And We’re Back!

Well…   it’s been awhile.  I haven’t had much too much to say since my surgery.

My surgery went well, my wound to continues to heal…..slowly………… :-(

I went on IV antibiotics for 6 weeks.  After those wonderful drugs, I went in for weekly iron transfusions.  This past week I got my PIC line out – I am happy to have it out as that son of a bitch ITCHED!  I’m hoping my lab results come in showing that I’m doing good, so no more IV.

I have been lying in bed for the last 6 weeks; I am able to get up for about 20 percent of the day.  I won’t lie it has been really rough.  Your mind goes crazy when all you see is the 4 walls in your room.  My wife makes sure “I’m not depressed”. She asks me constantly – it almost becomes comical.  I was able to make it through those rough days with some help from all of my great friends that occupied my time with small talk or other talk – Kenny, Berto, Michael, Mike, Jimmy, Jason, Barry, Joy, Jennifer L., Kevin, and Steve.

Our July 4th was not too eventful, I mostly laid around  - as I wasn’t feeling that great.  The next day, I felt better and we invited Kenny, Lisa and Kyle Norman over.  We hung out and BBQ’d, sat by the pool, and had a good time.  I went to bed early, Anneliese visited for hours with Kenny and Lisa – they reminisced about things.  Anneliese and Kenny will forever be tied together for that walk down to the start/finish line on June 2, 2013.

In July we had 2 parties.   Eddie had his 12th birthday and he wanted a party at our house.  We rented a 30-foot tall water slide and enjoyed the fun.  Eddie’s dad catered the whole party with food from the Greek Restaurant, Opa.  It was fun to have everyone at the house celebrating his birthday.  Eddies uncle Youra and his Dad made it really special.  Thanks Guys.

Alli’s graduation party came a week later and it was such a good time. All of her best friends were there. It’s been a hard transition as each one of her friends are going to different college, Alli being the only one within a couple hours.  We attended her orientation and couldn’t be more proud.  She was accepted to their nursing program and is living on campus.  It’s very exciting for me, as this is my little girl, and I am so proud.

Jack and Eddie have started school.  Jack started Monday, August 25th and Eddie, Sept. 3rd.  Jack is a junior, Wow!  He’s enrolled in Autoshop at Acalanes with My Autoshop teacher, Q.

Eddie began a private academy in Los Gatos.  Anneliese commutes a few days a week and will share with Eddie’s dad. Kids back in school Whoo Hoo!

We got invited to go to Cabo by Eddie and his Dad, such an amazing offer.  I wanted to go so desperately- but decided to hold off until I’m a little stronger.  I really wanted to let Anneliese just sit at the Villa and look at the water.  My goal is to get strong enough so that we can go next year.

I have had a few amazing days with friends that have come over to sit and visit with me, Mr. Boring…. Or take me to AFM Board Meetings, coffee, lunch , lunch, lunch, car shows, shooting guns, spirit tasting and dinners with family and friends parties. Thank you.

My life is pretty good.  I stay at home 90 percent of the time because I need to heal up.  I’m up for a few hours, but believe it or not, I get tired and need to get in bed in the afternoon.  I take naps everyday.  My body is still adjusting.   I don’t have enough energy right now to have a “regular day” like I use to.

This is a big adjustment for me.  I look outside and everyone is having fun on a summer day, I do want to partake but I just can’t hang like I used too.  It’s hard because,I was tough before and now not so much. :-)

My wound is slowly getting better.  People often ask, what my hold up is…. It’s my wound.   I’m working hard on getting this bed sore closed.  Unfortunately, it started out pretty bad so it will take some time.

I occasionally sneak out to a small party or bigger events…AFM Races.  I so look forward to the races and seeing all of the great AFM’ers. I am embarking on DS53 Coaching with the help of Brian and Valicia Bartlow. I am really looking forward to it so stay tuned for some exciting announcements coming up.

A couple weeks ago we had a little earthquake, and my wife woke up screaming…. Oh My God!    She finally confessed…  She immediately thought of me.  How could she get me out?  She yelled for Eddie….  He was right there at her feet at 3:23am.  Of course, I told her, just leave me and I will bed surf if it got worse.

Thanks again for all the continued support.

Dave

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Eddies first day of 6th Grade!

Eddies first day of 6th Grade!

Good Friend, Kenny Norman

Good Friend, Kenny Norman

Family

Family

Just a man and his dog

Just a man and his dog

How you doin?

How you doin?

Lili Chillin'

Lili Chillin’

Bad Friend, Berts!

Bad Friend, Berts!

Getting my PIC line!

Getting my PIC line!

Dr. Eddie

Dr. Eddie

Alli's dorm room

Alli’s dorm room

A Year Has Come And Gone…..

So, our year has come and gone. Why doesn’t it feel so much easier? Everyone said it would be! Doesn’t a magic wand wave over you and everything gets easier? Darn.
That’s not our story – but that’s ok. We can seriously handle a lot! I know we are being tested, but we haven’t failed yet.

We went to thunder hill for the Anniversary Round, it was very therapeutic and hard for Me and Anneliese. Saturday night, we decided to have a ceremony of sorts. We decided to go out to the bottom of turn 5 with our friends; my trustworthy mechanic over the years, Kenny, and his wife Lisa and their son Kyle Norman. We took my helmet that I was wearing that day. It had tire marks on the base of the helmet and scratched up where I hit my head – but overall, amazing.
We finally got out to the turn… Anneliese stopped and began to sob. Lisa quickly put her arm around her to console her. I, was taking it in. Taking it all in. This was the turn uh? The turn that changed my life? What was so special? What went so wrong? It looked like the turn I had done hundreds of times before without incident. Why, on this day in 2013, did it decide to challenge me? Why couldn’t I pull out? Why did I have to be in the right place in the absolute wrong time? Why couldn’t the bike behind me miss me? Instead, it would ride directly over my spine. I always want to tell the docs and nurses, it’s not racing that did this to me! It’s a really unfortunate accident, someone was directly behind me and had nowhere else to go- but over my back. These types of accidents are very rare.
I’m the lucky one, as I have been accustomed to say now. I sat there, took this all in. As the sun set, we held each other and said our goodbyes to the pain of that day a year ago. We looked at Kyle, who was holding the helmet. We said our peace, in whatever form. He threw that helmet as far as he could – into an empty field. There it sat, alone. A part of our lives we need to move on from. That fateful day a year ago that would shape my families lives forever.

Racing was tough on Sunday – as there were many Red flags as well as the wonderful air transport. I think Anneliese saw that more times than she wanted to on this anniversary. Truthfully, it was more than most races, what really was in the air?

Overall, we had great racing – FP was an incredible battle once it got going. Thanks to Ricky Corey and Chris Siglin for the continued support. I can’t tell you how great it makes me feel.

We stayed in a hotel and it actually went fine. After the long day of racing on Sunday we made our way to Chico. We arrived around 6:30 and went straight to dinner.
We went to dinner at Crush- what an incredible filet mignon we had. The next day it was a lot of…
Showing me where everyone lived while I was in the “coma.” I was so interested in seeing where Anneliese ate, shopped and stayed (when she wasn’t sleeping in the room with me.)

The day of the anniversary, we drove around Chico and Anneliese showed me the route to the hospital. We went to the beautiful and humble Enloe Hospital. We went through the front doors – Anneliese remembers how she did a year prior, screaming……” they airlifted my husband here, where do I go?”
This time, we walked right through, right back to the elevators, up 3 floors to the Neruo ICU. Here, we rang the buzzer to be let in, to see where I spent the most critical 3 weeks of my life, Anneliese recognized nurses and respiratory therapists. We went in and thanked those that helped our family get through so much. It was pretty emotional – I had a moment – and realized a fellow racer, who was at our race and involved in one of the critical accidents, was in a bed near. I rolled away immediately to speak with his father. It was all too familiar- his son was laying in a bed in the same Neuro ICU. It was nice to comfort him – with the little I could – this was a young boy, 15 – It could be my son. It definitely hits home and you want to help in anyway you can.

We again went to Crush for dinner and had an incredible meal. We sat and reflected about our 3 weeks last year in Chico. For me, no recollection. For Anneliese, memories that she will never forget.

We enjoyed our couple of days in this little town- this is where -Anneliese heard the words, “Your husband is a paraplegic and will be for the rest of his life.” (According to my wife, he will be wrong about that- she believes in our lifetime, I will walk)

We drove home enjoying our therapeutic few days. It was nice to be away. We hadn’t ever been gone this long together since the accident.
Our Kids took care of the house and the puppy, they continue to amaze us.

Speaking of that, my daughter, Alli, graduated last Friday. How incredible is that to see your daughter walk across that stage. So many emotions go through your head. I’m so proud of my girl. She will attend Dominican University in the fall and intends on becoming a nurse.
She will follow in my family’s passion. My Grandfather and Father were Doctors, my mother an OR nurse. My mom is very proud of her granddaughter – I’m sure my Father would be too – if he were alive. I turned out to be a racer, not sure how that happened! This “gene” must have skipped a generation!!!

Father’s Day was great. Anneliese made us Crepes with Fruit accompanied with sausage, We then ventured out to see a car show. That was fun and looking forward to when I can get my mustang done and driving to one of them. I saw a friend from high school there. – Rob. He had his 66 Mustang Converible there. It was beautiful. Get ready!!! My mustang might be coming back in the next couple of months – I’ll need help putting the interior back together. If you want to help, let me know!!

This week is filled with doc apps. Bone scans, spinal doc appointments – spending 2 days to work out at SCI fit. Friday I will go in for another surgery on my wound. I will stay in the hospital for a bit – pumping me full of antibiotics to ensure no infection. I’m ready, I want this surgery over so I can try desperately to move on from this part of this stressful journey. My right leg has been more swollen the past few days. I tried not to think about my 3 blood clots sitting there. Unfortunately, they teach you. You have to be aware, aware they can break off any minute and kill you. It’s a great thing to think about.:-)

At this point, being “just paralyzed” sounds good! Give me the Bird Legs!!!!

It’s amazing I could ride/race at 180 mph at Daytona… but- this crap scares me.
Crazy how life is.

Enjoy the little things every damn day.

I’ll post after my surgery.

Alli's Graduation

Alli’s Graduation

Fathers day tribute

Fathers day tribute

Chico anniversary dinner

Chico anniversary dinner

All of us at the bottom of turn 5

All of us at the bottom of turn 5

Here sits the helmet

Here sits the helmet

My buds on the podium

My buds on the podium

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Berto!

Berto!

In Chico on my one year anniversary

In Chico on my one year anniversary

Laila enjoying Fathers day

Laila enjoying Fathers day

The number i pulled for blood draw

The number i pulled for blood draw

Me when I was a young dad

Me when I was a young dad

Here is where the helmet sits

Here is where the helmet sits

Why. So. SERIOUS?!?!?!?!

Why. So. SERIOUS?!?!?!?!

ANGRY!!!!!

ANGRY!!!!!

Gotcha!

Gotcha!

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6-2-13 to 6-2-14… THE LONGEST YEAR OF MY LIFE!!!!!!

We haven’t written in a long time and I am sorry about that.  A lot has been going on and at times it seems like very little.  Perhaps more of the same?  I went to the AFM/Superbike weekend – what I thought was a great event!  Kudos to everyone for putting it on, the turnout was so incredible.  Anneliese and I did our first sleepover at the track in the Normans trailer.  It went really smooth, thanks to Kenny and Dave Raff for getting me up and down the ramp to enter the trailer. It was great to see everyone and say hi to old friends who I hadn’t seen in a long time.

We had Mothers Day, my daughters had her senior ball, we got a new boxer puppy, we finished some construction on our house and started new construction, my son got his drivers license, my stepson became better friends with Berto – YIKES!  Anneliese has been interviewing with companies and really like a few, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I Need to find something soon, health prevailing, IM BORED OUT OF MY F@#$*&% MIND!

New on the health front, bedsore on tailbone got worse overnight, my heels are better for the most part.  One night my spasms were so bad in my stomach it caused my right foot to fall off the pillow support and caused a blister the size of a silver dollar.  Now it’s a blood blister – they say that it is a stage 2 pressure sore. I say it’s merely a flesh wound` Haha.  My HO, heterotrophic ossification has gotten worse per X-ray’s today.  I have it pretty bad in my right hip, which prevents me from bending over in my wheelchair and being able to dress and get in the car independently.  I will go on meds again for it but can’t get surgery for another 6 months for it.   My right leg is swollen again- we are not sure why? We think that the HO has travelled to my knee since I can’t straighten it anymore.  Doc has ordered an ultrasound this Friday and more X-rays to rule out blood clots or more HO. (Well,,,,  update on this…..   Anneliese and I went for an ultrasound yesterday for my swollen leg.  They take the images and send us immediately to ER.  I have at least 3 blood clots in my right leg.  Not good news.  The blood thinners are not working for some reason.  I’m on the latest and greatest, Xeralto.  They let us go home last night after wanting to admit me.  They have put me back on shots twice a day until I meet with a new doc next week.  We’ve got to figure this out – it’s a bit scary.)

Now back to my lovely worsening bedsore on my sacrum- unfortunately we received discouraging news from the surgeon last week.  We will have surgery in the next couple of weeks and stay in hospital for a few days (YUK). Then I will be placed on another wound vac but they insist this one is a much better one – and it should help tremendously- let’s hope.  I have to be honest; my emotions have been up, down, down and just plain down.  It’s frustrating.  I’m tired of all these setbacks, it just sucks!  But, all we can do is move forward because failure is not an option.

My year anniversary of the accident is coming up June 2nd.  Anneliese and myself have been incredibly emotional this past week… A lot of tears.  A year ago, we just closed on our new house in San Jose.  We moved everything out into storage as we moved our new Voltage Trailer on the side yard to live in while we began our remodel.  Our life was about to get really exciting!  Living next door to Eddies’ nanny since he was a baby and great neighbors, Sandy& Dave.  We were so looking forward to our new beginning of our newly married life.  A week later we would head to Thunderhill for the race and the rest is history. While I laid in the hospital, friends helped Anneliese move the remaining items out of our rental.

Anneliese dealt with our great landlord, and continued to figure out our life for months and months while living out of storage – and our move back to our home we were renting out to my brother and sister-law in Walnut Creek.  I really needed to be close to my family for my sake and Anneliese’s. She’s sacrificed a lot and continues to by moving here.

We think we have decided to go back to Thunderhill the weekend of the accident.  The actual day, Monday, June 2,  we will spend in Chico hopefully meeting the docs that performed the much needed 9 hour surgery.    There have been many tears thinking about it- but it’s been Anneliese’s worse fear. She relives my crash every night in her sleep.  We need to face it head on so we can move past this chapter.  I’m not sure how I will feel yet. Stay tuned…

Anneliese’s best friend from Miami sent this to her today – when she read it to me it was very emotional for both.    I would like to share parts of it…………………………………………. ………… I know it won’t really help but I have been struggling with what to say to you to help you find the strength to march on, and to put that lipstick on your lips every morning and greet the world.  It is desperately hard to see Dave suffer and to know that he has no power over his body.  It is totally demoralizing to know that you cannot make him better.    I have been fighting the sadness of knowing your one year anniversary was coming up, getting that sick feeling remembering that telephone call and my anguish, my horror of hearing you say those words that he was paralyzed.  It was unbelievable.  It was not possible.  And yet a year is coming up.  To say that this has been draining for you is the understatement of the century.  It would have brought others to their lowest point to where they couldn’t get out of bed.  But for you, I know it has been something you accepted and you managed and you dealt with because you can.  You are a doer, a take charge person, a problem solver, a thick or thin no matter what kind of person.  You have been Dave’s life, you give him life, you keep him alive – not just the physical part of it but also the mental part where he can see his old life and know that not everything was lost.  That you were not lost.  You are a shell in some ways but I pray every day that the empty space that this accident created in you will be filled with moments of intense love and hope and promise so that there is no void there in your soul.   But Anny, you are invincible, forceful, shockingly intelligent and clairvoyant sometimes.  You will make it, you will find a day where the number of times you push back the sadness is eclipsed by the joy you feel again because you get NORMAL back into your life.  Yes, it is the normal that you were handed a year ago, but really, you took it, you wanted it, you relished it all.  You wanted more than anything for Dave to live, but you never wanted him to be suffering.  Can I tell you that now, in these weeks with this setback and the surgery and the wound vac, he has to fight his brain to keep his head on?  I know that my one-year anniversary was like a sucker punch, repeatedly, feeling deflated and dejected.  The mental pain – it was challenge to go about my life.  I had the kids, I did it, but Anny, it is so hard and I know it is so hard for Dave on a huge scale — there is no getting away from it, he is there and he is what he has become physically.  And that perhaps is what I want you to see:  it does change, it will change, it will be fixed and fixable, it will improve, it will become routine and Dave will be independent and funny and bright — he will be your knight in shining armor, your love, your friend and your confidante.  He is that now, of course, but he has the darkness and the pain that keeps him from being that in the way he wants to be that for you.  So this anniversary of the accident (my shrink calls it my new birthday) must be observed and noted and you have to see the milestones and the distance you have both It gets easier and it gets harder — but I know you will keep looking into his eyes and I know you will see that true love, your love of a lifetime.”

Anneliese and I will update the blog after the anniversary, June 2nd.

Thank you for your amazing support to a local guy who just loves motorcycles and loved to ride………..

David

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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…

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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…

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stretching...I know it feels good!

stretching…I know it feels good!

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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

IMG_1791

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