Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Post Concussion Day #2. Drove to work. Nauseous. Went home.

Post Concussion Day #3. Oozy road rash and oozy ointment was making my cheek a sticky gross mess. Washed it all off and slapped on a sheet of Tegaderm. Went for a walk on a breezy morning today and returned with no leaves, hair or small dogs attached to my face.

Post Concussion Day #4. Work for a half-day. The face surely gets students’ attention (whoa! harsh penalties for late books!). 6th graders said I look gnarly. I find work to be challenging to my thought processes: the constant interruptions take quite a bit of mental effort.

Post Concussion Day #5. I napped for 4.5 hours today--rest keeps the queasiness at bay. I overdid it yesterday. Crushing fatigue.

Post Concussion Day #6. Facebook is about the only thing I can concentrate on these days...then I nap. I’ve heard from three friends who’ve had similar experiencs. Looks like this will take a couple months.

Post Concussion Day #7. Easy paddle around Christmas Lake.

Post Concussion Day #8. Mark and I went back to the scene this morning armed with Garmins, texts, and a phone screenshot from last weekend. The accident site was pretty benign--fat, curving, tree roots, well-placed 3" tree--means I was complacent. I'd feel better if it was something gnarly.

Post Concussion Day #9. Went to work for the morning because I thought I should. It took me about 2 hours to write a coherent email to staff. Vertigo. Napped.

Post Concussion Day #10. Freeway driving exhausts me—do you have any idea how much multitasking is involved?

Post Concussion Day #11. Dr: Stay home through October 12th. I was amazed at how much stress that relieved.

Post Concussion Day #12. I'm finding my brain to be overly sensitive to things I didn't previously think much about: vitamins, caffeine, noises, carbs, sugar, music, rambling conversations....

Post-Concussion Day #13. Hmmm....what should I do today? Maybe I'll try SITTING AROUND since I HAVEN'T DONE ANY OF THAT LATELY.

Post Concussion Day #14. Today I'm going to shake things up and nap in the easy chair first, THEN the guest bed.

Post Concussion Day #15. Today’s watershed moment: grabbed a pencil to write down something and my fingers felt like fingers, instead of like stumps. I tolerated Pandora for an hour or two. Greg Brown radio=perfect. James Galway radio=drill in the side of my head...and I’m a flute player. Wilted during a quick errand run to grocery store and hardware.

Post Concussion Day #16. Vacuumed, groceries, made soup, and had conversation with a friend over lunch. Then a 2-hour nap after it all.

Post Concussion Day #18. I'm actually thinking it would be nice to get out for a walk....haven't DONE it yet, though. Headlights at night pierce my brain.

Post concussion Day #19. Last-minute appointment at neurologist. Clinic surrounded by road construction. Between the driving and the construction, my blood pressure was sky high, my legs ready to give out. Neurologist: Stay home until December 11. Me: DECEMBER 11?!? Options to go back early.

Post Concussion Day #20. On the way to WI, I show Mark the 2 Instagram pics I took of the Drive In..."hm, nice" he says, to which I respond "won't it be nice when you have a partner who can make intelligent conversation again, instead of 'look at the pretty thing I just made'?" to which HE responds, "at least you've stopped drooling!" Making it through the packing list: egads.

Post Concussion Day #21. Rainy morning breakfast after an evening of pizza and belly laughs with a crowd of friends...bit of a headache this AM, but it's all good medicine. Riding in car=fine.

Post concussion Day #24. It was a big, wonderful annual weekend away with friends. Lots of chatter. I was surprisingly OK not going mountain biking (drizzly weather). Pooped!

Post Concussion Day #23. Worn out. Slept late. Napped. Jammies all day.

Post Concussion Day #25. Lazy midday paddle with friends on Lake Minnetonka. Hmmm...retirement? I continue to be challenged by working my way through a list.

Post Concussion Day #25. Whoa! First day I've felt motivated to get outta my jammies by 8:00! Coffee with a friend, 1.43 mile walk with the dog, made granola, shuffled office piles.

Post Concussion Day #26. Went to work for a few hours in the quiet today (school isn't in session). Too much chatting, didn't get much done. Pooped at noon, left around 3:00. Too long. Supper out with friends, lots of talking. My head is tired.

Post Concussion Day #27. I was able to think ahead enough to have laundry going while I was making breakfast then vacuuming--this is new! Packing myself, some food and the dog for the weekend went a TON more quickly than last weekend.

Post Concussion Day #28. I continue to be challenged visually (clutter breaks my concentration) and auditorily (vacuum=fine; overheard phone conversation at grocery store=SHUT UP YOU)

Post Concussion Day #29. Back home after a weekend with family. Beautiful weekend and day.

Post Concussion Day #30. Did some work from home that seemed to take forever. I have energy for concentrating until about noon. Things still take me about twice as long. Hopped on the bicycle for about 4 miles...felt at home.

Non-Epilogue. Healing is micro-incremental, but is steady. I continue to be amazed with what our brains typically filter for us, and with what multitasking REALLY is (driving, grocery store). I'm not ancy yet at being away from work--my work involves some pretty intense multitasking and I'm clearly not ready (if it didn't involve a zillion 8-year-olds, I'd be fine!). My reading and my physical activity are gradually increasing. The brain's control of endurance is surprising--after the accident I was immediately exhausted, and I continue to have little energy. Any mood swings seem to involve easy irritation, but no depression. It all amazes and fascinates me.

-The better Old each Bag day


Snakebite said...

Glad to read you continue to improve. Posts like this one are greatly informational - hope you do another one.

The Old Bag said...

Thanks Snakebite. I hadn't realized how long it had been since I'd updated -- I've been spending some time on facebook, because short shots have been about all I'm good for, but it's time to stretch the concentration a bit more.

jeff said...

It is fascinating, and scary. I'm glad you are getting better. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Doozyanner said...

OB, I've been away from the blogosphere since June or July. I read your account with a sick feeling in my stomach. So glad you're getting better! You're in my thoughts...

Vito said...

Happy to hear you are making good progress to being well again. Continue to get well:)

Judy said...

Just caught up with this OB. Sorry to read about your accident - glad you're getting better and hope the improvement is continuing. Take it easy!

The Old Bag said...

Jeff, Doozy, Vito and Judy -- thanks to you all. I'm definitely on the mend. Will update soon!