Day 3425: Brain damage

Yesterday, at an urgent care clinic, a doctor tried to convince me to go to a hospital emergency room to get a CAT scan for possible brain damage.

My brain was surprised by this because I had come to the urgent care clinic suspecting wrist and ankle damage after taking a rather spectacular fall on my daily walk, which was preceded by this tweet:

I’m not showing any signs of brain damage there, am I?

Anyway, because I’m on the blood thinner Coumadin, almost immediately after the fall giant bruises were appearing at all the points of contact I’d had with the ground. My brain was undamaged enough to call my Coumadin nurse, Veronica, before everybody left for the long weekend. Veronica suggested I go to an urgent care clinic to see if the damage included any hairline fractures.

My son Aaron wanted to know if he should cancel our plans to go out to dinner with his friend Clark, who would be arriving soon, but I didn’t want to damage everyone’s evening, so I said “no.”

At the urgent care clinic, they x-rayed my left wrist, right wrist, and my right ankle and found no fractures. Even though I had walked the half-mile back home without pain, my right foot was now so sore that they gave me a walking boot. They said the ankle damage could be a sprain or just internal bleeding because of the Coumadin.

Then, just when I was thinking I had escaped serious damage, a doctor came in all concerned about brain damage and quoted this poem to me:

He bumped his head and went to bed,

And he couldn’t get up in the morning.

That got my brain’s attention, because I always want to get up in the morning. I thought the doctor was mainly concerned about brain damage because I had described hitting the side of my head very slightly in the fall, causing my glasses to fall off. However, she insisted that even if I hadn’t hit my head at all, any fall on Coumadin could cause brain damage and I should get at least one CAT scan, if not two.

I asked what the signs of brain damage would be and she said, “headaches, double vision, nausea, or change of personality.” Telling my son Aaron, his friend Clark, and my husband Michael to be on alert for any brain damage, we went out to dinner as planned and the only cat scan I got was this:

Because my brain is not so damaged that I take foolish risks, I contacted the on-call doctor at my hospital to see what they would suggest and, as I suspected, she was rather surprised about the Urgent Care doctor’s concern about brain damage and supported my decision not to worry about it. Believe me, my brain is damaged enough by worries without adding unnecessary ones at this point.

Do you see any evidence of brain damage in my other images for today?

It seems brain damaged to me that all of today’s National days involve eating dead cows. There seems to be too much brain damage in my country as I write this, and we better use our brains before it’s too late.

Because double vision is one of the signs of brain damage, here’s “Double Vision” by Foreigner.

If you see any evidence of brain damage in this post, please let me know in the comments section, below, and I’ll consider getting a CAT scan.

Thanks to all who help me write these daily posts with my brain and my heart, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, life in the USA, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Day 3425: Brain damage

  1. Debbie T

    Apparently after one turns 65, according to my PCP, one enters a statistical category where falling and hitting the head ought to trigger an immediate call to the doctor for checking over and a CAT scan of the head. I learned this earlier this year when I fell and wasn’t sure if I’d hit my head (long story). I decided to casually mention this to my PCP the next day, and they told me to come in right away and I got quite a scolding (that’s my word; other family members say that it was intended as informational and caring, though I didn’t hear it that way) for not calling immediately. That’s when I was told to treat any fall where I hit (or might have hit) my head as an urgent matter — because I’m now in the “over 65” category. My usual behavior, in my earlier life, was to monitor myself for a couple of days, and if my injury didn’t improve or got worse, to seek medical attention then. But no one handed me the new manual when I turned 65 a few years ago, and I wonder how I was supposed to know to change my behavior, given that I felt fine?! And what other new actions might be hidden in that manual, that I still don’t have a copy of? (Sorry for the rant. I’m clearly still processing the whole experience. And wondering if it’s time to divide “over 65” into subcategories.)

    I am happy to say, however, that your post sounds just like you without any hints of brain damage.

    • I’m happy to get this comment which sounds like you, Debbie! The urgent care doctor told me that people’s brains can shrink after age 65, but she also seemed to say that the more we use them the less that’s an issue. I think we’re both still using our brains very effectively.

  2. Brown Lemur

    I am sure you have been preached to by people more knowledgeable than me, but please be careful because of the Coumadin. Nasty stuff, but necessary for some. After all, who is going to ask me how to celebrate my day and offer me the last (thank God) question of the day, if not you? I have been on blood thinners. After several months of anemia I was sent to a hematologist. He said swallowing potato chips is enough to cause you to bleed in your throat if you’re on blood thinners. So please avoid falling, particularly into potato chips.

  3. All I can think of is Bob Saget who hit his head and then went to bed and that was that. Still…I know it’s hard to go get checked out when you feel OK. Glad your wrists and foot are OK(ish) I fell 2x in 2019, both times while running, so I stopped running. It was a good enough excuse to stop. I’m 66, was 59 or so then. What have I done? Well, I’ve called my Senators’ offices and my Congresswoman’s office and begged for common sense gun laws. I hope everyone is doing that.

  4. Dreamer9177

    You got the very best cat scan 😻

  5. My 1¢ worth: I disregard most of the medical advice I get, even from specialists. So I understand hesitancy in many circumstances. But honestly, I’d be alarmed to know people I care to see well were doing what I do. I’d probably be after them. And as someone said, Coumadin is strong stuff. A close acquaintance has had brain bleeds following each of two scheduled, unrelated surgeries while on Coumadin. Please be safe and stay well. 🙏

    • Thank you for this thoughtful comment, Jason. With my heart condition (which I’ve had since birth), I really pay attention to medical advice I get, especially from doctors I know and trust. So that’s why I called my hospital to talk to a doctor, who did support my inclination to ignore the advice to get a CAT scan in this situation. I am doing my best to be safe and stay well and I wish the same to you, my friend!

  6. I really like the way Joan scans you, Ann. Your brain always appears ship-shape sharp to me!

  7. glad you are okay, just a bit worse for wear. and in answer to your question – a strong no. you seem, wise, kind, sassy, and whimsical as usual!

  8. Oh my, Ann, your account of the fall brought me to mine a month ago. Dislocated and broke my pinky, and hit my head on the way down. Because the little finger and left hand took the brunt of it, I avoided brain damage. I’m glad you did, too. No sign of diminished cerebral functioning … not yet anyway. Hooray! BTW, I do love ❤️ your cat scan!

  9. I don’t see any signs of brain damage in your writing and your wit seems fully intact. I very impressed with all the doctors that you have access to there, enabling you to have different opinions and some choices. Hopefully, you don’t have to visit them again anytime soon.

  10. You seem clear as a bell to me, dear Ann! You are adventurous by nature, I think, but this was more excitement than you asked for! I hope you continue to heal all those bruises and contusions and resume your walking (safely) again soon. Hugs to you!

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