A: My friend was sweet enough to hunt down a Harry Potter audiobook for me because I’m not supposed to read. Or… I wasn’t supposed to read. I can read now, but this audiobook is So. Amazing. I can’t even express how much I recommend Jim Dale anything now. He’s such a talented reader/actor. I don’t even know who he is. Let me search. Woaaah, he received 2 grammy nomination for HP audiobooks. He should’ve won. They’re amazing. B and I listened to the first three chapters with “oh yeahs” and “oh rights” as we recalled our memories. We’ve both read the books. I love Harry Potter. I always forget until I get sucked back in again.
B: I haven’t listened to an audio book in FOREVER! It was nice sitting in the dark listening with A. We were still keeping her away from screens as much as possible.
She’s a writer and writes on several TV shows and so this was really difficult. I felt bad but I wanted to make sure she healed as quick as possible to return to some of her writing contracts.
Earlier I forgot to mention that we were listening to calming wave and rain sounds this whole time. I got this app called Noisli. I realized that in addition to helping A, constant background noise keeps me extremely calm (or at least calmer than usual).
Anyways, this was the first time listening to non-ambient sounds and it was cool.
A: B went to work and I went to get a surprise manicure with my friend. It was my first day of feeling better. My bruises were multi-coloured and very present and I picked a super bright neon colour to light up my life. B’s reaction was so adorns: “Aw babe. They’re so pretty.” He makes me feel warm, just taking interest in the colour of my fingers and toes.
I could tell this whole situation was weighing on him, though. Since I was feeling better, I started to do more… er…. try to do more… and he kept saying, “You’re healing. You need to let me help you.” I had to step back. It’s been really hard for me to keep track of how I’m actually feeling and I appreciate B so much for being there for me every step of the way. I honestly would not know what I would have done without him this week.
B: Supposedly on the 5th day of a concussion you can do a few light activities. A spoke with her Brain Injury specialist first and they said she could do a few light activities.
A later told me that talking with her friend started to hit her head and I think she may have pushed herself a bit too much this day. I know she was dreading being cooped up inside with the lights out and nothing really to do. I was happy her friend came to visit (the same one who visited on Tuesday) and I’m happy A was able to try a few “non recovery” activities.
A: Day one of my momma talking care of me so B could go in to work. She was working too and set up her computer at my desk. I basically just sat there or napped. I tried to do a bunch of things and couldn’t. Felt like a huge failure……… especially since I was particularly awful at not doing anything. My mom kind of ignored me. But it was nice to have someone here so I wasn’t alone.
B was kind enough to speak to this incredible nutritionist for some advice regarding supplements. He even picked them all up for me and told me about each one. I really like the curcumin pill. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and is a powerful antioxidant.
B: I was really nervous about leaving A but really happy her Mom was there to look after her. I knew there were many things to consider when taking care of A, especially that A was to stay in a very restful, quiet state so she could recover. A also had a big list of supplements to take. I made her a schedule and put it on the wall. I tried to do as many things to help A not have to think so her brain could rest (essential for concussion recovery).
We spoke a few times on the phone and she told me how things were going. I could tell it was stressful and I knew this wasn’t good for A or her Mom. The situation WAS stressful. Recovery and injury is hard on everyone. A’s friend came over for a bit and I spoke to her as well. I’m so happy A has so many amazing people in her life.
I then spoke to A’s Mom a bit about how difficult this process of healing can be, not just for A but for the people closest to A. It was super scary for me and I can’t even imagine what A’s Mom or A felt.
I spoke to the nutritionist at my gym, Academy of Lions, Nathalie Niddam. She recommended Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin B, D, C, and K as well as Curcummin (for inflammation), Wobenzym (for Bacteria), and E3 Live (which I love). I picked this all up and brought it to A.
When I got to her place she had received even more flowers and a MASSIVE nutritional pack from her old work filled with protein, chia and flax, and some other great stuff.
Again I was so overwhelmed and grateful for A’s support network and I felt way less stressed about her recovery.
A: This was the worst day. The worst. I opened my eyes in the morning to a world that was SPINNING. My room looked like those desert photos taken of the sky at night where the stars look like they’re circling us. It was scary. “What do I do!?” I said, grabbing B’s arm. He didn’t know! He said, “Does it feel better with your eyes open or closed!?” It was traumatizing. We made a little corner on the couch where I could sit up and rest. Every time I put my head back, the world spun, so that was my day. All I can say is that I’m so lucky B was there and that he graciously worked from home to stay with me. It was so scary!
B: There was no way I was going to leave A alone. She kept waking up in a panic and then going back to bed. It was kind of terrifying.
Thankfully things calmed down a bit and we chalked the dizziness up to the 1/2 Percoset she took the night before. These kind of side affects are a big reason I am not a fan of drugs.
As A calmed down we started to focus more on updating the people in her life about the accident. Her and I freelance and so when things like this happen you have to be proactive about letting people know. Her writing colleagues were super gracious and understanding about everything.
As the news spread the questions about the accident and well-wishes for a speedy recovery came in. As I read the messages to A I was overwhelmed. Above is a photo of the first of many bouquets that arrived.
Day 1 of recovery – Research and Meeting the Dad
Date #351 – Sunday, July 20, 2014
A: I think it’s safe to say that I was in complete denial of my accident on day 2. We ordered pizza and read my concussion book. I had mini anxiety attacks over taking the wrong medication and B helped me do nearly everything. I felt guilty and dumb and helpless and frustrated and overwhelmed all day. I have no memory of how B must have felt. Pizza didn’t even help, although I tried to make it seem like it did. I don’t ever want to feel this way again.
B: Concussions are scary. What do you do? Thankfully St. Michael’s Hospital has a great guide they gave us. Reading it really helped. I had a brain tumor many years ago and the effects of a concussion can be quite similar. I learned a lot about myself reading this book.
One of the scariest and most real things to accept is that after a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) a person’s personality can change. The other thing to accept is that the healing process can also be hard on the injured’s support network.
I tried to be as helpful to A as possible, knowing the first few days of recovery are the most important. Her arms were almost fully out of commission, she couldn’t read or look at screens, and eating was really hard.
Slowly I sifted through her emails, only reading her the essential ones and responding to the amazing and caring people in A’s life. I read about what supplements A should take and I moved things and bathed her and tried to smile a lot.
Oh yeah! The day before I spoke with A’s Dad for the first time and today I met him for the first time. It all felt inconsequential in the larger picture. I thought it was nice how her Dad was willing to come visit A. I honestly didn’t expect him to even suggest that.