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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Looking Up

Three weeks have gone by, and things are looking up.  My head still hurts, and things inside my skull are still scrambled, but the last two days have been better.  I have not shed a tear in three days.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Flood

The flood of emotions that often accompany Post-concussion Syndrome (PCS) continue to ebb and flow in my brain: happy, sad, light, and dark.  I know it has only been two weeks, but I am growing weary of the symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of concentration and memory
  • Noise and light sensitivity

  • The pain in the upper left half of my body, I will learn to live with that (I am having major doubts about the Titanium plate and 12 screws, but I will save that for another post).  The difficulty for me is having my brain go from a "high speed connection" to "dial-up modem" with just one bonk on the head.  The disconnect between obtaining sensory information, mentally sorting that information, then physically responding, seems so gigantically-enormously huge for me right now.  So far, this post probably sounds well written, and you may be wondering why I am complaining.  Well, being a perfectionist, I have put in nearly an hour of work and have one paragrapgh to show for my effort.  Then, thinking about the effort, I get really sad.

    Then, I get happy again.  But, it is really hard.  I know.  Be patient.  This too shall pass.  One door closes and another opens.  Yes, I know all the answers to overcoming my PCS. 
    I watched this.  To get from trama to growth, I need four types of resilience: physical, mental, emotional, and social.  I am a lucky man, I have had plenty of all four my entire life.  And, I have a plan.  I am going to get some form of exercise today (no, not a bicycle ride).  I am going to finish analyzing pictures today for a report that is long overdue.  I am going to laugh again today with Lupine and Patty (last night we watched Elf).  And, I am going to race cyclocross next year.  I miss the social connections already, and it has only been two weeks.  I may not make the entire series, but I will be there.  It may be just a few races in Ogden, but I will be there.  I may be on the heavy steel fixed gear Pake, but I will be there.

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    How Quick It Can All Come Crashing Down

    I know. I never update my blog, just my Facebook status. I need to remember to post here then provide a link on my Facebook page. Facebook has killed my blog. Facebook has killed everyone's website. Facebook is the Internet now.

    So, here is an update. I had a pretty hard crash in a cyclocross race almost two weeks ago. Yes, I have a surgically repaired broken collar bone, bad ribs, mangled fingers, and a messed up head. The following is a re-post I wrote this morning to the Gainesville tt group. It is long winded, really self-indulgent, but therapeutic. Here goes:

    My cross season is way done. I will miss the last three Utah races, the last two Idaho races (ID state championships), and nationals in Boulder, singlespeed and 45-49. Word of advice: never pre-register really early for races. The Florida Championships at the end of January are a possibility, but pointless at this point. Perhaps I'll show up just for the singlespeed race on the old 26 pound fixed gear Motobacon road bike wearing cutoffs, spd sandals, and tshirt.

    At this point I have no desire to race ever again. If I do race again, I sure as hell don't want to bunny hop sets of barriers going full gas at 20 mph. What I want is to set up the Pake fixed-fixed and do some long but easy gravel road and easy trail rides. I want to just ride for fun.

    Most of all, I want my headache to go away.

    I'm pretty messed up. Right now I don't know if I can even do the big drive to get home to Florida before Christmas. I'm suffering from bad post concussion syndrome: fuzzy, headache, hard to focus, hard to put simple thoughts into actions, can not think of the right words, strange emotions, and just no energy or drive. And those words really don't describe it at all. Mostly there is a disconnection between thinking about/wanting to do something and having my brain be able to easily tell my body to do it. It is hard to explain. When it all seems dire, I just have to sit or lie down and close my eyes, stop the inputs for a bit, and then get back to it. Not always easy to do. Yesterday I tried to put a skewer into a customer's front wheel. I know it's the short one but my hands repeatedly tried to install a rear one. Too long, every time I tried. Somehow, bright lights and sounds affect the whole process. Strange, no? The hardest part is to be a smart, thinking person, who has always thought about everything, and now, all of a sudden, not be able to clearly do so.

    The collar bone will heal. Been there done that, several times, but now I have a plate and a dozen Titanium skews. The fingers will get better too. I also have broken or bruised ribs on the left side of my chest under the clavicle. Of course I don't remember the crash or any part of it; I was out of it for at least an hour. But I think I went over so fast onto my shoulder and head that I never let go of the bars. One guy said I flipped like a coin onto my head. That's why the fingers are all popped. The bruise across my chest is from hitting the bar/stem with my hands still attached, perhaps. The left side of my helmet is gone. The back of my left shoulder still has big patch of road rash and is really sore. I see the Orthopedist again next week. He will look at the clavicle, which I don't think is quite right because of the intense shooting pain and the general ouch pain, and my fingers. I really don't want hand surgery. Thank you for reading my friends. Writing this has helped me. I will be home soon and see you all then. We can do a slow Fred ride on the rail trail.

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