You may recall my previous post about feeding the cats. On Sunday afternoon I was bent over, pouring cat food in their bowl for the fourth time that day. I stood up – WHAM! Cracked my head into an open cupboard door. I saw stars, swore, and got angry at the cats. (Like it was their fault I left the cupboard door open.)
My head hurt, I felt the lump where the bottom of the door connected with the top of my head, but I thought nothing of it. I continued about my day. I cleaned the house, wrote some stuff, graded some papers, greeted the kids and Hubby when they returned from visiting Nana, and then got ready for bed. The next day I went to work – driving downtown, teaching adults, and driving home. I took Mr. Sensitive and Baby Dunk out for an extended play date at a splash pad. I felt tired and spacey, but chalked it up to a lack of coffee and little sleep.
Nope. I had a concussion. Who knew? I sure didn’t, until late that evening.
I was sitting up grading more papers when I felt a weird headache coming on. My face and neck hurt, my head hurt where the cupboard hit it, and I felt super spacey.
Of course, I put it out to Twitter. Interestingly, @asparagusgirl had just posted pics of her neurological adventures in a fMRI machine, so conversation centered around her. You can check it out here – where else but the Twitterverse does medical advice come with the ‘soft kitty’ song?
Before you know it I was blinded by pain, nauseous and weak. I was too ill to get myself to the hospital (this being 10 pm, and no clinics were open). Hubby and I have no family nearby, so I went to bed and tried to sleep it off. The next morning I woke up in agony.
I could only see with tunnel vision, was super sensitive to sound and in excruciating pain. I managed to drive 20 minutes to a local hospital. (I know I should not have done it, but being in a car with Hubby and three kids would have killed me.) The triage nurse assigned me to a bed – I collapsed gratefully upon it, coving my head with a hospital gown to block out light and noise. They started an IV, pumped me full of fluids and gave good old Tylenol and ibuprofen (I refused the morphine IV – as I had to drive myself home).
90 minutes later I was able to sit up. I walked out of my room (i.e. tent) and I asked for the IV to be removed, and announced I was ready to go home. Thus shocking the heck out of the medical staff; who were busy ordering more medication and tests for me.
The doctor and nurse both chatted with me about my kids and what I teach. (I believe to assess my cognitive ability and ensure this was not some weird concussion-related complication.) I was now in a migraine aura state of too bright, too loud, and yes, my head hurts, but I could function. There are some weird memory blips of ‘no sense of time’ and ‘inability to recall things’ – like I had to ask the doctor what I had, twice.
The doctor announced this was a post-concussion migraine, and the likelihood of neurological damage was not great because it responded to the simple treatment of fluids and Tylenol. The doctor cautioned me to return immediately if I suspect any neurological symptoms (i.e. double vision). She then declared I was well enough to go, and advised that I rest at home.
As I gathered up my belongings a nurse stopped me. I knew from our earlier conversation her oldest child was 22 years old. She had three kids as well. Her face full of concern, she asked about available family support (she tsked when I saidwe have none –), the ages of my kids (8 months, 2 years and 5 years), and strongly advised me to rest and drink water. She told me to take the Tylenol every four hours so the pain does not get away from me.
“We get so busy with our children that we forget to take care of ourselves, until it’s too late.”
This is advice I need to remember.