Away from home

Having been a professional team mechanic since 1995, I have accepted the fact that I’ll be away from home a lot. I like the travel part of it even though I don’t have much time to visit the places I’m at.
This trip in particular has given me a desire to travel and a desire to want to be home at the same time. I’m excited to be starting my season. Even though I had a preliminary camp in Austin in December, this is the real deal. Everyone is here. All (22) of the riders and most (12) of the staff. This is the place where I get to see everyone at once. Some riders I only saw at the January camp last year. I only saw Lance and Kevin (now w/Telecom) at camp during the entire 2000 season. I did not see Ekimov or Tyler till September. So, it is nice here.
On the other side, I wish I could be home (at this time). I hardly ever get home sick although I love to be in Sacramento as often as I can. A week ago Wednesday my mother was admitted to the hospital for respiratory problems. She has a history of Asthma/respertory problems but this was very serious. She complained of breathing and chest pain (lungs hurting). After a round of unsuccessful Albuterel treatments she was transferred to the ICU for more serious treatments with a different asthma drug. Included in that treatment was a machine to breathe for her. She could not breathe on her own. Her normal (low) lung capacity was cut even lower. I’d estimate she had less than 15% her normal lung capacity which is much less that someone without asthma like you or I. I think at some points of her stay she was only able to intake about 4 liters of oxygen per minute. I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure that is extremely low.
Only 3 hours before I was to drive here to Tucson, she was taken off the breathing machine and was able to breathe completely on her own. For that fact, I’m much more at ease being here (1000 miles) away from home.
So straight off the bat for the new season and I have a little bit of mixed emotions about being away from home (and away from my mother). I’ll survive. I have to.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.