Tuesday 26 March 2024

Concussion two months in

It's a bit over two months since I hit my head, and today it's two months since all my symptoms suddenly became much worse - it feels like time to share a quick update.

Over the past two months I've definitely improved:

  • I've gone from about 3 hours a day 'safely' out of bed to about five (and, in the past few days I've been sticking pretty strictly to 2 hours out of bed in the morning, 1h30 at lunch, 1 hour in the afternoon and 30 min for dinner - it's a bit of a pain, but I feel so much better!);
  • I've gone from needing sunglasses on for much of the day to generally putting them on around dinner time;
  • I'm much less headachey;
  • my concentration is improving: I do a reflection thing every Monday, usually for an hour although since the concussion I've been doing 30 minutes instead.  This Monday that felt distinctly easier than last Monday :-)

I'm finding it hard to be so restricted; I'm also pretty sick of feeling nauseous so much of the time (by far the symptom that bothers me the most).

I've also finally started seeing people from a concussion service, and that's been really helpful.

I had an initial assessment a week ago (90 minutes of questions - even with Martin answering heaps for me, that was exhausting!).  In the discussion with the OT doing that, I realised I'd misunderstood something important about 'active recovery' from concussion.  I'd been trying to increase the length of time I exercised for every time I did exercise.  So I'd started with a tiny walk (just walking a few times around the outside of my house) and then build it up a bit every day (at the peak, building to a brisk 45 minute walk).  But I kept building it up for a bit, then crashing and going back to walking around the house again.  Each peak has been higher than the last, but the unpredictability and the repeated crashes have been really disappointing.  Now I know I need to stabilise at a level for a bit, then increase it, and hopefully that way I won't crash and can just keep building.  So this week I'm doing the same walk every time I walk, and next week I'll increase it by two minutes and stick at that for a week and so on.  After today's walk, I've decided to try taking a photo of something interesting on every walk - it's getting a bit tedious doing the same route every day, so hopefully that will make it more enjoyable :-)

And yesterday I was assessed by a neurophysio, who has given me a bunch of exercises aimed to get my brain used to things moving when I look at them (or staying still whilst I move), which seems to be the heart of why I get so nauseous.  She says that most people notice distinct improvement after around 10 days of doing those exercises :-)

I've also got some instructions to help me improve my cognitive capacity, which involves initially focusing on improving attention.

I feel encouraged to have a concrete plan going forward.  I have been grateful for the kindness of the two concussion service staff I've seen - and of my wonderful GP.  I'm sad to have largely missed summer this year, between Just Kai pre-Christmas work, peri-Christmas Covid and then the concussion.  But autumn has it's delights, too - such as yesterday's quintessentially autumn afternoon tea: the first feijoas of the season from our tree, the first chestnuts of the season from the Avondale market, washed down with a glass of home made kefir :-)


  1. So glad you are seeing the concussion experts.

  2. So pleased to hear things are looking up, Heather. the nausea must be so draining.