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Living and Learning #concussionlife

Casey Kearney

Its been almost one month since I was rear ended and got my second concussion since February. I have had to learn so much about myself, brain trauma and how to manage life since then.

To be perfectly honest I’m pretty tired of talking about my head. I’m tired of saying phrases like “I’m sorry, but my head … Then explaining “Yes, I had 2 concussions in 4 months and the symptoms won’t go away, its Post Concussive Syndrome” Or having to admit “That might be too much for me to try to do blah, blah, blah” I look normal, I can make social media appear that everything is fine, then when I’m laid up for a few days its confusing. I have started back playing a lot of my gigs which in some ways is great, other moments I feel really miserable and know its not the best thing to do. It’s a weird balance between not overdoing it, but making sure you don’t just give up.

Daily I’m the one grimacing at shrill loud noises that sound normal and fine to everyone else in the room. I typically have no music or podcasts on while I drive because it takes full concentration to drive and even low volume music uses a lot of brain energy. Can we say boring?! Everything feels delayed, like I’m in a fog, I see you, I hear you but my reaction time is delayed. Some days the pressure is intense, it feels like my brain is about to explode through my eyeballs, rainy days are especially worse. Dizziness and headaches are the norm, though some moments are better than others. My other regimen of Motrin and caffeine to get me through has not seemed to help this time around. The Dr. said that it is normal for the second concussion to be more intense. I could mask the symptoms before, this one is less manageable. Hoping with time I will get more consistent relief.

I started easing back into a few gigs, it’s summer - the busiest time of the year - and I was missing it! Most of my gigs are low light, pretty laid back, just me and my guitar so I hoped it could work…some days are better than others. The other night I thought I wasn’t gonna make it through, but thankfully 9:00 hit and I survived. I’m not sure what to do about that… I cancelled so many I just don’t want to keep cancelling.

I was excited to have my new baby nephew Jasper and his family make it out to a show. He is the little baby who we were heading to the hospital to deliver when we got rear ended. We are so thankful for his safe delivery and that he and his mama are healthy.

Casey Kearney

I still haven’t been able to return to playing at church. We have a full band, bass and drums of any kind, anywhere are painful. I think a cast or a big bandage to explain for me “oh thats why she can’t do things!” would be so helpful, but thats not how this invisible bruise thing works.

I have been learning really great information and finding helpful explanations for me and for the kids to understand also. Tricks like “Time over Task” where you plan to do short increments of an activity rather than complete the whole task at one time and risk neuro-fatigue… frustrating for a personality like mine, but helpful. Even just learning that there is a name “neuro-fatigue” to go with my symptoms made me feel less crazy, like wow they get it! I literally cried when I stumbled upon some of the articles because it made me feel relieved to see there were explanations and people who understood my symptoms.

Casey Kearney

I have been trying to enjoy summer, my favorite time of the year, as best as I can. I got my paddle board to help with relaxing, equilibrium, balance, etc. I could live on it its so peaceful, but even that has to be done in very short spans. I’m afraid to fall and get hurt again so I’m SUPER careful. I don’t want the kids to be laid up all summer just because I’m not 100%. I’m thankful for friends and family who have helped them do the things I can’t.

I have chosen to not post every single update on social media because its quite a roller coaster and who wants all that depressingness?! The Dr. appointments, ridiculous insurance and the legal stuff is all so annoying. I figure the blog posts are helpful to give the reality of what I’m still dealing with for anyone who kinda cares without boring you daily with the details. lol I look forward to the day I can say "What concussions?! I'm fully recovered!"

If you have had experience with lingering concussion symptoms I’d love to hear some of your tricks to manage life.

This article is interesting information if you would like to learn more ... neuro-fatigue

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