My recovery

Wanted to quickly share my post concussion recovery experience. I am fully aware that many many folks around me have suffered bigger injuries & are going through greater pains. (As a matter of fact my grandma has been bedridden for more than year after a head injury). My injury is fairly minor. My pain so far has been manageable. I did not have any clots, did not have any internal bleeding (only external & minor bruising of the brain). This post is not about how great my suffering is (it is not that big a deal actually). I am writing this mainly as a way to document my symptoms and also to answer questions from well wishers. Often times when people ask how am I feeling, I freeze..can't think of a few words at a stretch to coherently describe how I feel.

It has been 3 months since the fall and I continue to have the below symptoms. The good thing is, a month or so ago all these symptoms were far more severe. Nowadays they are less so.

1. Headaches - initially had severe, sharp headaches. All I could do was wrap some long piece of cloth around my eyes & rest. Couldn't do much else. Nowadays I do not have these severe pains. These days it is more of dull chronic pain in the back of my head. It is always there in the background.

2. Vision strain - My vision starts out fine in the morning after a good night's sleep. It gets blurrier as the day progresses. By around 2 PM I am actually struggling to read the time on our digital clocks, struggling to read large menu boards, struggling to clearly recognize faces from a fairly short distance. Eyes are getting watery & vision blurry. If I rest for a couple of hours, use some eye mask, I am back to normal again. Hopefully I will start my vision rehab next week. That should take care of this issue.

3. Cognitive issues - My head actually hurts when I do simple things. It is actually funny. Never thought these little things require effort. There are 3 distinct mental tasks that cause physical pain.

Recalling facts - I was always quite capable of forgetting things. My memory was always pretty random. However these days, if I try to jog my memory & try to recall, my head really hurts & I give up.

Making decisions - mainly really small simple decisions. Here are some most recent examples. Last week, we were at a friend's house. The host asked me what I wanted to drink & I was freezing right there. I struggled to come up with an answer & I helplessly looked at my dear husband who helped out by making the decision for me. Time & again I look at him in that fashion ... time & again he comes to my rescue! Couple of days back, a friend of ours asked if I wanted to join them to go the temple for navarathri. Again I froze. Earlier that day, she asked when she could stop by our home & I struggled so much & still could not give her an answer. I looked so stupid. I am capable of quite a bit stupidity on my own. But this kind, I think I can comfortably attribute it to the injury.

Switching from one task to another - Say for instance I am eating my lunch & the phone rings. For me to pay attention that new stimulus (phone ringing), is actually painful. My head actually hurts when I have switch from eating to answering the phone. As a result these days I am taking a couple of minutes break in between tasks to sip some water & then start the next one. Say if I have to cook dinner & fold laundry. I take a break, space out with a glass of water for a couple of minutes in between the 2 tasks. As a result things take forever to get done.

Luckily, thanks to my employer, I am able to take all the time that is necessary to cope & recover. And a big thanks to my family, I do not have any mood - related emotional issues. Thanks to them I feel quite alright in that sense.

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