Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A Spectacular Afternoon.

I sent a letter to my colleagues this weekend explaining why I won’t be back at work for several weeks:  

I was lying on my back unable to move staring at the lovely blue sky and white clouds and all I could think was “How does the tunnel of white light appear?” I never lost consciousness as I approached the white Sedan which suddenly and inexplicably pulled into Highway One as I approached at a steady 45 mph. I was in a line of cars and trucks driving to Key West and as I live on Spanish Main I had barely started my commute as I pulled abreast of the intersection at the Square Grouper at the group speed driving the limit of 45 mph. 

I knew I was going to hit the car with my Burgman 200 scooter and all I could do was try to slow down as much as possible in the few feet remaining. The scooter stopped and I levitated. All I could see was a kaleidoscope of white car as I spun around my legs flung so wide I split my pelvis in three places. I broke my right thigh in two places and I caused minor cracks in my left shoulder and right knee. 

I lay there unable to move never mind get up. I felt like I was morphing into Kafka’s beetle as I prepared to meet my Maker. Civilians crowded around as we waited for Rescue and I shouted out to call my wife and I yelled her number as loud as I could. She could hear me in the background yelling to tell her I loved her as the stranger told her of my condition. She understood I thought it was curtains.

Then I started to worry about shift coverage. I kid you not. I did the same yelling to get someone to
call dispatch and tell them I wouldn’t be in. I hate being relieved late and it was all I could think as I lay on the hot asphalt. 
My right leg felt funny like it was raised in the air on a spring and I couldn’t move it. I asked the stranger leaning over me if my leg was in the air and he looked puzzled. and shook his head. I was suddenly afraid I had half amputated it....
Then I relaxed nothing left to do, and as the awfulness of my situation sank in I started to feel alone, I was feeling colder so I knew I was losing blood ( a lot it later turned out)and simply put I didn’t want to die alone but no one would take my hand - too much blood they said and recoiled. So there I lay in a circle of strangers waving my bloody hand feebly in the air waiting for the for the Grim Reeper to you come and get me. I wondered idly what he journey to the afterlife might be like. For a traveler like me all journeys hold at least some interest. 

Then the first responders showed up and everything became efficient. I was conscious breathing and alert. They put me on a backboard and wondered out loud about my internal
Bleeding status. I got my bag and my phone and is what I do best: remember the moment:Image
I don’t usually take selfies but the seemed special suddenly. The ambulance ride was agony as from
The waist down I was a jumbled painful wreck. Getting into the air ambulance was terrifying as the stretcher felt it was being canted to the left as they slid my 280 pounds into the tiny cabin. Image

The cabin was tiny and I could count he dimples in the plastic roof liner a foot above me hear. The shock was wearing off and the pain was replacing it. Dull throbbing insistent pain as though my waist had been run over by a road roller. That flight from Summerland to Jackson South was the longest flight of my adventurous life. God bless the sheriff for offering it and saving us from predatory bills. Image

Soon enough I was in care. My blood was too thin from al the blood loss for immediate surgery but they did a CAT scan and found Internal bleeding hence the bags of bloood hanging over my head. The surgeon eased my pain by drilling through flesh and bone in my thigh, which hurt like an unmentionable and stretched the bones back into place which gave immediate relief. Right there in my room like a MASH unit. Thank you Dr Hernandez. 


They have fixed my femur in a six hour operation and Tuesday I get my pelvis repaired. And then weeks of hobbling and rehab I’m told as I look for a replacement scooter. 
All best wishes 
Michael Beattie 
Comm 2 Bravo Nights. 


Unknown said...

Holy cow! The best I can offer is that I'm glad you're here to share the tale!

I wish you the best possible outcomes with the pending surgery. One of the members of our local moped club (true mopeds) was hit by and inattentive driver had had to be retrofitted with most of an Erector Set to get him ambulatory again. He did go back to riding as well...keep that positive attitude!

You have a good dog to keep you company, so you have that to look forward to as well.

It's a bit disheartening that none of the onlookers would step up and make that basic human connection in your time of need. Perhaps the fear of causing further injury in an often litigous society was holding them back?

That element of your experience reminded me of an experience on the road to Hana twenty years ago, where a local's Toyota pickup had broken a tie rod and rolled onto its side after striking an embankment. The driver's arm was caught under the door. I was behind him, so I pulled over to help right the truck and free the driver. Being a tourist destination and a narrow road, the accident quickly halted traffic. Though several folks stepped up to right the truck, I remember being bumped by passing cars driven by people who were too invested in their vacation to wait for us to right the truck, much less lend a hand. I was disappointed in people then and I'm sorry you were shown similar dispassion.

I'll be sharing your story with my local club and thank you again for sharing the experience.

Steve Williams said...


I sent an email to you but wanted to say here you are a fortunate man. Glad you kept the reaper away and have retained your sense of humor about the episode. It’s reflected in your excellent writing.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!


Doug Bennett said...

Sorry Michael. I don't know what else to say. You know from my blog that I have had both knees and the right ankle replaced. They can do wonderful things in medicine. Time will tell.
Love you man,
Keep up the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Michael, My mother was known to say "All things happen for a reason," but I can't for the life of me think of a reason this would happen to you. I, too, am glad you held the reaper at bay and have retained your sense of humor. Speedy recovery to you and we look forward to updates of this journey you're on,albeit an unexpected one. Damn that Overseas Highwy! KWBound

Conchscooter said...

Thank you all

Mike Ward said...

WOW, Your guardian being was working overtime on that ride.

May your recovery be swift and that you are soon back to your adventures.

Best wishes from here in the UK

MyamuhNative said...

So sorry to hear about this. Wishing you a rapid recovery.

Jay Dulaney said...

Sorry, Michael, you didn’t deserve this. After your recently completed, safe journey was completed, fate decided to deal you a bad hand. Glad you got the care you did, and now, be patient, be still, appreciate the people who will help you deal with this (nurses are noble human beings) and take stock of all the stuff that makes life worthwhile. Use this time to your advantage if you can. Philosophy and positive thoughts are all I have to offer you now, so here’s hoping your recovery is complete and speedy, and that your attitude stays strong. Your blog has always been a bright spot in my day, thank you for making my quality of life a little better. Jay

SalParadise said...

Hey Michael please update us on you recovery. I am sure this continues to suck. But the main thing; you will be back in a few months.Patience and rest are needed. May your mind be peaceful and your pain mild.

Anonymous said...

You are too tough to stay down for long. Be well and heal fast.

Randy said...

Michael, I’m very sorry to hear of this terrible accident. Prayers for good US medical care and a quick recovery! Glad that it did not happen on your recent trip to Niagara Falls and in Canada as I remember your post about the nightmare of getting care across the border. Take care

Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear of the accident and injuries! What an awful and traumatic experience. Thoughts and prayers are with you for a quick recovery. Get well soon.

Huntington, NY

Anonymous said...


Your excellent daily blogs have made a lot of people, including myself, very happy for a long time. Although it is unlikely we will ever meet, because of them I think of you as a friend. No doubt so do thousands of your readers with whom you have shared your life. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, as well those of countless others, and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Very best wishes,

SonjaM said...

It takes a lot of force to break the strongest bone in your body. Well done, Michael. I guess the poor scooter didn't survive your stunt? All joking aside, I am wishing you a speedy and not too painful recovery. Please keep us updated.

Dave/fledermaus said...

Geeze, what a crash. Glad you're here to tell about it. Thought we were getting a near death experience narrative for a minute there. Glad it wasn't worse....though pelvic fractures are bad enough. I hope your surgery goes well today and you get bolted back together decently. You may have to add a couple of pounds to your weight estimates.....

Sorry it had to happen to you. Hope it's a relatively fast and painless recovery.



RichardM said...

I'm glad to see that you still have your sense of humor. I hope the surgery goes well and keep the updates coming...

Ken said...

Ouch!!!!! That hurt me all the way up here in St. Pete. I hope you are in Baptist Hospital as they used to serve beer to your guest. Then again you probably don't want guests yet.
Recover soon!!!!

sandi said...

oh michael.. so sorry to read this... that was quite a crash.... thank you for letting us all know..listen to your medical team!!!!

David Masse said...

Michael, you are living proof that good karma can help to allow you to survive a horrific crash like that.

I am so relieved that you are going to be OK.

The moto-bloggosphere is not doing so well of late. Let's hope that this horrible accident marks the end of a streak.

Take good care!

Anonymous said...

….well, at least you won't have to purchase a new muffler!

David L said...

You don’t know me but I’ve read your blog most days for the better part of two years. I enjoy your stories of life in the keys, walking Rusty and just life observations in general. I’m sending good thoughts and vibes for a speedy recovery my friend.

Charleston, SC

Anonymous said...

Yikes! I just discovered your blog today so it is a shock to see this. Let people take care of you for a while, though it sounds like that will be difficult.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the detailed description of your accident it will hopefully save us all from going through it !!!
Only you could have described it so clearly
We are all wishing you a speedy recovery and hope it won’t be to long until you are back walking rusty
Michael Webber (Wales)

Conchscooter said...

I am touched by your comments and expressions of concern and your warm feelings for someone many of you have never met: me!
We shall go forward together in a spirit of friendship and good will making the best of what had been a rather bad situation and I shall do my best to offer you all words and pictures that focus on love and affection not the macabre of the past few days.

Perry said...

So sorry to read about your accident, Michael. You don’t know me, but I have faithfully read your blog for six years, so I feel like I know you very well. No doubt your tumble has made a lot of us sad. I look forward to your recovery. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Get well soon, blog photographer extraordinaire dude.

Suekel said...

Wow! I am so terribly sorry to hear of your accident and injuries. Please know I am sending you many get well wishes from TX. Although I know that healing needs to be your top priority, I hope you will update this blog with how you are doing when you can. Good thoughts to you.

Anonymous said...

Michael, RustyJ over on BurgmanUSA let us know about your mishap. Best wishes and a speedy recovery. I kind of know what your going thru but my broken pubic bones were aligned enough they did not need surgery. I was in a walker for 6 weeks before I could walk with a cane. DaveJ

unknowitall said...

Michael, as many have said before me, I look forward to, and am grateful for, your daily words and pictures. I am so very sorry to hear about your accident but am happy you are still among us. I wish you a thorough and speedy recovery. I will keep you, your wife, and Rusty in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

From southeast Michigan, I wish you a speedy and complete recovery. I was stunned when I read your blog. Best to your wife and rusty. Lots of love and good thoughts from a northern reader.

Native Floridian said...

Hi Michael, I'm sorry to hear about your accident. I can't mention it to my wife as she already worries about my riding. In my search for a new & lighter ride I took your advice and gave the KTM a whirl. It was powerful enough but had too much of that 'thumper' vibration in the grips and probably other areas of my body after a long ride. I test rode the four bikes below at the dealerships and have made an agreement to buy a 2015 Yamaha MT-07 from a private individual who lives on Long Island. Put a deposit, bought a plane ticket and will fetch it soon. I really liked the MT-09 but they went for a good bit more used and I had to remind myself that the MT-07 was perfectly adequate and also pleasingly powerful and of course, yes, more money did not need to be spent. Oh I left you a reply on your NE Florida ride a couple of blogs prior before I knew about your accident. Take care and a speedy recovery. Cheers!
Honda VFR800 520lb wet (former ride)
Suzuki SV650 437lb wet
Yamaha MT-07 399lb wet
Yamaha MT-09 414lb wet
KTM 390 Duke 338lb wet

Unknown said...

Hope your doing well and that the surgery you had will be a good outcome. I have been reading your blog for the last few years and look forward to it and seeing pics of Rusty. I wish you a speedy recovery.Please updated on your progress. Prayers to you .

Anonymous said...

I wish you a speedy recovery,

Unknown said...

Shocked to learn today of your misadventure. I affirm and join in with all the comments and good wishes from your friends and loyal readers of your blog. Get-well-soon, but remember, "One step at a time" ---pun intended!

Conchscooter said...

I fixed the pictures for extra horror!