Broken Back Lesson Leave Lifting Motorcycle Trailers to “Dolly”
I’ve not written for a few weeks as I’ve had an accident and it’s been truly difficult coping.Three weeks ago while preparing to leave for my first Ducati Owners Club (DOCC) track day on Mosport race circuit, I attempted to lift my single axle fully loaded trailer. I needed to lift it and move it back just a bit to manoeuvre the dolly under the trailer hitch in order to move the trailer to my Jeep’s hitch.
On my third and last attempt, I gave it my all and gave it a massive lift. While doing so I heard, or felt within my body a “SNAP -CRACK!” and down I went to my knees. It took my breath away! I couldn’t catch it and felt a frightening, excruciating pain in my back. I thought that this was likely a temporary pain, you know, the kind you experience when you stub your toe. That this pain would subside in a few minutes. But it didn’t. I could not get up off the ground. It continued to be difficult to breathe and I began to feel nauseated. It was that moment I realized this was bad.
As I was in an isolated area and alone, I heard the neighbour next yard over so I started yelling for help. He ran over and called 911. Within minutes I could hear sirens in the distance and as they approached I realized, they were for me. A big fire truck arrived followed by an ambulance. Surrounded by SEVEN (rather handsome) male paramedics and firemen. They seemed to looked at me in wonder questioning why I had even contemplated the fact that I could such a heavy trailer. The worse part was standing up to get lifted to their ambulance bed – the pain!
So there I was, waiting in emergency on Friday just before lunchtime, with only my car/house keys with me, waiting and waiting to be attended to—the pain ever-present. This happened at 11.30am and I finally received an x-ray at 18.45—the entire time I lay in a hospital bed, on my side, in excruciating pain wondering what I had done to myself.
Crushed Fractured Lumbar Ended Riding Season
X-ray showed I fractured a bone in my spine. The pressure of the trailer during my lift was too much for my back to handle. The pressure actually crushed and fractured the L2 lumbar bone on the upper right side; in the Lumbar section. I was instructed that I needed to give it six weeks to heal. In that moment, all changed for me. I’d lost my independence, my mobility.
As I could barely walk and was taken home by two of my dear friends – I needed their support. The days that followed found me bed-ridden, I could only walk with the use of a cane and then only temporarily. I had to avoid movement for the bone fracture to heal. But even so, the pain guided me to stay still.
Now three weeks later, with another check up and set of X-ray’s with my orthopedic surgeon verified the crushed and fractured lumbar bone, L2 needed six weeks to mend. This was for the average person. lifting, jumping, running or motorcycle riding! though this reality was hard to swallow, I understood and accepted. I had to heal. If I didn’t heal properly, it would really be the end of mobility. So, I cancelled all motorcycle commitments. My per-arranged track training days, motorcycle instruction, everything. This eventually caused the end of my Ducati North America full sponsorship. Including my assigned Ducati 1098S. Oh now let me tell you about a different type of pain!
Now, while writing this, I report I’m able to walk now and since last Friday, carefully, drive my car so I am doing better.
It’s very difficult. The only way I’m able to cope is by avoidance. I avoided thoughts of motorcycling. Yes, it’s called living with the blinders on. The other coping method is denial, for I believe in three weeks the bone will have healed. I’ve been extra focused on enhanced diet, sleep, vitamins and mental power to ensure progressive healing.
So indeed, no matter what you think, leave lifting to… “dolly”!