I am a bad patient.
I often pretend I feel better than I do when the doctors ask about my symptoms. When reporting to friends and family, I downplay what the doctors have told me. I also tend to modify the doctor’s orders to suit my liking.
None of this is good, but what really makes me a bad patient is that I convinced my doctor to let me go back to work before I was ready. I actually went into my appointment with a pre-planned pitch to get her to sign-off on me returning to the office part time. I put on makeup so I didn’t look tired. I downplayed my symptoms. Truth be told, I probably flat out lied… to my doctor. WHAT WAS I THINKING?
This is just one example of me pushing myself too hard during recovery. There are a shameful number of examples I could share with you, but let’s leave it at this one since it is pretty bad. Now that I’m officially on sick leave, I have no excuse to focus on anything except healing (and healthy eating). To that end, here’s what my GP, concussion specialist, and physiotherapist have told me:
1. It was a serious concussion – they prefer I say that I suffered a brain injury because it clarifies the severity of the concussion.
2. The swelling is reduced, but my brain is still bruised.
3. Full recovery will take at least a year.
4. Recovery is slowed by asking too much of my brain too soon.
And their orders (even the ones I don’t like):
1. Avoid all physical, mental, and emotional stress.
2. Avoid anything that causes anxiety.
3. Avoid activities requiring extended focus.
4. No physical exercise except walking and yoga.
5. No reading.
6. No big screen movies, concerts, sporting events, or theatre.
7. No drinking.
8. No driving.
9. No flying or extended travel time.
10. Limited blackberry and computer use.
11. If a headache develops, immediately stop any activity that may be causing it.
SOTS wonders… do you have any ideas to fill the days? Any good TV shows to watch? Movies to rent?