skullpic

Been working on this piece for a few months now, and finally finished it. Wanted to have it ready in October 2013, a year after I fractured my skull.  As I reflect on my injury, and  knowing that I overcame a lot, I wanted to write it down in words to tell my story.

So here it is.

2 years ago, I was finishing my last term of college and preparing myself to join the working world as a professional adult. Unfortunately, I was still a young naïve college student, and made the mistake of wearing high heels at a halloween party while tipsy. I wound up slipping, and then falling backwards on a set of concrete stairs, which caused my head to split open.

After regaining consciousness, I was so embarrassed and mad at myself for what happened, I acted like it wasn’t a bad fall and that I was fine (even though- blood everywhere and I was suffering from a concussion). I didn’t want to disappoint my parents and admit how severe the fall was soI tried to sleep off the injury. That is, until the next day when the pain was so bad my mother and I went to urgent care.

The urgent care doctor took one look at me and immediately told us I needed to go to the ER because he could see blood inside my ears. Hours later after a lot of pain killers, a CT scan, and massive amounts of sodium chloride, it was revealed I fractured my skull and had a subdural hematoma.

A subdural hematoma is when blood is trapped between the brain and the skull, causing intracranial pressure to build up and damage the brain. I was very lucky to be alive. If these kinds of brain injuries are not treated immediately, it can lead to seizures and death.

Keep in mind, all of this happened as I was finishing my last term of school, while I was interning and competing in a national campaign competition with my class. As I laid in my hospital bed, I immediately notified my teachers and work that I was in the hospital and needed time to recover.

So much was weighing on my shoulders. Even though I was in a lot of pain, I couldn’t help but think about how much work there was to do for my classes and internship. There was no way I was going to bow out and retake my classes next term. People were counting on me and I wasn’t going to let this mistake negatively affect me. No, there was no way I was going to let that happen.

I spent two days and one night in the ER trying to recover. It was the first and only time I’ve ever had to stay over night at a hospital. The symptoms were hard to deal with; I was suffering from light sensitivity, nausea, headaches, and severe pain. With the pain killers I was on, I went in and out of consciousness praying to god that I would be okay. I remember my nurse would check on me periodically to see how I was doing, and every time I saw her, I pictured her as an angel.

After getting discharged from the hospital, I spent a week in bed, on meds, slowly recovering. As much as I wanted to go back to school and work, I still couldn’t even stare at my computer screen because the light sensitivity hurt my eyes too much. Finally, by the end of the week, my symptoms began to weaken, and I made the decision to get back to my school work.

Getting back into my school work was a difficult process. I had one teacher who completely understood the pain I was in and didn’t want me to overexert myself, while I had another teacher who really didn’t seem to comprehend that I had almost died and just wanted me to “get shit done”. I was very lucky and thankful to have that understanding teacher, and to show this, I gave him the best work possible that helped us win first place in our campaign competition. The other teacher had me under a lot of stress, but luckily my friends in that class kept me going and I still came out strong.

Luckily, I finished all my work for that term and graduated on time, while also winning first place in my national campaign competition. I now know what it means to work under extreme pressure, to not give up, and how important friends and family can be in times of need. I also haven’t worn high heels since my injury!