A Bit of Solitude

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I didn’t do a post yesterday.  That is very unlike me.  Mainly the reason was that I was out of time.  The other reason was that I feel a little mentally exhausted.  That might not be the right description, but it is something like that.

Since I hurt my head, things have been a lot screwy.  Very unfamiliar.  It is really hard to explain, but I think there are layers of issues and when you think you’ve conquered one, another one is just there.  It is like there are layers and you don’t get to see what is underneath except when you peel one back.

First, it was crazy headaches.  That was pretty awful.  That probably only last 5 weeks or so.  I think the lack of sleep was exacerbating that issue.  Or maybe that was the reason for lack of sleep.  It really doesn’t matter because it just was.  I sleep way better now and am trying to make  a point of doing it more and more.

Then the real spinning problems.   I guess it is called vertigo.  That makes for the day after you sleep really good pretty bad.  Once you spin a couple times, then you get sick at your stomach and then that lasts the rest of the day, so that day is gone.  I don’t get them so bad now.  I still spin, but not like before.  I think I just get dizzy now and my eyes don’t go into this weird fluttering, called nystagmus.  Nystagmus leaves you feeling like you were seasick or drank way too much and were about to get sick.  It isn’t good and it doesn’t really happen anymore.  But the dizziness still is around, but just not as severe.

Anyway, recently, I’ve noticed that I get mentally tired after conversing for longer than an hour.  I talked to my doctor and she said it was neurofatigue.   I think she is right.  It isn’t that bad, but it is debilitating.  I didn’t notice it for such a long time.  I think that is because the other stuff was way worse.

I don’t have it as badly as some people that hit their heads.  And I know how to fix it, sort of.  Sleep doesn’t help.  I need to do something else, like walk, or rake leaves or anything that is a “no-brainer”.    This allows me to get back to thinking at a better speed.

My doctor says sometimes this doesn’t get fixed.  That it is around the rest of people’s lives.  I hope that isn’t the case.  I’m just a little over 2 months out and am optimistic about a full recovery.  She also said that she doesn’t think that I’m going to be one of those people, which is good.

Anyway, taking all this into account, I decided to not go up to Cable, as I normally do between Christmas and New Years.  I can’t really ski.  Or snow shoe.  I could probably do both, but I’m trying to be patient, thus slow in this recovery.   Plus, I’m having a hard time staying warm.  I guess your temperature gauge can go a little wonky when you hit your head.  I hope that means I have better heat tolerance this summer.  Then, the neurofatigue thing, which would be pretty bad there at this time of the year.

I’m gonna miss seeing everyone.   Tomorrow is the double birkie ski that I have been doing for over 20 years.   Plus, New Year’s out on the Cedar Ridge.  There is always next year.  I might head up there soon when it has gotten a tad more quiet.  This week is the “most crowded”.

My friend Vincent needed a dog sitter for a week, so I flew out to Denver yesterday and am taking care of Nick and Jack.  I love them both, so it is super easy.   Last night I slept nearly 9 hours.  They needed to go out at 6:30, but just to pee.  They both came back in and slept with me until 8.  If I can get in a few more days like this, maybe I’ll peel back another layer and see what it holds.

I went for a bike ride on Christmas Day. I wasn’t planning on it because I thought the roads were going to be too slick. No so.

Heading out.

This is on Sheridan Drive, North of Evanston.

It was windy and Lake Michigan was uninviting.

Jack, Nick and Tucker this summer.

Nick and Jack at the dog park yesterday evening.

With Trudi’s nieces and newphews Christmas Day. Parker, Alec, Hannah, and Madeline. Park is with Trudi, heading to Cable today.


9 thoughts on “A Bit of Solitude

  1. The Cyclist

    Neurofatigue… that as a new one for me. Explains a lot of stuff though. Like why I feel 10 times more exhausted after a group ride cmp to riding solo. Last time at least 3 ppl all half my age or less tried to remind me that I forgot my helmet. If that is not harassment I dunno what is.

  2. Dude Ron

    sounds alot better for you Tilly. Vertigo even sucked for James Stewart but then Kim Novak would a made any man Dizzy! Thanks for the post I was getting really burned out on GCN mail in my box!!

  3. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Merry Christmas Steve and Trudi!

    I think this injury has done much to bring you a bit back down to earth on taking injury recovery more seriously. I remember when you broke your hip and being astounded at how quickly you’d started riding thereafter. With the number of injuries you’ve had in the past three years, it always seemed that bike riding was taking a front seat to your health. I’m happy to see you taking notice of the signs and just going with what needs to be done (or not done). Change happens. Not all change is bad change! Maybe you’ll be back “racing” a bike, and maybe you won’t. But look at your life right now: You’re still enjoying your friends and family! That’s pretty good!


  4. chuck martel

    On Sheridan Rd. There’s been a lot of shoving perceived unpleasantness into a black hole lately. Removing Confederate statuary from Richmond and other southern cities, changing the name of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, mostly stuff related to the War Between the States and slavery. It’s interesting that the heroic “Li’l Phil” Sheridan of the victorious Union Army has streets, counties and towns all over the country named after him. But there hasn’t been a similar reaction to the fact that he was the architect of the genocide of the plains natives and author of the quote, “The only good Indian I ever saw was a dead one.” It was never the goal of any Southerner to kill slaves. It was a policy of the US government to kill native Americans.

  5. Tony

    Steve I can say you describe the symptoms well. I had a head injury a couple of years ago although way less severe as yours. I totally understand the layers of symptoms, difficulty in carrying on longer conversation, and mental exhaustion. Driving for me was an issue for a while, to much data in and no ability to process quick enough. For me I just kept encourgaged by the week to week improvements. I see lots of improvement with you also. I think that is the key, the upward trend, even if it is slow. Wish you continued recovery!

  6. Bryan Barber

    I agree with krak. Seems your tuning in to the rhythm of your recovery. Much more complex than the breaks and tears that many of us have suffered. I’ve had over (20) breaks in (10) accidents(lifetime). Recovery has been more or less the same for all of them except the one shattered vertebra. Bolting five vertebrae together, to protect the one, was the fix. Even though I was lucky to walk again, it took me a few months to get my head around the recovery times the doctors were giving me. Six months, one year, two years? FU! Started riding at 3mos.(not smart) This year I rode 6k mi. and work construction (4) days/wk. I was 45 years old and in the best condition of my life when the accident occurred. I credit my conditioning for allowing me to have a an accelerated and complete recovery. Blood flow equals healing was my big takeaway.
    I know it wasn’t your intention, however you’ve spent the last 40 years training your body and mind to recover from whatever comes next. I’m confident the vertigo will go away and you’ll race again, quite soon.


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