This post will have to be brief as I have to severely limit my screen time. It seems last week’s car accident left me not only with a smashed car, but also with a minor concussion.
Before I went into the doctor, I thought my headache and neck/shoulder pain might just be whiplash. I looked at some symptoms online and they seemed to line up with what was going on. Concussion didn’t even cross my mind as I didn’t hit my head on anything. Turns out that you don’t have to hit your head to get a concussion. You just have to rattle your brain enough. And when I got rear ended, my brain got rattled around.
Although I’ve never had a concussion before, I’ve had to navigate the world of concussions both with my students and two years ago with my own son. His former school had a completely amazing playground surrounded by a pretty big wooded area. The kids were building a fort, something that was part of the school’s tradition. My son was inside the fort when another kid who was adding on to it accidentally dropped a log on his head. Yes, you read that right, a log.
My poor third grader got one heck of a concussion.
He missed a few days of school, but even when he could go to school, he spent hours in the nurse’s office just resting. The school nurse and I were in frequent contact and each day she’d let me know how many times he came in and for how long. In the early stages of his recovery, he was there four times a day for at least 30 minutes. Having no prior experience with concussions, if I hadn’t known how much my kid actually loved school, I might have suspected he was faking his symptoms. But he hated missing class and fun with his friends.
As the days stretched on, he spent more time in class and had fewer brain breaks. It took him about a month until he was back to normal and it was an exhausting, upsetting month for everyone. He had to go to the doctor fairly frequently because there is really no normal concussion process for very young kids who get them. There is little research done on kids under the age of 12 who get concussions, so their reactions aren’t as predictable.
When my doc told me I too had a concussion, I had a basic idea of what I was in for. What I was not ready for though, was how tired everything makes me. On Saturday I went out to lunch with my family and then we ran a few errands–Target and the library. I was so exhausted when we were done (and we spent less than 30 minutes in Target), that I napped for an hour and a half. And I am not a napper. When all is right with my head, I nap maybe three or four times a year. It’s just not something I’ve ever been good at.
However, since getting this concussion, I have napped every single day. Sometimes multiple times each day.
While the headaches aren’t as extreme now, they are still ever present, a dull ache in the back of my skull. And the fog is still there. People have to repeat info to me. And I yawn every few minutes. Just folding a load of laundry makes me exhausted.
My doc said it may take a month to feel normal again.