The Orange Rhino
Our (not) first day of school

Post-concussion update

July 24


So the headline is pretty pun-ny right, since I literally walked into a post sticking out of my husband’s truck. 

Note to self: next time I throw up after hitting my head so hard, consider it a possible concussion.

Here’s what I did instead:

I hurried home from work, picked up the boys, fed them dinner and was hurrying to swim lessons.

I was heading to the van and then there was this horrible pain and then kind of stillness for awhile. Just really, really quiet.

I was on the ground. And then there was puke.  Also my head hurt.

I came in for an ice pack and noticed my right hand was shaking uncontrollably.

My husband told me to calm down – which had the opposite effect.

As I came back to the driveway I had that feeling where you need a soft place to land but get a brick wall instead. *

And that’s when I saw my sweet five-year-old Sam had picked up every single thing I’d dropped. He tucked the towels and goggles back in their respective bags and loaded them in the car.

He put my favorite water bottle (now cracked from the fall) in the cup holder and my keys on the front seat, exactly like I always do.

He strapped his brother and himself into the car and said: “I did all the work for you, Mama. We are sorry you are hurt.”

“Yeah, Mama. We wuv you,” piped up my owl-eyed three-year old.

I cried all the way to lessons, so thankful that I get to be their mom – and also because my head hurt.

I felt pretty out of it at lessons and went to bed early with the boys – I know!!!

The next morning I still felt like I’d walked into a post, also still nauseous and sort of … slow.

I noticed I seemed to be having a hard time making the right words come out of my mouth. I knew what I wanted to say but had to really search for the words.

At work my friend noticed I was super emotional and totally out of sorts. I mentioned the head-hitting incident which prompted her to gently insist I at least call the doctor.

I said I would consider it and went back to writing my story – did I mention we were on deadline? Of course we were.

And here is where I realized there was a major problem.

I couldn’t remember much about the interview I’d done only the day before, and I can usually repeat quotes verbatim from prior meetings. I had all my notes but usually I have a strong sense of my direction in a story and this time there was … confusion.

When the words started blurring together I finally called the doctor.

Who did some tests and concluded I was – concussed.

And shouldn’t be driving. Which is around the time I noticed my balance was getting worse. Also my speech.

Thank God for my girlfriends who showed up for me in all kinds of ways for which I am so grateful.

First, though we were on deadline they got me home from work.

Then two of my other friends went well out of their way to help me get the boys home from day care and to swim lessons the next few days.

And they checked in on me … even though it confused me the first time:

“Who is the president.” Nicole asked when I woke up from my first nap and returned her call.

I paused before answering.

Not, as she perhaps feared because I’d forgotten the answer but because I’d forgotten about the concussion.

I’ve been getting a little better every day and haven’t fallen for three days.

Plus this morning I could do the Yoga tree pose for three full seconds.

Needless to say I’m super disappointed I am not going to play in the tennis tournament but that just means I have a whole year to train to be awesome at it next year.

Now that I’m coming out of it, it does feel like I got sort of a brain “reboot” and have some fun stuff planned for this blog and other projects.

This re-design is just the beginning of cool things to come.

If you see a fashionable crash helmet, let me know.

Who knew I’d value my brain more than even my heart? I feel like I should start taking more Omega-3s and playing Sudoku or whatever else is good for your brain.

I kind of count on that thing to let me keep being me.

Thanks for checking in!


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* Nathalie’s Notes: So I got a couple emails from friends and family concerned I was “making Matt look bad” in this post. No worries, he’s been the hero in plenty of stories, just not this one.

It’s okay – we’re living a real life and that means there are disappointments and opportunities to grow.

Also, Matt doesn’t read the blog so I’m not writing this as some kind of veiled message to him. Even if he did, he wouldn’t be surprised to learn he wasn’t my “soft place to land.” He might, however, question why there even needs to be a soft place.

We’re the living illustration of the “opposites attract” expression.

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