This last year has been an amazing year. My continue progress with my brain injury recovery, entering the world of triathlon, training and finishing my first Ironman! One thing has always weighed heavily in my head. It has felt like I've been living two separate lives; my everyday life, and my athlete/athletic life. You're probably wondering by now...
It's difficult to understand brain injuries until you have one, and it's a club you really don't want to be a member of. It's a type of injury that is fairly easy to identify with a number of common symptoms, such as, difficulty remembering new information, difficulty thinking clearly, fuzzy or blurred vision, dizziness, headache, sensitivity to noise and/or light, issues with balance, drastic mood swings … just to list a few. Determining the extent of damage, and it's long term effect, on the other hand is extremely difficult. Unless you have a brain bleed, nothing is visible on MRI or CT, two of the most common methods of imagining the brain. It's really a new frontier for the medical world. We simply can't wait for people suffering from brain injuries to die, in order to physically look at their brain and see the CTE, or other damage that's a result from head injuries. They're just starting to gather the data, and test how to find these problems while the person is still alive, which can lead to better rehabilitation, and change any many full contact sports/jobs.
This single event changed my life, and the lives of everyone around me forever.
That was two years ago, and here we are today. I'm still recovering, still healing, still learning limits and how to adjust my life to accommodate my on going TBI and symptoms.
This Sunday marks the end of a nine month journey to becoming an Ironman finisher. So much work, blood, sweat, and tears to finally reach this point, and it's amazing how far I've come. It's best to talk about what pushed me to make Ironman Coeur d'Alene my goal.
Back in 2015, while riding my bike home, I was hit head on by a SUV. For someone reason, the woman who was driving this SUV decided on that day, and that time to cut a corner, and plow right into me. I've been told that I was thrown off my bike a good 30 to 40 feet ... every part of my head took the blunt of that distance covered. If it wasn't for my helmet, I would have been dead on the scene.