On January 1, 2018 I was with a group of friends in Seattle. We went to dinner and then I had the craziest accident of my life. It was a cold chilly night and with my hands in my pockets walking along staring at the Space Needle (I knew it was under construction, but it looked so different) I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it! Then SLAM! Next thing I remember is a Randy saying “Babe, Babe” and a firefighter was holding my scarf against my nose, blood was everywhere and I felt like I was in a really bad dream. Is this Real Life!? At least the firefighter was easy on my eyes, that’s all I remember 😊 Our friend drove us home, we had ridden the Light Rail into the City, it’s our favorite way of transportation, (you can read about it here) but thank goodness we had a way to get safely home.
I know, I did everything wrong, with a fall and black out, you are not supposed to go to sleep but go directly to the Emergency Room. All I knew is, I must go lay flat in my bed! My Mom still doesn’t forgive me or my husband for this decision. I slept surprisingly well, but after waking up and seeing what I saw…my face was a MESS! I get the giggles when nervous, and looking back at the reflection in the mirror, I couldn’t help laugh. I was supposed to work that day, and I told my husband, “I’m going to shower to get ready for work.”
His face was utter disbelief, “Uh Babe, I think you need to call in sick today.” I’m not one for taking selfies, but I sent one to my co-workers and also my sisters. My co-workers, were like, “Tara, we took you off the schedule for at least 2 weeks”…. What, really? It’s not that bad, right?
Yes, it was! After 4 hours in the ER and a MRI, I had a concussion and 2 broken bones in my nose. I laid there not comprehending what was going on, I was in the ER with my husband and sister in a room that was so BRIGHT! I had to keep my eyes closed. The doctors told me to not watch TV, no I Pad, no Social Media, just dark and quiet. One week later I had to go to an ear, nose doctor for further diagnosis. During this visit, the doctor popped my nose bone back on one side. Let’s just say, nice words were not said at this appointment. She put a cast on my nose, and off I went.
During that whole week it was a complete blur. I laid in bed, ordered a 100% Silk Sleep Mask for a Full Night’s sleep off Amazon! Best thing I could have done!! I slept for days! My mom bought me a bed pillow, which I hate to admit it, I LOVE, but it makes me feel like a Grandma. It keeps me upright when I want to read, but I can only read a little at a time, my vision has changed tremendously.
So, after two weeks of total bed rest, I thought I would be okay to go back to work, after all it was getting close to our busy season at work. I sell jewelry, and it was before Valentine’s Day, so it was my money-making season. I even had black eyes but I didn’t care, again this would be something that would normally make me hide (I do like to look presentable), but I was not in my right mind. I worked two weeks straight with the worst migraine of my life, the lights made me crazy. There were many times while at work, I thought of running away, and just keep running (insert Forrest Gump’s voice). I truly felt like I was losing it. I blame this work ethic on my parents, it’s not necessarily a bad quality, but we are work horses, once we start, we can’t let our coworkers down, or our Boss. Head down and get the job done! I kept saying “Stack Em High, Let Em Fly”” Let the Big Dogs Eat”. Mind you, I really have no Idea what that means but I would repetitively repeat this. I kept going.
Finally, I had a day off and an appointment with my primary care doctor. It was February 15th, 45 days after the accident. She took one look at me and after further testing realized I had a traumatic brain injury. No driving, no working, no TV, back to square one. Back to bed I go. I just postponed my healing process by going back to work. OOOPS
My doctor gave me great advice, “to be real with my feelings.” If I feel like I can’t do it, then don’t. Let your “Wise Woman Voice” win. You may hurt someone’s feeling and if you do, they are NOT your friends. It’s time to let your “little girl voice to go lay down”. Its ok to say “No, I can’t do it”. So here’s to all of our Wise Woman Voices! You win! and Thank You! I will say, it’s always a work in progress. I am the type of person that hates letting people down. There are times when you need to realize your limits and Yes that is OK!
~ The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is ~ Loving What Is – by Byron Katie
Have any of you experienced vertigo, or spinning rooms, this was my everyday occurrence for many weeks. Along with my hands and body shaking uncontrollably, like I had constant shivers, like when you are cold. It really is the worst feeling ever. I remember just crying and thinking, will I ever be normal, am I always going to be in this bed? The only thing that helps is to lay flat and close your eyes! Thank you, Eye Mask.
After getting a little stir crazy and not wanting to rely on others, I thought I could go to town and drive even though my doctor told me not to drive, its only 2 miles. Boy, was she right. I had several panic attacks. The grocery store is a shock to all your senses. The lights, the rude people and pushing a cart gave me a weird sensation, with the food passing by it did something to my equilibrium, I hated it, so, back to my safe haven I went, my comfortable dark bedroom which became my tomb. Time to lay flat and say my prayers!
In the meantime, TeNeil was driving Ms. Daisy to all my doctor appointments. I went to another Nose Doctor (Dr. Eric Waterman), I knew instantly that they were going to take care of me. They took one look at me and knew I needed Rhinoplasty surgery! So, between massive headaches and this brain injury I also had breathing and leaking issues from my nose. These were just two of the many uncomfortable side effects of a Deviated Septum. So, surgery coming soon, on my nose, am I nervous, YES! I had this same surgery in 1987 and was supposed to be asleep, but I was awake, and saw everything through the doctor’s headlamp, I heard everything, but thankfully, I didn’t feel anything but the numbing needle. I swore that day, that I would never do that again, it felt like real life torture. Yet, unforeseen occurrences befall us all! UGH! Let’s do this thing so I can breathe again.
I am truly looking forward to thinking clearly again! It has been almost 5 months since the accident. I know I am not quite right and that concussions are different with everyone. Last weekend I spent 4 days at my mom and dads, and one day I slept the whole day. I just couldn’t open my eyes! I woke up for breakfast and coffee and then back to bed I went. That is so not ME! I am sure I am stressed and anxious for the upcoming surgery!
In the end, I am grateful for the support and help I have received from my family. I want to learn from this accident, (not just, don’t keep your hands in your pockets on a slippery night) if anything I have learned how to help others in the future if this happens to them. If they receive a brain injury or are in an accident. You need support, love and know you’re not alone!
“There’s only one thing harder than accepting this, and that is not accepting it.”
― Byron Katie, Loving What Is