In September, I went out browsing with a buddy in Stinson Seashore, California. I’m not a really skilled surfer, I’d solely gone out twice earlier than, however I used to be excited to provide it one other attempt.
Whereas we have been out on the water, my buddy pointed on the market was a pair kayaking forward of us. We didn’t give it some thought a lot, till it was all I might take into consideration: All the sudden, an enormous wave broke, the couple fell into the water, and the kayak got here crashing proper into me. I used to be pummeled by the wave, my very own surfboard, and this kayak all of sudden.
Luckily, I didn’t black out, however I bear in mind questioning: “Did I simply get a concussion?” I didn’t assume an excessive amount of about it, acquired out of the water, after which simply continued with my day.
Then, once I went again to high school two days later, I began to really feel in another way. I used to be sitting in math class, and I couldn’t deal with something. I felt just like the world round me was spinning uncontrolled. My dad and mom took me to the physician, who confirmed I had a concussion.
The physician instructed me to relaxation for 2 weeks, at which level I ought to be capable of return to my regular on a regular basis life. I waited one week, then two weeks, then three, then a month—however my signs weren’t getting higher. I used to be experiencing blurry imaginative and prescient, dizziness, and I simply felt utterly indifferent from my very own physique. I used to be so uncomfortable. I spent all my time sitting in my darkish bed room, remoted, as a result of that was presupposed to be useful for concussion restoration.
My docs instructed me to be affected person, however I used to be getting so pissed off—in spite of everything, I’m a really busy, lively particular person. I went from on a regular basis college, activism calls, and dance lessons to finish inactivity and isolation. I used to be left with nothing however my very own ideas and feelings, which amplified my anxiousness signs. I used to be so confused and scared about why I wasn’t feeling any higher, and I frightened this was one thing I would take care of for the remainder of my life. I attempted so many interventions, too—acupuncture, massages, extra docs—however nothing appeared to assist.
Then, by December of that yr, I began to really feel a bit higher. I crammed for my finals and made up primarily three months of schoolwork. I went again to high school the remainder of December and January. However the entire time, I used to be so petrified of hitting my head once more. I used to be shifting via the world overly cautious about the whole lot I did. Then, once I was strolling into class the final week in February, the particular person in entrance of me took a step again and we bumped heads. Instantly, the whole lot went clean, and I skilled overwhelming ache. I believed, this will’t be taking place once more. I attempted to persuade myself it was fantastic, as a result of individuals bump heads on a regular basis. However because the day progressed, I began feeling worse and worse. After I went again to the physician, they concluded I seemingly skilled one other concussion.
This time, along with the blurriness, I additionally skilled excruciating, piercing ache in my head. These signs final for the subsequent few months, till June. Everybody went to promenade in April, and I used to be caught in my mattress.
It took all of my power and psychological power to persist via the primary spherical, and now my expertise was repeating itself. At this level, I’d already missed a lot of highschool as a consequence of COVID and now due to my concussion, which led to a profound sense of alienation. What’s extra, I felt very stricken by despair, as a result of docs couldn’t inform me precisely what was taking place to me, though I used to be going to the ER a number of instances as a consequence of overwhelming ache.