Monday, October 31, 2005

Long Weekend

I had a fairly long weekend, in both senses of the word. I can't complain, though: it was much better than others', as I'll explain in a moment.


Friday was my daughter Ellen's first birthday. It's hard to believe it's already been a year; my aunt used the expression "Long days, short years" and I have to say I find it apt. Ellen is an absolute riot. I swear she gets more fun to hang out with by the hour.


My wife is getting her MBA at Wharton, and Friday was one of her class days. So I planned to take Ellen up to Philadelphia so she wouldn't have to miss Ellen's birthday. Additionally, Alice's parents were staying with us, and I need to drop them off at the airport that same morning. Ellen and I took the train, so already a fair amount of running around was on the schedule, especially given our plans to co-host Ellen's joint birthday party on Sunday with some friends whose daughter was born just a week after Ellen. No big deal, though - just par for the busy parent course.


The level of insanity jumped from "parents of toddler" to "Rory" at about 2AM Friday morning, though. That's when we got a call from the police letting us know that our good friend Alex had been hit by a car. He was riding his bike home from helping a friend move, and the dirtbag that did it drove off without stopping, leaving Alex lying in the street.


Alex is a triathlete, who has competed in several Ironman events just this year, including the big one in Hawaii. If you're not familiar with Ironman (Wikipedia entry), it consists of a 2-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike, followed by a 26.2-mile run. That's right - it ends with a full marathon.


Anyway, all this is to say that Alex has probably biked almost 7000 miles just this year, all of it with a helmet. And of course, this time, on a short one-mile trip home, he wasn't wearing one. Fortunately, Alex was not killed. He didn't even suffer any head injuries. He did get hurt, though, and not in a small way: several ribs broken, two seriously; a broken collarbone; and worst of all two fractured vertebrae, one of them basically crushed.


The prognosis for Alex's full recovery is quite good. Even now, just three days later, he can walk, even up and down stairs, albeit very, very slowly and with a cane. He'll need to wear a back brace for several months, and it takes him a long time to get in or out of a chair or a bed right now. We've all wondered where he'd be at if he weren't in essentially perfect physical condition before he got hit.


Getting hit by a car will generally always ruin your day, but this already hasn't really been his year. He lost his job after getting screwed by an unscrupulous consulting company, his visa to stay in the US is expiring, his landlord is selling the house he's living in, and perhaps worst of all he has no health insurance. Yikes.


He was released from the hospital yesterday. Of course, we insisted that he come to stay with us. It works well because either Alice or I are basically always at home. Should anything happen, he won't have to lie at the bottom of the stairs for six hours waiting for someone to come home. And we're glad to help.


Anyway, like I said, a crazy weekend. I had planned to do a post about what I've been up to work-wise, but when you work at home a lot, your work and personal lives tend to blur together a bit. So I thought I'd start here - sometime soon I'll do the complementary post.


  1. Damn. Hope your friend heals quickly. It's good of you and Alice to open your home to him; wouldn't be much fun to be alone like that.

  2. You should consider starting a fund to help him out with his medical expenses (assuming he needs the help). If you do, I'll contribute.

    - Eric.

  3. Eric - that's exceedingly generous of you! I'll certainly keep everyone up-to-date here if that's what we decide to do.

    Of course, I haven't yet figured out if it's my place to ask him about his financial situation. Probably I'll bring it up with him and if he doesn't want to talk about it, I'll drop it.

    I'll tell you this much: I went out to pick up his pain medication, and was blown away by how expensive a small prescription is. Suddenly, all the noise around prescription discount systems we've heard on the news (here in the US) makes much more sense.

  4. That's so unfortunate! I'm glad he was taken care of and that he has a good friend.