Sleepless in Seattle, Thinking of Dezhou
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, USA - SUN 02 JUN 2002
GLOBERIDERS TOUR DAY NO: 26
DAYS SINCE LAST UPDATE: 9
TOTAL DRIVEN MILEAGE (me only): 740.1
TOTAL GASOLINE USED (me only): 20
TOTAL NO. OF AA BATTERIES USED (me only): 16
TOTAL AIRLINE MILEAGE (me only): 13,451
MILLIGRAMS OF IV MORPHINE (yours truly): 18
TABLETS OF OXYCODONE/APAP CONSUMED (yours truly): 72
TABLETS OF MORPHINE SULFATE CONSUMED (yours truly): 8
TABLETS OF DOCUSATE SODIUM CONSUMED (yours truly): 45
SHOT OF WHISKEY CONSUMED (yours truly): NONE ;<(
Before getting into the update itself, a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU! to all of you who have sent "get well" and "good wishes" email. You're generous with your online time - I've spent upwards of five hours a day simply replying to it all! And, a special thanks to my wife Aillene, for having her vacation cut short, making the journey to Beijing for what must surely be one of the shortest stays in China for any US citizen, and for taking care of me at home. Thanks to my mom for not lecturing me. Thanks to my sister Lily Paull for having chosen nursing as her career, and for being there not only with ready medical advice, but for also literally being there when we arrived t the U of W Med Center where she now works. Thanks to my brother Pat Paull, for watching and maintaining the house while we were gone, and readying it for our return, to include a full re-stock of fine ales, none of which I can drink until I'm off my meds! My deepest gratitude to the the wonderful people at MEDJET Assistance and Global Doctors, for my evacuation and repatriation back to Seattle. And to Sim, Julia and all the kind doctors, nurses, and staff in China, I hope that someday I may repay the wonderful kindness that you showered on me. Man, this is starting to sound like an Academy Awards speech....
Many of you have asked for more details about my accident and evacuation. I promise you, I'll give you FAR MORE than you ever wanted to hear or know. Before that however, I want you to assure you I'll try to keep these updates coming, from bits and pieces of email and images sent back by the other Globeriders when they find the time and connections to do so.
Also, I'm not sure if I mentioned it in an earlier update, but a full-time videographer accompanied us on the trip, and will be with the group until the tour ends in Germany. The reason? Not only do we get a way cool video of Globerider Tour 2002 at its conclusion, but, if all goes as planned, starting next TUE, (or the following TUE) The Speed Channel's (the cable motorsports channel) weekly show, Bike Week, will feature footage of the trip, shot and edited by Sterling Noren on location, and flown to Bike Week by DHL for final editing and broadcast. They'll show a segment each week until the tour is over, delayed, however, by about four or five weeks.
Finally, if any of you out there ever travel regularly more than 150 miles from home, especially those of you who are as passionate about motorcycling as I am, do your loved ones and yourself a favor, and visit the website of MEDJET Assistance IMMEDIATELY and take out a membership policy. Do it now! Here is their website (click on your browser's "Back" button to get back here): http://www.medjetassistance.com/
And now, some images of Dezhou, China, the accident, and aftermath....
[A side street in a small village on the way to Dezhou - looks like the set for Kung Fu movie doesn't it?]
[We weren't able to determine what this is, but it looks very Asian, and pretty cool.]
[The grounds and river below it were equally beautiful.]
[In my opinion, the travel service insured we had incredibly good meals - too much of a good thing actually, and many of them began to look and taste suspiciously alike. Why haven't we seen any dogs or cats around? The night before, two of the group couldn't stand it, and "escaped" the formal dinner, walking into a local restaurant, with not a single word in common with the staff and patrons. They had so much fun, we did it again the following night. From left to right: David Stafford from Renton, WA; Roy Cox from Arlington, TX; Sterling Noren from Seattle, WA; Rick Wetzel from Dexter, OR. I'm taking the picture. David and Rick instigated the "escape". Roy is still practicing his skill with chopsticks .]
[The last image I of have of my trusty "iron horse", my 2000 BMW Mandarin R1150GS, fully out-fitted with Touratech and other accessories, and a Garmin MAP 176C GPS. Not a scratch on it in two years of ownership, and transit across the Pacific, just a good coat of Chinese mud.]
Now, for a painfully detailed and LONG narrative of the accident, hospitalization, and medical evacuation back to Seattle, please click on the link below, read as much as you can stand, and hit the "Back" button on your browser to get back here:
Please click here to read the Accident Narrative
To read the MEDJET Assistance Press Release on the evacuation, please click on the link below, and when done, again, hit the "Back" button on your browser to get back here:
Please click here to read the MEDJET Assistance Press Release
Back to the images....
[Yours truly being gently helped towards the waiting ambulance.]
[Very much in a state of shock, sitting in the ambulance with an unsteady smile, thinking I had nothing more than the wind knocked out of me, and a sprained shoulder.]
[Helge, knowing that next to the riders' safety and well-being, the bikes had to by kept operational and protected at all costs, and thinking I'm in the best available medical care, begins work on my bike in case I might actually be able to re-join the group. Here, he has borrowed a hack saw and shovel from a local work crew or fire truck, and is sawing through the crossbar. Once done, the shovel was affixed to each side of the handlebar with - IS THAT DUCT TAPE - to use as a lever in straightening it out. Jim Harding, always ready to jump in and help, in the background assisting, .]
[Helge visiting me in my "private room" at the hospital in Dezhou. The tape on my upper lip is holding the open end of an oxygen line in my nostril. They had no mask or nose breather. After the first day, the tape they were using wouldn't stick anymore, as they wouldn't let me bath or shower as it would be "bad for my health". Soon, they ran out of tape, and a policeman was dispatched to my motorcycle to get more from the medical kit I carried with me! Unlike doctors in the States, they still believed that binding up the chest, a clavical brace (which, fortuantely, they didn't have) and patient immobilization were the best treatment. Western doctors now beleive the exact oposite. And, no cold liquids of any type were allowed - as some diseases (this one apparantly) are treated with "hot liquids", others with "cold" - remember, this was the Traditional Chinese Medcial Hospital.]
[A parting shot of my room, the travel bags I'm allowed to take with me on the bed, just prior to transport to Beijing. In the baclground, "Julia" Ling Feng, still providing my link to the doctors and nurses. As you can see, cleanliness was not at the top of the list - although the food was good and came from outside, it was often left on the desk overnight.]
[The wrecker taking my bike to the police yard for investigation and storage. By now, the first awful diagnoses of my injuries was known, and we knew my tour was over.]
[A view of the left side of my bike, the most damaged, at the police yard. Not much really given the force of the impact, the speed during the slide, and the fact that the bike flipped onto the other side. Those big cylinders jutting out from either side and stout Touratech panniers and mounts fully protected my legs from any injury at all, and, saved much of the bike from further damage as well. Hmmm, anyone seen my windshield?]
Now, imagine this, I come home to Seattle, and find two of my favorite magazines waiting in my mail stack. In the May 2002 edition of BMW Owners News, David L. Hough, an editor and MSF instructor (mine, in fact, when I took one of their fine courses), notes "The natural resting position of a motorcycle is horizontal. The key to keeping upright is to learn to read the road surface." Boy, wish I'd know THAT before leaving Seattle!
And, in the June 2002 edition of MOTORCYCLIST, Editor in Chief Mitch Boehm's column begins "I've learned a lot over the last six weeks. I learned that coughing or sneezing with freshly broken ribs is probably the most painful thing that can happen to you. I learned about bed sores, from having to sleep in one position all night. And I learned that broken ribs do not heal quickly." NOW he tells me, if I'd known all this, I would have stayed at home in the first place - not! (Mitch had been involved in an earlier accident apparently).
It didn't end there. Laura Seaver, a fine rider who participated in Globeriders 2000, informed me that Chris Shea, co-president of the WA State BMW club, had hit one of nature's 4-hoofed SUV's (aka a deer) at 70 MPH and broken a collar bone, must be the month for it!
But, I'll end it here - this "update" has become an "epic" through the sheer number of words. I'll leave you with the following two images of David Stafford, showing that, in China, even walking requires constant attention.
[In Japan and China, specially textured sidewalk tiles are used to help the blind stay on the sidewalk, and know when an intersection is at hand - you can actually feel the pattern through the soles of your shoes. Here's David proving this is true, unfortunately, you can see he's blissfully unaware that it's apparently lunch time, and a work crew left a manhole cover open. Just like the car that had plowed into the dirt barrier in an earlier update, Dave's vacation is also about to become "An Adventure!"]
[The result? Actually, remember in grade school science class when they asked that stupid question "So, like, if I keep digging a hole deep enough, will I dig through to China?" Here is Dave proving the theory, in reverse! Or, did he really dig thru from "the other side"? Actually, the whole thing was staged - Dave saw a rickety wooden ladder disappearing into the depths of the hole, and just couldn't resist. With that, I leave you until the next update. Good night!]
Posted by Mike Paull at June 02, 2002 09:54 AM GMT
You deserve a author's award of some kind for your excellent narrative. I'm glad you are continuing to improve. Thanks for the up dates on the GS list.
Dan in Alabama
I've been feeling sso sad after seeing you in the anbulance and later in the bed, injured. I had a big accident 20 years ago', and I know what it means...It was also sad to see your damaged bike. But anyway, it is good that you are alive and...keke.
Please keep on posting about your friends and ...about your recovery.
A warm hug...not too strong though...
Great story and photos. Wow! I recently traded my 99RT for the much coveted 02GS. Just put 600 miles on her.
What brand of engine guards did you purchase? Yours certainly are a testiment to the product.
Ride onward to many more great adventures,
So sorry you're suffering. Really glad you're not dead. If this is indicative of retirement, should you consider returning to work? (Not!) Or maybe a donation to the Dezhou hospital for an upgrade...I'm thinking the "Paull-Barer" left wing. Perhaps a little too crass.
By the way, your reference to Chris Shea at 70mph, it wasn't abundantly clear about the broken collar bone. Was that the rider or the deer? Kidding, kidding.
Your friend, Dave Stafford, looks a little like that "Everybody Loves Raymond" guy. Funny pic.
I, for one, read your update in its entirety...glutton that I am. Admittedly, I even read the MedJet Assistance Press Release and was elated you didn't fall under the "transportation of mortal remains" clause.
Continue to heal and a hug from me as well. As previously stated, not too strong though.
And the Ache-Ademy Award goes to...
Perhaps you'll remember me as yet another Big Guy on a silver 1150 GS riding with Wayne's group to the Guggenheim event in Las Vegas last September. We had dinner together on the last night of the event amd I enjoyed talking with you and Elaine that night. I've been following your progress on nw-gs as well as through comments from mutual friends as well as through the Seattle Times articles. Thanks for the updates and good cheer.
I add my best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery to those already made by others. It's discouraging to hear about experienced and competent riders such as yourself or Chris Shea "biting the
big weenie" but as motorcyclists it's a real and present risk we need to understand, prepare for and accept as best we can. Your preparation and planning obviously made a big difference. Thanks for keeping us informed on the travel and insurance options that can make a big difference if a mishap should occur.
I've been riding on and off for 37 years (my wife just started riding her own bike this year) and though it's sobering I appreciate hearing both the good and the painful about your truncated GS adventure.
Get well, and get riding soon.
I have been wondering why I cannot get your news till today I login your website and read your narrative. Your narrative and photographs including me let me recall sth. when you were in Dezhou. You have done an excellent job with your computer and wisdom. Really hope now you have been in full recovery and I’m sure we will meet again someday either in the States when I’m working there or in China when you make your tour again.
From Dezhou, Shandong Province, China
Just came across your story, and a amazing one at that! I cant wait to hear more. Your story has inspired me to start scowering the classified for a nice used GS and maybe get rid of my EX500 that Ive been riding for the last 8yrs. Trades anyone? Maybe I'll be ready by 2006. Hope to see you then.
That brings me around to another airfare point: I like exercises. I don't like credit card that I like them, but that's the way ski vacation it is. I understand their usefulness. car rental Often, a formalised exercise helps plane ticket me to crack a block of some kind, and hotel often affords a new way to see something. vacation package It's a way of playing with the process