I was getting ready for a normal workday expect I was going to visit my cousin for a long-weekend. My dad dropped me off at the train with my duffle bag. I took a window seat and put my headphones on, then started Spotify. The train stops are a blur. Then my memory goes blank.
There was a train crash.
The next thing I remember, I am on the floor. Unsure what happened. I was in tears as my head ached like nothing I ever felt before. I was taken to the hospital.
After I was discharged, the medical challenges began. I had excruciating neck and back pain, my head pain was intolerable, I was nauseous, and confused. I thought I needed a few days of rest from the concussion and I would be back to myself. However, that was not the case. I soon saw several doctors and neurologists, ultimately being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, migraines, vision problems, TMJ, herniations, PTSD, anxiety, and depression several months later. It took some time, but I finally found a team of doctors who worked well with me and together.
I’ve received multiple therapies that have helped ameliorate my concussion symptoms. Vision therapy was quite helpful – it helped my eyes work together and lessened double vision. I still use prism glasses when I use the compute or when reading, but now I have more tools in my toolkit. I also receive ongoing therapy – helping to lessen symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression. I do not always talk about the accident or my symptoms, often it’s just life in general. I highly recommend therapy for everyone. It’s great to have someone to confide in and get another perspective.
One of the biggest struggles has been the lost friendships. Initially, after the accident, lot of people reached out asking how I was. I felt loved and surrounded by a community. As time passed, I received more and more questions as to “what was wrong with you”, “why are you not better”, “you look okay to me.” It stung. It hurt. I did know the answer either. I lost a lot of friends. As time has passed, along with a lot of tears, I have learned they were never my real friends. They were unable to handle the struggle or it made them uncomfortable. And I needed people to waddle through the unknown with me.
I am not fully recovered – I get daily migraines and am closely followed by a headache specialist and continue to see my therapist. But I have hope – hope my symptoms will lessen and hope for my future.