Monthly Archives: November 2013

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