Taking Life One Day at a Time

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

on July 14, 2011

Ok it’s official! I have a concussion! 😦 I have to say that it’s not the best feeling in the world…if you’re asking how I got it, I’ll tell you here in a little bit. But before I go into my story I have to give some information on a concussion. What’s a concussion? It’s a “traumatic brain injury (TBI) that may result in a bad headache, altered levels of alertness, or unconsciousness. It temporarily interferes with the way your brain works, and it can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance, coordination, and sleep patterns.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001802/) Apparently, the symptoms can range from regular to severe and there have been cases that the person doesn’t even know they have a concussion. Listed below are some symptoms:

Symptoms of a concussion can range from mild to severe. They can include:

  • Altered level of consciousness (drowsy, hard to arouse, or similar changes)
  • Confusion, feeling spacey, or not thinking straight
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss (amnesia) of events before the injury or immediately after
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seeing flashing lights
  • Feeling like you have “lost time”

The following are emergency symptoms of a concussion. Seek immediate medical care if there are:

  • Changes in alertness and consciousness
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Muscle weakness on one or both sides
  • Persistent confusion
  • Persistent unconsciousness (coma)
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Unequal pupils
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Walking problems

So there you have it! There’s some “concussion” facts for you 🙂 Now if you’re asking how I got the concussion, well I’ll tell you but don’t laugh at how I got it (just in case you’re wondering if I fell or something.)

So this past weekend my sister and I had this little retreat at a lake house. Involved a group of people and the lake house was absolutely wonderful! Their were two rooms designated with 6 bunks each, so the men were on one side of the house in one bunk room and the women on the other side of the house in their bunk room. Because of the circumstances, my sister and I arrived later than the rest of the group so our choice in which bunk we wanted was “taken away from us”. As you can guess my sister and I were left with the bottom bunks.

Now for those of you reading this and who know how I am, you know that I’m one heck of a deep sleeper and that I’m also a peaceful sleeper. What I mean by peaceful sleeper is that I don’t move around and usually the position I go to sleep in is the position I’ll wake up in. Another thing, I don’t jerk awake or wake up abruptly compared to others; I wake up slowly or I’ll make sure to open my eyes first before physically getting up to make sure and orient myself. And yes I’m that organized when I wake up. So now knowing this of me, you’ll see how funny yet odd it is of how I gave myself a concussion.

Sunday early morning, I apparently jerked awake for no reason and in doing so I literally popped up in the bottom hunk bed like that game, “wake up daddy”! Popped up and I know I hit something, which would be one of the support bars underneath the bunk above mine. I don’t remember anything after or for how long I was “asleep”/”unconscious” for. But by 6:30 I was awakened to go run. When I woke up I had a huge pain in the back of my head and I couldn’t for the life of me know why. I had thought that hitting myself earlier in the morning was a dream! So I went running anyway! I know dumb but what would you have done!?! Besides while I was walking all the pressure and pain went away…it didn’t come back till about an hr or two after I showered. Then the pain was there the rest of the day.

I had taken some advil once getting home because I though I might’ve had something more sever than a headache but I wasn’t going to say anything until I further monitored my symptoms since at that time it was only a headache pain in my head-even though it wasn’t really a headache. We celebrated my dads birthday (since it was on Sunday the 10th) and I apparently slept for a while during the celebration at my grandparents house. I was woken up and found myself with sever nausea and dizziness, symptoms I didn’t have before and I was also unable to focus! I had to have my sister repeat things to me or at least what ever she was saying because I just couldn’t process it! I went to sleep and awaited for anything else that night…

Monday arrived and more symptoms followed along with what I already had and the massive head pain. Drove myself to work which yes I know was also dumb especially with my nausea and dizziness. The light at work was bothering me and also that of the monitor so I decided to go ask the guys in the office that I knew used to play football. Talked to them about what happened and they all said for me to go to the doctor. Well my doctor said that it was too sever to wait for an Appt and that I would need a CAT scan. So I ended up going to the ER on Monday. And it was affirmed that I had given myself a concussion.

Tuesday and I wasn’t happy with the symptoms and the meds the ER had prescribed me. So I made an Appt with my doctor (who not only knew my entire medical history but who was an athletic individual as I am, and who I’d trust her decision since she still played sports) and she confirmed that I’d apparently hit myself hard enough to give myself a concussion. She said that depending on the amount of symptoms an individual has that’s how severe they hit themselves!

So because of doctor’s orders along with my bosses at work, I’m basically confined to my home all week to sleep and rest. I’m not really sure why I’m supposed to sleep a lot but I guess that’s because of my brain and the force in which it was hit…who knows.

So any of you ever had a concussion? How long did it take for you to go back to normal? Or for your symptoms to go away? Any tricks or advice that you can give me during this time?

Yours truly,
A Young Adult

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