I’m not sure why, but my family has a history of avoiding doctors. When I was a boy, I remember that my mother hobbled around on a sprained (broken?) ankle for days (weeks?) before going to get it checked out. When I was a freshman in college, I broke a finger while playing touch football, but just dealt with the pain for days before I finally sought medical attention.
There are many other such examples in my family’s history. (Remember my knee injury?)
Well, after my recent head injury, I headed down this same path again. After getting conked on the head on Sunday, I didn’t go to the doctor. After experiencing dizziness and nausea on Monday, I didn’t go to the doctor. After being unable to sleep Tuesday night because of neck pain, I didn’t go to the doctor. I didn’t even go to the doctor yesterday, despite almost getting killed because I couldn’t turn my head far enough to see a car on a cross-street.
Yes, I was stupid.
Finally, today I went to the doctor. He scolded me for waiting so long. “This isn’t anything to mess around with,” he said. Then he looked me over. He checked me for dizziness (I had a little more of that today), and he checked my range of motion. In the end, he told me his diagnosis: “You have a muscle spasm,” he said. “One of your neck muscles is switched on and doesn’t want to let go. And it hurts.”
What does he want me to do about it? The same thing I’m doing already: Take naproxen (Alleve), do some neck exercises, and just take it easy. And next time, go to the doctor as soon as I get hurt — not wait four days.