When we left each other, signing each other’s yearbooks and promising to be best friends forever, I had had a car accident and was feeling very sad.
The good news is, things got worse!
The day after my accident, Thursday, I went to the chiropractor and he said I had whiplash and to lie on a bag of ice over the weekend. I did that, and I also made a Dr. appointment for Monday even though I kept thinking it was stupid to go to the doctor.
I went to work Monday morning, copy editing something on my computer screen for about two hours. When I was done with it after two hours, I was so exhausted I could’ve fallen asleep sitting up at my desk. I was dizzy, too.
I went to the doctor then, even though I’d considered canceling the appointment about 59 times. I told her about the accident, showed her my bruises—which she called “contusions,” which was a lot more exciting than the word bruises—and I told her how the day of the accident I forgot what day it was, and how the next day I was trying to make all my important accident-related phone calls and people would start sentences and then just end up speaking gobbledy.
Then I told her how I had worked two hours that day and was just exhausted already. “Were you staring at the computer?” she asked me. I told her I had been, and she told me I had a concussion.
I was given strict orders to “not stare intently at the computer or read with any heavy concentration,” which is of course my entire job. She told me I could work four hours a day, but that I had to take a break every 20 minutes.
So I did that. Monday through Thursday, I worked four hours, sometimes two hours at a time, sometimes all four hours in a row. I dutifully took the breaks.
The good thing about concussion is, you get your rest. I would come home and sleep like a toddler. I would say for that first week after my accident I was sleeping three or four times a day.
One morning, I was making my bed, and as I smoothed my pillowcase I said to it, “I’ll be seeing you in just a few hours.” Man, I slept like the dead. That was some great sleep, those first few days.
Yesterday, I went back to the doctor, and I told her that even though I was dutifully taking my 20-minute breaks and napping all the time, I was still getting a headache at the end of the day.
So now I am on a full leave from work up until next Friday.
I know that being told you cannot work for a week and all you have to do is rest sounds like a delightful time, but here’s what I cannot do: any physical activity, like exercising or cleaning the house. I cannot watch TV. I cannot go to the movies. I cannot look at a computer screen. I cannot look at my phone. I cannot read a book.
“What else is there?” asked my coworker, Griff. I told him I really didn’t know. “Have you checked out the Beach Boys’ entire canon?” He asked me. Griffin is an idea man.
I also, by the way, I am not supposed to really be in the sun. Something about the light. That’s why I can’t look at the TV or the phone or anything as well.
I am speaking this entire post into my phone and looking off dramatically to the side the whole time. I am certain this thing is riddled with errors but I’m not going to look.
Here are two things I have figured out I can do: I can listen to audiobooks on my Google Home. I can also shop. It occurred to me that my doctor is probably going to say the fluorescent lights are bad for me at Sephora and Target and Belk, which is where I have gone so far, but fuck it. It’s all I have left, man.
So far, I have listened to one audiobook in its entirety. I downloaded a book called Three Women, which I thought was this current bestseller but a different book got downloaded. It’s a Maeve Binchy-like book set in Ireland about, wait for it, three women. It was pretty predictable but I still listen to the whole thing. Because I have nothing else to do.
Also, I have been trying to force myself to go outside and drive somewhere every day so I don’t get phobic. I’m still really fucking scared and I look nervously at the rearview mirror every time I stop. Tomorrow I take the little kitten to get her shots and I am 100% terrified to drive down that road where my accident was.
(My phone keeps telling me my car is parked on that street, because that’s the last time my phone knew where my car was. Sad.)
Oh! Let me throw in a picture of the kitten. It means I’ll have to look at the screen but I’ll do it really fast.
heeeeee. Did she get bigger?
Anyway, that’s what’s going on with me. I go back to the doctor on Friday to see how I’m doing.
I would love to obsessively google concussions, but I can’t look online.
Also, if you send me comments I won’t be able to read them. I’ll read them when I’m well again. When I am whole again. When I’m not talking to you and looking dramatically to the side.
The thing is, when you’re happy, you usually don’t notice it. I had been pretty happy lately with my new car and my trips to the trainer. I was looking kind a good and my car was adorable.
I loved that car, although now I’m scared to drive in it, and I loved having my personal training sessions. Life was going pretty well. I didn’t appreciate it till now that I can’t do a lot of stuff.
What can you do.
I look forward to reading your comments in six days.