It started out like any other Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride, getting up at 6:57am (used to be 7:05am but I need just a bit more time when my son is riding with me). A bit cool and damp, which is never a good thing for me, at least not early in the ride, and that held true today as I was gasping for air like a fish out of water on the alternate through-the-park option we often do on Thursdays. Didn’t seem to be an issue for Karl or either Kevin (pilot and son) or Eric or Chris or not-me-Mike or Todd.
Once we got to Kings I was looking forward to the more-even climb up Kings, where I can catch my breath and watch as the others ever-so-gradually ride off into the distance (everyone but Karl, who’s still recovering from the collarbone and slowly coming up to speed, like you’re supposed to after an injury).
At one point I thought maybe I could get back onto my son’s wheel, but no. I watched as Kevin faded slightly and Eric passed him, thinking maybe he could ride Eric’s wheel to the top (Eric follows a very consistent pace) but not quite. Then, about a quarter mile from the top, with Kevin maybe 100 meters in front of me (yeah, mixing metric and imperial measurements here) I watch as Kevin falls over. Darn. A seizure, and apparently not enough warning to get off the bike. I arrive shortly, and find him already non-responsive (normally you’ve got about 20 seconds or so while he can still talk) and then proceeds to have the “strongest” seizure I’ve seen since the initial big one that put him in the hospital. Big enough that I had to sit on him to keep him from flopping around and hurting himself. Karl arrived soon and moved the bike away from him (didn’t want his flailing feet to damage the new bike, y’know?) and eventually he came out of it. A helpful motorist had seen him on the ground and nice stopped to keep any cars away from us, and couldn’t figure out why in the world we didn’t accept her offer of a ride down the hill. Sigh. The things that have become “normal” and “routine” for Kevin and I…
Since he’d bloodied his chin and hands a bit, and I wasn’t sure how much bruising he might have gotten, we sent Karl on ahead to let people know what went on and tell them we were heading immediately back down. Darn. Time to get this kid fixed once & for all, but that’s much easier said than done. It’s especially frustrating since he shows such promise cycling, and yet it’s cycling where we can predict when he’s most-likely to have a seizure. He still has random seizures at other times, without rhyme or reason though, so it’s not as if not riding would cure his epilepsy. Quite the opposite I think; the fact that we can point to very specific triggers when riding might (should?!) provide a path towards better understanding why he has his seizures. Or so a frustrated father thinks.