It was two weeks ago today that I woke-up with a splitting headache. But the pain did not matter too much, because I was grateful to be awake and (other than the pain) pretty functional.
The night before, I had worked in my basement until . . . well, morning. After almost two years of having my thyroid levels jump around, I was feeling better. Good enough, in fact, to take on getting my house back in-order.
I accomplished a lot . . . and was headed to bed when I decided to check the back door one more time. I have lived in my house over 10 years and do the back door check frequently before bed.
This time was different . . . I misjudged where the kitchen ended and the two steps to the landing started. It was horrifying to watch my feet and realize I was mid-fall across the two-three foot wide landing into a cement wall; a door on one side, and steep stairs on the other.
I managed to get turned toward the door in hope of avoiding a more serious fall down the steep stairs. Then, I felt my head hit the cement . . . hard. I saw lights as I fell toward the floor. My brain rushed with pathophysiology (the ups and downs of being a nurse midwife) . . . bleed, fracture, unconsciousness - what was next?
Fortunately, I stayed awake . . . but stunned. I got to my feet and the pain started. Some on the side the hit - but clearly a 9/10 on the side that did not hit. This meant I had what is called a coup/contracoup type of injury - very common with concussions.
The adrenaline was the next thing I noticed . . . shaking and dazed, but no other neurological symptoms. So, I took analgesics (not asprin due to the bleeding risk) and got my biofeedback machine (hand held emwave). I proceeded to meditate for about an hour . . . the whole time, monitoring for more serious symptoms. When they failed to appear, I was relieved enough to drift to sleep. But, before doing so, I texted my daughter (an RN) and asked her to keep an eye on me for the next several hours.
Waking up the next day was one of the happiest moments in my life. The pain was probably 6/10, but I was awake, breathing, eating, talking, walking, etc.
My journey since then is something I blog about on my own site daily . . . I am using the science of wellbeing and positive psychology as a strategy to stay strong and resilient as I heal. I welcome you to join me there or to post questions and ideas here related to experiences with post-concussion syndrome and the healing process.
My blog - http://midwifeofchanges.blogspot.com/
Cathy Hartt, RN, MS, CNM
Midwife of Changes Wellbeing Coaching Services
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