Day 31: Red Oak, IA

Hello!

A wonderful Wednesday, it’s been! Day 31 has been, as usual, an adventure that’s :definitely: worth telling about. Hold on to your mud flaps! (yeah, I’m in Iowa)

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The stats:
Departure: Glendale, IA @ 12:15pm
Arrival: Red Oak, IA @ 4:23pm
Distance: 33 miles
Distance travelled on unpaved shoulder: about 8 miles
Current number of helmets on ‘the rolling monster’: 4 (1 added!)
Terrain: Rolling hills
Climate: hot and humid

Okay…. Freeze! [for you newbies, this is my daily short blurb about how brain injury affects me, you, and some interesting facts about how it all fits in] Quite appropriately, I think it’s time I explained why freezing is good! When I was in the neurological intensive care unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in a coma, they kept most parts of my body :on ice:. What?! Really?! Yes. When the brain tries to heal itself, it sends the swelling way up into the stratosphere. Swelling is the way that our bodies send hot, white blood cell-rich blood in large quantities to sites in our bodies that need repair. And sure, that’s a great thing. You know, repair and all. Bit whats bad? When the body goes overboard and doesn’t know that it can’t handle the rises in body temperature, inflammation, and pressure! So docs got very technical: they put cold stuff all overt body to stop the immune responses & cool me off. If you’re in a coma, chances are, you can be [cue music] ‘as cold as ice…’

Unfreeze! Do it, now! It’s not like we like icy drinks when it’s boiling outside or anything..

Okay firstoff: please revisit this post sometime during the day on Thursday! I recorded two videos and am unable to upload them here (bad signal).

So why’d I only ride in the afternoon and only 30+ miles? Heres the reason!

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I was clued in about the On With Life TBI hospital that is in Glenwood last night, so I quick decided I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit! At the prime time of 9:30am, I walked in and introduced myself to some confused staff members. After all, I seriously just walked up to the door! They welcomed me in, and after hearing my story, were eager to show me their patients, therapists, facility, and most importantly, their enthusiasm. I’m honored to have gotten the opportunity, OWL Glenwood!

Fast facts: OWL GW is a long-term care facility for tbi survivors. These Men and women patients need alot of aid throughout the day and cannot live independently- so they live there and receive numerous therapies daily. OWL has a really special sensory therapy room/lab; as you can get a sense of below, this is where survivors see bright colors, feel new textures, hear music, smell things, even taste unique tastes. OWL has grasped this as a great way to stimulate and awaken patients’ whole body and mind. Please comment with a simple (+) if you think you’d benefit from every sense awakened post-coma! Visit the owl site and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of me sitting in their balance chair!

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I even had the chance (and took it) to show the Dougtrails kickoff video at an in-service meeting that was being held there! Soo cool. Go OWL! I hope you don’t mind my acronymizing the name…

Today’s ride… Short, hot… Headed east on route 34 and quickly realized that IA doesn’t like paved shoulders. Gosh, that was slow, riding in gravel up until 10 miles from Red Oak. Funny thing about riding in IA during the week of RAGBRAI (the country’s largest cross-state cycling party, er, ride): everyone tells me I’m late! Well, I’m just not part of the party, sadly! Plus, it’d just be too hard to talk to ALL of those riders!

This is a long post! Tonight, I pitched tent in a backyard and am kinda waiting on things to cool down. Rock on!

Tomorrow: To Creston I go! Numerous media interviews await!

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Stay safe.

Doug

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