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Exactly 1.2 lbs of zombie flesh

October 30, 2009

You may have noticed I haven’t been hanging around here as much.

About 10 days ago, Pablo sat me down and said, “we’re going to the hospital.” I’d been leaving some bloody footprints around the house, see.

The reason for that? About four months ago, I noticed my right foot was rather swollen. Since at the time I had no health insurance and no money, about all I could do was shrug and hope it didn’t get worse.

Well, it did. I’ll tell you, my right foot was something straight outta Night of the Living Dead by the time I arrived at Portland VA Medical Center’s emergency room. I was drawing a crowd. Heck, even the emergency room director stopped by to have a look.

Long story short, the front third of my right foot was so badly infected, it had to be amputated. I still have my tonsils and my appendix in spite of growing up at a time when conventional medical wisdom said get rid of them (“hey kid, you can have ice cream after the operaiton!”). Needless to say, my time in hospital has been a gut-wrenching, life-changing experience, and I will have lots to say about it in the weeks and months to come. Maybe not here, but somewhere.

But most importantly for this particular journal, there isn’t gonna be any riding until the right foot heals. So posts will be sporadic, though not completely absent. After all, there will still be weird new microcars and scooters, and news that makes riding easier, or more difficult. Or both.

There’s still time to ride in Portland (and other places), so get out there. Just watch out for the wet leaves and rotting jack o’lanterns. Favicon

  1. October 30, 2009 1:50 pm


    Oh NO ! In spite of this I hope you are feeling okay and have a good attitude towards life, in general. You seemed to be okay at the Hamster Run back in July (3 months ago) or maybe you weren’t, but you didn’t seem to be having any problems walking or complaining. I suppose you are lucky that you didn’t wait longer for more disastrous consequences. I wondered why you haven’t been around for a while.

    Heal well and we’ll be thinking of you. Too bad you are too far to visit. Portland’s twice the distance away

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. October 30, 2009 3:13 pm

    Damn! Sorry to hear about the health issues. Rest assured that I for one will still be interested in reading whatever you feel like posting whenever you feel like posting it.

    Here’s hoping that you heal quickly and get back on the road soon.

  3. karen permalink
    October 30, 2009 6:52 pm

    Wow! Sounds like you’ve been through a lot. I was wondering if something happened since you hadn’t posted for so long. I’ve been reading the Wisconsin Motorcycle Manual and getting psyched up for spring when I will take the BRC near here. I appreciate all the info on your blog. Really hope things start going better soon and you’re back riding in the spring. Best wishes.

  4. fuzz permalink
    October 31, 2009 7:15 am

    Glad to hear that you are finally out of the hospital. I hope a speedy recovery is in store for you. Perhaps you can lean on some of your foreign correspondents to supply a few articles while you are recovering? Love to hear what going on down under since their weather should just now begin to be heating up.

    Take care.

  5. October 31, 2009 9:32 am

    God almighty. You know what I want to say but all I will say is you deserve better. You and 50 million other Americans. I am so sorry.

  6. October 31, 2009 12:28 pm

    bobskoot, the infection didn’t make walking difficult, and wasn’t at all painful (if you know the term “diabetic neuropathy” you’ll understand why). My blood sugar was totally off the chart at that time, which had a much greater effect on my general well-being.

    cpa3485, the procedure went totally by the book, and everything looks really good. I was in no pain at all following the surgery, and once the stitches come out, my foot will look like toes were never there. Or like a chimichanga. I’m not sure which.

    fuzz, our New Zealand Bureau Chief is up to his eyeballs in grading papers (he’s an academic), so there hasn’t been time for riding. But as you observe, the southern hemisphere is in the early days of spring. I would love to have some additional correspondents, foreign or otherwise. Shoot an e-mail to if you’re interested.

    Yes, conchscooter, things would never have gotten this bad if I lived in Canada, the U.K. or western Europe…

  7. Stubbie stub permalink
    November 1, 2009 7:12 am


    I’m soooo sorry to hear about your foot! I was beginning to wonder why you weren’t posting. This really speaks to how screwed up our health care system is here in the US – but I KNOW you know that. You sure seem to have a good attitude about the situation and I’m glad for that.

    Hang in there.

  8. November 2, 2009 8:21 am


    Geez, man, get better! Sorry to hear about that, wow…

    From POC Renee’s experience, there’s one good thing about losing toes: When you’re at a scooter rally in a hotel hot tub, you can clear out all the other guests in no time, making more room for your scooter friends who won’t judge you by the number of toes you have.

    OK, that’s not much consolation, but it’s something.

  9. November 2, 2009 9:40 am

    LOL! Stubbie and Bryan, thanks for the kind wishes. Everyone’s been saying what a good attitude I’ve had about this whole ordeal, but really, how could I not? What would I accomplish by sitting around crying and saying “woe is me?” What’s happened has happened, and I don’t see any other option besides dealing with it and moving on. The surgical team promised me a leg that would allow me to do everything I did before the operation, and as I recover I can see they kept their promise. I’ll be back on the GTS soon…

  10. November 4, 2009 11:30 am

    The miracle was that you survived the VA Hospital. I’ve done some work up there.

    Hmmm, a foot that looks like a chimichanga. That has to make it more palatable when one sticks their foot in their mouth.

    The joke isn’t meant to lessen the seriousness of the situation. You have my deepest empathy. It’s just a cop thing I never got over. Make a joke of bad circumstances to help deal with it.

  11. November 4, 2009 11:46 am

    irondad, that’s exactly how I feel. The best way to deal with this is to find something to laugh about…

  12. Stubbie permalink
    November 6, 2009 11:35 am

    Well… if laughing is good medicine…

    I could share my name with you. I can call you “Stubbie” now. As they say: “if the shoe fits…”

    Hope you’re doing well.

  13. November 6, 2009 12:04 pm

    Stubbie, I’m thinking the shoe will fit if I roll up an odd sock and stuff it into the toe… 😉

  14. Steve Williams permalink
    November 8, 2009 7:16 pm


    Sorry to hear about your medical mis-fortune. I’m glad you got to the hospital before it got any worse.

    Any positve energy I can muster will be sent your way!

  15. November 8, 2009 7:25 pm

    Thanks, Steve! The foot is doing quite well, not at all painful and healing up nicely according to the doctors. The sutures come out in a couple weeks, at which point I can think about getting back on the GTS…

  16. November 11, 2009 5:20 pm

    Awww MAN! I’m sorry to hear about toes Orin. Let’s do what we can to keep the rest of your parts intact, ok? They didn’t do maggot therapy did they? That would be SO cool or totally repulsive, depending on your stance on bio-treatments. Get well brother!

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