Monthly Archives: November 2016

November 1 st

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I guess if I was going to hit my head and be down for the count, then the middle of October would be as good of a month to do it as anytime during the year.  But now, nearly 3 weeks later, the progression of healing is going at a snail’s pace, if that, so I can’t be too thrilled about anything that is currently going on.

The last two nights I’ve slept close to 4 hours a night.  Pretty stellar increase in sleep time.  The only problem is that when I wake up, I’m pretty, like really, uncomfortable for at least an hour or more.  That is no matter what medication I take when I wake up.  It kind of makes the longer sleep session seem sort of questionable for improvement.

My doctor’s appointment deal yesterday was a bust.  The people at KU med needed pre-approval from my insurance to see me.  I told them that I had health insurance from two decades earlier and they pay everyone nearly everything they ask for.  They didn’t believe me.  So they called my insurance and my insurance told them that they weren’t in their system, so that they would pay them.  That is total bullshit.

My insurance agent ended up calling my insurance for me and eventually she was told that they would pay.  But by then, I had no appointment scheduled at KU med, so I have another week of my current situation before I can see a real neurologist.  I do have an eye appointment tomorrow and an appointment with a neurosurgeon on Thursday, but those appointments are going to be busts.  I can’t really see very well out of my right eye and I’m hoping I don’t need any neurosurgery, so that should just be a last appointment deal, I hope.  If not, I guess I’ll be checking back into a hospital, which doesn’t really matter as of now.  It isn’t like I’m doing much else that would interrupt.

My hands have been kind of tingling, numb, since I was released from the hospital.  I think, at least from what I have read, that I have a neck issue.  Probably a disc problem in the upper neck.  It doesn’t feel like it, but I’m sort of like a bobble head right now, so my neck could be a lot worse than it feels.  I’m hoping the neurologist is the right person to see for this too.  If not, just another week or two of bullshit scheduling.  LIke I posted before, our healthcare system needs a complete overall.  This is from someone that supposedly has pretty good health insurance.  Maybe not as good as I thought, though.

I’m going to the police station today and get the police report of the “accident”.  I saw that there were a lots of cops standing around when they were loading me into the ambulance, so I figured there must have been a report.  I’m interested in what it says.  My riding buddies didn’t have any interaction with the cops, so I’m guessing it is pretty basic.  Plus I signed up for an electronic medical record to try to get access to the CT scans and such.  Seems like it is hard to access too.  I don’t need it until next Monday now, so I have a few days to try to learn how to use it, which I’m sure it will take.

Okay, there a some cyclocross races to watch just about now.  I guess Trek is making the live streaming available to North America.  That is pretty nice of them.  I haven’t really been able to look at my computer for more than 15 minutes at a time, so maybe I’m not going to enjoy it nearly as much as I’m hoping.

These days are so long, going so slowly, that I’m so happy when I wake up in the morning, no matter whether it is 2 am or 5.  If I could just get a couple more hours sleep during the day, I’m thinking the whole process would be moving more closely to a speed I’d like.

Right now it is nearly the most frustrating injury I’ve ever had.  And I’ve had a ton of cycling related injuries over the years.  This has to change speed pretty soon.  Either that or I need to change my mindset.  Probably a little of both is going to be the end result.

Stacie sent me some gifts from Amazon yesterday.  Some audio books on tape and a full oil color painting set, with canvasses.  I’m not a very good artist.  I can be sometimes, like I get lucky, but in reality, I am not very good at drawing real life scenes.  Maybe that will change.  I need to try something new.  This is going a longer process than I’d ever imagined.

I guess I’m lucky in is only the first of November.  Rabbit, rabbit.

My new painting set.  It's isn't paint by numbers.  It might take a while to get this down.  I think I have time.

My new painting set. It’s isn’t paint by numbers. It might take a while to get this down. I think I have time.

I decided to carve a pumpkin when everyone went on the gravel night ride.  It was a bit primitive.

I decided to carve a pumpkin when everyone went on the gravel night ride. It was a bit primitive.

I put it in the front window and only two trick or treaters showed up all night.  That is an all time record low.  I've lived here since I was in junior high.  Seems like Halloween is pretty much over in my neighborhood.  Boo on that.  It really is a pretty good holiday for kids.

I put it in the front window and only two trick or treaters showed up all night. That is an all time record low. I’ve lived here since I was in junior high. Seems like Halloween is pretty much over in my neighborhood. Boo on that. It really is a pretty good holiday for kids.




Head Injuries

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Okay, I am the first to admit that I knew pretty much nothing about severe to minor head injuries before I started trying to read up on it the last week or so.  From what I have been reading, I don’t think really anyone knows that much about them either.  I think that each and every person that has an brain injury has their own issues that the medical society can probably only scratch the surface of.

I am not getting better.  Worse is more like it.  I have slept over 4 hours two nights straight now, but after I wake, I am pretty pitiful and it takes a hour or two to just get bearable.    And that doesn’t really even happen.

I have an eye doctors appointment this afternoon.  Then an appointment with a neurosurgeon tomorrow.  Neither of those appointments are going to help me currently.  Maybe down the road, but not now.  Not unless I get a new prescription to another medicine that might help me with severe headaches.  I’ve been lucky throughout my life, of not having headache issues.  Now I’m on a new level, which I can’t stay on for much longer.  Or maybe I can.  I’ve pretty much surprised myself on a ton of different subjects the past three weeks.  Not in a good way.

I did do 10 pushups yesterday.  It wasn’t so easy.  I am trying not to increase any blood pressure to my head.  I think I might try to do 10 a day, but it probably isn’t something a doctor would recommend.   But, I doubt doctors would be recommending much of anything I’m doing nowadays.

I also sold most of all the stock I own.  And I’m gonna sell the rest today.  The stock market and our presidential election isn’t going to work that well together this next week.  Mainly if Trump wins, which seems to be coming closer to a real chance more and more as the days pass.

Tonight is the final game of the World Series.  Like I posted yesterday, Trudi is from Chicago, so she is pretty into it.  I’m thinking the Cubs have a pretty good shot at winning tonight.  Final game, 7th game, pretty good baseball so far.  It should be a good game.

I was supposed to be flying out to LA to ride the Mike Nosco ride on Thursday.  I’ve done the ride every year since inception.  The ride is great and the people doing it are real reasons I ride bikes.  Mike’s brother Jack, conceived the ride, and I’m going to miss seeing him.  If you have the smallest chance being in LA on Thursday, please consider doing the ride.  I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Okay, sorry about the same old post. I’m hoping to turn a corner soon.  Or better yet, just do a u-turn and leave this head injury loop I’m in.   I’m not really doing anything other than listening to NPR and laying around with my eyes shut.

Tucker is laying around with me, so that is nice.  I feel like he needs to go out and run, but he seems to just want to snuggle up with me all day.  I really appreciate it.  I just want to feel better enough soon, so that I can take him out to the country and let him do his dog things.  He is going to be turning 11 months old next weekend.   He likes colder weather, which is slow to come this year.  Yesterday it was in the 80’s again.  Pretty hot for the first of November.

This guy crawled around my arm for a few minutes yesterday. I like most spiders, especially these guys.

This guy crawled around my arm for a few minutes yesterday. I like most spiders, especially these guys.

Tucker had already plopped down at my feet by then.

Tucker had already plopped down at my feet by then.



Brain Squished my Eye

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Okay, I’ve finally started the doctor rounds.  Yesterday was an optomalogist appointment.   I really haven’t been able to see very well out of my right eye since I fractured my skull.  I wasn’t thinking it was going to be useful, but I was wrong, as usual here.

The guy I saw, i’d never met before.  He says he used to race bicycles, criteriums mainly, when he was going to school in Florida.  Now he climbs mountains.  Pretty nice guy.

As it turns out, he did a ton of stuff.  He took pictures of the insides of both my eyes, measured the thickness of the lenses and lots of other stuff.  I have about 30 minutes of energy in me and this took close to 3 hours, so I eventually just sat, then did whatever his staff asked.

As it turns out, my right eye got pretty squished from my brain slamming forward on it. Squished enough that it isn’t too happy and needs some attention.  It doesn’t sound like I have to have any surgery or anything, but I guess I’m supposed to take some more steroids, like for a while.  He told me that I need to come and see him pretty often and it will probably take over 3 months before we know exactly how it is all going to work out.

Wow.  Three months from now is the end of January.   The steroids cost something close to $300 at the pharmacy, for the first round.  I’m going to research the whole thing a little bit before I commit to this whole deal.  Steroids and these TBI’s don’t sometime like to get along that great.

I have a neurosurgeon appointment this morning at 10 am.   That is 8 hours from now.  I think it is the final appointment with him.  I’m hoping, plus assuming, that I don’t need any head surgery as of now, so this should be a easy one.  I have more appointments next week at KU Med, where I guess I’m going to find out better how long this whole thing is going to take.  I’m planning on getting on a new drug regiment then.  Hopefully something that will allow me to expand my night from 3 hours sleep to something closer to normal, like over 6 at least.  These days are so, so long, like only 2 hours sleep last night.

The Cubs did pretty well last night.  Incredible they hadn’t won the World Series in 108 years.  Probably a pretty happy bunch of baseball players.  Trudi is pretty happy, since Chicago is her home town.

Okay, time is about up.  Funny how short of a time I can concentrate on any given thing now. Guess it is all part of getting better.  Pretty slow going though.

Pretty modern eye doctor's office.

Pretty modern eye doctor’s office.

Guess this is a photo of the inside of my eyes. Seem sort of veiny.

Guess this is a photo of the inside of my eyes. Seem sort of veiny.

Dr. Marefat looking over all the data he collected. Super good guy.

Dr. Marefat looking over all the data he collected. Super good guy.  Really good doctor.


Three Weeks Today

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Okay.  I went to a pretty optimistic neurosurgeon’s appointment yesterday and afterward, even though I was completely exhausted, I felt like I was going to progress soon and that life would be slowly getting back to normal.

I was told, like before, that most everything should be pretty well by 8 weeks, which is 5 weeks from now.  That seemed reasonable.  This last 3 weeks has went at snails pace, minis the snail, so I was pretty sure I could endure 5 more weeks of it.

I say all this and then last night and this morning has been awful.  Like beyond awful.  All my little shower, bath, heating pad and other tricks are completely not working.  I slept from 10 to a little after midnight.  And then the day began.  And it is still going.   Yesterday my headache deal wasn’t a 10.  It was probably closer to 8 or 9.  But nope, back to standard now.

I did get another prescription for Perocet, but I’ve been rationing them pretty well, trying to sort of ween myself off of them.  I’ve cut it down to about 4 a day.   They had been pretty great for the headache problem, but add other issues.  The Perocets I took last night and so far this morning have done absolutely nothing for the pain.  Goes to show you that you can rely on the same old medicine at all times to work the same.

So, another 2 hours sleep.  I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to get another hour or so before noon. At least I’m hoping.   I was thinking about going to vote today.  At least I was thinking that yesterday.  Now I’m thinking maybe not.  I guess it all depends how I feel later this morning.

I had thought about maybe trying to go to Louisville to watch the UCI races there this weekend. That ain’t happening.  I can barely sit in a car long enough to get to the doctor’s office.  10 hours of driving on interstate isn’t an option nowadays.

Okay, sorry about this constant whining.  I’ve been pretty hurt quite a few times racing bikes. This one is a doozy.  The neurologist said that I should be absorbing all the extra liquid in my head pretty soon.  The pressure is what is causing the headaches I guess.   If I could just get a few nights sleep, I think I’d be way better off.  It hasn’t been attainable as of yet.  Maybe today? I need to to try to stay a bit optimistic.   It has been a little difficult thus far.






TBI’s are Complicated

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You know, I don’t take much anything for granted.  I realized, really realize, that I won the lottery when being born here in Kansas, in the United States of America.  I have been so fortunate to be able to travel throughout the world, allowing me to observe how the rest of the humans on it live.  It just reconfirms how lucky I am.

As I age, things are getting a little tougher.  Which is to be expected.  It is a new challenge, which I like challenges, so it’s fine.   Injuries aren’t nearly so good though.  Short term injuries can, and sometimes do, turn into permanent issues.  That is understandable.  I get it, so it is just another part of life.

This head injury I have now is something I didn’t expect.  I’ve been concussed quite a few times in my life.  It is nearly impossible to not have been if you race bicycles as much as me.  I’ve been doing this since I was a young teenager, so, of course, I’m going to have been hurt a fair amount.

I’ve been trying to read up on this TBI issue.  I guess just about anytime you hit your head you suffer some kind of TBI, which is traumatic brain injury.   Like I wrote a few days ago, normally when I whack my head hard enough to knock me out, I break something else that overtakes the head problem as soon as I wake up.  Normally a broken collarbone, shoulder, or any number of other bones.  The concussion becomes nearly nothing as I try to recover from the whole crash.

Not this time.  I wasn’t too worried about it at the hospital.  They told me that they didn’t have to drill a hole in my head to relieve pressure and that it might take a bit, but I would be fine.  I though that meant like I was going to have a bad week or two, then everything was going to fix itself.  I knew nothing.

I’ve been reading up on this whole thing for a bit each day.  What I’ve learned is that there are so many different levels of these TBI’s that it is a wait and see game.  I’ve actually talked to a few guys that have had them and I’m skipping that for a few more weeks.    These things can linger for a long while.  I’m going to wait until I see the doctor at KU med and get some answers to the questions I still have before I take a different tact.

My main problems so far are headaches, which are nearly unbearable, and loss of balance. And of course, lack of close to enough sleep.  These three things make the day kind of a wreck.  I don’t have enough energy to do anything and can’t sleep enough to get the energy so I can. Pretty big quandary.   It has to get better sooner.  Because later is going to be a long time from now. Ouch.

I’m hoping this is all over by the time the election is over.   I know that it all won’t be over completely, but I’m hoping that I can sleep by then.  I’ve listened to enough NPR from all over the world about our election.  I’m done with that.  Let’s just vote and move on to the next stupid thing that no one agrees on.  It ain’t going to get any better this next week.

Okay, time limit is up again.  I probably should read my emails soon.  It is over a 1000 now. Most I’ve read are just well wishes, which is super nice.  Lots from people I haven’t seen in a long time, which is great.  It is the weekend.  NPR on Saturday morning is alright.  It doesn’t start early enough for me, since  Friday night is really the start of my Saturday morning currently.

Tucker has been laying on the coffee table in the living room to keep an eye on me and what is going on out front.

Tucker has been laying on the coffee table in the living room to keep an eye on me and what is going on out front.  Pretty weird spot for a dog.

NYC Marathon Today – Gwen Jorgensen is Running

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This weekend is packed with athletic events.  The two UCI cross races in Louisville, Iceman Cometh was yesterday in Traverse City, plus the NYC Marathon is today.    I’m looking forward to the later.

My friend, Gwen Jorgensen is running her first marathon this morning.  I haven’t talked to her in the last month, but back then, she was just going to do the race and enjoy.  I hope that works out for her.  She did the US 10 mile National Championships about a month ago and finished 3rd, less than 30 seconds out of winning.  She ran 53:13.  I know a marathon is 2 1/2 times as long, but she can run.

I’ve received a few texts from Pat, Gwen’s husband, the last month.   We didn’t chat about Gwen, but they both know it is just testing the waters.  She is hoping to run under 2:38, which I think she can do easily.  I say that as I’m having a terrible time trying to walk around a short block at night.  I’m thinking she’ll run 2:34, probably faster.  And it is going to be pretty hard the last 30 minutes. I think that is how marathons go.  They were down in the Bahamas, doing the Island House Triathon, which she won for the 2nd year in a row.   Now just a marathon and her stellar season in done.  Pretty big year.

I have never ran that far.  I did a 1/2 marathon a long time ago.  Cold turkey.  I hadn’t ran a step in a year or two.  I did 1:15 and walked the last couple miles.  It wasn’t like I was cramped up, it was like my legs were so tight they couldn’t extend more than 8 inches.  But, I never could run as fast as Gwen does continually.

Anyway, the NYC Marathon women’s start is at 9:20 eastern time.  There are 50,000 people running the event.  How crazy is that?  Anyway, I plan on watching the race.  I know I have a few more hours until the start, but I’ve been up most of the night, so at least it is getting close.   It is supposed to be great temperatures for running there today.  High of 57 degrees, which is good.

Anyway, I wish Gwen luck.  Along with all my friends that are racing again in Louisville.  I’m missing out.  The race is live on ESPN2 at 9 am eastern time.

Gwen Jorgensen on a training run in Minneapolis, MN on 03 November 2014

Gwen on a training run in Minneapolis.

Would be pretty fun doing this, huh?

Would be pretty fun doing this, huh?



Looking Forward to a Doctor’s Appointment

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I don’t have any energy to post much today.  The last 24 hours has been challenging.  I really don’t understand it, but hopefully will later today.  I have an appointment at KU Med later this afternoon to meet up with a specialist that deals with issues that I’m having.

I’m not too big on sitting in an automobile an hour each way to the doctor’s office, but this is the person I need to see, I think.   I’m not sure that everyone that has my issues has the same prognosis and needs the same treatment, but this doctor should know the answer to that, if anyone is going to.  I’ve tried to read everything I can on the Internet, but medicine isn’t too helpful for a lot of the problems I’m having.  I’m thinking if I can just get in a few hours sleep at night, I’ll take even 3 or 4, then I will get better.  If not, I feel like I’m just going to be stuck in a bad situation that seems stagnant.

I walked three times yesterday.  Pretty short walks, but at least I did something other than sit in a chair with my eyes shut.  Bill, Trudi, Catherine and I took the dogs out ot the country to run. I ran out of juice just about when we arrived, but Tucker had a great time, even though I was moving 3% as fast or far as he was.  It was pretty nice just sitting out in the country on a beautiful fall day.  All in all, days seem unbelievable unproductive in my current status.

Alright, sorry again about just whining.  It is pretty hard to try to focus on much anything else currently.  It has to get better soon.