8 Weeks Post Crash

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Today is exactly 8 weeks since I crashed and fractured my skull.  Of course, to celebrate, I woke up with a crazy headache after sleeping less than 4 hours.  I’ve been sleeping over 7 hours for the past couple weeks, so this isn’t the norm.   The upside to this is that I’m not too dizzy this morning, which isn’t the norm either recently.

I guess I’m doing pretty well.  At least compared to what I’m reading about.  This is the first bad headache I’ve had for a “long” time, so I had sort of checked that off my symptom list.  Guess I was being premature.

My biggest issue for awhile is this vertigo I’ve had.  I’m pretty sure it is ear related.  And all the doctors that I’ve talked to thing the same. I guess I have BPPV, which is an abbreviation for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.  It gets way worse, or better, when I do something to try to realign the otoconia, which are  inner-ear crystals.

I guess that is the biggest issue, right now.  The next problem is I have is that I can’t smell and taste anything.  That isn’t exactly true.  I didn’t have any smell or taste for a long time and now I sometimes can taste things.  Yesterday I definitely tasted some cranberries and lime.  I’m not sure if this is my tongue doing it or I’m actually getting taste back.

Let me tell you, eating isn’t nearly as enjoyable without being able to taste the food.  It is worrying, of course, but it either comes back on its own or it doesn’t.  There isn’t much doctoring to be done to fix the problem.  At least from what I’ve read and been told.  It could take up to a year.

I’ve been riding indoors most every day.  I feel so much better after I ride than before.  I don’t know if it is the extra blood flow or the endorphins or what, but almost all the symptoms, minus the smell issue, are gone when I’m done.   I usually do it a couple times a day just because of this.

All and all I’m doing okay.  It is way too slow for me, but I’m learning this is a slow process.  For sure I could be riding my bike outside now.  The balance issues I’m having aren’t bad enough to make that dangerous. I’m not sure that it would even affect riding.   But, I decided a while ago that I wasn’t going to even think about it until January 1.  I thought that was a long time, but now I’m not so sure.

Anyway, days are pretty longish now.  I’m doing physical therapy 3 times a week, which for some reason, my insurance hasn’t been paying.  It helps, the therapy.   I don’t have another neurology appointment for a couple more weeks.  I have a bunch of questions, but figured I just wait.   I’m thinking about going to another ENT doctor that specializes in BPPV.  If that was fixed, I would feel pretty “cured”.

Okay, that is the, nearly, 2 month update.  I’m going to try to not dwell on all this so much here. It isn’t that interesting, to anyone other than myself, I assume.   It is getting better.  A little slower than before, but that is how this thing goes.

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26 thoughts on “8 Weeks Post Crash

  1. John Wheeler

    I had a TBI in 2006 and the recovery is slow. No 2 TBIs are the same. Balance and riding outside was tricky at first so I just rode a MTB with flat peddle clips and gradually moved up to a road bike in a month or so, it went fast when I started outside. Everything comes back bike wise so quick, I remember being worried about unclipping but it was a non issue. My balance or really dexterity never came all the way back. Riding in groups and little stuff like taking a sip of a water bottle requires concentration. Riding with no hands is not the no thought exercise it was before. The more you retrain your brain the better it recovers, just keep doing what you do the first 6 months are the most important.

     
  2. Danny E

    Is there any polite way to ask if you have any regrets about not wearing your helmet that day? I’m not saying that to be obtuse, it’s just that I don’t think you’ve talked about it yet — at least not that I’ve seen on here.

     
    1. 54x11

      I, too have been waiting to hear what you think now about not wearing a helmet that day. Was it common for you to ride without one on group rides. There is also the irony of you showing a photo of all the extra helmets you gave away–just a day or two before your crash.

       
      1. barb

        (I guess) they mean well, but why do people keep bringing up the helmet issue like a disapproving parent? As many people on this blog as have brought up that issue, doesn’t it seem obvious that if he wanted to write about it, he would? Not to mention, a helmet may protect your skull from fracture, but it doesn’t protect your brain from bouncing around inside your skull and incurring a TBI if you hit your head on something with force. Just ask all those with TBI who were in the NFL. Anyway, I’m really glad you’re getting better Steve, we all felt your pain especially in those first long weeks, what’s important is you’re getting better and persevering with patience in your recovery, which is great to hear. Hope your holidays are nice, and you can taste the turkey.

         
      2. Danny E

        Barb, I’m only asking because I was involved in a similar accident 16 years ago. While I did suffer a massive concussion, my skull was not fractured. I wrote about the accident on here a few weeks ago, but needless to say, my helmet prevented a lot of skull damage from happening.

        I’m not criticizing Steve for not wearing his that day, I was just curious about his thought on not wearing one. Obviously he doesn’t want to, or isn’t going to talk about that subject, so I’ll leave it be.

         
      1. Mikelikebikehike

        Danny E and54x11weren’t saying that wearing a helmet would prevent TBI , but that it might prevent THE FRACTURED SKULL .

         
    2. The Cyclist

      As I said, I’m not surprised. But can someone please explain who gave all these helmet wearers the divine right to point fingers and force their way on others?

       
  3. Mike

    Good morning Steve. Sometimes pictures say so much more than words, at least for me, I don’t have to work so hard to get a lot of information. I like the green shirt, it’s fresh and alive, and the cap of yarn, wonder if that’s hand knitted. That landscape looks super quiet and beautiful, vast and open, no buildings or cars, just warm sun and the sound of gentle breeze. I believe the great healer can heal in an instant with belief, true belief, no doubt, not lukewarm. Today I was led to Zechariah 4, I guess you could find it if you choose. My first structured marathon training plan was 12 weeks. I learned in subsequent marathons the race didn’t start until mile 20. So anyhow, just checking in to let you know people do care. I appreciate the apparent simplicity of your lifestyle, determination, care for others, and appreciation of what is good. I will continue to pray for your healing and patience as I know others are. I heard the other evening; “will you pray FOR me?”. “NO, but I’ll pray WITH you”. I trust a healing peaceful,day for you.

     
  4. Emil Gercke

    You are wrong, this is interesting to those that follow and care about you.
    Your blog has an interesting place in my day and I seem to appreciate whatever you blog about, even if it’s something that doesn’t normally interest me.

     
  5. Jan

    It seems like starting about two weeks ago, you’ve been getting better sleep, and that’s helped everything. Maybe that’s related to getting to ride again?

    At any rate, I’m heartened that your recovery seems to be picking up. Keep up the therapy and exercises and take good care of yourself.

     
    1. Mike

      Why is it crazy to do sprints in a group ride? Isn’t that a form of training for races, and just a lot of fun anyway? I’m not sure what kind of pedestrian group riding you do, but not all group rides are for benign activity. Sprinting for signs is tactical practice that you can’t learn solo, or on a trainer.

       
  6. Gary Crandall

    Day at a time Tilly keep hanging in there my friend. All of Chequamegonland is sending good vibes your way.

     
  7. orphan

    I’d love it if someone could explain why insurance companies don’t like to pay for physical therapy?

     
  8. Gary Johnson

    Steve,
    You’ll get back…just like I told you after doing a wheel change for you in a RR stage of the Nature Valley GP a number of years ago.
    Hope to run into you in So. Cal. this winter…but beware of those Oceanside cops. You know what I mean. Hope it made you smile!
    Gary Johnson

     
  9. MV

    Riding without a helmet myself 50% of the time, but never in any group, and never sprinting.
    I’,m definitely not a “helmet nazi” but this has been my question as well. Why?

     
  10. Robb Mesecher

    Steve,
    I enjoy your writing as I have always told you, we can listen to you talk about chain saws, burning brush, replacing windows, DK, to you hate for cheaters, to idiots, to protecting all the secrets you know that you don’t share, we always come back to hear your side of the story, I look forward to continuing to learn and I’m glad your as smart as ever. I hope someday you will step up to the plate on this one. A leader leads.

     
  11. Ed

    Mike, I only meant taking part in a sprint while NOT wearing a helmet is just plain dumb.
    Of course sprinting is a big part of group rides.

     

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