I’m a huge sports lover – particularly football! I love the athleticism of the sport, the passion you see in the player’s eyes after they make a great play, and the shear talent that’s displayed while making an incredible behind-the-back 60-yard up-side-down catch (ok, that may not have happened), but you know what I mean.
However, the one thing that honestly makes me cringe when I watch football is when a player takes a really hard hit – particularly to the helmet. Even worse is when a player can’t catch his balance and falls backward onto the turf, slamming the back of his head to the ground with so much force that the replay clearly shows his helmet bouncing off the ground. Ouch.
I clam up when I see any blow to the head, because I know what it’s like to have your head slammed on the ground. Yep, you read that right!
I’d fainted and apparently my head was the first thing to hit the concrete floor. I knew my head had hit the floor pretty hard, because when I tried to stand up, I was instantly dizzy – dizzy to the point where I couldn’t stand. I also started throwing up. It wasn’t until 20 minutes later that I felt the egg-sized bump on my head and saw the blood on my hands from touching the bump. Yup – I’d really done it this time!
After heading to the emergency room and getting checked out, the doctors confirmed that I’d suffered a concussion.
The fainting happened because I had pushed my body too far (and it’d been doing this for quite some time). I’d gone all day without drinking much water, it was extremely humid and 90 degrees for a good part of the day, and I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before.
I had quite simply run my body to the point of exhaustion – and then it gave out.
Being a busy-body, I’m prone to always being up, moving around, working, exercising – being active and out-and-about. But you want to know the one thing that’ll make you stop in your tracks and lay on the couch for a week without wanting to move – a concussion.
Concussions are horrible – not that anyone thinks they’re awesome – but they are honestly just horrible. My concussion symptoms lasted for 10+ days. The most severe symptom was the dizziness. It was hard to focus on anything – looking at a computer got me nauseous on so many occasions because trying to focus on such small letters was just plain difficult. My computer monitor looked like it was swaying! Trying to look at or call someone on the phone was equally as bad.
The concussion symptoms that I experienced were obviously dizziness, nauseousness, confusion (I had spoken to coworkers on the phone earlier in the week and they later told me that my words had been very scattered), lack of coordination, sleepiness, excessive fatigue, ringing in my ears, and naturally my head ached from the giant knot I had given myself when the back of my head hit the cement. I’d been told by the doctors that short-term memory loss or brain fog may occur as well – and I did having issues recalling things as quickly as I’d been able to prior to the concussion.
These symptoms persisted for a good week before I was well enough to even go back to work. I was still dizzy, so I had someone drive me to work. The dizziness stayed with me for 4 weeks, and the memory/thinking issues stayed with me for a good 6 months.
The “thinking” issues were tough for me to deal with. I’d always been quick on my feet when it came to discussions, and took pride in having a good memory. However after a concussion, I quickly realized that I was not nearly as quick of a thinker as I’d previously been. I could barely remember the outfit I’d worn yesterday let alone try to recall something that’d happened a few months ago.
9 years have passed, and I can now say I’m mostly back to normal. It hasn’t gone by without changes though – quite a few lifestyle changes have been made!
I’ve learned that my mind now only gets scattered when I don’t practice daily grounding techniques and dizziness creeps up with I start to push my body a little too hard. Fatigue is something that I’ll constantly struggle with – being a wife, mother, building a business, and maintaining my weight can be exhausting. However over these past few years I’ve learned that I need to take care of myself first – especially if I want to be able to take care of those that I love, and those who need me.
I’ve learned that it’s okay for me to keep my daughter in daycare an extra hour longer than normal, so that I can get in an extra hour of me-time. That little extra break gives me time to unwind, clear my mind, and focus on taking care of me. Self-care is vitally important for overall health.
My health and self-care journey may have started with fatigue and a concussion, however I’m hoping your “wake up call” won’t be as forceful as mine was.
Learn from my “mistake” – take care of yourself.
Quit pushing yourself to the limit each day, learn to drink more water, get plenty of rest (7-8 hours is a good start), eat right (whole foods loaded with vitamins and nutrients), and take time to declutter your mind each and every day.