The Stetina Clan at Pete & Dyanna's house in Tahoe
Thank you for caring about the Stetinas and Dale and checking this page! I apologize for the lack of communication and have recently had a few requests for an update.
A highlight of recent was spending last Thanksgiving together as a full family at Pete and Dyanna’s house in Tahoe. In the photo here you see Claire, Dale, Pete, Kate, and Anne (thanks Dyanna for taking the photo)!
Dale has had a few eye and dental procedures that have occupied much time and energy over the last few months. The dental reconstruction efforts have been ongoing since the crash but hope to have most of it finished by the end of the summer. His eyes have been more complicated due to optic nerve damage from the crash. Last month Dale flew to Indianapolis to have an eye procedure on his left eye. All went well and Dale’s vision is slightly better than it was, but he will always struggle with vision problems. He decided to extend his stay in Indianapolis (where he grew up) and enjoyed visiting his mother and spending time with old friends still in town. He plans to visit more regularly as he had such a good time.
He still works with a PT due to problems with his right leg. We also are planning to pursue a short but intensive cognitive therapy program offered locally with the graduate school at CU. More updates about that later.
Next week Dale heads to Washington DC to participate in another weeklong Ride to Recovery with his brother Wayne. This is the 3rd R2R that Dale has attended and he really enjoys interacting with all the participants, many of whom have also had significant injuries but are riding their bikes nevertheless. Dale will ride a solo bike this time – a huge step-up from the tandem!
During bad weather, Dale works out on his trainer with the Zwift beta program (www.zwift.com) and it is absolutely awesome! It’s a program that hooks up to his trainer so he has a real Dale avatar in this online cycling community, and can ride alongside other cyclists on trainers in their own homes. Very cool graphics!
Finally, we want to send huge THANK YOUs to the family and friends that have been with us thru the long haul of this recovery. It’s so important to us to have people that have tried to understand what works and what doesn’t, and what kinds of things support or hinder recovery. Helping Dale make healthy choices is a challenge as he still struggles with understanding the impact of his injuries; rates of secondary TBI are high and a significant issue with someone as physically active as Dale. We are thankful to have members of our community that understand this as well, reach out to us when it gets complicated, and are willing to learn what supports Dale’s health. Not everyone who interacts with Dale understands the fragile state of an injured brain so we are still trying to educate people about the seriousness of this.
Overall, as we approach the two-year mark post-injury, the Stetinas are still navigating a complicated time of how a TBI has affected everything -- family relationships, values/priorities, communication, work, and overall health. We like to think we are figuring it all out, slowly but surely. We so appreciate the prayers and good thoughts that our community continues to send our way. Thank you for adapting to best love him and each other alongside us.
Love to all,
Kate and Anne Stetina