After a head injury you have to be even more careful than ever to make sure you look after it. But that can be difficult if you are having problems with balance, spacial awareness, dizziness, sight, coordination or all of the above, which I was.
I think I had always been a little on the clumsy side as I was invariably sporting a bruise somewhere most days. But after my head injury it had got even more ridiculous. My partner James felt the need to walk behind me when going up stairs, and in front of me when going down so if I fell he could cushion me. But it wasn’t just the stairs we had to worry about.
Lots of people have accidentally hit their head on a open cupboard door but usually they learnt from the experience. I didn’t.
Left unsupervised I could get myself into all kinds of trouble. Stupid things like I might take the lightening cable out of my phone that had been charging over night, but drop the phone through the open iron head board. Reaching down to retrieve it, I would forget a little thing like there being a wall, and smack my head.
Once you have a head injury, any time you hit your head it feels like you’ve gone back to where you started.
Every time a had a silly accident like this it hurt like hell. I’m not talking about the bump or bruise, I’m talking about feeling like your head is going to explode. If you have ever seen one of those films where someone gets trapped in a decompression chamber and the other guy throws the switch so the person inside explodes, the moments before they die their face explains it all.
The worst one was the accident I had with a revolving door.
I’d gone to see some friends who’s office had moved into a posh service centre. I’d been there before so I knew what to expect. Perhaps if it was because I was thinking about where I needed to be, but this time as I left I got it all wrong.
I didn’t notice that there wasn’t a open space and that it needed to spin a little more. I just walked straight into the glass. Wham. But I was so busy trying to regain my composure and dignity that I just carried on. The pain was unbearable, but I got into my car ready to leave. I reversed out, and started driving past the other parked cars. Then someone else started to back out, and it seemed they hadn’t spotted me yet. I knew I had to respond, but as I’d just bashed my head so hard I just couldn’t think fast enough how to stop the car! So I stepped harder on the accelerator hoping I could get out of the way fast enough.
I was lucky this time to get away with it. But it did scare me how I couldn’t remember how to move my leg to hit the break.
Multiple concussions are very dangerous. The brain finds it harder to recover from multiple injuries particularly when it is still working on one. So if you have or know someone who has had a head injury, please look out for them. The brain is as precious as it gets, and so far a transplant isn’t possible.
After a head injury you need to make sure you are fit to drive again. Read my advice on this in Important advice on driving after a brain injury.
Other articles you might like:
- Brain injury brain fog.
- Brain injury = Amygdala hijacking.
- Life post brain injury: exclusive access to inside my head.
- Panicking impedes learning after brain injury.