Can you raid with a concussion? Sure, why not, I thought at the time. Despite stocking up on salty snacks and bottled water yesterday, I fainted less than an hour before needing to be in Ulduar and hit my head. Unfortunately one of the hallmark signs of a concussion is memory loss of events just before and after and so I can’t recall exactly how this happened. The symptoms of a concussion are pretty similar to the symptoms I experience on a regular basis – headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of balance, light sensitivity, seeing bright lights, blurred vision, tinnitus, disorientation, confusion, poor concentration and difficulty focusing attention, irritability, restlessness, lethargy, tearfulness, slow to respond, vacant stare, slurred or incoherent speech. If I can carry on most of the time through most of those, I couldn’t see why the cause of the symptoms made a difference. I can be rather persistent when I want to be. The big red flashy lights are confusion, slurred speech, slow to respond and balance issues to the point where I don’t know where up and down is. As I wasn’t really talking, forgot to tell Chris I hit my head until hours after the fact and didn’t need to stand up, most of the flashy lights went straight over my head, but it’s migraine season and so a lot of things go straight over my head and I didn’t pay attention to it.
Mild concussions aren’t a big deal for me. I worry about the cognitive effects – of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my memory the most. It’s a surreal place to be, the land of vacant stares. There really is a whole lot of nothing going on. I have developed excellent coping mechanisms. I have bells and timers with loud noises I can set to wake me from my empty reverie. When the bell goes off, I have a pre-written message to remind me that I was in the middle of something, like an msn chat or well, a 25-man raid. I also do auto-pilot quite well. Language remains a big deal. My thoughts are thick and syrupy, slow to form and even slower to respond. Talking is nearly impossible. Typing is somehow easier, particularly if I can talk rather than respond. I do well with little raid tells stating exactly what just happened but draw a complete blank on responding to someone else’s statements. It takes a long time to come up with a few words that make sense. I know that I’m okay when I’m still capable of realizing that there’s an issue and I have to work really hard to move past it. I wasn’t too worried. Needless to say, I played badly. I died rather frequent and utterly pointless deaths and I cringe to think what recount would look like as concussion me tend to go for broken record events – like spamming one spell excessively or just putting regrowth on every person in the raid regardless of what their health bar says. I caught myself starting to fall into those patterns, which again is a good sign.
I get tired of events like these. I am irritable and moody today and still struggling to focus and words are still complicated creatures that refuse to cooperate and be tamed, but the one overwhelming thought I have is that today, I’m just tired of it all. I don’t want my life to be a collection of weird events that continuously disrupts everything I try to do. I think about the BT run that was interrupted by me having to call am ambulance and I think about the dislocations and fainting and headaches and seizures and if its not this its that and being sick is this big white elephant in the room that refuse to be ignored and I try to capture it on paper, hoping to maybe understand it better and yet, it keeps changing form and I’m always running to catch up because it keeps tripping me up.
I dislocated quite a lot of joints raiding last night because I wasn’t mentally with it enough to focus my movements precisely enough to minimize the damage. I wanted to soak in a hot bath afterwards to lessen the pain and almost drowned myself in the process because I lost track of where up and down was and turned it around and under water was not above the water. Chris got himself all wet pulling me out and as I sat there coughing with Chris wiping water off my face, the cat stretched up, nuzzled his head into my wet hands and then proceeded to start licking me dry. The three of us went from bath to bed and as I logged into msn to explain why I wasn’t on msn, Chris was humming off-key as he cleaned up the mess I made of trailing clothes and flooded floors whilst the cat snuggled into my thigh and I was smart enough to realize that life shouldn’t be about the EDS-stuff, it should be all about moments like these.