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:

Balance issues
Visual changes
Light/noise sensitivity
Difficulty remembering/concentrating/thinking clearly
Sluggish mentally

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.

How To Figure Out Your Career: Disaster Can Be Your Guidance Counselor

“Mommy, would you ever want to work in insurance?” Eden asked me the other day.

“No. Never.” I said without a second’s hesitation.

“Me neither,” she agreed.

“Why not?” I was clear on my reasoning but I’m always curious to peek inside Eden’s mind.

“I think you’d have to hear so many sad stories and you’d need to do a lot of math and I don’t like math. I can do it, but I don’t like it. Do you?”

I agreed  with  her on everything and said so.

Filers vs. Pilers: Finding A Way To Organize Paper

Piles of books are a thing of beauty. Piles of papers, though? Not so much. Those are a load of mess and stress but some of us can’t seem to get our act together. My latest is up on Houzz in which I share an epiphany I had and hundreds of people are having their own. And yes, it was about filing papers. I know that may seem banal, and in the face of life and death who cares about a mess of paper, but in day in day out living, it matters a lot. Here it is:

I read an article in a magazine years ago that changed my life. In an interview a professional organizer essentially said, “There are filers and there are pilers. Too often pilers try to turn themselves into filers, and they shouldn’t.” I was astonished. Cue the heavenly chorus; it was as if I’d been given permission to be myself after years of trying — and failing — to organize my papers….to read more click HERE.

Why You Should Stop Watching Reality TV:

For the very same reason, when you come upon a car accident, you choose to look away. Sure, there is that ghoulish urge but an adult doesn’t press her face against the window, mouth breathing and staring.

It’s as simple as that.

A couple years ago I asked my sister, “What’s up with the KarDUHshians? Who are they?” I knew them from tabloids at the checkout and the “news”feed on Comcast, but I couldn’t figure out what they had to do with Bruce Jenner and why they were on television.

“You mean the KarDASHians?” Torey asked.

“Oh, is that how you pronounce it?”

“Yeah.” And then she brought me up to speed.

I don’t understand how people (who aren’t in a coma, being held at gunpoint, or bed bound and without a remote, ) can watch these programs. The only way I can watch a show about vacuous people is if it’s a comedy and there’s a script handled by brilliant writers.

If my nutritional palate was as finicky as my intellectual one, I would never have had a problem with my weight.

And yet, I’m beginning to reconsider. I read an article recently on the salaries of various “reality” television “stars” and the figures are compelling. The Jersey Shore cast started at around $10,000/episode and now are up to six figures per. Yesterday I figured out who Honey Boo Boo is reading articles about the Democratic National Convention and there was one about her ratings being better than Bill Clinton’s.

I’ll tell you, I was concerned when I read the scandalous amount TLC is paying her family. The Thompsons are making $40,000 the entire SEASON plus some small location fee for filming in their home. TLC should be ashamed…in so many ways.

Next week my brother arrives to begin filming a short documentary about my son Christopher. The first week is interviews and the second is the B roll. He’ll be following Christopher around getting candid moments and beautiful/interesting images to give a break from talking heads.

I’m pretty much considering it my audition reel for reality tv. Hey, life is expensive: the bigs kids will be going to college soon; my mom lives with us now; those dogs love the vet and are constantly finding ways to supplement their annual checkups; do you even know how much it costs to dress a man who is 6’6″ and weighs less than 500 lbs!

So anyway, I’m in.

If you know a reality television scout or producer please send him or her right my way. I don’t have a resume, but let them know my show would be content RICH: lots of coffee drinking; a goodly amount of staring vacuoulsy into the air following by frenzied typing; HOURS of reading; a mere tinch of cleaning and cooking; A LOT of driving around when I can share my deep thoughts on EVERYTHING! And you all know the kids! Plus the dogs! We’re golden. And Paul’s a total looker.

I guess the real title of this post should be: “Why You Should Stop Watching Reality TV until I get MY Show!”

Can’t wait!


If you support my quest, please share this post!!!!!!!!

I know the exclamation points above were gratuitous but I’m a “reality”” star” (in the making) and I am NOT afraid to go OTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The kids do not have school for the third day in a row. Eden has been home sick since Monday and the living room has been piled in the dining room for three weeks.

We replaced our ancient berber carpet with bamboo and knocked out the faux beams on the ceiling, hoping to simply mud and resurface it. Alas, the drywall was warped so we had to tear it all down. While we were at it we decided to replace the dingy inset lights. There was a miscommunication with the electrician so he wasn’t able to come until Monday and then a little confusion about whether we needed to take the next layer of ceiling panels as well as an attic full of insulation (we didn’t) so he wasn’t able to actually do the work until yesterday. Tim, the drywaller, is here taping the panels. He should be done some time next week.

We generally get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. The kids are missing it and wondering when we’re going to get one to which I reply, “I don’t know.” My sister-in-law offered the use of a miniature one but we have no place to put it. In the dining room we have its normal occupants: our table and five chairs, a low and a long bookcase filled with books. We removed the small secretary where we store our bills to make room for five upholstered chairs, a couch, a dresser, the TV, dvd player, two decorative boxes that store videos and dvds, a side table, two lamps, a compressor and a bucket of tools, 8 baskets that are normally in the living room closet and are my standing pile/file. We couldn’t fit the second couch and so it’s jammed against the wall in the front entry.

My bedroom (if you discount the closet which is stuffed with bags full of presents) and the kitchen are the only rooms I have a handle on, though the kitchen now acts as temporary storage for the living room light fixtures, the calendars – including the large wooden advent one- and any miscellaneous tools and paint brushes.

My task this weekend is to divest our home of one of the couches and three of the chairs and the garage of a large entertainment center that doesn’t work for the playroom/attic/residence of doom…when I’m not in class with Eden whose new favorite thing is playing school, having long talks with Lydia or studying with Christopher whose least favorite thing is doing school, but we insist.

Party on.