Concussion 101

Hello again,

Having a less than stellar time here. Not even into typing it all out yet – just too jittery and emotional about it all. But Paul went to the doctor yesterday with symptoms and was told he probably has CONCUSSION. Below I have inserted what I learned about this malady on WebMD, which was very helpful, so I’m sharing it with you, in case anyone ever has this.

Paul didn’t want to “worry me” so he never told me he took quite a fall and hit his head out on the boat last week! Then he started getting the symptoms but I didn’t have a clue why. I have been beside myself with worry ever since, but now that we have a name for it, and an idea of what to do and what not to do, I feel a little better.

Having a heat wave here is making things much worse for me as I hate heat. Paul loves it so he is upstairs in bed with windows open and it’s stifling up there, and I am downstairs with windows closed and the AC going. Now don’t tell me I’m wasting money with this set-up because I know, I know, but it’s the way we each must have it for now. He is cold all the time because of this stuff, and I cannot function being all sweaty and hot.

I’ll be back when I have more to say. My emotions are just too dominant right now and my fingers don’t want to concentrate on the keyboard. Also, my back is killing me more than ever so I have to move around now.

See you all later,


Symptoms of a concussion fit into four main categories:

Thinking and remembering

Not thinking clearly

Feeling slowed down

Not being able to concentrate

Not being able to remember new information


Nausea and vomiting


Fuzzy or blurry vision


Sensitivity to light or noise

Balance problems

Feeling tired or having no energy

Emotional and mood

Easily upset or angered


Nervous or anxious

More emotional


Sleeping more than usual

Sleeping less than usual

Having a hard time falling asleep

Young children can have the same symptoms of a concussion as older children and adults. But sometimes it can be hard to tell if a small child has a concussion. Young children may also have symptoms like:

Crying more than usual.

Headache that does not go away.

Changes in the way they play or act.

Changes in the way they nurse, eat, or sleep.

Being upset easily or having more temper tantrums.

A sad mood.

Lack of interest in their usual activities or favorite toys.

Loss of new skills, such as toilet training.

Loss of balance and trouble walking.

Not being able to pay attention.

Concussions in older adults can also be dangerous. This is because concussions in older adults are often missed. If you are caring for an older adult who has had a fall, check him or her for symptoms of a concussion. Signs of a serious problem include a headache that gets worse or increasing confusion or both. See a doctor right away if you notice these signs. If you are caring for an older adult who takes blood thinners – warfarin (Coumadin) is an example – and who has had a fall, take him or her to a doctor right away, even if you don’t see any symptoms of a concussion.

Sometimes after a concussion you may feel as if you are not functioning as well as you did before the injury. This is called post-concussive syndrome. New symptoms may develop, or you may continue to be bothered by symptoms from the injury, such as:

Changes in your ability to think, concentrate, or remember.

Headaches or blurry vision.

Changes in your sleep patterns, such as not being able to sleep or sleeping all the time.

Changes in your personality such as becoming angry or anxious for no clear reason.

Lack of interest in your usual activities.

Changes in your sex drive.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or unsteadiness that makes standing or walking difficult.

If you have symptoms of post-concussive syndrome, call your doctor.

How is a concussion diagnosed?

Any person who may have had a concussion needs to see a doctor. If a doctor thinks that you have a concussion, he or she will ask questions about the injury. Your doctor may ask you questions that test your ability to pay attention and your learning and memory. Your doctor may also try to find out how quickly you can solve problems. He or she may also show you objects and then hide them and ask you to recall what they are. Then the doctor will check your strength, balance, coordination, reflexes, and sensation.

Neuropsychological tests have become more widely used after a concussion. These tests are only one of many ways that your doctor can find out how well you are thinking and remembering after a concussion. These tests can also show if you have any changes in emotions or mood after a concussion.

Sometimes a doctor will order imaging tests such as a CT scan or an MRI to make sure your brain is not bruised or bleeding.

How is it treated?

Right away

After being seen by a doctor, some people have to stay in the hospital to be watched. Others can go home safely. People who go home still need to be watched closely for warning signs or changes in behavior.

Call 911 or seek emergency care right away if you are watching a person after a concussion and the person has:

A headache that gets worse or does not go away.

Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination.

Repeated vomiting or nausea.

Slurred speech.

Extreme drowsiness or you cannot wake them.

One pupil that is larger than the other.

Convulsions or seizures.

A problem recognizing people or places.

Increasing confusion, restlessness, or agitation.

Loss of consciousness.

Warning signs in children are the same as those listed above for adults. Take your child to the emergency department if he or she has any of the warnings signs listed above or:

Will not stop crying.

Will not nurse or eat.

In the days or weeks after

Some people feel normal again in a few hours. Others have symptoms for weeks or months. It is very important to allow yourself time to get better and to slowly return to your regular activities. If your symptoms come back when you are doing an activity, stop and rest for a day. This is a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard. It is also important to call your doctor if you are not improving as expected or if you think that you are getting worse instead of better.

Rest is the best way to recover from a concussion. You need to rest your body and your brain. Here are some tips to help you get better:

Get plenty of sleep at night, and take it easy during the day.

Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs.

Do not take any other medicines unless your doctor says it is okay.

Avoid activities that are physically or mentally demanding (including housework, exercise, schoolwork, video games, text messaging, or using the computer). You may need to change your school or work schedule while you recover.

Ask your doctor when it’s okay for you to drive a car, ride a bike, or operate machinery.

Use ice or a cold pack on any swelling for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.

Use pain medicine as directed. Your doctor may give you a prescription for pain medicine or recommend you use a pain medicine that you can buy without a prescription, such as acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol).

Concussion and sports

A person who might have a concussion needs to immediately stop any kind of activity or sport. Being active again too soon increases the person’s risk of having a more serious brain injury. Be sure to see a doctor before returning to play.

How can you prevent a concussion?

Reduce your chances of getting a concussion:

Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a car or other motor vehicle.

Never drive when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Wear a helmet and safety equipment when you:

Play sports, such as baseball, hockey, and football.

Drive or ride on a motorcycle, scooter, snowmobile, or ATV.

Do other activities where you could injure yourself, such as biking, skateboarding, skiing, or riding a horse.

Make your home safer to prevent falls.

Reduce your child’s chances of getting a concussion:

Use child car seats and booster seats correctly.

Teach your child bicycle safety.

Teach your child how to be safe around streets and cars.

Keep your child safe from falls.

Teach your child playground safety.

Help your child prevent injury from sports and other activities.

This information came from the WebMD dot Com site on Concussion.

I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals…

They are so placid and self-contained,

I stand and look at them sometimes half the day long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,

They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,

They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,

Not one is dissatisfied… not one is demented with the mania of owning things,

Not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,

Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

~ [Walt Whitman, from “Leaves of Grass, No. 32”] ~

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13 Responses to Concussion 101

  1. Susan Honthumb says:

    This explains a lot about my life! I’ve probably had a few concussions throughout the years. I’m glad you are getting a handle on things and that Paul is getting better. Don’t worry about the Air Conditioning. You have to take care of yourself so you can continue to take care of Paul and the dogs. Heat isn’t safe. The other day I heard about people hiking with their dogs and one of their bigger dog’s died of heat stroke. I don’t even let mine stay outside too long on days like this.


  2. TopsyTurvy says:

    Glad to hear Paul is back home! Looking forward to the story.

    Thinking of you both…


  3. Hi Bex,
    Just stopping by to let you know you and Paul are in my thoughts and prayers. Hoping he does indeed return home today.xoxoxoxoxo


  4. Smartiplants says:

    Praying for Paul and for you Bex.


  5. crochetlady says:

    Sorry to hear about Paul. Prayers for the both of you.


  6. Eric Mayer says:

    Sorry to hear that. Probably the most important thing is for him not to try to do much of anything for a while. I’m sure you’re aware of how seriously baseball takes concussions these days. It seems like isolated concussions usually clear up and don’t cause problems as long as the patient doesn’t try to “come back” too soon.


  7. sandy freel says:

    I do hope they can help is the best…I have fallen two times this year and hit my head


  8. WendyNC says:

    Best wishes to Paul for a speedy recovery and soothing thoughts headed your way.


  9. Bonnie says:

    So sorry to hear Paul fell. It must worry you and for awhile you will probably be concerned when he goes out alone. Just ask him to please not hide such things from you. Prayers for both of you.


  10. Bex says:

    Exactly Maggie – maybe if you had a concussion you would feel too horrid to care… that is just it! But the other thing is that Paul doesn’t DO computers of any kind. Never has, never will. He needs step by step instructions from me just to turn OFF the TV and cable box when we are ready to eat supper! And then he doesn’t always get that right! So at least he’s not computer-deprived. He is work-deprived, although at this point I don’t think he cares about the bugs… he’s just left here (he says he CAN drive) to go get a CT scan of his head. We will know more once those results are back.


  11. TopsyTurvy says:

    Oh, no! So sorry to hear about Paul’s concussion. He should have told you about falling, as concussions need attention.

    No reason to worry about windows vs ac, the cold air stays below so it’s not like you’re losing it out the upstairs windows. Both of you do what you have to to be comfortable. *hugs*


  12. Hi Bex,
    Sorry to hear Paul took a fall. I know how concerned you must feel. My hubby hides things from me too so I don’t worry but it never works. Sigh.

    What are Paul’s doctor’s orders? I hope he recovers swiftly. x0x0x0x Hugs to you both. How is he doing? What lead up to him going to the doctor?

    Hubby and I are very different when it comes to indoor environments too. My room is the hottest in the apartment. I have to be careful with the birds and the temps. I usually have the AC vent/duct almost all the way closed (It still pumps though) and use fans for circulating air. One pulling the air out of my room and another to circulate air in the room. Though the AC is almost always on 74* it creates a huge draft in my room if I leave my vent/duct open more. My room is small and the duct is in the wrong place. I wish we had floor vents here.

    On the other hand hubby’s room is the coldest and he has his window all the way open, a fan to exhaust the AC air out and sometimes a heater on all at once! He is always cold. It’s 100* out.

    Thank you for the information on concussions. I have a lot of those symptoms…as is!


  13. Oh dear! Poor Paul. It sounds like he has the healing process down though, lying in bed with the windows open, keeping warm. Good for him. And good for you for keeping yourself cool and functioning downstairs. Wishing Paul a speedy recovery, with as little disruption for you as possible. Thanks for the info about concussion, I read through it with interest. No computers! How would I survive that I wonder! Maybe if I had a concussion I would feel too horrid to care.


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