas Season’s with this man.   I have to admit, I spend a lot of alone nights crying looking at old pics and looking back.  I wake up, and suddenly realize this is our lives now and we are on a good path and moving forward.  I’m sure the holiday season makes it hard on everyone in challenging situations.

We have finally had some decent months physically so we decided to attend an evaluation at SCI Fit – which is a gym specifically tailored to individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries.   What a phenomenal experience.  Jerry, who took care of us, was so knowledgeable and probably educated me more in 1 hour than I had been in 4 months.  We learned about their program and then they asked Dave, what do you want to get out of this program?

His response (an honest one), I’m bored OUT MY SKULL” and would like to do something.  Let’s face it – he lies there staring at the ceiling until I get home and get him up.   He wants to build up his body as much as he can while the wounds heal so he can be more independent and not depend on others to help him.

 

I will end the blog by saying – I’ve learned so much during this unfortunate accident.     One thing I won’t give up on is our wonderful  family and friends.   The ones that have been with us through this past 6 plus months and really stood by us through sickness and truly hospital sickness.  Thank you so much!!!

 

Last Night , Alli and I went to Dave’s Boss’ fathers Celebration of Life.  How wonderful people were and asked about Dave.  The Owner of the Company Dave works for showed up and were always gracious,  Anu and Arvin hugged me and always ask about Dave.  What great people they are and better yet, great owners together of  a company.

Christmas is one of those holidays that you want to reflect on what’s important.

Dave has had the darkest of times in these past few months and we thank those that have been there and always check in, thank you to our adorable, loyal and totally committed children, Alli, Jack & our little man, Eddie.  I would like to thank people that have been with us day in and day out and help us on an hourly basis..

Mom, Kelly, Joanie, Dennis, Jen, Tim, Kenny, Lisa, Pete, Christy, Sharyl, Laura, Mike, Berto, Tim Blasquez, Chris, Jimmy, Hank “Can you Rock” Craig  & Kelly.    Without all of you,  I really don’t know what I would do.   Your help daily and constant assistance is so very much appreciated!   When I’m called and have to get Eddie and won’t return for 2 hours and Dave is on the massage table – thank you Jen for always running over and helping me out of my bind.

I really would like to thank Correne Cook, who has given her time weekly to help Dave get his knots in his neck worked out.  She spends hours helping him and the generosity is amazing.  Thank you.

I would also continue to thank those that send me Facebook messages or a simple text asking how Dave is.  Also, to those that  message Dave or pick up the phone to call.  Your messages do not go unread.I enjoy reading them all and can’t tell you how uplifting they can be if I’m having a bad day.

Our wish for everyone this Christmas is a Safe, Happy and Wonderful Holiday.    Just remember your life can change in an instant –

Kiss your loved ones, be happy with who you are and what you have.  Life is really precious and so are your loved ones.

Dave and I will focus on keeping on.  We certainly expect you to do the same.

We will keep you posted in the next few weeks on Dave’s health progress.

The kids and I have made this our number one wish this Season.  NO HOSPITAL!!

Merry Christmas Everyone and have a Happy New Year!

XXOO

Anneliese & David

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Registered Nurses

Registered Nurses

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

In the house

In the house

Getting evaluated at SCI Fit!

Getting evaluated at SCI Fit!

Back wound is getting better!

Back wound is getting better!

Eddie bored out of his mind at the Nutcracker

Eddie bored out of his mind at the Nutcracker

Holidays

Holidays

Dave and a glass of wine...Finally

Dave and a glass of wine…Finally

Xmas at the house

Xmas at the house

A Day That I Will Never Forget

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a week since I experienced one of the most surreal days of my life. The outpouring of love and support that I experienced at Sonoma Raceway on November 18th was like nothing I’ve ever experienced racing 22 years. It’s a day I will most certainly never forget in my life. Seeing old friends like, Tom Houseworth, James Lickwar, Steve Rapp, Chris Fillmore, Josh Hayes and Melissa Paris as well as Jason Pridmore. Also, all the old friends that I was really surprised the made the trip for the day. I’m sure I’m missing many people who traveled miles but the whole day was so overwhelming. Heck, Anneliese had relatives from LA show up. Thanks Tom and Judy. My good friend, Pete Doyle, who was very instrumental in the whole day – I can’t thank enough for being so good to my family and me. His mother in law, Gail Fenlon, made sure she was here from Georgia. Her whole family from Georgia has supported us from day one. Her daughter in Georgia leads her company meetings with a prayer for my recovery every week. I can write a book on the amount of stories I hear daily about the incredible people and their well wishes. Pete’s wife, Christy, always sends a supportive “pep” text to my wife to help keep spirits up. The day was filled with Lisa and Kenny opening up their trailer for everyone who needed to change for a 2-up ride with Jason Pridmore. It started with Anneliese and Lisa leading the pack for the 2-lap ride around the Sonoma racetrack on the back of Jason’s 2-up bike. My daughter, Alli, my son Jack, and Kenny’s son, Kyle followed suit. The kid’s mom, Jen, also gave it a try. They all were very nervous but got off the bike with a smile on their face and hands slightly still clenched tight! Some had their legs still shaking! The car ride around the track was the first time since the accident I had a helmet on and felt that adrenaline rush that I oh, so love… going around one of my favorite tracks, we took a ride in Pete’s hot rod station wagon, Cadillac CTS-V. The ride was fairly calm until we exited turn 7 on the last lap – Pete turned the wheel hard to the right and stabbed the gas. It took a second but Pete’s desired result ended up being one of the best saves I’ve ever seen. Jack and Kyle, who were seated in the back, erupted with screams of excitement. Thanks Pete, I really needed that! Then came the group picture, I have to say, that was really overwhelming. The amount of people that came up to me before the shoot and after was incredible. The overwhelming feeling of love at that moment was something I will never forget the rest of my life. After the picture, while I was thanking everyone for their hard work, it was hard to hold back how I was feeling and I got really choked up. I really wanted to thank everyone for all the support and helping me get through some really dark/tough times.

The reception was like an AFM/AMA reunion, it was great to meet people that came long distances that I had never met – and old racing friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. The auction was amazing and I almost wanted to bid on a few items myself! I was able to stay most of the day but around 6pm, I looked at Anneliese and said I need to go. They got me in the car in 10 mins and we were home by 7pm. I was seriously out by 7:15 while Anneliese was getting me undressed, cleaning my wound and hooking me to the feeding tube. I laid in bed and rested until 4pm the next day. I was wiped but had the greatest day ever!

My health has been overall pretty darn decent in the past couple of weeks- knock on wood. I went to see the wound doctor last week, my awesome home health nurse, Deanna, also came on her day off. They seemed pretty pleased on how they were looking and seem to think we are doing all the right things in order for them to heal. I still have the wound Vac on the one on my back. My home health nurse, Deanna comes everyday to change dressings if needed and to check my health. She’s been instrumental in my healing process by keeping us informed and on top of everything. We have had a lot of company over the past week and have enjoyed visiting with all of our friends. I recently told Kelly Sillers that I can’t do anything! She responded, telling me that I need to search for my “New Horizons”. I am still searching for it – but I am trying new things! Sunday, while all the kids decorated the house for Christmas, I went and shot guns with my friend Tim Blasquez and Shawn Healy. It was great to get out and try something I’ve never done, thanks guys! This past Monday was my first Outpatient Rehab appointment in Vallejo. I’m back with my “Wrecking Crew Leader”, Todd. Looking forward to going there weekly to help me get stronger. I’ve also inquired about a place in Pleasanton called SCI fit. They are a spinal cord gym, where they only work with people with spinal injuries. I’m thinking about incorporating into their program as well. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving this year – because I have a lot to be thankful for. My wife Anneliese, who is now an expert in nursing, caregiving and assorted other duties, yes I said duties lol- has done so much for me and I’m thankful everyday to wake up next to her.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and thank you everyone for coming out to my Benefit on Monday. Love you all!!!!

A HUGE thank you to Sonoma Raceway, 3 J’s, Zoom Zoom, Shawn Reilly, Dave Benjamin, Berto Wooldridge, Dave Worthington, Jenah Smith, Yamaha, and the best guy to call my best bud, Pete Doyle. Thank you everyone else that I’m not mentioning for making the benefit a day I will never forget!! Barry you rocked the cop car! Next time I will have sirens for you to clear the way! Hot pursuit baby, hot pursuit!

Here’s to the first month that I haven’t been admitted to the hospital since the accident! Yea, November.

Btw, here’s a get well to Eddie’s cousin Jessica who had brain surgery today. Get well Jessie, we love you!!

Jack and Dave working on their new project!

Jack and Dave working on their new project!

Auction Item!

Auction Item!

Megan getting ready to go

Megan getting ready to go

Alli about to go get ready for her ride

Alli about to go get ready for her ride

My bestfriend-my wife

My bestfriend-my wife

My first beer in 6 months!

My first beer in 6 months!

Pete ripping it up

Pete ripping it up

Anny and her best friend Sharyl

Anny and her best friend Sharyl

Getting ready to go!

Getting ready to go!

The best! Pete & Christy

The best! Pete & Christy

Anny getting ready to go

Anny getting ready to go

Out for our "Sunday Drive"

Out for our “Sunday Drive”

Dave thanking everyone!

Dave thanking everyone!

Auction tables!

Auction tables!

Group Photo

Group Photo

The benefit...

The benefit…

Kelly and Craig Sillers!

Kelly and Craig Sillers!

Jack getting ready to go!

Jack getting ready to go!

Pete teaching piper how to go fast!

Pete teaching piper how to go fast!

Wayne Rainey signed boots!

Wayne Rainey signed boots!

Alli getting ready for her ride!

Alli getting ready for her ride!

Roles Reversed

Roles Reversed

Eddie is Mario Bonfante's awesome race car!

Eddie in Mario Bonfante’s awesome race car!

Emma, Piper, and Gayle watching Daddy's car go around the track!

Emma, Piper, and Gayle watching Daddy!

My emotional "Thank You" to everyone!

My emotional “Thank You” to everyone!

Old Teammates...

Old Teammates…

 

 

 

 

Kaiser Frequent Flyer Miles

Hello Everyone

It’s been a long while since I have written. Again I have had many setbacks that sent me back into the hospital on Oct. 4th. I stayed at Kaiser Walnut Creek for 10 days then was moved to Kaiser Vallejo Rehab once again to help heal my bed sores – and regain my strength for another 2 weeks. I have had a tough go at it and I’m doing my best to fight against every obstacle that I have encountered. In Rehab, I worked with my favorite “wrecking crew” with a few new additional team members. They again helped me work my transfers and did a lot of stretching of my legs. Todd, who was my main PT prior, noticed my right leg wasn’t bending as far as it had the last time I was here. He had the Doc order a bone scan to see if I had this “new” condition called.. Heterotopic Ossification. This simply means that my body is growing bone in my muscles 3 times the normal rate – specifically in my hips.
Anneliese and I noticed that my right leg is so much heavier and is really difficult to lift to get into the car. It prevents your hip from bending as far as you need it to.
Its beginning to create a problem for me when it comes to simple things as dressing, doing transfers and getting into the car. I’m on a 3 month medication regime to prevent it from growing but I will investigate my options on how I can live with this new disease and what my options will be in the future to help my current condition.

My wounds are slowly improving. I have now what they call a Wound Vac on the one on my back. It’s a negative pressure machine that is a therapeutic technique using a vacuum dressing to promote healing in acute or chronic wounds.
My heels continue to get changed daily by our wonderful nurse that Kaiser sends out everyday. Unfortunately, it took a lot of screaming and a formal complaint for us to get some attention on these wounds. Our Kaiser nurse who came to our house for 3 days prior to my hospitalization was wonderful on getting us back in the hospital and getting the much needed care we needed. While in Walnut Creek I also had a feeding tube placed. My other disease of Gastro paresis, also called delayed gastric emptying (is a disorder that slows or stops the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine.) called for a feeding tube to be placed. My body wasn’t absorbing any nutrients from my stomach thus not allowing my body to heal. I’m now on a continuous feeding pump giving me a type of formula from 4pm to 8am the following morning. Anneliese said, what wife has a husband on a feeding tube and a SON on a feeding tube!! Eddie’s is due to his chronic lung disease. At least she knew immediately how to run the machine. I’m trying to deal with all of my setbacks but quite honestly it has gotten me down. I’m working hard on trying to get up everyday and be positive. Lately I have been really tired and sleeping a lot in the afternoons – I’m hoping that’s my body telling me it’s beginning to heal these wounds.

While I was away at the “big House” Anneliese worked incredibly hard on getting this house very dialed in for me. She had all the furniture in place for all the rooms, pictures hung (even has many great pics from my racing career) on the walls. The big surprised is when she told me to come to the garage. I told her I couldn’t go the way of the laundry because it has a step down. She kept just saying let’s look at the garage – I kept saying, I can’t go that way! She finally said come around the corner. She had the laundry room floor raised and a ramp out to the garage – so I can go in there in the winter time without going out the front door. She also had the garage perfectly arranged with posters of Moto GP Riders along with many of my Awards on the walls. It really was an awesome coming home to see this.

Last Friday night was Acalanes Senior night where the parents walk their High School Senior Cheerleader or Football player across the field before the game. I was so happy that I was home and that I could get myself together to go. Jen and I took Alli across that field – and I know that my daughter was very proud – as I was very much of her. Unfortunately, I started to get cold and was only able to see a quarter of the game.
Saturday, the kids all came to the house and washed cars and just hung out with us. Craig came to pick me up on Saturday at 6pm to work on my cop car with my friend, Carl. I had slept since 3pm so I thought I could hang for a while – unfortunately, I only lasted a couple of hours but we are still working on it! We had a visit back to the Stanford Doc this week to check on blood clots etc. It went well and I will go back in 6 months for my follow-up unless something comes up.

I’m still trying to find my way in my spare time – not sure what to do or what I can do as at times – I feel like I can’t do much. My physical therapist asked today what my hobbies are in my spare time – it use to be riding, working on bikes… just going and doing. Now, I do neither. I need to find my hobby that I can do that I will be interested in. On Sunday – Kenny brought over a 1979 honda CT 90 – I thought it might be a good project for my son, Jack, and I to work on together.

Anneliese thought I needed a little companion when I got home so the family surprised me with Lili (as in Lili Van Schtupp – from Blazing Saddles.)
She is darn cute and makes us laugh.

I’m so looking forward to the upcoming track day, Nov. 18th. and seeing many of my good friends. Thanks Pete for all your hard work on this and being a remarkable friend to me throughout all of this – and constantly continues to be one of those guys you want in your corner if anything ever goes wrong… or right for that matter!

Thanks to all that continue to help us. Dom, the ramp is amazing.
Mike, thanks for securing the headboard, I need to grab onto something when I’m trying to turn! LOL. I just can’t even begin to tell you what it means to us during these most difficult, life-changing times those that continue to help or offer. Life is definitely different, and we are just trying to figure it out. If we could get one month without being in the hospital it would be great.

Also, I would like to thank those that continue to call me or send me a text.
It really means a lot when you are feeling down or just need to hear from a familiar voice.

Oh, btw, I got my standing frame this week. My first time on I was able to stand for 45 minutes and have breakfast! I felt freakishly tall – but Anneliese said that I was only a couple inches taller than normal. I told her she looked small – after that comment – she wants me to stay in my standing frame all the time ☺

I also want to continue to thank my Employer, ASA – Racklive. They have been incredible throughout this whole ordeal. Your support has been amazing and I can’t thank you enough. Looking forward to seeing all of you at the Event on Nov.18th. Unfortunately, Anneliese’s Employer has decided to close their San Jose office she helped open back in March. She is really disappointed and is going to miss her co-workers very much. Things are changing daily and we are both finding our way.

Our first priority is for me to have some good upcoming weeks and continue to get healthy. I have had my share of setbacks and we are ready to move forward!!

Here’s to the next few weeks of continued strength. I just want to get to the benefit and see all of my good friends.

Thanks Everyone.

Dave

Great friends carving pumpkins

Great friends carving pumpkins

My awesome new chair

My awesome new chair

An old pic Anneliese hung up

An old pic Anneliese hung up

Dave and Jen getting ready to walk Alli

Dave and Jen getting ready to walk Alli

Baby Carson

Baby Carson

Dave in standing frame

Dave in standing frame

Dave enjoying the Sunshine Downtown- good to be out of Hospital!

Dave enjoying the Sunshine Downtown.

Dave snuck out of rehab to go across the street to Mach 1

Dave snuck out of rehab to go across the street to Mach 1

IMG_4231

At Alli’s senior night

The new addition to the family- Lili

The new addition to the family- Lili

 

My new "moto" space

My new “moto” space

 

From Her Words Again…

At 4 months its been an incredible journey thus far.  We have had so many ups and downs.  A lot of downs.
But, as my contractors wife text me one day, Dom says he always hears you and Dave laughing while his working…..   He says you are always happy?
I told her, we make the best out of what we have.  We are best friends and truly like one another – we do our best in a situation we have no idea how to act.
Her response…….. a big smile :-)
Its been awhile since I wrote.  Its been a journey often times very frustrating with the medical side.  Ive tried very hard to be a good nurse but at times you have to give up and let the professionals do it.  Dave has unfortunately, gone backwards since leaving Rehab last time.  He was pretty much 100% dependent on myself.  Since our hospital stay at Walnut Creek Kaiser on Friday, Oct 4th
2013, his legs have gone down to the “skinny” side.  He told me tonight  - I never thought I would be so happy to have chicken legs….  He wants them as lite as they can be so he can move!!
We were very happy to be back at Vallejo as we had a good experience the first time.
Dave now has a hospital bed in our room with a low air mattress.n  It’s been so difficult as his sole care caregiver…  I have wanted to take him to the ER on several occasions but think……..ok, we have a Home Health Nurse coming to the house,  she will tell me to take him.  Well, after Kaiser fired the first Home Care Company and brought in their own home Health Nurse – after 3 days of taking care of Dave, she wanted us to go to the ER as she felt his care was in need of a higher level.
I took him to the ER in Walnut Creek and  he stayed there for 10 days .
Now he has been transferred back to Kaiser Rehab in Vallejo.
From a wife’s perspective daily:  My light is on in the car for my tire – it needs air….  Oh, Dave takes care of that!    I bought a new printer – need to set up the wireless  function – Oh Dave takes care of that…      I need to set up all of the TV’s with their cables…. Oh Dave takes care of that…    He takes care of SO many things for me – I never realized.  Not to mention the daily tasks of…   of 3 garbage cans out on Wednesday nights,  Recycle, Trash, Hanging something for me, bringing in something heavy from the car.
I’m lost without this incredible man..  I’m pretty independent but you don’t realize how much your partner and you do together.  You don’t realize in a good marriage how much a partnership can be horribly missed when he is just “not home” for a period of time.  Not to mention when he’s home he needs to re-learn how to do these simple tasks.
Dave had a good day in Rehab today after 3 bad days of Rehab.  His initial experience back in Rehab was really bad and not encouraging for any of us that knew how good it was before.
Thank you to Martin Szwarc  for showing up and staying with him for the whole afternoon/evening when I had to take the kids home.
dave
Also, thank you Tim Scarrot and Harley Barnes for showing up and cheering him up.
Again, thank you to all of our friends & family who continue to make sure I’m not lonely while he’s been away, and makes sure he’s not lonely while in the hospital.  Also,those that help me around the house, it’s so helpful  - I’m thankful to all .     David and I will be eternally grateful.
I love this man, my goal is to help him get stronger and become more independent so he can get out and be the man he wants to be again.
This is our goal – pray that our goal comes true :-)
On the way to Laguna Seca a few weeks ago Dave and I heard a song on the radio that he just looked at me and said, “Sweet Annie”
We love these lyrics and we enjoy listening to this song.  The song is “Sweet Annie” by Zac Brown Band
I’ve changed “one word” in the song below…
Sweet Annie: by Zac Brown::
Lyrics:
I’ve been burning bright, for so long I can’t remember
Pretty girls and late night bars seem to be my line of work 
 
Believe me when I say, I can’t stay forever
This man had all he can stand, time to lay this body down.
 
Sweet Annie, Can I stay with you awhile?
Cause this roads been putting miles on my heart
 
Sweetheart I’ve been living in a fantasy
 But one day lightening will strike, and my bark will lose its bite
 
but don’t give up on me
Sweet Annie

Sweet Annie
I know I promised you a life
 
But an empty bed and the words I said don’t carry any weight
If I could take back yesterday find a way to start it over
 
Turn around put the “BIKE” down I’d pray it’s not too late
 
Sweet Annie
Can I stay with you a while?

Cause this roads been putting miles on my heart
 
Sweetheart I’ve been living in a fantasy
But one day lighting will strike, and my bark will lose its bite
 
But don’t give up on my,
What will be, will be
Sweet Annie
 
Turn out the lights
these hands alone to hold you
 
Fall all over you,
all over you again,
 
 
 


Anneliese

We are unable to upload photos at the moment, but here are a couple videos from rehab take #2!

Back to the Big House AGAIN, after one of the best days ever!!

Hello Everyone

Since last time I’ve blogged a lot has happened…. Great and not so great!

On Saturday, Sept. 28th , Anneliese and I headed south to Monterey to watch my good friend,  Steve Rapp,  try to rap up the Harley Davidson XR 1200 title.  On Friday I was talking to Wayne Rainey and told him I was heading down that way on Saturday and he invited Anneliese and I over for Coffee.  First we stopped at Embassy Suites in Monterey to pick up our tickets from will call.  Steve left us tickets but the only thing there was a parking pass.    We decided to go to Wayne’s and deal with the mix up with the tickets at the track.  We arrived at Wayne’s house at 10:30, we were greeted by his wife Shae, Wayne, his son Rex as well as a few of his friends up from college.  Shae whipped us up amazing breakfast burritos – while Wayne and I talked about the Races that day at Laguna Seca.  After breakfast, Wayne showed me how he transfers into his pool.  He uses a platform to transfer from his chair down into the pool.  From there, he showed me his garage and inflated my wheel chair tires – which he saw – were a little on the low side.   Meanwhile, Anneliese and Shae were comparing stories, as well as Shae teaching her a few shortcuts when it comes to helping me with a few things. After my tires were pumped up, Wayne asked if I wanted to see his trophy room.  I said yes, while trying to keep my excitement to a minimal!  Wayne’s trophy room was amazing, not only was there one YZR500 there were YZR 500′s! The trophies and racing pics brought me back to my childhood and watching Wayne race on TV – reminding me that racing was all that I wanted to do. Anneliese had no idea of who Wayne Rainey was until walking into his trophy room, after leaving- I think she finally got it.  Anneliese said to me as we were leaving for the track, Wayne and Shae are 2 of the nicest people she has ever met.  She said you would never know that Wayne is a 3 time Moto GP World Champion.  He is beyond humble and we appreciated the opportunity to get to know them both better.  He continues to call and check on me and I can’t begin to explain how much that means to me. We told Wayne about our ticket mix up and he graciously gave us tickets to get into the track. Once we got to the track and got settled we met up with Kenny, Lisa and Kyle Norman.  From there we saw JT and Paul, AFM’ers who were working at the event.  JT was able to get us pit passes and most importantly a parking pass in the pits – making it easier for us to get to the races.I gave her a huge hug and kiss and thanked them both for everything.  We started to head up to the garages,  because the world Superbike race was going to start in approx. 1.5 hours.  Unbelievably, it took us an hour an half to get to the garage as I was greeted by many long time friends and racers  - many who I haven’t seen since the accident.  It was overwhelming, and I was taken back on the amount of people coming up to me to just to say Hi or shake my hand.  My friend,  Matt Orange, just had a fall  in qualifying – when we saw him after,  he had me sign his helmet for good luck.    It turns out he got 11th the race!    The next day, I got a text from him saying he wants me to sign his whole bike- pretty cool. It was starting to get late in the day -and I knew Steve Rapp’s race was coming up.  We headed over to turn 3.    I was hoping to get a good view of the race and take some pics from this corner.    I saw Guy Berrysmith and Genn Graifman and I asked both of them where would be a good spot to watch the race. from my wheelchair.   They said, let’s go check.  Glenn came back and said, we will get you on the track where you can watch the race trackside.  I said, are you sure?  He said, come with me.  I proceeded to watch Steve Rapp win the race and the championship right on the track.  What a great day!! On the way home, I told Anneliese, thank you for such a great day, this has been the best day ever since June 2nd.  Thank you everyone for your graciousness and hospitality and making feel at home.

Sunday was fun, 2 of my buddies, Peter Moran and Tim Blasquez took me to see the movie Rush.  If you haven’t seen it and like F1 – I highly recommend it!

Monday came my Stanford Surgery.  Anneliese and I headed over around 11:30 – because of crazy traffic and construction at Stanford Hospital -we got there just at 1:00pm.
We checked in and waited…….  It turns out, the patient in front of me had his filter in for 28 years and it took my Doc 7 hours to get it out.  When they came to me at 4pm to tell me I was next, I asked them, you sure you don’t need a coffee break or something??  They laughed, this is what they do.  At 5pm, they rolled me in.  They allotted 3 hours for me but thankfully after 2 hours they were done.  They were SUCCESSFUL!!  They removed the filter that was undoubtedly causing me more pain than doing good.  My doc said that my main vein was 90% clogged.  Blood was trying to find other ways to get to my heart – working extra hard.  He said, my blood thinner, Coumadin, was clearly not doing its job.  He immediately took me off of that and put me on shots of another drug and then switching to a new drug for a blood thinner in 10 days.  He hopes these new drugs help the blood clots, we will go back in 3 weeks.  If not, he has other options he will try, such as a stent and so on.   We stayed the night in Palo Alto and made our way back home on Tuesday. I was tired on Tuesday and rested most of the day.

Wednesday was a good day with my new nurse coming daily to change my wounds and give us much needed info why I was feeling the way I was.  .  She mentioned I was severely anemic among many other things. Wednesday also brought something I’ve wanted for a long time.  I purchased a used 2006 cop car from the auction.  Berto picked it up for me and brought it over.  This will be my new ride when I can drive!  I can throw my wheelchair in and scratch up the sides all I want.  Pics below of this cool ride!  The kids love it – especially the spot lights!

Thursday, Craig came over and we went for a ride in my new car.  He took me to In and Out for lunch.   We proceeded  to do some Cop Car testing.  Craig is a Cop – he put my Crown Vic Cop Car through the Cop test and gave it the Cop seal of approval!

Thursday night I began to feel worse.  I was shivering and just miserable. Anneliese took my temp, I had a temp of  102.  In the AM, my home health nurse came in and immediately said….  I thought about you and your situation half the night.  My health situation was not going in the direction she wanted it to.  It appeared to be getting worse.  She said for us to pack up and head to the  ER – she would call before hand and let them know her patient was coming in.  We arrived at the ER, and after 6 hours we were admitted yet again to the hospital – with a list of reasons why.
On Wednesday we had all of our moving boxes delivered from our storage.  Anneliese was overwhelmed with all the boxes in the house and then me getting sick again.  It turns out, when she arrived Friday evening, after getting me all settled in at the hospital, she was shocked and incredibly emotional when she saw the house.  We had 4 incredibly thoughtful people, Antonieta Lee, Jennifer Smart, Megan Majestic and Kelly Erb unpack EVERY single box and put everything away in its place while we sat all day in the ER.
They even went to Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ace Hardware to get racks for kitchen cabinets, bins for pantry, hampers, picture hanging stuff – they broke up boxes, took them to recycle etc.  Anneliese said she sat in the empty house and cried for awhile.  It was overwhelming the goodness in people and how much this gesture helped her at this crazy time.  For her to come home and be able to have dishes,  pots and pans to cook is amazing for her.  It finally feels like our home.  Thank you all for this amazing gesture of kindness, it’s truly incredible how friends and family have continued to step up to help us in these difficult times without even asking.  It’s so amazing how many great people there are out there.  Thank you over and over.

I am in the hospital because I have a UTI, C-diff which is an infection that can occur after taking antibiotics.  One of the main reasons, other than those, are my wounds.  Tomorrow I will meet with a surgeon and determine if they can go in and surgically remove dead tissue and  see how deep they are.  I also will  have a J-tube (feeding tube) put in to help with my nutrition.  After tomorrow we can better determine what my next steps will be.  There is discussion of putting me in a Skilled Nursing Home – I’m certainly not crazy about this idea but know the level of care is around the clock.  Anneliese does her best but these sores require her to turn me every 2 hours if not 1 hour – 24/7.  It will all determine on what they find Monday and what we all decide is the best for me.

Thanks to my friends and family who came to see me this weekend and had to wear these silly gowns and rubber gloves.  Thanks Mom and Dennis for bringing those awesome cookies.

Again, thanks for all your posts, comments and support.  I hope to see you all on November 18th.

PS: Something is wrong with posting pictures and all that I can post is the picture below. I will post more as soon as I can.

Dave

me and wayne

 

A Good Week

Hi Everyone!

 Last Friday I decided that I needed to move my 1970 Boss 302 car parts from our house ( that we sold in San Jose) to our house in Walnut Creek.  Our plan was to get in our new/used Toyota truck and head down there to pick them up.  After many attempts to get in the truck we decided to call it off.  Earlier in the week I was talking to Chris Van Andel – he offered to help me retrieve my car parts in San Jose.  I called him and he was more than happy to help!  We ER Chris in San Jose and packed his van full of parts.  We then headed north to Walnut Creek.  Much to our surprise, traffic was icing along for a Friday afternoon.  We arrived in WC, unloaded, and Chris shot the shit with me for several hours hanging on the driveway.  It was nice to just hang out and visit with my good friend.
Friday night,  Anneliese and I decided to venture out to my daughters’ HS football Game – where her cheer team was mentoring the young girls and performing with them.
It was good to get out and I saw lots of good friends from high school.  I even decided to bring out my “4th child”, my Canon Mark III 1D.  It was fun taking pics of everyone but I quickly figured out that a big camera and a big lens are hard to holdup without almost falling over in my chair.    Saturday started very wet -and I quickly figured out that rain and being in a wheelchair do not mix.  We ventured out to breakfast and by the time Anneliese, Eddie and myself sat down – we were drenched –  but had a great breakfast.  When we got home, I quickly noticed that the gutters were over flowing and water was spilling over and bouncing in through the open door.  I told Anneliese that, ” if I was normal and could walk, I would be out there cleaning those right now”.  My amazing wife said, tell me how to unplug the gutters and I will.  She proceeded to drag a 10 foot ladder around the house and unclog all of the gutters. Anneliese is amazing and I love her very much.
Sunday started with my friend Steve coming over, who is also a paraplegic, I met at a stop light when I asked about his hand cycle.  Steve has been a great friend and a wealth of knowledge for me.  He was at my house to show me that a paraplegic could get into my truck.  We spent a few hours talking and him showing me transfers In and out of trucks.
Thanks Steve.  Later that day, I was greeted by great friends, Martin Szwarc and the Normans.  Kenny rounded the kids and had them break down all the boxes on the side of the house and they proceeded to load the truck full of recycle.  It was nice to watch the boys all work together.  Kenny brought over old road racing posters – and we proceeded to decorate my empty garage with mid 90′s era road racing poster.  They’re great.
The girls folded laundry on the floor, the kids shot Nerf guns and Kenny, Martin and I
sat around BS and laughed about funny racetrack stories.  We all then decided to order Chinese Food, as we were starving. We laughed while eating, as half of them sat on the floor and the other half sat on the counter ( still waiting on furniture.). What a great time with good friends.
This week we made a lot of progress with confirming appointments and testing new equipment.  On Friday, I will be heading to the wound clinic,  for much needed surgery on my horrible pressure sores.  My tailbone is pretty  bad and they are unclear of how severe this wound is.  Its pretty deep. My home health nurse suggested a hyperbaric chamber while I’m there- I’ll let you know!!
I’m hoping tomorrow gives me answers and much needed help with these.
I also tested a standing frame – which I ordered,  to help me with my circulation and all around health.
Monday is my MUCH awaited surgery at Stanford to get my filter out.  I’m told it will be about a 3 hour surgery and I’m hoping it works!  This doc seems pretty confident that he can help me.  I will bet there all day, here’s to my surgery and them getting this filter out!
We are going to Laguna Seca on Saturday – to watch my good friend Steve Rapp, try and rap up the Harley Davidson Championship.  Should be a fun day seeing everyone and watching great Racing.
Thanks again for the continued support – I’m hoping this surgery goes ok because I’m looking forward to the Benefit at Sonoma Raceway on Nov. 18th!
I’ll blog next week and let you know!!
Me and Chris hanging out.

Me and Chris hanging out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anny and Eddie cleaning the gutters

Look!  I'm standing!  I'm Taller than Berto again!

Look! I’m standing! I’m Taller than Berto again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend, Steve, explaining how to get into my truck.

photo (16)

 

 

 

 

 

And he did it!

Lisa and Anneliese folding laundry on the floor, now that's good friends!

Lisa and Anneliese folding laundry on the floor, now that’s good friends!

     Guess what?  DMV sent me a temporary Placard until January!  Right on, I'm only paralyzed until January!   Guess what?  DMV sent me a temporary Placard until January!  Right on, I'm only paralyzed until January!

Guess what? DMV sent me a temporary Placard until January! Right on, I’m only paralyzed until January!

Kenny's at the house hanging Anneliese's good luck bell outside.

Kenny’s at the house hanging Anneliese’s good luck bell outside.