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  1. #1
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    Trying to start riding after a brain injury

    Forgive my first post to this section here.

    I just ot out of the hospital yesterday after a 24 day stint of getting better after wrecking bad on Friday the 13th. I cracked my skull and my brain was poking through the cracks, in addition I had a T8 fracture in by back and fractured the attached rib as well. I am waitining o some swelling to go down right now. My thinking seems close to normal and the swelling feeling is my biggest drawback. Riding will hopefully come sooner than later but not for another couple weeks.

    I was wondering how to stay in the groove I was just starting to get in before my crash/ brain injury?

    And what should be my initial first rides?

    I am going to stay at my moms on the other side of the US (Virginia) and continue rehab so I wont have a fleet of bikes to choose from. I will be lucky if I can borrow friends bikes while I am back home until June.

    I dont want to loose anymore fitness than sitting in a hospital for over 3 weeks does to you, and I dont want to miss being outside during the summer time either (not a big fan of spending all day at the gym).


    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    dude. it's your brain. DO NOT rush your return to the trail just to maintain fitness!

  3. #3
    I'm a dog person
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    Ask your doctor.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  4. #4
    Jackass
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    don't rush it

    hey Hunter,
    I was recently involved in a very serious scooter vs. car accident and suffered "mild brain injury". I don't recall the exact term, and I'm paraphrasing here, but my accident resulted in shearing or tearing of the membrane between my brain and my skull.
    Now your injury seems even much more serious than mine. Despite how serious my accident was, my brain wasn't trying to leak out my skull. My Doctors have told me pretty no "risky" behavior for the next year, including MT. biking. Basically if you've had one brain injury then hit your head again any time soon your risk for much more serious brain trauma is GREATLY increased. Is riding the bike worth the chance of life long hospitalization?
    I know it sucks, and I'm not any happier about it than you, but I'm gonna miss Mountain biking this year. Definably consult your doctor but I'm guessing your Doc will tell you stay off the bikes for awhile. I'm stuck on an exercise bike and regular physical therapy for awhile and am gonna have to get my bike fix in the garage building NEXT years bike.

    Good luck and have a speedy recovery!

    http://www.biausa.org/
    I'm making enemies faster than I can kill them!

  5. #5
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    thanks for the info guys. so far te doctors just tell me what could happen worst case scenario. i heal good and better than most. i am just looking to have a good summer, not over do it. i am more scared of winter snow accidents that cause injury than on bike wrecks etc (well until friday the 13th anyhow). opefullt i get the ok to ride the flat path here a little bit in a week or maybe 2 (helmet included), if not i think it will be spinning the trainer at the gym and hiking as much as possible. i know i am lucky but bored in a bad way too.

    Hunter

  6. #6
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    just a thought...

    maybe something to "keep you in the game" would be to get more involved in trail maintenance, or to volunteer at a local ride/race, or to crew for someone doing a 24...that might keep som eof the adrenalin flowing and the enthusiasm up without putting your ability to speak or to feed yourself on the line...

    get well soon.

    m
    "Whether it be an abrasion or a mental breakdown, everyone suffers in one way or another." ORAMM Disclaimer

  7. #7
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    Can you tell me what helmet you had so I do NOT buy the same?

  8. #8
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    no helmet, i was coming back from hanging out downtown with friends. the docs told me a helmet may have hurt me more. it was an hour later someone called me in to the police, so my head would have swollen with the helmet on for that long had i been wearing one. i would not be against doing it all over again, but i would rather have a back brake that night then a helmet.

    Hunter

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter-Va
    the docs told me a helmet may have hurt me more....my head would have swollen with the helmet on for that long had i been wearing one
    You mean if you put a helmet on right after you cracked your head...yeah that prolly wouldn't have been a good idea.

  10. #10
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    what happened? i don't know what kind of story has to be in order to keep me from thinking you likely wouldn't be in the situation if you had been wearing a helmet!

  11. #11
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    i rode my gf 29er ht downtown on a thurs to get dinner and a couple drinks. a drunk hippie walked into by bike on accident kicking the disc in the rear in the process. i went home around 2am. went to use my brakes on a short downhill shortcut and the rear didnt work but the front did. did a major endo aka: face plant onto the asphalt bike trail. laid there in 20* weather making a blood puddle for 1hr before someone came by and called me into the police. cracked my skull, jaw bones, facial bones, brain was sticking out a bit, also cracked vertabrae and a rib. things are looking better now back in va. swelling is going down and i dont have any brain damage. basically my face feels like i got in a fist fight and thats about it. i start back to rehab on the east coast today, and have been led to believe i will be back in montuckey by july 1. hell i'm even considering a road bike. i walk so much i am almost tired of it, but there is nothing else i can do. (i did get to go paddle a canoe yesterday on the James River which was sweet).

    Hunter

  12. #12
    PM Me for Wood Fenders
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    Hunter...you got racked.....

    Bottom line about your head...it will take time to heal. As mentioned above, just stay plugged into the scene with trail work or something of the like. Brain injuries are some of the most baffling issues in the medical field. DO NOT rush anything, and don't get anxious about not riding. You can always get in shape after you brain gets better. I say all this after surviving a three week comma due to a sub dermal hematoma. I'm sure you've heard that term before. I've made it back, you will too. Just don't push yourself too early. I tried getting back into martial arts a month or two after I got out of the hospital, the first fall I took felt like a bomb went off in my skull. That was my sign to chill for a while longer. A few months after that I got back on the MTB, and endoed.....got back up after getting the wind knocked out of me, checked all my parts and laughed...all will be good. Best of Luck! and listen to your doc.
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  13. #13
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    thanks for the first hand insight.

    its tough not having any outlet other than walking and drinking lots of water. it could be worse, rolling doesn't look like fun in a wheel chair.

    i did go to my first spin class ever Thurs. It was great to spend an hour on the bike, the downside was the American Idol music compilation that was playing. Clipping in was like being with a new chick for the first time, well not as good. But certainly close.

    I am on the road to recovery, it might even have a road bike in it in the future. Im not turning into a roadie, just something less head injury prone to get me ready for the rest of summer and backcounty winter trips in the Rockies.

    Hunter

  14. #14
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    I have some experience dealing with head injury survivors. Take this FWIW.

    The biggest problem you may face is that you are not necessarily a very good judge of how far you may have recovered. A very common story I heard was that the survivor felt that they were 'back', in other words pretty normal, but their family and friends were aware that they were still far from.

    Of course that's not very useful advice, I understand, but I'd stress listening to your family and friends about where you are in your recovery, since they know you best. Your own feelings may (stress *may*) not be totally reliable.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the info everyone.

    I am flying back home to Montana from a month long rehabilitative stay in Va. The stay was supposed to be until the first part of July but it seems as though recovery has been jumpstarted by initiative and motivation.

    Everyone says I seem like normal, I know thats not the case. However I am not feeling far off. Walking was my only outlet, so 15-20 miles a day was my "hobby". I walked places in town that I had never walked through at night or in the day (ie: the hood) out of boredom not stupidity. I think being active has sped things up a lot.

    I am hoping to get a nice baseline to see where I compare to where I was, once I get back to "The Last Best Place."


    Hunter

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