Monday, September 03, 2012

Concussed!

I'll make this quick because each time GalPal sees me on my laptop I get a stern look.

Ow. My head on Saturday morning, twelve hours after my fall.
So, leaving the Hall & Oates show Saturday night, my body decided to slip walking up a ramp causing me to fall backwards and crack my head pretty good. It split open but the paramedics ran me though a few simple tests to make sure I was cognizant and told me it could probably use a stitch or two, but that wasn't absolutely necessary. We were out in the 'burbs and the thought of having to get home from a hospital out these led me to opt out of stitches.

So the next day I wake up, feeling understandably funky, but since I'm so convinced I can power through anything I went to brunch with GalPal. Then we met her mom, in town visiting with some friends, and hit the usual tourist hotspot like Portillo's and Navy Pier. Now I never do incredibly well at those place, they seriously freak me out, so I kept writing off the fact that I was feeling foggier and foggier and a little dizzy to the stress of the environments. Then we went to the Palmer House, where GalPal's mom was staying with her friends, and I started feeling even worse. If you ever been in the Palmer House you know it's a beautiful, peaceful place so now I knew it wasn't the environment, but I still didn't want to inconvenience anyone by telling them just how bad I felt.

GalPal is smarted than me though and told her mom what was up. And one of her mom's friends just happened to be a nurse so she looked at my head. And immediately went into a comforting but knowledgeably stern tone that I absolutely should have had at least a few staples but it was probably too late for that. She also thought I probably had a concussion and told me that she wouldn't tell me what to do, but if I was her brother she'd send me to the hospital immediately. She said while she doubted I had a tear or slow bleed she wouldn't take the chance of not finding out if I did.

So off we went to Northwestern Memorial. And if I can make an aside about that emergency room? They rocked. The staff was super polite, everyone took their time with me to make sure I got the proper diagnosis and treatment, and while I was there for a couple hours it was easily the quickest trip to an ER I've ever taken.

So they checked me out, said I definitely had a discussion and ran me through a CT scan to ensure there was no bleeding. Luckily the CT scan showed nothing so all that was left was to treat the concussion. Now a concussion is one of those things you always hear about but don't quite understand and since you don't play professional sports you just kind of assume it'll never happen to you. I guess at the most basic level in you brain the cells just kind of "stop," and this is what causes the headaches and general funky headspace. And the way you treat this is with physical and mental rest.

That's not as easy as it sounds.

Physical rest is one thing. I can take it easy, and while I'm a gym nut I can see skipping a few days or doing workouts that are mostly walking and super low-impact stuff. It's the mental rest I'm having a hard time with. The doctor told me I should try and tune out and avoid mentally taxing  tasks. He suggested trying to stay away from my cellphone or the internet (which is why GalPal wants me off the computer), and even TV watching should be avoided. I'm not supposed to read or write much; basically I'm supposed to put my brain on bedrest.

That's impossible! My 9-to-5 is completely driven by my brain (and some sketching skills, heh) and the idea of not thinking has thrown my brain into overdrive all morning long. Aside from zonking out and trying to sleep all day, I'm not sure what to do. I've never been particularly good at being the meditating type, and it is something I tried when I was younger and even more energetic and amped up mentally than I am now, but I just don't do well and mentally unplugging.

Also, I was just really getting into Gone Girl and now I have to hold off reading it for awhile!

1 comment:

TC said...

ugh, awful! But yes, you should always have head injuries looked at immediately, you know, people have died by ignoring that sort of thing!