I woke up on September 11, 2004 with a feeling of lack of balance; I had to make more of a conscious effort.  Initially I  wasnít willing to admit that it was anything serious, so Fran and I biked 15 miles up to Edmonds anyway.  I could balance on the bike fine, but didnít always take the exact path planned.  I agreed that I should have things checked out.  We got a Medic 1 ride to Northwest Hospital where an MRI showed that I had had an intracranial bleed.  The affected area was about 1 cm across and located on top of the cerebellum.  In addition to lack of balance, I had numbness on one side of the mouth and degraded handwriting.  I had a cavernous hemangeoma, which is a congenital condition where a bunch of blood vessels donít do any good and have a small probability of bleeding in any year.  They kept me in the hospital for two days of observation and then sent me home.  The blood will normally get taken up and the condition reversed.

 

I didnít feel better and on September 21 I woke up feeling worse.  We went back to the hospital where an MRI showed that I had had a second bleed and the area was now 2 cm across.  Two days later I had surgery to remove the hemangeoma.

 

The surgery knocked me out.  Fran has been helpful and took off a couple weeks from work.Within about a month I got back to doing normal things, but at lower strength.  The estimate is three to six months to fully recover strength.  Fortunately there has never been any impact on cognition.

 

One byproduct of surgery has been robotics.  I was on medical leave from DigiPen with my Fall classes cancelled or covered by other faculty.  Soon after surgery I was invited to join Team Sleipnir to compete in the DARPA Grand Challenge (www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge).  The robot race is 175 miles across the California desert with $2 million first prize. It is run Oct., 8, 2005.  So I have been working on robot vision for the last two months.

 

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