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Old 06-09-2009, 04:01 PM   #1
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Post In response to past present and future events

So my thread was deleted after I asked to edit it, so here is the repost:

In response to past, present, and future events...

So in case you haven't heard yet,
I was involved in a very bad accident on December 7th. Without too much detail, here's what happened: I was back in town for the holidays and on my way to my parents' house around midnight that Saturday night after dinner and a movie with some friends in Wichita Falls. The night was cold and I was riding through a construction area where I lost traction along some gravel in the road and laid my bike down. I slid to a stop and I was fine until an 18-wheeler was unable to stop and he ran over the right side of my body. It crushed my elbow, ankle and foot, dislocated several joints, and internally amputated (de-gloved) my leg from mid-thigh down to my toes, and it destroyed most of the soft-tissue (skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.) in my right leg. Over all of this, I somehow managed to remain conscious all the way to the emergency room.
Once at the hospital, doctors had to make quick decisions. Amputation of my leg was imminent. The blue line was drawn about six inches above my knee. But after some work, a pulse in my foot was found, and the decision was made to try to save my leg. I'm grateful to have the wonderful team of doctors working so hard and taking a personal interest in my case. They are amazed at how I am recovering. Thanks to your prayers and support I have remained strong and I fought my way out of the ICU and out of the hospital. There is still a LONG recovery ahead and several more surgeries and rehab to go (I've already had 8 surgeries, totaling more than 20 hours and $500,000). I will not be able to walk on my own for some time and I'll be living with my parents through my recovery. Hopefully I'll recover and be able to participate in some of activities I used to. You all know how active I have always been. In response to these events,
Here are my thoughts on life...

We live our lives day to day to day going through the motions. We wake up, eat breakfast, go to work or school, eat lunch, go back to work or school, then get out and go home. We eat dinner, watch some TV and then go to bed just to start another day doing the same thing over, and over again. It's all routine, and you all know it. But we don't dare change any of it because we're all afraid of change. We forget about our dreams, and those great moments when we were at our best. We forget what it's like to start fresh again. We take our lifestyles and freedoms for granted to the extent that we live like zombies. We work to pay the bills and we worry about the economy failing. Then, someone or something throws a stick in our spokes. So, now what do we do?
An optimist will say that change is good, however, another might say change is bad. Through my life experiences, I tend to lean toward the optimist side. And it's the way to be. I like to think that all change is good because you get an opportunity to learn something new about yourself and the world around you. Even as I sit here in my wheelchair with my leg bandaged and propped up, metal in my arm, and half a million in medical debt, I can say that I still have a bright future. Even as I know I may not ever run and play sports or even walk right, I can still say that I have a bright future. I see this because I have learned from my experiences, and I can take that with me through life and show others that they too can be optimistic about the future. You still have your life, and your friends and family. In hard times, you really find out who is backing you. But, change is inevitable, and when it happens, it is up to you to decide what to do with it. Take responsibility and work your way through it. Don't be afraid of what may come of it. Face your fears, and if there is something difficult in your way, get over it. One of my music instructors used to say "Figure it out!" That is one of my favorite sayings, right next to "Just do it." And that's exactly what you have to do.
Be spontaneous...
Go out and treat yourself to something different every once in a while. That doesn't mean order something different off of the menu. It means do something totally out of the norm. Go hiking, camping, or do something crazy that you wouldn't normally do (try skydiving). Take on a new hobby or take a trip somewhere. Every now and then you should do something random for someone special and for a complete stranger. Help a stranded motorist. We're all here in this world together and we can all relate in one way or another. Meet someone new. Just introduce yourself to someone, not because they appeal to you, but because you want to broaden your relationships in the community. Next time you're standing in line at the supermarket, pass the time by talking to your fellow shoppers. You'll never know what you might gain from it. A good conversation starter would be to look at what they are buying and ask a curious question about it, even if you already know the answer. Most of all, STEAL from people. No, no... not THAT kind of stealing. What I mean is talk to them, ask them questions and take with you what they have learned in life so that you may use it for yourself! This is a valuable knowledge gaining strategy that I've been using for years. There's a wealth of knowledge out there, you just have to seek it.
Don't EVER sell yourself short...
If you want to do something, don't hesitate, "Just DO it"! There's that slogan again. I'm serious! The number one cause of traffic accidents is someone hesitated before making a move. Growing up as a musician, I dreamed of participating in a DCI drum and bugle corps. I knew who was my favorite (The Cavaliers), but I knew there was no way I could EVER do that. I thought maybe I would settle for a lesser group, but even then felt inferior. One day I built up the courage to audition for the Cavaliers, who had just won the DCI world championships. I went to Chicago and into the audition with the mindset that I'm going to give it my best. And if I fail, then at least I can say I gave it a shot and I'll learn what it takes by listening and watching others. In the end, the audition was successful and it changed my life forever. I earned the opportunity to tour the US three times, and Japan four times, once with the Broadway spectacle Blast II MIX. I've experienced more in my teenage years than most experience in a lifetime all because I gave myself a chance. If I had waited one more day, it would not have happened at all.

These are words that I wish everyone could read. If you have kept up with me, you know that right now and over the last six months, I have struggled to regain use of my limbs after my accident. I have taken on the new challenge with this mindset. I have stumped all of my doctors, surgeons, therapists, and other medical professionals in my recovery. I was not expected to be able to stand on two of my own feet for over a year and already I have taken many steps. We have a life to live. Live it to the fullest! NEVER take anything for granted, so take all and leave nothing! Trust me, if I can do it... YOU can do it too!

To my doctors, nurses, therapists, family, friends, and other caregivers: Thank you all so much for your support and efforts to give me back my life. I am utterly humbled by your response. I often think of ways to repay you, but life is unequaled and I am forever indebted to you. All I can do is get well and show you all what your work has done for me.

To fellow motorcyclists: WEAR YOUR GEAR!
I was covered in Kevlar and padded race-oriented gear from head-to-toe. It's saved my life. Take the time to suit up. Gearing up takes only a couple of minutes, and it could save you and your loved ones a lifetime of pain.

To other motorists: The time has come for America to modernize its forms of transit. As fuel and space becomes a commodity, alternate transportation methods are becoming more popular. Motorcycle sales have more than tripled in the last decade. That means there are more riders on the road. Please remember that they belong on the road too. The majority of motorcycle accidents occur because another motorist was either not paying attention, or was distracted. So put down that cheeseburger and your cell phone and your make-up, and pay attention. You are driving a 2000 lbs+ weapon of mass destruction. Be courteous to your fellow motorists and they will return the favor.

These are words from my heart. Please pass it on. This note belongs to everyone. Live on...
Jeff Waldmuller
2008 Triumph Daytona 675
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
Yes I do.
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nice read. I just printed this off and I will make my 14 year old daughter read this before we go practice soccer.

Get well my friend!

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Old 06-09-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
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