In Part 1 we covered how I fell off a ladder (that darn cat) and what Post-Concussion Syndrome is. It’s quite fascinating! It also amazes me that I don’t remember the fall. Anyhow, now it’s time for the rest of the story.
Recovering From Post-Concussion Syndrome
If you touch my head in the right place, you can feel the now healed skull fracture. It’s a great party game. “Hey, wanna feel something gross?” While it’s fun to watch people react, it’s important to know that four years later, I still experience issues and a little big of PTSD. Post-Concussion Syndrome is no laughing matter.
I am still afraid to put my head directly on a pillow and I still sleep at an incline with a pillow behind my neck to protect that spot from touching anything. It’s silly, I KNOW it’s ok, but that fear is still there. I do feel the tingling in that area now and then, usually when I have a migraine, or when I’m super stressed. I’m told it’s the blood flowing through the uneven area under my skull. Cool, huh?
I named the aftermath and the sensation in my head Herman. When the weirdness happens, I know it’s going to be a hard day…and I still have those days.
“Herman is making things hard today!” That damn Herman, messing with my head when I least expect it.
I have days when I rule the world and days where I have to do one thing at a time, slowly. Forget about large crowds or too much happening around me. That will bring me to a screeching halt. So, I have my little routines, and places I go, and if there are too many people, I politely leave if the overwhelm starts.
I struggle with how things are now versus how things used to be. It’s difficult to describe, as the “changes” appear somewhat subtle on the outside looking in. But they are there and a big deal to me. I’ve tried to keep a sense of humor about it all. I mean, my head fell 11 feet because I was trying to grab my cat. A few years later, it’s kinda funny.
The Things I Lost That No One Notices
Oh how I love the spicy, hot, peppery food! I used to carry sriracha in my purse. It wasn’t uncommon to find chili sauce in my desk. Then, I fell.
I can no longer tolerate my beloved spicy food. There is absolutely no medical reason for that. My doctor says it’s a coincidence. My body no longer tolerates hot peppers, sriracha, and any form of heavenly, spicy, hot goodness. I miss it. Sometimes I indulge, but it rarely goes well. That may be the cruelest of all! But I refuse to give up, and one day hope to find the sweet spot again…or is that the hot spot?
No one really notices my inability to multitask. I used to be able to do that. Sometimes I ask someone to hold a thought while I try to finish something I can’t focus on. Other times you may see me staring at nothing, trying to complete my thought, or remember what I’m doing. And sometimes I can’t remember, so I shrug my shoulders and say, “It’s out of my head.” and move on.
I still lose my words, but not as often as I used to. To counter this I keep a lot of notes in notepads, scratch paper, digital notes. It’s taken a long time to find a system that works for me. I write a lot down. I have tried to find a way to keep it all organized, because, there’s a lot of stuff.
Most importantly I think, I lost my confidence and I haven’t regained it. I’m not quite the same person I used to be. That bothers me. A lot.
What About the Cat?
Cleo ended up spending the day and night in the garage. She wandered in about 7:00 AM the next morning and acted as if nothing had happened. Cats. Gotta love them. Did she ever realize she was responsible for my fall off a ladder? If she did, she didn’t really care. She was mad at me for a few hours, then jumped up and demanded to be petted. Silly girl. She is dearly departed now, and I miss that crazy girl every day…even though she tried to kill me.
This is part of my story. It’s a part I can’t forget and that I sometimes share. The amount of details I share depends on the audience and how much energy I have. It’s an event that reshaped me and forced me to simplify my life. It turns out there were a lot of things that I thought were SO important, that really weren’t. As each year passes, I simplify a bit more, adjusting for the changes I’ve had to make.
Managing my time, budgeting, and planning my retirement are important to me now. Having the latest gadget? Not so much. OK, I’d love to have a Mac, but it’s not the time for that yet. Maybe next year? All the more reason to keep working on my online shoppe!
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