So you may have noticed that it’s been all quiet on the Crimson blog lately. Well, I’m going to tell you why… it’s a story that still feels quite surreal.
Last year, on Christmas Eve, I had an unexpected accident where I gave myself a mild (but hopefully fully recoverable) brain injury and concussion… I know, right?
It was raining, and I was in a hurry, and somehow I ended up slamming the car boot down on my head. Hard! So hard, in fact, that I knocked myself unconscious.
When I came to I was so embarrassed about what an idiot I’d been that I didn’t’ tell anyone and, worse, I didn’t seek medical help. In typical female spirit I just figured I’d feel better tomorrow.
I actually have no memory of the event but I worked out what had happened after I gained consciousness on the asphalt outside my work. I drove home (a 20-minute trip), but also have no memory of that either, and two days later I became very unwell.
That was three months ago and I’ve pretty much spent that entire time in bed; hence me being off air from this blog and every other communicative platform. In fact, I’ve only just been allowed back on screens (in a very limited capacity).
What’s been really fascinating is that I’ve done some research into concussion and mild brain injuries, and what I learned was that where you are in your menstrual cycle affects the length of recovery required. As it happens, my accident occurred on the day before my period was due and the research I found suggests that for women in the second half of their cycle at the time of such an accident, the recovery is longer because of how the pituitary gland responds to head trauma (lucky me – not!).
There appears to be an abundance of research that supports the notion that women generally take longer to recover from concussions than men, and confirming this was my neurologist’s own experiences where recovery has been found to take longer for middle-aged women who are leading busy lives, holding down stressful jobs and juggling family demands at the time of the accident. Apparently the body sees it as an opportunity to completely rest and recharge, so the brain forces you to stop completely. Entirely. In order to recover… from everything.
I’ll be honest with you. This recovery time has been extremely lonely, isolating and even depressing because the only way to recover entirely is to spend your days and nights in a dark quiet room with no stimulation (i.e. wearing an eye mask, ear plugs, no visitors, no reading, no screens and conversation time strictly limited to certain parts of the day).
Thankfully, I’ve been lucky to have an excellent team of medical specialists around me, particularly my neurologist, occupational therapist and physiotherapists. And along the way I’ve learned so much about what works and what doesn’t work for me, in terms of pharmaceutical solutions and natural therapies. But I’ll share more of that next time.
For now, I want to apologise to anyone out there who felt ignored or neglected by my lack of response. I assure you that I remain 100 per cent committed to my Crimson family (i.e. you), and am currently working out the systems to best support you while I continue my recovery. I thank you for your understanding, and look forward to sharing more with you soon.