I feel like I am living in a Lifetime movie. And I don’t even watch Lifetime movies because they are lame. I wish I was in an episode of Phineas and Ferb. Notice I didn’t say a Disney movie because Disney always kills the mom off early on in the plot. Could my life please just mimic an episode of Phineas and Ferb? In every episode they make something cool and there’s a catchy song and dance number. That is exactly what I want my life to be: I want to make cool stuff and then finish with a little song and dance.
We last left each other a little over 2 years ago. I had just turned 40 and had relaunched my blog after taking time off to refine my web design skills, build some apps and launch a new product that had just gotten into stores.
Hannah had just entered Kindergarten. Kevin got promoted and Abbie was having the time of her life in Junior High and was on the High School Cheerleading team.
On November 5, 2013, Abbie suffered a severe concussion at cheerleading practice. She got kicked in the head during a stunt and had a golf ball sized lump on the back of her head.
She had severe head pain, a sprained neck, pixelated vision, light and noise sensitivity, trouble with balance, plus short-term memory loss. (Meaning she would ask me what’s for dinner 5 times in a row not remembering I had answered her.)
In addition to that, because if that wasn’t enough, she had one episode of post-concussion syndrome where all of those above mentioned symptoms got a million times worse so she couldn’t see or walk for one entire day.
Good times, right?
It’s hard to believe, but yes. Those were good times. Obviously it was stressful and traumatic beyond comprehension, but we made the most of it. We were grateful she didn’t have nausea. We were lucky she didn’t have so much light sensitivity that she had to stay in a dark room all day. We definitely made the most of it.
Her other symptoms got better and when the head pain got to a manageable level she was able to gradually return to school after 3 months.
Abbie’s constant head pain lasted for 4 months and 12 days. She made a full recovery. Full. Complete. No lasting headaches or anything else. She handled everything so beautifully. I couldn’t have been prouder.
2 years later
December 5, 2015, 12:50AM I heard Abbie screaming “MOMMY!” at the top of her lungs. Kevin and I ran to her room to find her sitting on the floor next to her bathroom door. She just kept screaming and crying and saying, “Where am I?”
We kept telling her she was home and she kept on crying. I tried to wake her up; I thought she was in the middle of a nightmare. Then we turned on the lights and saw a cut on her forehead and the blood had dried a little. Her mirror had fallen off her door and she shrieked when she saw me, “Your hair, it’s so long! You look so old!” she said.
(Let’s just pause for a minute and fully take in that she just told me that I looked old. Not just old…. SO old.)
She kept on asking, “Why was Kevin home?” “Why wasn’t he out of town? He just left this morning?” she said.
It wasn’t a nightmare. We figure that Abbie must have tripped and hit her head going either to or from the bathroom in the middle of the night. We figure it knocked her out because the blood had dried on her cut. Everything that she is referring to happened the morning of her first concussion. Kevin was out of town and I had super short hair back then.
We built a new house in a new city and Abbie got all new bedroom furniture, which is why she didn’t know where she was when she woke up.
Abbie had lost 2 full years of her memory.
- She doesn’t remember her previous concussion.
- She doesn’t remember missing over 3 months of school.
- She doesn’t remember working so hard and getting all A’s despite missing school.
- She doesn’t remember getting her braces off.
- She doesn’t remember selling our old house.
- She doesn’t remember her new school, her new friends or her 1st boyfriend.
- She doesn’t remember how to drive.
- She doesn’t remember how to whip and nae nae or twerk. And she still thinks North West is a direction, not a name.
She doesn’t remember one single thing since her first concussion 2 years ago.
Obviously we hauled her in to the doctor so fast it made our heads spin. In one sentence they told us that she would be fine and that it is related to her first concussion, but they still ran every test under the sun to rule out any conceivable or inconceivable diagnosis and I am so forever grateful because I know she is ok.
The brain is just a mystery.
As of now, September 2016, she still hasn’t gotten even one memory back and that’s ok. It may come or it may not. Thanks to social media and photos she was able to read about and see her life and how wonderful those 2 years were. She may not remember anything, but she can see it was happy.
So that’s why I haven’t been writing or working (if you follow that part of my life). Life has had other plans for us.
I truly believe that all of these things were meant to happen for a reason and there are many instances where we have already seen that occur. However, no matter what happens to us in the future, all I really want to do is make cool stuff and then finish the day with a little song and dance.