It’s Good To Be Alive —
A Reflection on Recovery from a Motorcycle Accident.
It’s been an amazing 9 years since the University of Maryland Baltimore Shock Trauma put me back together.
The Washingtonian wrote, “On a Sunday in early April, Scott Goodstein set off on a motorcycle tour of Maryland horse country with his cousin and a friend from political circles. They hadn’t gone far when, at 7:30 in the morning, a GMC Yukon pickup truck coming in the other direction caught the front tire of Goodstein’s Yamaha. In the spinout, his legs, nose, and right cheek were broken, his lung bruised, and ligaments ripped in his neck. A helicopter flew him to a Baltimore shock-trauma center, and Goodstein spent the remainder of the spring and most of the summer in one treatment facility or another.”
I have a lot to be thankful for… and I am!
First and foremost:
- Roger & Jeremy. My riding partners that made sure I didn’t die on the side of the road.
- The paramedics and rescue team. (Also thanks to the State of Maryland for not charging enormous fees to those needing an emergency medevac helicopter).
- My family for tolerating me through the long recovery and all of its ups and downs. I gained a new understanding of how much time my parents must spend on dealing with medical bills, insurance providers, scheduling doctors appointments, etc. Unfortunately, after one survives a medical emergency, they are immediately faced with hundreds of hours of bureaucracy and accounting while recovering.
- The medical staff at the hospitals and recovery facilities. Everyone from the neurosurgeons, to the orthopedic team, (Special shout out to Dr. Nascone for rebuilding my legs!) the physical therapists, lab technicians, etc.
- The workers at each of the hospitals and recovery facilities, especially the amazing nursing staff and assistance that do the round-the-clock care every day. But also the cleaning crew, cafeteria workers, and volunteer teams that all try and make the tough experience a little better for thousands of people that have recently had their normal life changed.
Three things I learned along the way…
- Stay Positive.
I worked hard to stay positive throughout my recovery. It wasn’t always easy, but I decided early on to use social media as my cheer-leading team through recovery. I decided to only post positive achievements to my Facebook page throughout the process. I’m not usually the positive, self-help, kinda guy. But, it felt good to do this instead of making snide, snarky remarks or angry complaints about the painful moments. While I definitely had bad days… there was lots more to celebrate.
I shared little achievements on social media every few days. Everything from standing, showering on my own, using a wheelchair, walking down the hall, to eventually climbing stairs and even traveling again. Its amazing to look back at these victories and the amount of time I spent focusing on them.
2. Write More.
I wrote thank you notes to folks that sent wishes my way, commented on posts on Facebook, and even wrote letters to the hospital administrators to give special recognition to my care providers. In the letters, I urged the administration to give these dedicated workers raises for going above and beyond (hoping it would help them more than just bringing them donuts and cupcakes).
It turns out people in the C-Suites actually read those letters and my caregivers were recognized with a luncheon in their honor. I was even invited back to the hospital to present an award to the team I had written the hospital administration about! (I don’t know if they got raises but I pushed for them in my speech at that luncheon).
3. Pay it Forward.
Early on in my recovery I learned that I was going to need a number of surgeries to set my bones by inserting rods and pins in my legs. I learned that at some point down the road, I would be strong enough to get some of the screws removed as a final surgery. So I decided to not shave until I had this last surgery and grew what I called a “recovery beard” during the process.
I held a fundraiser/ beard shaving party where friends could donate online and vote on what style my beard would be shaved in.
Of course the bizarre inverted-chin-chiller fashion won. It was great fun and ended up raising $10,000 for University of Maryland Baltimore Shock Trauma Hospital.
I hope you found some inspiration in this article. I enjoyed taking a few minutes to pause and reflecting on these last 9 years.
While I no longer ride motorcycles, I am blessed to be able to hike, adventure and see new sunrises. I am grateful to still be living and able to see my friends and family.
I will never forget the good folks at University of Maryland Baltimore Shock Trauma.