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.

snail-03

 

 

 

 

40 thoughts on “Three Weeks Today

  1. Kathy LeMond

    Steve, I wanted to write this privately but couldn’t find your email.
    I had a bad concussion many years ago from a skiing accident. I read your post, and it brought me back to that terrible feeling of a cloudy brain, and thinking that if I tried harder, I could figure out the solution to why I couldn’t think, or talk, or walk without tipping over.

    I was so frustrated with how slowly I was healing, and that my life was changed. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for someone as active as you.

    I feel compelled to write to you because I did not take care of myself appropriately. I felt like I could push the limits and didn’t take the time to rest my brain as I should have. In hindsight, I should have asked for help and done everything I could have to heal.
    I don’t mean to preach to you, but you have been through a terrible accident. You can’t just tough it out like other injuries. The brain is different. I am concerned that your headaches are so severe. It is so hard to stop the mindset of getting things accomplished and be “lazy, ” but I wonder if it might help. I suffered so much more when there was noise or light or I moved around too much.
    I wish you relief from your headaches and sleep. I am so sorry you are suffering so much.
    With love,
    Kathy LeMond

     
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    1. Tilford fan

      Yes. What she said. Went through the exact same thing, pushing every boundary after a concussion, mainly because I didn’t quite know WHAT to do. Everything Kathy says is true.

       
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  2. Choppy Warburton

    No one’s going to read any comments now that Kathy LeMond has entered the fray.

    However,

    https://www.openanesthesia.org/aba_increased_icp_-_treatment/

    Another approach might include light resistance spinning to help increase blood flow and healing – just as the OTC used to recommend for cyclists with injuries such as a broken leg.

    Also inquire about Fioricet and Indomethacin to see if they are recommended.

     
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    1. Breakaway Rob

      Choppy I thought you were dead? Using a name of a well known dope cheat and using the name of a man who doped athletes until they went mad, really says it all. Says something about your character. At least Kathy Lemond had good character and cares enough to reach out.

       
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      1. Choppy Warburton

        Dumbass. I do care.

        I am in fact the real and original Choppy Warburton, resurrected via my own doping techniques and have been a trusted advisor to Festina, US Postal and now Sky.

        Steve is one of the lone holdouts (him and a guy that DNF’d in the 2007 Tour of Kansas City) and this injury looks to be my only chance to get Steve a number of TUEs and back in to action.

         
    1. Touriste-Routier

      Reactions to opioids differ. For some people Vicodin and Percocet put them to sleep; for others it makes them tired, but actually keeps them awake. When this happens, time seems to slow down. I wouldn’t be surprised if the later reaction is part of Steve’s sleep problem. Short of trying another pain medication and pain management techniques, it might be a matter of choosing pain vs sleep.

       
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  3. Mike

    Good morning Steve, coffee, reading, and prayer time a little later this morning. I am so sorry for your continued pain, discomfort and lack of sleep. My heart goes out to you and I truly keep you in my prayer of request for healing. I cry for anyone who is in any type of suffering. You will progress and you very well may see a new normal, possibly far better than you could ever imagine.

    There’s so much to say I suppose, a whole lot I know; a big book of LIFE. My encouragement is to embrace the stillness, shut out the noise of the world, listen to clean running waters, slow melodic classical music from wooden stringed instruments, feel the glow of a candle of wax, find some peace that overcomes and takes you away from the temporal experience you are having, feel that breeze. You have many people far and wide caring for you, most special gratitude to those caregivers and companions closest to you.

    I don’t want my words to get in the way, let me please share something I just read:
    Afflictions are brought about to see what attitude you’ll take. See, it’s God in this proving ground. That’s all earth is, is a proving ground, where He’s trying to prove you. Oh my…..that’s a plateful.

    Rest well my friend, thy sleep shall be sweet.

     
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  4. CharlieA

    *Not a Dr.*
    Maybe a slight headache relief would be to use a diuretic (caffeine, etc.). This might reduce the fluid pressure in the brain.
    One theory I have about headaches is when you skip caffeine the body is used to the lower volume due to the diuretic affects. Suffering from caffeine withdrawal actually is more blood volume in the brain/head.

    *Again – not a Dr.*

     
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  5. Russel

    Euro
    Skip the blog forever. This blog is about a cyclists daily thoughts and activities. Today the cyclist has an f’ing headache from shattering is skull. What did you want him to talk about? A race you might have participated in once? Reread an old blog or look through some of your old pictures until Steve can provide more provocative thoughts.

     
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  6. Jon

    Any chance your additional activity with yesterday’s neurologist visit caused more swelling, the headache, and the rough night? It might be interesting to log your daily activities and how you feel. You could look for correlation between activity and the headaches.

     
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  7. Dann Steffey

    Always eat something before taking pain meds. Not only activates the medicine but helps keeping constipation at a minimum.

     
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  8. Marcus Welby

    Like a few others have written, this is like watching someone die ever so slowly simply because they are being stupid. (And this all started with not wearing a helmet on a group ride.)

    I was told, like before, that most everything should be pretty well by 8 weeks, which is 5 weeks from now.  That seemed reasonable.

    – That is IF you follow the doctor’s directions. But that’s not really happening right 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.

    – Medicine is prescribed to be taken, not rationed.

    The Perocets I took last night and so far this morning have done absolutely nothing for the pain.

    – Call your doctor and get prescribed something else.

    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.

    – It may be too late to request a ballot by mail. But have Trudi call the election commissioner’s office to find out for sure.

    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.

    – Stay down and low and dark. Let your brain rest!

    If I could just get a few nights sleep, I think I’d be way better off.

    – Then concentrate on getting sleep. Find out from your doctor what other medicines can be prescribed to help you with this important task.

     
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    1. Cranky Curmudgeon

      You are 100% correct, doctor. And it won’t make a damn bit of difference. Tilford’s going to do it My Way.

       
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      1. Wildcat

        No doubt. He’s not listening. He effing thought he could go to Louisville and watch bike races!! He’s treating this like a broken bone and a little road rash. Of course it’s not getting better because he’s not doing the right things. The people in his life up in top-city need to take control of this nonsense. If they don’t, everyone will regret it. This time is crucial for him to rest, sit in the dark, and do nothing. Steve, you will not be able to get this time back!! We’ve all tried to get through to you about this, but I’m not your mama. Maybe at least you’ll listen to Kathy LeMond, but even if I were a betting man – I wouldn’t put any money on it. Prove us wrong.

         
  9. H Luce

    You should stop watching TV or looking at monitors. You could put a bit of cloth over the TV screen so that you’d hear the sound, but not see the picture. See if that helps.

     
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  10. Bryan Barber

    I’ve taken hundreds of Percocets and given away many more. “Weaning” myself off of them is how I prove to myself that I’m getting better. Pain level is usually our only indicator that we’re getting better on a daily basis. But in reality it’s a terrible measure. As endurance athletes we don’t believe the rules of recovery and pain apply equally to us.
    Example: Neurosurgeon drives eight bolts into my back then tells me in the recovery room that it’ll be a year til I can work. My mom calls five minutes later and I tell her I can’t work for six months. ( started riding after six weeks even though he told me six months) (Stupid)

    5 laps to go
    Grab a wheel and let your team do the work. That’s your job right now. How many times have you felt shitty at the beginning or middle of a race only to end up with a great result?

    Opioids suck! But they’re the best thing for acute pain. I recommend some edibles to augment your pain management. THC’s and RBD’s

     
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  11. Mark Holt

    You’ve got lots of comments here Steve. I’m sorry for your pain and really hope you will listen to this most recent Doctor and follow what he suggests. The brain injury is a new thing for you and you’ve found it doesn’t act like all the others injuries you’ve had and it’s not. Listen to the Doctor. Rest. Relax as much as possible. Wean yourself off the pain killers when you have less pain. The 8 weeks (just 5 more) will pass.

    Wishing you the best possible recovery.

     
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  12. Mary Pelletier

    When you have chronic or long term pain, you will get better pain relief if you take the medicine on a schedule rather than waiting ’til the pain becomes unbearable. Always take pain medicine with food and consider a stool softener if constipation occurs. You can’t hurry up this kind of recovery,
    Hope you start to feel better soon.

     
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  13. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Steve, about that progression you’re looking forward to: I had a very bad accident (that resulted in hip surgery) about 15 years ago. Nothing close to what you’re going through, but I can say that I definitely experienced full humility in my situation. People who’ve had a bad debilitating crash know what I mean by that. Going to Zero. Being fully dependent on others for care, etc.

    I had some of the worst “downs” of my life during that recovery. Alright, THE worst downs. That is, when I used a model of comparing my (then) current situation to that of the day before it. It’s like doing long climbs in the desert. There aren’t any trees, so you can’t really see the slope of the road. All you know is that you feel like you’re going 6 MPH (because you ARE going 6MPH). But based on what you see and think, you should be riding fast. Fact is, not every day will feel like improvement. It’s like a stock chart for the S&P 500. Individual rises and drops each day (sometimes drastic drops), but stick with it and you end up with a shitload of gains over time.

    The thing is, you ARE getting better. WAY better. Three weeks ago -based on what I’d read – I thought we might be looking at you living at a long-term care facility for the rest of your life with a feeding tube. And here you are. Back to your usual self of ignoring good medical advice (lol). You just have a bad-ass headache and you have all the usual issues that goes with TBI. Boilerplate stuff, really. Except it’s not. It’s you. This sucks, and I empathize.

    You’re still climbing in the desert. This climb is really long. Ease up and take a look behind you for a moment. Look at all of that incredible ground and elevation you just covered. Look at the help and support you’ve gotten. Your team’s done it again. You’re not dead. You’re coming back. You are on the path.

    Now get some rest and see you in a couple weeks. We just keep checking back just to check back. I’ll keep doing it if it takes a year for you to write another word.

     
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  14. James

    I wonder if the lack of sleep has to do with not riding 100 miles per day and not working with your hands and body for 8 hours. No work and no bike riding . . . .your body is barely tired now!

    Heal up my friend.

     
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    1. Dose Of Reality

      Yeah, like Steve will take that comment as support to follow what his doctors have been telling him, to get as much rest as possible, stay on the drugs they’ve prescribed, and take it easy. I’m sure he won’t take it as ” hey, the reason you’r not doing well is that you need to be riding your bike”. I assume you actually consult with your brain before posting?

       
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      1. BILL

        Remember, this is a guy that stitches himself up. He is not taking much of this seriously. He indicated he’d hit his head numerous times over the years and this was the worst. He will again go out and train without a helmet on as he has done for many years. Nobody will say anything about it to him because you get the Kansas Mafia all over you if you do. This is just another DIY project for him. He has Spring Fling in a couple months and you know he won’t miss that.

         
  15. Nan Deardorff-McClain

    I don’t know this “Euro” guy, but his comment had to be tongue in cheek.

    Steve, It looks like a “tincture of time” is going to do the trick. Try to be patient…I know, easy for me to say when I’m experiencing the pain. Hang in there, you warrior of a cyclist friend.

     
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