May 18, 2010
Where I've Been the Last 3 Weeks and what about the Future of Cycling Dude?
Besides not doing much in the way of cycling, aside from 6 mile daily commutes to, and from, work, I found myself spending the first 4 months of the year focusing on those sides of my blogging that have been getting actual readers, and comments (Cycling Dude has had few legitimate comments, or links from other blogs, in the last couple of years, and I quit accepting Trackbacks long ago because all I got was Spam.), as opposed to just folks passing thru on a Google Search, and quickly moving on, or people (Especially all you folks from Communist, and Third World, countries!) trying to butter me up for their own advertising (Or other, more, nefarious) purposes when it's clear that they haven't really read the blog, or took note of its lack of real traffic, and readers.
You can see that some of my more recent posts, here, have combined my love of cycling, with my other blogging interests, such as cats, photography, and hiking/walking (My trip to meet my friend Randy, in San Clemente, managed to combine all 4 quite spectacularly, hee, hee! You really SHOULD read the 3 part report, if you haven't already. ;-D ).
I've been Bike Blogging since 2003, long before most activists, and industry insiders, thought paying attention to ordinary folks like me, or using blogs, and other social networking tools, themselves, was even worth their time. ;-D
I am proud of what I've done, the prominent Bike Bloggers who told me they got their start by being inspired by my early work, the debates I've stirred, the correspondences, the local newspaper stories about me, the quote in a book, the few requests to test products and blog my thoughts, the invite to a film screening, the speaking engagements I've done, the bits of recognition, and support (Including publicity at events across the country from one friend.) I've gotten, and am honored by the few folks who have become my friends, and that, in a few of cases, I've had the honor, and pleasure, to actually meet in person (You all know who you are!), over the years. ;-D
In addition to the evolving success of my other blogging efforts, here, and here, something happened, on May 7th, that has me wondering if it's safe for me to still ride my bike, and has me wondering if continuing this blog, even if I do keep cycling, is worth my time, and effort.
Let me explain:
At work on the night of May 7th, around 1015pm, I had a sudden bout of confusion while handling a call (I'm a Directory Assisitance Operator), as a blinking light on the screen would not turn off, and I heard a supervisors voice when there should not have been one.
The next thing I knew was awakening in a hospital emergency room, about 11pm, and was told I had a Gran Mal Seizure.
This scared, confused, and concerned me, as you can imagine!
I'd had brief moments of confusion before, but always attributed them to being tired during a long shift, and always passed the call to a supervisor.
This, obviously, was different.
8 1/2 hours, 2 removals of blood, several other tests, and a cat scan later, I was finally cleared to go home, with a prescription to fill, plans to see a neurologist for a battery of tests as soon as possible, and orders to stay home the next 3 days, at least, and rest.
My Cat, Nikita, played nurse all week, making sure I rested, took my meds, and visited the Doctor.
I am scheduled to see a Neurologist on May 27th.
I visited my personal physician, last week, and also went to Hoag Hospital for an EEG.
This is what I know so far...
My Doc told me that my Blood Work showed that I have very Mild Anemia.
Iron Deficiency Anemia is the most common type of anemia throughout the world.
The Doc told me to increase the Iron in my diet, and set up a follow-up appointment for a month from now.
I was given the OK to go to Hoag Hospital, for an EEG, and so decided to dress appropriately for the occasion. ;-D
My choice of attire was a huge hit at the registration desk, and most particularly in the Neurosciences Institute itself. ;-D
A very nice lady, named Tracy, was in charge of administering the EEG, with the help of an assistant, and was very reassuring, and helpful, during the entire process which, including the 20 min. EEG itself, lasted 50 min.
Tracy asked me questions about what led up to the incident, and the incident itself, about my own health, and the fact that I had a cycling accident in the mid-90's which involved hitting my head on pavement, and a short period of nerve damage that was treated with medication, and my family medical history (Dad was a mental patient for 18 years until his death, Mom Died of Diabetes, and Leukemia.).
I then had 6 small electrodes stuck on my head, with a mild abrasive cleanser, and conductive cream, and an electrode cap, and was instructed to lay back, stay still, close my eyes, and relax, even take a short nap if I wanted (I didn't manage the nap.).
The recording procedure included something called phonetic stimulation...a flashing strobe light given in 10 second increments.
After all was done I was told a hospital Neurologist would examine the results, and in a week all conclusions would be sent to my Doc, and the Neurologist I am scheduled to see, and I might not know more until my meeting with the Neurologist.
While at the hospital I picked up all sorts of flyers, and pamphlets, that will help me understand about EEG'S, and seizures.
Looking over this stuff was quite entertaining for Nikita.
He climbed up into the top of his cat tree, and settled down to read.
He, and I, learned a lot of interesting things.
Depending on what part of a human brain is affected a person can have symptoms such as changes in concentration, muscle contractions, body jerking, or numbness, and tingling.
These events can last from just a few seconds to up to 3 minutes, and sleepiness, and confusion afterwards can last longer.
I had a Generalized Tonic Clonic which involved full body shaking, a loss of awareness, and the appearance of unconsciousness. Once I awoke I was confused, and sleepy for a time, afterward, at the hospital.
The Electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded the electrical activity in the brain in the form of brain waves.
The idea is to see if my noggin had any abnormal electrical activity going on inside it.
Some folks might consider my poetry, songs, humor, opinions, and other blogging, including the bike blogging, and my strong stances against Critical Mass, and on various cycling issues that angered folks, over the years, as proof enough, without the need of any ol' EEG, but what do they know?
Um, hee, hee! ;-D
Anyway, now that the initial excitement is past, and I settle down into the routine of taking my Anti-Seizure Meds twice a day (The Generic form of Keppra, called Levetiraceta - 500mg), and finding out what Iron rich foods I should start eating more of, we can both get back to our regularly scheduled Blogging....
Will that blogging include this blog?
Would anyone even notice, or care, if it didn't? ;-D
I am seriously considering retiring from the field, with my health, my honor, my pride, my reputation, and my dignity, intact.
If I still am able to ride my bike I can still blog about my cycling jaunts, here, if I choose, or on one of my other blogs instead. ;-D
Even if I don't blog (Including Photos, & maybe videos, too.) about my own bike riding here on Cycling Dude, I could still blog about issues, and news, I suppose, even though I'm not the most knowledgeable, or connected, and also spend the rest of the year just doing one post each, on all the links in my sidebar, as a way to spread the word about them.
But if no-one reads my posts what is the point of spending my free time doing them when my other writing/blogging interests are on the upswing, and show the potential of leading me somewhere I never could have dreamed when I took up blogging in 2002?
I have Flckr, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, accounts, and a Flip Cam, and new Powershot A1100 Camera, and if I am going to learn to use them all to my advantage for my blogging, and writing, interests, then I am going to do so to further the success of those interests, and talents, of mine that people find interesting, and worth their time to check out, and encourage.
I know this line of thinking may come as a shock to those fans, and friends, who still stop by, from time to time, and enjoy my efforts...
All I can say is thank you for caring, and for your support, encouragement, and friendship.
Mere words can't express what that means to me.
It's been a wonderful ride.
(If it wasn't cloudy today I might have tossed my bike on the bus for a trip to Newport Beach, this evening and, after a short walk, a Sunset Photo of us both at Inspiration Point, gazing out to sea, to include with this post, but Mother Nature has no interest in co-operating.)