21 and still going strong.

Martial Artist get sick, have accidents, become disabled. This forum will focus on how these individuals cope with their condition while staying active in the martial arts and while living life to the fullest. Administered by Sensei Bill Bauknecht. He's been there and doing great! (You don't need to register in order to post here!)

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21 and still going strong.

Postby Deep Sea » Thu Jan 02, 2003 2:01 am

Why it's my 21st anniversary and I almost forgot.

Tomorrow morning at 10:30 am, 21 years ago, I was hit from behind by a pickup truck and dragged over 100 feet before I was launched head-first into a stone-filled ditch after being impaled in the right lung by the front of the truck -- And lived to tell about it. Came out of a coma 3 days late to discover I had died and came back, but was paralyzed from he waist-down as a result of broken bones, spinal cord damage, and a head trauma.

21 years of hard work and I made it. 'taint been easy sometimes, but I'm walking again. Every year I light candles on the 2nd as a solemn requiem, one for each year I have managed to stay alive, at 10am on January 2nd.

It's good to be alive sometimes.
Always with an even keel.
-- Allen
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Postby f.Channell » Thu Jan 02, 2003 3:17 am

Allen,
You were running right? I always take extra caution when running since reading your story on your website.
Were you running with the traffic?
Odd that while exercising to get in better shape, something like that can happen.
Even with extra caution you can't fight fate.
I ended up in the hospital for a week while mountain biking with a head injury, some say my head is still screwed up. But I was worse before a Neurosurgeon told me to chill out, next time I may not be so lucky.
Pales in comparison to your story though, your a real survivor.
Glad to have you with us my friend.
F.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
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One Day at the Time.

Postby Deep Sea » Thu Jan 02, 2003 8:20 am

You were running right?

I just started our for my daily run and wasn’t even on the road yet.

I always take extra caution when running since reading your story on your website.

As far as I’m concerned, all the caution sometimes doesn’t mean squat – but don’t change your strategy. I only said that because in a few places car drivers would run over people on purpose. I remember when I lived in Charlotte NC there were several incidents with runners being run over on purpose, death resulting. I jumped out of the way of a motorist playing chicken, and once into a snow bank to avoid someone not paying attention. People didn’t have cell phones in those days and judging by the number of close calls I’ve had avoiding accidents with them while driving you should be extra careful of them.

Were you running with the traffic?
My normal mode was to run facing traffic. Bur I just started my run and was still considering a good place to do that. I was on a little dirt path outside the pavement of a road that was clearly painted with white lines to mark the edge of the lane. I was probably extra careful to be away from the blacktop that morning because the road was a sheet of black ice from the nighttime moisture.

And that’s what the problem was. The road was surrounded by tall pine trees to the east where I was and both sides before the bend in the road. The driver was driving at a certain safe speed facing into warming the sun that had melted the coating and turned it into a layer of water. When he turned the bend facing me the water turned to black ice because the pines blocked the warming rays of the sun, hit hid breaks to slow down when he realized it was black ice but it was too late. He lost control and went sliding off the road. Due to the gravity of the situation [pun], he kept going down the steep mountain slope and probably increased speed as well until he reached the dirt even though his brakes were locked.

Here’s something ironic. I had a friend about three apartments down and one floor above who was a professional semi-driver. He wasn’t around during Christmas time so I figured he was on the road. About two weeks earlier on the way home for Christmas, and descending a mountain pass with an empty box he jack-knifed and drove down the side of a slope until arrested by a stand of trees. I paid him a visit after I came home from the hospital and to my surprise saw him also in a wheelchair. We both laughed and then cried for a few minutes, and then settled into trading recent war stories. It didn’t take long to realize how fortunate I was because his spinal cord had been completely severed while, although the doctors told me I’d never walk again, and it was damaged, mine wasn’t. I saw him once after that. He became hostile and bitter. Somewhat so toward me because he ended up with the short end of the straw betwixt us two; but mostly so because he was grinding through the gears many of us who love life and enjoy and exploit the pleasures of being a whole person go through after waking up one morning being faced with major paralysis and the introduction of a wheelchair for life. I don’t think he survived surviving. I know I once seriously considered wheeling myself off a nearby suspension bridge but was able to pull myself out of it without telling anyone. I think my friend, whom his name I’ve long forgotten, didn’t have what it took to mentally give up what he no longer had and go forward from there. I think to watch him fail helped me not to because I didn’t want what I saw in him. I don’t mean to sound so caustic, but those days were rough, and

I’ve had my times too, but the name of the game was mental survival as well as physical. Either you make it or you don’t. Nothing less; nothing more.

Odd that while exercising to get in better shape, something like that can happen. Even with extra caution you can't fight fate.


I remember bench-pressing something like four 35# plates and no one was around, I mean the place was empty It was much too much weight and the bar laid across my chest for a long time slowly suffocating me as the strength to breathe lessened. As I was weakening I thought those exact same thoughts.

I ended up in the hospital for a week while mountain biking with a head injury, some say my head is still screwed up.


Oops. I won’t touch that one, friend.

But I was worse before a Neurosurgeon told me to chill out, next time I may not be so lucky.


Survival has a lot to do with the mental process. When I “died,” My spirit left the body and I visited my family. I was there because I was able to relate certain things that I could not have known about, later verified, if I was not there. It was during my visitation I decided my family needed me too much for me to die then. THAT’S the will to live. While there are those who poo-poo the idea of the soul and attribute the feeling of the separation of body and spirit to the release of the same drugs as those which are responsible for the runner’s high, I’m not sure that the release of those three endomorphines, responsible for making the transition from life to death easier, is the only thing going on, and may be a lubricant to help the soul slip out as well.

Pales in comparison to your story though, your a real survivor.


What’s a real survivor, Fred? I really don’t know. Read the accounts of the survivors of major ocean-liner disasters. Some can’t wait to jump while others are “scared” to jump and had to be coerced, forced, convinced, etc. to save themselves. Change the time of decision and/or incident and/or position on the ship and some of the quitters would be the survivors and vice versa. I think surviving is a thing of the moment and is unique with everyone of us. I only thank my family and friends, the Lord above, and a frog for seeing me through the tough times.

Glad to have you with us my friend.


Thank you, Fred. I have a special place in my heart for all those who attend the TC, and especially for Van. For even though I go out of my way to not get close to anyone I consider all of you “brothers.” Same for GEM and JaySal who have also entered my life in a positive way, and a few others outside the realm of Uechi and Karate as well.
Always with an even keel.
-- Allen
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Postby Akil Todd Harvey » Thu Jan 02, 2003 10:35 am

Very deep Deep,

Glad your still with us and expanding my horizons physically, mentally. psychically, and spiritually. Happy new year, from the left, err, West coast.

ATH
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Postby Guest » Fri Jan 03, 2003 5:03 am

Wow Allen. Awesome. Happy "Anniversary" and Happy New Year!
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21 and still going...

Postby chef » Fri Jan 03, 2003 3:01 pm

Allen, thanks for sharing. Obviously God had a very important plan for you to bring you back. I don't know you well but am so glad for you and your family that they got you back.

Obviously, you know what perseverance and patience is. I cannot imagine that long trail back to health and walking. Amazing how the mind can overcome the body.

Thank you for being such an active part of the forum. You always add good knowledgeable contributions to the sites.

And most important, Happy 21st Anniversary!

God bless and guide you in this New Year!

Vicki
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Postby Jackie Olsen » Sat Jan 04, 2003 3:15 pm

Congratuations, Allen,

You are truly an inspiration to all of us. Have a wonderful year!
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