Sunday, November 23, 2014

Post Concussion Syndrome: 6 Months Update

Happy Sunday! Today's post is a 6 month update on my Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS).  What?  I cannot believe that is has been 6 months since my accident and still recuperating.  How am I doing?  There are good days and there are bad days, things has gotten a little better, going in the right direction I guess.  The good days are more now than it used to be, but the bad days are there to remind me that I'm still not 100%.

What are my bad days like?  I think the headaches are what get me, especially when the nausea sets in and lets not forget the dizziness and balance.  Yeah, you can say that's a bad day.  And when I start to feel better my memory gets fuzzy for a few days after, meaning that I kind of forget things easily, and have a hard time remembering things too. It's so much fun...

One thing that has helped me is listening to my body.  I know, I know, I should have been listening to it from the beginning.  It' so hard, especially when you have a million things to do and cannot just pick one or two and come back another day to finish it, but you HAVE to do that.  When thing that I noticed was my To Do list, because of my memory; I started to write everything on this list and then I would stress because the list had over 20 things.  And stress is not your friend when you have PCS, so I had to improvise.  How? No more To Do lists; I keep a small list of the most important things that I have to do; like making doctor's appts, but everything else I don't write it down, when I remember to do I just do at that moment and go from there.

Another thing that has been helping me is Meditation.  Yes, I finally gave in and listened to my doctor and book a meditation class and I am so glad that I did.  The first session was alright, I didn't accomplished much as my mind wondering off to a million places, but with practice I have learned how to calm myself if I'm over stressed.  And it helps that I go every week for a class, consistency is key, the more I do, the better I am getting at meditating.  So, this is a recommendation for you out there that has PCS, try meditation and not just one or tow sessions, commit for once a week for a month and you will see the difference.

I also want to talk about my triggers, stress is definitely number 1.  But I also noticed driving for a long time does it to me; like yesterday, we went to Cape Cod to pick up my husband boat (had to get it ready for the winter), after that we drove to Fall River to a Portuguese store to get some Portuguese food and drinks for Thanksgiving.  Ah, I forgot to say that I woke up at 6:30am to drive my car to the dealer to get it fixed, and dropped my parents and the little one in Cambridge to visit my grandmother.  So on the way back from Fall River; we picked my parents up, went to pick up my car and then came home.  In total; it was over 5 hours of driving around, well my husband drove, but the car ride was...just not good.  After that I had to remind myself and everyone at home that I am still not ready for all that driving around.

Another trigger are the stores, I love to shop, but I cannot be in a crowed store.  If the store has a lot of people there and the music is loud? Forget it, the headaches are instant and I cannot concentrate at all.  I have also realized that since the Concussion when there are multiple people having multiple conversations at the same time; that triggers the headaches too.  TV is still an issue, am I the only one?  It has gotten better, I can watch TV for about 2 hours now, but more than that, it will trigger the headache too.

There is probably more triggers but I can't remember them now.  It is still frustrating; especially when I am having 3-5 good days and out of the sudden I crash.  I think there was this one time that I didn't get bad headaches for a week; and I felt like celebrating, it was such an improvement.

You know what still gets to me? When someone that I haven't seen since before the accident tells me that I look good.  It happened this week; saw someone that I hadn't since a couple days before the accident and she asked how I was doing?  So I told her that I have good and bad days; and she turned to me and says that I look good, well you really can't judge a book by it's cover, right?  It was so frustrating and it made me sad.  Thank God for my support people for been there for me all the time, I don't know what I would do without them.

And I'm going to end on that note, because this is getting too long of an update. 

If you have PCS, how are you doing?