Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced Saturday morning (July 29) that the concussion-like symptoms that have kept him off the race track in recent weeks aren't getting any better. The NASCAR driver shared the details of his health concerns during his Dirty Mo Radio podcast Monday (August 1).
According to Earnhardt, he began to have problems with "gaze stability" and balance after a crash at Michigan International Speedway in June. And while he's suffered from concussions in the past, this one has been different, something the 41-year old admits is scary for him.
“This is scary for me because of the way it’s been different,” he said. “I’m having balance issues; I’ve never had balance issues before. The eye issues with the stability — I’ve never had that before. It didn’t begin at the event; it started weeks later and came on very slowly, very gradually and continued to progress until it sort of stopped and stayed where it is.
“I don’t know what that tells me about how long this process is going to be. I felt like I had a good understanding of dealing with concussions in the past, but this is certainly a new one.”
Earnhardt missed his third consecutive race over the weekend, but is optimistic that he'll be back behind the wheel eventually.
“I’d love to race more,” Earnhardt said during the “Dale Jr. Download” episode. “In my mind, my plan is to race more. I have plans to keep going. I’ll worry about that when I’m well. My doctors are confident they can make me stronger than I was before this event.”
Earnhardt has visual and physical exercises to do each day as well as frequent check ups with his doctors.
“I will go to get evaluated every few weeks and each time I go, they’ll adjust the treatment accordingly.”
In the meantime, Earnhardt is taking it one day at a time. He admits that he goes to bed each night hoping that morning will bring some improvements.
“You wake up, you open your eyes, you sit up and you walk to the bathroom and you know immediately that nothing is different, nothing is better,” he said. “In the past, you could always feel this improvement.”
We're praying for a full and speedy recovery for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and hope to see him back on the race track soon!