Everything looks good, I guess

Just got back. The MRI looked great, so that is a pretty big relief. I got my hands on a copy of my labs, plus digital copies of the CT and MRI. They’re quite a trip to look at. Here’s one of my favorites from the CT series:

So now that all of the tests have come back perfect, the consensus is that what I’ve been going through is related to the series of concussions I have had. Call it post-concussive disorder. Fine. If it has to have a name, that’s what it is. I’m still slated to meet with the neurologist in July, but it seems like the writing is on the wall at this point. I took out of my appointment today a series of bullet points. I consider them all somewhat speculative until the neurologist does his thing, but given that there is literally nothing else wrong, I agree with them.

  • Centrally-acting medications are going to work differently on me, probably in a more pronounced way, and it seems like if medications have side effects, I’m almost certain to get them. This is what happened with the Meclizine, which acts centrally. For similar reasons, I got the lightheaded side effect of the Nasonex. Then putting both together, I think any medication cocktail with me is bound to be a rollercoaster. I’ve also wondered for a long time now why alcohol – a centrally acting depressant – seems to skip the “have a good time” phase for me. I have wondered about this for YEARS. Good to know why at this point. It will probably will save me a lot of money.
  • I need to be more conscious of my recovery time. I need more rest now than most people probably do. I got some real awareness of this over the past month or so, but now it’s more or less drilled home. It’s fun to talk about how you did weeks upon weeks of massive efforts, but not so fun to live with the consequences. It’s generally dumb anyway; even if you didn’t have a history of head injury, you really wouldn’t do that.
  • I have some post-traumatic anxiety, as it was termed, that I guess is going to be there. This is probably a bit speculative until the neurology examination, but I don’t feel it’s incorrect. That ball is really in my court, I think. I’ve been really good about using self-hypnosis to deal with stress and anxiety, so I feel like I can keep that in check, and feel like I have been.

Recap of my concussion history:

Winter 1998-99: Going top-speed down a bunny hill at Gunstock on a snowboard (first and last time), fell backwards and hit the back of my head. All I remember after falling is being back on the chairlift up the hill, and feeling incredibly nauseous. I have no memory of how I got back to my jeep.

Fall 2007: Climbing Little Bear Trail at Bear Brook at night with a headlamp, my front wheel hit a root and I flew over the handlebars. I remember landing face-down, but can’t remember what part of my body hit the ground first. I took a few minutes to compose myself, then rode about a half mile back to my car. All the stars in the sky had halos around them, and I felt very “not right” driving back to town – felt very “out of it”. We went to the ER that night and CT was negative.

September 2008: Making a 180-turn on a gravel road in a cyclocross race at UNH, my front wheel angle was too aggressive and my handlebars spun inward, pitching me over the handlebars and directly onto my head. Very memorable. My head was ringing for several hours and I felt hungover every day for about four weeks.

October 2008: Riding too fast through downhill S-turns on wet grass in warmups for a CX race in Gloucester. Bike went out from under me and my head whipped right to left, slamming off the ground; something in my neck popped. Head was ringing but I shrugged it off and raced the event. Felt hungover every day for about four weeks.

October 2008: Two weeks after the Gloucester incident, I was mountain biking at FOMBA down a small hill at very slow speed. My front wheel caught a root and I launched over the handlebars, landing with almost all of my body weight on my right arm, which I extended to protect my head, which I do not believe hit the ground. I got up after about a minute and began dry heaving. X-rays and neuro screen at the ER were negative. This may or may not have been a concussion.

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