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Protect your head! (I learned the hard way)
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Mocean

Since 21 Sep 2005
343 Posts
Newport
Obsessed



PostSun Sep 10, 06 5:02 pm    Protect your head! (I learned the hard way) Reply with quote

Well, I'm out of the water for a minimum of 3 months after a hard head slam on the water August 12th caused a brain injury - this led to a grand mal seizure last Monday morning and an ambulance ride to the hospital. I'm posting this just to remind all the hard chargers out there that its easy to take your health for granted until something like this happens. I could have played it a little safer, not been riding so powered up, not turned so hard down the line, not gone for that off-the-lip, etc. and I'd still be out there today. Also, although I'm not sure if it would have made the difference in my case, I'll be wearing my helmet religously when I start kiting again.

Go for it safely, and remember that water is HARD!

See you back out on the ocean soon,


Steve
Newport OR

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Sol-flyer

Since 21 Mar 2006
1253 Posts
Dude, where's my Bus?
Otto Mann



PostSun Sep 10, 06 5:39 pm     Reply with quote

dude that f'n sucks!

i know you'll be on the water sooner than you think, just keep a health conscious attitude. Cool

-jah bless

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Kataku2k3

Since 14 Aug 2005
3745 Posts
Gresham
Videographer



PostSun Sep 10, 06 7:06 pm     Reply with quote

Damn Steve, sorry to hear. I camped at Beverly this weekend with the fam and got out on the water yesterday (and Siletz today), but it was shitty, so you're not missing anything (at least right now). Take it easy!

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4422 Posts
Portland
Unstrapped



PostSun Sep 10, 06 7:55 pm     Reply with quote

Thats awful - sorry to hear that - take it easy, feel better and heal up.

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pkh

Since 27 Feb 2005
6524 Posts
Couve / Hood
Site Lackey



PostSun Sep 10, 06 8:53 pm     Reply with quote

damn Steve, sorry to hear, get better soon... at least this is happening at the end of the season and not the beginning eh?

more proof water can hurt ya! those lips might as well be semi trucks...

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jahmbi

Since 28 Jul 2005
604 Posts
MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN
River Troll



PostSun Sep 10, 06 9:14 pm    helmet Reply with quote

WELL , I,M SORRY TO SAY THIS BUT IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME, I HAVE WATCHED ALOT OF YOU COME TO THE BEACH THIS YEAR AND ALL OF YOU SEEM TO HAVE YOUR LEASHES BUT WERE LACKING THE MOST IMPORTANT THING Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad ..AND THERE IS A BRO TELLING ALL OF YOU THE LESSON HE LEARNED .......MY 2 CENTS IS THAT A HELMET IS CHEAPER THAN A LIFE TIME OF BAD ISSUES..... THINK ABOUT IT, OR MAYBE NEXT TIME YOU WONT BE ABLE TO THINK, BECAUSE YOU WILL BE DEAD, OR HAVE SUCH A SERIOUS, INJURY THAT YOUR WIFE OR MOM,DAD WILL BE WIPEING YOUR ASS FOR THE REST OF THE YOUR LIFE IF YOU WOULD CALL THAT A LIFE.... TROLL
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gabe

Since 16 May 2005
453 Posts

Obsessed



PostSun Sep 10, 06 11:37 pm    Re: Protect your head! (I learned the hard way) Reply with quote

can you tell us what happened exactly?

Mocean wrote:
Well, I'm out of the water for a minimum of 3 months after a hard head slam on the water August 12th caused a brain injury - this led to a grand mal seizure last Monday morning and an ambulance ride to the hospital. I'm posting this just to remind all the hard chargers out there that its easy to take your health for granted until something like this happens. I could have played it a little safer, not been riding so powered up, not turned so hard down the line, not gone for that off-the-lip, etc. and I'd still be out there today. Also, although I'm not sure if it would have made the difference in my case, I'll be wearing my helmet religously when I start kiting again.

Go for it safely, and remember that water is HARD!

See you back out on the ocean soon,


Steve
Newport OR

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Ryan

Since 14 Jul 2005
430 Posts
Oregon
Obsessed



PostMon Sep 11, 06 9:01 am     Reply with quote

Steve,

Sorry to hear that, I hope you have a speedy recovery and get back to good health in good time. Perspective is good and as much fun as kiting is health is much more important.

Like Gabe i would like to hear what happened exactly, if you can remember.

cheers,

Ryan

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pjc

Since 06 Mar 2005
649 Posts

Addicted



PostMon Sep 11, 06 9:14 am     Reply with quote

really sorry to hear that. you must have been trucking pretty hard. best wishes.

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Ryan

Since 14 Jul 2005
430 Posts
Oregon
Obsessed



PostMon Sep 11, 06 10:08 am     Reply with quote

Steve,

Sorry to hear that, I hope you have a speedy recovery and get back to good health in good time. Perspective is good and as much fun as kiting is health is much more important.

Like Gabe i would like to hear what happened exactly, if you can remember.

cheers,

Ryan

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tstansbury

Since 06 Jun 2006
645 Posts
Rowena and P.C
Addicted



PostMon Sep 11, 06 11:27 am     Reply with quote

kayak shops have a better selection of good lids then kiteshops. good luck with the recovery.

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Mocean

Since 21 Sep 2005
343 Posts
Newport
Obsessed



PostMon Sep 11, 06 11:40 am     Reply with quote

Here’s what I can remember, and with help from buddy Mike J who was observing from shore:

Location: Beverly Beach (The Wiching Post). Wind had been picking up steadily and I was on my 9 Fuel and SX 136 twin tip. It was probably around 25-28 knots. Swell was about 3 feet at the most. I was really having fun turning the kite fast and doing hard bottom turns in front of the small waves and getting whipped a hundred feet or more down the line then hitting the lip. I had one that sent me super fast and far down the line and the wave was kind of warbly and getting ready to break in shallow water. Mike said it looked like I kind of did an aerial off-the-lip and as I landed the nose of the board pearled, I went down hard onto the water off the front side of my board, pulling the kite down hard to my right, and slamming it into the water. I got up, shook it off, and walked over and grabbed my kite which had pushed in to the beach, and gathering everything up. It was then that I noticed my right earplug had gotten blown out (this had never happened to me before and I’ve been wearing these for over 25 years of surfing and wind sports). I felt a little dizzy as well, but nothing too alarming – figured I had a mild concussion maybe.

That night I was at a friends’ house for dinner and while eating, the left lower side of my face started spasming (I later learned this was probably a partial seizure) so bad that I couldn’t talk or control my facial muscles. At first we thought this was an allergic reaction to something, so my wife rushed me to the emergency room and I was given a bunch of benedril and valium which helped only partially. A catscan didn’t show anything unusual. I stayed pretty medicated the next day and gradually the episodes subsided. For the next couple of weeks I was getting the mouth seizures only sometimes while eating or brushing my teeth. Another weird thing was that after one of these I would feel kind of dizzy and tired for about 12 hours or so. I made an appointment with a neurologist, although the earliest I could get in was in October. Later, I was able to move this appointment up to Sept. 6, but this turned out to be 2 days after the BIG one. Of course during this time I went kiteboarding numerous times, including a radical day at South Beach when it was blowing steady 30 knots. Also I had a brain MRI done in preparation for the neurologist visit.

On Monday September 4th, I woke up at 5 am realizing that I couldn’t breathe, followed by the feeling of all my nerves short-circuiting. I lurched at my wife and got her attention before losing consciousness. Absolutely the most terrifying feeling I’ve ever had. Next thing I knew paramedics were loading me up into the ambulance. I was put on anti-seizure medication and kept overnight at the hospital under constant observation.

At the neurologist’s appointment I learned that the MRI showed a recent injury to the left side of the sub-cortical region of brain (the opposite side that hit the water). This appeared as a small white spot on the MRI. This type of injury is common in boxers, where a blow to the head bounces the brain off the opposite side of the skull. This should gradually heal, but I’ve got to take the medication depakote for quite sometime to reduce the nerve impulses that can cause seizures. In fact, I’ll have to take this stuff for two years, according to the doc. (It’s also used to treat manic depression and bi-polar disorders, so maybe it’ll help me there too!) It’s important to not let the seizures happen again, or else permanent nerve pathways can become established, and I could basically become an epileptic. State law requires that I not drive for a minimum of 3 months due to the risk of seizures, and any water activity could also have a potential deadly risk if I was to have another seizure and lose consciousness. After 3 months, I’ll be given the green light if nerve tests and other test results look favorable. And yes, it is better that this happened in September when there’s only a couple weeks of the good stuff left anyway. But I’ll be crawling the walls when the fall-season surf spots start to get good and I’m landlocked. Oh well, it could have been so much worse.

So here’s a summary of some of the things this experience has taught me:

1) Take it easy. Don’t push yourself so hard to learn new stuff or go faster and higher that you end up getting hurt. This probably especially applies to us in the over-40 crowd.

2) Be careful with twin tips in the waves. I'd been riding my surfboard a lot prior to that day, and perhaps wasn't ready for the nose to plow under as easily as it did, which caused my slam into the water.

3) Wear a helmet. Whether it would have helped in this case I’m not sure, but I’ve learned about the fragility of what’s inside of my skull, and believe me, I’m going to do everything I can to protect it from here on.

4) Listen to what your body’s telling you. If unusual stuff is happening, especially with your head, it could be an indication of something more serious going on. At the time, missing one session may seem like the end of the world, but it’s a lot better than the potential alternatives. I suppose I could have just as easily had that seizure out in the water on any number of days after my initial crash. Probably wouldn’t be here to tell about it if that was the case.

Sorry for such a long-winded post but again, hopefully this will help others to learn about kiting safely and the nature of head injuries. And it feels great to get the replies of encouragement from the NW kiting family out there!

Thanks so much,

Steve

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pdxmonkeyboy

Since 16 May 2006
6007 Posts
forever labled as the
Unicorn Master



PostMon Sep 11, 06 1:26 pm     Reply with quote

God DAMN! that sounds freakin horrible! Good thing your still ok and not some kind of a vegetable. Perhaps its time to go get a helmet.

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1068 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostMon Sep 11, 06 3:18 pm     Reply with quote

Mocean wrote:


Of course during this time I went kiteboarding numerous times, including a radical day at South Beach when it was blowing steady 30 knots. Also I had a brain MRI done in preparation for the neurologist visit.

Steve


Steve: Sorry to hear about ur injury. I think that 30 kt day was the day I met you and mike. It sure was a "white knuckle", defensive kiting day on my 8m, but interesting and great meeting you two locals. Hope the road to recovery is short and sweet. Take it easy. Very Happy

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boardrider

Since 05 Apr 2006
996 Posts
Ventura, CA
Opinionated



PostMon Sep 11, 06 5:54 pm     Reply with quote

' water is HARD! ' - that is easy to forget. Thanks for sharing your story. Hope your recovery goes well. - C

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Mr.Onepump

Since 11 Sep 2006
66 Posts
Albany
 



PostMon Sep 11, 06 9:05 pm     Reply with quote

Steve,
I just read this post and had to sign up and post to let you know how sorry I am to hear about your' injury. What a hassle it must be to have the wife drive you around for the next 3 months Shocked I'm glad to hear that your' making a recovery, too many injuries with the local kiters in newport Mike last year with his knee and back injuries and now you.
You have probably noticed the last two seasons I have been wearing a helmit, unfortunatly I didn't just decide one day it would be a good idea to wear a helmit, I had to learn the hard way. I crashed doing a bottom turn and was tumbled around by the wave with my board banging me on the head. I got 4 stitches for that little crash.
I wish you a quick recovery and hope to see you back on the water soon.

Ron,

P.S. Where do you get those earpluggs anyway?

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Kraemer

Since 24 Apr 2006
1625 Posts
Sky Pilot
Unicorn Captain



PostMon Sep 11, 06 9:53 pm     Reply with quote

I'm glad you're recovering ok. Your story is like so much of us. "Going boarding again knowing we aren't in the best health." You took a slam but you went out again and again". Did you read my biography or something? Thanks for sharing your experience. It makes it real.

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