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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Concussion (yep, more brain damage)

Concussion: from the Latin concussus ("to shake violently") is the most common and least serious type of traumatic brain injury.


On Thursday morning I hit my head. I was leaning into my car and thought I heard Happy say my name. I stood up fast, but had not actually come out from the car. I hit the back of my head on the door frame and saw stars. I then went to work, where a headache developed. I soon developed a sensitivity to light and my pupils became different sizes. They have been different sizes in the past but they were very noticeably different on Thursday afternoon. I left work early and drove to Salt Lake to babysit Lauren. I loved it, although every squeal killed me and I was really wishing that Jen and John's house was full of dimmer lights. Driving home was painful because of the headlights coming towards me and driving behind me. The whole time I was popping Aleve and Tylenol. I went to sleep on Thursday night, and woke up groggy and with a horrible headache on Friday morning. During the day on Friday I was nauseous, light sensitive, had a slight ringing in my ears, had a horrible headache, and actually fell into a wall. I also was the butt of a few jokes by a co-worker, since I kept forgetting words. I described my computer as the "box with that typy thing." Luckily, my pupils were returning to normal (or at least my version of normal.) After much cajoling from my co-workers, I decided to visit the Instacare down the street. When I talked to the front desk guy, he almost yelled at me. He could not understand why I had not had a CAT scan or a CT within hours of hitting my head. He told me to go to the ER to get checked out.
I called Sarah to let her know what was going on and by 6:30pm I was sitting in the waiting room of the ER, trying to not look at lights or listen to the whiny woman next to me. (Apparently, she thought waiting for more than 15 minutes was the end of the world.) I got checked in and layed down on the bed with the lights off while I waited for the nurse. When I explained what had happened, the nurse asked me why I hadn't come in sooner. I gave him the excuse that I was too busy and received a mini lecture about caring for myself.
The doctor looked in my eyes for a while, had me follow his fingers, and asked me some interesting questions. He diagnosed me with a concussion, but decided not to do a CAT scan or CT since I had already slept on it for a night and managed to awaken safe and sound. Also, my head hurt less and my balance had improved. He told me to take it easy for the next few days (I guess I should only work 8 hours on Monday.) If I don't improve over the next week, I am supposed to go back or see my family doctor. On my way home, I checked out a few videos and have not had too much fun this weekend. My headache has lessened, my balance has almost come back, and am less light sensitive. My memory is still a little off, but continues to improve. According to the doctor, I now have to be more diligent about hitting my head. I am now more susceptible to having problems with head injuries. The one good thing is that I get to make brain damage jokes and I will be getting off early from work tomorrow. My biggest problem now is insurance. On the back of my insurance card it says to contact the insurance company within 48 hours of being in the ER. I called every number on the card, and the insurance broker, but no one answered. I will call first thing in the morning tomorrow.

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

Okay, we feel officially guilty for having you come babysit Lauren. I hope you feel better soon. I'll show you the dimmer switch next time you're here :)

Diane said...

At least now the cold face wash or leaning over the tub to wash your face will not be what is giving you the headache!

Britnie said...

Wow Jess, thats scary. I hope you feel better soon.

gma dibb said...

Don't let the insurance company give you a bad time .... and take care. At least you have a good excuse for forgetting. I wish I did!

Nana J said...

More brain damage??? And you didn't even call your mother???? Tsk Tsk