Rude Awakening…

I woke up in the hospital and was not surprised to be there. I remembered that I had crashed but yet it took me several minutes to process my surroundings. I remember feeling as if I was floating above myself and watching from outside my body. I felt no pain, my brain was foggy, and I couldn’t move. To be honest with you, I remember less of that first day waking up than I do of the crash itself. The nurse tending my needs began to ask me questions like: What is your name? What is your birthday? Do you know where you are? And what year is it? I was able to answer my name and birthday with no problem. I answered Minnesota because I had no clue what hospital I was in. But when she asked me what year it was; I faltered for a moment because a fear came over me that perhaps I had been gone for a very long time. I answered 2013 hoping like hell I was right. As it turned out, I had been in a drug induced coma-like state for four days. My crash was on Wednesday and I did not wake up until Sunday.

I saw that I still had a leg; it was pinned and bandaged like a robotic apparatus of some sort from the foot to the goody bits, but it was still a leg (at least I hoped that’s what was under there since I saw toes at the end). The more I woke up, the more I could feel that indeed it was still a leg. The fog was wearing off and the scene was coming back to me. On the wall in my room I saw the calendar and that is how I realized I had been gone for only four days; four days – that’s not so bad.

The BROAD is still ALIVE

The BROAD is still ALIVE

And then I saw it… The most beautiful site that I could ever have laid my eyes upon; the one thing that kept me alive all these years; the one thing that kept me alive again this time… My Son was there!! He looked tired, he looked drained, but he was the most handsome man I had ever seen! I cried and I wanted nothing more than to stand up and take all 6’2” of him into my arms and never let go. I wanted one of those hugs we’ve shared so many times before when troubles were about us; the hug that is tight, long, and without words; when we knew that the other was there for us and loved us deeply. Instead, he had to come down to my level and moving for me was quite difficult at that point so the hug was not the hug of which we have shared a million times before in our lives together. But he was there and I was there and I knew in that moment that I was not dreaming and that I was not dead. I later heard the stories of the turmoil my son endured over the four days that my life lay in the brink. At some point when I was drugged to the hilt the staff asked me if I knew who my son was and I answered wrong and said that was not my son and when he tried to assure me that he was, I denied it. (I don’t understand how that could have been; he’s the one and only thing that has ever been a true constant in my life and the one thing that was on mind the entire time I laid in the ditch – how could I answer such an obvious question so wrong when he was the deepest person imbedded in my being? And how, oh how horrified the kid was when his mother denied knowing him?)

Nathan's Graduation Picture

Nathan’s Graduation Picture

Nate and I riding Spring 2010

Nate and I riding Spring 2010

Nathan's 1st MC Run w Ma the Bitch

Nathan’s 1st MC Run w Ma the Bitch

Always My Baby Boy

Always My Baby Boy

Nate on a Run w Ma the day after I bought My Girl

Nate on a Run w Ma the day after I bought My Girl

My son and I have never lived an extravagant lifestyle and he is a single man with a job and his own apartment, also trying his best to do what he can for the good of his young daughter. So to say the least we don’t have a stash of cash somewhere. He had come to Minnesota with my dear friend Larry. They had taken the necessary steps to collect my motorcycle and Larry was taking it back to Illinois. What I learned later was that my sponsor from Rider’s Claw had taken it upon himself to put Nathan in a hotel for his visit while I was hospitalized. I have said it before and it is NOT because of business association, but it is because of human connection… I am blessed to have the Rider’s Claw family in my life. Ken Reinert and his family have done a great deal for me as a rider and now they have gone above and beyond business or even casual friendship in manner that showed true grace and true caring.

I must also give a huge thank you to my buddy Jimmy Z (Jimmy Boots) because he bought Nathan an airline ticket to get home when the time came. (*I had previously thought that Ken from Rider’s Claw did this; I’m not sure why I had that notion, but I will blame the drugs. Ken told me that this was not true and I asked my son who bought the ticket and when he said Jimmy Z, I felt horrible for the mistake I had made and for not giving proper gratitude and appreciation to my friend.*)

My sister was there as well; she had come in from Georgia. She informed me that my Aunt and my Mother would arrive Tuesday and that my Dad had it setup so that I was never without family during my stay. He and Ma would be coming later in the week when my Aunt had to leave. My Mother had the option to stay as long as needed. My sister is an ICU nurse and a strong-headed woman, similar to me. During the two days that I got to see her she was all over that ICU making sure that they were doing all they should for me and informing me in simple terms all that they had already done for me. She told me the leg was still intact, but she did not tell me that it may not stay that way. I suppose the doctors get the big bucks for doing that part of the dirty work.

My sister Christy and My son

My sister Christy and My son

All in all the first day awake is kind of a blur. The second day awake was much better in many ways. I was more coherent and the fog in my head was beginning to truly pass, but with that came the realization of the pain and discomfort. My son and my sister stayed with me in and out pretty much all day long. My friend Mark from ULRB and my first husband Steve (whom lives in Minnesota) visited me. I was beginning to learn more and more about my condition and about the things that had transpired while I was asleep. On that day the most impressive thing I learned was that my first husband had been there several days and had slept in the lobby waiting for any moment when I might wake up. He is Nathan’s biological father and we have not seen him in 21 years but he has befriended us on Facebook and has followed The BROAD journey since the beginning. He has been encouraging and supportive.

I think the hardest thing I heard was about my son’s encounter in the hallway with Anthony, the kid that hit me. If I remember my sister’s story correctly, she and Nathan were leaving when Anthony and his mother were looking for my room. They had brought flowers. I guess I had several visitors and with all the people I know, neither my sister nor my son thought twice about these two strangers asking for my room. Yet for some reason my sister spoke to them (she will speak to anybody; again similar to me). She said the kid looked rather distraught and at some point during the conversation he asked of my sister and son, “Do you know who I am?” Suddenly my sister was concerned for my son and turned to see him turning red, fists clenched, and veins popping from his neck. She swiftly sent my baby Nathan to the waiting room in fear that somebody was about to get hurt. (Later she told me that during their private time, my son had wished that boy dead. I suppose that’s a fair emotion and I’m sure Anthony would say the same if it were his mother. For that and obvious reasons, my sister wanted to get Nathan away from that kid as quickly as possible.) She and Anthony had a brief conversation and she spoke on my behalf in a manner that I think, if I recall correctly would have been just about what I would have told the boy. In short form, she told the boy that her sister (me) is a loving and forgiving person; that he made a dumb mistake and that he better learn a lesson from it. She told him that I am not a person to hold a grudge but rather a person that would encourage a mistake to be turned into wisdom. My sister took the flowers as they cannot go into ICU and she promised him they would not be put in the trash as he suggested they might.

My sister then went to check on my son as Anthony and his Mom went to my room. Christy found Nathan in the waiting room distraught and stressed. She tried to console him but he simply wanted to be left alone with his tears. She obliged him this privacy and returned to my room to check on me. She recanted the site she saw as she poked her head in the door. Anthony was sitting next to my bed close to me crying in full force; his mother rubbing his back. He kept repeating that he was sorry and that he wished he could take my place. Again, my sister obliged this young man of his privacy and returned to find my son. Two young men, only a year apart in age, both affected so traumatically by such a terrible accident; I cannot begin to fathom the pain that either one of those boys was suffering while I lay there fighting for my life, oblivious to the world around me.

Anthony's Flowers

Anthony’s Flowers

I was still on a great many drugs that made me sleep a lot and made me have strange dreams and visions. But when I was awake I was coherent and spoke with reason. There was a lot of pain and discomfort but it was not unbearable – good drugs Rock! I think the strangest thing that I kept seeing (hallucinating perhaps) were dragons. Now I have a fixation on spiders due to my nickname I was given in my youth because of my long legs and height; so I have no idea where dragons came from. They are pretty cool but I’ve never really been drawn towards them. Somebody asked me, “What kind of dragons?” I replied, “Normal dragons. You know, not the scary kind just the pretty ones with colorful scales that breath fire.” These dragons never caused me harm or scared me; they just flew around blowing fire in all their beautifully colored scales. I had some very strange and vivid dreams that I wish I could draw because some of them were oddly beautiful. During the lag time when I would begin to awaken from my drugged state I often watched my room slowly morph into crazy places and I was watching it happen from what seemed like a distance. My room turned into so many different scenes that it was twisted, but once I was fully awake the dragons and room morphing stopped.

On the second day that I was awake and coherent my orthopedic surgeon Dr. Cole came to speak to me about my leg. My son was there holding my hand as Dr. Cole explained that the upper portion of the left leg was intact and in pretty good shape over all. It had a 4” cement spacer that would eventually have to be replaced with bone. He then proceeded to talk about the bottom portion of the leg; my son squeezed my hand a little harder. We already knew that something was not going to be right. Dr. Cole explained that the bottom portion of the leg was fairly well destroyed as it took the hardest part of the hit. After seeing pictures of the crash bar on my bike bent all the way back to the motor, I can certainly understand my leg being crushed in there. The doctor indicated that I had significant tissue, nerve, and bone damage. Basically it was like putting a 10,000 piece puzzle together with a guarantee that a lot of the pieces were missing right out of the box. I had two options:

  1. The leg could be pieces and parted back together which would take many many surgeries. After the leg was pieced together I would likely have a floppy foot due to nerve damage. The therapy to attempt to walk again would be harsh as the leg would be deformed and the foot, as I said would be floppy.
  2. The leg could be amputated below the knee doing away with the bad tissue and useless nerves. Skin grafts could be performed to cleanup some of the wounds. This would be just a few surgeries and would more quickly move me on to physical therapy and a prosthetic so that I could get back to walking. (I still had to have the 4” of femur installed before therapy, but that would only be about 8 weeks down the line.)

Dr. Cole finished his summary and told me that when I made my decision I needed to inform the ICU staff so that he could begin preparing for whichever choice I made. He and his assistant left the room and still holding my hand, I looked up at my son with glassy eyes. Neither one of us cried but I knew as I gazed into his eyes that he already knew I had made my decision. I merely said, “You know it will be the fastest way for me to get back in the game.” He merely said, “Yep”. We had a very short discussion basically reiterating the benefits of the amputation and then I asked my son to fetch my cell phone. Together on speaker phone we called my father to tell him what had transpired and the decision I was making. During my coma-like state my father had already been preparing for me to lose the leg and was already preparing for me to come live with him and Ma during my recovery. On the phone call to explain my options and decisions, I clarified with him that he and Ma where ready and willing to help care for me for what could be a very long time. My son would gladly have cared for me but frankly it was not the optimal way. He has a life to live and family to support. He would have to move because there were too many stairs. My father and his wife are retired and live in a one level home. They have the time and means by which to handle my situation. My father is also by way of age and wisdom more suited to help me with all the paperwork, insurance, and legal stuff that would eventually ensue. My father assured me that he was ready for me to ‘come home’. He has begged me and bribed me for years to come live in Georgia; in the worst of ways, he has gotten that.

My sister returned shortly after the call with my Dad and I sent her to tell the ICU nurse tending to me to pass the word along to Dr. Cole that I had chosen the amputation. In some strange way, I had a certain amount of peace knowing that soon I would be on my way to walking again. Not truly walking for a long time, but at least the wheels were moving forward on the fastest and least painful way to accomplish this. The rest of that day was spent with my son and my sister mostly with a few visitors in and out. My son and sister would both have to leave the following day to return to their work and families. Many many times over and over I told my son how much I love him. At one point during the day I told him that lying there in the ditch he was all I could think about. We both cried hard together and he held me tight. I am so thankful that I’ll get to see the rest of his life develop and to be able to watch my granddaughter grow.

On Tuesday my son and sister had to fly to their homes and both came to tell me that they would see me later. My Aunt Angela was on her way in from Georgia and my Mother from South Carolina. ICU staff removed me from oxygen and told me that my progress was swift and that I would be moving out of ICU. My friend Jimmy Z was visiting me when this news came about and he gathered my personal belongings and followed me to the 11th floor, south wing. Jimmy Z sat at my bedside and fed me lunch. We talked about our visit in Wisconsin the week preceding the crash. Jimmy Z said he should have been with me, as he had intended to tour a bit with me before returning home. I told him that had he been with me, he would have been riding the left side of the lane and he would have gotten far more head-on crash and would not be here today. He accepted that explanation and we didn’t talk about it further.

My Aunt arrived in the early afternoon; she is a dear sweet woman full of love and caring. She is also a very hyper woman that talks a great deal and has a voice that carries. Jimmy Z said his good-bye and my Aunt and I were left alone. She made herself busy trying to do all she could to straighten my room, attempt to feed me, and arrange me so I was comfortable. It was all appreciated but way too much energy and talking for the discomfort I was experiencing. I asked her politely to take it down a notch as my head was spinning. Indeed she did and when I needed something and asked, she was all over it. She washed my face, neck, and the parts she could reach without me moving. She moisturized my body with lotion and brushed the knots out of my hair. Being the oldest niece and other than her own daughter, the only girl – I knew her actions were purely from love and wanting to spoil me as she always has.

The only disappointment I really had related to my care at Regions Hospital in MN was the lack of communication between the various surgical teams that were taking care of me. When I say this I mean that they gave me a date of amputation of this day and then came back and changed it to another day and then changed it yet again. I had already called my special people to tell them that I loved them and that the deal was going down. And then it didn’t. I was getting fed up and stressed out with the not knowing. I told my father of this on the phone and within a few hours I was told when my surgery would occur and apologies were given for the lack of communication.

My mother arrived later in the afternoon and we filled her in on the progress as far as we knew at that point. My mother and I have had a sketchy relationship since I was a child, but I tell you now as God as my witness, she was amazing and I simply couldn’t imagine going through all of that without her. She was calm, smart, and provided me great comfort and peace. I do believe that these circumstances have thrown a bit of super-glue onto our relationship.

On Wednesday I was scheduled for my surgery, but at the time we thought it was only the first step in the process with the full amputation to occur the following Tuesday. When they wheeled me to surgery with my mother and aunt in tow, we learned that in fact the entire process was being done right then. I was not expecting this but I was relieved to have it all being done right then. Dr. Fletcher, my plastic surgeon, drew a picture and explained in detail what they were going to do.

2013-08-01 10.39.53

The revised leg - they used the tattoo because it was good skin

The revised leg – they used the tattoo because it was good skin

And there it is, what's left of it.

And there it is, what’s left of it.

As I was coming out of the anesthesia in recovery I had a very weird and scary feeling; like none I ever had before when recovering. It was a weird and paranoid feeling. I could see that my leg was shorter but I was not concerned about that for the moment; instead I was just sort of weirded out in my surroundings. I suppose at one point they felt I was awake enough to return me to my room. As they wheeled me through the halls the lights above moved so quickly that it make me sick to my stomach and made my head spin. My aunt and mother soon reappeared in my room. I came back to my room somewhere around 5:00 pm and I was in and out of sleep until about 10:00 PM. But from that point until 5:30 AM, I began to have horrific pain that made me scream out loud and cry uncontrollably. I rocked myself like a distraught child and rubbed the remainder of my leg with vigor. As the process went, the nurse would have to contact the surgeon on-call for advice (the nurse may or may not have reached him immediately). Once the surgeon approved a drug or an increase, the nurse had to send the order to pharmacy. By the time the nurse executed whatever order or drug she was advised to do, at least an hour or so had passed; all the while I screamed and cried. This one hour of sleep and one hour of pain continued for what seemed like forever to me. Finally around 5:30 AM I asked my mother to call my father’s house. I cried and sobbed in a panic and told my father that I needed him to come there now and kick somebody’s ass. He needed to stay in his pajamas and go to the airport. I know my father called to inquire why I was in such pain and I don’t know what was said but within 2 hours my surgeon’s assistant appeared and she ordered a constant drip of pain medication and she ordered that my personal drug clicker be moved to every 5 minutes versus 15 minutes.

During these bouts of excruciating pain I was basically delirious saying that I wanted my pocket knife so I could cut off the leg because I didn’t want it anymore. I begged my aunt for cab money so I could go home. I ranted that my father had abandoned me there when in fact he hadn’t even arrived yet. I asked every medical professional that came into my room why they let a person go through this conscience. I begged for them to put me back in ICU in a coma-like state again. There are many other delirious things which I don’t recall and which my mother and aunt will not share.  After my surgeon’s assistant came and ordered the increased drugs, she also ordered that I be returned to ICU where they are more equipped to handle extreme trauma such as mine.

By the time I got to ICU early that morning my breakfast had arrive and though it didn’t seem appealing, my mother coaxed me to eat a little food considering I hadn’t eaten since more than 24 hours prior. I was in lala-land mentally but the pain was again bearable and though I slurred, slouched, and looked doped up, I was again more or less coherent. My father and Ma arrived that day and I was so excited to see my Daddy I simply cannot explain. I spent the rest of that day and that night in ICU and then due to capacity they transferred me on Friday to the burn unit where they are also equipped to deal with extreme trauma.

For the next several days I continued on a heavy drug regimen that certainly helped the pain, but still kept me in a doped state of mind. I could have a conversation, was being my silly self from time to time (especially with my father there to tease me), but often I fell asleep in the middle of a visit. My Daddy and I would often take naps together; me on my bed and he in the recliner in my room. My mother and Ma took shopping trips to fetch me socks, pajamas, and other miscellaneous items. Both my mother and Ma spent time feeding me, massaging my butt, and helping me reach things I couldn’t reach; plus so much more.

I truly am blessed for I had visitors that traveled up to 7 hours to see me and visit me for a couple hours only to turn around and go back home. A few stayed in the area and returned the following day for a ‘good-bye until next time’. But really, how blessed to have such wonderful friends. One of my dear friends Angela came to see me and brought things I needed from my bike which she had gotten from Larry’s shop out of my destroyed bags. My sponsor Ken Reinert and his wife Barb visited me. We teased about how my Rider’s Claw stayed on the handle bars even though the bars didn’t stay on the bike and that my phone remained undamaged in the Rider’s Claw which made it easy for young Anthony to find when I sent him to search for it that fateful day. Ken was none too pleased at the means by which I had quality tested his product, but it was worth a little laugh. Staci, one of my riders from ULRB came to visit and brought some cute little gifts; I have met Staci a couple times but have never really gotten to know her, but that is changing. My friend Annie from CMA (Christian Motorcycle Association) sent Minnesota reps to call on me. I had a very encouraging and peaceful visit with them and ended it with a prayer for myself and all our fellow riders. They also gave me a new Biker Bible and I had no idea if mine was still in my saddle bags for I was not certain at that time what did or did not survive. Judy from my chapter of ABATE had contacted a Minnesota rep as well. Ron visited me while I was in ICU and gave me some ABATE information that I would need as time went on. He visited once again in the burn unit and not only brought me a few t-shirts, but he gave me a walker he once used and took my mother to dinner and short tour of St. Paul. A rather impressive visit was from an all-female motorcycle club called Wild Cougars. They had heard of my crash via Facebook and since they were based in that area, they brought me flowers and visited with me for some time offering words of encouragement and allowing me to speak of my accident and the challenges I had faced thus far. Mike and Lori are a couple that met in ULRB and have thanked me numerous times for bringing them together. My visit back to IL was geared purely on attending their wedding. They came through Minnesota to visit me as they cruised on their bikes for their honeymoon ride. Of course my very dear friends Cheryl and Mike came to visit. (You would have heard of them in other blogs as well regarding my attendance at their wedding in Memphis while on my journey and attending their reception when I returned to IL for a visit.) They too brought me treats and as it turned out I had asked them to take home my damaged boot as I was considering auctioning it off as a joke that came about on Facebook and to give to my son the quilt my mother had brought for my granddaughter. Embarrassed as I am to admit this, there are visitors and conversations that I forgot about and even forgot that Cheryl took my boot; I was stressed and pissed that it went missing but she eventually told me that I instructed her to take it. Again – good drugs Rock!!

Cheryl and Mike brought me a picture of some of my ULRB gang

Cheryl and Mike brought me a picture of some of my ULRB gang

Staci and The BROAD

Staci and The BROAD

Wild Cougars MN visit The BROAD

Wild Cougars MN visit The BROAD

Ken from Rider's Claw and The BROAD

Ken from Rider’s Claw and The BROAD

Mike and Mike - Two men in my bed - WooHoo

Mike and Mike – Two men in my bed – WooHoo

Lori and Ursula

Lori and Ursula

Cheryl and Ursula

Cheryl and Ursula

Some Amazing Friends!!!

Some Amazing Friends!!!

As those doped up and happy days of visitors passed, I was becoming ancy to leave the hospital. I was ready to get on with the rest of my life and start working on the ways that would help me walk again. I was pressing the staff and they told me I could only do that if I were off the intravenous drugs. “Well then, let’s drop the constant drip and move my clicker back to every 15 minutes.” They did as I requested and replaced the drip with an oral pain reliever the day after we slowed the drip. That still had me a little dopey but relieved the pain for the most part. The following day, I asked them to remove the clicker and at that point it was Sunday night and I was determined to go home that week. On Monday, my doctors told me that nobody has ever left only one week after an amputation and they just didn’t see it happening. At best I was looking at three weeks. My father, my mother, and Ma watched as I battled them and convinced them that I was leaving that week. The walker was already there and I requested that the physical therapist come evaluate me. They removed my catheter and I began to test drive the wheelchair, the walker, and the crutches. The only one I couldn’t manage was the crutches and that was due to the fractured collar bone. I was simply putting way too much pressure on it and that was not going to work. Later that afternoon the physical therapist scheduled me for a session downstairs in the PT facility. In the meantime, I wanted to get out of my room since I was finally free of the bed. My mother took me on a short tour of the hospital and it really is a beautiful hospital. I strolled myself part of the time and when I was tired my mother would push me. We did a few small exercises with the therapist later and she was impressed. We did this twice again the following day, Tuesday. I pressed and told them to let my doctors know that I was leaving Wednesday. My father sort of shook his head as I politely bossed the staff into what I wanted. The social worker and the physical therapist gave me rave reviews and the doctors said my wounds were healing rather fast and nicely. Ultimately they had no real reason to keep me there.

Walker - Check

Walker – Check

Here I Go... Try to Keep Up Now

Here I Go… Try to Keep Up Now

Getting Mobile & Seeing my Flowers I Can't Have in My Room

Getting Mobile & Seeing my Flowers I Can’t Have in My Room

Art in the Hospital

Art in the Hospital

Art in the Hospital

Art in the Hospital

So it was stated, so it was done. I received my walking papers (ooops – rolling papers) and I rolled out of that hospital on Wednesday; two weeks exactly from the crash and one week exactly from the amputation. My father and Ma took a super early AM flight back to GA so they could prepare a few things for my arrival home. My mother stayed behind with me to go through some paperwork, to help me pack, and to take the flight back with me. She would fly with me to GA and then continue her route on to SC. Though I was still in pain, it was bearable with the narcotics and I knew that I could bear it more out of that disruptive environment and with family in a peaceful environment. The moment my mother strolled me out into the fresh summer air I felt human again; as if I was part of society again. They had a very small farmer’s market across the street so we rolled over there and each got a treat. I had gourmet herbed olive oil on delicious crusty bread – now they DIDN’T offer THAT in the hospital. Our taxi finally arrived and I was wheeled into the back of a mini-van and strapped down, never leaving my wheelchair. The driver was fast and efficient at the process. I watched St. Paul pass me by as we made our way to the airport. Sorry I had not toured the city, but thankful I survived to perhaps do it again someday.

Let's Blow this Pop Stand

Let’s Blow this Pop Stand

Small Market Outside Hospital

Small Market Outside Hospital

My mother and I were clueless as to seeking the handicap assistance I needed and we got in the regular check-in lane. A business man in the express line for being a frequent flyer approached us and told us to follow him into his lane. He politely excused several others to move out of the way and lifted the barrier tape for us to go under. He put us in front of him and within a few passengers we were at the counter receiving assistance. We thanked the kind stranger several times and were off with an aid to take us through security. Again, we were taken to a line that was express; the personal scan and check took a little bit of time but all in all we were out of there faster than I had ever experienced. Believe me; I’d wait in that hour long line if I had two legs to stand on, but the service we received was excellent at the St. Paul airport. The same thing happened as we reached our gate. We would be the first passengers on and the last passengers off. I was able to leave my bag in front of me so that I could prop my leg up. Within no time at all I fell asleep. I was out for 1.25 hours of the 2 hour flight; so it was bearable. My mother along with the help of another aid at the Atlanta airport got me safely to my father whom was waiting in the car.

The Plane to Take Me Home

The Plane to Take Me Home

Mom and I are Boarded and Ready to Blow this City

Mom and I are Boarded and Ready to Blow this City

I gave my mother a hug such that we had never shared before. I thanked her and told her I couldn’t have gotten through it without her. She promised to check on me often and I agreed to call more often. With that my father battled the wheelchair as he tried to get it into his sporty little car and soon we were on the roadways of Georgia which I have traveled thousand on miles by both 4 and 2 wheels. I was on my way ‘home’ and on my way to start anew.

GoFundMe by Larry Maas


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74 Responses to Rude Awakening…

  1. John says:

    That is some story. I am somewhat speechless. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Best of luck and stay strong. You ROCK!

  2. Elliot Gates says:

    I just finished reading your story, and I am speechless. God Bless you, and you are truly a inspiration to all. FYI, received your story from Gonzo.


    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you so much Elliot. I am focusing on the things I can control, not the things I can’t control. I have to see myself walking and living normally in order to press forward.

  3. Robert Pooler says:

    Just read Rude Awakening! WOW !!!!!!! Something really strange that especially caught my attention was you lucid dreams of dragons. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt under my vest Friday the 13th at Bowling Green, Kentucky but anyway, I have a colorful dragon tattoo on my right forearm and a colorful (my own design) half bat half fish with scales on my left forearm. STRANGE DO YOU THINK.

    • The BROAD says:

      Hello Robert! How are you? Good to hear from you. I have pictures of me on the bike if you want them send me an email – I got a lot of comments about the Dragon Dreams, they are protectors and the colors mean different things. My dragons were all blue and that is healing. Totally weird. Get in touch with me on email! Peace and Hugs, Ursula

  4. Paul says:

    I received an e-mail from Fox Creek Leather and there was part of your story, and link to this site.
    As i began reading your blog 2 hours have passed and i am still reading and amazed at your attitude and strength.
    On Memorial day of this year after putting several hundred flags on Veterans graves in our area of NJ, I parted ways with a few friends to get home to some family and barbecue.
    As i was riding down the rural road i live on about half mile from home, it became short fat guy hunting season for a local deer, as i put my Ultra Limited down on side of the road Luckly not hitting anything to hard so i thought.
    I awoke with a friend and his wife asking if i knew who they were, from there too the local hosp with a lot of coaxing thank the lord, it was found i had massive bleeding going on inside.
    They cut me like they were gutting me and found a ruptured spleen, also a broken left leg.
    after 5 days in icu and another and another 9 in a regular room with a few added obstacles i got to go home.
    Now im lucky as far as im concerned and i must say after living through my ordeal i feel that the LORD has much in store for years to come for you.
    Bless you and all your family and supporters and when your ready to ride my wife and i have a home just north of daytona and your welcome to a room anytime.
    Bless you and recover with god speed.

    • The BROAD says:

      WOWSA Paul – I had the spleen thing too but totally nothing compared to you. They sure a messy incision to repair a spleen that had leaked only about an ounce of blood in all that trauma time, but whatever. And your left leg and me left leg, eeewwww creepy coincidence. We are both very blessed that we are here so we must make the most of what time we have left. As you and I have seen, you just never know when it’s your turn.

      Fox Creek Leather (the people) and I have been growing a friendship for a few years on FB and meeting them was just a pure joy. I was welcomed like the little sister that came home on vacation. Awesome freakin people to say the least.

      And hey, those damn deer should carry permits for short fat guy hunting season! Of course I’m teasing, you started it anyway.

      Thank you so much for your kind words of support. I’m glad you have come along for the detour; let see where this road leads shall we??? Perhaps someday it will lead me just north of Daytona (well for sure it will cuz I know others there also, let’s just say not IF but WHEN).

  5. cary wagner says:

    almost 4 years ago i was hit by a lady who ran a stop sign i lost my right leg above the knee i have had so many ups and downs but reading your story makes me feel more positive ,the lady that hit me showed no compassion she was upset she got a ticket good luck to you and thanks for sharing your story

    • The BROAD says:

      Dear Cary, I thank you for sharing your story as well. From my research and listening to others above the knee is far worse, so for that I do believe you have had a harder challenge. I am only 6 weeks into it and cannot even think of PT for some time yet as I have to have a femur created in 3 weeks. As for the woman that hit you, it’s easy to say she’s an ass and perhaps she is or perhaps her life was in turmoil at the time. We will never know and it really makes no difference to us. The only thing I believe for a case like that is, harboring hate only eats me up and the other person just goes about life. So I forgive damn near everything, not because somebody deserves forgiveness but because I deserve peace. Call it karma, call judgement day, call it whatever, but hateful and mean people will get what is coming to them sooner or later. We often wish sooner but we cannot control that without becoming worse than them. Oh crap… the drugs are kicking in… my philosophy is rambling now. I do so appreciate that you follow my story and I am please that regardless the struggles, you and I are both still here to take on another day. Hugs to you my missing leg sister!

  6. Jimmy Z says:

    WOW! It’s hard to explain how I feel now even 30 some days after the accident. What I’m about to tell you is minute (sp) in comparasion to what you’ve been through. As you know there is no service in Phillips and I finally left Thursday for my Friday meeting for the Disabled Patriot Fund. I was outside of Wisconsin Rapids for fuel and taking the back roads as usual not bothering to check my phone. My next stop was The Brat Stop in Kenosha andI sat down ordered a drink and checked into facebook. To my horror I get news that you had been hit head-on by a driver passing a semi. That was all, didn’t know if you were dead or alive, but being hit head on I expected,the worst. I cried for 30 minutes until Cindy Carter called me and said you were alive! Well you know how I love to blast the stereo as I ride, well the next 82 miles were filled with only silence and tears! The last thing you said to me when ya left the resort was “thanks for looking out for me this past week”. I’m thinking I let you down by not being there! The guilt and tears followed me until Saturday until Nathan called me to say although you were badly injured you eventually were going to recover without losing the leg. That got me through the weekend. Then Nathan calls me Monday to tell me the news that you and him received that morning and it started all over again. I’m saying all this because once I got to the hospital, you assured me that if I had been there the outcome would have been different and not in my favor! That took 95% of my guilt away. Ursula, I’m still feeling a little guilty about inviting you in the first place. Now peeps are telling me it could have happened anywhere, but it didn’t, it happened in a place where i invited you. i’m hoping time and seeing your recovery will ease some of these feelings.You are truly an inspiration and whatever God has in mind for you I’m sure you’re gonna see his plan through! If either of us are in the same area again and ya need morning banana’s, you know who to call! (Remember?) Luv ya!

    • The BROAD says:

      My Dear Jimmy Z…
      An accident like this could have happened anywhere at any time. My adventures in Wisconsin with you and the crew are ones that made my journey worthwhile. If not for those adventures, what would the journey have been other than miles? I made many new friends that have supported me while only knowing me as you say ‘just over 30 days’ (well at the accident point only a week). And if you had ridden with me, things may have been totally different or things may have been the same; only with you in the lead and farther to the left unable to swerve. We cannot change the things that happen and therefore there is no use looking back on them. We merely learn from them if there is a lesson or we deal with them as they come. There is absolutely ZERO REASON FOR YOU TO HAVE GUILT!! So cut the shit and be blessed for our time together and pray for our future time to come.
      With Loads of Hugs and Friendship that is Music to Heart,
      Always, Ursula

      PS – We cannot thank you enough for helping Nathan fly home from Minnesota. And hey, be honored nobody else from ULRB got to feed me like a baby!!!!

  7. Ron Lischeid says:

    Prior to Friday night, July 19th, I knew nothing about the BROAD, Ursula’s Riding Buddies, the DREAM or even Ursula herself – my ABATE chapter in the Twin Cities had been contacted by ABATE members (friends of Ursula’s) in Illinois via Facebook – they wanted someone local to check up on her condition and to report back – since I am the closest of my chapter members to the area where Region’s hospital is located, I agreed to see what I could find out – I called the hospital and asked if anyone was with Ursula at the present time – I was told that her son from Illinois was with her – I left my phone number and asked if Ursula’s son Nate could give me a call when it was convenient – a little later Nate called me back (using a borrowed cell phone) – I explained my connection and the reason for my concern and got some information that I was able to share with Ursula’s friends in Illinois later on Friday night – just for shits and giggles, I decided to “Google” Ursula’s name and was amazed at what I discovered – I spent much of Friday night reading what I found on the internet about Ursula – it became obvious to me that she was a person who had invested a lot of time doing things for others in the biker community – she was an organizer, a mover and a shaker, she was a friend to those that needed a friend and she was everyone’s friend – I learned about the B.R.O.A.D. and her attempt to live out her dream – by Sunday night, I was able to convince myself that Ursula was a once-in-a-lifetime person to meet – but getting up the courage to actually go see her took some doing – I normally don’t stick my nose where it does not belong – I protect my privacy and respect the privacy of others – just driving to the hospital and introducing myself was way out of my comfort zone – but I felt compelled to ‘just do it’ – I arrived at Regions Hospital about 15 minutes before visitor’s hours were over, found out that she was in ICU and made my way up to her floor and room armed only with a couple of issues of RoadNoise, the official publication of ABATE of MN – I used the pretense that the purpose of my visit was to let her (or whoever was with her) know that there are several lawyers who specialize in helping motorcyclists who have been injured in motorcycle accidents – I explained the reason for my visit to the nurse at the front desk of the ICU – she wanted to know if I was a relative (answer = NO) or friend (once again, answer = NO) – all I could come up with was I was a complete stranger who was concerned for her health and well-being – I must have been convincing because the nurse said that she would go to ask if Ursula would see me – she soon returned and said “Go on in” – this is how I met Ursula – by accident – Ursula was alone in her room (her son and sister had left for the night) – I was more nervous than a school boy trying to ask a girl at a sock hop if she would like to dance, anticipating and half-expecting to be rejected – but to my surprise, Ursula was open and welcoming – she reached out to me, told me to come closer to her and took my hand with hers – I explained the reason for my visit, told her about the lawyers that advertised in RoadNoise that might be some help to her and asked if there was anything that I could do for her – she asked if I would be interested in trying to get copies of her accident reports for her – in March of this year, I had my right hip replaced, so I tried to explain that I kind of knew what she had been going through in the hospital for the past 4-1/2 days – as Ursula has explained in her blog, she was still quite heavily medicated at this point, so I said my ‘Good Bye’s’ and told her I would return in a day or two when I was able to find out something about the accident reports – I only spent about 10 minutes with her that Sunday night but dammit, she ‘hooked me’ – like a insect, I had become entangled in her spider web that draws people to like her the moment they meet her – I spent the better part of Monday morning trying to run down accident reports – I didn’t really know where the accident happened – it might have been on Highway 8 or on Highway 95 (I suspected Highway 95 because someone had told me she was headed south when the accident occurred) – this is an area where Washington and Chisago counties meet up – and I didn’t know which law enforcement agency was the lead agency for the report – it could have been a local police department, a sheriff’s department or the State Patrol – eventually, I came up with what I was told were accident report numbers for both Chisago county and the MN State Patrol – but since I didn’t have legal authority to receive a copy of what was in each report, I returned to the ICU on Monday night to share my findings – at his point, Nate and Ursula’s sister had already left and her aunt, mothers and father had not yet arrived – once again, I requested permission to see Ursula and once again I was told that she would see me – as I entered her room in the ICU on Monday night, I was able to tell that there was a 100% improvement visible in her condition just in the past 24 hours – she once again reached out for my hand and I shared with her what I was able to find out about her accident reports – we exchanged some small talk and as I was saying “Good bye” for the night she squeezed my hand tighter and started to cry – “they are going to amputate my leg on Wednesday” she told me – I never was very good around crying women and this was no exception – she soon regained a bit of composure and explained that it was going to be a 2-part operation – that they were going to remove her foot but reattach it elsewhere so that they could i alive in an attempt to use the skin on her heel as the skin graft for the bottom end of her eventual stump (forgive me for using terms that might not be medically accurate) – I asked if It would be okay if I stopped back to see her on Tuesday night before her surgery and she said “Yes” – at this point, I knew that her son and sister had left for home and that other family members were on their way from Georgia and South Carolina – if these family members hadn’t arrived prior to the amputation on Wednesday, I was prepared to ask Ursula if she would like me to sit in the waiting room on her behalf while she was in surgery – when I arrived at the hospital on Tuesday night, I went up to the ICU and was told that Ursula had been transferred to the Surgery Trauma center on the 11th floor of the central building in the hospital complex – now I had a new set of nurses to try and explain why a non-family member (recently upgraded from total stranger) was there to see her just hours before the most important surgery up to this point in her life – but once again, I must have had an honest looking face and once again, I was let in to see her – I was relieved to see that there were other people in the room with her – I was introduced to Ursula’s aunt and mother – I explained my reason for visiting, we talked a little and I left on Tuesday night knowing that Ursula had been able to assemble a team of family supporters to be with her during and following surgery – I was also surprised to once again see the marked improvement in her condition in just another 24 hours – if Sunday to Monday was a 100% improvement, then Monday to Tuesday was another 100% improvement (or a 400% improvement between Sunday and Tuesday) – during the next 4 days I followed her progress via Facebook and the internet – I learned information from Larry’s GoFundMe project – like many of you I learned that following the surgery, Ursula was in a lot of pain and was placed in a medically-induced coma for a while – then late one night (either Thursday or Friday) I found a video made about 1:30 a.m. that Ursula had filmed and posted from her hospital bed saying that she was “back in town and getting ready to go home soon” – on Saturday, I was at a pre-Sturgis hog roast at the Joint/Cabooze on Minneapolis’s West Bank and I learned on Facebook that the women of the Wild Cougars made a surprise visit to see Ursula on Saturday afternoon – on Sunday, several of the Wild Cougars stopped by my place while out on a Chapter ride with Metro ABATE members for lunch and after I talked to them, I decided to resume my in-person visits at Regions Hospital – I went back on Sunday night and found out that Ursula had once again been moved – this time to the Burn Unit – her aunt was getting ready to return home the next day but her mothers and father were going to continue to stay until Ursula was discharged – on Sunday night, I gave Ursula a top that was donated by the Joint ( a good place to meet shady people) – I asked her if she might have some use for my nearly-new, hardly-used walker that I had purchased following my hip replacement surgery in March of this year – she eagerly took me up on the offer and I agreed to bring it to her on Monday night – on Monday night, Ursula was alone in her room (her mothers and father has already returned to their hotel for the night) – I gave her the walker and a couple of other tops that bike shops had donated – the walker was even outfitted with a leather H-D handlebar tool bag to double as a fanny-pack/purse for cell phone, keys, money and identification – before I left I asked if her mothers and father might be interested in seeing a little bit of Minneapolis and St. Paul and to to a real restaurant before they returned home – she said that she would check with them on Tuesday – I called on Tuesday morning and found out that I had scored a date with her mother Nancy on Tuesday night – on Tuesday night, I stopped by Ursula’s room in the Burn Unit to pick up her mother for dinner – I took her on a motor tour of Minneapolis and St. Paul and she was fascinated by all of the tall buildings – she said it was very different from her home city of Charleston, South Carolina – we eventually had dinner at the restaurant Ward 6 (located oddly enough in the Sixth Ward of St. Paul) – we had a nice conversation and I had Nancy back to her hotel a little before 10 p.m. – I had planned on saying my final “good bye” to Ursula and Nancy in person on Wednesday but when I arrived at the hospital a little after noon, I learned that Ursula has already been discharged and that they were on their way to the airport and would be home in Georgia in time for dinner – as quickly as Ursula had entered my life, she was now gone – but only in the physical sense – I follow her progress daily on the internet – as an eye-witness, I was able to see first hand the miraculous recovery that Ursula made in just 2 weeks – but having met her in person, I understand how her personality, energy and charisma created that miracle – she has a long way to go and the journey will include some successes and some disappointments along the way but I am convinced that Ursula will emerge a stronger person overall following her accident in Minnesota

    • The BROAD says:

      My goodness Ron… You brought years of joy and pride to my eyes. It was such a pleasure to have you enter my life. The walker has has several miles out on it by now. I cannot thank you enough for such kind and amazing words on top of your caring and visits while I was in the clink. My mother always said, I’ve never met a stranger…

      I sure hope when I return to visit my first responders that you too may join us. Perhaps we shall do a reunion with all my new MN friends.

      God bless you for everything and for being there when I was alone. Hugs, Ursula

  8. Tricia says:

    I really can’t believe this happening to you, Lady! I’ve been following (via a link off the Harley Davidson website) you since you started your journey, couldn’t wait to get to work (on computer a lot at work, so I don’t read email at home) to see if your blog had sent me an email so I could catch up on you…when I hadn’t heard anything for 2 or more weeks near the end of July, I was afraid something had happened to you…(was hoping you had ran off with Scotty, got married, and was on a honeymoon! LOL!) So I really wanted to hear about that, instead you had an accident! My husband of 38 years and I ride our own bikes, so I’ve been filling him in on all your adventures, and telling him how when I retire, I want to do something like that, “just ride!” I watched your video this morning, how touching to see how strong you are, and reassuring that you looked good for all that you have had to endure. I can honestly say that I’ve been praying for you since you started this journey and now even harder since I read the “accident” blog, you and your family have been on my heart! I think when you ride, you keep in perspective that you are only inches away from oncoming traffic, and that makes you a more “careful defensive” rider, than when you are simply driving your car. I am a Christian, and I believe there is a purpose in whatever comes our way. Romans is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, and Romans C. 8, V.28 is a good verse, “And we know all things work together for good to them that love GOD……” and my hope is in this verse for you, Ursula! I know without a shadow of a doubt you are the most compassionate and loving individual that has shared her love for mankind while riding out your dream. That is what the Bible teaches us, to show the love of GOD throughout this life that GOD has given us. I will still continue to follow your dream of recovery, and hope to read about the success of your surgery in September! I’ve commented to you before, for living that dream that us women riders who are sitting at our desks only dream about! I’m so happy you are doing well and mending physically and mentally with your daddy and ma. Will be praying…Tricia in NC!

    • The BROAD says:

      Hey Tricia, I always love hearing from you. Now I learn you found me in the Harley Ladies site. That’s so cool. I do so enjoy meeting people of all walks of life. I feel as if every person has something to teach us; good or bad. I love the verse. I’ll have to highlight that one in my biker bible. I appreciate that you were so excited to hear the next story. It certainly has taken a detour now hasn’t it? I was upset and cried when leaving the Harley dealer today. I just wanted to jump on a bike, steal it, and run off. I just want to ride. I have no idea how my mental recovery will leave me once I am physically capable. I don’t know if I’ll be too afraid. That would suck. But I can tell ya, looking at death in the face is the most horrid thing ever. I have wondered if surviving was worth it, but I know that is a stupid thought. I still get to see my friends and family so I dismissed that. But it’s exactly that thought; that fear, that makes me wonder if I will continue my journey or even ride at all. Who knows huh? One day at a time. If ya get
      anywhere near Covington, GA; give me a yell. Big hugs, U

  9. Dawn says:

    Hi, You also don’t know me, but I grew up with Cheryl Robish and have been following your story. You are one strong woman and have an awesome support system. Thank you for sharing your story and your feelings. You have a long road ahead of you, but you have a GREAT attitude and lots of people cheering you on. I wish you all of the best on the long road ahead of you and I also get the feeling that you are going to be just fine. Best of luck to you and many prayers going to you and you family!

    • The BROAD says:

      Cheryl has always been my biggest cheerleader. Thank you for joining me on the detour of my journey Dawn. I’m really glad you enjoy the stories and yes, attitude is everything. I look forward to hearing from you more. Hugs, U

  10. Wendy Strong says:

    Wow…. I told you you’re amazing! I’ve just had the chance to sit and read this. Bawling like a baby. I am so glad you’re ok and that you’ve got such an awesome family and support system! From following you on Facebook I feel as if I know you. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of that, but you know what I mean. I’m just really touched by your courage and great attitude.

    • The BROAD says:

      You’re right Wendy… after having so many consistent followers that comment and message; it is as if you get to know them. I do have a good family support system and that’s invaluable. Stay tuned for more. Peace, U

  11. you don’t know me, but i’ve been following your story on FB through cheryl robish. thank you for sharing the details of your hospital stay and your personal feelings. i, too, have leaky eyes. it is obvious how deep the love of your family and friends is. i wish you the best in your long journey. something tells me that you will be just fine. 😉 {{{HUGS}}}

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you Sharon. Cheryl is one my most special friends. She told me that she was telling everybody about the accident and many people were sending well wishes. I’m glad to have you along for the detour in the journey. I love hearing from folks. I do have a great support system and that helps tremendously; add one – Sharon Baffa Schulsemann… Hugs, U

  12. atlas says:

    thanks for sharing your story,
    i dont know if you plan on riding again but i hope you do. many years ago when i first started working in the oil fields in alaska i met a man that had an amputation much like yours. i knew him for many years before i ever knew he had an amputation. he had also lost his leg in a motorcycle accident. when i met him he was already in his 60’s and still rode. god speed and many prayers to you and your family for a speedy recovery. atlas twisted thunder sec

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you for the encouraging story Atlas. I’m not sure yet. I would like to say that I will ride again but only the heart and psyche know; so it won’t be for sure until I get through the recovery process and sit on that first bike before I feel if it’s still in me or if I’m too scared. We shall see and hopefully you stick with me to watch that decision. Peace, U

  13. Matthew Esquivel says:

    Hi Momma!!! I have been keeping up with your story and i can say i am so glad your alive and doing as well as you can be! I love you very much as you have taught me much about life through our years together since i don’t know when, well just call it the weslake/lakewood falls years! I don’t get to see Nate or yourself much but i am glad i did when i could back in Lemont. I know you meant a lot to my mom and myself and i know if anyone can get through this its you! I can still remember you wrestling nate back at the old house and you always kicking nates ass and i would just sit there and watch and pray i wasn’t next haha! My thoughts and prayers are with you! I am so blessed to have had you in my life! Love you momma!

    • The BROAD says:

      Hey Matt, It’s great to hear from you. I hope that life is going well for you. I have recently been back in touch with your Mom and that’s a good feeling. For clarification we met you in 2nd grade. Now you’re OLD! Thank you for following along and thank you for your encouraging words. I could be this strong without such great support. Tell your Dad and brother I say hello and send my hugs. As for you; keep your head on straight, your chin up, and live life to the fullest. Always, Momma W

  14. robert ballard says:

    ursula i still have not missed many words in your fantastic stories

    • The BROAD says:

      Pepaw you are wonderful. I am so impressed and touched that you have followed The BROAD since the beginning. I have missed y’all for many years but life is what it is. Now that I’m back ‘home’ so to speak, I have enjoyed our visits and I’m sure there will be many more. I used to love coming the your house when I was a kid and I had a lot of fun even if there were some typical family “stuff”. You’re a great grandfather and I’m blessed to have you and honored that you follow my story. I love you very much! Your Piss Ant, Ursula Marie

  15. Christene Zupan says:

    Dear Ursula,
    We never met but I’ve been following you through Cheryl Robish. Cheryl and I met through a riders group after obtaining our M-class. I read about your accident from Cheryls posts. My whole body filled with chills and tears and prayers for you and your family. Having lost my love, my best friend last year who was taken from us by a truck who hit him as he was riding, the news of your accident left me breathless. Reading about your recovery and your story about the accident and all you went through in the moments after struck my heart. You are a STRONG woman. All that you faced and how you express it all through your writing, is tragically beautiful. I want to possess a fragment of your strength. I hope I am able to meet you someday. I would give you the biggest hug. I hope you never stop writing. I pray for your recovery. I wish you tons of love. And I want to thank you for touching my life with your words and strength.

    • The BROAD says:

      Christene… Cheryl is one of my best girls and she’s an amazing support for me. I am so glad you found me here and congrats on the M-license. Thanks for the kind words on my writing and the encouragement in your message. I am sorry for the loss of your love and I am certain that pain is still difficult. We all have our struggles, but as long as we get to wake up the next morning we have the change to make our future even better than the day before. Perhaps a visit to IL will bring us together to swap those hugs! Hugs to You, Ursula

  16. Sytze Nauta says:

    Another beautifully written piece by The BROAD!! You might want to consider a book about this part of your journey. I too cried as I read this. Sounds like you have an amazing family supporting you. Godspeed and God Bless

    • The BROAD says:

      Hey Sytze – How are you? Yeah, I do have a great family, wonderful friends, and some amazing followers such as you that keep me inspired to keep progressing. Writing is therapy for me; I’ve been writing mostly poetry since I was pre-teen and have simply progressed in my age. I used to say I’d never publish anything because that would turn my passion into a job; but who knows – we shall see. If I was ever to have the capital to pay somebody to simply piece it all together and let me make sure it’s accurate, that would be a better deal for me. It already takes me 2-3 days to put one of these stories together. I write, I read, I forgot something, I go back, I see the pictures and I forgot something else – plus, I can’t sit still long enough to type the whole thing at once anyway. And I hate typos so read it a dozen times over and again (but typos still happen all the same). Glad to hear from you; looking forward to more. Peace, U

  17. Randy says:

    You are one amazing woman!!! I hope for you a speedy recovery. God Bless

  18. Steve says:

    Girl you do have a gift. Your story comes through so well and we can all but see all you have gone through with your ability to describe not only the physical but the mental aspects of what you are going through. You continue to amaze and inspire. Your work may be a virtual assistant but the virtual work you are doing with this blog is so much more. We all are learning with you how much certain things in our lives that we take for granted become so important when their presence in our lives is threatened. I have never been much of a reader in my life, I always reverted to watching things on tv. But when I sit down and read your additions to your blog, I am captivated and cannot stop until the passage comes to an end. I I sit back and say, what’s next? Seeking to hear and read more. Do not short change yourself, although you are the one physically going through this journey, we are sharing and FEELING it with you. And I understand why so many say they cry, however as for myself, I feel bad for you and sympathize with all the pain , suffering and difficulty that you are going through, One thing still shines through…I still see a strong vibrant and determined woman who is not about to let this hold her back from following her dreams. I also see a woman who had a very broad vision prior to this accident, but whose eyes have been opened wider than they ever were before as a result of this detour in your journey as you so aptley state. The road ahead for you holds so much more and I for one cannot wait to hear more from you and learn how to have a brighter and broader vison in my life as well. And no the Broader term was not a pun!! It was there and had to use it!! Keep up the great work U. And now I return you to your regularly scheduled life. God Bless. And as always, Hugs to you as well.


    PS, You broke one record already in leaving the hospital sooner than has ever been done before…what’s next??

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you Steve. You have been one of my long time followers and I appreciate that. It’s always great to hear from you. I do appreciate your encouraging words and I’m proud that my detour has opened some eyes to what was once a no-brainer and has now become a challenge. I’ve never been much of a reader myself; too much energy and can’t sit still that long… but writing, that is like therapy for me. I don’t sit still long enough to a whole story at once; takes me a few days to finish one of these. You are so kind to keep following the journey and I am always glad to see your name pop up. Big Hugs, U

  19. Tracie says:

    Hey Ursula, we met a few years ago in Mackinac at Timbers. The group of us have been following your FB and blog ever since. You’ve been in our thoughts and prayers. You are a very eloquent writer and thank you for sharing your story. So glad you will have many many more chapters go write.

    • The BROAD says:


      Were you part of the group partying with Kim? I was only there one night and I can’t of any other group I met. That was a helluva good night; a memory to last a lifetime. Thanks for being out there and in my corner. Great to hear from you.

      Peace, U

  20. Kimberly says:

    I am trying to find the words to express what an inspirational and motivating individual you are. I do not know you but I heard of your story through a friend on FB…Debbie Nelson whom I have known for over 30 years and you met through Ursulas group. I have been reading posts regarding your horrible accident and loss of your leg…..however after reading in detail what you have gone through I sit her like a child crying…..I suffered the loss of my husband 13 years ago and struggle every day to move forward without him but the thing that consistently made my life worth living has been my children…..they are my world as your son has been yours. However your words detailing every struggle you have encountered and overcame and even what your son, family and friends have endured just as a support system has made me realize I have lost nothing that I cant get back. I have failed myself by not moving forward….you have lost a limb and must learn to walk and ride again….just differently. You still have the stregnth and determination and wont let anything stop you. Thank you for sharing your story with such detail so that others like myself can see we cant just give up on life…..we may just have to live life a little differently. God bless you on this new journey who knows this may just be the journey you were meant to take to help others. Many people have horrible things happen to them but how often do you hear of them being as inspirational as you……without even trying.

    • The BROAD says:

      Gee Whiz Kimberly, I don’t really know what to say. I can’t thank you enough for all the kudos. Debbie is a sweet lady and I’m so glad you found me through her. Honestly, I probably could do this on my own, but having neat people out there like you to keep inspiring me and keep encouraging me, makes the struggle a little more bearable. Knowing that so many others have found my challenges and my sharing an inspiration to them simple makes me proud. If this is the destiny that God chose for me; who am I to argue – I certainly can’t change it back now can I? You get out there and live your life. You had a wonder 13 years and obviously have children than have helped you in life. Now turn the page; find another if you so choose and while he won’t be the same, he can be a salvation. I wish you all that God has to offer and the strength to accept it. I look forward to hearing about your future journey as well; please keep me posted. Peace, U

  21. Bonny Varela-Cosentino says:

    Ya know, I’ve gone thru stage 3 ovarian cancer, 40 hours of chemo at 5 hours a round, lost all my hair, lost a twenty year marriage and my home…and it seems like a cake walk after all you’ve been through. Much love to you and stay strong!

    • The BROAD says:

      No way Bonny – seems to me you have had your share of struggles and we cannot compare apples to oranges. Let us just know that God has given us each the challenges he thought we could handle and from which he expects us to overcome and encourage others. I am sorry for your struggles yet glad to see you have come through them and are still here to help encourage me. Keep your chin up and fight every day for a better tomorrow. Peace, U

  22. sassymopar says:

    I can’t stop rereading….and crying again….(also have leaky eye problem!).
    My youngest son who moved back to Missouri with his Dad will be here next week. He’s 17 and a new driver…I want him to read this story in hopes that in his ‘new driving experience’ it will stick with him in his impatience while driving and maybe, if even only once (hopefully more than!) remind him of the importance of patience and caution on the road, behind big trucks or bikes, or behind ANYONE in any situation….in hopes that he never is in the position that Anthony is in due to a careless, impatient decision while driving and affect someone’s life forever!

    I admire your tenacity and optimism as you recover and looking forward to driving down for that hug!

    • The BROAD says:

      DeAna – I think it would be a great story for your son to read. Present it to him not as a preacher would give a sermon but as a mother that wants the best for her son. It could probably be a lesson and if it sticks with him, he could not only save a lot of money in speeding tickets and court fees, but he could save a life. My son used to be a speed demon and corrected that behavior for the most part even before my accident but guaranteed he’s far more aware now. Congrats on having a beautiful 16 yo son… that alone is a challenge from which we learn a great deal – I remember those years ;-)~ Whew – Survived that too – hehehehehe!

      Thanks for sticking with me and I look forward to that hug! Bring your boy!

  23. Timm says:

    I’ve been following your ordeal for some time now, as some members of WCMC I consider good friends. while I was in Sturgis I had brought up your story to a group of Australians who were staying in the same campground. so news of your accident has now gone global! your strength and courage in dealing with this is an inspiration to all. I sincerely wish you a speedy recovery to get back in the wind and carry on with your venture.

    • The BROAD says:

      Very cool Timm – well, I guess – all things considered (*tilts head with a quirk* – hehehehe). This should have been my first Sturgis; guess I’ll have to wait for the 75th anniversary. Australians huh?? I have one dude on FB that follows The BROAD, also from Australia. Funny how the internet reaches people and used for the great good can really help folks in all manners of life. I appreciate your kind words and I look forward to hearing from you more in the future. Peace, U

  24. Edward Cich says:

    Thank You, you are an inspiration to us all

  25. Rick Brocato says:

    As your story always touches me, this part touched me very deeply–in the center of my soul. Loss, pain, confusion, resolve, forgiveness, happiness, love–what an emotional roller coaster it was Ursula. This part of your journey gave me tears and chills, made me smile, and gave me hope–your gift, out of your tragedy. You’re a courageous and loving person, lady B. Thank you for being you. God bless.

    • The BROAD says:

      I’m very proud that my story has touched you in so many ways. Writing not only tells a story but it is therapy for me and honestly (let me be selfish a moment) I could do this with mere family and friends, but having so many folks in the world that find inspiration and send me prayers and encouragement is actually a huge gift to me and helps me continue to strive for more. Thanks for coming along on the detour and I look forward to hearing from you often. Peace, U

  26. Skip Helseth says:

    Peace be with You 🙂 God Bless and you will always be in our Prayers.

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you Skip. Peace be with you as well. I have another surgery in a few more weeks and recovery from that before I can even begin to think about physical therapy; so please keep the prayers coming. Peace to you and yours. Ursula

  27. Mary says:

    Your an amazing person and I wish all the best in your recovery . Thank you for sharing your story .

    • The BROAD says:

      I appreciate your kind words Mary and I’m doing my best to recover. It’s not over yet so there will be more stories to follow. Hope you’ll stick with me through this detour.

  28. Jon says:

    Ursula, I got news of this in Sturgis. Thank you for sharing this with us. You are a tough lady with a great family. Heal fast girl. An amazing story, I cried half way through to the end.

    • The BROAD says:

      WOW!! I wonder how you heard of it in Sturgis or from whom? I appreciate your well wishes and look forward to hearing from you as I take this detour on my journey. Peace, U

  29. Pamela says:

    Reading this made me cry at work! You’ve been through so much and still have that fantastic sense of humor! Your strength and resilience is amazing! You are a true badass and most importantly, my hero!!

    • The BROAD says:

      Awww – thanks a bunch for that Pamela. I’m no badass; just one determined BROAD – hehehehe! I’m glad you got several emotions out of the story. That is the intent is to show people in words all the aspects I live with. I appreciate you following along.

  30. Pauline Liszka says:

    You are a very strong and beautiful lady. Thanks for sharing your story which I read through my tears. Wishing you all the luck in the world. xx

  31. U-turn says:

    This morning I was thinking of my spine surgery last year and what it was like for me when I woke up in recovery. To me it was a huge deal for so many reasons. Looking back a year later it seems like it all went so fast, but realizing everything I had to go thru to get back to where I am now (even though I still have a long ways to go) it really has been a long road, but a really good one. I’ve gained a lot of appreciation for things, and found strength I didn’t know I had.
    While my experience was nothing compared to what you’re going thru, in a tiny way I can relate, and your struggles are putting a huge perspective on mine. Thank you for sharing this difficult but enlightening journey of yours with us. I look forward to watching your milestones as you create a new normal that you can thrive in as you define it

    • The BROAD says:

      Hey U,

      Thanks again for riding along w me on this journey. I’m glad to have you in my corner. Spine surgery… I can’t imagine. For me that might be worse if I weren’t able to move at all for a period if time. Part of why I wanted out of that dern hospital; I can’t sit still wo losing my mind. I suppose with any major physical debility we will learn and appreciate those things we once took for granted. For those fortunate not to experience such things, it’s hard for them to imagine. As you are glad to share my story; I too am glad to share yours.

      Peace And Hugs, U

  32. Kim LeMere says:

    I first started to follow you when you found Scotty. I also had an accident, such as yours, 6/4/04, however, I worked in the Rehab Dept of the hospital that I came to in after 5 days and was wheeled out one week later to go home. Catching up with you today after being given an amazing trip to Sturgis. A place I was taken to nine weeks after my life changed. A place where I was able to breathe and prepare for more change to come. There’s a magic in them Black Hill’s that can’t be told about and can only be felt. I can really relate to your words as though they were my own. I have had you in my heart and prayers with never a doubt that your determination, independence, love for life and journey had hit a big curve somewhat like myself to be nurtured into anew.

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you for your encouragement. I’m sorry to hear if your accident but glad to see that you’ve overcome it through the years. This should have been my first Sturgis. Perhaps I’ll ride in for the 75th anniversary. I guess we shall see. I hope to hear from as the detour of my journey continues. Peace, U

  33. irene michalski says:

    I lost the love of my life as a drunken 20 year old hit him head on as he was on his way home from our sons on april 1 2012. That following august 5th which is our anniversary I too went down. I was hurt and its still a hard recovery in so many ways. I also have a girlfriend who lost her leg years ago in a bike wreck. Praise God for both of you. You are t strongest women I have ever known. Your story touched my heart and I’m feeling like a big crybaby right now. We dnt really know each other b we r all sistas. You have a wonderful story. It shld b published for the world to see. I just know God has great plans for you in this life. God speed your recovery and God bless you & your family & your beautiful son.

    • The BROAD says:

      Irene it seems that God keeps testing your faith much like mine. I am proud to say that I think we are doing well in taking on his challenges and continuing to love the life he has given us. It is not easy to lose somebody you love, nor watch your friend suffer, and certainly not easy to attempt one’s on self reconstruction and recovery both physically and mentally. We sistas shall keep the faith and keep fighting the good fight not only for ourselves but for the benefit of others to learn humility and appreciation. Many hugs, U

  34. Dave says:

    You are so amazing! I love how to wrote your story! Tears and laughter all while reading this!

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you so much Dave. I feel as if writing is a form of therapy for me. I want folks to understand the good and bad that goes with any struggle. If we only focus on the good folks are falsely led to believe that it’s a piece of cake; if we only focus on the bad folks are led to believe it’s non-recoverable and worthless. Life is all about balance and believe me with only one leg, I am learning a thing or two about balance. Hugs, U

  35. Lynn says:

    I woke up this morning before 8,to jack hammers tearing up my street,with eyes barely open I got on line and this is the first thing I saw. WOW!!!!! I was upset because my “beauty rest” was disrupted(and we know how I feel about that,lol). Needless to say once again you have put things into perspective for me and you didn’t even try. Your words always take me to the exact place and time you are writing about, I feel as though I am there and experiencing things with you.When we speak to each other you amaze me but your written words take me elsewhere.This “grasshopper” is so lucky to have you in her life and as her “teacher” Love you.

  36. Terry Rheuark says:

    This really got to me, reading about the emotions of your son and Anthony made a knot in my stomach from a mamas perspective. The hurt felt by your son is something nobody wishes for their child. And the young man who hit you will live with his actions the rest of his life. Nowhere in his mind would he have thought that he was about to alter so drastically and irrevocably your life. In an instant your whole world was changed. I pray for your healing, mind, body and spirit. I also pray for the healing of soul for Anthony.

  37. Staci says:

    Thank you for sharing. You are an amazing person. Courageous, talented, smart and beautiful. An inspiration. Peace be with you. Hugs and prayers.

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