My Experience After a Traumatic Brain Injury
|My Experience After a Traumatic Brain Injury|
|Back to Work After TBI|
|My Inpatient Psychiatry Experience|
|Back At Work Again|
|My Experience with the Medical Community|
|Why the BIC?|
I went bike riding on June 30, 1992 and I wasn’t wearing a helmet. I had been looking at helmets at a bike shop in my local mall, approximately 2 miles round trip on my bike. I had just gotten back in to cycling and the helmet I purchased with my red Schwinn road bike got misplaced in my move.
The helmet I was looking at was around $100.00. It was red, white and blue. No matter the cost of a helmet, they must meet specific standards. For current information about helmets visit the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. My brain injury cost me much more than a helmet. I regret not purchasing a cheaper helmet until I could afford the helmet I wanted.
According to a witness, I got off my bike in the middle of an intersection, took one step and fell like I was shot. It's unclear why I lost consciousness; I may have had a seizure, although I did not have a known seizure disorder. I was under a lot of stress dealing with a difficult situation at my place of employment and I strongly believe I passed out from stress.
I had a Glasgow Coma Score of 4 at the scene (eyes opened to pain only). A CT Scan and Spinal Tap revealed a subdural hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
I learned the hard way – literally – the importance of wearing a bike helmet. The asphalt didn't give, but my head did resulting in two bleeds. It changed me and my life.
NOTE: My loss of consciousness could have happened while I was driving a vehicle, from the seat of my bike, or while standing over carpeting or my bed. I would have preferred the latter. Since, I have been thrown from my former bike (a Schwinn road bike) twice while wearing a helmet. The first time my bike tires got caught in a dilapidated railroad track while crossing them at a 90 degree angle and flipping me off to the side of my bike. My helmet hit the metal track cracking the right side of my helmet. A few months later, I went over the top of the handlebars cracking the top of my helmet. Was it a problem with my bike's fork after the railroad track incident or did my wheels get caught in something? I'll never know. I don't recall a period of time after I hit the ground.
LESSON LEARNED: If your bike is involved in an accident, have a bicycle technician check your bicycle for damage.