Stop! Concussion!

Branka ValcicLiving on Boat4 Comments

Danger! Sea ahead!

I am whispering this blog into the voice recorder on my phone feeling very glamorous but also very mad because the unruly sentences don’t want to come out as they do out of a pen!

Two weeks ago I had a concussion. The way I got it is ridiculous and I’d rather not talk about it, but the hell with it, I’ll tell you. My husband wrapped his arms around me and jumped into the sea from a high platform on the stern of our boat. The water that rushed between our bodies jolted my head sideways, ever so slightly rattling my brain. After half an hour of a headache, I was as good as new and proceeded with my day. This included half an hour of Kundalini yoga kriya in which one moves their head from left to right, swimming, rowing, and generally living on a boat. That night I was awoken by a terrible headache and a nauseated stomach. Deep panic set in. With thoughts of a swollen brain, I shook as I awaited my final predicament on this Earth. However, after cooling off and calming down I was able to fall asleep and in the morning when I woke up… I was still alive! Encouraged by this, I decided to forget all about the silly incident and move on.

Over the next 3 days I carried on as usual, ignoring the minor signs, like slight nausea, or pressure in my head, that my body may be in distress. On day four I wrote my blog and spent the whole afternoon and evening reading a book. And… Now I’ve done it! That night I was so sick to my stomach that all I wanted to do was to curl up next to the toilet bowl and pour out my insides.

In the morning I saw a village doctor who was, fortuitously, visiting the village we stopped at for re-stocking, and who informed me that I had a concussion and should rest in a cool, dark room with a cold compress on my head for several days. Consciously or subconsciously, I omitted to tell her that… I was living on a boat.  Over the next six days, I rested with a cold compress on my head on a sunny, hot boat. I cooled off in the sea every hour by floating on my back and looking at the bright blue sky!

I was not getting better. In fact, by now I was feeling nauseated most of the time, dizzy, sleepy, fatigued, with trouble focusing, and suddenly having the blues. It finally dawned on me that I might be missing something. Perhaps this concussion thing is not something you push through, something you deal with the power of your will? Perhaps this one has got me by the proverbial balls?

I called a doctor friend who said:

“You know, the thing about the boat is… ”

It turns out that the boat is always rocking! Of course I knew that! And, stupidly though it seems now, I chose to ignore it. An idea of getting off the boat seemed preposterous. Besides, who would have really thought that while I was lying snug in my bunk, resting, the tiniest rocking continued to irritate my concussed brain?

Five days ago, I left the boat, the place I love so much, that I use to charge my batteries for the rest of my year, and now I spend my days lying in a dark, cool room that does NOT move. No reading, no writing, no staring at computer screen for any reason. I entertain myself by meditating on the shadows of palm leaves that sway through the holes in wooden shutters on the ceiling of my room. Today I finally got enough strength to voice record this blog. My husband typed it up.

The moral of the story: do not push through a concussion! Duh! It’s too obvious, isn’t it? How about: after a concussion, pick land over boat to heal? Hmm, I don’t know. It still seems too obvious.

I know there is a hidden lesson somewhere in there, which when the fog disperses from my mind, I will be able to see.

Until then… I rest and… count my blessings.

4 Comments on “Stop! Concussion!”

  1. Nicola Cook

    Usually it’s only when he’s talking that you get a headache!!
    Hope you are feeling better now Branka :-)
    Sending love and light x

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