Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Accidents Happen!

Last Wednesday, (December 1st) during the night, I fell into the bathtub and suffered a concussion, also bleeding like a stuck pig because that's the way heads bleed! Tom wrapped my head and I drove to emergency in Plainfield, where they did a CAT scan and closed up my cut with about a dozen staples. I don't know much about concussions. Apparently they have different effects on different people. My family doctor was worried, and recommended a second scan the next evening, to be sure there was no internal bleeding. I went to Somerset hospital, where the CAT scan reader was the guy who literally wrote the book on CAT scans. (One of the benefits of living in or near one of the richest counties in the USA is that there is also an abundance of the best medical care - if you have insurance, of course. In my case Medicare will pick up most of the costs.)

The first results were a mild headache, some nausea, and slight balance issues. The biggest effect was that I essentially lost my hearing. I didn't have great hearing before - but now it's 50-75% less than it was, before. That's my main concern, now. The headaches are gone. The nausea is gone. There is no internal bleeding. A week later, if I turn my head quickly, there's a sense that I shouldn't be doing this - internal discomfort in the head.

Today I visited the ear doctor for the first time. He said that the CAT scans weren't precise enough to show "mechanical" (bone breakage or separations) damage. He will give me a thorough audiologist test next Tuesday. From that he should be able to determine the actual nature of the damage, and what can be done to fix it, if anything. If it's nerve damage, they just have to wait for the body to heal. It will take a year to get a final result on how the nerves have healed, or not healed. Unless there is some degree of hearing restoration, I don't know how well I will be able to function in group settings, like church meetings.

I don't have any feelings of depression, or anger, or whatever. Accidents happen! That's life, and I'm glad I'm alive to have them! My job is to heal as best I can, and then continue on with my life with whatever faculties I still have. If I was younger, I might have very different feelings, but at 77 I know that I'm just lucky to be alive, and am glad when I can see the sun come up every morning. Life is good - even with a few band aids here and there.

1 comment:

Plainfield PRAAR said...

Wow! That's quite an accident. I'm glad you're pretty ok, but that hearing loss is no fun. But like you said, we're lucky we're alive to be falling on our heads!
Merry Christmas to you and Tom. Be well and take care,