Thursday, October 20, 2011

So this is my story, and I'm sticking to it...


In March of 2011, I was traveling home from work on a sunny afternoon.  I came to a stop at a local merge point, waiting patiently with the truck in front of me for a space in traffic to merge onto the road.  A young driver came up the ramp behind me, assumed that myself and the truck were going to merge and kept his foot on the gas to sneek in behind us before more traffic came.  He neglected to realize we weren't merging yet and hit me without even tapping the breaks.  My trunk was crunched into my back seat, and I slammed violently into the truck in front of me.  And now, 7 1/2 months later, I am still struggle daily due to that driver's mistake. 

On the scene, I had a massive headache, but waived away medical treatment thinking I wasn't bleeding and nothing seemed broken.  A local tow truck driver took me and the completely crunched car to a local garage.   On the way I started to feel groggy and extremely nauseous.  I called my boyfriend to come pick me up and made the decision to go straight to the emergency room. 

After slipping in and out of conciousness during triage, I was taken immediately to get a head CT and some x-rays of my neck and hip.  (I had foolishly thought if I applied my brake with all the strength in my leg as a I braced for impact, I could prevent hitting the truck in front of me after the impact.)  The Dr. said I was lucky that I did not having any bleeding on the brain and sent me home with a concussion diagonsis, a strained hip and some pain medication. 

As I continued to try to recover, the symptoms got worse:  severe headaches;  nasuea;  ringing in my ears;  sensitivity to light and to any noise;  severe dizziness upon any type of movement;  pain in my neck and back;  etc.   After two weeks of complete bed rest and no improvement, but worsening symptoms my primary care sent me to a neurologist.  I was diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). 

So this is my story of what living with PCS is like.   It is my goal to bring hope to others suffering from this very debilitating condition and to bring awareness to the masses who have no understand of what it truly means to have PCS.  Believe it or not, its not "just a concussion" or something that "Wow, you look good so you must be feeling better" type of thing.  We are the invisible walking wounded. 

Some cautionary notes:

I have decided to leave errors in grammar, spelling, usage etc in my posts.  Although very unlike the academic go getter I was before my accident, I feel it pays tribute to my cognitive struggles at this time.  So please don't see this as a lack of effort in checking my writing, but as a personal choice to accept myself where I am at in my recovery.

Second, my ability to post is based on my current level of symptoms.  I can only spend limited time on the computer due to the overload in visual stimulation and glare from the screen.  Hopefully with my new glasses, (anti-glare and film to filter out fluorescent light) and vision therapy, I will be able to post more frequently. 

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