Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bike Crash Recovery Update

It has been a while since I reported on my progress in recovering from my encounter with a road snake on August 24 .

I agreed not to ride my bike for 6 weeks for fear of falling again and re-injuring my brain and shoulder. The concussion for me was the greatest worry, so before 6 weeks I got on the bike again just to see if I would be comfortable. It seemed OK to be on the bike on the trainer stand, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to take a careful ride around the block on Sept 27. This freaked Linda out, so I didn't ride again for a week, which made it 6 weeks out. This seemed much better, although I could tell that I was still very tentative. On Sept 6th, I asked my neighbor to ride with me, and we took a loop that was one of my usual afternoon rides.

We came back pleasantly tired and pulled into Overlook Park to relax and view the lake, I wasn't paying attention and my front wheel got stuck in a narrowing crack between two cement sidewalk slabs. The wheel stopped dead and I went over, this time on my right side. I kept my head from hitting the ground. Flaking out like this was pretty worrisome, but I figured that it was the attention component that was critical. If I could concentrate on the road I could keep riding safely.

The next week I went to see my orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up. The x-rays looked like healing was happening, and physical therapy was helping with my range of motion. In general, exercise is highly recommended, and my favorite is bicycling, so I was ready to take the risk with caution.

The good news is that I have been biking as much as I need to and it feels very good. I am anxious to get in some riding before the weather drives me to the indoor rower. In any case I have to wait for my shoulder to heal to be able to row anywhere.

In November I went to New York to a cousin's daughter's Bat Mitzvah. On the way to the party in Brooklyn I stumbled on the escalator and fell backward through one family and landed in another. A young girl was screaming. I mustered my calm and apologized and said I was OK. Even though I didn't hit my head, the whiplash scrambled my brain. And my elbow was bleeding. I didn't finish dinner and took a cab to my son's apartment, where I threw up and then fell asleep feeling much better. The next day I walked from Brooklyn across the Williamsburg Bridge and back.

The fall was not caused by a blackout. I tripped on the stationary side of the escalator.

So, you don't have to ride a bike to re-injure a concussed brain.

Now it is March, 2017, and I have had an MRI and follow up brain images. There seems to be no evidence of the concussion. I did have an episode of thyroid malfunction that seems to be Hashimodo, but it may be recovering without any medical intervention.