22nd Feb-Mar 2st 2005 Concussion updates

[I think this is worth having, because reading through these makes it really apparent what fixed my concussion. Spoiler, it wasn’t Western medicine.]

22nd March

So I listened to all you lot and went to the doctor.

I never go to the doctor. No, that’s not true. I go to the doctor when I think they can help. Mark Atwood’s statement that with socialised medicine people go to the doctor more than they need to caused me to laugh incredulously. I believe in socialised medicine the same way I believe in socialised oxygen — I’ve always got it free as required and I can’t really believe anyone has to pay for it — but I never go to the doctor. Yesterday was the first time I’d been to the doctor since we’ve been in Canada, which is four years.

Anyway, what I did myself was googled for concussion, and read the Mayo Clinic page. It told me the symptoms, it told me what to worry about, and it told me to see a doctor if I had amnesia, which I did (do, I still can’t remember how the heck I got to the restaurant) and it told me unless I was much worse than I was and might need a scan, the treatment was rest and observation. I was resting and I’d told Rysmiel to observe me.

However, because all you lot screamed at me to go to the doctor I went to the doctor, and spent the length of time it takes to read Persuasion when you have a severe headache (from 17h25 to 23h50) waiting about in waiting rooms to end up being given a leaflet that says exactly what Google had already told me. Exactly. I’m to rest and observe myself. In between, I had my eyes peered into and my blood pressure taken, I got thirstier and thirstier and more and more irritable. Also, my head hurt.

I’ve been seen by a professional, two professionals, but I can’t really feel that it was worth it.

After a night’s sleep, I’m observing myself. I find a lack of desire to wash dishes or make Rysmiel’s sandwiches before having my tea and checking my email. Is this lassitude? Or just normal laziness? I have a headache, but you kind of expect to have a headache when hit on the head. I’ve taken tylenol. Both the Mayo clinic and the doctor I saw said tylenol was OK. I’m otherwise fine. Well, I’m grumpy, but I do normally run the whole gamut of emotions from Happy through Grumpy and Dopey and Bashful all the way to Doc — which is the state of mind in which I make other people see perfectly useless doctors when they’re not well and would like to stay home drinking tea.

And I have a follow-up appointment for Friday morning so they can check I’m still OK, doubtless by looking into my eyes again.

The doctor asked me why I hadn’t come in earlier. I didn’t say I never went to doctors unless people all over the world yell at me about it, I allowed as I had been too confused to think of it.

24th Feb

I have been to the doctor again.

She thinks I’m fine, after some peering into my eyes and squeezing my face and making me squeeze her fingers.

The continuing severe headache, lack of concentration, and lack of appetite are apparently normal — this should gradually improve over time. (I have to say, it hasn’t improved much so far. If at all. But it should.) If I get worse, I should go to emergency. She thinks I probably won’t ever get that half hour memory back if I haven’t already.

Thank you all for making me go. If you hadn’t persuaded me to go Tuesday, I wouldn’t have gone myself until yesterday when the headache wasn’t lifting. The doctors haven’t in fact done anything at all for me other than making me wait around a lot, which is standard to my experience of doctors, but even so it was probably sensible.

The doctor said it’s OK to take Tylenol (paracetamol) every three hours instead of every four if that will help (which it would, towards the end of the tylenol window is when I feel worst at present) as long as I don’t exceed 4 gms per day. I know there are people reading this who know about this stuff — is that actually right? And how many days is it OK to keep on taking 4gms for?

In other news, while out I had breakfast (very good Vietnamese fried egg, pork chop and shredded pork on rice, plus tea — breakfast of champions) did some shopping and came home from the doctor on my own on a sensible variety of buses and metro. I am afraid of falling on the snow again, but then I am afraid of a lot of things I do anyway. If you let being irrationally afraid of things stop you, you end up spending your whole life whimpering under the covers, or touching all the railings like that poor Zenna Henderson character. I’m afraid of walking across highway bridges, so I did that too, to get to Premier Moisson at Monkland and Giraud. Going out, fresh air and walking probably did me good.

27th Feb

OK, I’m bored with this headache now, it can go away whenever it likes. Bored, bored, bored.

(In fact, being irritated with being sick is one of those signs that I’m probably nearly better, or so I keep telling myself.)

I’ve decided to try without tylenol today. It takes the edge off, but it doesn’t get rid of the pain, and it makes me feel all huddly, plus clockwatching all the time for when I can have my next fix. We’ll see how the more pain/less tylenol equation works in terms of how much useful brain I have. I’m afraid to write in case I mess it up — it’s a million times easier for me to write something right the first time than to fix something I’ve messed up. But I know what needs to come next.

This has been a rotten month.

2nd March 

So, it’s March. And I had acupuncture, twice, and now my head hardly hurts at all, barely worth mentioning. I had pins stuck in some really bizarre places — or at least, really different ones from the ones you get when you’re having acupuncture for your leg. I had four in my forehead and one in my scalp, one in each ear-lobe, several in my arms and legs and two in my stomach.

It’s a funny feeling, having pins stuck in you. You lie there on a table, reassuring yourself. “Well, I’ve had acupuncture hundreds of times, and it’s never hurt…” versus the primal fear of “OMG they’re going to stick PINS in me!” And it doesn’t hurt, unless they miss the point, in which case it feels as if someone stuck a pin in you.

When they’re all in and the circuit is complete, not only does the pain (whatever pain) stop hurting, which, frankly, is worth the money on its own, but you don’t want to move. Today I had to wait ten minutes on the table before they got around to sticking me. No glasses, flat on my back. I did my hand exercises. I twitched my feet. I stretched my arms up in the air. Then she came in and stuck the pins in and I spent an hour not even wanting to twitch. Not thinking about moving. Keeping quite still. I’d never noticed this before, but it was really obvious today, because of the wait.

In China, they do operations and dentistry under acupuncture. I’d have no hesitation. Indeed, I’d much prefer it.

I’m going back for another session on Tuesday, because they said even though this probably deals with the headaches, a fall and a concussion puts a load on the whole body, and I could do with my whole body tuning up.

I would have got better without the acupuncture, but goodness knows how long it would have taken. The acupuncture stopped it from dragging out any longer.

Tomorrow, finally, I’m going to write.

Posted in Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face