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: