My Personal Experience with Brain Trauma & The US Healthcare System- Part 1

It started out in the barnyard of my 2.5-acre homestead. The fence there is old and many of the posts were broken. Since the fence is no longer necessary and is only a hindrance to mowing now I decided I would remove it during these winter months. While I was doing that a couple of weeks ago. I as best as I can remember tried to pull done an already broken post. Long story short I ended on the ground with the post on top of me. That was mistake 1, don’t take any fall as nothing of consequence.

2017-03-09_16-43-26.pngSince I was alone I don’t really know if I lost conscience but thinking about it afterward that was likely the case. The first thing I remembered is wondering why I was lying on the ground and what I was doing before? That should have given me a clue that the fall was not typical of my clumsy self but something more serious.  But as ornery as I am I refused to believe it was serious.  I picked myself up and continued to take down the rest of that section of fence. It was not until I got out of bed the next day that I discovered some serious neck pain and a headache. I decided that all I needed was some ibuprofen and everything would be fine.  That was mistake 2, don’t take blood thinner with a brain injury.

The headaches continued for another three days while I was doing some heavy lifting and extreme activity at least for a seventy-year-old guy. I had just gotten a new 50 lb battery for my RV and managed to get it installed. That was mistake 3, don’t lift heavy things when you have a brain injury. It was not until day 5 that I noticed that for some reason my left leg just didn’t want to go where I want it to. It started out with just one short instance but over the course of the next few days became more frequent.  That was mistake 4, I should have realized that this was something more serious but since it was now a weekend I decided to wait until Monday to see my doctor. Since I am deaf my wife called for me and told him what had happened he told me to go immediately to the emergency room in Bloomington which is 20 miles away as they can do all the tests to determine the severity.

2017-03-09_16-45-28.pngWe were taken into the ER doctor pretty quickly but he just didn’t seem to be very interested, he kept looking at his watch while I was describing what happened.  I guess he thought what I was saying was unnecessary since he had already decided to get a cat-scan done.  A few minutes later I was in the donut hole of a scanner for the two minutes it took to do my head scan. It wasn’t long before I returned to my room that he came back and said that I had a subdural hematoma, i.e. a brain bleed and a neurosurgeon would soon be in to see me. Of course, that made me go into a panic mode thinking of all the possibilities.

This seems to be a good place to stop here until the next time…