Most of the road traffic accidents cases we often get are from motorcycles. They are always one-line stories... “ni pikipiki tu” and with that, it is assumed that everyone understands how the event transpired. The boom in the market for motorcycles came at a time our country’s economy was changing at a very fast rate. It felt like there was a rush in the air, which translated to a rush in our bodies, in our way of doing things. We, suddenly, needed to get to places and do so, as fast as possible.
I, happen to be one of those people who have a “love and hate” relationship with motorcycles. It always occurs to me how very funny I find it that I am "annoyed " with someone who is in a rush, on a bike, passing anywhere and everywhere. While, at the same time, when I am in a hurry, I find myself advising the rider to pass anywhere and everywhere, including walk paths, which is wrong and against the traffic laws. I have also struggled with the idea of wanting to be a rider myself. The adrenaline rush and the sound of a super bike gives me goosebumps. They say, ” once you taste the freedom, you'll never want to be confined again”.
Orthopedic clinicians deal with broken bones. They are responsible for your limbs and sometimes, your back, when accidents happen. Motorcycles are key in their business plan model, pun intended. They keep them afloat and relevant. There are wards in hospitals dedicated to motorcycle accidents only and honestly, the male ward is always more populated than the female one. I guess men just have to get there faster than possible. Treatment takes different paths depending on the severity of the accident. Some of it, may be simple procedures that have you up and walking in less than two months while others take a little bit more time. You may end up with a cast, an internal/external fixation (finally get that metal in there!!), crutches and most definitely being sent to physical therapy. The important thing to remember, during this experience, is we all want you back out there fighting for a better economy, that may require us to slow down a little bit.
Getting rid of motorcycles may never happen. In fact, with the current economic status, we need to get up and get going, and fast. As clinicians, we need to identify with this, as a situation here to stay. We shall keep attending to more motor cycle related accidents, so we might as well adapt effectively. We are therefore supposed to get better at solving any impediment that may arise from it. We are to let people keep their limbs where possible, and rehabilitate them well to get back out there.
To the general public, maybe, take heed of the set precautions when using a motorcycle. Wear your helmet, one passenger at a time, and watch the speed. Ask, demand, make a fuss about your safety and that of the rider. Slow down a bit. Get there safely and legally. However, if you happen to suffer an accident, seek help and diligently do the rehabilitation work. Get yourself on the same page with your clinicians so that you can go back to living your life. As for me, I’ll keep my ears and eyes out and navigate this “love-hate “relationship I have with motor bikes. I hope we get to an understanding and find a balance. I hope I am more grateful they exist than I am regretful of the pain and disability they cause.