Crash & Burn

Crash & Burn

I am typing this blog entry with my right hand only. Why? Let me explain...

On a sunny Sunday evening I decided to take my electric scooter for a spin. The sun was sinking leaving a red haze in the sky, there was a slight breeze and a comfortable 25 Celsius degrees. A perfect evening to cruise along the red stone mountain roads here in Marbella.

So I put on my helmet, put on my steady mountain shoes and my driving gloves. I unplugged my just fully loaded scooter battery and headed for the garage where I keep the scooter. I connected the battery and off I went.

I cruised out on to the street, past the golf courses and up to the hills. There was no cars around and I cruised at a steady 20 km/h. The sun was now reaching the mountain tops, and threw long shadows over the houses and farm lands. In the horizon the sea glittered.

And then I felt a bump.

My front wheel went up in the air due to speed bump I hadn't noticed.

I managed to regain some control in the air but when the wheel again touched the ground I immediately felt something was wrong and the scooter started to wiggle uncontrollably. At that point I knew I was going down one way ore the other.

I started to break but a second later something hit the front wheel and the scooter leaned left. And so I fell and everything went black for a second.

I woke up in the middle of the street my head resting on my left arm. When I opened my eyes I could see a bone protruding from my left arm and my fingers felt numb. An adrenaline shock must have hit me and I just got up and looked around.

Nobody around. Fuck.

Time to asses the damage. I knew I needed a hospital and fast if I wanted to save my hand. I tried to move my fingers and they barely moved. Everything else seemed okay though, except some road burns on my right hand and my right ribs were pounding. I must have hit the scooter on my right side when falling.

So my #1 priority became to find some help.

I started walking.

I don't know how long I had walked in the middle of the road, my vision getting a bit blurry, feeling the numbness spread in my left hand and blood dripping on the road. I desperately halted down the road and prayed that someone, anyone would drive by.

In the distance I could faintly spot a few cars parked and a few guys, probably in their twenties, just chilling there, having a smoke and probably talking about girls and parties.

I dragged my feet and as fast I could I aimed for them while at the same time leaning into my scooter as I walked. When I arrived I must have given them a fright of their life.

After the guys saw the situation they jumped into action. They took my scooter into one car and put me in the front seat of the other. The scruffiest guy of them, with tats all over his body jumped behind the wheel and we were off to the hospital.

From that drive I remember just a few things, the clicking of warning blinkers, and the speed of the car moving though the mountain road toward the hospital.

Thankfully the hospital was only a 15 minute drive away and the next thing I remember is me laying on the ER table while a handful of doctors and nurses is trying to assess the situation.

After that pain. Painkillers, shots and a drip. More Pain.

Next a surgeon was pulling my fingers to mush with rope tied around his waist to straighten my hand-bones back straight. Nurse looks horridly at my hand. my hand all blue. I scream of the pain. I black out.

I wake up the observation ward, doctor asks me to sign papers for surgery. Asks if I am willing to receive blood if surgery goes awry. I ask what is the alternative, he just looks at me with a blank stare. I sign the papers.

A few hours pass, I sleep.

The next morning I am rolled into surgery. Doctor says I've lost a lot of bone so they need to pin my wrist and hand bones with screws and metal plates. More papers to sign. I am rolled to surgery.

Anesthesia kicks in. The world goes black.

I dream about the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. He grins at me with that sly smile. Sometimes I think I wake up to only find the reality is not real. Finally I wake up in the waking room and I have to ask where I am. Everything seems so confusing,

Slowly I get my marbles coordinated with reality and they wheel me into the ward where I spend the next four days.

And here I am now, happy to be home but with my left hand in a package for months. I still don't know what will become of the hand. At least I will need one more surgery, but doctors are still unsure if it ever will go back to normal. Time will tell. Now I am now just taking it one day at a time hoping for a full infection free recovery.

Did I learn anything?

I learned that even if you buy all the protective gear you can find something might always go wrong.

I was lucky that the kids here in Spain are well brought up and helped me to the hospital. Without them I might not have made it in time to even have a chance of full recovery.

I was also lucky nothing else went awry.

My advice to others are be curious and explore what the world have to offer, but always minimize the risks somehow. This was my first fracture in almost 40 years so I am hoping the next 40 years would go the same way using this strategy.

Take care,


John with arm cast After getting out of the hospital

MRI MRI of the damage