I've got a concussion

and now what?

Quick tips

So weird to have a concussion! Your auto-pilot doesn’t work anymore. And then the headaches and noise, light…Everything is slow and difficult. Focussing takes super much energy..24 hours per day, why doesn’t it stop?

Therefore, here are my tips!

Sound

  • Are you having trouble with loud noises? Buy earplugs!  This will give a lot of rest, for example when doing groceries, in the bus, or just to get some peace of mind in your house. Do try to limit your use of earplugs, though, otherwise your ears could become increasingly sensitive to sound.

If you can’t leave the house yet, ask someone to buy them at a pharmacy or drugstore.

Memory

  • With a whiteboard marker you can easily write on the (white) tiles in your kitchen or bathroom. On average you will be in these rooms at least 3x per day when your at home 🙂 And that way you can immediately write down your thoughts when you have them; plans, shopping lists, daily schedules or feelings

Light

  • Trouble with light? A lot of people choose to wear sunglasses, for example when visiting a supermarket. It really helps for your eyes.
  • Get an eye mask for sleeping
  • Issues with the bright light of your computer? Download the free f.lux  software which adjusts the colour and brightness of the screen light. https://justgetflux.com
  • On iPhone, iPad and Mac you can activate ‘Night shift’ mode all day long, which has the same effect.

Alcohol

  • Avoid alcohol. You can try it, but you’ll notice pretty quickly it does not improve your condition.
  • Have you been at home for a couple of months, then 1 glass of wine can help to relax your muscles. Just drink it with water on the side, that helps.

Headaches

  • Extreme headaches? Take paracetamol rather than Ibuprofen, if you ask me.
  • Try to relax and find something to distract yourself with. After a couple of months that should be easier. In the beginning you probably just want to sleep a lot.
  • I prefer to only take painkillers before I go to sleep, or if you really don’t have other options. The problem is that painkillers suppress your symptoms, meaning that you aren’t aware of your limits anymore. The result might be that you overexert yourself which makes things worse in the end.
  • Drink enough water, optionally through a straw. Sucking through a straw may make it easier to focus and drinking lots of water helps ease headaches.

Distracting yourself

I’ve become a master in finding distraction because of the massive headaches I’ve experienced.

My prime sources of distraction were taking walks (perhaps with friends), watching funny pictures on Pinterest or short videos on Youtube.

Can’t handle videos yet? Ask someone to download an audiobook for you or put on your favorite TV show and just listen to it, without watching the screen.

  • Repetition is easiest on your head. That’s why I like to listen to ‘How I met your mother’ again, as I recognise a lot of the scenes. New series can be hard to follow.
  • This also goes for reading; read a book you already know and read it in small bits. That’s really easier. Or read good children’s books, such as Roald Dahl.
  • Painting helps
  • Listening to music, if not too loud

Nausea

  • Nauseous? Do keep eating, but throw up if you really need to. Ask someone to get you food at set times.

Ouch, (neck)muscles are tense?

  • Use tigerbalm, get a massage, take a warm bath, accupuncture, reiki, whatever you like!
  • For me this is a signal that I’ve done too much. Stop what you’re doing and go home or find a quiet spot. Wait until you are relaxed again and then you can continue. Otherwise lie down for a bit, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

Tiredness, exhaustion?

  • Tired? Sleep a lot at night, try to sleep less during the day after a while (max 1 hour). In any case avoid sleeping badly at night. Maintain your rythm.
  • Are you not sleeping well at night? Try to listen to some calm music, relax. I try to write my worries and frustrations in a little book next to my bed. That way my head clears quickly. And I need a clear head in order to be able to sleep.
  • Are you crying a lot, feeling emotionally instable? Then you are probably too tired. It’s your body trying to give you a signal. I now know, when I cry I need to stop. I’ve gone too far. Too bad. Sleep or rest and tomorrow there’s another chance to get it right!

In case of tiredness, try to only eat refined sugar when in an emergency (if you need to get back home but are extremely tired, for example). Because sugars make you more tired at the end of the day. So really try to eat healthy. Every little bit helps!

All tips here have one common goal: to maximize relaxation!

Disclaimer – Anyone reading this should realize that this website is NOT managed by medical professionals. Hence the information on this website should not be considered as medical advice. In case of symptoms it is crucial to always consult a doctor first.

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