Day one without a fall

October 23rd, 2015, Scottsdale, AZ. I know that I’m a very lucky man. I woke this morning at 6:15 am. Rae and Ian were at the bedside with a Starbucks cappuccino for me. Most people with this kind of fall would have broken other bones and at least their collar bone. This is generally caused by putting their arm out to brace the fall. This hasn’t been an option for me for some time. As Ian pointed out, the way I fell was dictated strictly by the laws of physics. I fell on my arm. I broke my arm. I could have broken a lot more. I could have broken my leg. I could have broken my back, oh wait, I did break my back. But I walked out of the hospital today less than 24 hours after the accident with Lynny, Ira , Ian and Rae by my side. The nurse that admitted me yesterday was the same nurse who discharged me today. She said that she had to escort me to the elevator but she knew better than to offer me a wheelchair.

I spoke with my mum and sister in England. The phone is not the best form of communication for me but they seemed to understand most of what I said. I’m a lifelong mumbler so I know when people are just nodding and smiling to be polite. These day it seems half the time I can’t even understand what I’m saying myself. But this morning my voice was a little clearer to me. Wouldn’t it be great if a blow to the head was all it took to hit the reset? As long as you survived, that is. The place we’re staying has a hot tub. I think my body had forgotten what it felt like for me to be kind to it.

tub

I know that I’m a lucky man. Lynny and Ira’s friends, Linda and Fred in Scottsdale became our next road angels and provided a place for me to recuperate.  And we are now all sitting by the pool, eating sandwiches that were delivered from a local bakery and paid for by the nursing and midwifery staff of Labor and Delivery at Carle Hospital where I used to work.

We are all a long way from home. And a long way from our goal. I will never ride my road bike again (for more than 6 miles on a Wednesday). We are probably going to ship it home so that we have more room in the car. I thank everyone for their offers of tandems and recumbents, but right now sitting and lying down is painful. Friends and strangers alike are asking if they can help. And do I have a plan. Lying in bed in the hospital I was making a plan. Although it has been modified a little since the morphine wore off. But there may be a way at least in spirit that this ride can be completed. Everyone else on the team can still ride. And everyone reading this, no matter where you are, can be part of completing the journey by riding and donating miles. Stay tuned. At present we plan to leave on Monday and still follow the route to St Augustine.

 

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Peace, love and midwives

Ray

24 thoughts on “Day one without a fall

  1. yea. Go for it. Was hoping you would stay on the route, if you aren’t in too much pain. I wish I could meet up and do some of it, but school has me pinned down. I’ll check your eta when I can. Going to be in ATL over Thanksgiving. Sending good thoughts “)

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  2. You inspired me to finally make the leap and get a road bike. I am certainly not able to ride as far as you but would be totally thrilled to donate miles to the cause!! Hope you’re enjoying that hot tub!

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  3. Sorry to hear of your accident but know you will finish what you started in what ever way you can. Wishing you a smooth recovery and a safe trip!!!

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  4. I am so sorry you fell!!! I am past 4 years with ALS and your ride was so inspiring. I love to ride, and the last 2 years I had to go to an electric bike, now I am looking at an electric trike or scooter to continue riding. Hope you can remain active, even with a broken back, arm and ribs……..go Ray. ALS just sucks!

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  5. We read about your journey recently and wanted to wish you all the best. You delivered our daughter, Karuna back in 2004. We live in Florida now outside of Gainesville and if you are able to make it this far, it would be great to meet up. We’ll continue to follow you.

    Love and peace to you.

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  6. Ray,
    I’m thankful that your ok!! Your a strong Man and a wonderful example of how to look at life! Your blessed to have the loving family and friends that you do around you everyday! You take your time healing, even the strongest needs rest!!!! When i become a nurse “You are who I will strive to be at least half of”

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  7. Ray, This is a bummer and as a nurse I sincerely wish I could shoulder some of your pain. I had a fractured wrist when I fell in my driveway 3 years ago and besides embarrassed at the time it was weird as my first fracture. You look good in the photos! you are smiling – not that you should frown but I imagine you have bruises everywhere at 25 miles an hour but you are in a hot tub half naked with no bruises! Just humerus actually. Take the pain meds and get more refills !!!!! Keep blogging. How is Rae doing? Janis

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  8. I was just thinking how I could help and that I wanted to assist and complete the ride vicariously for you. I want to “donate” 100 miles toward your completion. I am not in any shape to ride, but will get myself there. I myself have been diagnosed with an incurable disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and have found your ride inspirational for me. So, count me in.
    Adam

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  9. Dear Ray: I just started receiving these posts after the article about you came out in People Magazine. Alysha (my daughter) told me about it, and I have been so in awe of you, your courage, your clarity, your sense of humor and your ability to persevere despite the odds. Thank you so much for being you and for your willingness to share your story with the world. What a gift you are to so many who know you and who are following your journey. I”m sorry that I was not able to attend your Bar Mitzvah (one of the items on your bucket list), which I heard from Alysha as well as Roseanne and Howard was a very moving event. And I regret that we have not had the chance to meet in person. Blessings and love, Gilda (Tauby and Rae’s cousin in California). >

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  10. My own health issues preclude me from riding for you, I’ve donated money and I think I’ll donate more…but I just want you to know…Ray, you are my hero. Keep on truckin’…er…ridin’ …in the car now but just keep going any way you can!

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  11. Wow 24 year’s is a long time but Ray i am so very glad to have had u bring my Son Caleb in to the world 7years ago Dec 14th 2007 and to have walked in to Planned Parenthood as a Scared 17 year old Mommy to be and not sure wanting a Man Midwife be my doctor but hearing how my big sister Laura rave about the Great Ray Spooner was i took the Journey and here we are 13 year’s later with me being the Last patient you would see on your last day of work as a midwife and my 3 baby boy has your name Connor Ray i will never forget you and i hope you never forget my babies and i because you truly are a special man in our lives love always Jennifer Mccreary and Corbin Caleb Connor Cason

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  12. The last time I rode a bike was 4 years ago, 1 year after I was diagnosed with ALS. I got on alright and pedalled about 5 miles but when I stopped to dismount, my limbs failed me and the bike with me on it fell over into an Allamandar bush. I lay there scraped but laughing until my army-medic son extricated me. Laughing because I copied Ruth Busby’s tricycle pratfalls on the old Rowan and Martin shows. When you can laugh at what ALS makes you do, you’re still living your life intentionally. That’s been my only goal.

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  13. The last time I rode a bike was 4 years ago, 1 year after I was diagnosed with ALS. I got on allright and pedalled about 5 miles but when I stopped to dismount, my limbs failed me and the bike with me on it fell over into a bush. I lay there scraped but laughing until my army-medic son extricated me. Laughing because I copied Ruth Busby’s tricycle pratfalls on the old Rowan and Martin shows. When you can laugh at what ALS makes you do, you’re still living your life intentionally. That’s been my only goal. Don

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  14. Ray, Maury and I were in an adult education class this morning with Rabbi Alan about music and composers. One mentioned was your friend Leonard Cohen. Thank you for the you tube earlier as that was my first exposure and he is extremely special and moving.
    I hope the pain is decreasing and they keep your Starbucks coming. The newest Starbucks did finally open on Neil by Devonshire in Champaign.

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  15. So sorry to hear of your fall! You are a true inspiration and we are so lucky to have had you deliver our Vera last year! We are sending you so many thoughts and prayers!

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  16. Ray,
    Many years ago (21) you helped deliver my son as a nurse, then four years later you delivered my daughter as our midwife. We will forever be in your debt for your skill and the care you provided us. A little over four years ago I had a very serious motorcycle accident. I nearly died. As a result of my injuries I have nerve damage to my right leg and often suffer nerve pain. I’ve been having a bad time of it lately with the weather changes here in Illinois. Thank you for reminding me of how lucky I am to be alive and all of the amazing things I have in my life. You Sir, continue to be an inspiration. Thank you and Godspeed!

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  17. Ray,
    Many years ago (21) you helped deliver my son as a nurse, then four years later you delivered my daughter as our midwife. We will forever be in your debt for your skill and the care you provided us. A little over four years ago I had a very serious motorcycle accident. I nearly died. As a result of my injuries I have nerve damage to my right leg and often suffer nerve pain. I’ve been having a bad time of it lately with the weather changes here in Illinois. Thank you for reminding me of how lucky I am to be alive and all of the amazing things I have in my life. You Sir, continue to be an inspiration. Thank you and Godspeed!

    Like

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