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Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014...in with a Bang (on My Head)

This is what comes of not really paying attention to what I’m eating and drinking plus working my ass off despite weird stomach and headache issues.

After arriving in Hyannis with H and E, I took a swim with E, we headed to a restaurant to watch the Patriots play, and, it hit me like a freight train, I was suddenly keenly aware that I was going to faint.

And then, I was on the floor, sprawled out, sore neck, terrified and unaware of what had happened.

Dehydration and a migraine were why I fainted, I found out later.

And the fall from a bar stool gave me a good, solid concussion.

The EMTs who were called to the scene put me in a neck brace and on a straight board. I rode in my first ambulance ride, where they put heart monitors on my ankles and an IV in the crook of my left arm that stayed there for 24 hours. I puked upon arrival at the hospital and spent the next day with vomit in my hair. The lovely nurses cleaned it out of my nose and ears as best they could, though, when I showered back at the hotel when I got released, I did find some puke in my left ear.

The nausea I suffered after hitting my head finally dissipated after about 3 hours in the ER and right before they admitted me for observation overnight. Before they sent me upstairs, I peed in a bedside “commode.”

Everyone in the Cape Cod Hospital called the toilet the “commode.” It was very civilized.

Upon admittance, I was given a bright yellow FALL RISK bracelet to wear and put on bed alarm, so every time I had to get up to pee (which was very often), I had to ring for supervision.

It’s amazing how modesty goes out the window in a hospital.

I spent the night trying to find a comfortable position on my back with my left arm out flat next to me (to avoid the IV machine that honked every time I bent my arm). Finally, with an aching lower back, I found the best position was almost sitting up with my knees bent.

I saw the sun rise over Cape Cod and spent the morning watching shitty TV, just like I wanted to.

The doctor took me for a walk around the floor, inquiring as to what had been wrong with me before I fainted. He could find nothing wrong with me (all tests came back negative and clear except for an elevated white blood cell count which indicates I was fighting something) and urged me to combat any nausea with a prescription, eat, drink fluids, and deal with headache pain with caffeine, if needed.

I watched That 70s Show, Saved by the Bell, Full House, Wipeout, and hours The Real Housewives of Atlanta plus ate two hospital meals (if you can call them that) before I was released mid-afternoon on Monday.

We returned to the hotel (where H and E had stayed and played the night before) and I slept 11 hours Monday night. Returning to Boston before the snowstorm was uneventful and I slept 12 hours on Tuesday night!

I finally woke up today feeling good enough that I’ve had to force myself to take it easy.  So I spent today watching The Millionaire Matchmaker.

For future reference, here is a brief list of Things My Concussion Has Taught Me:
-Eat when you’re hungry.
-Drink when you’re thirsty.
-If you feel like you might faint, get low.
-Never underestimate the simple pleasures of clean underwear, clean hair, a clean face, and freshly brushed teeth.
-At the right moment, a cup of ginger ale will seem as satisfying as the greatest feast.
-Bravo TV is pretty much what the doctor ordered as you recover from a head injury.
-By gurney is the best way to travel.
-Choose your In Case of Emergency Contact Person wisely. In fact, I recommend mine.

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