I had what I consider a life changing experience. It was not fun and it was very scary. But there’s always something about the difficult seasons in life that changes you for good.
I got a concussion.
This girl accidentally knocked me backwards off a platform – I fell straight back onto my head and cracked it open. The days that followed were the scariest days of my life. The first day I knew I wasn’t myself. I felt confused. Things that are commonplace to me were difficult and took far, far longer than normal. The next day my speech was affected. I wasn’t able to speak properly, and when I did speak, I would forget words or use words incorrectly. I forgot some major things in my life, things about my kids which surprised and horrified me. Talking exhausted me – to the point my body would shut down and I’d need to sleep. It was like being teleported into the mind of a 95 year old.
I was sent to the hospital twice. My brain scans and bloods came back clear and the doctor said though my symptoms are scary, they are very normal for concussion patients. I was put on bed rest and told not to read or go on screens or do anything cognitively stimulating. What the heck do you do on bed rest if you can’t read or go on screens?! I’ve learned all too acutely that my walls need a fresh coat of paint!
When you are in something, it feels like it is going to last forever. It’s a very powerless, very scary feeling.
- How bad I am at active relaxation and this is something I am working to change.
- How grateful I am for my life, my kids, my friends, my career and my health
- This may sound like an echo to point number 2, but I learned how much I love my life. Every single thing about it. The busyness, chaos, sometimes loneliness, the madness of cooking, cleaning and homework after working, peppered with random dance parties with my kids in the kitchen, work! I love my work! The mediocre moments. The fun moments. The hard working moments. The simple things like being able to drive to the shop to get groceries. Or living relatively close to a beach.
Ultimately, having control over my life. Over my own happiness and my own choices. Some friends have laughed when I said that I was scared I would be in that state forever. One friend, Melanie, took me to the hospital – twice. Saw me at my worst and let me fall asleep on her shoulder. She may be the only one to understand. But that feeling of not being in control of my own mind – or speech – was terrifying. For those few days – those few days that felt like an eternity – I wondered if I would ever be the same again. I craved the moments I have previously complained about. The challenges (challenges I only face in pursuit of my dreams), the normalcy, the simplicity of reading a book, or going hiking, or sitting at the beach, or cooking dinner, or whatever else day to day life throws at me. My overthinking brain!
I love the life I have created. Sometimes it’s not until you lose something – even for a few days – that you really appreciate it.
P.S. The image I chose doesn’t reflect the fear or powerlessness I felt over the past week. In contrast, it reflects the fun, happy, carefree times, laughing with friends and enjoying life. Moments I cherish and am grateful for the opportunity to have more of! The photostrip format seemed somewhat nostalgic – and fitting.