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My Experience having a Brain Concussion

I experienced a brain concussion after having a black out spell at work, I fell and struck my head on the edge of my desk. If you strike your head or you are hit in the head do not dismiss it nor take it lightly. I had tests done to diagnose why I was having the black our spells.   The test results did not show a conclusive diagnosis.  I came to my own conclusion that the fainting spells were from stress. I had two black out spells while working at my job. Which was a very stressful job. The last black out spell I had while at work, I fell struck my head on my desk. I really do not recall if I blacked out after I struck my head.  I do remember one of my coworkers said she called my name several times and I did not answer. I only remember her calling my name once and asking what happened.  I told her that I had blacked out, fell I hit my head on my desk.  I do remember when I blacked out I came to for one split second before my head made contact with the edge of my desk. I cannot remember if I blacked out again from the contact of hitting my head. I remember bending over on my hands and knees trying to get back up.  Another one of my coworkers came to my assistance.  She immediately went to our kitchen and prepared an icepack for my head. I then replied to the first one that I had fallen and hit my head on my desk. She asked if I was alright. I replied I have a tough noggin. She disagreed with what I said, saying it's not about you having a tough noggin, you need to go and get checked out.

At that point a few more of my coworkers came to my aide.  They saw that I was totally out of it, I was not aware that I was not cognizant nor alert.  I thought I just needed to sit still for a while and I would be OK.  One of my coworkers told me to call my husband. I tried to call him on my cell phone the screen was fuzzy I managed to call him, he did not answer his cell. She then suggested that I email him. I tried to compose and email and that was when I discovered that my vision was really blurry.  I could not see the letters on the computer screen to see what I was typing.  She finished typing my email and sent it.  My coworker then took my cell phone and attempted to call my husband again for me, leaving a message of what had happened.  I think someone had him paged at his office I don't exactly remember but they did get in touch with him.  My supervisor took me to the job sponsored health clinic where visual and coordination tests were done, I could not read the eye chart.  X-rays were taken of my head.  The x-rays showed that I had not fractured my skull.  I was then in intense pain.  I was given a return appointment to come back the next day.  My husband left his job site and met me at the clinic he stayed with me throughout the examination.  He later told me that I was totally out of it when he arrived at the clinic to be with me.   I was sent home from the clinic with a return appointment for the next day.  I was driven to the clinic by my brother who had retired earlier that year while my husband had returned to work.  My sister-in-law and my brother cared for me taking me to my doctor's appointments over the next weeks.  My husband had gone back to work.  He would have had to take a medical leave to take me to my office visits,

The day after my last examination at the clinic my brother to me to my own personal doctor who ordered a MRI of my brain to make sure that I did not have bleeding of the brain which is most important whenever you have a brain injury.  Fortunately I did not have a brain bleed.  However I am predisposed to having migraines as you can see on my migraine page link follows: http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/mymigraineexpirence.htm My personal doctor took me off work for 6 weeks and eventually for the rest of that year 2009.  Immediately after the concussion I suffered with constant head pain which lasted for two months. I was miserable.  I thought that the pain would never go away.  After a few days had passed and the head pain would not stop, It was almost unberable.  I went back to see my primary docter who sent me to a neurologists.  After a period of tests with different medicines the usual occasional (take as needed) migraine medicine did not help, it did not stop the pain when taken. I was placed on a daily medication.  After a few weeks of taking the medication  my headaches finally were under some control.  That pain was terrible.  I would not wish this on anyone.  Prayer helped me endure it knowing the God would not put any more on you than you can bear.  Even with the daily medication whenever it rained or the barometric pressure changed my head would migraine up, giving me the blues.  I would be again in intense pain inspite of the daily medication I was on.  I had to take an additional medicine along with 800mg of motrin.*  You can read about it on my migraine page, the link is above.  

*Do not self medicate. Do not do a self diagnosis of any kind on a head injury via the internet, go and seek treatment from a health care professional. Go to your local Emergency room or emergency clinic. Don't hesitate!

Concussions generally take a year to heal

I was in so much pain my doctor took me off work after I had experienced my concussion. I never went back to work from my medical leave, I was fortunate enough to be able to retire eventually. The aftermath of my concussion I experienced fogginess in thinking and calculations. My emotions were up and down like a seesaw. Things that would not have normally bothered me I felt extremely emotional over them. I was very forgetfull. I don't know how I could have functioned in a classroom much less a job. 

Several weeks maybe a couple of months later the only activities for me at this time was church attendance. Our pastor gives well studied sermons they are detailed and a great expository of the word. I attended church and sat in service and listened to out pastor preach or teach, also taking notes, his sermons and bible study classes a lot of what he taught went right over my head. All of his material that I know I would have understood before I had my concussion went right over my head. I was just not getting it! Months later when I did venture out to drive to somewhere I had never been to before even with a GPS I would get lost turned around and not even remember how I got there. After that I stopped going places other than the doctor's office visits and church.  If I needed to go elsewhere I had my husband take me or went with a family member.  I no longer had confidence in many of my tasks.  The only thing that I did accomplish was making my jewelry and selling it. The jewelry making was therapeutic for me I sold jewelry at my home shows and at venues and on EBay. I had to start planning the simplest of jewelry shows two months before my planned date of the show. You can also see my wares in my online stores at these links. http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/apps/webstore/ and at: http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/apps/etsystore/ Making jewelry did not require much mental prowess for me. Creating something beautiful and also selling it was rewarding. I had to do something because I could feel myself slipping and veering towards not having any interest nor joy in anything. I did overdo my jewelry making, shows and selling my jewelry, I burned myself out so I took a hiatus. That is the good thing about being in business for yourself. You can work at you own pace and when you want to work or not, that is if you are not depending on it totally for a living.   My hiatus for jewelry making came right around the time that I lost my sister to cancer you can see my coping with grief page:  http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/griefhowtocope.htm  

The symptoms that I suffered for almost a year after I suffered the concussion are as follows:

  • Intense uncontrolled migraine pain three times a week, which resulted in my being put on daily medicine to control the headaches.  The pain often kept me from sleeping. 
  • Confusion I could not spell even simple words that I knew how to spell before my concussion
  • Not able to do calculations in math, I no longer could do math calculations in my head. I use to add my grocery items in my head as I added them to my cart, maintain a tally in my head and came up with a pretty accurate total when I arrived at the checkout. I found that I cold no longer do this. It was too difficult.
  • Forgetfulness, more so than before.
  • Loss of Comprehension, I would read a text and not understand the meaning of it.  I found it more difficult to understand directions, one example directions for assembling things.  I had to reread instructions or watch an instruction video 2 or 3 times before I comprehended it. One of my favorite TV shows I could not follow the plot.  I had to watch the show twice to get it.  I already stated above that parts my Pastor's sermons often went over my head.
  • Emotional unbalance, I found myself becoming jealous over accomplishments of others, where in the past I would have been excited for that person.  I became depressed easily over little things.  I would be happy one minute then sad the next.  It was as if my emotions has run amuck.
  • Concentration loss, my brain just felt foggy I could not concentrate/focus on even TV shows.
  • My coordination and balance diminished. I am already a klutz. It became worse after I suffered the concussion.

After my concussion I was not myself for a long time.  My firstborn adult son came by almost every week over a period of time to see how I was doing.  After awhile I progressed got better my son saw that was going to be OK.  He was worried about mom.   I wish I could have stepped ouside of myself and observed me.  My sister flew in from Las Vegas and spent a week to assist my husband in taking care of me.  She also said I was not myself.  This was about a month or so after I had the concussion.  You really cannot see yourself and how you are when you are ill. 

About a year after I experienced my concussion I felt a rush in my head as if something had opened up in my brain. I discussed this with my doctor, she stated that a brain concussion takes a year to heal. The damage that you have does not show up on an x-ray nor an MRI is on the cellular level, is the term I believe she used. The feeling I had is not a sign nor a symptom of my brain healing nor could she explain it. I just know that my thinking, emotions and all the rest have begun to return to normal. I can again rejoice for others on their success and accomplishments.  As of the writing of this page' June 8, 2011, It has been 20 months since I had the concussion, 8 months pass my one year anniversary of hitting my head. The almost daily migraines I had in the aftermath had taken it's toll on me. I was drained of energy.  I also have gotten older and I don't expect to be like I was 10 or so years ago.  Since a year had passed, I did ask my doctor if I could come off of my daily migraine medicine.  It has been a week since I stopped my the medication, I do feel as though I had withdrawal symptoms while coming off of the migraine medication. I decreased my dosage slowly as prescribed and so far I have not had the excruciating migraine pain!  I later learned when you have a head trauma if you are predisposed to migraines they may become more intense and more frequent which happened to me. I still feel as though that I am not all the way back to what I was prior to having my concussion.  I am middle aged and I shall not worry about it.  I will strive to be the best that I can be at this stage of my life. After all I am retired and it is time for me to enjoy life!  See my retirement page! http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/retirementstressover.htm  I have also experienced other health issues take a look at my diverticulitis page too at: http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/diverticulitisnew.htm

I do believe my faith in God led to my road to recovery.  I know that I could have had a worse outcome when I fell and hit my head and suffered a concussion. I was blessed not to have fractured my skull. I was in a standing position when I blacked out, my full body weight collapsed when I fell. I am not a petite woman go take a look at My big lose page at: http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/mybigloseweight.htm  The left side of the back of my head struck the edge of my desk. I don't know what the force of the impact was. I struck my head on the same side  that my migraines are located.  I as I stated before I retired after this accident.  I had planned on working for at least 2 more years to build up my retirement income. While off on medical leave, it was a struggle but I calculated what my retirement would be. I called the retirement board for my job, the actual calculations were more than my calculations. I then saw I could retire sooner that I anticipated.  I took me several weeks to complete the paperwork required for my retirement request which under normal circunstances should have only taken a hour or so.  Several people, family, friends and coworkers told me that it was my time to leave the job. When I started having the blackout spells my husband's first fear was 'stroke'. Several coworkers in other offices suffered strokes and blackout spells and never came back to work.  Others were disabled from their strokes and a few even died from a stroke or a heart attach.  All this from the stress from the job. Stress really can kill you. When I described what happened to my respective doctors they flinch and give a whew sigh as I tell them how I blacked out and hit my head. Yes it could have been worse. I am so thankful that it wasn't.  This was my time to come out and rest!

 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

My conclusion the purpose of this page is to share what I experienced after suffering a brain concussion. This may or may not give someone an understanding of what they may be going through if they had the same type of brain trauma.  As I stated above, a blow to the head is nothing to play with especially if you blackout after the blow.  Even if you don't blackout seek medical attention immediately.  It is better to be sure than to suffer a blow that later becomes fatal, and the fatality could have been prevented if medical attention was sought promptly.  Seek medical attention with any head injury!  Spine or neck injury.