07/20/11 Laryngectomees and Motorcycle Riding

I found these posts written by a couple of men who own motorcycles. Both of them have been laryngectomized and they offer some good advice worth pondering. I once knew a laryngectomized man who refused to give up sailing. He loved his little boat and opposed the idea of stopping. His doctors and therapists were always a little nervous because of the permanent hole that resided in his neck. He’d say with an esophageal voice, “I’ve never tipped my boat and I’m not planning to start now.” He did fine.
Over the years I have gained much wisdom from laryngectomees and I’m passing along these public forum posts to you. I think they are golden nuggets.
“My Doctors told me I might as well “sell my Harley… cause my riding days
were over.” Then they modified it to: “You won’t be able to ride without a
windshield.” Which I hate as bad as helmets… and they SWORE I would not
ever be able to ride in the rain or cold. Well, I’ll be 5-years post-op
come this October. I took my first ride approximately 9 months after
surgery. I did put a windshield on her because of my Ol’ Lady’s harping,
but it came off within weeks and I’ve been riding without one ever since.
Oh, yeah… I’ve ridden HUNDREDS of miles in the rain AND cold with nary a
problem! And my beloved 19-year-old Harley remains my main means of
transportation to this day! Just got to love us die-hard scooter tramps,
eh? (I’ll be closing in on 60!)
Just goes to show you… doctors don’t always be right!
“The Trollman”
AKA James Sparks”
“I never told my doctors I had a bike. So a few months after my 2001
operation I took the bike out and rode it, in season, till just this year.
I turned 80 and had promised my wife I’d get rid of the bike.
There are a few things you can’t do after losing your vocal cords. But try it before
you stop it, whatever it is.
Lou Holtman Class of 2001 Poughkeepsie, NY”