Monday, February 28, 2005

Diane Ackerman's Narrative About Her Concussion

From tomorrow's New York Times:
A Journey Through Concussion's Foggy Terrain
By DIANE ACKERMAN
The New York Times
Published: March 1, 2005

On a sparkling hot Florida day, I walked from an elevator into a small dark lobby and strode out the open door at speed. Except that the door wasn't open. It was an unmarked sheet of clean clear glass that clobbered me on the forehead two inches above my right eye.

I didn't pass out, see double, grow confused or feel nauseated. I did feel shaken, though, drove straight home, iced the area and rested.

For several days, I felt subdued, with low-level headaches. The world shone brighter than usual, which I attributed to the howling Florida sun. I tired easily and wasn't up to higher thought. My mind didn't feel it could do stairs.

It took three days before I admitted that I had a concussion. I went to the hospital for a CT scan, which showed no bleeding in the brain, thank heavens, and afterward I asked if I might have a look at the digital images of my brain and skull. How strange it was using my mobile, pink, three-dimensional brain to see itself frozen in time, starkly black and white, out of its box, on a two-dimensional screen that humans designed to provide the illusion of depth.
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