A Conk on the Head

by J.D. Roth

Seven years ago, I spent about two weeks living in utter agony from the pain of “frozen shoulder”, or adhesive capsulitis. The condition came on suddenly, and for more than ten days, it felt like somebody was digging a dagger into my left shoulder even when it moved a tiny bit. It was during this period that I felt the most intense pain that I’ve ever felt in my life. (Probably a consistent 6 or 7 on the pain scale.)

Well, tonight I’m experiencing pain that’s even worse.

Last week, Matt gave me his old elliptical trainer (which was very kind of him). On Sunday night at book group, I recruited some of the guys to help me haul it upstairs. Midway up the steps, a piece of the machine fell and conked me on the side of the head. Ouch!

I didn’t think much of it at the time. Yes, it hurt, and yes I got bump on my head almost immediately. But it didn’t seem like a big deal.

On Monday, though, I had some dizziness and some nausea and more than just some headaches. “Crap,” I thought. “Concussion.” I paid close attention throughout the day and evening, and fortunately the nausea didn’t become severe; I decided I didn’t need to see the doctor.

Today, the nausea and dizziness mostly subsided, only to be replaced by some soreness in the neck. (The headache was still there.) No big deal. I had editing to do on The Book, so I plowed through the work. Tonight the pains in my neck and head were severe enough that I bowed out of the bowling trip I’d planned to make with the guys.

I went to bed a little early.

I woke whimpering and crying about an hour later. SO MUCH PAIN! No matter how I turned my head (and I couldn’t do it without literally using my hand to lift my head by pulling my hair), it felt like somebody was trying to saw my neck off with a dull knife. “Kris,” I gasped. “Do we have any painkillers?”

We don’t. I’ve managed to make it downstairs to my new recliner. I’m sitting upright, which helps, but the pain is so intense I have no idea how I’m going to fall asleep. No idea. And it’s so difficult to concentrate that it’s taken 30 minutes to write this simple stream of consciousness piece. Please please please let the pain go away.

I guess I’ll watch Mary Tyler Moore reruns until I somehow manage to fall asleep…

Updated: 10 February 2010

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