When emergency physician Michael J. Jarosick, DO, decided to go for a mountain bike ride in Ohio’s Mohican State Park on Aug. 20, 2013, he didn’t expect to end up as a patient in the emergency department—or know that his decision to ride with two friends, Rabbit and Jamieson, instead of riding solo would be a critical one. During the ride, he experienced a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 35 – No 03 – March 2016
Dr. Jarosick, currently a physician at a privately owned urgent care and occupational medicine clinic in Findlay, Ohio, recently sat down with ACEP Now Medical Editor in Chief Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, to talk about his experience diagnosing his own medical situation and being on the receiving end of lifesaving emergency care.
KK: What were you doing that day?
MJ: I was mountain biking. I was preparing for a trip to Washington State to stay with a friend and do some mountain biking out there with him. I had all of my stuff packed. I was busy all day tying up loose ends before I was going to leave town for a week and knew that I wanted to get in one more ride.
KK: Was this was an average training day, and did you feel normal?
MJ: I was going to ride by myself, like I often do. I thought at the last minute, “Why don’t I call my one friend Rabbit and see if he wants to ride?”
KK: When did you know that something was not right?
MJ: We were about an hour into the ride, starting to do this one hill climb, when I noticed my neck was a bit sore and I was getting pressure in the temples. I thought, “This is my backup helmet, and I can never get it adjusted just right.” This built for about 20 minutes gradually. The thing about [feeling a] thunderclap coming from out of nowhere? Not really.
KK: Your first response, just like every good patient, was denial of your symptoms?
MJ: Yes, but then I looked at my buddies and said, “I’m having a subarachnoid hemorrhage.”
KK: Are they physicians?
MJ: No. One guy is a total layman, and the other one is an athletic trainer. They said, “You’re having a what?” I said, “A blood vessel broke in my brain, and it’s bleeding.” Within a matter of minutes, we shifted into rescue mode. I was overcome with pain right there. The nuchal rigidity was unbelievable. I tried to sit down, but any little movement of my head when I was seated upright was too much pain for me to take. It was nuchal rigidity as I imagined it would be.