I decided Hubs was right. I was just tired and the headache I was experiencing was from a lack of sleep. I felt extra fatigued. If I posed a mental question for why I was feeling a little cuckoo, I could always find a quick answer. I could always rationalize the symptom. People simply don’t hit their heads on shelves and suffer concussions. Case closed.
The next day I woke up feeling like one of those car crushers in a dump had squished my brain to 1×1. The sun beaming around the edges of our blackout, honeycomb shades was blinding. Had someone at the 4-year-old graduation slipped me a mickey? Had I consumed a bottle of vodka the night before, when I thought it was water?
“Hubs, I don’t feel so good. I have to work the preschool carnival and I’m afraid I’ll pass out,” I said.
This is when I, finally, looked at Hubs and I could tell he thought this might be serious. When Hubs looks like something is serious, it means business because he’ s always so laid back. He always tells me going to the doctor would be a waste of time. “Maybe we should go to the doctor,” he said.
Instant role reversal. I felt bad, but there’s no way I could have a concussion. Hypochondriacs don’t get concussions, athletes do. “I’m fine. I probably just didn’t sleep well,” I said.
I stepped out of the bed and felt dizzy enough. I used my end table as a crutch. Why was I so damned dizzy? Was it the mickey they slipped me at the preschool, graduation party?
Okay, I knew there was no mickey, but Hubs was right. Something was amiss. I was missing steps and someone had installed a dysfunctional bass into my head. The pounding was excruciating. It was worse than the time my old, tone-deaf roommate decided to take up the drums.
Hubs kindly called into work, so he could take Babyface to her carnival and I called the nurse at my doctor’s office. I described my symptoms. She asked a series of questions, which I could hardly focus on. I failed most.
The nurse asked me to come into the office, but I refused. Clearly, she was just trying to strip me of a copay and get my insurance company to cover the lion share, right?
I told her I would refrain from any activity and lay in a dark room for the rest of the day. I lied, of course. After Hubs and Babyface headed out for the carnival, I secretly attacked my DVR hoping to clear some space.
The next day, I woke up feeling great. I was fine. I didn’t have a concussion, I thought. I must’ve just been tired.
We headed to Babyface’s preschool graduation an hour early, so we could get a good spot on the lawn. Of course, that meant sitting in the direct sun for two hours. The ceremony was cute, yet concise. 15 minutes concise, to be exact. Just a few songs and scrolls handed out in a disorganized fashion.
We decided to grab a celebratory lunch, but the restaurant didn’t open until 11 am, so we went to Target to pick up a card and gift-wrap for my niece. When we walked in, I felt like someone had slipped me something again. Those damn preschool moms, I thought. Only this time, it wasn’t a mickey. I was pretty sure someone had slipped me acid.
My head started to hurt and then the rhythmically challenged drums started to pound in my head. The whole thing came on like a pregnancy contraction and there was no bundle of joy to follow. The aisles were distorted because I was so dizzy that my depth perception had me feeling like my eyes were only two feet from the floor at times.
“We have to go to the doctor,” I told Hubs, as I quickly grasped his shoulder for support.
“Aren’t we going to the restaurant, Mommy?” asked Babyface.
“Honey, Mommy isn’t feeling well. We need to get her to a doctor,” said Hubs.
“But what about my restaurant. Can’t Mommy go to the doctor after we eat? But I’m hungry. Mommy can wait, right?” asked Babyface.
The horrible, brain contractions wouldn’t stop and Babyface was turning up the volume. Hubs called the doctor’s office and was able to get us in, right away. Babyface continued to pound at the drums for the whole ride there. “But why? Why not? It’s my day,” she shouted.
After we reached the doctor’s office, he ran a few simple tests. Follow my finger. Look up. Look down. All felt more challenging than a NASA entry exam.
“You have a concussion. It will take about two weeks to pass. You need to rest,” said my doctor.
And, so my two week challenge turned into three weeks, then four and finally semi-subsided after four months. Some days I couldn’t even look at my iPhone screen for longer than two seconds. Other days, watching TV was like being at a laser light show featuring the music of Metallica with a migraine.
I’m happy to say that it finally subsided. I still get headaches after using the computer, but I’m not in solitary confinement anymore. When my daughter is playing, I don’t race for my earplugs and hope for the best.