Post Concussion: I Want My Life Back
I just want my life back.
I was discussing upcoming holiday plans with my mom last week and she let me know she’s got some great ideas for things we can do to stay busy while we’re in town!
My significant other and I live in Florida and travel to Kansas City every Christmas to spend time with my siblings, their littles, Grandma, you know…FAMILY. While we’re there, we’re both usually too cold to do anything. I realize it sounds dramatic and no one wants to hear the weather is beautiful elsewhere when you’re freezing your ass off, but I just don’t have the layers and wardrobe to handle the cold like I used to! If you don’t believe me I’ll try to dig up photos of the last seven years. I’m wearing the Exact. Same. Outfit. Every year. Same damn thing.
I applaud her proactive efforts to think of things we can go do that don’t involve eating or sitting in a bar somewhere. It’s Kansas City. An awesome place, but not like we’re going to go for a hike or ski.
“I was thinking we could go to the trampoline park. The kids would love that! You guys like that stuff too. We can go ice skating at Crown Center (an outdoor rink I attended many Birthday parties at in my younger years). Or we could go bowling one day…the kids are getting old enough to do all that stuff and you and Dan are active. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea?”
“Mom. I can’t actually do any of those things. I can’t bounce my brain around on a trampoline and I’m obviously going to eat it on the ice. It’d be funny but I can’t risk getting re-injured.”
It’s been 17 months since my initial injury. I look like myself and to an outsider so unless we've talked, you would never realize anything is wrong. I do my absolute best to remain positive every single day. I meditate, reflect on my blessings, and genuinely feel grateful for where I’m currently at in life.
SPORTS-health reports “An injured brain is more susceptible to additional injury. For concussion patients who participate in high-speed/full-contact activities, this means it is easier to suffer a second concussion, even from a weaker impact.” In other words, I’m a delicate little flower.
When I get hit with small subtle reminders of my limitations, it can lead to a difficult day emotionally. We’re each entitled to have an off day every now and again. I’m tired to scheduling a nap if I have evening plans. I’m tired of not being able to drive an hour south to visit friends I adore. I’m upset that I can’t get on a boat with my significant other- our favorite thing to do together- because I’ll get vertigo and spend the next 24 hours miserable. I’m sad I can’t be the person he signed up to be with. I’m tired of putting the burden of worry on my family.
I just want my life back.
Until then, all I can to is my best every single day. Accept that each day my best will be different, and adapt to those circumstances.
So maybe this year I’ll be the designated photographer at the trampoline park, get a great action shot of somebody taking a tumble on the ice, and buy myself some appropriate under layers to wear with the same clothes I’ll obviously be wearing again this year.
I'll also be thanking the universe for giving me the gift of practicing patience.