A Boomer's Guide to Brain Rest
I wish there was a manual for what to do when you get a severe concussion. Although, I suppose you wouldn't be encouraged to read it since you're supposed to be resting your brain.
I'm coming up on a month, and I'm still on the mend. I really didn't believe the docs when they said it could take a month (or more) to get back to normal. That's a lonnnnnnng time to try to rest a brain. Even longer when you lack patience to begin with.
So, for the benefit of any you baby boomers who bonk your head, take it from me (really, please take it):
- Sleep, a lot
- Sleep, more than you can imagine yourself ever sleeping
- Sleep, sleep, sleep
- Let people know your limits and limitations; this isn't the time to pretend all's well
- No matter how frustrating, hang on...to hand rails, to someone's arm, to hope
- Remember you have 5 senses, and if your eyes and ears cause you trouble, check out touch, smell, and taste
- Snuggle with your pets, if they're the snuggling type; otherwise, a mushable stuffed animal should do just fine
- Listen to guided meditations, unless they give you a headache
- Listen to Krista Tippet's interview with Matthew Sanford
- Figure out how long your "charge" is and keep any activity within that timeframe
- Take the elevator, not the stairs; this isn't the time to try to lose weight
- Believe your doctor when you're told, "It just takes time"
- Cut yourself some slack; this isn't the time to overachieve
- Limit your screen time; seriously, no cheating, unless you're searaching for podcasts
- Get a massage
- Get acupuncture
- Take lots of deep breaths, especially when you've had it with your head injury
- Work at home, if you can work at all; the travel time really eats into your "charge"
- Eat yummy things in little portions often
- Ask for help; people are amazingly kind, and this is the time to discover this wonderful truth
- Apologize if you snap at anyone because you're out of you're ever-lovin' mind with boredom and frustration
- Listen for the lesson in all the forced rest
Really bad ideas
- Going to a movie, unless you want to feel and look like you're a drunken sailor on your way out
- Trying to push yourself to the point that you get stupid, sloppy, and sick to your stomach
- Blogging longer than 15 minutes
- Thinking you're still a spring chicken and will get better faster than your doctors predict
- Ignoring doctor's orders
- Going postal out of frustration and doing something stupid
- Giving up hope, though it's OK to give up controlling
So, here's the disclaimer part: I am not a doctor. I repeat: I am NOT a doctor or any kind of medical professional. (I've always wanted to be a doctor, but that's another story.) Consult your own physician for bonafide medical advice. As for my suggestions, take what you like and leave the rest. But if you have some other ideas, I'm all ears, if you promise not to shout.