Sunday, September 28, 2014

Down Time and If She Could Speak, The Stories She'd Tell

I'm off from work this next week on vacation and what a beautiful week of weather it looks to be. I'm also still very much sidelined as I recover from my bike crash last Monday night.

I get a little frustrated thinking about the riding or outside yard work I'm missing out on but rather than focus on those two wants I'm choosing to count my blessings instead.

I'm sitting out on the deck with the pups at my feet and feeling no pressures from my to-do list. It's kinda nice.

I tried to come off my pain meds after two days but soon realized they prescribe them for a reason and went back on them. I'm getting around much better now and being mobile is as important as any other part of my healing process because I really don't need another DVT (blood clot) developing in one of my legs from all of this sitting around. My exercise consists of a daily 1.5-mile loop with the pups. This is as sedentary as I get!

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor on Friday. He went through my ER report with me then asked me for my explanation of what happened. "I fell asleep on my bike and crashed" I replied. I could tell from his sideways look that he wasn't buying it. "You fell asleep while out riding your bike? does that happen?" I went on to explain that had it not happened to me I'd be skeptical as well but I can think of no other explanation. I told him how I don't have any memory of the immediate moments leading up to the crash but that I was very much awake just before the crash and for all points afterward. Had I passed out while riding I can't imagine I'd come to just prior to hitting the deck. He nodded in agreement. He said he was concerned about some kind of seizure but after hearing how conversant I was right away after the crash he ruled that out. Had I experienced a seizure it likely would've taken much longer for me to be as communicative as I was. He would eventually come to agree that falling asleep is the most likely cause, as odd as it sounds.

He had his nurse perform an EKG on me and said that when I heal up he'd like to have me follow-up with a treadmill stress-test.

My MacBook Pro is over 4 years old and showing signs of its age. I spent yesterday going through it and removing some dead weight that's been slowing it down. More importantly, though I got the PC side of it humming! That alone was worth all the time I spent putzing with it.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago about the recent sinking (in a training exercise) of the ship I served on while in the Navy. I came across a video of its sinking this past week; a video that I sort of didn't want to see but at the same time, had to see. She withstood a lot for not putting up a fight before going under.

I would've so much preferred if she'd been turned into a memorial or attraction as is sometimes done with retired ships. They could've used it as a recruiting tool in some port city that could accommodate a ship its size. I would've loved the opportunity to make a trip and go visit it, no matter where and walk its decks again and tap into so many memories that I'm afraid may now be out of reach.

As I watch the video below I can't help but visualize the stark contrast between the vibrant ship I once called home with the one being pummeled. I think back to the barbecues we'd have on the fantail to break up the routine of being out at sea for weeks on end or the rare Shellback initiations that played out on her decks over the decades. I think of all of the ports she visited and the many sailors' memories she's a part of and I think to myself, if she could speak, the stories she'd tell.

But retiring her in a setting where she could speak of an era gone by wasn't to be and I'm saddened by that. This wasn't the ending that either I or any of the tens of thousands of men who served on her ever hoped for.

Valiant Shield 2014 SINKEX from on Vimeo.


Jackie said...

So happy you are getting around better and on your way to healing from your accident. I know it is hard to sit around and do nothing when you are so used to having everything in order. You and I are alike in that way. The bottom line is it will wait for you. I know it's not easy! But so glad you are coming around.

Kevin Gilmore said...

Thanks, Jackie!

I shouldn't have but I was out on my riding mower this afternoon getting the grass mowed and leaves vacuumed up for the trash hauler tomorrow. I'm really paying a price for it now. I suck terribly at recuperating.

As I type this it's been one week to the hour since my crash. I really messed up. If nothing else it gives me a renewed appreciation for my health.

Jackie said...

Isn't that the truth! We have no idea what it is to be without our good health until something happens. I am so grateful for all the years I had no issues. I can really appreciate my health now and also understand a bit more of what others must go through when they have health struggles. It is not easy. Hang in there, bro. We love you and are praying and thinking all good things for you!

Kevin Gilmore said...