Concussion, Day II.

Every day I wake up and I forget that I am injured. I try to stand up and am quickly faced with two not very subtle reminders. My wobbly knee refuses to hold me straight and I fall straight back into my bed, and an ear splitting headache hits my head. I am left with the feeling that my brain is about to explode, and slowly I look around and realize that I am alone and nobody shares my pain, and I struggle to keep a tear from rolling down my face.

I close my eyes and start breathing deeply, my heart rates start to slow down to a normal human rate and I fade into sleep.

Ten minutes later I’m awake again but this time I am smarter, more aware. I start to slowly lift my body up into a seated position. This takes me about 4 minutes. I close my eyes and try to slow down my heart rate once again. The headache kicks in but this time I am smarter. “Stop thinking,” I say to myself, “don’t exhaust yourself.”

I remember that I need to take my medicine. My friend is sleeping on the bed next to me but I don’t want to wake her up. “I can do this.” Slowly, I limp across the bedroom to the living room where all my medicine is, and take them back into the bedroom. I carry my water bottle and sit back in the bed. One by one, I take all the pills that are supposed to ease my pain. I am unconvinced that they work, but I have no other options and the pain in my head is becoming unbearable.

Maybe more sleep is needed, I think to myself, as it is only 8 am. I lay back down and close my eyes. I relive the moments that led to the fall in which I ended up with these injuries. I can’t help but imagine scenarios that could have led to much worse conditions. I am thankful. My head is spinning. I am not allowed to exhaust my brain but somehow I can’t stop thinking, worrying, contemplating and reflecting about every aspect of my life.

I look at the mirror in the far end of the room and see the hideous scars on my face. “The scars will heal,” my friends have told me, “it isn’t that bad.” with the most dubious looks on their faces. I am still thankful. I have always believed that my brain is my biggest asset and even though the brain trauma and concussions are a serious issue, I know that with enough rest my brain will heal. I am more confident in my brain than in my face, and I am thankful.

I start thinking about all the people who are not as lucky as I am, who don’t have the opportunities, the connections, the money and the systems to support themselves the way I am able to. I am thankful but sad. Why haven’t we been able to resolve issues around inequalities in the world?

I close my eyes once again. This time, I tell myself, I need to completely rest my head. If I am ever to be impactful, I need to restore all my brain functions and so I need to stop my thoughts. I go to sleep with one happy thought; when I wake up, I will be one step closer to going back on track with my life mission.

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