Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I don't cry. I pride myself in this fact. I hate it when people cry and I see it as weakness. It irritates me. Crying is for babies and for injuries. Like broken legs or gunshot wounds. Maybe when your grandma dies or your brother. Maybe.

Today at the doctor I cried like a blubbering idiot. I cried all the way home. I took a long shower and continued to cry. I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. It was ridiculous.

I don't have cancer. No terminal diseases. No prescriptions to purchase or expensive tests to run. No I haven't hit menopause and I'm not pregnant.

I went to the doctor today for the first time in 6 months. The first time since moving. The first time since I got whacked in the face by my surfboard; when I got knocked out and suffered a concussion. I hadn't cried then though it hurt like a mother. But I cried today.

I told her the details, emotionless: I was shortboarding. I was working on some tricks, turning back on the wave. The waves were small. My daughter was surfing not too far from me. I remember my board turning to the right. I wake up underwater and don't know where I am. My eyes are closed but I'm seeing stars. My ears are ringing. I don't know which way is up. I find the air and hear Afton, "Are you OK Mom?" I'm not OK. My head hurts. My jaw hurts. I'm shaking. I know I'm not safe in the water. I find my board and paddle to shore where I wait for my daughter and friend.

I give her my excuses for never going to the doctor before: time and insurance issues.

I tell her my reasoning for coming in now, finally: continued headaches, continued slowed/lost cognitive function, nausea and dizziness when I exercise, weight gain, depression.

I started tearing up as I told her about how I get sick when my heart rate rises, like when I run my head starts hurting and I get a little dizzy and the nausea will last for hours. I lost it when she said something about "traumatic brain injury" and "learning to adjust".

Traumatic brain injury was a phrase I'd read many times in my late night concussion recovery googles. I thought I might have it. I fit the symptoms. But I'm a hypochondriac. I wasn't that bad off was I? Nah. I'm probably just imagining most of it anyways, right?  Hearing it from her was definitive, like a slap on the back, or cold water to the face. It was real.

Learning to adjust. Ugh. followed by words like magnify, and compensate, and manage, and ageing. Ageing? What?!

We talked for a long time. She talked fast. I remember some of what she said. She wrote me a prescription for a book, referred me to physical therapy, gave me a bunch of vitamins for my brain. We talked too long and the lab next door closed before I could get my blood draw and urine sample in. Must check my levels. Not sure what levels that would be but she'll let me know next week if she thinks I should add anything to my brain regimen.

"The good news," she said, was that I don't need to bother spending money on an MRI. At this point they can't do anything about any damage that was done. Their not gonna do surgery on me when I'm doing as well as I am.

Well that's good.

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