Concussion Frustration

8 weeks ago I gave myself a concussion. I was rushing around in the morning, trying to get a gazillion things done before leaving the house that day. In my haste, I bashed my head on a cupboard door and the impact knocked me backwards–as I crashed down to the floor I smacked the back of my head on the stove. I later learned I gave myself whiplash in the process and probably blacked out for at least a few seconds as I can’t quite piece together what the heck actually happened.

That was 8 weeks ago. I’m still dealing with some pretty crappy post-concussion syndrome symptoms including: dizziness, nausea, fatigue, constant headaches, and difficulty concentrating. My “screen time” is very limited as being on the computer or looking at my phone triggers a severe headache (note to self: this needs to be a short post!). I’m doing a lot of resting – thank goodness I have some furry friends to keep me company!

Miss Ernie and friends are good company while I recover.

I’m beyond frustrated. 8 weeks! I want my life back!  I miss reading, spending time with friends, going for walks, kettlebell, doing my research, etc. I am, however, incredibly grateful too. I’m grateful that I’m able to take the time to recover, for my kind and caring partner who has been so patient throughout this whole process, and for the kindness of friends and neighbours who check in, cheer me up, and let me vent. I’m also very grateful for my colleagues who have stepped up to help with the work I can’t be doing right now.

I’m learning that recovering from a concussion can take a long time, that rest, patience, and reducing stress are really important right now. Easier said than done! Everything is on hold – my work, my life, my writing. I’ve had to withdraw from a major conference, cancel travel plans, the final edits to my book manuscript are on hold, I’m behind on my work with The Unbound Project, and I can’t keep up with an online class I was really looking forward to taking.  I feel like so many people are waiting on me for things and this makes me feel awful. (If I owe you an email, chapter, book review, etc. I’m sorry. So sorry!) I hate letting people down! As an academic I’m finding my current inability to think clearly or read/write for more than a few minutes at a time both frustrating and frightening. This is all very stressful!

Getting some help with a jigsaw puzzle.

I’ve been told that things like puzzles, colouring books, and board games are good for my brain as it heals. While these are fun activities, it feels very weird to be looking for “edge pieces” while so many other people are out there fighting the good fight and doing important work.

I’d love to hear from others who have been through this — how did you cope? It gets better, right? It has to!



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