Friday, February 02, 2007


It's 12F and sunny (practically a heat wave!), and Darling Husband and Boy Wonder will be going to a Super Bowl party. Which means I can spend Sunday afternoon and evening in blissful silence, rather than hiding to escape the ghastly sounds of huge men smashing their heads and other parts.

Speaking of smashing heads, there's a second sobering article on concussion and football in today's NY Times: Dark Days Follow Hard-Hitting Career in N.F.L. I've never played any contact sport, but when I was thrown by the horse last May, along with other injuries, I suffered a concussion--my 4th overall (3 from equestrian activities) and the 2nd severe one over the course of 24 years.

Although I was wearing a very sturdy and heavily padded helmet, I was knocked out and got a whacking bruise on the right side of my skull, along with a smashed-up face and mouth. Now when I scratch my scalp where the bruise was, I get a shower of tingles on the right side of my forehead and above my eye, much of which are now numb. (It sure feels weird to apply eye makeup, especially liner.)

As the article points out, it takes a long time to recover from concussion. Exactly how long, no one will say; my doctors never did. But I can attest that at the least it takes many months. As with the football players profiled in the articles, I've suffered memory loss and depression, though thankfully nowhere as bad as theirs. No personality change either; nor drug addiction, though I would have gladly become dependent on some drug last summer, when my theme song was "I Wanna Be Sedated." But everything I took had intolerable side effects: Vicodin and Percocet awakened me in the middle of the night with itching so horrendous that I drew blood; Lyrica made me fall down--not what I wanted with a broken arm, ribs and face.

The Times quotes former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson: "The thought of violently tackling a player, he said, 'made me physically ill.'"

I know just what he means: the thought of just watching a violent tackle makes me physically ill. In fact, I can't stomach seeing any violent act, or even its aftermath, which makes viewing TV and movies challenging (driving too, given all the weather-related fender benders lately). I'm scrutinizing reviews and ratings more carefully than I did when Boy Wonder was small. My new credo: "More sex and drugs! Less violence!"

Newspapers are fraught with peril too: I regularly have to fold over the pages to hide bloody images from Iraq and elsewhere. And no way am I reading today's Denver Post story headlined "Dragging testimony grisly," though as a former copyeditor I think it would have been more grammatical as "Grisly dragging testimony." (It was worded differently online.)

No comments: