The Concussion

The Concussion

or

Part 3 of Where I’ve Been The Last Four Months

Part 1: The Cow

Part 2: The Omelettes 

It’s hard to explain what happens when your own brain is injured.

To begin with it’s hard to do a lot of things when your brain is injured, like think straight, much less do all that goes into writing down thoughts in a way others can read. In addition, our brains seem to hide their worst symptoms from us. “I’m fine” has never been so unintentionally and obviously false!

At the same time there is a very real sense that everything wrong with you is just in your head. With the added twist that everything wrong with you is, quite literally, “all in your head”. Even now thinking about that makes my head spin and brings out a reluctance to talk about any of it. But, despite all that, I’d like to try to explain what my concussion has been like.

I’m going to indulge in all the gory and pathetic details in these next few posts in a way I usually never would on this blog.  I’m going to lay it all out there because I (and those around me) had so little idea of what a concussion can actually be like and we were unprepared for what was in store for me. Hopefully these will help someone, sometime, be a bit more prepared than we were.


In those first days and weeks after the accident when things were at their worst they looked like this:

I couldn’t stay awake for more than an hour or two at a time for the first days. After a few days I had about four hours in me before I fell asleep. And not like normal “I think I’m kind of tired,” but stumbling, unable to function, I’m just going to pass out on the floor if I don’t make it to a bed, tired that comes from a brain that is truly out of energy.

When I tried to read, the letters and words swam around instead of holding still like good little words should. This was particularly bad in the middle of a sentence or paragraph where they swam into different lines and became all jumbled up.

I couldn’t visually focus on anything. I could see everything but bringing anything into sharp focus was hard to impossible depending on how tired I was.

Essentially everything made me motion sick. Riding in the car gave me a headache and made me dizzy, driving was out of the question for many reasons, and even walking made me nauseous.

I was light sensitive. Hiding like a vampire on bad days and venturing out in hat and sunglasses on good days.

Anything that provoked symptoms started out by giving me cotton mouth and I was the most hydrated human ever trying to combat it.

Headaches were constant and I started classifying and categorizing them. That’s the one from trying to use a screen. That’s where it hurts if I try to read. That one is from staying awake too long…

My balance was terribly bad, at times I needed to hold on to John’s arm to navigate. And standing on one foot (something I am normally quite good at) was next to impossible.

What I didn’t know at the time is that I spoke slowly and lost the thread of conversation. I knew that sometimes I couldn’t find the right words. I knew I was tired. But it wasn’t until a few weeks later when people told me things like “you sound so much better now that you aren’t all drugged up” (I never took anything but ibuprofen) and “you finally sound like yourself again” that I realized that I hadn’t been sounding like myself.

A week after the accident my main activity, other than sleeping, was coloring while listening to audio books.

I, clearly, needed more medical help.

nanopoblano2019

It’s November and National Blog Writing Month! My team, the Tiny Peppers, is doing things a little differently this year.  Instead of posting every single day we are all aiming for: 10 days of posts, 10 days of reading/commenting, and 10 days of sharing posts through any other platform.  Happy Blogging! 

The Omelettes

The Omelettes

Or

Part 2 of Why I’ve Been Missing for Four Months

Read part 1 here: The Cow

After the cow we called the authorities and we called friends. Kind strangers stopped at the side of the road to help. Kinder friends drove us to the ER and took care of our children. We were bruised and scraped up, shaken and exhausted but most definitely alive and grateful.

In the morning we told the girls what happened and Clara responded by making us the best omelette I’ve ever eaten.  It was stuffed with chorizo and cheese and delivered it to us in bed. As we went through the day it became clear that in addition to the bruises and scrapes, our brains had been addled in the run in with the cow.

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John couldn’t come up with the right words and I couldn’t stay awake for more than an hour. In short, we had concussions. Clara laughed at John’s language slip ups and made us another omelette with fresh garden herbs.

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My mom drove Ivy to her summer camp, Clara fed us omelettes with cherry tomatoes that she picked when she went to collect the eggs with Jane. Friends picked up the girls and took them for the day (but not until Clara made us omelettes with edible flowers as garnish) and dropped off more food. We were extremely well cared for while we rested and recovered.

By the end the of the week, John was more or less back to himself. He could read, he could drive, he tired easily but he was clearly on the mend.

I was not.

And Clara, she expanded her omelette making to include vegetable faces…img_2042.jpg

…and we were all grateful.

nanopoblano2019

It’s November and National Blog Writing Month! My team, the Tiny Peppers, is doing things a little differently this year.  Instead of posting every single day we are all aiming for: 10 days of posts, 10 days of reading/commenting, and 10 days of sharing posts through any other platform.  Happy Blogging! 

Rescued From Draftland: Cat Problem

I have a problem with the cats.

In general I rather like cats, which is good, we have three.

(Well she’s a year and a half older now so she only is willing to be smothered in love for so long and then she bites Jane on the nose. But that’s a whole ‘nother problem.)

There is this one that is still young and cute and willing to be smothered in Jane’s love on a daily basis.

There is this one that is aloof and completely uninterested in me but causes minimal trouble and loves Ivy.

There is this one, my favorite one, that comes every night and crawls in bed with me and purrs for an hour while I read.

For all I like cats I’ll admit that they come with a pile of unsavory things. Litter boxes, food stealing, hair that sticks to everything, kittens that climb legs as though they were trees, tripping you as you walk down stairs and their continued insistence on seeing if Louie the Dove might taste as good as he looks.

I’ll forgive them for all those things because of the purrs and the snuggles and the way they love the kids.

But there is one thing, I’m just not sure I can get over. Sometimes, when they meow it sounds uncannily like “Mom.”

This is not okay.

At.

All.

Three girls calling, sighing, yelling, screaming, sobbing, demanding, pleading, and asking “Mom!” all day is plenty.

I’m quite sure the cats are smarter than they let on (for instance, I know that they know that they aren’t supposed to jump on the counter, they just don’t care that I know that they know.  Got that?).

So when a cat meows, “Mom!” at me it shouldn’t act so surprised and affronted when I round on it with a giant, fed up, “WHAT?!?”

Yes, I have a problem with the cats.

I just haven’t decided if it’s because they are demanding me by name now too or that I’m demanding answers of them.

Either way, it’s a problem.

So Busy

I’m so busy, people.

Today I did the mom thing and the hobby farm thing and the author thing and the athlete thing and the swim coach thing and the president of a capoeira group thing and the lets spend an inordinate amount of time taking slow motion videos of my own feet while I jump thing followed by the Instagram thing.

I’m so busy, people.

It was super time consuming to even find a spot with enough light. Did you know slow-mo videos need more light than regular videos? Took me ages to find the right spot. And then I had to take like 20 videos to get all the jumping figured out. I mean I had to check out all the videos in between shots. But it was super interesting because now I know that my right foot lands differently than my left. Every. Time. I had no idea. I also discovered that my toes help push me around in a circle. I thought that one was a fluke so I re-did it another couple times and yup, happens every time.

I’m so busy.

I gotta do the blogging thing now, I don’t even have time to do the folding laundry thing or the dishes thing or the picking up the rotten pumpkin thing.

I’m just so busy.

Moral of the story. We are all “busy” in our own way. #dontjudge #priorities

Other moral of the story: GMB fitness is fun! They are doing 12 days of play with fun challenges and giveaways and if you join the fun via this link: https://wn.nr/rSPDdn  I’ll get extra entries because they’ll know my friends are awesome too! 

Siblings

Siblings…

Just when you think that you can’t take it anymore, when you are certain they can’t take it anymore, about the time that you forgot what they sound like when they aren’t whining/yelling/crying/screaming about the other one and right when you are about to pull out the big red marker and divide the house down the middle for them yourself just to get a break from it all…

…they giggle.

 

They make up silly games.

They play

They appear to be the best friends and sisters you hope they will remain.

But you know better.

You enjoy the happiness but you know, in your heart of hearts, that they are still siblings and it’s all fun and games until… “she’s looking at me!”