Dodging tornadoes along the way, I made it back to St. Louis safely. I went to see an Orthopedic Surgeon who said I don’t need surgery on my shoulder and that everything should heal in 6-12 weeks. My arm will be in a sling for 3 weeks and then I’ll start physical therapy. Walking is getting a little easier each day but my left leg is still pretty sore due to the deep contusions. The road rash on the left side of my body is healing quickly. The deep gash in my elbow is causing me the most pain. Thankfully, after having taken our children through four bone marrow transplants, my wife is a wonderful nurse.
I was supposed to be riding my bicycle into St. Louis tomorrow. As some of you are aware, I was scheduled to throw out the first pitch at the Cardinals vs. Giants baseball game tomorrow night. Unfortunately, that opportunity is being postponed. I’m just not healed enough to get that done right now. I’m sorry for those of you who bought tickets to the game just to come see me. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get it rescheduled with the Cardinals. Thank you so much to everyone who was coming out to support me.
This crash has messed up so many planned events. I hadn’t crashed on this bike before and the possibility of it happening during this trip truly hadn’t crossed my mind. As Matthew would say, “I betcha didn’t see that one coming.” No son, I didn’t. Thank you to everyone who had worked to set up media opportunities along the way and who had planned to come out and see me on the route. Also, multiple people offered to finish the ride for me. Thank you so much but this is my ride I have to do it for my sons and all the other children out there battling HLH.
The first step is to get healed and then to get back into riding shape.
Once again, thank you so much for the support!
Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. I was 85 miles into my 86 mile ride yesterday when a pickup truck and I were in the wrong place at the wrong time together. He wouldn’t go around me so I sped up to get out of his way. At one point, I took my left hand off my handlebar to look at my directions and confirm my upcoming right hand turn. I then hit a huge dip in the road that sent me flying. If he had just gone around me, I would have been going a lot slower and wouldn’t have been on the very edge of the road. I know I would have missed that big dip. The cowboy in the truck stopped and told me that I was doing 30mph and he kept saying that my left hip looked like hamburger meat. Needless to say, that wasn’t helping. An ambulance was called and I was taken to the hospital in Clinton, OK. I have really bad road rash on my left knee, hip and elbow. They decided to not stitch up my elbow because it is such a bendable area. The people on the scene thought that my bone was sticking out. An X-ray was taken of my shoulder which confirmed that it is broken. X-rays were also taken of my left hip and my femur. There isn’t any skeletal damage but probably a lot of soft tissue damage. I truly can’t even walk right now. With the amount of pain I have in my left leg I’m surprised that something isn’t broken. I spent the night in the hospital and I’m still here right now. I’m hoping to get out within the next few hours. They have me on some pain meds and told me to go back to St. Louis and see an Orthopedic Surgeon about my shoulder. I would love to continue biking but know it wouldn’t be safe. My arm is in a sling and if I can’t hold on with two hands how am I going to hold on with one? If I can’t walk, how am I going to pedal another 1,033 miles. I have Kristin and Will to think about and need to remain healthy for them.
Thank you so much for all the support and prayers. I was having the time of my life out there. Being in the middle of nowhere and pedaling for my sons was very therapeutic. Seeing the countryside on a bike was amazing! Many times, Matthew’s funny sayings would pop into my head as I was going down the road. Yesterday, I had to ride through an underpass of the highway that had thousands of bats flying around. There was no way around it! Matthew then popped in my head saying, “betcha didn’t see that one coming.” No Matthew, I didn’t see the tunnel of bats coming. I loved getting chased by the dogs running from the farms. I would always turn and yell “not today boys” as I would hammer down on the pedals and pull away. I truly felt like a kid again.
One of my goals with this bike ride was to show other parents who have lost children that they can get through it. They can go do good things in the memory of their child or children and help others. I’m not done. I’ve already been online scoping out other bike rides. My sons never gave up and neither will I. More than likely, a child somewhere in this country today is being told they have a form of Histiocytosis. I have to ride for them! Hopefully, everything will continue on just a few months down the road. Thank you so much for all the support. It has meant a lot to me and helped more than any of you will ever realize.
Today I’m riding my bicycle the 86 miles to Clinton, OK for a beautiful little girl named Miabelle who was diagnosed with HLH this past February. Her story is like so many others. It took a month and a half and three hospitals before she was diagnosed correctly. Her family is now anxiously awaiting the results of the Be The Match Registry search for a possible bone marrow donor. Unfortunately, I know exactly what this family is going through right now. There are so many questions to get answered. How and why did this happen to us? What exactly is HLH? What is ahead of us? That is why it is so important to treat today as if there is no tomorrow. None of us know when our lives are going to instantly change forever. To learn more about Miabelle and her story you can visit www.miabellegillier.blogspot.com/. My initial goal was to do a video post every morning and night but I’ve quickly realized that finding Wifi in these small towns to upload videos is not going to be easy. Thank you for your support and for checking in.