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A True Life Story About Head Trauma-Concussions.

Concussions, Far Worse Than Just A Head Injury

By Jason Ray Morton Published 3 years ago 5 min read
A True Life Story About Head Trauma-Concussions.
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

My Last Good Days

It all started out like any other day. I was excited about the life I was living, loved my job, my family, and the world around me. Then came a call that sent me on a mission. It should have been simple enough. All I needed to do was check on one of the guys I was charged with watching over every day. It was the job, watching over people that needed watching. It was what I knew and I was pretty good at it, managing people in the worst days. I was even proud to wear the uniform, despite what I felt about the system and masters I served. So I took on the mission, of seeing what someone needed. That was, after all, what I was told.

I finally came around enough I was aware of what was going on and I looked up as I was being moved. I couldn't move my arms, my legs, or my head. Looking down as much as I could, the bright orange straps that went across my chest telling me what was going on. When I looked up, I knew where I was. I had been there, going thru the doors before, and I knew that I was being carted into the emergency doors at the back of our local emergency room. What happened? It was the only conscious thought I could come up with, what happened?

My memories were jumbled as I lay on the cot, being driven past faces that were familiar to me. The pain in my head throbbed with every movement. The bright lights pierced my brain as we passed beneath them, causing me to close my eyes.

Doctors came in, nurses gave me medications, x-rays were taken, and they let me go back to work. The worst was still yet to come. Sick for days, always tired, I had yet to be told what was obvious. I had a severe concussion, a traumatic brain injury, and had been walking around with it for nearly a week before learning the truth. Things just weren't working, I wasn't working. When you get into a car and intend to drive twelve blocks the task should be pretty simple. When you realize where you are and you arrive in a town twenty miles away, you know that something is seriously wrong. Back to the hospital, I went.

More x-rays, an MRI, and two hours of my life later they called it a concussion. Much like the early days of the pandemic, I was stuck at home, afraid to leave without help or someone to drive me, and worried about my future. When Tuesday came around I had to go to the Neurologists office, Dr. Borislav Nikoloff. Now, he was a nice enough doctor and seemed qualified but telling a man at forty-five he can't work after working for twenty-nine years didn't sit well with me. It was my fifth concussion.

"If you take another hit to the head like this one, you could be suffering damage that you won't come back from," he told me. "You should consider retiring, taking disability."

The Pride Before The Fall

Pride, the evil "bitch" of the story, the ironic side of my life, is what kept me going. I couldn't quit something that I liked, that made me feel like I was important, that contributed to society, not without a fight. I took the time off work that the doctor recommended and tried to work through the issues of post-concussion-syndrome. When they came they came in numbers. Like a lot of doctors during the beginning of the opioid epidemic, mine were all rather generous with the pain meds. I took them, I'll admit it. I wasn't in a place to realize what I was doing. I was so miserable from the headaches. They were the worst headaches I ever experienced, still to this day are the worst pain I've ever suffered.

If that wasn't enough, depression set in and continued on for the following years. It was a tough one to deal with. Life is hard, it will, as I've learned, literally beat you down to the ground and try to keep you there. Life will throw temptations at you, the kind that affects all men. So, there I was, suffering from depression, secretly abusing prescription painkillers, and getting closer to my old friend Jack Daniels. Still going to work even though I could barely sleep or think straight for that matter. Work was a visceral need. I had something to prove, not to the world, but to myself. I needed desperately to know I could... "get back on that horse" and be my old self.

A year later things spiraled out of control. I was so desperate, so miserable, and so out of my mind after barely sleeping because of the pain and confusion in my life that I was lost. Lost in my own suffering. When it all started to crumble I was in deep. It was like drowning with no one there to help. A lot of that was my unwillingness to talk openly, to admit my weaknesses. I almost didn't open up, until one night I'd had enough.

The taste was cold and metallic. The feelings of anxiousness and fear washed over me even as I planned to find my way away from the suffering I'd endured. My life had been rough and I had little to be proud of anymore. Or at least, that's how I felt, as I sat there looking at my Glock. I desperately needed help if I were to survive what was going on in my life.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

1. Headaches

2. Irritability

3. Fatigue

4. Inability to Concentrate

5. Blurry Vision

6. Light Sensitivity

7. Anxiety

8. Dizziness

9. Insomnia

10. Depression

11. Compulsive Behaviors

12. Paranoia

It's been years, I admit. I made it back to work and did six more years. I never liked the job again and developed a deep mistrust of people over the years. If anything I have done right might help people with this unfortunate issue, I want to say this. Go get help and take all the down-time doctors tell you to take. The brain, a mecurial organism, is the one thing that doesn't heal the way we understand the rest of our bodies heal.

A little about me now. I burned out much faster in my first career. Made a lot of mistakes along the way, and managed to survive a pandemic while discovering a new career path that I actually look forward to every day. I learned to talk to my family again. While I still struggle with compulsive behaviors, anxiety, depression, and headaches worse than most will ever know, things are better than they were that first year. I survived.

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About the Creator

Jason Ray Morton

I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.

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