Posted in Concussion, Concussion Recovery, Injury, Life lessons, Rehabilitation

Sept 7, 2021

The day things changed

September 7th 2021 started out like just like any other warm September day. The sun was out, the temperature was not too warm and there was a gentle breeze to really keep things comfortable.

As I was finishing up my workday, I looked out the window and asked myself:

“What do you want to do today, ride or run?”

Since I had not been running much recently, I decided that today was a good day for a run. Looking back with 20-20 hindsight, it was NOT A GOOD Day for a run.

I went upstairs got changed into my running gear, came downstairs, pulled on my running shoes and headed out the door. The first 2-1/2 miles of the run were uneventful. I passed some people on my local trail and was thoroughly enjoying the run. In a matter of moments, things would go completely off the rails.

The last thing I remember from the run was passing a lady who was out walking her dog and thinking “That is a cute little dog!” which is completely out of character for me.

The next thing I know, I am flat on my back in the middle of the road, with blood dripping out of my head and have EMT’s and the police asking me what seemed like a million questions. Since I had no idea what happened, they shared with me that as I was crossing through an intersection a car came around the corner in the wrong lane and hit me. Fortunately for me, there was a witness who gave a description of how the crash occurred to the police while they were on scene. To this day I still don’t know if my head wound was from hitting the windshield of the car or from hitting the ground, but in the long run it really doesn’t matter.

Yes, getting the staples put in hurt.

As I got some awareness of what was going on, I tried my best to figure out how badly I was hurt. I quickly determined that I could move all of my extremities, so I wasn’t paralyzed. That was a relief. I also concluded that since I could think and speak, my brain was reasonably intact as well. That turned out to be not quite so correct, but there will be more on that later. I could see the cuts, scrapes and a big bruise forming on my leg, but since there were no bones sticking out, I guessed it wasn’t too badly hurt. However, I found out later, the injury was a bit more significant than I originally believed.

Can you say – Morel-Lavallée lesion – a closed degloving soft tissue injury, as a result of abrupt separation of skin and subcutaneous tissue from the underlying fascia. 

The Riverdale Park, MD EMTs did a great job in caring for me. They responded to the call in a matter of minutes, and then had me prepped for transport and delivered to the Washington Hospital Center Trauma Unit in less than 25 minutes. One of the EMTs was even kind enough to turn off my Garmin when I asked her. Great customer service.

The first thing that happened at the hospital was the ceremonial “Cutting Off of the Clothes”. Before they started, I asked: “Do you really have to cut my clothes? Can’t you just slide them off?” I knew they couldn’t do that, but I figured it didn’t hurt to ask. Anyway, replacing my running gear wasn’t a big concern at the time.

Then they proceeded to do a concussion screening and the normal battery of tests, x-rays and CT scans. All of these came back clean with no broken bones or bleeding in my brain which was a great relief. While I was waiting for the all this to start one of the Doctor’s asked: “Is there anyone you want me to call?”

I said to him: “No, but if you can hand me my phone, I would like to call my wife, if that is OK. I would prefer to call her myself, it would be better?” With that he was relieved and handed me the phone saying: “Thanks. I really don’t like making those kind of calls.”

The phone call to my wife went something like this:

Hi honey are you home?

No, I’m not. Are you?

No, I am in the hospital. I was hit by a car while I was out on my run, but everything seems to be OK. I am about to go for X-rays and a CT scan.

What? Hit by a car? Are you OK?

Yes, I seem to be fine. I have a big laceration on the back of my head and a bunch of cuts and scrapes on my leg, but other than that I think I am OK.

What happened?

I have no idea. I am missing about 5 minutes of my life. From what they told me as I was crossing the street, a car hit me.

Wow! That doesn’t seem good. Is there anything I can do?

Not really. Because of COVID only patients are allowed in the hospital. So I can call you when I am done. I love you and will talk to you later.

About four hours later I called my wife to come pick me up with five shiny new staples in my head and diagnosis of a “mild” concussion. I was shocked that they didn’t even give me a wheelchair ride to the door, they had me walk myself out to the waiting room. Not good customer service.

The Strava title for the day sums it up nicely.

Stay tuned for more. . .

Posted in Life lessons

COVID-19 and Helping People

As COVID-19 spreads throughout the nation, this picture is what it looks like to be an Emergency Room doctor in New York. This is what our son is dealing with every day. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and everyone else on the front lines in the healthcare system. But what is also a problem, is trying to take care of the patients who are not sick enough to stay in the hospital, but expected to go home and self-quarantine for 14 days.

What happens when that person is the financial support for their family? They have a decision to make. Do I stay home with no income or do I go to work and feed my family? Going to work brings the risks spreading the virus to others and staying home guarantees that their family has no food. Neither is a good choice.

What can be done to make a difference? One of the hospitals in New York has begun a grocery gift card drive to make it easier for people who need to stay home. But what they missing are the gift cards. By purchasing an E-gift card to a local store that delivers (Target or Whole Foods) or on-line delivery through Amazon which will be sent home with someone who desperately needs it you can play a vital part in “flattening the curve”.

Please consider joining in and sending an E-gift card of any size to the Social Work Department at the NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn NY. The email address to send it to is below.

FoodGiftCardDonations@nyulangone.org.

All of the cards will be distributed directly to the patients in need. None of the proceeds go to me.

Links for card purchases are shown below.

Target- https://bit.ly/3cuxQqr

Whole Foods- https://bit.ly/3ajUTmC

Amazon – https://amzn.to/3amXUSS

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe and stay healthy!

Posted in Mental Health, Musings, Racing, Training, TWLOHA

Is racing for 12 hours a good idea?

As we were driving a couple of days ago my son asked me a question:

“Dad, do you think that (racing for 12 hours) is a good idea?”

I collected my thoughts and said:

“I have no idea.”

For the first time in decades I am embarking on a voyage that I have no idea how it is going to end. It is equal parts, exciting and scary. 12 hours is a ridiculously long time and I have no idea how my body is going to react and respond. I have never raced much more than 6 hours and that will only be bringing me to “half-time” of Toughest Mudder East. But as much as the physical part of the event is daunting, it is not what frightens me the most.

What I think is going to be even harder to predict is the mental aspect of the race. I am pretty sure that there will be a least one point in this race where I will be in a “dark place”. That place where I begin to question everything in front of me. Asking:

  • Why am I out here?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • Why does finishing this matter?
  • If I quit, who cares?

It is that final question that scares me the most and is one of the reasons wht I need to be mentally prepared for the race. Right now, I have all of my answers ready and I hope they stand up to the darkness of 3am knowing that the sun won’t rise for another 2 ½ hours and that I still have 2 ½ more hours to race. Standing up to aching legs,, sore feet and myriad other physical problems that might pop up along the way.

It is at that point or those points along the way where I will need to dig deep and remember all of those who don’t get the option of stopping their suffering any time they want. I will need to use that as a part of my motivation to get this done and to press on to the finish.

I you want to help me in this endeavor click on the photo at the bottom.

Until next time when I begin to dig deeper into my motivation and my questions.

Toughest - TWLOHA-Small

Visit To Write Love on Her Arms at TWLOHA.COM

Posted in Racing, Training, TWLOHA

Training and Fundraising Update

I know it has been a while since I have posted here, but most of my “free time” is spent over on Instagram chronicling my journey. So far, even though my training has been very high volume, I have been able to manage the load quite well.

Running Miles

My biggest setback was in February when I caught a serious cold and lost a week of training.

My main takeaway from that illness was:

“If this was just a cold, I NEVER want to get the flu!”

I have also managed to keep up with mostly aerobic Zone 2 and Zone 3 training. 65% of my miles have a HR at or below 150 bpm, which is 80% of my maximum heart rate.

HR Zones.JPG

This I believe is one of the main reasons I have been able to maintain a high volume. I am not pushing my body into the “Red Zone” on a day-to-day basis. This is especially important since Toughest Mudder East will not be about top end speed, but will be 12 hours of grinding out the miles. I hope to get 45 of them. Time will tell how realistic my goals are.

My training plan for the next two months are to continue to put in the miles and ramp up my strength work at the same time. I would like to get 200 miles in for March and 210 to 220 for April. I am still debating if I want to run the Delaware Marathon on April 28th as my last big workout before Toughest Mudder. If I do it will give me three weeks to recover and taper between the two races, which should be plenty of time. Especially, if I only do it as a medium intensity training run and not as a race.

On a fundraising note, I have managed to raise $300 so far for To Write Love on Her Arms. That could be going better, but in the end, every dollar counts so I will be thankful for any amount that I raise. To learn more click on the photo

Toughest - TWLOHA-Small

or click the link below.

DONATE HERE

Thanks for visiting!

 

Posted in Depression, Life lessons, Mental Health, TWLOHA

Bringing light to a dark world

Toughest - TWLOHA-SmallAs I experience pain and suffering in my racing and training, I can make it stop anytime I want. As a result of mental illnesses some people as they experience life don’t have that option, their pain and suffering goes on 24 hour a day, 7 days a week. Let’s help to bring a message of hope to these people. Click of the photo or here for the donation link.

I have seen first hand the devastating effects that mental illness can have on people and the loved ones that surround them. The time has come for us to stop ignoring theses issues and to take real steps to get people the help that they need.

Once again, I want to use my racing and training as an opportunity to raise money for To Write Love on Her Arms a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

I will be participating in the Toughest Mudder East on May 18th-19th. A 12-hour race that begins at 8pm and ends at 8am. The vast majority of the event will be taking place in the darkness of the night. I believe that this is an interesting metaphor for the darkness associated with depression and other mental illnesses. While this might be a demanding race, it is not nearly as difficult as living with the effects of mental illness. I have the option to stop and withdrawn from the pain any time I want, others don’t have that luxury.

You can follow me and my training as it progresses at on Instagram at  @Lifeisanobstaclerace