November 1 st

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .

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.




24 thoughts on “November 1 st

  1. SM

    Just keep on keepin’ on…. Slow and steady wins this race I’m afraid.

    Trick or Treating is pretty much dead in the neighborhoods where I live too. I live in a pretty cool neighborhood that is really safe and has many kids. We had 5 trick or treating kids last night. Two of them were from another town but my wife’s friends children and one of them was my good buddy’s little girl. Only 2 kids from my neighborhood. That is pathetic. So now I have a big bowl of candy to eat. I’m glad my wife bought candy we like I guess.

    Everyone can paint…. Just throw some paint on there and see what comes out. Remember Bob Ross’ famous saying… “You don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents”

  2. Timo

    Steve, i can’t stress this strongly enough: DO NOT go see any neurosurgeons at KU other than Dr. Camarata. It sounds like you’d be better off seeing a neuro-opthalmologist. For that specialty, i recommend seeing someone at either the Cleveland Clinic or Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. When i finally woke up an hour after my fall (20 ft., head-first on concrete), my left eye was off somewhere to my far left, way out of alignment with my right eye. It eventually came back into alignment, but after that, i had double vision for about 4 months. So many things i’d do differently in hind-sight, but the problem was that there was nobody to advise me on what the right course of treatment should have been. If you’re having eye problems, don’t go to a neurosurgeon. Go see a neuro-opthalmologist, and not one here in Topeka, and not Dr. Whitaker at KU, either. Those recommendations i can tell you from personal experience. Barnes is closest, and is most likely to accept your insurance. If you’re having tingling sensations in your extremities, i hate to say it, but that’s normal after a TBI. Both my hands and both of my feet felt like prosthetics for months after i finally learned how to walk again. Don’t worry about the tingling in your hands and feet. The fact that they’re tingling means that you still have sensation in those areas. That’s a good sign. You’ll most likely regain full sensation in all of your limbs, but in the mean time, your brain is busy reestablishing its neural communications with your body. Occupational therapy can help, but that is quite literally teaching your brain how to do things all over again. Sadly necessary. Best of luck, and remember, recovery is a SOB! Hang in there.

  3. Timo

    For your neck, go see Martin Dolphino at KU Med West on Renner Rd. He diagnosed a stretched ligament in my upper cervical spine after 4 years of neurologists finding nothing. He needed 10 minutes. I’ve got his number if you need it.

  4. JB

    I have a ruptured disc in my neck and used to get tingling down my arm and forearm and down into my pinkie finger. I think my rupture is between the C3 and C4 vertebrae (base of my neck). That nerve also runs down under my/your shoulder blade.

    Start creating some art! It doesn’t matter if you’re “good,” the process is great for your brain! You don’t have to show it to anyone, except for Tucker.

    disclosure: my wife is an Art Therapist

  5. LD

    I used to wake up with incredible headaches which were made worse by moving my eyes. I suspect the eye movement during REM sleep was causing the headache. Now that you’re sleeping more, you’re probably going into REM mode and the eye movement could be triggering more head pain. Neuro-opthalmologist sounds like a good choice in my uneducated opinion. Patience will be your biggest ally during your recovery.

  6. Bill K

    I think that I only had around 10 kids, last night. All with parents walking them around.
    Yeah, I really need all that excess candy.

    Get better.

  7. Jay labecki

    Get the name of the owner of the dog. Then get a lawyer and go after their home owners insurance. The dog should have been kept in control.

  8. Timo

    Jay, i get where you are coming from, but i can’t totally agree with the sentiment. The dog was being a dog. No leash laws in the county. In the City, yes, but i’m not sure where the accident occurred. Sorry Steve. I’m late to the party. I’ve been chased by lots of dogs. We all have, and 99% of the time, the chase lasts a hundred yards or so, and then it’s over and done. No harm. Not so in this case, but i can’t say that i blame the dog for doing what dogs do. However, the dog’s owners should have known better than to let their dog run loose and potentially run out into the road, and in this case be responsible for serious injury. If money is an issue, then it’s your call.

    Give a big wide space
    to the festive dogs for they
    make sport in roadway

    Downhill I’m chased by
    festive dogs on winding road
    Holy Crap! Dead end!

  9. Niki

    If you are looking to get into the KU Med mychart – they should have given you an activation code but you can still request one on their site if they didn’t give you one. Once on it, you would just need to find your test results and hope they auto-push radiology results to it, such as CT’s, x-rays, and the like. I work on Epic which is the EMR at KU Med if that’s who saw you after the accident. Good luck, you should try logging in soon though so it gets figured out before Friday. Truly a bummer for you and I’ve been following along since the accident. Hoping you get right before you think you will.

  10. JR

    You’re right – health insurance does need an overhaul. Let’s get the government out of the way and let the market work like other markets.

  11. mks

    Umm – you do know that Steve COMMONLY lets his dog run wild – right? So much so that a GPS unit is on the collar to make sure the dog could be found again? A bit of the pot calling the kettle black if a lawsuit were attempted on this…………….. Second comment – I’ve tried to resist but can’t – healthcare is NOT like shopping for a mechanic to get the water pump changed on your 20 year old van. There is tremendous value to seeing the same person repeatedly – signs/symptoms can be subtle and having the same set of eyes assess your progress in recovery over time is the only way you’ll ever establish a “history” of improvement or lack of improvement. This process will not heal overnight – think of the tremendous impact you had to have to crack your skull. It will take time – you’re sleeping longer now than a week ago. That’s called progress. It’ll take time – this is truly a situation where “you could have died from that accident”. To me it is amazing you are home and as functional as you are – you could still be in an ICU bed on a vent with a foley catheter. Please try to be patient and not harm your recovery. Lastly – all the advice you get from experts on this forum or in your personal world is scary to me. Over the last several days – take celebrex, ingest caffeine, etc. Let’s evaluate and propose a scenario – you’re taking celebrex for pain – it gives you relief. You think “wow, if I took a bigger dose it would provide additional pain relief” – maybe, maybe not. A bigger dose, however, MIGHT cause the drug to inhibit the activity of your platelets. Those platelets prevent bleeds – and you’ve already had a brain bleed. So – that might make you more prone to a rebleed. Then you drink some coffee – which increases heart rate and blood pressure – which causes that platelet plug that formed at the former bleed site in your head to fail and you rebleed. My point is this – this kind of medical care is not “do it yourself”. You can hurt yourself and all of the so-called experts who consult really might not know as much as they think they do. Just trying to keep you safe……………..

  12. Mark

    Kids just aren’t into Halloween like we were. Halloween was only one of 2 or 3 times per year that you could really score some candy around our house! Also, kids are exposed to so much more animation and stuff these days that I don’t think dressing up has near the same appeal…..Kind of like firework shows. My 5 year old couldn’t care less.

  13. Emacdo

    Which is essentially what has led to the mess we’re in. Left to a market-regulated system, Steve could be dropped from his insurance now. Regulation is what prevents that from happening.

  14. Kevin Lyons

    I have been involved in two dog vs cyclist incidents. You have to have ticket issued to the dog owner for “dog at large” or it’s like it never happened. And down the road it is a lot easier for your insurance company and your lawyer to go after the dog owner if there is a ticket and the owner goes to court and is found guilty. Otherwise the owner will continue to let the dog run loose and it will get real expensive on your part for health care after the accident.

  15. channel_zero

    A note on this “get a lawyer” idea. In most settlements, the medical insurer will take most of what’s left after the lawyer because of the enormous costs of medical care. In California, most insurance policies are written this way because people won’t pay a few extra dollars a month to exclude the insurer from a settlement. Maybe things are really different in Kansas in this respect.

    It’s why I find lawyers who artfully misrepresent who-gets-what especially loathsome.

  16. Mike Connair

    People think art is either a “you can or you can’t” thing. There’s a lot more problem solving than you would think.

  17. Charles Dostale

    If you are going to paint, don’t get hung up if it looks like what some people think is real. Art is about your personal vision of reality. It is thinking and feeling at the same time, which uses a whole bunch of parts of your brain at once. Be careful. Painting can engross you enough the time may slip by faster.

    Wish I had time to paint more, or at least draw.
    I probably have 15 hours of computer time a day, not 15 minutes.

    Heal well Steve.

  18. GaryK

    If it were me, I’d focus on PT and OT more than doctors. PT and OT are your friends. Madonna in Lincoln and Craig in Denver are both great. Therapy makes all the difference. A family member spent 5 months at Madonna after a spine injury. Awesome place. Doctors are important to the medical issues, but therapy is the recovery difference maker.

  19. Fausto

    Look at Phinny, he is terrible as an artist and every magazine thinks he is a wonderful Renaissance Man.

  20. Fausto

    Acupuncture is your friend, great for healing and neuropathy. Check it out, I am sure there is someone in the cycling community dialed into a good practitioner.

  21. Timmy

    Steve, if you want to watch some live Euro-cross over the weekend, go to
    other sports too, but every cycling event live for hours on end. It does show at 7:30 AM, but that won’t be a problem for you.


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