Sunday, February 9, 2014

Neurology's Funny 'Til It's Not - ramblings about my son's concussion

My son has a concussion.

Know how?

Laughing.  That's how.  Apparently, someone said something funny on the bus + he laughed so hard that he threw his head backwards + the steel beam that borders the glass windows = concussion.

This happened about 4 weeks ago and he hasn't really seen a whole lot of improvement in the headaches, the emotional roller coaster rides, the confusion, even the slight measure of pseudobulbar tears.


Can we call it pseudobulbar if he doesn't also experience the intermittent laughter that us MSers know so well?  Meh.  Maybe not.  Maybe it's just 'tears with no label'.

I dislike labels anyway.

As I sat and watched him complete a neurological exam - much like those I did, faithfully, every 6 months...until my doctor retired and I decided I would also retire from those appointments - I got teary.

I remembered his early years and alllllll he'd been through.  The horrible prognosis he was born with.  Didn't help that he sustained a head injury after that prognosis.  Helped even less that he had an allergic reaction which produced seizures and neurological short circuits and, eventually, lots of labels.

The therapies were intense.  The endless 'social stories' exhausted him.  But, by God's grace, years of his relentless work, and a pediatrician in disbelief...those labels were removed from his chart.

My inner voice said, "this is not that...this is just a concussion...and he's stop it."

But I couldn't *not* see his much younger face as he looked to me for approval immediately following each trick the doctor asked him to perform.  Those glances helped me to exchange misplaced emotion for...the game face.  He's no stranger to being asked to perform tricks to show his brain function, just as none of us in this forum are.  He was prepared to do whatever she asked of him and to follow it up with a casual "did I kick that in the face or what!" approval seeking glance toward me.  Until he didn't kick it in the face.  The dreaded "heel/toe walk down the hallway with your eyes closed" trick got the better of him.


"I'm okay!"

Yeah, he was okay.  But he was also kinda scared.  Because this faulty neurology serves as a reminder to him of yesteryear.  I figure that's what prompted him to ask me - straight up - if this means he's going to end up back where he was, having to go through therapies?  And, if so, will this time be different?

My answer:  I don't know what this is gonna look like, but God does.

So what's a mother to do when there's nothing she actually can do?  At least until his headaches subside?  And while the team of folks who helped him years ago aren't even in the country at this time, but will see him as soon as they return?

Pray.  Pray and wait on the Lord, because there's always something going on around us that's got His name all over it...if I just stop. and. look.

What have I noticed in my day to day musings?

Well, I've noticed that my son has been given something far more valuable than the information from the classes he's missing, the competition in the sports he's having to put on hold, and the fun of the video games he's experiencing withdrawal from.  He's feeling the blessing of real, true friendship and support.  Like how a friend will just...sit with you.  Because sometimes it's not about having all the right words.  Sometimes? It's just about...sitting with you.  So that you know they're there.  In your best of spirits or your downright worst.  No matter what.

That is how this time is different.  

Thank You, Lord.  I see what You did there.

...and maybe the neatest part is, so does he ;-)


Mary Gerdt said...

Oh wow, that is tough! You can contact brain injury association. Wish you all the best. Time is a great healer. Don't ignore symptoms that are bothersome or that make you feel funny. Most Dr teams have on call or email..use what you have:-)

Tina said...

Thank you, Mary! I really appreciate your advice! Have a blessed week :)