A relatively long day at work Thursday, arguably my first full day back since the accident, tuckered me out pretty well. By the end of an evening out among friends, a couple of my friends confronted me to let me know that they were concerned about me. They said that I had not been myself that evening and that I seemed confused, disoriented, and like I was having a hard time focusing. They wanted me to go back to the doctors and make sure that I don’t have any bleeding in my brain left as a result of the concussion. I went home to consider their words only to get a phone call shortly after getting there asking if I would go to the ER that night to get checked out. To do my best to alleviate concerns, though I really didn’t understand what everyone was worked up about, I agreed to go in to the ER. A few friends picked me up and we went and sat in the waiting room for a bit until I was admitted to get worked up. After answering some questions, they determined that the best thing to do would be a CAT scan to check my head. They went through with that and we then waited for a doctor to sign off on the results and around 4:30 they told me I was free to go. I was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and told to see a neurologist in the following weeks (after having it approved by the insurance folks). I went home to finally get some sleep to alleviate exhaustion, which I believed was fueling the symptoms that were raising so much concern.
Learning about the syndrome from a fact sheet I left the hospital with, I began to see that probably my younger brother Bob went through this following a high-speed collision on the football field a couple seasons back. I’m still not sure if he was ever clued in to the fact that he might’ve been battling with this sort of thing.
Nevertheless, as I woke up the next day and began to deal with my frustration at everyone’s concern, I heard from my fiancee back home that even she had been pretty worried. I finally began to accept the idea that maybe I really hadn’t been able to see it for myself even though everyone else around me could. I had only really noticed the way some symptoms affected my internal realities, like mental process taking longer than usual and have real difficulty focusing after getting tired. Now I began to see that, truly, some of the ways I’d been interacting with others had been affected, too. Probably if I’d been able to see those symptoms for myself, I would’ve been able to put a stop to them for myself. But it looks like it’s gonna be the sort of thing that requires me to really put some trust in my friends, who will be able to tell me how I’m doing better than I’ll be able to for myself for a while.
It’s a humbling experience, but I’m going to buckle down, and get by with a little help from friends.