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An Anniversary of Sorts


Ron_B

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Tempus Fugit. Yeah, it's cliché, but time really does fly.

 

Five years ago this morning, my life changed a bit, though not nearly as much as I feared at the time. I went to work that morning feeling a little off. By late morning, I was in the ER. As the doctors and hospital staff pumped me full of clot-busting thrombolytic drugs, they explained to me that I had experienced a stroke. They needn't have bothered, I knew it the first time I tried to speak and gibberish came out of my mouth. The numbness on my right side was another clue. For the next month, Evanston Hospital became my home and a seemingly endless parade of doctors, nurses and therapists occupied my days.

 

I was extremely lucky. It happened at work, just a few minutes from a world-class hospital. Not at home at 2:00 in the morning. Not on a bike trip, on the road and miles away from a town. The thrombolytics were administered quickly enough to arrest further deterioration. Yeah, I had to re-learn how to speak, but it could have been so much worse. Strokes run in my family on the maternal side, and the one that hit my Mom made her a bedridden invalid. Of course, she was in her early 80s and I was only a bit shy of 51.

 

I'd like to say that I learned a lot - and I think I did, but some of it was merely reinforcement of things that I already knew. (or at least suspected) Yes, here is where it gets sentimental and touchy-feely. First and foremost, I have a wonderful family. I have wonderful friends, many of whom are on this board. They were all there for me.

 

Sometimes, I think that people must be tired of hearing about it. Indeed, I sometimes wish that I could just stop talking about it, but it's part of who I am now. I've got a habit of dropping it into conversation every time I meet someone new. I know I don't have to, but I'm still self-conscious of my speech and probably always will be.

 

At 5 years, some residual effects remain. My speech comes and goes, but it's a long way from a guy who couldn't even say his own name. I still have minor problems with math, spelling, short-term memory and concentration. Heck, lots of people have similar problems without having had a *cerebrovascular accident. (*See? I didn't say the S word!) My right side problems are still there, numbness and weakness, but they weren't that bad to begin with. Again, it could have been so much worse.

 

Like all of you, I'm a motorcyclist. I have been one for over 40 years. After the first couple of days, after the shock was over and I knew I was going to make it, I started thinking of riding. I still didn't know if I would have problems, and immediately started thinking about alternative ways of dealing with them. A sidecar rig, a trike, a big scooter like a Burgman, stuff that that. In the end, I was able to ride.

 

After getting out of the hospital, I continued my therapy on an outpatient basis and put riding on the back burner for a while. I finally got back on my RT in June at about 19 weeks. That first ride was the best therapy I had up to that point. I even wrote a ride tale about it. I think I called it "87 miles." For the rest of '04, I rode locally, doing about 1,000 miles by the end of the year. I did go to the Unrally in Cody. On a plane. Had a great time too. Being with friends makes one feel normal again as well.

 

In the spring of '05, I started taking trips again. El Paseo with Steve Knapp and Drew Anderson. (and EeBie on the way home.) The Unrally in Virgina with Dennis Murphy. Fall Torrey, my first solo trip since the stroke. I was really apprehensive about that one, but man did it feel good. Looking at my records, I've ridden about 54,000 miles since that day five years ago. Four Torreys. Five El Paseos and BRRs. Every Unrally including the last, which I made into a 6,666 mile trip by hitting Hyder Alaska on the way.

 

Five years? Yeah, five years.

 

Family. Friends. Motorcycles. In that order. Life is good.

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Hello Ron,

I met you at the last BRR and we spoke for a few minutes, and true to your recent post, you informed me of your stroke. I found it amazing that you had recovered to the point you could ride again, very impressive. Congratulations on your hard work getting yourself back in the saddle and here's to many more years of good health and riding. See you at the next gathering. Either the next BRR or the Unrally.

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Now that is a ride tale that lasts!!

 

Congrats, Ron. Glad to be reminded of how special each and everyone of us is and how important it is to embrace each day and all our family and friends.

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Lets_Play_Two

Congratulations on turning your seat on the bus around to look out the front window. Too many people get so consumed by the rear view that they never look forward again!! Best of continued good forward looking to you.

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The downside is that you talk a lot more than you did those first few months. :grin: I remember chatting with you just a few days after it happened, only it wasn't really a chat. I had to ask the questions and then answer them for you. It felt like a bad skit on SNL!

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Tempus fugit, indeed. 5 years already?

 

I remember reading with sadness the post about your "event," and then following along with relief as news came out about your recovery. Being in Torrey that fall was my first time with the broader BMWST.com crew. I was determined to meet you, shake your hand, and let you know what an inspiration your story had been. It still is. I'm glad I got to do that.

 

Keep on keepin' on, Ron. :thumbsup:

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Ron,

 

You have done a wonderful job with your recovery. Thanks for the reminder of how precious life is.

 

It is nice to have you around! Looking forward to seeing you again at the next event... *hugs*

 

 

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Happy 5-Year!

You've come a long way since that fateful day!

It's difficult for me to imagine going through what you have. If I ever have it to do, I only hope I can handle it as well as you have!

I remember your first post event ride. Must have felt like a prison cell door being opened...

 

Hope to see you at Torrey or the Unrally!

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The downside is that you talk a lot more than you did those first few months. :grin: I remember chatting with you just a few days after it happened, only it wasn't really a chat. I had to ask the questions and then answer them for you. It felt like a bad skit on SNL!

 

David,

 

I have the same memories/but you have a better way with words!

 

Ron,

 

Wonderful to see you all over the country again. :thumbsup:

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Raaan, I was so happy over the time to see you climb out of the abiss life threw you in. Always looking forward to see you again, be it BRR, Unrally, or whatever.

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Dear Bob ( :) )

 

Having you show up at Cody was a highlight of the trip for me.

 

You're the warmest, friendliest shy guy I've ever known. Your intelligence and wit are wonderful. I, among many, am thrilled that we still get to share that and the riding with you.

 

Love you Raaaan!!

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Ron,

 

It's been really great to get to meet you. You are just as funny in person as on the board, and I love it! Having gotten to know you a little I have been struck by obstacles you overcome to follow your dreams... and it is so cool to see you doing it... with so much wit and joy.

 

Here's to keep on keeping on!

 

Jan

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Raaaan,

I remember an El Paseo after the incident when you were still on the road back.

After last get together, seems like you've made it. :thumbsup:

I've really enjoyed our conversations and look froward to next time.

See you soon.

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I'm still self-conscious of my speech and probably always will be.

I don’t think you have anything to be self-conscious about Ron. Most of what you say makes more sense than about 2/3 of the people I know!

 

Nice work!

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Ron--

 

I remember quite clearly the post informing us of your stroke. It was more than a little scary for your friends here, and many a prayer went out that day and in the days that followed.

 

I'm so happy that things have turned out well for you. Your fortitude and positive attitude have made a tremendous impression on a lot of people.

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yOU, my little friend, are still THEE Man.!!

 

Good on ya for reminding us again what we already know...that you are a Masterpiece, Raaaan..!

 

Thank you for reminding us about the past 5 years..!

 

Gads, has it been that long ?

 

I remember Cody, and gabbing with you at a speedy clip.

 

Miss ya, brutha

 

 

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Ron, I always felt a bond with you because of our Boston Green RT's. Then I got to meet you and even though you were still showing some of the affects of your stroke, it was your spirit and fight that impressed me. I knew then that I had many more reasons to like you.

 

Congratulations on this milestone. May the next 5 years bring you even more rides, more miles and greater health.

 

 

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Lone_RT_rider
I wish I could be as literate as you were right after your stroke.

 

So what are you trying to say Ken? :grin::dopeslap:

 

Ron, I know I have never said this enough, but I am so proud to call you my friend. You have overcome so much and I know there are many lesser a person that would have given up on life and just called it a day after the experiences you have been through. But, as my Chinese friends say, you took it "little by little" and continued to live life like other people could only dream of. You my friend.... are one of my very special role models.

 

Your friend....

 

Shawn

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Congratulations Ron! Like Leslie, you could have knocked me over with a feather when you walked out back by the picnic tables in Cody. We'll have a beer to your next five at BRR.

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As in motorcycling, when life throws you a curve lean into it :thumbsup:

Ride on Ron, well done.

You are an inspiration to us all.

 

 

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Congrats on making the recovery you have, Ron. And thanks for communicating about the topic to all of us, keeping us informed of the warning signs.

 

Even at Cody, it was pretty clear you were making great strides, even if it was a laborious and frustrating process.

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I had a real good day yesterday. First ride of the year! Dennis M. and I rode to the monthly CRBMW meeting. About 90 miles round trip. A little bit above freezing on the way down, high 20s F. on the way back. With Mr. Gerbing, even a wimp can ride in the winter!

 

Thank you all for sharing my "anniversary." You're part of the story too!

 

I'll see many of you on the road in a bit!

 

:wave:

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Well, I just got off the MOA Forum where I was reading an "introduction" post of yours from 2003! Where has the time gone???

 

Ride well.

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