Two days ago I was telling a colleague how, until I was about 35 years-old, I felt fairly invulnerable and was a chance big chance taker. It wasn’t until I had children that I gave up motorcycles. Bikes are so fun and they seemed worth the risk when I was child-free, but the risk to my children tipped the balance.
Yesterday morning I cared for a patient who shattered his pelvis, ruptured his spleen and broke his leg in a motorcycle accident. We discussed how pleasant, yet how deadly motorcycles are. I shared how I have had several bad accidents on bikes but always walked away with only bad bruises or burns. I always looked back amazed at how lucky I have been my whole life. I sold my bike thinking I did not want to tempt chance.
Yesterday afternoon I heard that a friend was killed on his motorcycle during a day trip this weekend when he slipped on wet road. He was a physician I have worked with for four years. He had done Aikido like myself, brewed beer, ground his own coffee and loved playing music. We shared much in common. He was a very relaxed, jovial, and naturally friendly man — a joy in the hospital. I was greatly saddened and felt weak-kneed for about 2 hours after hearing the news. My friend leaves behind 4 children and a wife. Life can turn on a dime.