Getting Back on Track

Tuesday, 23 February 2016


So I seem to have started a very strange (and highly unrecommended) tradition. 

I'll be honest with you, a couple of weeks ago when Facebook reminded me that two whole years had passed since my first bout of concussion, I laughed. I laughed about the alcohol-fuelled giggle fest that had ultimately led to me banging the back of my head against a very hard ceramic toilet bowl. It had been a silly and stupid and slightly scary experience but, I thought as I snorted at the equally silly status Facebook (so kindly) reminded me I had posted after the event, what's university without a couple of stupid drunken nights? 

It had made me mature, I concluded, as I skimmed through my Facebook history both prior to and since the event. The post-concussion syndrome that had followed the initial blow to the head had changed me mentally, for sure, but in the end it had also given me the steely sense of determination I needed to just put the bloody wine down and crack on with getting the degree I was there for.

Those were my thoughts on the subject two weeks ago. The little Facebook reminder had given me a laugh and an entertaining anecdote to share with my co-workers on my lunch break. The whole experience was just a funny, fuzzy memory that I was certain had changed me for the better

And then I banged my head again. 

I don't quite remember the actual banging of the head...not because I passed out or anything terrible like that but because I was, at the time, preoccupied with twisting the cap back onto my water bottle. Fine motor skills have never been my forte, and the struggle here was ever so real as I knew I was late coming back from my lunch break. As far as I know, whilst I was crouched down beside my bag in the locker room, busy fiddling with my bottle cap, someone came up behind me, opened a locker above me and then walked away to go to the loo. Leaving their locker door open. 

I'm sure you can guess what my next move was. And it bloody well hurt. 

So here I am, two-weeks later...two years after that first injury, suffering from a second bout of post-concussion syndrome. What an excellent little tradition. 

Post-concussion syndrome (I'm obviously an expert in this particular field of neuroscience now so lemme grab my doctor glasses) is a bit of weird one, mainly because it only crops up a few days after the initial incident... meaning you could be, as I was, halfway through your working day two or three days later thinking everything is a-okay and then suddenly start feeling really really crap. Like really crap. Needless to say, I was sent home from work immediately and have been recovering at home ever since. 

I guess my point here in sharing my story is firstly just to raise awareness as to what post-concussion syndrome actually is because, in my experience, it's often dismissed as a bit of a 'dizzy spell' that goes away if you get plenty of rest in a dark room somewhere (blah). Unfortunately, the reality of living with this strange syndrome is slightly different. It can cause a great deal of confusion, a great deal of frustration and even a severe and sudden change in personality. As I said above, my first encounter with it led, in time, to a very acute mental change. I became depressed (a common long-term side-effect of concussion) and my anxiety levels, which had previously been a bit of a challenge but were generally manageable, went through the roof. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have a small circle of very supportive people around me at that time and, with the right help, I eventually found myself feeling a great deal better. 

This time round, I can sense a few of those feelings coming back to the fore and yes, I'll admit that's a bit scary. BUT I'm doing my best to combat those negative thoughts when they pop up and one of the first steps I'm taking to challenge them head-on (harhar) is to get back into blogging! So here I am, headache throbbing away, writing it all down.

It's taken me quite a while to put this post together, not just because of my concussion (some other delightfully helpful symptoms of post-concussion syndrome aside from the throbbing headaches include: light sensitivity, lack of concentration, memory loss etc. etc. it's just fabulous!!) but also because I couldn't figure out how to write it without sounding like a total idiot. I think what I want to say here is the next few months could be a bit tough and I might not be posting as regularly as I would like to. But bear with me! I'm trying to get back on track and I do have a few ideas for posts that require a little less headache-inducing writing lined up, so be sure to keep an eye out for those...

...oh and you can rest assured, the crash helmet is in the post. 


In the meantime,
All the love,

Sian x


2 comments

  1. Ouch, how unlucky to have banged your head twice, I hope you have a speedy recovery. =^-^=

    Sam | Momentarily Dreaming

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sam, such a kind comment! I hope so too! :) xxx

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