The Fall

Wednesday 13 July 2022

One moment I was riding my bike; the next thing I remember, I was sitting on the ground talking to an EMT from the ambulance parked nearby.

This happened three weeks ago. I went to the emergency room, had a few CT scans and an MRI. The best theory is that I had a seizure. So now I am on anti-seizure medication, and am legally forbidden to drive a car for six months.

I was wearing a helmet, and was on a bike path, not a street. The physical effects were minimal: a sore shoulder and some road rash.

There was no eye-witness, so doctors guess I fell because I blacked out rather than the other way around. During the time I don’t remember, I called my wife and told her where I was, so maybe I was never truly unconscious? No one knows.

I usually have a low heart rate (a resting pulse of 50 bpm is not unusual), so maybe it was cardiac-related? I’m wearing a heart monitor to collect data.

The first week was hard because I felt completely limited in what I could do. All spring I had been feeling strong and capable in physical activities, and now I was finding a short walk difficult.

At first the anti-seizure meds made me tired and a bit fuzzy-headed. But we’ve adjusted them, and/or I’m adjusting to them, and/or my concussion is wearing off, so I feel more like myself. I’ve gotten back on the bike (though not alone), and have been swimming in the ocean, same as every summer.

I have more visits coming up with more doctors to try to understand what happened, and what might happen. I doubt they will be able to completely rule out a seizure, so I may be on meds for quite some time. Their recommendations are quite cautious (“Don’t take a bath without supervision”), so now we are making absurd trade-offs and considerations of risks and possibilities.

It’s unsettling to have lost time without a clear explanation, and especially unsettling to think that it could happen again at any time. I’m not sure what to do with that.

» 7 reactions

Comments

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Oh goodness – I am so glad that your fall didn’t have worse effects! My sympathies on the unpleasant effects of the meds and the tediousness of the tradeoffs.

Someone I slightly know online had a single seizure at one point, and recalled being told that some people just have one single seizure at some point and never have another one, and we’re not sure why. I do hope you find out why that one happened and that you don’t have any others!

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Have you considered wearing a GoPro-esque camera when engaging in activities alone? Could be an interesting way to collect information if it were to happen again.

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So sorry to hear about this! I hope they get to the bottom of it, and soon.

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I was sorry to read this — I hope you get some answers soon

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Yikes! It is unsetlling to hear that you went through such an incident. I am glad that you are able to continue doing things that you like, albeit with caution. Take care, and I sincerely hope the doctors figure out what’s happening.

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I am sorry and shocked to hear that Ned!. Hope it will not occur again. Also (genetics/family history) might play a role in this…

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I was also very sorry to hear about this Ned. Bicycling is my favorite activity next to walking. I hope things clear up for you soon and you’re back on the track enjoying the rest of the summer.

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