Not quite sure why I haven’t done this before..feels a bit weird but here we go…
Worked in the Oil Industry on a shore-based station building Oil Rigs etc. for the North Sea during the boom years of the 70’s. Was a welder, and used to go into work on a weeny little CB125 Honda. I was relatively late to biking (by my own reckoning) at the age of 18. Was travelling in to work on 18th April 1974 and it was a foggy morning. Had all the lights on, as usual, and thought nothing of it, other than the fact it was a s**t morning to go in on the bike, when I could have got a lift in a nice warm car (cue Twilight Zone music….)
I got clear of town and headed out to Ardersier (Whiteness Point actually…look it up on the map) on a dead straight road. Got about 1 mile out and everything stopped………..
Can only remember waking up lying on my back…with the feeling that someone had taken the sleeve of my Flying Jacket..poured petrol over it and set it on fire. I looked to my right and discovered that there were no flames…only an awfull lot of blood and a ‘Z’ shaped arm…Apparently I’d hit a 15cwt truck head-on. My arm had a compound fracture of the radius and ulna . I n real terms, my forearm had shattered and there were two bones sticking through my skin like an arrow-head with my wrist forced back about 6″ from its normal position from the end of my arm..and pulled round at a silly angle…miles from being straight. I had a broken collar bone and dislocated shoulder, 3 broken ribs, whiplash of the neck, I left several front teeth embedded in the A96, and a broken nose
Some nice helpful chap (well meaning, no doubt) took off my helmet after which, I decided that it’d be a bloody good idea to try and knock myself out by banging my head repeatedly on the road, as I was in such excruciating pain. After a totally unmeasurable period of time (it doesn’t exist when you’re in that kind of shock…) a local ambulance crew turned up, to take me off to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. Bill Hunter and Simon MacKenzie were their names (I learned afterwards) and those guys probably saved my life, bless them (I was glad to get the chance to thank them personally, later), although it’s their job..there are no words to convey your gratitude at being still alive, thanks to their inital care.
After a while in intensive care, which must have really scared the s**t out of a close and loving family, I ended up spending over 5 months in hospital. My consultant a Mr Morrison, who was an excellant Orthopaedic Surgeon, didn’t, I think, know a lot about BPI’s and although was very proficient in re-building my arm..was a bit out of his depth, when it came to nerve damage.
I get the feeling now, that, at the time, my injuries were such, that nothing might have been done to fix my damage.
The subject of grafts and stuff was never mentioned, I went Gartnavel Hospital for tests, but a doctor there (who I’d have loved to have had a pop at afterwards ) merely thumped me hard, on the top of my shoulder with his fist, which sent spasms of screaming pain through the right side of my body. He then asked me what I felt. After regaining some composure and wiping the tears out of my eyes, I told him that there was intense pain (did you hear the screaming *****?) and intensely uncomfortable pins and needles (which had me ‘on edge’ for the next several hours).he then basically told me that my arm was ***ed (thanks for breaking it to me gently) he went off like he didn;’t care or had a bus to catch..I was then ‘transferred’ to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary for one of those Lumbar Punctures (myelograms..or whatever they’re called) had a hollow 6″ nail pushed into my spinal cavity (after a local anaesthetic thankfully) which proved (on a TV screen) that my BP had been ripped out of my spine (wee pool of glowy fluid on x-ray m/c in shoulder area) So that was it…………
Spent years in physio..rehabilitaion centres..dead-end training courses..depression…near alchoholism…nearly convinced people I was going to India for a miracle cure MAN …while I was on Valium……did a runner at 4 am from hospital , because I was getting recurring nightmares about dying in there…gave the shrink a bit of overtime…but have come through it all…..almost in one piece, thanks to some bluddy good friends in the past, and a wonderful family in the past and present who have got my undying love and unlimited respect (YOU CANNOT DO IT ON YOUR OWN!) ,………..
The rest , as they say, is history.
I’m now committed to try and help others get through the crap, less
painfully and with more knowledgable support than I ever got!
Yeti / Ewan