Rest and Patience

Last Tuesday, I hit my head. The story behind this injury is pretty stupid. Nothing exciting. Not exercise related. No car accident. Basically, I fainted and fell on my head. I’m not sure if I hit the wall or the door frame or the floor, but whatever it was, it caused the lovely Harry Potter-esque wound as well as a probable definite concussion.

Here’s what happened. I have low blood pressure and sometimes feel dizzy when I stand up quickly. This is usually quite manageable because if I feel like that, I just sit back down for a few seconds until it passes and then everything is fine and dandy. I’ve discussed this with multiple doctors and they always tell me that I should just stand up more slowly. Ha! Easier said than done. I have fainted from this in the past, but it has been a long time. The last time I passed out, I was 19, working at Pizza Hut, carrying a pan pizza to a table. How mortifying!

Last weekend, I worked all weekend from home. I worked 10 hours Saturday, 10 hours Sunday, and 8 hours Monday (labor day). Monday night I was exhausted and a bit angry that I spent my whole holiday weekend working. I had 2 strong drinks that evening.

Around 5 am on Tuesday, I was asleep in my comfy bed when I heard the sound of the cat hacking something up in the other room. I immediately hopped out of bed to ensure the cat wasn’t going to throw up in my shoe again. The last thing I remember is standing in the doorway between my bedroom and hallway and watching the cat. The next thing I remember, my boyfriend was upset and trying to wake me up off the floor. It was dark and he got me up and back to the bed. I touched my face and it was wet. I’ll spare you the gory details, but there was a lot of blood. Head wounds tend to bleed a lot apparently, or so the ER people told me.

They glued me back together and sent me on my merry way. Obviously, I did not go to work that day. I also did not go to work the next day. But Thursday and Friday, I stupidly went to work. Work is super extremely stressful and busy right now. Even before any of this, I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Working was too difficult. I should not have done it. By Friday, I felt even worse than I had on Tuesday. So now, I’m resting. I’m recovering. I’m basically sitting on the couch doing nothing.

It’s funny. This used to be how I spent every weekend, sitting around watching TV and doing nothing. But yesterday, I cried about it. I don’t want to sit on my ass doing nothing! I want to go to the farmers market and go to the gym and clean and swim and go shopping and cook. Waaaah! Woe is me. My boyfriend is helping, but it sucks. I am so independent, I hate to not be able to do things. However, I know that I knocked my head pretty good and I definitely have all the symptoms of a concussion.

I have very little appetite and nothing really sounds appealing to me. Yesterday, I was nauseated after everything I ate, even if it tasted good at the moment. I have a headache. And when we went to the grocery store yesterday, I felt pretty much awful the whole time. Today I’m not going to do anything. Writing this blog is the most difficult thing I plan to do today. I do feel better today and I’m not messing with it.

I’m not weighing myself and trying not to think about my weight at the moment. I can’t do anything about it, so whatever will be will be. Still, this is somewhat difficult but I know it’s the right thing to do right now and I’ll deal with whatever the result is when I am 100% healed. This is the first time I’ve been injured since I started my lifestyle change almost 4 years ago. I guess I’m pretty lucky! It’s definitely easier to deal with now than it would have been even 1 year ago because I know that 1 week or 1 month or however long it takes to feel better is not the end of the world. Yes, I am irritated that I can’t do the things I normally do like working out and cooking. But I don’t feel guilty or like I’m doing anything wrong it’s just frustrating. I know that even 1 year ago, this would have been accompanied by guilt for sitting all day. I am much more compassionate with myself than I used to be.

This also has me contemplating some things in my life. My job is a major source of stress and anxiety for me most of the time. When I went into being a graphic artist and animator, I had no idea I would end up with a career where I am on call practically 24/7 and everything is an emergency. I’m not sure I’m really cut out for it. There are things I really love about my job. I feel important, I get a lot of praise, I know I am very good at it and it is challenging and always different and never boring. I adore my boss and am extremely loyal to him. But there is a lot that I do not like. I don’t think it’s wise to talk about it in detail online. I know that sometimes I put my job before my health, and I know that isn’t right. I’m not sure if it can be changed. There is no work-life balance. This is what I am expected to do to succeed, kill myself working.

I don’t entirely blame my job for this injury, but it was definitely a part of why I passed out. This week, I am entirely on vacation and I’m traveling to my father’s wedding for a few days. I turned on my out of office auto reply and disconnected my email from my iPhone. I have never had an uninterrupted vacation from this job in over 6 years. That’s just not right. I’m going to try putting my foot down and see what the result will be. I feel a little guilty for laying a huge pile of work on my coworkers, but I don’t feel like there’s any choice. I need a break. A real break. Not answering emails from the beach like my last vacation.

So, that’s what’s up with me lately. I hesitated to post about this too much because I tend to get frustrated when people try to give me medical advice over the Internet. I really do appreciate the concern, but I think the only person who should diagnose and give medical advice is a doctor, medical professional or at least someone who knows me personally. I’m resting, I’m healing, I’m doing what I should do (now). So don’t worry about me, I’ll live. Even if I end up with a scar, I think it’s actually a kind of cool place to have a scar. And if I don’t feel better, I’ll cancel my trip and go back to the doctor and I will figure it out. Taking advice is so hard for me. I always hear it as “you don’t know what you’re doing so clearly you need me to tell you.” Which I do realize is ridiculous and a product of my stubborn bull-headed nature, not a reflection on anyone else.

Well, back to laying around watching TV. I hope to be back to my usual self soon, but I will use my patience because I’m guessing it may take longer than I would like.

This is a picture of my injury the day it happened and now. It’s getting better! The glue is totally off and it seems to be healing well.


20 thoughts on “Rest and Patience

  1. This is perfect timing for me. I’m recovering from major surgery & missing the gym like crazy. Something I never thought I’d say! I only started in January, and I have so much weight to loss still. 4-6 weeks of no exercise is making me cranky! And I’ve been stubborn and tried to do housework or grocery shopping when the husband isn’t around. And it’s hurt. So I’m going to think about this post when I get frustrated or bored. Thanks!

  2. Wow…..that is quite a big bang you got there! Glad you’re on the mend. My husband is always working when he should be using days off and vacations to refresh… not being able to disconnect from his job just chews him up and wears him down…good for you deciding to rest and turn off work for a little while.

  3. Hi Kate, thanks for sharing all that. The scar will probably go away, cut open an aloe vera leaf and rub it on every day or every 4 hours preferably. That will heal it much faster too. I wondered what you did, I thought perhaps you were some kind of writer. Perhaps you should be. Good luck with work, a stressful job only works for awhile, then you need to make changes. Or you get addicted to the adrenaline like me (in a former life), and are convinced only you can keep things going. Big mistake! This is a great opportunity to think and reflect.

  4. I wish I would have read this before I pushed myself and went to yoga this morning, I’m on antibiotics for a uti and it’s that time of the month so I really should have just rested and relaxed but no I pushed it and now im suffering, I am taking it east the rest of the day though. Feel better soon.

    1. Yes! Apparently the cut wasn’t too deep and I was very relieved they had that option as stitches on my head sounded rather unpleasant :/. Google “Dermabond” if you’re curious about it. I had never heard of it either, but it worked great.

  5. What a bummer! You’re right though, it is looking much better. But you are smart to just take it easy as much as you can. In the long run, that is best. I completely understand the want (need) to workout and be active, especially when you are injured or sick. I’ve been there, and it seems like the worst thing in the world even though we may have gone through prior years living a very similar inactive life. Just remember, this too shall pass. You’ll get through it, and think about how excited you are going to be when you are back to 100%!

  6. Take Care. Sounds like you need a break so make sure you keep your phone disconnected from your work mail. I know how it can be when you are passionate about your job it sometimes feels like everything is super important and needs to be done now. One of my old bosses though had good perspective she used to remind me that we aren’t brain surgeons / life savers so it’s really not 😉

  7. Take care of yourself!! I think it’s awesome that you’re disconnecting from work for a while. It’s not worth it to be that stressed. I hope you can sort it out and find a solution that works for you, either there or elsewhere. Meanwhile, enjoy the wedding (I hope you can go) and have a great vacation week!

  8. Congratulations on finally unplugging! Don’t worry – you are probably doing your coworkers a favor – they need to stretch and expand their skillsets, too! Enjoy your vacation, the wedding and being unplugged!

  9. Get well soon! I have low blood pressure too and I’ve had many close calls with head so I’m so sorry that this happened to you :(. I admire your resolve and look forward to seeing you better!

  10. I hope you’re feeling like yourself again soon, and happy to know that you are taking good care of yourself. I can appreciate the need to keep the cat from puking in your shoe! Those little fur balls show no discretion!

  11. Hi there! I love your blog. It’s nice to read about health from a truly healthy perspective, as opposed to the “I’m being healthy (but really I want to lose weight, look fabulous, get a boyfriend, and a high paying job due to my new looks perspective).

    Anyway, I read your post about trucking along at the gym. I also read your book reviews so I know you like to read. I would SINCERELY recommend the book “The New Rules of Lifting”. Or “The New Rules of Lifting for Abs”. (Just don’t get the one specifically for women: useless).

    “The New Rules of Lifting” has weight-lifting programs to last a year. They change every six weeks. And the movements are all easy. They (two authors) convinced me to stop training small muscles (biceps/triceps). The workouts only take 45 minutes to an hour, and I noticed muscle gain nearly everywhere. I’ve been strength training for ten years with free-weights, and this book changed everything about how I lift.

    I just wanted to share because I feel like you’ll appreciate the read!

    Hope you feel better!

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