All posts by Mike

Dog Day Afternoon?

The famous Corgis of Olive Hill Road, known for sleeping in (so they're never seen by our Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride) but they're usually out looking for someone to stop by and pay them attention on Sunday afternoons.
The famous Corgis of Olive Hill Road, known for sleeping in (so they’re never seen by our Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride) but they’re usually out looking for someone to stop by and pay them attention on Sunday afternoons.
Today was the first Sunday ride without Kevin in some time, a mostly-solo version of the “usual” Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas loop, sometimes known as a “reference ride” because I’ve done it so many times that I can get a good sense of what shape I’m in.

Today? It wasn’t about going fast; it was about enjoying a really beautiful day in the sun! Oh sure, I was a bit disappointed that I could only do 22:16 up Old LaHonda, and my Haskins time similarly just a bit off the mark, but I met a lot of nice people along the way, including Sarah and Mary, two long-time Chain Reaction customers, first at the Pescadero food stop (they were leaving shortly after I arrived) and then later, I caught up to them at the base of Tunitas Creek. That was especially fortuitous, as it gave me an excuse to be social instead of “drilling it” (trying to get a good time up Tunitas). Even better, Mary performed the “cookie face test” photo (of me) in Pescadero. Sadly, this particular cookie failed.

Descending Kings was fun; little traffic, great conditions, so a fast ride down. Better yet was seeing the Woodside Corgis on Olive Hill (as seen in the photo at the top). All in all, a very nice ride, but looking forward to Kevin being back on the bike. –Mike–

A long day for Kevin (and the family)

kevin_surgery_trio

It started out like any other day. Up at 5:30am, quick shower, drive Kevin to Kaiser for brain surgery. That’s pretty typical, right? Thought so.

Seriously, there’s not much worth getting up that early for, other than having to catch an early flight to someplace REALLY special (and even then I’d spend a fair number of $$$ more to catch a later flight) or maybe having to drive a couple hours to a bike century. Maybe. In general, I’d try to find a hotel closer so I could get an extra hour of sleep.┬áBut it’s not every day you get to have your skull sawed open, get 80 electrodes placed directly on top of your brain, seal it back up and then settle in for a painful week at the hospital.

Why would anyone do that? In Kevin’s case, it’s an opportunity to try and reduce the severity, maybe eliminate entirely, his epilepsy seizures. The process is so simple! Do what I described above, slowly withdraw the meds that try to control his seizures, then massively document the brain activity associated with the seizures that ensue. After a week of this, the data is analyzed and a decision made to either replace, er, I mean, remove the tiny part of the brain that’s sending out the seizure signals (which is hopefully identified by all those electrodes) or implant an electronic gadget that analyzes, in real time, brain wave data. When it detects a seizure about to start, it creates an anti-seizure to stop it in its tracks.

The procedures aren’t terribly risky, but it’s still quite an investment in time (a month off the bike and away from work) and money (even with insurance, the co-pays are going to add up). But considering what’s involved, any co-pay is pretty insignificant and one really has to consider how fortunate Kevin is to be born into a family that can afford insurance and the other costs involved.