Vincent here: As some of you may have heard, Steve suffered a head injury yesterday (Friday) evening. Bill Stolte was also injured. I will post updates as I get them and until Steve is able to return to the keyboard. Please respect the difficult time Steve and Trudi are going through, please feel free to contact me directly. 720-301-3003.
The accident: If you are familiar with Topeka’s regular ride, the accident happened while riding in on 2nd street just before the BP gas station “sprint” finish. The speed was high ~30mph. A dog ran into the road and Steve hit it, went over the bars, Sound like Bill was on his wheel and hit Steve. (Incidentally, we don’t know about the dog. It was taken in by its owners.)
Injuries: Steve was unconscious for at least 10min. Bill got really banged up and broke some ribs and has a collapsed lung. Both Steve and Bill were admitted to the hospital.
Friday night Assessment : Steve had a head CT that showed a crack in the skull, a small subarachnoid bleed with a very small (3mm) shift, and some frontal lobe contusions. He was admitted to the ICU overnight for monitoring. He was having a terrible headache and nausea/ vomiting. Bill has a collapsed lung (haven’t gotten the details on the side or severity.)
6:00am Assessment this morning: repeat head CT showed no change. This is good. He’s in a lot of pain, but this is to be expected.
9:30am Update: Update from Neurologist, Star-burst fracture in the back of his skull, evidence of a huge impact. Frontal lobe bruising is bigger than last night, as expected. More scans to come. Staying in ICU for a couple more days. Still very nauseous, vomiting, head ache. The Neurologist said it could be months of recovery and even some time in a rehab facility. Will know more as time passes.
12:00pm Update: Frontal brain contusion (bruise) is worse. Starburst fracture on occiput (back of head) with continued but stable subarachnoid bleed. If swelling worsens he may require a craniotomy (hole in the head) to relieve pressure. This is serious friends, recovery may take time, too long for Steve I am sure.
2:00pm Update: Bill is up eating. Has a chest tube to take care of the lung, 4 broken ribs, should be out Monday.
6:00pm Update: Eating some Jello and a saltine, asking questions. Photo below.
11:30pm Update: Neurology check is good. Neck CT looks good but they have not yet cleared his neck. He has had lots of pain through the day 8/10. They just changed the pain meds and got the neck collar loosened and he is now sleeping. Labs look good. He will get another head CT in the morning. He seems much more like himself spirit is back, everyone is feeling much more optimistic while aware recovery will take time.
Bill is also doing much better.
Sunday 8:00am Update: Steves condition seems stable. His neurology exam is good he has no problem following order, understanding questions and answers but he is clearly in a fog. Likely he will be transferred to the floor, out of ICU today. He had a CT scan again this morning, it unofficially looks like the swelling us much better. I have added a few photos below.
Sunday 11:00am: This mornings scan looks good no progression with some regression of the lesion. Transferring out of ICU today. Possibly home on Tuesday. Lots of PT /OT / speech therapy. Things to watch for but unlikely : meningitis and hearing loss in right ear. The doctor is assuming a full recovery in 1 year. A repeat injury would be really bad.
Sunday evening: Steve was transferred to the spine and neuro floor (out of ICU). He got out of bed and showered, has eaten some broth and apple juice, pain is much better. Recognizing everyone, addressing by name, opening eyes when talking. All good signs.
Sunday sermon from his friends: Passing along advice from the doctor, everyone needs to make sure he never rides a bike without a helmet again. Not even just 1 mile to run tucker . There is a condition called second impact syndrome . This is super important over the next few years. It can occur from a much lower energy head injury and you die from that! Seth says it well here LINK.
Monday Morning: Bill’s update: Bill is doing great, I mean he has a tube in his chest connected to a machine but otherwise great.
Monday Morning, Steve’s update: I have updated the support section. Steve is looking so much better this morning. Been a huge improvement over last night even in the last several hours. He did great with the occupational therapist actually scored 26/30. At 4:30am Steve decided it was time for a shower. He disabled his bed alarm, rolled his IV stand into the bathroom and took one, he almost got away with it but for the noise from the water. He will not be going home until he can eat and drink without puking everything up . For the last 3 days, he has not kept anything down. Solid foods are not even an option at this time.
Monday Evening: Bill is home and doing well, or as well as you can with 4 broken ribs. Steve is continuing to improve. He is basically clear to go home once he can keep food down. It is getting to that time in recovery where it almost becomes more difficult for family and friends than the patient. There can be many difficult expected and unexpected issues with this type of injury. Probably looking at a 95% recovery in the next 4-8 weeks with the last 5% taking up to a year. The challenge is that the 5% could manifest in strange ways.
Tuesday Morning: New photo below. Morning CT scan is stable, this is good news. Steve slept well last night. He had 2 bites of pizza last night. He has not puked since yesterday morning, which is really good. His headache is still really bad. He is still very impulsive, this is due to the frontal TBI.
It is likely Steve is going home at the end of the day or tomorrow. It is super important that he gets mental rest. I know many of you would like to email, call, stop by. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS! feel free to continue to leave comments. Frontal TBI causes interesting and unpredictable personality issues.
Tuesday afternoon: Steve is home. See photo of Steve and Tucker below.
It is super important that Steve gets mental rest. I know many of you would like to email, call, stop by. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS! feel free to continue to leave comments. Frontal TBI causes interesting and unpredictable personality issues.
Wednesday Morning: (New Tucker photo below) Steve is continuing to rest and heal. Mostly Steve is just very very very tired and has a terrible headache. It has been hard for him to get comfortable. Feeling new aches from the crash. His lower back is now sore. He has a pretty deep round wound there. He neck is sore but that is not really new. Right ear feels clogged but it is damaged, he has a crack in his skull behind his ear. if it continues we should see an ENT doc. Eating a bit more and no more vomiting. Have the pill rotation going. No Visiting, Calling, Texting, Emailing… please, Leave comments below.
Tuesday: Starting a new post, see here.
No Visiting, Calling, Texting, Emailing… please (updated Oct 18): Steve’s brain needs rest. If you are local or in some other way are thinking about visiting or contacting (calling, emailing) Steve, please do not! Free to continue to leave comments. It is super important that he gets mental rest. Frontal TBI causes interesting and unpredictable personality issues. I will update when this changes. Expect this to be in effect until Oct 27 even after he returns home.
Recovery: If you are wondering what recovery from this type of injury might entail, this LINK explains it, although to me it says nothing useful while at the same time reading like a side effect warning for head injuries.
Support: Many of you have reached out asking how you can help out. Friendship, prayers, letters, posts in the comments…. All of these things are great. Trudi will be busy taking care of Steve, there will be opportunities to help but we need to let Trudi worry about Steve and their very close friends will help coordinate other help that may be needed. If you have something specific you would like to do, you can contact me, directly firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-301-3003. Many have also offered financial assistance. At this time this is greatly appreciated and humbling, but not necessary. If there comes a time it is necessary, we ensure everyone has an opportunity to help.
Thanks to the wonderful staff at Stormont-Vail
Point of acknowledgment: My wife is making me say this, I do what she says 😉 Steve was not wearing a helmet. He may be pissed at us for posting this when he’s all better, but seriously, wear your helmets. We don’t know if it will change his decisions in the future, but please let it change yours. And please don’t focus on this point in the comments. Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve, but we just want Steve and Bill better.