I hit my head. That’s the short story.
The longer story is that my family and I spent the day tubing down a river in North Georgia. Once we were done we decided to continue the fun at a local water park. It was a small park with only two slides. My son and I rode down the first one, which was open. The second one was an enclosed tube, slightly taller than the first slide. My son was hesitant to ride it, so I offered to go first. I will forever be grateful that I did this.
We have been to many water parks and ridden on many water slides, including ones like this second one. With some enclosed tubes there are still small openings that allow light to come in, enough for you to see where you are going. If the tube is completely dark, there are generally signs and/or lifeguards to warn you of this. There was none of that with this slide. This slide was different, too, because riders were required to sit on a large inner tube – the kind you use to go tubing down a river – to go down the slide. This I had never seen. Still, I am an adrenaline junkie and was up for the challenge.
Going into the slide I was shocked to find myself in total darkness. I couldn’t see anything. About halfway down, I turned a corner and smacked my head against the slide. I believe strongly this would not have happened had there been light to see where I was going, and had I been sliding without the tube, which made me sit higher in the slide.
After getting off the slide I walked over to meet my family. I told them I had hit my head and that it hurt, but otherwise I didn’t think much about it. Soon after, though, I began to have these strange visions and thoughts. This was followed by waves of nausea. Having worked in the field of traumatic brain injury for many years, I understood these were signs of a concussion. However, I wanted to wait a little longer to see if the symptoms would subside or not. Thirty minutes later we were ordering lunch in a restaurant when I passed out in front of the cashier. Although I came to immediately, it was pretty clear that I was not okay. An ambulance ride and a cat scan later and I was diagnosed with a mild concussion.
The prescription for a concussion is rest, and lots of it. That’s what I have been doing. Recovery also means “cognitive rest,” which means trying not to use your brain much. This is the harder part of the recovery process. Still, I am doing well and continue to get stronger each day. I will continue to keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, I appreciate your prayers.
Grace and peace, Kristen