Concussion Day 30 – Parent’s Perspective, Child’s JourneyWritten By: Debbie Freeman
Whenever it’s a stormy night, my kids still get excited about the thought of the power going out. They discuss excitedly: “Where are the flashlights?”, “How long could the power be out?”, “Do you think they will cancel school?” When the power is out, we as a family huddle close around the fire, play games, tell stories, and rest in the silence of a house that is usually riddled with noisy activity and overbooked schedules. A power outage is fun for the first 24 hours, and then the reality of living without some of life’s comforts settles in. This reminds me of what a concussion does to the family.
Our “power” has been off for 30 days. The TV is not on during the morning or evening news. Music does not play in our house, the computer in the kitchen is not in use, and we actually are sitting in the family room at night just talking about our day. No matter how you look at it, 30 days is a long time. It can lead to feelings of loneliness and even despair for the person with a concussion and frustration for those supporting them. Can you imagine every day waking up with a headache and being unable to get relief? Ibuprofen does not help a concussion headache, many believe it’s only time and rest. There is not a magic formula for how long it will take. Everyone is different, so we don’t know. I wish I did, because people ask me every day.
Dr. Burns’ approach to recovery is different than what many of my daughter’s friends are going through. He does emphasis rest, but balances the rest with fun but purposeful brain games. This gives focus to days that can seem way too long. He has given my daughter the analogy that she is in a tissue paper tent, he wants her to gently push on the tent walls without breaking through; challenge in an appropriate manner without having to rebuild the whole thing. Our daily visits to his office to check her progress are something that my daughter truly looks forward to. She can SEE that she is getting better as her numbers continued to improve, even daily! He always sends her home with a new daily challenge and she looks forward to me reading his email feedback about her daily journals.
We are looking forward to the day when she wakes up without a headache, but until then, we are trying to celebrate the unplugged time we have together as a family at this slower pace. All too soon, I’m sure the house will be noisy, the schedule overbooked and we’ll be looking forward to some quiet time….but NOT another concussion.