That Girl Ain’t Right in Her Brain…

jumping-brain-greenLet me tell you what hap…..look, a squirrel…happened to…Is it lunch time?

I ended 2012 in a quiet way.  I started New Year’s Eve alone in a motel room, lazily sleeping in.  I was wrapping up a 2 week visit to the frozen Midwest to celebrate the holidays with family.  I stood in the hotel bathroom…trying to decide – jacuzzi bath or quick shower…jacuzzi bath or quick shower.  I had indulged in the jacuzzi bath the previous evening because I am old and the cold weather made everything hurt so much.  My skin, unaccustomed to a fortnight of the dry heated air of my former homeland, was becoming flaky and scaly.  So I opted for a steamy shower…to be followed with a slathering of assorted concoctions forbidden by the airlines to be transported in my carry on, in an effort to restore some semblance of moisture to my skin.

While shampooing my hair, I was suddenly assaulted with a stinging spray of scalding hot water…I reached down, eyes closed, to adjust the shower temperature and – WHACK…smacked my head on a shelf in the shower designed to be a permanently affixed soap dish.  I didn’t knock myself out or anything, but I definitely saw stars and swayed a little bit, suds streaming into my eyes.  I steadied myself and finished the shower – a tiny goose egg appearing at my left temple at the hairline.

I finished my final family visit, returned the rental car, and flew home.  As much as I hate flying, I have to say that my flights went extremely smoothly.  I arrived home shortly before midnight, and welcomed the New Year with an embrace from my loving Sweet Cheeks and was nearly knocked over by my fluffy 95 pound fur-kid, so complete was her joy at seeing me again.  All was right with the world.  Life is good.

The next day, while watching an endless stream of forgettable bowl games, I realized I couldn’t read the scores on the television screen.  Thinking my glasses were dirty, I cleaned them repeatedly – but the situation did not improve.  I awoke at 3:00 am with a screaming headache unlike any I had ever experienced.  I’ve had migraines for years and this was definitely not a migraine.  I drug myself to work.  I obsessively cleaned my glasses, trying to get my vision to clear up.  The headache raged on, and I developed a sensitivity to light that required me to stay in my office with the blind pulled and the lights off.  I noticed a difficulty with concentration, and a feeling that something was just not right…but my brain did not connect the dots.  Half of my time was spent thinking something was wrong and the other half spent thinking everything was all right, sometimes in the same minute.  I remembered hitting my head, but somehow really couldn’t understand the severity of the situation.  Or figure out what to do.

On Friday I had some tests scheduled, and was feeling even more strange.  My headache raged on, and I developed double vision.  I had driven myself to the testing center, but the receptionist could see that I was struggling and suggested I call my doctor.  I managed to get myself home.  I e-mailed the boss and told her I couldn’t make it in to work.  I called the doctor and explained the situation.  Their office was full of patients with flu-like symptoms and they couldn’t squeeze me in.  They instructed me to get to their walk-in clinic for evaluation.  A physician examined me and wanted to get a CT scan to make sure I didn’t have a bleed going on in my brain.  He tried getting me into their imaging center, but it was too late in the day and he didn’t want to wait over the weekend.  He directed me to the Emergency Room, and called ahead to explain what was needed.

Over an 8 hour period, the first part spent with my head under a blanket trying to block out the sights, bright lights, and piercing screeches of the unwashed multitudes that gather in a hospital ER on a Friday night, I waited to find out if there was anything untoward going on in my skull.  More than usual, I mean.  There is always something untoward going on in my skull, which at that time felt as if it would explode.  I was finally moved to the “quiet room”.  The one where family members usually receive bad news.  In the dark, we waited and waited…

My husband, never a patient man under the best of circumstances, wheedled, agitated, advocated, demanded, and issued mildly worded veiled threats to move the overwhelmed and understaffed personnel to obtain a CT scan, read the CT scan, and see to my situation.  For nearly 8 hours he pushed the limits of acceptable behavior in order to achieve his mission.

brain2

The good news – there was no bleeding going on in my skull.  The bad news – I had likely sustained a concussion from the blow to the head and was experiencing post-concussive syndrome.  The symptoms – vision disturbances, memory issues, headaches, inability to concentrate, issues with problem solving – can last for weeks, or even longer.

So, it pains me to say that I’ll not be able to quarterback any football teams…I won’t likely write an award-winning novel this week, and I may even forget to put on underwear.  On the bright side – I can’t concentrate for very long on the sad and depressing things that had brought my blogging to an abrupt stop last month.  I’ve got some drafts I may pull out but mostly I’m going to try to get myself…oh, look…a sandwich!!!

Maybe I’ll be like Mama Cass.  It was rumored (and she even stated in an interview with Rolling Stone) that her voice was changed after being hit on the head with a piece of pipe and suffering a concussion.  Maybe I WILL write an award-winning novel…what was I saying?

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53 Comments

Filed under General Mumblings, humor

53 responses to “That Girl Ain’t Right in Her Brain…

  1. You should let the motel know what happened all due to the sudden change in water temperature in their shower. At the very least you should get a nice apology!

  2. From one “Concussed” to another – I hope your symptoms end quickly!

    • Not any fun, is it? How did yours happen…

      • LOL Which time? 😉 Seriously – I’ve had two. The first one I butted heads with a goat (long story) and the second was when I got tossed from my horse – thankfully I was wearing a helmet. The 2nd one scrambled my brains pretty good – I lost an 8 hour chunk of the day, but thankfully I got that all back after a few hours.

        • HaHa…not laughing at you – but I had picked out a picture of a couple of goats butting heads but ended up not using it.

          I am pretty amazed at the amount of symptoms I’ve gotten from this little blow to the noggin. I have had worse smacks on the head than this one, but maybe they’re all piling up? I’m glad you had a helmet on when the horse tossed you.

  3. Glad you arae back, but not that it took this to make it happen. This just shows that the athetes who suffer such head injuries should not be making the decision as to whether they should continue to play. Trainers and medical personnel have to make the hard choices for them. Hope you are feeling better soon.

    • I’m feeling a little better each day – yesterday was spent pretty much sleeping. Today the vision and headache have diminished some…Still very sensitive to light (which in Florida is an issue).

  4. I played “contact” sports in high school and college, back when concussions weren’t taken all that seriously. I’ve had more than a few. I’d like to imagine that I’m the way I am because of them, but I think I’ve always been screwed up.

    • When I see some of the hits that athletes take I shudder. Who knows, maybe the more interesting among us are interesting because of the disrupted synapses in our brains?

  5. concussions are no fun. I hope you recover from yours quickly. And maybe you will write that novel. 🙂

  6. Oh that is terrible! I cannot believe you still write so well, even after a concussion. You’re making the rest of us look bad. 😉
    But seriously, I am very relieved to know you’re okay though. How scary!

    • Don’t be too impressed – that took hours and hours to write and re-write. While I kid about my lack of attention span, I seem to be able to hyperfocus on some things…but mutli-tasking is not going to be happening, I’m afraid.

      Friday was by far the worst day. Saturday was spent sleeping, and today has been much better. I can even watch a little television – my vision is clearing.

      It was scary. Very scary.

  7. I’m going to start calling you Hillary Clinton.
    Hope you recover quickly so you can get back to running across football fields in your underwear… or whatever it was you meant to do.

    • There were more than a few cracks about Hilliary at the office and the hospital…Whatever it was I meant to do, I’ll forget as soon as I get up to do it!

  8. Oh the lengths one goes to just for the sake of a blog-worthy post, eh Katy? Oy.
    I hope each day is becoming a little more clear for you and a little less painful. I am glad the damage wasn’t more serious, though I am a bit disappointed the NURSE did not seek medical attention sooner with blurred vision and headaches. Ahem.

    • The nurse’s brain was not working correctly…looking at it today, it seems perfectly clear what was going on. But when I was experiencing it, I couldn’t work it through.

      • In all seriousness, isn’t that what happens all the time? Hindsight we see the “obvious” reason, but in the midst of it – we’re oblivious.

        • I think I was more confused that I realized…laying it out like I did in this post it is so obvious what was happening, but in my rattled brain none of it made sense and I couldn’t formulate a plan.

  9. Also on the bright side, you have a good excuse for not wearing underwear? I hope you’re all healed soon.

  10. You got yourself home from the hotel and then to work the next day? You’re a tough cookie! (Sorry to hear that you had to wait in the ER for 8 hours. Sounds just awful.)
    Hope you’re good as new soon.

    • I was good that day and most of the next day when I started noticing some vision disturbances…symptoms can show up even weeks after a concussion. The ER wait was probably harder on my husband than on me, I kept my eyes closed and tried to ignore everyone and everything to avoid pain.

  11. Gah! I’m glad you’re back, and that it’s not something more sinister. I’m glad, too, that your sense of humor and ability to convey it remain intact. 🙂

    • I’m just glad I didn’t knock myself out and drown in 2 inches of water in the hotel room…Today was the first day (I think) that my sense of humor reappeared – my head hurt far too badly to even think until today.

  12. What an experience. Glad you are ok. And by the way, thanks for that fling back to Mama Cass. Love her.

  13. Hey Katie – this may be the very time to write that great novel. Maybe the bum on the head will bring it all forward. Anyway take care friend. Best wishes for 2013. And thanks for Mama Cass – I too love her.

  14. #1 Son

    I guess you better just move back to Michigan with Lindsay and I. We will pad a room for you. Scoots can even come visit!

    • That sounds like a good idea…I can’t believe so many symptoms from just a small bump…I plan on blaming all my screw-ups on this concussion for say, the next 10 years.

  15. You post like the best, even with the injury. Glad you are on the mend and sure hope you feel better soon.

  16. You are one tough character. What an ordeal. Glad things are improving. Seems to me the nurse should have done more with the symptoms you had. Shame on her! Thanks for sharing, and get well soon. Your best-seller awaits.

  17. Sorry you’re going through this, but I’m glad it’s not something worse. And that brainfrog is going to give me nightmares.

  18. Poor girl. Good news is you can attribute the attention span to injury. Mine’s naturally flighty, I think.

  19. Wow, Katy! I’m so grateful you made it home in one piece after that and are going to be okay. I have to admit I’m kind of impressed you WENT TO WORK.

    I’m sorry things haven’t been going well; we certainly miss you when you’re not blogging.

  20. Jeez, hit ME on the head if I get to sound like Mama Cass.

    You poor, poor baby! Too bad you don’t know any medical personnel who could have diagnosed possible concussion in the very first sentence like I did. Too bad you don’t have even a passing acquaintance with someone who does stuff for a living that involves medicine like, oh, I don’t know, a NURSING TEACHER. Too bad.

    Hope you’re seeing only one of me soon, Katy!

    • Oh, I’d love to see one of you, Miss Peg. See, the only people who think I should have known right away what was going on are non-medical people. Everyone else knows that there was no way for me to figure it out, because my brain wasn’t cooperating. It is hard to describe, but I believed something was wrong but couldn’t figure it out…I also believed I was OK. my discharge papers from the ER state “problem solving and critical thinking skills are likely impaired. Find someone you trust to make decisions for you…” Anyone want that job? Anyone? (crickets) Anyone?

  21. Msmouse7

    So glad you are on the mend!! Interesting how when a person starts feeling better, that ole sense of humor kicks in.
    Please wear underwear, but only required if you wear a dress. Nothing makes me cringe more than wondering who/what made previous contact with the seat.
    And which Smother’s Brother are you? Gotta be a mix of silly Tom and logical Dick. I liked Tom the best, no matter what he claims.
    Take care!!!

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  23. I am glad it is nothing worse, though this isn’t a joke. I once fell in a shower, cracked my head and split open my eye. Had stitches the day I kicked off a huge project in Singapore. There I was on the big screen and on stage in front of 300 people, banged up, stitches telling them this $60M project was going to be hard work. They were all staring at me as if I was crazed, I swayed and made a joke, “they could all look forward to beatings.”

    Feel better.

  24. Sheesh, if it’s not one thing, it’s three! I hope you’re feeling better now (since I’m late catching up (again) with my reading). Maybe you should buy a roll of bubble wrap and call it a new fashion statement…

  25. Pingback: I’ll Take Post-Concussion Activities for 200, Alex | k8edid

  26. Katy, this is a perfect example of why sick/injured people should not make their own decisions on anything. Seriously. When you are injured or sick you become stupid. Just Tuesday, I was feverish and went to the doctor with complications of a UTI. He wanted a urine specimen, sent me into the bathroom with a cup to fill, and I peed into the toilet, while holding the specimen cup in my hand, chest height.

    When you aren’t right, you don’t think straight.

    Feel better, Katy. Much, much better.

    • I do feel much better this week, Elyse. I hope you are improving as well. You are so right – when you aren’t well, you just shouldn’t be making your own decisions.

  27. I hope you feel fully recovered soon! My husband was in a motorcycle accident last July and suffered a head injury. He lost a full two weeks, memory wise, and still isn’t fully recovered. He says his brain gets tired by the end of the day, and he has difficulty, sometimes, in his ability to problem solve.

  28. Holy crap — that’s scary and so random. I personally might have tried for the “flaming rafter hit me on the head as I carried out a baby and a puppy from a burning house” story, but then I am a sucker for sympathy.

    Hopefully your brain’s a-mending.

  29. Pingback: Killing Me Softly with His Pills… | k8edid

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