Saturday, February 6, 2016

Life Kicked My Ass

The past year was really hard on me.  I felt like I was always fighting something, dealing with a problem or overcoming yet another injury.  Basically I was a wreck mentally, physically and emotionally.  When I lost my brother Joey it put me over the edge. Suddenly I felt like I was all alone. I was all alone.

I felt very empty inside with no one to talk to that knows everything.  Someone that went through all the hell we did while growing up.  Someone who knew all the work and effort I put into trying to be a success. Trying to make a main event.  Trying to get in that breakaway and sprinting for that win.   When I used to get down I would call Joey and we talked about the good ole' days.  One of those days was back in 1987 when I was a top Expert who just got his Pro-Am card.  I can still see Joey working on my bike helping me.  Those days are just a memory now.

My life changed forever when my brother John got injured back in the early 90's.  You can not even begin to imagine the pain in my heart having to watch him try so hard to gain strength and to live life as a Quad.  He lost that battle in 2008.  I of course felt loss but part of me was thankful that his misery was over.
Then in October I lost another brother and suddenly I was mourning the loss of another brother but this one was much worse.  Maybe it was because I did not really take the time to mourn John's death.  
Life this past year really kicked my ass not only with death but yet more injuries including what I believe my be CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathyI can not even begin to count the number of head injuries that I have had over the years.   Most did come from years ago when I raced motocross, but I also have had plenty of head injuries on my bicycle.  Do I have CTE? I do know that I have a lot of the symptoms.  I hate doctors but it looks like I have to look more into this.  This could explain a lot of things like my dizziness and the headaches I get.

My latest injury was something I have been dealing with for over a year.  After my knee surgery in April it steadily got worse.  I tried to just ride through it like I have always done but I finally went to see a specialist.  After a MRI with contrast dye, the problem was found - a Labral Tear and some bone spurs.  After a lot of research and talking with my doctor I elected to try PT and limiting my activity - basically no hard impact activities like running and no cyclocross last year either.  

The past 2 months I have gone through extensive rehab to see if I can avoid surgery and so far so good.   It appears that if I live a moderately active life and avoid strenuous activity I might be able to live a pain free life.  That means no more racing, no more standing on the top the podium.
This is a very hard time for me.  The most depressed time of my life.  If it were not for my wife Carolynn I do not know what would come of me.   All I can do now is take one day at a time and work through my head and health problems.  I am very hopeful that I will be strong enough to live a normal happy life.