What to do after a Concussion? Not This.

It wasn’t my plan to take the month of August off, but I had a big deadline and a series of small deadlines and then I spent a lot of time pulling glass out of my arm and head, not to mention how busy I was being concussed.

The problem with having a head wound is that it impedes your ability to think and remember. About a month after the accident it occurred to me it may not be a good sign that I had at least one form of a headache every day since, and wondered if I had a concussion. I have a vague memory of someone, somewhere (A nurse in the ER in Canada? My doctor in Michigan?) asking me how many fingers she was holding and asking me to track them, but that’s it.

A friend who is a doctor, but lives in Virginia, sent a list of symptoms:

Headaches
Nausea
Balance issues
Visual changes
Light/noise sensitivity
Numbness/tingling
Difficulty remembering/concentrating/thinking clearly
Sluggish mentally
Irritable
Nervous
Agitated
Sad

Granted, that could be any day around here, but yes.

I called my doctor to just make sure a concussion had been ruled out when we did a follow up visit with her a couple days after our day in the E.R. I had already called back once and spoken with the nurse a week before this after I pulled a chunk (and that really isn’t an exaggeration) of glass out of my forehead to make sure this wasn’t a problem, because it certainly seemed like a heck of a problem to me. And then there was the fact that my forehead felt lumpy. I just don’t think it’s a good sign when lumpy can describe any part of one’s anatomy.

The doctor referred me to a plastic surgeon the next day since “This really isn’t her area expertise,” the nurse said.  It would have been lovely if this had occurred to my doctor when I first saw her, several weeks before this, but I’m picky.

Almost a week after my concussion call, I heard back from a therapy hospital confirming my referral.

“For plastic surgery?” I was surprised since I thought this was a rehab hospital.

“No, this was a referral for a possible concussion.”

It’s hard to keep your dances straight when you’re the belle of the ball.

This call was only a confirmation, a nurse would be calling me to interview me the end of that week or some time in the next.

“Wow! No hurry, huh?”

The scheduler didn’t know quite what to say. It wasn’t her fault so I thanked her and let her go.

It was another week before I heard from the nurse. I told her I’d read through many of the symptoms and had all of them, but I tended towards many of them on normal days—Ha! Ha!

“Well, what about when you enter a room do you find you can’t remember why you went in there?”

I’m the one who may or may not have a concussion, but I wasn’t the only one having trouble tracking.

“Yes! I’m always forgetting why I’m in a room. Every.single.day. That’s not a symptom, but here’s the thing, I’m prone to have headaches, but I’ve never had one every day for a month. And I’m prone to insomnia but I’ve never gone this long without sleeping through the night. Also, I’m a writer, I may have trouble gathering my thoughts and procrastinate, but a deadline is like magic and I always meet it, except now, I’ve had to turn down some assignments and really deep thinking is almost painful.

The nurse decided I definitely had many symptoms of a concussion and needed to be seen but I can’t remember if she scheduled my appointment or if someone else will be calling me. Her name is Becky—I remember that too—and I know I wrote down everything else, I’m just not sure where.

Comments

  1. says

    This post is very disturbing. These are really clear signs that you might, indeed, have a concussion. You really do need to see that doctor a.s.a.p. as just that lump is already alarming. Not to sound like an alarmist, but that lump could already be a little hemorrhaging inside of your head. See a doctor to confirm it as it’s also for your safety.

    Vanessa Adams

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