This was my forehead after I spent 8 hours applying a compress to stop the bleeding.  I probably needed stitches, but I couldn’t afford to go to the ER so in the middle of the night, I super glued my forehead together, which is actually better than sutures for my fragile skin.  I heard this method of closing wounds was used during the Vietnam War, so good enough for me.  In fact, I can source that fact right here, although having training as a medic would’ve been helpful at the time.

I wasn’t in a car accident; I was trying to grab my cat’s litter box from under the built-in desk, but due to being visually impaired from keratoconus, I slammed my head into the sharp, laminate edge of the counter top and because my defective collagen makes my skin so weak from Classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (CEDS), I split my forehead in half, or however long that gash is.

Now, in the grand scheme of all my problems: living with severe, chronic pain, having a body falling to pieces, dealing with major visual distortion which makes it hard to tell how far away a counter top is, surviving off 6 foods, being semi-homeless and on and on, hitting my head shouldn’t be a big deal, right?  Well, it really is and here are a few reasons why.

People with CEDS, a genetic connective tissue disorder, have defective collagen V, which causes poor wound healing and wide, atrophic scars—also known as cigarette-paper scars—along with 1 million other things.  I think I hit my head 2 weeks ago or so and the scar is looking very purple and keloid-like right now, but if history proves correct, it will keep widening and then the center will turn into thin, papyrus-looking skin—right across the middle of my freaking forehead!

But, that is just part of my little accident.  I apparently hit my head so hard that my brain literally shook.  Yes, it took me a few days to realize I’d sustained a concussion from this thing once I could get back online and Google my symptoms.

At first, my forehead just felt like someone was driving a stake through it, so I went through every bag of frozen veggies in the freezer icing my head.  Then, I got v-e-r-y sleepy and just had to lay down and I fell asleep without Ambien CR for the first time in over 8 years and I kept sleeping like that: in 3 to 4 hour bursts throughout the day and night.

Now, while all this was going on I started to get really nauseous, which isn’t normal unless my pain gets above a level 9 on the Richter scale.  And even worse, the lights were driving me absolutely insane and I got double vision, so instead of seeing 6 of everything like normal, I saw 12. Therefore, I just stayed in this dark, distorted cave in my sleepy stupor with frozen veggies on my head and prayed I wouldn’t throw up, which I luckily didn’t.

Now, how many days was I in the cave?  I have no damn idea. I don’t remember much of anything, other than trying to text someone and not being able to do that at all, not that I can text well in general due to my vision.  I know I posted a draft that I had saved on my blog a few days out.  I also remember contacting my mother, but I’m not sure if that was by phone or e-mail.  I know I was trying to get help and she lives one state over from me and can drive here, but she was too busy getting some cosmetic procedure done to her face to be bothered, so as usual, I was in the cave all by my lonesome, aside from my beloved cat, who really could care less about her litter box being a little stinky I suspect.

To add insult to injury, literally, I got kicked out of physical therapy until I received clearance from a doctor stating it was safe for me to come back, but I had fired my rude and inept GP, so I missed a couple weeks of my much needed PT, not that I should have been doing any exercise, but my brain didn’t seem to comprehend that.  In fact, my brain wasn’t comprehending much of anything.  For example, I did a bunch of labs in December for a disorder associated with Ehlers-Danlos and I had to twist that doctor’s arm to even get him to order the tests for over a year.  However, I couldn’t recall what the tests were for all of a sudden.  How odd: this disorder I had researched in the medical journals for so long had just flown right out of my head.  It definitely started with an M, but what was it called?  Hmmm…

Since the concussion, I don’t sleep with Ambien CR anymore, not that I’m sleeping well and unfortunately, my circadian rhythm disorder is definitely here to stay.  I’ve also made some changes in my life, like deciding to not tolerate rude and discourteous people for 1 second anymore (yes, if you are one of them, goodbye) and getting rid of some useless online activities that were anything but helpful.  Who knew about the benefits of cracking your head open?

If you ever hit your head and anything in this article on concussion rings a bell once your brain is working a bit better, I hope you have the following if you are in the States:

Good insurance
A doctor

My mother suggested that due to my disabilities, such a nasty word coming from her mouth, I should wear the following on my head.  Come join me so everyone will know how special the disabled are and you might just get a trophy, too!

For the 1st time, my home team won the Super Bowl! Go Hawks!

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21 thoughts on “MY LITTLE ACCIDENT

  1. ShimonZ says:

    Very sorry to hear of this mishap, my dear girl. But the truth is that everyone has accidents. There’s no way to avoid it… even if it is harder on the disabled. May you have a speedy recovery. And by the way, I am sure that your cat really appreciates your keeping her sandbox clean. And I am also sure she is aware of your suffering, and praying in her own special way that you recover quickly. Cats are very sensitive to suffering. Sending you a very polite kiss through cyberspace.

    • Thank you and yes, everyone has accidents. They probably can take better photos, though. In fact, I call this “my little accident” because I think people without health problems make such a stink about such things that it’s almost comical, hence having a little fun with my post, per usual. The pain and concussion symptoms were a walk in the park compared to what I deal with 24/7 due to Ehlers-Danlos, so my inside joke was that the healthy crowd should appreciate the fact that they’ll heal and just go back to their life, while some of us don’t have that luxury.

      You know, I was so out of it that week I have no idea if Moush Moush even had a clue as to what was going on. I hope I gave her her chemo med on schedule. I think she’s so used to me walking into things in my teeny space or kvetching about my pain that she just says, “Well, what else is new?” In fact, I hit my head in that same spot on the built-in desk the week before, but the blow must have been softer and no damage was done. Lesson learned!

      Hope you are all in one piece, but I’d keep some super glue on hand…

      • Katherine says:

        I am so sorry you don’t live here as we get medical treatment free.I also hurt my head badly not long since whilst crawling on the floor looking for my shoe.I felt bad for a few days.I have nbad vision but not as bad as yours.But people just do not realise what it is like.I think Shimon was unkind to you.I know life is hell when you can;e aee and are in pain.
        Reading about your phone,here we have organisations that will advise people.Royal National Institute for the Blind is one…they recommend computers for example…
        I so agree about phoned being too complex.I wonder if you could get a reconditioned one like your old one on E bay?

      • Thank you, Katherine, for your very kind comment and for getting it as we say. Well, one has to walk in the world of chronic illness, low vision, etc. to truly understand and I’ve found in the 13 years since I first got sick that the normal-types just don’t get it, so I try to take their comments with a grain of salt. In general, I distance myself from people who can’t empathize, but I try to give them a chance. And when I’ve hit myself on the head enough, then I’m done.

        I wonder if you had a concussion, too? It was the weirdest week I tell you and I still am getting odd headaches off and on. Oh, now everyone stares at the keloid scar and asks if I was in a car accident. Ha! Well, I guess I’ll have souvenir…

        Don’t get me started on my dreams of moving to the UK and such a civil society! Well, the weather would kill me as I’m from Seattle originally–London of the States–but I dream of having nationalized healthcare and even though I hear a few gripes from the Brits, it’s nothing like what we deal with over here. I grew up next to an English family and figure I’d fit right in as I know all about lifts and lorries. 🙂 Per the lack of resources for the visually impaired, I think I would have access to some sort of non-profit organization if I were in a better city, but we’re sorely lacking here. Well, I already have the phone and they at least blew the font up for me and I made sure I knew how to get into “settings” on my own. I’ve found a few other things by playing around in there, but overall there’s way too much stuff I don’t need and can’t see well. The deciding factor for me was that my type of phone is obsolete and in another 2 or 4 years, they’ll all be gone, so best to learn now before my health gets worse. The corneal surgery I had (developed in the EU, of course) is believed to halt the progression of my eye disease, but it’s so new no one really knows for how long. I do agree that A LOT of my anxiety could have been alleviated if I just had someone to help me out. Well, stay tuned as I just got it tonight!

        Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts…
        A 🙂

  2. cheriblevy says:

    I would laugh, but it seems highly inappropriate, I just can’t stop imagining what many of us do all the time, being careless, feel better!

  3. dyspatient says:

    Oh crap, that sucks so much! And can I just add that you’re literally knocking yourself out for that cat.

    Your mom. That’s lovely. I guess people think they’re being funny when they say shit like that. It’s not when it comes from someone who is not there for you and doesn’t get it. Then it’s just mean. Superglue, well, I’m gonna nominate you for the Macgyver award, and if there isn’t one, we should make it. Us sickos have to be very creative. We should totally have awards for that.

    I’m glad you’re not still in your cave. I hate that this happened to you.

    • Thanks and yes, I am literally knocking myself out for Moush Moush! Lol. I have to climb under that desk to scoop her litter daily, so stay tuned for more adventures. There’s no room with 300 sf, so what to do? Well, at least we have a place to hide out if an earthquake ever hits (and hope that litter box is clean).

      Don’t even get me started on my mother. Argh. On one hand, it’s all I’ve ever known, but it still ceases to amaze me that someone can be so self-absorbed and say such insensitive things. I do think my brain is OK now if I thought to tie her comment into the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, though.

      I have an old joke about MacGyver, so appreciate the comment. I should have gotten a damn medal for my gluing skills there…

      • dyspatient says:

        NO, no earthquakes. You hear me? Nope. Just no.

        I recommend twice daily doses of Maria Bamford to treat the mom-comment induced blues. Very therapeutic.

      • LOL! That was the best, especially because my mother blows way too much money on stupid things at Target (and is obsessed with pricey bed linens, which she irons). Haha. I don’t know where the heck the video went now, but thanks for cheering me up. So, she now claims I never sent her an e-mail that I had a concussion!? Yes, I have it (full of odd typos) in Outlook and I know I talked to her on the phone during the mystery week or else how would I know about her trip to the plastic surgeon’s? Argh, so annoying like Maria’s mom! (The video popped up!)

      • Totally perfect! 🙂 Now I just need to post an ad for a new family as this one just sucks!!!

  4. anicebarbosa says:

    Oh my this sounds awful, I hope you are OK!

    • Hey A,
      Yeah, it was pretty bad, but I had NO idea I’d get a concussion from it! I think I was more upset with myself than anything because I’d hit my head in that same spot the week before. Well, now I just have this horrid, purple scar forming to remind me of all the things I can’t see. Booo! The joys of keratoconus (don’t bend down).
      A 🙂

      • anicebarbosa says:

        I’m glad you are well. Honey, I can’t tell you the amount of bruises I collect on a weekly basis! I fall all the time because of uneven surfaces and black ice. I am the clumsiest person and Keratoconus makes it easy for me to fulfill my talent lol. Be careful!

      • Ugh, you sound like me but it’s the furniture, tripping on things, etc. because I live in such a tiny place! You should see my lower legs, hence wearing jeans in the oven-hot summers! Well, part of my bruising issue is from EDS, but I have purple-black bruises all over–some spontaneous and some from the stupid furniture and whatnot. I am so careful with curbs and stairs as I fell down the latter lots of time from my EDS way before the KC showed up (no concussions there). So sorry you deal with that, too. For me, it’s the combo of poor vision and the ghosted images, so I can’t judge where things really are or I just can’t see them due to the lights, etc. Oh, those irritating things called corneas!

      • anicebarbosa says:

        Ha! Yes, I take it with a grain of humor now. It’s a talent really to be able to walk into so many things that you know exactly where they’re placed 🙂 Luckily I have only hurt myself majorly once! I ran full speed into a glass door and cut up my lips, bruised my forehead and nose. Looked like a cracked out Angelina Jolie for days! Now I walk into furniture, miss steps and curbs… But I manage to keep myself alive lol. The EDS sounds awful. Ugh it makes it all so much harder. But know that you’re inspiring! I thought I had it bad, but every time I read your stories and see your bravery it renews my strength. ❤

      • Aw, thanks. I sure would like to just deal with one disease (more like none), but if the KC doesn’t progress, I’ll try to not complain more than normal. 🙂

        I think your little accident beats mine! Good thing I don’t have a sliding glass door in here. Oh, yikes. I would be really afraid to go to someone else’s house because of what you said: I know where everything is in here and look at what happens still. People like to drop their things on the floor or scatter things around and that’s like a complete danger zone for us!

        Thanks for dropping by and hang in there…
        A ❤

      • anicebarbosa says:

        You too! Take care and chin up always!

  5. Actually, the use of superglue to fix wounds is kinda more wide known. My cat, Patch, had to go to the vets as his ear or pinna as it is officially known was ripped open. The vet sedated him and superglued his torn ear up. Only way I can tell which ear it was is he has a little nick on the ear.

    • Hey Karleigh,

      I’m slowly realizing they even use it in the emergency rooms here! Well, I haven’t had an accident that required stitches since I was in middle school in the mid ’80s, so I’m learning about steri-strips and all sorts of new things now. Lol! It’s actually recommended that people with Ehlers-Danlos use superglue if at all possible as the scarring is better. I did get a nasty keloid scar, but my doctor told me about a product made with silicone and the scar is much smaller and almost flat now. Yay! I wouldn’t care but you saw where it was.

      Anyway, that’s interesting about your cat. My cat, Moush Moush, got a small nick in her ear from a cat fight back in ’02 and I wish I’d known to use superglue back then. It didn’t bleed for long and is just at the tip, so I never took her to the vet. Well, she has 3 legs now so a little nick in her ear is sort of a minor thing and she’s still beautiful. 🙂

      Good to hear from you and glad Patch survived his accident, too.

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