Patience isn’t my best Characteristic

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Last night I slept a record 5 hours.  And I was pretty much asleep most of the time.  That is a week’s worth of sleep any of the past 3 weeks.  I woke up feeling way off as usual, but that might take a while longer.

I write this, but yesterday was maybe the worst day I’ve had since being released from the hospital.  I started doing PT and it didn’t go that well.  It wasn’t that I did anything that extreme. I really don’t have any idea what went wrong, but it was a setback day for sure.

I guess each of us has this crystals in our ears.  These guys are glued down to an area with a sticky gel or something.  When you hit your head really hard, sometimes it dislodges some of these crystals in the ear canal and they are free.  That is a bad thing.  The free crystals screw up the liquid that tells you how to stay orientated.  I guess it either accelerates or decelerates the liquid, so your balance is off some, or alot.  It is called BPPV, or Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo,

You can get these crystals back in place by just positioning your head and let them follow the path until you have just sort of put them back in place.  Doing this is a process that involves, at least in my case, a lot of spinning and feelings of nausea.   At the time it didn’t feel that bad, because I’ve been feeling pretty bad, but it wasn’t comfortable.

I did this at around noon and by 1 or so, I wasn’t good.  Spinning most all the time and my stomach wasn’t good either.  It was like drinking way too much and having the start of the spins and feeling like you’re getting sick, but without drinking anything.   This lasted until late last night.  Guess my crystals are going to be out of place a while longer.

It is so weird thinking that 5 hours of sleep is great, when it would have killed me before.  I guess when compared to an hour or two, 5 is pretty good.  But I’m still thinking I need the normal 7, 8 or 9 hours to get back to normal.  It is baby steps continually.

I have ridden the ergometer nearly 40 minutes the past 4 days.  This is with hardly any resistance and with a heart rate of less than 90.  It feels like I could do a normal workout, minus the headache, but I’m not doing anything without my doctor saying I’m good to go.

Obviously I’m going to be in terrible shape after this whole ordeal, so that just has to be accepted.  I have no desire to drag it on a day longer than it needs to be.  If exercise could do that, then I’m not doing it.

It is strange that there have been so many articles about cyclist having concussions and how big a deal it is.  I wouldn’t have appreciated these guys situations without being in the same situation myself.

Nikki Brammeier crashed at the World Cup in cross, over a week ago, at the start of the race. She hit her head pretty hard and is having some big problems.   She wrote a post on her situation, pretty similar to mine other than I fractured my skull and do have some issues that will drag my recover out a while longer than hers.  My favorite line in her post was –

I can’t sugar coat things. It’s been a terrible couple of weeks and it’s a terrible situation to be in at this time in the season, but on the other hand I’m lucky. It could have been so much worse.

I relate to these couple sentences.  This is the first time in my life I’ve not tried to rush a recovery.  I’ve broken numerous bones, something multiple ones at the same time.  I’ve hit my head pretty hard too, a few times.  But this is a different.  The recovery from a bad brain trauma isn’t predictable.  My doctor at KU Med told me her mentor in TBI told her that “when you’ve seen one TBI (traumatic brain injury), you’ve seen one TBI”.

She was stressing that each one is an individual case that will take its own course and that isn’t a predictable course either.  I have a few weeks, or maybe even months, to do this.  It is not good yet, but I’m still pretty upbeat.  I say that and it has been the worst nearly 4 weeks of my life so far, but it is getting better in small increments.  I have to believe the doctors that treat this only, saying that I’ll be 100%, but it might take a while.  They stress patience, which isn’t my best virtue.

I was hoping that there was a cyclocross on this morning, but when I checked it is tomorrow, the 11th.  An hour is just about as long as I could maybe look at a computer screen, so it is probably better it is tomorrow.  Kind of weird the race is on Friday, but I never really understood the European cross schedule anyway.

Okay, guess the political post yesterday riled up a bunch of people.  Like I said, our country is pretty divided in a lot of ways.  That is probably a bigger issue than our choices of who we get to vote for.  I’m thinking this election is just going to make that division larger, not smaller.  I wonder when our politicians are going to realize how bad it has gotten.  Doesn’t  seem like they really care.



The results if they only would have counted the votes from 18-25 year olds.  No wonder they are a little perplexed on the outcome.

The results of the election if they only would have counted the votes from 18-25 year olds. No wonder they are a little perplexed on the outcome.


34 thoughts on “Patience isn’t my best Characteristic

  1. Sean YD

    Progress is sometimes measured in a number of ways, Steve. I am proud of you for realizing this is a slow process and for following all of the medical experts’ advice.

    Best to you and Trudi!

  2. Brooke

    “If you voted for Trump because you believe in his policy, I accept that, because America is about people having a voice in policy. But, his rhetoric was ugly, hateful, and intolerable. You, as the Trump voter, now have the power to stand against the rhetoric while still getting the policies you want. I expect you to show up for the fight and speak up for others. You did your duty to country; it’s time to do your duty to humanity.”

    —someone online somewhere (thank you for your words)

  3. Mike

    Good morning Steve. Rejoice for this is the day the lord has made! Rejoice and be glad. I’m glad to hear your are progressing; can’t imagine having the spins like that, lord have mercy.

    2 Thessalonians 3-4
    We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith growth exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth,
    So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure.

    That church ain’t no building, it’s your body, your heart, your temple; claim it.

    I pray for your healing, peace, and comfort, my friend.

    God Bless you.

  4. Tom Anhalt

    Steve, I’ve BPPV before from a crash where I hit my head. It sucks. I got rid of it though by performing a series of head positions called the “Epley Manuever”. I went to see an ENT doc and he half-heartedly ran me through the positions and it didn’t seem to do anything. Later, I was researching it on the net and discovered that the key is that it’s not just the sequence of maneuvers, but it’s crucially important to hold your head in the various positions for minutes at a time to allow the pieces time to move. I then did the Epley maneuver at home myself ONE TIME (with the requisite holds) and the BPPV was gone completely. Just something you might want to look into. Take care.

  5. Dose Of Reality

    You say:

    “She was stressing that each one is an individual case that will take its own course and that isn’t a predictable course either. I have a few weeks, or maybe even months, to do this.”

    Until you stop putting a timetable on your recovery, and accept that it’s going to take as long as it’s going to take, you’re going to continue to cut corners and likely delay your recovery even further. You seem to believe that your recovery is gated by how much physical activity you can force your body to do. It isn’t, it’s gated by the time you allow your damaged systems to heal.

    You do say some things that are encouraging, like this:

    ” I have no desire to drag it on a day longer than it needs to be. If exercise could do that, then I’m not doing it.”

    Keep thinking that way and your recovery will progress. When your body is ready for you to regain fitness, it’ll happen. Maybe you’ve never been fully out-of-shape before, and fear you’ll never regain what you had. It’s possible, but with a guy as determined as you are, I think when you’re ready, you can do it.

    You also need to accept that there may be some very long-term (read: permanent) limitations. And that a second concussion, even one nowhere near as severe as the TBI you’ve suffered, could potentially be much worse (second concussion syndrome). You may need to make some long-term choices about how much risk you are willing to expose yourself to in the future.

    Good to see you’re making progress on your sleep, keep on track, we’re all pulling for you.

  6. Steve Tilford Post author

    Tom – That was pretty much the routine I went through yesterday. But, afterward, consulting with the KU Med neurology people, I guess it is a little too early for that to work. I potential have too much fluid surrounding my brain and maybe even a few other things, that might be interacting with my balance. It sucks. At least I know that once all this extra fluid gets absorbed, this can be “cured” with one treatment.

  7. Steve Tilford Post author

    Dose – I didn’t ask about doing low energy exercise. I was assigned doing it by KU Med neurology department. I’m doing exactly what they say.

    I’ve read a ton on TBIs. I understand the issues with them and the long-term effects. I say this and the experts I’ve seen say that they believe I will make a 100% recovery. Like 100% in the way I should be able to continue my historic lifestyle. I would like to think this is correct.

    So, I’m giving myself plenty of time to mead. It will be a month tomorrow. I figure I have a long time for this to correct itself. I have no timeline. Some days I feel like I could be fine by Christmas. Other day, such as yesterday, I can’t believe a setback like that can come from something that seemed benign at the time. It’s a learning process.

    Thanks for the comment. The more people that tell me to take it slowly, I hope I will have the will power to stay on that course.

  8. ATJ

    nice map of how the 18 year olds voted… I can’t imagine why there is a restriction on age to run for President.

    I will mail anyone a participation trophy that is really feeling down about losing this week. I’m sure high school counselors are busy this week too with all of the babies that need cuddling.

    As for a divided population, our country was founded with a divided population. The majority of settlers did not want to declare independence from Europe. The great thing about this country is that minorities have a voice. It showed again with Hillary getting the popular vote and Trump winning in a landslide fashion. So your wishes to quiet the opposition will go ungranted. The media too wishes a “genocide of thought” on the right wing side of the isle. If you can’t stand the heat (political conversations, elections, debates), get out of the kitchen (your blog).

  9. john

    BPPV – Yeah, stand up throw up lay down fine – stand up throw up lay down fine for two days before the crystals settled down for me. What a time you are having…

  10. LD

    I’m so encouraged by this post. Sleeping is a big deal, as you well know, but even bigger is your acceptance of the path you’re on. Keep taking it one day at a time and you will get there. Patience is not an innate talent; it is a characteristic that can be developed and with your history of determination and achievement, you will most assuredly master it.

  11. Emil Gercke

    Steve, I always enjoy your posts, often they make me see things from a new angle.
    I’m glad you’re still posting through your recovery, I think it is healthy and I belive that I can see improvment that you can’t. Stay the course!

  12. Choppy Warburton

    If Steve wants to join your cult he can always ride over to the greatest example of Christian love and passion known to mankind, the Westboro church.

    In the meantime, please visit the atheist forums over at Beliefnet where your fictions will be more welcome.

  13. steve

    this will soon pass, and if you recover the right way, you will have the rest of your life to live normally. if you screw up your recovery, the rest of your life will likely be hell. take it slow and get well!

  14. Will

    I’ve had BPPV as well, but it was due to graduate school, not a head injury. I feel your pain. It is really disorienting and made me so stick to my stomach. From what I learned the Ear Nose and Throat doctors can figure out what ear canal the loose crystals are in based on the way your eyes spin during an episode. For that to happen though, they have to trigger the vertigo. Not much fun. But once you’re feeling better and can have the procedure, the spins will hopefully be gone in a few days. However, the fear that you will trigger the vertigo will last a long time. I had BPPV in 2011 and to this day, I’m worried about quickly looking over my shoulder when I look for cars whilst riding, or driving. Good luck to you.

  15. Jeff

    Ha! Guess you didn’t read that comment about civility just one up. Always amazing to me. I get it; a section of people are going to disagree with what Mike posted, but why not acknowledge it’s not your belief system and scroll on past. What’s so offensive about him offering what – in his belief system – are kind words of support? Why take issue? More importantly, why demean him?

  16. Tony

    Choppy. Is this better for your thin skin if I say something like sending warm thoughts your way, healing thoughts, good vibes… get over it Choppy

  17. Bill K

    After all of yesterday’s negativity and hate, I wouldn’t have been surprised if some strange person threw a brick through your window…..That’s the America I know.
    Once you get better, it’s going to hurt a lot to get back in proper shape. Probably worse than when you snapped the top of your femur.

  18. Todd

    Thank the Lord that this country is not run by 18-24 year old people….cause they know everything about everything……

  19. David

    I agree with the others. If it doesn’t go along with your belief system let it go. As we move forward and attempt to reconcile this country we need to be accepting. Even of fundamentalist bible believing Christians like me. If we are going to promote inclusion and accept all that includes Christians.

    Steve, ” I wonder when our politicians are going to realize how bad it has gotten. ” I think they maybe figured it out Tuesday.

  20. darkcloud

    Their the ones rioting in LA. A local radio show host pointed out that California voters supported Hillary so what do these dumb asses do? They riot and destroy property.
    But what the heck, it’s ok with the lefties. Their candidate lost and somebody has to pay for that.

  21. Barb

    OFFS please stop forcing this religious garbage on all of us in a cycling blog. This blog is not about your obsessive compulsion to spew scripture. It’s annoying and this isn’t your personal church.

  22. Barb

    Actually it was learned that there were professional agitators, anarchists who took advantage of peaceful protests (and it wasn’t just liberals who were protesting) to introduce violence. Don’t blame liberals for what anarchists intentionally tried to do.


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